When you bring a new cat into your home and you already have a cat, chances are they will get along in due time. However, it is very common for the ‘older or existing’ cat to be jealous of the new cat at first. In a short time, the cats will generally behave and get along splendidly. If, however, your cats are not getting along, below are some recommendations to help them do so.
Your cat will be jealous
A new cat will almost always get more attention from you from the start than your existing cat. But, it is your responsibility to try to set aside some one-on-one time with your other cat to alleviate his or her fear that the new cat is stealing all your love. Some breeds are more jealous than others; however, always make the extra effort to make your existing cat feel loved and wanted and this will ease the transition.
Cats are territorial
Cats are territorial by nature, even if the territory extends no further than your couch. When you introduce a new cat into your household, the new cat will need to establish his or her territory and your existing cat will sometimes need to defend his space. This often results in fights.
Each of your cats probably has a spot they call their own. Discourage the new cat from adopting one of these spots by providing her with her own special spot. Sprinkle the new spot with catnip and put a towel with her scent on it. You can even give the new cat his own scratch post so she or he won't be poaching the territory of your existing cat and can mark it as her own.
New Cat Smell
When you bring a new cat into the home, it will have a new cat smell that will not be welcome by your existing cat. Some cats are more bothered by this than others. You can integrate their smells to help alleviate the ‘new cat smell’.
Try mixing up their smells by rubbing a towel over one cat and then use the same towel and rub it over your other cat to mingle their scents. Do this several times a day for a couple weeks and what do you know? They have similar scents.
If your cats won't stop fighting, it's time for a separation. You can get a large dog crate and place it in a spare room, and put one cat (with a litter box and bed) in the crate and the other cat outside the crate. Leave them alone in the room together. Do this every day for at least a week, alternating which cat gets crated.
When things appear to be less volatile between them, let them out together in the room (but don't leave them alone together). Play with them, give them treats, and praise their good behavior. If one starts a fight, put him in the crate. Continue this routine until they can be together in the room without fighting.
At that point, you can reintroduce them to the rest of the house. When one starts a fight, he goes back in the crate. Again, praise good behavior and reward your feline friends with treats. Within a month, the two cats should be able to coexist fairly peacefully.
While it might take some time and patience, it is worth the effort to make sure that both cats are happy or at least OK under the same roof. Good luck!
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