Some cats are very social and enjoy living with other cats, while others prefer to be solitary. If you are bringing a new cat into your home, understand that it will take time. The best advice is to introduce the cats gradually and be patient. It takes most cats about 2 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. There are cases where others never become friends and will simply avoid each other. Still others cases where they will fight until your only choice is to remove one of the cats.
If you are about to get a cat who has lived with other cats in the past, the odds are probably good that they will make an attempt to get along. That being said, it is hard to predict if the new cat will get along. There are no books for us that will tell us the best matches among cats. It is known that male cats become friends and seem to spend more time with each other. Be aware that the more cats you have, the higher the risk is that you will have conflicts between the cats.
The first impression the new cat makes with the older cat is critical. If the cat displays aggression, this may set the tempo as to how the relationship is going to be. Because of that, it is best to separate the cats in the beginning. The cats should be able to smell and hear, but not see or touch each other. Each cat should have his own cat feeder, water bowl, scratching post and cat bed. Also make sure you have a litter box for each cat and at least one extra. Trying to make them share will probably be out of the question. Feed the cats near the door that separates them so they learn that coming together is not the end of their world.
Even though they can't yet see each other, it still can be a pleasant experience. After 2-3 days, change places with each cat so that they can check out each other's smell. By doing this, you will also allow the new cat to explore a different part of the home. After a few more days, play with the cats near the door. This will encourage the cats to paw at a toy under the door. Eventually the cats may play paw game under the door with each other. Change is difficult for cats, so the introduction needs to move ahead slowly.
After about a week or so, assuming you doesn't see any signs of hissing, growling, you can try replacing the door with a temporary screen door so the cats are able to see each other. Continue to encourage feeding and playing near the door. Start this treatment near the door and, in a day, move even closer, till they see and almost touch each other.
We plan to post articles that are informative and helpful to other cat lovers. Having been "owned" by cats for years, we know they can be demanding, but also be very entertaining and fun.
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