How to ensure that two cats get on together
Working out how to make two cats get on together, or with other species, may be very useful if you are planning to adopt a second pet.
Cats are territorial animals that need their own space and may become stressed and suffer quite a lot if this is not respected. However, they are also grateful for the company of other animals, particularly as human beings spend a lot of time away from home.
Because of this, if you already have a cat in your home and want to adopt a second cat, you should keep some things in mind to make their coexistence harmonious.
It is important to have plenty of patience. It may be possible for the two animals to accept each other from the start, but it is also possible that this might not be the case, and it may take some time for peace to reign in the home.
Of course, the process for introducing a new cat should be carried out with a lot of love, respecting their time and the characteristics and instincts of each animal.
You should also keep in mind that the probability of a successful coexistence will be greater the younger the animals are, and if they arrive home at the same time. But if this isn’t the case, the first introduction between the house cat and the new arrival is fundamental. You should observe this introduction, let them get to know each other and interact. Don’t be angry with them or shout at them if they don’t accept each other, but very calmly and carefully separate them and begin the introduction stage.
If the cats have accepted each other straight away, you just need to observe their reactions at the start, and enjoy them. If they haven’t, take measures to keep them apart in different rooms of the house and bring them together for a small amount of time each day so that they can get to know each other, in their own time and without any demands being made on them.
Little by little, the cats will start accepting each other and they will begin to interact and feel comfortable in each other’s presence. Once coexistence has been achieved, each cat should have their own food and drinking bowl, their own sleep space, toys and scratching post.
How can I make a dog and a cat get on?
If you already have a cat and the animal you want to introduce is a dog, it is important to understand the body language of both animals before you bring them together, so that you know if they are comfortable or not and to avoid possible problems, such as attacks or stress.
Introducing a dog into the home will be similar to introducing a cat, but keep in mind that some dogs have a strong hunting instinct and there may be cases in which coexistence is not possible, if the animals are already adults.
Some simple advice that you can use in the beginning as a precaution:
- Carry out the first introduction of the animals in a spacious place and let them decide if they want to relate to each other or not, under your supervision.
- If they have not accepted each other the first time, mark out spaces in the house for each animal and don’t leave them together when there are no humans present.
- It is worth facilitating their coexistence. It is very important to enrich their surroundings and that they have toys, so that they have a pleasant time when they meet.
- Gradually put them in the same room and observe their reactions. If neither of them feels threatened, little by little they will get used to each other’s presence.
- Reward them when they behave calmly. In the majority of cases, their peaceful coexistence is just a matter of time. If this is not the case, visiting an animal behaviourist is recommended to find a possible solution.