Another pet will require time, energy, expense and patience. So before bringing another pet home ask yourself, “Why do I want another pet?”
Many people that think their cat need companion assume two will be better because they will keep each other company. If you think a second pet will help alleviate loneliness, boredom or behavior problems with your current pet, think again. Many cat owners end up with two bored and misbehaving pets instead of one. Furthermore, a second pet will not necessarily provide your cat with the companionship you have in mind.
But if you have considered it through and you are ready to bring another cat or pets, here’s some tips to selecting your new companion.
It is best to introduce a cat that is different in age and sex to the resident cat.
- Fighting usually occurs between cats of the same sex and age, especially between males.
- While cats of the opposite sex get along best, they should be spayed and neutered.
- When selecting a new cat, try to find one that has lived with cats before.
- Generally, your cat will best accept a kitten. However, if your cat is a senior citizen, spare it the nuisance of a rambunctious youngster and get it a mellow, adult companion.
Try to match personalities. If your cat is a spitfire, then she will probably love another active cat or kitten, not a couch potato.
Once you selected the new companion proceed with below steps.
- Keep them separated at first.
- Set up a special isolation room for your new cat, this will provide her with a safe place to get used to her surroundings.
- Provide the necessity such as food, water, sand, toys or scratch pole.
- Two cats should be able to smell and hear each other. You can do this by feeding both cats near the door to the isolation room so they learn to associate the smell and sound of each other with a positive experience.
- You can also try rubbing the cats with the same towel to mix their scents.
- Play with each of the cats near the door, building up positive associations with the scent of the other cat.
- If your cats aren’t hissing or growling under the door at each other, after a week, you can try visually introducing the cats but with barrier.
- Continue feeding, playing with and giving the cats treats within view of the other cats, but don’t force it!
- The final step in the process is to let the cats be together, face-to-face, for supervised interaction.
- Don’t worry if the cats completely ignore each other or hiss a bit and then walk away.
- Don’t shower your new cat with attention in front of the resident cat until he is well accepted as part of the family.
It may take time and a bit of patience but your efforts have a good chance of being rewarded in the long run when your cats become content companions in your home for life.