Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 02:57 pm
Cats are known for their independent and territorial nature, which can sometimes lead to conflicts and tension when multiple cats coexist in the same space.
Adding a second or a third cat to the household can be challenging, but don’t panic.
We will explore effective strategies and tips to help your cats build positive relationships, minimize conflicts, and create a peaceful and happy environment for your feline companions to thrive.
Just keep on reading.
How to Get Two Cats To Get Along
It’s normal for your new cat and old cat not to get along and be hostile initially.
Both cats feel vulnerable and are upset by the change in their routine.
You’d be the same if a stranger suddenly moves with you.
Hostility doesn’t mean that your two cats won’t ever get along.
Both cats just need time to get to know each other and get used to each other’s presence.
You can speed up the bonding process by staying calm.
Then follow these 9 fantastic tips to get two males/females cats or cats of the opposite gender to get along.
These simple tips can also help you get your cat to get along with a kitten.
#1 Understand Why Cats Have Trouble Getting Along
To help your cats get along, you have to understand why your pets have a troubled relationship.
Then you can work on fixing the problem.
The main reason why two cats have trouble getting along is a lack of socialization.
Cats who’ve had limited exposure to other felines don’t know how to interact with other cats and feel threatened.
So, how do you socialize cats?
You make sure that young kittens have pleasant experiences around other cats. In this way, kittens won’t be wary of other cats when they grow up.
Unfortunately, adult cats are much harder to socialize because they’ve already made up their mind about other felines.
All you can do is introduce other cats slowly and reward your cat when they behave well.
The other reason why cats don’t get along is a clash of personalities.
Owners often choose a second/third cat based on their desires, not considering their resident cat’s character
Ideally, you want a second cat close in temperament and age to your old cat to avoid fights and conflicts.
A kitten might also be the right choice in some cases.
Stress also plays a role and makes the cat more likely to be defensive and aggressive towards other animals.
Reducing stress can make all the difference in making two cats get along.
#2 Make Proper Introduction
When you bring a second cat, don’t let her/him lose inside the house.
That’s an excellent way to start the relationship on the wrong foot and force the cats to hide somewhere in the house.
Instead, keep both cats separated in different rooms. In this way, the cats can smell each other but can’t see the other feline.
You can also swap beddings to expose the cats to each other’s scent.
When both cats have settled:
- Start feeding the cats on opposite sides of the same door. The goal is to get the cats to associate the other cat with positive things, such as food.
- Let the cats see each other without an opportunity to attack. Put one of the cats in a cat carrier or use baby gates (should be too high for the cat to jump over).
- Remove the cats if they become agitated in each other’s presence and continue to feed them on opposite sides.
- Allow the cats to interact when they don’t seem hostile around each other and play with both cats at the same time to encourage bonding.
If you’re wondering how to get two or more cats to get along with a new cat, the introduction follows the same principle.
#3 Eliminate the Need to Compete
Your cats are more likely to get along if they don’t feel they have to compete over resources.
Don’t allow your new cat to use your other cat’s possessions! It might make your resident cat protective, territorial, and even aggressive.
Cats also shouldn’t have to share a litter box. It increases your cats’ stress levels and the likelihood of accidents in the house.
You need at least two litter boxes, preferably three, to ensure that your cats have a place to do their business.
If you have more than two cats, you’ll need to purchase enough supplies for all cats plus some extra to avoid resource guarding.
#4 Manage Feeding Time
In the beginning, it’s unlikely that your cats will be comfortable eating next to each other.
Cats take food seriously and might become very protective of their bowl if they think the other cat will steal it.
Keep feeding the cats in opposite parts of the room to reduce the tension.
If one cat doesn’t eat with the other present, you should consider separating them into different parts of the house for the time being.
Some cats also gulp down their food and then scare away the other cat to eat their portion. Don’t allow such bullying!
#5 Keep the Two Cats From Fighting
Many owners suggest that you let your cat fight to resolve their issue.
That’s not a good solution because cats don’t think like humans and will keep fighting.
So, how do you keep two cats from fighting?
If the two cats are fighting, don’t try to grab either of them. Instead:
- Clap your hands to create a loud noise. It should startle your cats enough to separate them. You can also throw a blanket over them or use a squirt bottle.
- Don’t comfort the cats after the fight. Let them cool down in separate rooms.
- Try to figure out what started the fighting so that you can prevent future accidents.
Even sister/brother cats fight from time to time, so keep these tips in mind if you have to break a fight.
#6 Spend Equal Times with Cats
Another tip to get two cats to get along is to spend equal time with both cats. Usually, you want to shower the new cats with affection and love and spend more time getting to know them.
However, if you’re too obsessed with your new feline, your other cat might become jealous and try to chase the other cat away!
Try to divide your time between both cats and have one-on-one playtime with each cat.
It’s also essential to keep your old cat’s routine as much as possible to reduce the stress and the potential for fights between the cats.
Also, treat your cats equally. If one cat isn’t allowed on the bed, the same should go for the other one.
If one cat gets to be on your lap, so should the other one.
Either cat will know if the other is getting special treatment, and that will create tension.
#7 Consider Pheromones
As I already mentioned, stress makes it hard for cats to get along. And there’s nothing more stressful than bringing a new cat home – for all parties involved.
It’s worth considering pheromones to put your cats in a good mood and reduce their stress in such circumstances.
Many owners I’ve spoken to share that pheromones improved their cats’ relationship and helped during the introduction process.
Think about it and speak to your vet if calming products are a good idea for your cats.
#8 Reward Good Behavior
When you’re trying to get two male/female cats to get along, it’s important to reward good behavior.
It’s tempting to distract your cats with treats when you notice any aggression signs, but it can reinforce the adverse reaction.
Instead, reward your cats only when they’re calm and relaxed around each other.
You want your cats to think, “Being calm around that cat brings me tasty food. I should do it more often.”
#9 Be Patient
The first few weeks with a new cat in the house are one of the hardest.
You must keep your temper in check and avoid yelling at the cats. Shouting will only stress your animals and make them wary of each other.
Moreover, don’t punish your cats for fighting or being mean to each other.
Separate them into two rooms and go outside to calm your nerves. When you’re ready, think about when and why things went wrong and start fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR CATS TO GET ALONG?
I wish I could tell you that in a week or two, your two cats will get along and love each other.
But no one can give you a definite answer. Some cats bond quickly; others simply learn to tolerate the other cat.
Give your cats time and move the introduction at a comfortable pace for both cats. Don’t worry about how much time it’s taking but focus on the result.
WHAT GENDER CATS GET ALONG BETTER?
Gender isn’t that important when you get a second cat.
Level of socialization, temperament, and age determine how accepting a cat would be of another feline.
Still, some specialists speculate that cats from the same gender will fight for the alpha position and recommend cats from the opposite gender.
Most, however, agree that this just isn’t common in domesticated cats.
There is a caveat, though, when it comes to intact (not spayed or neutered) kitties.
CAN TWO MALES GET ALONG?
Male cats can get along as long as you neuter them.
Two intact males will fight for dominance and females, even if they’re from the same litter.
These fights can be quite vicious and hard to break. In general, neutering is the best way to get two male cats to stop fighting, and it increases the chances of two males getting along with each other.
However, some male cats do get along better with females.
CAN TWO FEMALE CATS GET ALONG?
Females like to be the “queen” of the household, so two female cats not getting along is possible.
Intact females also get territorial when pregnant/nursing and chase other females/male cats to protect the kittens.
Still, two females can get along fine if they’re related or friendly/sociable. You’ll never know until you bring the second cat home.
DO CATS GET ALONG BETTER WITH KITTENS?
Kittens are usually well-accepted by some cats because they pose less of a threat.
However, kittens can get hurt by an adult cat and are overwhelming for adult cats due to their energy levels.
DO MALE CATS GET ALONG WITH KITTENS?
Male cats have the reputation of killing kittens, so some owners wonder if male cats get along with male kittens.
Usually, if the male cat is fixed, you don’t have anything to worry about. Just make sure to neuter your kitten when it’s time to avoid aggression.
Will your cats ever get along? It’s not mission impossible, but getting two cats to get along takes time and patience.
Nurture the relationship with positive experiences, prevent fights, and shower your cats with love. That’s all you can do.
Unfortunately, some cats are just too territorial to share their home and food with another cat.
Even two sister cats might not get along if they’re too bossy, but don’t give up hope until you’ve tried everything possible.
With patience, understanding, and the right strategies, it is possible to help cats get along and create a harmonious living environment.
Remember to provide plenty of resources, such as food, water, litter boxes, and hiding spots, to reduce competition and promote peaceful coexistence.
Gradual introductions, positive reinforcement, and proper socialization techniques can also go a long way in helping cats build positive relationships.
Lastly, remember that each cat is unique and may have different temperaments and needs, so be patient and adaptable in your approach.
Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.