Image Credits: Ritika Pal
If you already have a cat, then socializing your new cat with the existing one may not be easy. You cannot just introduce two cats and expect them to become friends immediately. Cats take time to socialize, and the process takes some planning and preparation.
When introduced to each other with care and thought, cats can enjoy each other’s company and become best friends.
Here are some ways to make socializing easier and less stressful for your cats:
Avoid Putting the Cats in the Same Room
Keep your new cat and existing cat separate during the initial days. This process gives your new cat enough time to get used to the new surroundings. As she explores and familiarizes herself with, the new environment, she will feel safer and less insecure. This way, the chances of her feeling threatened and intimidated by the new environment are minimized.
Set Up a Cozy Place for your New Cat Nearby the Existing Cat
Set up a place that feels like home for your cat. Have a designated area for food and water. Include a litter box.
Make the shelter comfortable with some objects that cats prefer, such as toys and a scratching post. Include some hiding places as well to make it more welcoming.
Set up your cat’s shelter near your existing cat’s home. This way, they will be aware of each other without being in one’s way. They will get used to the scents and sounds of each other.
You can make the cats familiar with each other’s scents through methods such as rubbing the cats with the same towel or leaving a cloth or object that carries one cat’s smell near the other cat’s shelter.
Makes Sounds and Smells a Positive Experience for the Cats
Your cats must not associate each other’s scents and sound to negativism, such as quarrels and squabbles. For example, scolding your old cat while feeding the new one can send a negative message to the old cat. She may start harboring feelings of hate, fear, and anger when the new cat is around.
Your cats can be friendly or at the least cordial only when they do not view each other as a threat.
One way to make each feel positive about the other is to hand out treats and rewards when the other is around. Feeding each other at the same time can also teach them to harbor only positive feelings about each other.
Use strategies that communicate to the cats that they will have a good time when they are together. This should make them feel comfortable around each other when introduced face to face.
Let the Cats See Each Other
Allow your cats to see each other after perhaps a week. You could do this by setting up a baby gate or meshed screen door to allow visual introduction alone.
If they do not growl or hiss at each other, let them be. Feed them at the same place every day. If they show displeasure by growling or hissing, separate them and try the above again after some days.
Let the Cats Meet
Once your cats are visually familiar with each other, introduce them face to face. Have one more person excluding yourself for supervision.
If the cats ignore each other, do not be disappointed. Cats take their time to mingle. It is good as long as there is no conflict between them. Keep monitoring them until you are sure that they will not harm each other without supervision. It is essential to let cats take their time to get used to each other. Seek the assistance of a professional behaviorist if your attempts to get them together are not working.