Posted in lessons

Do you think it’s good to get a companion for your cat?

First of all this is a bit of a loaded question because it depends totally on the cat. I think you have to evaluate the temperment of the cat. Is it allof and not terribly social or is he or she all over you everytime you arrive home? Has the cat ever been around other animals? and how did he or she do? Try to step back and look at the cat you have not with a clear perspective (if possible) This is the quick, down and dirty answer.

The longer answer is I believe so, but let me explain. Our Siamese Momo was an only child for the first 4 years we had him, and I truly believed that if he had a choice he would have been fine with life continuing like that. We also knew he wasn’t perticularly good with other cats because when we got him, he was in a bedroom of the foster home in a large cage, while the other 2 siamese had free roam of the room.

Now doing a quick judgement of the house and situation, I’m guessing they were thrown in together without a proper introduction, which will fail everytime!

When we got Snickers, Momo was not to pleased. He was happy as an only cat thank-you-very-much; and it took them a long time to like each other. It was enemeies for a while then frienimies for probably about a year. (and I researched the heck out of how to do a proper introduction.) I really beileve that when we moved was the game changer. It was no longer Snickers on Mo’s territory, but both on neutral territory. I’m not saying you have to move to make it work, but in our situation, it helped tremendiously. I’m guessing it can still work, but it may take even more time.

After the move, we noticed a change in both of them. They would sleep near each other, then one would use the other’s rump for a pillow, then they started playing together which was amazing! Now that Momo passed away I see a change in Snickers. He’s less interested in things like visiting with the neighbor. Because he had a companion I think he misses having one. I’m sure we will eventually get another cat when my husband is ready. I just hope Snickers remembers when he was the one invading the territory and how much that wasn’t appreciated and that he is a bit kinder to the next cat, but we will see.

Introducing a new cat

If you get a cat from a shelter I have noticed at least some will tell you “not good with children” or “not good with other cats and/or dogs” so of course if you already have one this isn’t going to work well.

When you bring you’re new cat home, segregate the new one from the old one and let the new furbaby settle in for a few days.
You can start introducing them by taking something the resident cat sleeps on and introduce it to the new cat and visa versa. This is step 1
After a while, if you can crack the door a bit and let them sniff each other out, and see how that goes. Do they growl and hiss? Are they just curious?

You can also switch their positions. Put the resident cat in the room for a while and allow the new cat to roam, this way they get used to each other’s scent.

Next allow them to interact under supervision. How do they act toward each other? Do they hiss and scream? do they completely ingnore each other?

When the seem to tolerate each other, you can allow them to interact freely.
Don’t be suprised if they back step. We went from frenimies to enemies many many times. They would be fine one minute then everything would hit the fan the next. It doesn’t neccesarily mean all hope is lost, they just have to work it out.

Remember take it slow, this process can be over the course of weeks if neccessary. Carefully gage how each cat is reacting before proceeding to the next step.

Some cats will come to become great friends, others will learn to tolerate the other cat, and some just unfortunatly never can seem to get along. Just remember not to give up too soon. It took a very long time for Momo and Snickers, but in the end they became best buds!

Have you ever introduced two cats?
Did it work out or not?

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