Most new cat owners start by adopting one kitten into their family. This is especially helpful if you have never owned one before. Taking the time to learn about your new feline friend before deciding to adopt another one can be beneficial to allow you time to get to know more about them and their behavior. But, it can also be more difficult to introduce a new cat into the home once your first one has claimed the house as theirs. If you own one cat, and decide to adopt another one, you must first learn how to help your cats get along with each other.
It is probably the easiest if your adopt two kittens at the same time. This way they both are introduced to their new home at the same time and at a young age. This way, one cat does not “claim” everything in the home as their own and then later have to learn how to share with a new cat. You must make sure you provide each cat with their own space, their own litter box, and their own toys and feeding areas. It is recommended that you also provide one additional litter box. Kittens that are around the same age, that are raised together, will have the best chance of getting along well with each other in the least amount of time. Always provide supervision to your new cats to make sure they will not fight with each other, and if they do fight, you will need to separate them and re-introduce them to each other slowly, and always with your supervision.
Many times, however, people will adopt only one kitten or cat and then later decide they would like to get another one as a companion. This can be more difficult and will require patience and time. The way you handle bringing a new cat into your home will determine how well your cats get along with each other in the beginning. It can be helpful to confine your new cat to one room behind closed doors and let the cats find each other through scent with the protection of a door between them. This way they can smell each other before they ever have eye contact. Once they have found each other through scent, you can attempt to introduce your new cat to the first cat. You must understand that your first cat will probably be intimidated by the new cat, and see it as a possible threat to its territory. Therefore it is important to supervise all contact until you feel the cats can be around each other without fighting. This may take a while and you may need to keep the new cat in its own room for a while they adjust to each other. If you have made several attempts to bring your cats together, and they continue to be hostile to each other, you may find it useful to contact your vet for additional suggestions. And remember, always have your new cat checked by the vet BEFORE exposing it to your first cat. Cats can have a variety of illnesses that they can pass to other cats through biting and scratching, and your new cat must get a clean bill of health from the vet before it gets together with your first cat. Otherwise you could be exposing your cat to illnesses that you wont even know the new cat may have.
Since cats are very independent, they generally don’t like to share their personal possessions. It is important that each cat have their own space. If each cat has their own space, that will help them to get along with each other. They need their own toys, scratching posts, litter boxes, feeding areas etc…Anything you buy for one cat you must buy for the other as well. This way they wont feel that they need to fight over one area or favorite possession. You will find that most multiple cat household will have a cat that is considered dominant and the others more passive and the cats will decide this on their own. It may be easier to adopt one female and one male, as they may get along easier than same sex cats will. However, it is not impossible for same sex cats to get along, but it does require some patience and supervision on your part. Both of my cats are spayed females and it took them quite a while to get used to each other but eventually they have accepted each other and peacefully co-exist together. Two male cats may pose another frustrating problem which is urine spraying known as marking which is how they claim their property. Sometimes having them neutered will help with this problem but is not always a solution.
Make sure you do your homework before you decide to bring a new cat home. Knowledge is power and will help you make the right choices for you and your cats. It may not be a good idea to bring a new young kitten into a home where you have an older or elderly cat. It may be too stressful for your older cat, especially if the cat is not used to being around other cats. If you have an older cat, it may be better to adopt another older cat. Kittens are full of energy and your older cat may not adjust well to a young cat or kitten. Consider the age and temperament of your cat when you are thinking of adopting another one. This consideration is important to ensure your cats will get along with each other and help prevent your cats from fighting with each other.
Take time with your decision and read up on what other people suggest. Find out about other people’s experiences with multiple cat households and talk to your vet. Your vet will be most familiar with your first cat and can be a valuable source of recommendations for you. If you take the time to learn and obtain other’s advice it will help you choose what type of cat would be best suited for your first cat. This knowledge will help you and your cats get along with each other and make for a happy multiple cat household.