Adopting a second cat: what precautions?

 Adopting a second cat: what precautions?

Adopting a second cat: what precautions?


You have already adopted a cat who lives comfortably in your home and you plan to welcome a second one. This gesture, which may seem simple, nevertheless requires precautions, because this integration is not as easy as it seems in an animal as territorial as the cat. For your two toms to appreciate each other or at least support each other without attacking each other, it is necessary to make the right gestures from the start. Here are our tips for adopting a second cat more easily.

Adopting a second cat: what to expect?

You should know that the cat is an independent animal that is not as sociable with its congeners as the dog. Unlike the latter, the tomcat does not feel a sense of loneliness if he is used to living alone and he can do without the presence of other cats at home. Consequently, introducing a new animal into the environment of a cat well accustomed to its territory and not really ready to share it can be experienced as terrible suffering for the latter.

Some cats enjoy living with other toms, especially if they have had this experience before or if they are more sociable by nature, or at least more open. But many find it difficult to introduce an intruder into their routine and the well-established universe, a newcomer with whom they will also have to share the favors of their masters.

Therefore, if you have never experienced this situation with your cat, you will not know in advance how to react. In addition, it also depends on the reaction, character, and behavior of the newcomer. Prepare for all eventualities, including the possibility that your pet perceives this newcomer as an intruder who needs to be chased away. In this case, your cat may be aggressive towards the one he considers a threat to his well-being and start urinating everywhere to signify that he is at home and that the other has no place there.

The choice of the second cat: a decisive criterion

For the adoption to go well, we advise you to welcome a cat whose characteristics are more likely to suit the first animal in place in your home. In general, it is recommended to adopt a second cat that is already sterilized or an animal whose sex is different from the previous cat. Indeed, females are generally more territorial; the presence of a male will therefore limit tensions. However, this is not an exact science, as the opposite has also been observed.

In any case, favor the adoption of a calm, conciliatory and good-tempered cat who, if possible, already lived with other cats in good harmony. This will promote a good understanding within your home.

Finally, be aware that adopting a kitten is generally easier than an adult cat because kittens are not seen as threats or rivals like an adult cat might be. On average, it is estimated that the adaptation of the two cats takes place within one to two weeks when the second cat is a kitten against four to six weeks for an adult cat. These times are only indicative and may be shorter or longer depending on the animal. Alas, it also sometimes happens that two cats never manage to get along.

Precautions to take before the arrival of the second cat in the home

The introduction of the new tomcat in your home is a decisive step that must be properly carried out, because any error can have disastrous consequences on the future agreement of the cats, temporarily or definitively.

Before the arrival of the second cat

Prepare your cat for the arrival of your new little companion by smell. Cats are particularly sensitive to it. So, to avoid taking your tomcat for lessons and giving it time to get used to these new fragrances, we advise you to bring home a fabric that will have already been in contact with the future arrival. Place it where your first cat can't avoid it and watch how it reacts to this new smell.

The day of the arrival of the second cat

Be sure to prepare the necessary before picking up your second cat. It is absolutely not necessary to confront the two tomcats as soon as the second arrives, because the risk of conflict is very high. If you were able to bring a cloth or object impregnated with the scent of the newcomer, place your first cat in a room in which he feels comfortable with all his little necessities. Let the new cat roam the house and visit as it pleases. He will then smell the scent of the first cat and will understand that he will have to live with a tomcat already in place on this territory.

If he is reluctant, do not force him and leave him alone in a closed room. It is imperative to allow him to leave his cage alone when he feels ready. Never force a cat as soon as it arrives, as it may traumatize it. Imagine that he saw a radical change. He suddenly finds himself cut off from his environment, from his congeners, from the humans who took care of him, and from the smells of his daily life to be placed in a new space, without landmarks, and of which he has everything to discover. Fear is then frequent. Isolate the animal as much as it needs until it gains confidence.

The days following the arrival of the second cat

Set aside a room for each for several days and let the animals take turns getting out of it. Through you and the objects in your home, the two tomcats will discover each other thanks to the smells they leave behind. Be vigilant and observe the reactions of each of the cats. On the other hand, avoid at all costs mixing bowls and litter. Everyone should have their own stuff.

Don't neglect your first cat. If it is important to integrate the second well, your first tom should not have the feeling of being replaced by another. Avoid changing his habits as much as possible, pet him regularly, play with him and reassure him in a soft voice as soon as possible. The cat is an animal that stresses very quickly and can quickly become anxious about this new presence that it feels in its daily life. Each of the tomcats must be the object of your attention in the same way.

Wait several days and when you see that the two cats have found their marks without being disturbed by the scents of the other, open their doors and observe their reaction. Be vigilant, as one or both cats may suddenly become aggressive upon seeing their fellow cat. So wait and separate the two upset roommates again. Wait a few more days before trying again.

If the meeting goes well, only leave them together for a few minutes at first. Wait until the two cats are ready to live together to really let them live together.

Nevertheless, if you find a failure despite all your attempts, you will have to resolve to find a new home for one of your little companions. It happens that two cats never manage to get along and live together under the same roof.

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