You have figured it all out: you and your significant other are a match made in heaven. With the same interests and passions, the natural next step is to move in together. But what happens when one of those shared interests is a mutual love for cats?
As you know, cats like their space and routine, and anything that upsets this is bound to be an obstacle. Will your cat get along with your partner’s cat? Will they acclimate to the new place without peeing or scratching everywhere?
While there’s no need to panic if you both have cats, there are some simple steps you can take to make the transition an easy one.
A Friendly Introduction
Just like it took some time for you to fall in love with your partner, it will take some time for two pets to cozy up and make nice. Cats are innately territorial and require space, privacy, and a slow introduction to all things new and unusual, including another cat.
It’s a good idea to find a neutral place indoors to meet, such as a friend’s home. Both pets should be crated and gradually allowed to meet after smelling each other through the crate. If there’s no hissing or body language that suggests possible aggression, you can bring them out for a brief time to see how they do.
Week One: The Honeymoon Phase?
Well, maybe not exactly the honeymoon phase. In fact, cats should be separated for a week while allowing contact under the door and through shared items that contain their scent, such as toys, bedding, etc. This will allow each cat to ease into the presence of the other while maintaining privacy and territory.
Week Two: Play Dates
After a week, you and your partner can allow the cats to be in the some room together briefly. Provide each with new toys and treats, which can be a positive distraction (feather toys, one-on-one attention, etc.). Another good idea is to provide meals, but feed each cat in opposite corners, so they’ll be distracted and keep a safe distance from each other.
Trouble in Paradise: When You Both Have Cats
It’s natural for some hissing and swats to occur during the first few weeks, but what do you do when one cat (or both) is too aggressive? That’s when it’s time for the experts! Talk to the veterinarians at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital. We can help you determine next steps, and it’s likely your furry friends will need to be separated for a longer period of time.
Aggression in cats can sometimes signal pain or the presence of a health condition. That’s why we recommend more frequent wellness exams for cats once they reach the age of 7.
Continue to keep separate resting areas, beds, litter boxes (at least one per cat), and food and water stations for the comfort of your kitty friends.
When you both have cats, it can be a challenge, but in the end, it’s totally worthwhile. We hope to see you and your new family members soon. For more information about cat health and behavior, please contact the friendly team at Animal Kind.