Second Cat in the Household: How Can We Integrate a New Pet into the Family?

Cat lovers and breeders know very well that one cat is often not enough, and that there is sometimes a need to get another cat companion. However, this decision will affect the whole household and, above all, it is necessary to prepare the cat you already have for the arrival of a new family member. What should you do in this situation and what should you be aware of?

Cats are generally rather social creatures who like to play, and therefore the integration of a new addition into the family could be without major problems. However, it is certainly necessary to think about the right way to introduce both your pets to each other. “Both cats should certainly not be forced to be together, it is better if they have their own space and they learn to be with each other on their own," says Darina Tarabini. 

Enough Attention and Starting Separately
However, the animals should always be watched over to avoid unwanted fights that might need to be brought into line. At the same time, the cats should spend their first days in the new home separately. Tarabini describes her experience: “First, I have the new family member in another room – for quarantine as well as to allow it to get used to the new environment”. At the same time, she adds that it is good to devote enough attention to the new cat to make it easier for it to get used to the new home and to let it know that it is welcome. 

Sprays Might Help
Then, you can slowly let your older household member get used to the new addition to the family, perhaps by letting it get used to the smell of the new cat. This can for example happen if you let your pet smell your hands and clothes. If your cat reacts aggressively to this change, you can use various tools to mitigate the aggression and facilitate adjustment. These include, for example, various pheromone sprays or homeopathy. 

Respect for Individuality
Cats’ different natures need to be respected. The breeder advises that the owner should always try to adapt to each animal. “I try not to force cats to do anything. Some of them need more attention, more cuddling and games, others are more independent and only want a full bowl. I always try to adapt to what a given cat needs and requires," she explains. 

The Importance of One’s Personal Space
Also, it is important to maintain the personal space of each animal and to ensure that it has access to a bowl with water and dry food. It’s great to have a spot for food and sleeping for each family member separately, mainly in the beginning. Then, if they get along well, these boundaries don’t have to be so strict. In the beginning, every pet should know that they have their own spot to use. 

Age (Doesn’t) Matter
Whether cats learn to live together usually depends on their natures rather than on their age. However, it is also true that younger cats are usually more active and adjust to changes better than older cats that need their peace and quiet. However, if the new household member is similar in nature to the old one, it is very likely that they will get along well. 


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