Trying to blend families or even just sharing an apartment with friends, co-workers or co-eds can become troublesome when you add your pet to the semi-confined space. As humans, we generally agree on many things and adjust ourselves on grey areas to peacefully co-exist. On the other hand, cats may find claw and bite each other while sharing the space.
Why Do Cats Fight?
Cats are kind of like sharks and other predators because they can only use their paws, claws and fangs. If you don’t look closely, it may seem that they’re fighting every time they interact. On the other hand, some cat interactions appear like fighting when they’re simply playing; i.e. chasing each other around the house, tackling each other, and wrestling on the floor. Signs that tensions are rising include growling, hissing, darting away or lunging to aggressively attack the other cat.
According to expert veterinarians, reasons why cats fight may include:
- Current “tenant” cat of your partner’s apartment feels challenged or threatened by your newly introduced cat.
- Competition for social ranking.
- Resident cat is telling the new cat that he or she is stepping into their territory and they’ll defend it with aggression if necessary.
- Cat A picked up a scent of another cat during his/her visit to the vet which may make Cat B who stayed home go bonkers!
- High stress
- Personality conflicts
Tips on How to Make Cats Get Along
As a cat owner, there are ways to blend who don’t like each other but it will take time:
- Introduce the New Cat Gradually – Before you blend the two cats, check with both veterinarians first to ensure both cats are healthy and current on vaccinations. If the vet says it’s safe for them to interact with each other, gradually introduce them. Allow new cat to familiarize itself with its new surroundings which will help it make friends with your friend’s cat.
- Provide Each With Private Space – During the first few weeks, you may have to isolate both cats by putting the new cat (Cat B) in a separate room and allow him/her to become familiar with Cat A’s scent. Reverse the process and confine the resident cat (Cat A) in room previously occupied by Cat B. Later, you can put Cat B in a pet carrier in same room as Cat A which will allow them to be exposed to each other but not close enough for them to fight.
- Encourage them to Play with Each Other in Order to Bond –After they can tolerate being in the same room, try feeding them close to each other. However, use individual cat food bowls and observe them carefully. Notice if the resident cat has territorial issues such as blocking the new cat from reaching her food bowl. Another sign to look for is when one of them is growling or hissing at the other. If one appears aggressive, block their view with a large cardboard to prevent fighting. On the other hand, if none of these signs show up during meal time, it means that they’re already starting to get along. You can also swap food bowls occasionally so they become accustomed to each other. Eventually, they will accept each other and be pals in your house or condominium.
- Diffuse any Situation that may Cause Tension and Stress – If they growl/hiss at each other, react quickly but do not break up their fight with your bare hands. Use cardboard or pillow to shield them from each other. Next, put the new cat in a separate room or a pet carrier. Give them toys to amuse them and play with both cats individually.
- Stick to Routines – Purchase more than two litter boxes because the resident cat might block your new cat from accessing his/her litter box. Make food/water bowls and climbing areas accessible because cats love to visit their bowls to feed and drink at their leisure. They also love climbing to high places to watch things occurring in their surroundings like an emperor watching his empire. Finally, keep them busy with their toys because play time helps diffuse stress.
Do you need some help with trying to blend two cats into your household? TAILored Cat Services is here to help! Our professional cat sitters will keep your feline friends active by using the toys provided. To learn more about our services, visit our cat sitting page or call us at 425-923-7791.