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How To Introduce Two Cats

How To Introduce Two Cats

To introduce one cat to the other, you have to be very gentle and patient with them and give them time to get used to each other.

Hi. My name is Karen. I'm one of vets at Cat Protection, the UK's leading cat welfare charity and I'm going to talk to you today about some aspects of cat care.

Hi. I'm going to talk to you today about how to introduce two cats to each other. It's really important to remember that cats are actually solitary creatures and they tend to like quite a lot of time alone.

Some cats will get on with each other, be what's called a social group with each other but you can't expect them to be really cared. It's important to remember this that cats are solitary and it comes from their background of evolution from the African wild cat. They tend to like living alone, so don't even feel bad thinking your cat needs to have her friend because many cats do better living in single cat households.

If you do have two cats or you have an existing cat and you're going to be introducing a new one, it's really important to look ahead and prepare before you introduce the new cat. It's a good idea to create a safe room with everything that your new cat is going to need in it, nice and self-contained where the other cat can't get to it. And you're going to need to make that new cat feel nice and secure in that location.

In that safe room, it's going to need to have somewhere to hide, its going to need to have food and water, toilet and amenities and maybe some place to scratch, all of these kind of things and you don't need to wait till the cat is nice and secure in that place. The best way to introduce two cats to each other is actually by using the smell first, not face to face. Cats communicate through scent all the time so it's a good idea to swap scents between cats.

So take a blanket or a piece of clothing that each cat is using and swap them over to each other. Let them get used to each other's smell before they come face to face. When it does come to introducing your cats, don't rush it.

It needs to be slow and gradual. You need to make sure obviously they don't come to blows to hurt each other but equally cats coming in contact with one another can be very stressful for them. They may not show this obviously outwardly but it can create some problems inside.

So when you're introducing two cats to each other, the idea would be that they become best of friends, what's called a social group. This isn't always going to be the case. You can do some things to improve it by swapping their scents from one another and giving them time and not pushing them to become best friends.

But the ways you can know if your cats are in a what's called a social group with each other, are if they smooth each other or rub their faces on each other. This is called alo-rubbing. It means they're swapping their scents from one to another, making each other smell like them together rather than like individuals.

The kind of cats that are more likely to be in a social groups are ones that had growing up with each other, the ones that have got used to each other's smell so their socialization period, period up till around 12 weeks of age. So this is going to be more likely to be a sibling care who cares in the same family. If your cats tends to spend a lot of time apart or even if they sit in the same area but not quite touching, they actually may not be friends, they just may be tolerating one another so it is important to make sure that if you've got multiple cats in the house who don't sleep in direct contact with each other or who don't smooch each other or groom each other, you may think about having multiple resources, many more food or water bowls, litter trays for each cat individually so they don't have to compete with the other cat to get to them.

If you want any more information on this subject, log on to cats.org.uk. .