I want to get a second cat. How can I make sure my cats will get along?
Introducing a second cat into your home takes time and they will likely not be friends right away. It can take weeks or even months for cats to begin to tolerate each other. By setting your cats up for success, you can shorten this adjustment time and create a harmonious multi-cat home.
When you bring your new cat home, place him or her in a separate room with a door. This will help the cats start out slow and investigate each other’s smells from afar. Let your first cat sniff the cat carrier that you brought the second cat home in. Switch items used by the cats (blankets, toys, etc.). After a few days, confine your first cat to a room and let the new cat out to explore the house. For the first few days, don’t let the cats interact face-to-face. This will help prevent a fight.
After a few days, allow the cats to meet face-to-face. Do this in a large, open area where the cats will have lots of room, like your living room. Don’t force the cats to interact. If they ignore each other, this is a good thing. Hissing, batting and growling at each other is normal. If the cats flick their tails and lay their ears laid back, these are signs a fight may be imminent. Never break up a fight with your hands or legs as you’re sure to be bitten or scratched. Instead, make a loud noise or toss something near them to distract them. A spray bottle filled with water will also work.
Introducing a second cat to your home takes time and a few fights along the way is normal. Patience is the key.