Helping Cats Live In Harmony


Cats, like people, don’t always get along with one another. Before you bring home a new cat talk to your vet or pet sitter. These professional animal lovers can help you decide if a new cat will get along with your current pets. In most cases, the pets work things out amongst themselves. Here are some tips that you can use to increase the peace among your cat friends.

When you introduce a new feline member of the family, you can expect some personality conflicts. Kittens are going to annoy older cats, and mischievous cats will thoroughly enjoy taunting the more easy-going cats in the family. This behavior is normal. You can try to head off problems by gradually introducing the new cat or cats to established pets in the household. You may put the new cat in a crate or spare bedroom and let the cats hear and smell each other before they meet face to face. Next, try to allow the cats to see one another without being able to interact. This gives the cats a chance to get used to the idea of a new friend.

Once the cats have seen each other from afar, you can let them be together in a neutral room while you are present. Make sure that the new cat has its own food dish and litter box. This can prevent territorial arguments. Be prepared for hissing, spitting, swiping, or a total lack of acknowledgment. Cats will not fight to the death as dogs do. If they fight, they will give it their best shot and then someone will back down. It is advisable to make sure that cats with claws have had a nail trim before being exposed to new pets.

Make sure that you don’t ignore your other pets when you bring a new one home. Jealously is a major reason that fights start. If anything, give your established pet more attention, while the new one explores his/her new home. You can also provide distraction by using toys to play with the cats. Having fun is a relaxing way to break the ice.

If you need to go away, have a pet sitter come to your home rather than boarding your cats. They will be happier and much more comfortable in their own surrounding. It is stressful, especially for a new pet to go to another new environment, even for a brief period of time.

If a cat begins to exhibit aggressive behavior for no apparent reason, the owner needs to watch their pet carefully to determine what the cause of the problem is. Observe carefully to see if you can pinpoint a pattern to the aggression. For example, does it happen around mealtimes or when you are giving attention to the cats. If the conflict seems to be over food, attention, or sleeping quarters, try to provide a variety of options. Increase the number of food bowls, cat beds, and litter boxes. Offer plenty of vertical spaces and hiding places such as cat trees. Something as simple as a cardboard box may be appreciated. Remember that cats enjoy quiet, secluded places to relax. If conflicts are not about food, you can use food, treats, and mealtimes to help the cats develop a positive association with being near one another. Feed close to one another if they will tolerate it and reward them with treats for not showing aggression.

Feline pheromones such as Feliway can help calm cats and facilitate their acceptance of other cats. If you cannot figure out why your cat is exhibiting aggression, consult your veterinarian. Your pet may be ill and need medical attention. Aggression is a common sign of discomfort or pain. You should separate your cats if any of the following occurs:

  • The cats have injured one another, requiring medical care.
  • One cat becomes ill because of stress from being bullied.
  • One cat begins to hide, and a medical condition has been ruled out.

Looking for a cat sitter in the Raleigh, Cary, NC area?

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