Chapter contents

.. Multi cat households & introductions

The recommended limit of cats per household, is one per bedroom.

Each cat in the household should have their own separated food, water bowls, litter trays & beds. They are likely to share beds & water bowls, but there should be enough of them so that if one is in use, another can be  easily located. It can be a good idea to feed established cats at the same time but in separate locations if one or more are very food motivated, so that competition does not grow. 

On one end of the personality scale can be found a confident, boisterous, apparently fearless cat who will settle perfectly well into most environments. At the other end of the rainbow is a nervous & shy, retreating creature, who likes things very quiet, prefering reliable routines.

 

Introducing cats to cats

Carefully introduced, opposites can live in harmony. Two similarly charged confident cats could co-exist or repel one another, while two fearfull felines could provide each other with comfort, or just extra anxiety. The combinations depend on individual personalities and greatly differing situations, the following guidelines should be adapted to suit your situation - as you have assessed it.

Established family members may accept a youngster more readilly than an adult, as s/he will be perceived as less of a threat. Then again, energetic youngsters may be overpowering for a placid old timer. The sexes aren't so likely to be important, providing all parties are neutered & spayed although a male may be more threatening depending on elements such as past experiences.

 

It can help to feed newcomers in eyeshot (not within the first days, but always at the same time) as existing cats. Do this if it is convenient & neither are overly food motivated so as to see it as competition. The bowls over a period of days can be brought a little closer together to familiarise the presence of old & new during a routine, relaxed & pleasurable experience. Don't force either cat to go too near to the stranger for their meal, you are aiming for it to be a pleasurable association not a negative one. Maintain a distance between them if they are uncomfortable. Permanently feed them in separate rooms if things run more smoothly that way.

 

Putting a little thought into which personalities are likely to accept one another beforehand, can help enourmously if you intend to choose a new family member. Even then, the introduction should be cautious.

Sometimes there can be an un-resolvable character clash. Two or more cats can show no signs of relaxing their aggression towards each other, despite giving them plenty of time, following guidelines & maintaining caution.

If this happens it is advised the the newcomer is re-homed, there is little point in trying to force clashing personalities together as it can only cause stress.

Step by step Introduction Guidelines

Bunsen behind a partition

Bunsen behind a partition

After the hissing and growling subsided

After the hissing and growling subsided

They met

They met

Things calmed down

Things calmed down

Kato eventually relaxed...

Kato eventually relaxed...

Chapter contents