How Long Does It Take For Cats To Get Used To Each Other?
It can take a few weeks to a few months for cats to get used to each other, but this varies based on the cats' personalities. The answer for your specific situation depends on many factors such as the age and temperament of the cats, whether proper introductions were made, and—as is the case when humans first meet—on whether or not the cats click. While you can't predict how introductions will go, you can take steps to make the process successful.
Properly Introducing a New Cat Into Your Household
When a new baby enters the picture, it's common for toddler siblings to be very jealous and act out. Though many cats would rather not be alone and thrive when they share their space with other cats, some don't like to share. Parents often read books in order to learn the best way to introduce a new baby into the home, and pet parents should also do some research when making a new cat part of the family. Here are some steps for making a proper introduction:
- Don't just toss the cats together and expect them to be besties. Begin with isolating the new cat to one room with a litter box, food, water, and a bed.
- Put treats or food on either side of the door where the new cat is isolated. This will allow the new cat and the resident cat to hear and smell each other. When doing this for the first time, don't put the food so close to the door that the cats are too upset by each other to eat. Gradually move the food closer and closer to the door as time goes on until the cats can eat calmly directly on either side of the door.
- Switch sleeping blankets between the new cat and the resident cat so that they have a chance to become accustomed to each other's scent.
- Put the new cat in a carrier and allow the resident cat to smell all around the new cat's carrier and room.
- Make the official introduction. Slowly open the new cat's door and observe. Having a spray bottle and blanket on hand may be helpful in case you need to intervene in a cat fight.
Don't be alarmed if the cats hiss and swat at each other - a little of this is normal! Providing each cat with their own bed, litter box (one litter box per cat plus one additional litter box works best!), food bowls, and toys will also help. Since cats can sometimes be territorial, the less they have to share, the better.
There is no simple answer to the question of how long it will take cats to get used to each other, but by following some of the steps above, you can help to further the process along more quickly.
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