Cats Living Together

Cats Living Together

Many people seem to manage to keep several cats quite successfully, with all cats living amicably together in the same household. They may become very loving to each other and, even if they don’t become the best of friends, they are usually able to tolerate one another and to come to a working arrangement, with the result that fights are rare. There are, however, a few considerations that will make a harmonious arrangement more likely.

Cats Living TogetherIf cats become used to the presence of other cats from an early age, they are likely to form a close relationship with each other. Siblings get on particularly well, but this is also possible with unrelated cats, too.

Q. Is it easier to introduce a kitten into a house where there is already an older cat, than another adult cat?

A kitten, especially if it is less than three months old, will probably easily accept an adult cat. This won’t always be so with an adult cat, particularly if it’s elderly, and who may not take kindly to a new, young companion.

Q. My 15-year-old cat has ruled the roost for a long time. Is he too old to accept another cat?

It’s hard to say, but as your cat is probably nearing the end of his life, it is kinder not to expand your family yet.

Q. My cat is friendly with the cat next door, so would he mind if I got another cat?

It depends on the individual cat, but the fact that he is well disposed towards other cats makes it quite likely.

Cats that are introduced to each other for the first time will either remain wary of one another for a period of time, or they will settle in together quickly and easily. Their first meeting should be supervised and take place preferably in a large room, rather than a confined space. They should be introduced gradually, rather than forcing them suddenly to become acquainted.

INTRODUCING CATS TO EACH OTHER

Cats are territorial animals and a cat may not take kindly to having its territory (and your affections) invaded, so make a fuss of the established cat, not the newcomer. A problem is bound to arise if two entire males are introduced, which is best avoided, as there is little that can be done to make them accept one another.

Cats are most likely to argue over food, so it’s best to introduce them to each other after they have been fed. Even when cats have learned to tolerate one another, feeding time remains the most likely time for squabbles, so it is important to deal with them fairly – with each cat fed in its own bowl and at the same time, leaving as little opportunity as possible for jealousy or for one cat feeling hard done by.

You may think that two female cats are bound to get on, but this is not necessarily so. They may not, in fact, get on any better than two males, though neutered cats of either sex will usually manage to strike up a friendship.

Cats are territorial animals, so it is important that the presence of other cats in the household doesn’t threaten their territory. They’re actually surprisingly good at establishing quite separate bits of territory within the same house – a particular room, say, or piece of carpet, or a sofa.