Since cats are very territorial and prefer to be alone, your cat may not be happy when you bring another cat into its space. Introducing a new cat to your current cat can be difficult for you as a cat owner. The two cats may not immediately get along, and it could take some time for them to form a bond.
When you bring a new cat into your home, your existing cat might feel scared and start acting defensively.
A cat might express its anger by hissing, growling, rumbling, and attempting to chase the new cat away. Often, both cats may end up fighting in a hostile and dangerous manner.
As someone who loves cats, it’s important to recognize the signs that indicate potential problems when introducing new cats. Being aware of these signs can help prevent aggression and hostility between your furry friends. By properly introducing your cats, they will feel at ease and have a better chance of getting along quickly.
In this article, we will discuss the signs to watch out for when introducing cats. We will also address common questions and provide extra tips to help you introduce your cats successfully.
Warning Signs When Introducing Cats
Cats are very territorial and don’t appreciate it when other cats invade their space. This can make them scared, defensive, and even aggressive towards the intruders.
That’s why when your cat who already lives with you sees that you’re bringing another cat and putting it in the same room, the resident cat becomes very aware of it and shows its discomfort in various ways.
At times, both cats might display aggression through actions like hissing, snarling, fluffing their fur, and even engaging in attacks and biting one another. To prevent any hostile situations, it is important to be aware of the warning signs when introducing your cats. This knowledge will help you determine whether they are getting along or engaging in fights that could result in injuries.
Your Cats Are Hissing
When you bring a new cat into your home and introduce it to your existing cat, one or both of them might start hissing right away. This hissing sound is like a snake hiss or the sound of air escaping from a car tire. It’s a way for your cats to show their fear, disgust, and discomfort when they are near each other.
If any of your cats start hissing when introduced to the other, it’s a sign that they are warning off the other cat and feeling anxious about the introduction.
Your Cats Are Rumbling
When you introduce your cats to each other, they might start making rumbling sounds. This rumbling is a way for one cat to warn the other.
Usually, cats make this noise when they’re mad and worried about losing their space. If your cat growls when it sees a new cat, it means that your cat doesn’t like the new cat and is trying to scare it away by being aggressive.
Your Cats Are Growling
When you introduce your cats to each other, they may begin to growl as a sign of warning. Similar to a rumbling sound, growling is a noise that indicates unhappiness, aggression, or fear. It’s definitely a unique sound!
When your new cat gets near your existing cat, it’s normal for your existing cat to start growling. Usually, the dominant cat growls as a way to assert its territory and tell the other cat to leave.
Your Cats May Start Snarling
Your existing cat may begin to snarl when you introduce your new cat to it. Snarling is a noise that is similar to growling, but it is louder and has a higher pitch.
Your existing cat partner growls because it feels threatened when the new cat is introduced. Growling and hissing are warning signs that your resident cat is not comfortable with the presence of the new cat.
Your Cats Are Flattening Their Ears
When your cat meets a new cat for the first time, it might flatten its ears. This is a common reaction for cats when they feel anxious, nervous, or threatened.
It can also mean that your cat is mad when introduced to another cat. As a cat owner, you should separate the cats if you see them flattening their ears and acting aggressive.
Your Cats Are Puffing Up Their Fur
When meeting a new cat, your existing cat might puff up its body and tail. Usually, cats puff up their fur as a way to protect themselves.
When introducing cats, the less confident or dominant cat may puff up their body in an attempt to appear bigger and assert dominance over the other cat.
Your Cats’ Pupils Are Dilated
When you introduce cats to each other for the first time, you might notice their pupils getting bigger. This means they are feeling excited about the situation. When their pupils dilate, it can also be a sign that they are scared or feeling down.
If the cats get scared when they meet each other, it means they are not ready to be friends yet. It’s a sign that they need more time to get along.
Your Cats Are Staring At Each Other
When two cats are introduced to each other, they may stare at each other for a bit. If your cat that already lives with you stares at the new cat for a long time, it means they are starting to become aggressive.
If you introduce a new cat to your home, your existing cat might try to attack it to protect its territory. To prevent any fighting, it’s important to separate them and keep them in separate rooms.
Your Cats May Start Attacking And Biting
When introducing cats, there is a possibility that they may become overly aggressive and attempt to bite each other during their initial meeting. Cats are independent creatures and typically do not appreciate intruders invading their territory.
When your cats first meet, they might get aggressive and try to bite each other. This is a sign that they may need more time and your help to get along.
Your Cats Are Hiding from Each Other
When cats are introduced to each other, it is normal for them to hide. Usually, the dominant cat will approach while the less dominant one hides out of fear. Your less dominant cat may try to hide under the bed or sofa to avoid direct interaction with the stronger cat.
Your Cats May Stop Eating
If you bring a new cat into the same space as your current cat and feed them together, it’s normal for your current cat to get scared of the new cat and not want to eat. Your current cat might also feel threatened and uneasy if you introduce the new cat too fast.
Your Resident Cat Is Not Using The Litterbox
When you bring your new cat into the same room as your existing cat, your existing cat might stop using the litterbox. This occurs when the cats don’t get along and feel scared or threatened by each other. It shows that both cats require more time and a proper introduction to get along.
Your New Cat May Not Have An Adequate Exploring Time
If your new cat doesn’t have enough time to explore your house and is quickly introduced to your resident cat, it can be a scary experience for the new cat.
If that happens, the new cat might not feel at ease in that setting. And if the resident cat asserts its authority over the new arrival, things can get chaotic.
Your Cats May Not Get A Proper Introduction
If you don’t introduce your cats to each other properly, they might get all aggressive and mean right from the start. They could growl, hiss, and even start fighting to show who’s boss. This is a sign that your cats are not getting along and don’t like each other.
Your Cats Are Refusing To Coexist Together
Even if you try really hard, there might be times when your cats just won’t get along. They might not be able to stand each other and become more and more unfriendly. They might not want to eat, play, or be friends with each other.
If you notice this happening, it means that your cats need some time apart. You should separate them for a few days and then reintroduce them in the correct way. To make sure everything goes well, you can seek assistance from your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.
What Is Normal When Introducing Cats
When you bring a new cat into your home and introduce it to your existing cat, there’s a good chance that your current cat won’t be too happy about it. They might act aggressive towards the new cat by hissing, growling, snarling, or even attacking.
Since cats are very territorial and prefer to be alone, it is normal for your existing cat to initially show signs of intolerance. However, with a proper introduction, they can gradually learn to get along and eventually eat, play, and coexist together in your home.
Is It Normal For Cats To Hiss When They First Meet
When cats first meet, it’s normal for them to hiss. This is a natural reaction for both the resident cat and the new cat. It shows that both cats are feeling excited and worried about this new situation, and they are feeling scared and defensive.
If you introduce them correctly, cats might start getting along in just a few days or weeks. They can also demonstrate their dominance and anger by hissing.
How Long Does It Take For Cats To Get Used To Each Other
It can vary for cats to become comfortable with each other, with some taking only a few days or weeks, and others taking several months. There isn’t a specific timeframe for cats to get along. Some cats quickly form a bond, while others take longer to become friends.
After the first meeting, it can take some cats around eight to twelve months to become friends. Each cat has its own unique personality that sets it apart from others, which is why the time it takes to bond can differ between cats.
How Do I Know If My Cats Like Each Other
There are a few signs that show your cats get along, but the most common one is when they rub their bodies and faces against each other. They also like to stand close and wrap their tails together.
Cats also snuggle and nap together. However, they will have fun and like hanging out with each other. They will also groom each other with affection and attention. Even though cats are typically independent hunters, they can still get along and be social with the cats they adore.
What Happens If You Introduce Cats Too Quickly
If you bring cats together too fast, there’s a good chance they’ll feel scared and start acting mean. Cats don’t usually get along well when they’re introduced too quickly. They often become aggressive right from the start.
The main cat might make hissing, growling, snarling sounds, or attempt to chase the other cats away. It’s best to give them enough time to get to know each other and gradually calm down. If you own cats, you shouldn’t rush when introducing them.
How To Introduce Cats Fast
If you want to introduce your cats quickly, there are some things you can do. If you do them right, it can help your cat get along with others in no time. Just follow these steps carefully.
- Prepare a dedicated space for your new cat, complete with a litter box, cozy bed, scratching post, toys, food, and water. After a few days, you can switch the rooms of your resident cat and the new cat, allowing them to smell and hear each other and spark curiosity. During this phase, avoid direct interaction between your cats.
- Take your time and gradually introduce the cats to each other, making sure to maintain a safe distance. Enlist the help of another family member and bring the two cats together in one location, but keep them at least ten feet apart. When the cats come face to face, call out their names and reward them with food or toys. Afterwards, separate them once more in their respective rooms.
- Over the next few days, stick to the plan mentioned above and ensure both cats feel at ease by engaging them in playtime and feeding them when they’re hungry. Once you observe that they no longer show aggression towards each other and are starting to get along, you can then allow them to spend a night together in the same room.
By following these three simple steps, you can quickly introduce your cats and help them form a strong bond in your home.
How To Introduce Two Cats When One Is Aggressive
If one of your cats is being aggressive, it’s important to keep it away from the others. The best approach is to put it in a different room with everything it needs, like a litter box, scratching post, food, and water.
First, let the mean cat check out your place and make it feel more comfortable. Then, switch its room with the cat that already lives there. This way, both cats will get used to each other’s smell. After a few days, you can start introducing them by keeping them separated by a door.
Make sure to give them enough time and interact with them together. By doing this, the cat that is acting aggressively will gradually become more friendly towards the other cat. The less dominant cat will also feel secure and at ease.
If nothing seems to help and the aggressive cat keeps displaying dominance and anger, it’s important to seek assistance from an animal behaviorist or veterinarian for additional support.
What Should You Not Do When Introducing A Cat
When introducing cats, there are a couple of things you should avoid doing. One of them is introducing the cats too fast. It’s important to have a separate room for the new cat when you bring it home.
You should not leave the cats to eat freely. Each cat should have their meals in separate rooms. Do not allow them to meet or make eye contact during the initial days. Take your time with the introduction process to avoid aggression or fear between the cats.
Signs Cats Are Starting To Get Along
There are five typical indications that your cats are beginning to get along. They will spend a lot of time together and groom each other. They will also engage in play, snuggle, and nap on each other’s laps. Additionally, they will start sharing the same litter box and peacefully eating from the same bowl.
Your Cats Will Stay Together Most Of The Time
When cats become friends, they spend a lot of time together. They also stand close to each other and sometimes wrap their tails around each other. This shows that both cats are happy and satisfied with their friendship.
Your Cats Will Lick Each Other
If your cats are licking each other’s bodies and faces, it’s a clear indication that they are starting to get along. Through licking, they are sharing their scent with each other, which is a definite sign of harmony.
They Will Play Together
When cats are getting along, they will engage in playful behaviors like gentle biting, chasing, and even hissing. These actions indicate that they are enjoying each other’s company and having a good time.
They Will Cuddle And Sleep On Each Other’s Lap
When your cats cuddle and sleep on each other’s lap, it’s a clear indication that they are developing a strong bond. This behavior shows that they feel safe and comfortable in their relationship, and it’s also quite adorable to witness.
Your Cats Will Use The Common Litter Box
It’s a good sign when your cat starts using the same litter box because it means they are getting along. Cats are very sensitive to smells and like to have their own space, so when they let another cat use their litter box, it shows they are friendly with each other.
Things To Consider
When introducing cats to each other, there are additional factors to keep in mind. It’s important to be patient and carefully watch their actions. Understanding their individual personalities is crucial, and taking gradual steps during their initial meeting is key.
Never Introduce An Unvaccinated Cat
Make sure you don’t introduce a new cat to your resident cat without vaccinating it first. Before letting the new cat into your home, ensure it has received its vaccinations and is free from fleas, mites, and other parasites.
Never Introduce A New Cat Immediately To Your Resident Cat
It’s not a good idea to introduce the new cat to your resident cat right away. Doing so might make your resident cat feel threatened and act aggressively to chase the new cat away. Instead, keep the new cat in a separate room for a few days and gradually introduce it to your existing cat.
Never Let Your Cats Fight
Make sure to closely monitor the cats when you introduce them. If any of the cats display aggression or attempt to engage in a fight with the other cat, it is crucial to separate them right away. Avoid allowing them to fight as it can be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening for them.
Introduce Your New Cat To The Most Dominant Cat First
When you have multiple cats in your home, it’s important to introduce a new cat slowly to the most dominant or alpha cat first. Once the dominant cat accepts the newcomer, the tension will decrease, and the other cats will also accept the new cat more easily. However, it’s crucial to take your time and follow the proper method when introducing them.
Never Force An Introduction
Don’t try to force cats to meet each other. Just putting them in the same room won’t make them automatically get along. This rarely happens in real life. It’s important to introduce them properly and systematically. Otherwise, they will not want to live together and will constantly fight and be aggressive, making your life miserable.