If you’re considering adding a second cat to your feline family, research the process to ensure both cats’ safety. It could mean the difference between your cats becoming best friends and the predicament of having to rehome your new cat because they can’t get along.
On a popular cat advice forum, someone asked other users: “What is one piece of advice you wish someone had told you about the process of getting a second cat?”
Cat lovers flooded the thread with these delightful and heartwarming insights, sharing their personal experiences, anecdotes, and an overwhelming amount of affection for these enchanting creatures.
1. Get At Least One More Litter Box
Remember to purchase another litter box when stocking up on new supplies for your second cat. Some users advise purchasing “one litter box for every cat plus one more.”
One suggests, “Know that both cats will probably use one of those litter boxes like 90% of the time, then suddenly decide the second one is THE BEST POO BOX EVER and ignore the first box until it becomes amazing again.”
2. Introducing the Two Cats May Be a Long Process
Introducing two cats is the most challenging part of getting a second cat. Cats can have wildly different personalities. While some cats become close within days of meeting one another, others may need months to grow accustomed to the new cat in their life.
“It was a much longer learning process than I thought it would be for both my resident cat and me,” one user says.
3. Two Cats Can Quickly Turn To Ten
“It starts with adding a second. Then, the next thing you know, you have 12 cats,” jokes one cat lover. But there is truth to this statement. Many commenters say they started with one cat and now have five or six because they love their cats so much.
4. Bring Your New Cat to a Vet First Thing
Before you introduce your new cat to your old cat, bring each of them to the vet separately to ensure they’re healthy. For example, one warns, “We brought our second kitten to the vet after some weeks of her connecting with our resident cat, only to find out that she has giardia and gave it to the resident cat, too.”
5. Start the Bonding Process Slowly
Do not rush the bonding process between your two cats. Many commenters advise using the Jackson Galaxy cat introduction method, a slow, step-by-step approach to get your cats accustomed to one another.
“We followed it, and it worked so well. Our cats are best buddies now and get along wonderfully,” shares one cat owner. Another warns, “I deviated from the method the first two months, and we had to go back to square one and start all over again.”
6. Sometimes Cats Won’t Get Along
While you can typically trust a slow introduction process to get your cats to like each other, that is not always the case. Because cats have such diverse personalities, some cats just don’t click. While some cats will tolerate one another after a while, in the worst-case scenario, you may have to rehome one of your cats if all else fails.
7. They May Never Become Best Buds
While rehoming your cat is the worst that could happen if two cats don’t get along, it is much more likely that they will tolerate one another as roommates. “Don’t expect them to be super good friends, even after getting used to each other,” advises one feline parent.
8. Your Relationship With Your First Cat May Shift
When introducing a new cat to the family, dynamics will inevitably shift. That means your first cat may behave differently around you and the other humans in the home. “My first cat used to cuddle with me constantly, but now he just sleeps with me and jumps on my lap while I’m on the toilet,” one confesses.
9. Provide New Cat Beds and Supplies for Your Second Cat
Buy your new cat their own blankets and bedding to help them feel comfortable. If you use your old cat’s bedding, your new cat may avoid it because of the scent of an unfamiliar cat. When you provide fresh bedding, your new cat has something that is theirs and theirs alone.
10. Speak With a Cat Behaviorist
Because cats have such different personalities, setting up an appointment with a cat behaviorist before you bring a second cat into the home can be helpful.
A cat behaviorist can give you specific advice on how to introduce the two cats to one another that is personalized to your and the cats’ needs. Numerous users share that they benefitted from speaking with a cat behaviorist before introducing their two cats.
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