Does it take a while for cats to get along?
We have a 7 month old kitten. My sister got a kitten at the same time too, but just got a new job (yay!) which will require a lot of travel, so I opted to take the kitten from her since she feels it's not fair for the cat to be alone all the time, or have to board it or have it babysat, so just easier this way. She is heartbroken, but we live close and she knows she can stop by any time. Her kitten is a little younger, about 5 months, but both are males and both are fixed.
Will it take them a while a to bond or become friends? Any behavioral issues I need to watch for? Our kitten is our first cat ever, so I'm apprehensive about taking on another one, but I'm 100% willing to, since it's my sister's. We've already had our kitty get into some terrible trouble, like he can't be turned off. I just need some reassurance that we can make it work!
- 4 weeks agoFavourite answer
First off, a big YAY for you. Not many people would be willing to take on another baby animal for the sake of another's situation :)
Moving on, since they are both young and entering (or have already entered) the kitty teens, this should be a BOON for you. They will wear each other out stupid, playing and chasing each other and in turn, driving you NUTS, LOL. They may be a bit removed from having siblings, but this should come back to them within DAYS. It's harder to introduce cats the older they get, because they have already established their territory and are kings and queens of their little kingdoms (your home). At this age, they are still trying to figure it out, so introducing them and getting them to tolerate each other shouldn't be an issue, at least, nothing LONG LASTING at all.
So here's some steps you can take-
1. Either you collect or have your sister drop off some items in her home that her cat has already claimed, and you do the same for her. Take over your cat's bed, a sweater he likes laying on, toys, things like that, and vice-versa. This will introduce them to the scent of each other. I don't know when your sister starts her job, but jump on this the first chance you get. Do this for as long as you can, until the majority of your sister's cat's things are in your home. THEN-
2. The big day. Make sure you have a drop off date and time, make room for the new baby, and set up some privacy for him. Have food, water, a litter box, a toy or two, and maybe a hidey-hole ready. Have your sister come over with her kitty in a carrier. Rush the kitty up to his private room, open the carrier, and leave. Just leave him alone for a few hours. Make sure your sister has her long goodbyes done and over.
3. It's ok to let your kitty sniff the door and check things out, but don't be too pushy. If they other kitty is meowing his head off, wanting to be let out, don't give in just yet. Check on the new baby, make visits, make sure he's not too stressed or freaked out.
4. Since he is a kitten, you may only have to do this for one night, or a few days. You can start feeding your kitty outside the door so everyone gets used to each other.
5. Slowly open the door and introduce. Hissing, spitting, all that is normal, but they get over that quickly. Gauge how each kitty reacts around the other one. Look at their bodies; tail twitching? Sniffing? Curious? You should be ok. Puffed up? Tail wagging furiously? Ears back? ABORT MISSION for another day, but again, they are so young, this could be for show. You can also introduce with a toy and try and get them to play together, or play with you.
6. I highly doubt this will take months, but you may have to keep working at it until they at least tolerate each other. I really think this will take less than a week, and before you know it, you'll have double trouble on your hands.
7. Normal play-fighting- pinning each other to the ground, stocking, pouncing, batting, and chasing. NOT normal- ears back, hissing, yowling (talking), latching on. You can separate play fighting, but it's very hard to separate actual fighting.
8. When you let the other cat out, make sure you show him where the litter is normally kept, and that should do it.
Things to look out for: Your cat peeing and pooping outside the litter box because of change, and food aggression. You may have to feed them separately and watch them closely, so one doesn't finish quickly, then go to the other's food. I don't know if yours or hers has ever displayed food aggression, but it can come out when there is multiple cats in the house. My cats switch food bowls half-way through. It took my husband and I several months to break the younger cat's food aggression (he came with it). It's also rare, but your cat may start spraying to mark everything as his. Monitor your cat closely and sniff around to make sure he's not. He is only 7 months, still a baby, but he is older and that's HIS HOUSE, so he may start displaying dominant behaviors.
Other than a month or two of this, they should take to each other just fine. Kittens usually take to other kittens with no hiccups or cause for worry. Even cats under 2 tend to be better at introductions that older cats over 2. Good luck!
- 4 weeks ago
Kittens usually bond quicker then adults, but I recommend keeping an eye on them together until you're completely sure they won't hurt each other. Males are a lot less aggressive when fixed, so they'll most likely be fine.