Warning Signs When Introducing Cats: What to Know
Cats are solitary and highly territorial. Hence, your feline friend might feel intimidated and can get defensive when a new cat comes into the household. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the cautionary signs when introducing cats to evade resentment and ferociousness between the newcomer and the inhabitant cat. If a proper introduction is done, the cats will be comfortable and begin getting along as soon as possible. Here is an exclusive look at the warning signs when presenting cats and everything you know to help your cats get along well.
Warning Signs When Introducing Cats
If you want to get the new kitty into a home with an inhabitant cat, you should know the cautionary signs to minimize the mess of disputing felines. As stated, cats are territorial and dislike other cats intruding in their area. Some of the signs to check out include.
The Cats Are Rumbling
Your cats might begin rumbling while being introduced to one another. The rumbling sound signifies that one or both cats are cautioning each other. In most incidents, cats produce the sound if they fear losing their territory or are angry. If the resident feline rumbles after seeing the new one, it does not welcome the new member and wants to drive it away by displaying its aggression.
Your Cats May Produce a Hissing Sound
When you bring a feline to a household with another cat, one or both cats might begin hissing. The sound is similar to a snake hiss or might compare it with the sound of air released from the car tire. With the hissing sound, your cats might express their disgust, fear, and discomfort being in proximity to one another. Hissing is also a way of cautioning other cats. If any of your cats begin hissing when introduced to the other, it’s cautionary that your feline friend is anxious about the introduction experience.
Your Cats Are Growling
When new cats are introduced to each other, your cats can begin growling as a caution sign. Like rumbling sounds, growling is a cautioning noise that shows unhappiness, fear, or aggression. It is a distinct sound. The moment the new cat comes closer to the dweller cat, it is normal for your resident feline to begin howling. According to Bechewy, in most incidents, the dominant feline growls as a sign that it wants the new cat out of its territory.
Your Cats Might Begin Snarling
Your resident feline can begin snarling when a new cat is introduced. The snarling sound is similar to growling, but it’s higher pitched and louder. The resident feline snaps because it feels vulnerable due to the introduction of a newcomer. Snarling plus hiss sound is cautionary that the inhabitant cat is not comfortable around the newcomer.
Cats With Flattened Ears
A feline friend can flatten the ears after being introduced to another feline friend. Cats might flatten their ears and press them back down in the case of feeling nervous, anxious, or threatened. It can also show that your feline friend is irritated being introduced to another cat. As the owner, you must keep your cats away from each other if your cats are flattening their ears and displaying aggression.
The Cats’ Pupils Are Dilated
Another cautionary sign when presenting cats to each other is dilated pupils. You can notice the felines enlarging their pupils at their initial encounter. It shows they are thrilled about the circumstances. Dilating their pupils, they display depression or fear. If your cats are fearful about the introduction, they can show they are concerned about dilated pupils. This is a sign that your cats are not ready to get along properly.
The Cats Might Hide From Each Other
When bringing new cats to each other, it is common for them to hide from one another. The dominant feline often approaches while the less prevalent one hides because of fear. The suppressed one can hide under the bed or sofa to evade face-to-face contact with the bigger one.
Your Resident Cat Stops Using the Litter Box
When presenting your new feline friend in the same room as the inhabitant cat, the resident kitty might stop using the litter box. It occurs if the cats feel threatened or terrified of each other’s presence. It indicates both cats require more time and the proper introduction to get along.
Your Cats Might Stop Eating
After bringing a new feline to a household with another one and giving them food in the same room, most inhabitant cats often become frightened of newcomers and can even stop eating normally. Your residential feline might also feel uncomfortable and threatened if you introduce the new kitty too rapidly.
Cats Might Stare At One Another
When cats meet each other, they might stare at each other for some time. However, if the resident kitten has a prolonged stare at the newcomer, it shows that it is gradually developing aggression. Sooner, the resident feline might attack the new feline to try and drive it away from the household or its territory. In this case, one should separate the cats and lock them in different areas to evade fighting.
Your Feline Might Puff Up Their Fur
When introduced to your new kitten, your resident feline might puff up the tail and body. Puffing up their fur is an act of defense mechanism. According to EpicPetClub, by being puffed up, they are trying to look more prominent on the other cat. Also, the less prevalent or insecure feline can do this to scare off the other cat.
Your Cats Might Begin Biting and Attacking
Another sign to watch out for when presenting cats is the cats attacking each other. Your cats might get too aggressive and try attacking and biting each other during their first encounter. Cats are individualistic animals that hardly like new intruders on their territory. After your new cats see each other for the first time, they might get aggressive and try to bite each other. This cautionary sign shows your cats might take more time and your careful intervention to begin getting along.
The Cats Might Not Get a Proper Introduction
When the cats have no proper introduction to each other, they might become aggressive and hostile during the first encounter. They can begin hissing or growling at each other and even begin fighting to dominate each other. This is a sign that your cats are intolerant and dislike each other.
Your New Kitty Might Not Have Sufficient Time to Explore
If your new feline friend does not have sufficient time to explore the new household and is immediately introduced to the inhabitant cat, the new one can feel intimidated. In this situation, the new kitten might get uncomfortable in this environment. This can worsen if the resident feline shows its domination over the newcomer.
Your Cats Refuse to Coexist Together
Sometimes, your cats might refuse to stay peacefully together despite all the precautions and efforts. They might continuously refuse to stand each other’s presence and get hostile as the days go on. They might show reluctance to play, eat, or get along. If this is the case, one should consider giving your kitty a break. It would help if one separates them and, after some days, reintroduce them well. According to MEOPASSION, to handle everything well, one should consider asking for help from your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.
Other Things to Consider When Introducing Cats
There are several other things one should consider when introducing feline friends. One should observe their behavior and personality closely and gradually make the proper steps when presenting them Some of the things to keep in mind include;
Never Present a New Kitty Immediately to The Inhabitant Cat
Regardless of your cat’s behavior, one should never introduce a new cat immediately to your inhabitant cat. Being too fast might prove to be completely wrong. Your resident feline might feel threatened and display fierceness to drive a new kitten away if you do so. Therefore, keep your new feline in a separate area for some days and slowly introduce it to the inhabitant cat.
Never Introduce the Unvaccinated Cat
Do not introduce an unvaccinated new feline to your already owned cat. Before bringing the new one into your household and presenting it to your other cats, one must have it rightly vaccinated and ensure it’s free from mites, fleas, and other parasites.
Never Allow Your Cats to Fight
Always maintain an eye on the cats when introducing them. If any kitten displays ferociousness or tries attacking the other cat, one should separate them immediately. According to Pet Assure, never allow them to fight as it might be extremely aggressive and lethal for both of them.
Start By Presenting the New Kitten to The Most Dominant One
If your household has more than one cat, one should begin by presenting the new kitten to the alpha cat. Once the dominant feline is okay with the new friend, the tension will go down, and the newcomer will also get easy. However, one should not do the introduction in a hurry. Take sufficient time and use the proper methods during the introduction.
Don’t Force an Introduction.
You should never forcefully introduce a new feline to an inhabitant cat. Keeping them in the same room does not mean they will socialize automatically. This rarely occurs in reality. Therefore, a systematic and proper introduction is vital for felines. Otherwise, your cats will not coexist peacefully and will make your life hell by being aggressive against each other and fighting constantly.
How Long Does It Take for New Cats to Become Used To Each Other?
There is no specific time frame for cats to begin getting along. Some cats might take just a few weeks or days, while others might take even months. Cats have different personalities, with some bonding within a short timeline while others take a long time before making friends. This is why bonding time varies from one kitten to another. After the first introduction, some cats can take about nine to twelve months to create a robust and friendly bond. According to AnimalPath.org, using Feliway diffusers can help keep your pet secure and calm during the transition phase.
How To Introduce Cats If One Is Aggressive?
If one of the cats is very aggressive, it might take additional time to do the introduction. One will need to keep them separately and ensure both have sufficient resources such as affection, playtime, litter boxes, food, scratching posts, and feline trees. Also, ensure that the aggressive kitten feels it has not lost anything because of the new cat. Also, ensure to take extra steps in reducing stress and triggers to make the aggressive feline begin developing a positive connection with the other cat. According to KITTYINSIGHT, always prepare a new area for a new cat.
Signs That the Cats Are Getting Along
There are various indications that your cats are beginning to get along well.
Staying Together Most of The Time
When your cats begin getting along, one will notice that they spend a lot of time together. One may also see them standing next to each other and even intertwining their tails. This is a sign that both cats are happy and content with companionship.
Your cats will only play together if they have started to get along. They can bite each other softly, hiss gently, and chase. This is all a part of the normal feline play. Playing together is a sign that they like each other’s company and have an excellent time.
Snuggling And Sleeping On Each Other’s Lap
Sleeping and snuggling on each other’s lap is a clear indication that your felines are beginning to create a friendship. They do this if they feel secure and safe in the relationship. It looks charming as your cats cuddle and sleep on one another’s lap.
Licking Each Other
If your cats begin to lick and groom each other’s faces and bodies, it’s a sure sign that they are beginning to get along. By licking each other, they spread their scent on others, and it’s an apparent sign they are getting along.
Using A Common Litter Box
When your kitten begins to use the same litter box, this is another sign that the feline friends are getting along. Cats are highly individualistic and smell-sensitive. They hence rarely allow other cats to use their litter box. However, if they are okay with it, the cats have good terms with each other.
That’s it! These are some warning signs and tips to watch out for when introducing cats. Generally, one should never introduce cats by throwing them in the house immediately and leaving them to sort out their aggressiveness. While some cats might be friendly, most are protective of their territory, and a bad first meeting can result in a feud. Unfortunately, some owners ignore these cautionary signs of feline aggression, leading to the need to rehome the cat. But for around ninety percent of the cases, owners will enjoy a peaceful coexistence of the cats if they take note of these signs and take enough time to introduce the cats properly.