As cats are highly territorial and solitary animals, your feline partner may dislike when you introduce other cats into its territory. It can be challenging for you to introduce a new cat to your resident cat as a cat owner. The two cats may not get along at first, and it may take days or weeks to create a bond between them.
When you introduce a new cat to your house, your resident cat may feel threatened and become defensive.
It may show its anger by hissing, growling, rumbling, and try to drive the newcomer away. In many cases, both the cats may engage in fights that turn out to be hostile and life-threatening.
So, as a cat lover, you must know the warning signs when introducing cats. You need to be aware of those signs to avoid aggressiveness and hostility between your feline partners. If your cats get a proper introduction, they will feel comfortable and start to get along in the shortest possible time.
In this article, we will be explaining the warning signs when introducing cats. We will also be answering some frequently asked questions and give you some additional tips so that you can introduce your cats accurately.
Warning Signs When Introducing Cats
As cats are very protective about their territory, they don’t like when other cats intrude into their area. They become frightened, defensive, and even aggressive to the intruders.
That is why when your already owned cat sees that you bring another cat and put it into the same room, the resident cat becomes very conscious about it and shows its discomfort in many ways.
Sometimes both the cats may show aggressiveness by hissing, snarling, fluffing their fur, and even attacking and biting each other. To avoid any hostile conditions, you must know all the warning signs when introducing your cats. It will help you understand whether they are getting along or fighting with each other and injuring themselves.
Your Cats Are Hissing
When you introduce a new cat to your resident cat in the same household, one or both may start hissing immediately. This sound is similar to a snake hiss, or you may compare it with the sound of air release from a car tire. With the hissing sound, your cats may express their fear, disgust, and discomfort being proximity to each other.
Hissing is also a way to warn off other cats. If any of your cats start hissing when introduced to the other, it’s a warning sign that your feline friends are anxious about this introduction experience.
Your Cats Are Rumbling
Your cats may start rumbling when introduced to each other. The rumbling sound is an indication that one cat is warning the other.
In most cases, cats produce this sound while they are angry and fear losing their territory. If your resident cat rumbles seeing the new one, it means that your resident cat is not welcoming the newcomer and trying to drive it away by showing its aggression.
Your Cats Are Growling
When introduced to one another, your cats can start growling as a warning sign. Like the rumbling sound, growling is a warning noise that shows unhappiness, aggression, or fear. It’s certainly a distinct sound!
When your new cat comes close to your resident cat, it’s natural for your resident cat to start growling. In most cases, the dominant cat growls, and by doing so, it wants the other cat out of its territory.
Your Cats May Start Snarling
Your resident cat can start snarling when you introduced your new cat to it. Snarling sound is similar to growling, but it’s much louder and higher pitched.
Your already owned feline partner snarls because, with the introduction of the newcomer, it feels threatened. Snarling comes with hissing as a warning sign that your resident cat is feeling uncomfortable in the presence of the newcomer.
Your Cats Are Flattening Their Ears
Your cat can flatten its ears as a response when first introduced to a new cat. Cats may flatten their ear and pressed them back and down when they feel anxious, nervous, or threatened.
It can also indicate that your cat is angry being introduced to the other cat. As a cat owner, you must keep the cats away from each other if you show your cats flattening their ears and showing aggression.
Your Cats Are Puffing Up Their Fur
Being introduced to a new cat, your resident cat may puff up the body and tail. In most cases, cats puff up their fur as a defense mechanism.
By puffing up their body, they try to look larger and dominate the other cats. While introducing, the insecure or less dominant cat can do this to scare off the other one.
Your Cats’ Pupils Are Dilated
You may see your cats dilating their pupils at the time of their first encounter. It indicates that they are excited about the situation. Dilating their pupils, they display fear or depression.
If the cats become fearful about the introduction, they can express their concern this way. It’s a warning sign that your feline partners are not yet ready to get along.
Your Cats Are Staring At Each Other
When two cats get introduced to each other, they can stare at one another for a while. If your resident cat gives a prolonged stare to the newcomer, it means the cat is slowly developing aggression.
Soon, your resident cat may attack the new cat to drive it away from its territory. In this situation, you must separate them and lock them in different rooms to avoid fighting.
Your Cats May Start Attacking And Biting
Your cats may become too aggressive and try to bite each other in their first encounter. As cats are individualistic animals, they hardly like intruders in their area.
When your cats see each other for the first time, they can become aggressive and try to bite each other. This warning sign indicates that your cats may take more time and your deliberate intervention to get along.
Your Cats Are Hiding from Each Other
At the time of introduction, it’s common for cats to hide from each other. In most cases, the dominant cat approaches, and the less dominant one hides being fearful. Your less dominant cat tries to hide under the bed or sofa to avoid face-to-face interaction with the stronger one.
Your Cats May Stop Eating
If you introduce a new cat in your already owned cat’s area and feed them in the same room, it’s natural for the resident cat to become frightened of the newcomer and stop eating. Your resident cat may also feel threatened and uncomfortable if you introduce the new cat too quickly.
Your Resident Cat Is Not Using The Litterbox
When you introduce your new cat in the same room as the resident cat, your resident cat may stop using the litterbox. It happens when the cats don’t get along and feel terrified or threaten in each other’s presence. It indicates that both the cats need more time and proper introduction to get along.
Your New Cat May Not Have An Adequate Exploring Time
If your new cat may not have adequate exploring time in your house and quickly exposed to your resident cat, it can be an intimidating experience for the newcomer.
In that case, the new cat may feel uncomfortable in that environment. And if the resident cat shows its dominance over the newcomer, the situation can go frenzy.
Your Cats May Not Get A Proper Introduction
When your cats lack a proper introduction to each other, they may act aggressively and become hostile from their very first encounter. They can growl and hiss to each other and even start fighting to show dominance. It is a warning sign that your cats are becoming intolerant and showing their disliking to each other.
Your Cats Are Refusing To Coexist Together
Despite all your efforts, sometimes, your cats may refuse to coexist together. They may not stand each other’s presence and become hostile day by day. They may show reluctance to eat, play, or get along.
This situation indicates that your cats need a break. It would help if you separated them and then, after a few days, reintroduce them properly. To make everything right, you can take help from your vet can or animal behaviorist.
What Is Normal When Introducing Cats
When you introduce a new cat to your already owned cat, it is most likely that your resident cat may not like the first encounter. It can show aggressiveness to the newcomer by hissing, growling, snarling, or even attacking.
As cats are highly territorial and solitary animals, it’s natural for your resident cat to show intolerance at first. But if properly introduced, they may get along gradually and start eating, playing, and, therefore, coexisting together in your house.
Is It Normal For Cats To Hiss When They First Meet
It is natural for cats to hiss when they first meet. It’s a normal response for both the cats – the resident cat and the new one. It indicates that both the cats are excited and concerned about this new development and experiencing fear and being defensive and protective.
By hissing, they can also show their dominance and anger. But if you can introduce them properly, the cats may start to get along within a few days or weeks.
How Long Does It Take For Cats To Get Used To Each Other
Some cats may take only a few days or weeks, while others may take several months to get used to each other. There is no exact time frame for cats to get along. Some cats create bonding with others within a short time, while others take a long time before becoming friends.
After the initial introduction, some cats may take eight to twelve months to build a friendly relationship. Every cat has a distinctive personality unmatched by others. That’s why the bonding time varies from cat to cat.
How Do I Know If My Cats Like Each Other
Several things indicate that your cats like each other, but it is most likely that your cats are rubbing their bodies and faces to each other. The bonded cats also stand next to one another and intertwine their tails.
They also cuddle and sleep on each other’s lap. However, they will play and enjoy spending time together. They will also groom each other with love and care. Though cats are known as solitary hunters, they may get along and socialize with the cats they love.
What Happens If You Introduce Cats Too Quickly
If you introduce cats too quickly, there is a high chance that they will feel threatened and become aggressive. Cats, if introduced too quickly, have a hard time getting along. Most often, they develop a sense of aggression from the beginning.
The dominant cat may hiss, growl, snarl, or try to drive the other cats away. It’s always better to give them adequate time to know each other and then slowly settle down. As a cat owner, you shouldn’t be in a hurry when introducing your cats.
How To Introduce Cats Fast
You can do certain things to introduce your cats fast. If done accurately, it can help your cat to get along in the shortest possible time. Follow the below steps carefully.
- Set up a separate room for your new cat. The room must have a litter box, comfortable bed, scratching post, few toys, necessary cat food, and enough drinking water. Then after a few days, you may interchange the rooms of your cat. Thus, your resident cat and the new cat can smell and hear each other and grow curiosity. In this stage, don’t create any face-to-face interaction between your cats.
- Now, slowly introduce the cats to each other, keeping a safe distance. Take help from another family member and bring two cats in one place but keep them at least ten feet away from each other. When the cats meet, call their names and treat them with food or toys. Then again, separate themselves in their room.
- For the next few days, follow the above pattern and make both of them feel comfortable by playing with them together and feeding them when they are hungry. Then when you see that they are not hostile to each other and started to get along. Then, finally, let them stay in the same room for a night.
Following the above simple three-step process, you can introduce your cats fast and let them create a solid bond in your household.
How To Introduce Two Cats When One Is Aggressive
When your one cat is aggressive, you shouldn’t let it free in front of the other. The best thing is to separate it in another room with a litter tray, scratching post, foods, and enough water.
Then slowly allow the aggressive cat to explore your house and expand its territory. Then you should switch its room with the resident cat. Thus, both the cats will get used to each other’s scent and smell. After a few days, you can slowly introduce them, separating them by the door.
Give them proper time and try to play with them and feed them together. This way, the aggressive cat will slowly get along with the other one. The less dominant one will also feel safe and comfortable.
If nothing works and the aggressive cat continues to show dominance and anger, you should consult your animal behaviorist or vet for further help.
What Should You Not Do When Introducing A Cat
There are a few things you shouldn’t do when introducing cats. Don’t introduce the cats too quickly. When you bring a new cat home, make sure that you have a separate room for it.
You shouldn’t also free-feeding the cats. Both the cats must have their meals in their respective rooms. Don’t let them meet or have eye contact in the first few days. Make the introduction process slow and steady. Otherwise, the cats will show aggressiveness or become fearful of each other.
Signs Cats Are Starting To Get Along
There are five common signs that your cats are starting to get along. They will stay together most of the time and lick each other bodies. They will also play with each other, cuddle and sleep on each other’s lap. However, they will start using the same litter box and taking foods from the same bowl peacefully.
Your Cats Will Stay Together Most Of The Time
When your cats start to get along, they stay together most of the time. They also stand next to each other and, sometimes, intertwine their tails. It’s a sign that both the cats are happy and content being in this companionship.
Your Cats Will Lick Each Other
If your cats lick each other’s bodies and faces, you can be sure that they are starting to get along. By licking, they spread their scent on others. It’s an obvious sign of getting along.
They Will Play Together
Your feline friends will play together when they are getting along. They may softly bite each other, do a little chasing, even gentle hissing. All these are part of their play. It’s a sign that they are enjoying each other’s company and having a great time.
They Will Cuddle And Sleep On Each Other’s Lap
Cuddling and sleeping on each other’s lap is an obvious sign that your cats are starting to build a good relationship. They do that when they feel safe and secure in the relationship. Moreover, it looks charming when your feline friends sleep on each other’s lap.
Your Cats Will Use The Common Litter Box
When your cat starts to use the same litter box, you should be happy to know that they are starting to get along. As cats are highly smell-sensitive and individualistic animals, they hardly allow other cats to poop in their litter box. But when they allow it, it means that the cats are on good terms with each other.
Things To Consider
There are some other things to consider when you are introducing cats to each other. You must be very patient and closely observe their behavior. You must understand their personality and gradually make the right move while they meet for the first time.
Never Introduce An Unvaccinated Cat
Don’t introduce an unvaccinated new cat to your resident cat. Before freeing the new cat in your household, you must have it vaccinated and make sure that it is free from flea, mites, or other parasites.
Never Introduce A New Cat Immediately To Your Resident Cat
Don’t introduce the new cat immediately to your resident cat. Being too quick may prove to be entirely wrong. If you do so, your resident cat will feel threatened and show aggressiveness to drive the new cat away. So, keep the new cat in a separate room for a few days and slowly introduce it to your already owned cat.
Never Let Your Cats Fight
Always keep an eye on the cats when you introduce them. If any of the cats show aggressiveness or try to fight with the other cat, you must separate them immediately. Never let them fight because it may turn out to be highly hostile and life-threatening for them.
Introduce Your New Cat To The Most Dominant Cat First
In a multicat-household, you should slowly introduce the new cat to the most dominant or alpha cat first. When the dominant cat accepts the newcomer, the tension will fade away, and the other cats will also receive the new cat easily. But while doing so, never be in a hurry. Always introduce applying proper method and taking adequate time.
Never Force An Introduction
Never introduce the cats forcefully. Don’t ever think that if you keep them in the same room, they will automatically socialize. This hardly happens in reality. So, a proper and systematic introduction is necessary for the cats. Otherwise, they will refuse to coexist and make your life a living hell by constant fighting and aggressiveness.