5 Steps to socialize two cats
¿How to socialize two cats?
Following our current topic, where we already learned how to make the decision to have a new cat at home , we began to approach the topic from another perspective: the decision to have a second cat at home. It is a fact that having two cats is better than having only one, both for the family and for the cats themselves. So now you have to socialize.
So entering the subject, for no one is a mystery, that cats are very territorial animals, where literally our house is their territory and everything is marked by it and smells like it, even you. Introducing a new cat to said territory can cause the home to become a war field, so the most important thing is that you be psychologically prepared that it will be a process of time and patience, where so many things that we do not know can happen, and for For this you must have a clear plan of action so that their socialization is achieved in the best way and peace comes as soon as possible.
Here we give you a clear guide and 5 steps that you can carry out for a good integration between the new cat and the house cat (s), a step that we have been able to consolidate and validate with our own experience.
Best way to socialize two cats
Step 1- Choice and Preparation
The first and most important thing is that you know that the new cat you choose, must like the company of other cats. Although it is always better to have two cats at home per company, there are cats whose personality only accepts coexistence with humans, but not with other cats. For this reason, be clear that it will be a sociable cat with other cats!
A. Now, it is time to prepare everything for the arrival of the new cat and start a healthy socialization: Prepare your current cat for the changes that are about to come, we recommend these steps so that the process is less traumatic for the house cat and avoid possible health consequences that could occur due to the stress it will suffer, so it is important to start with these measures at least two (2) weeks before the arrival of the new cat:
- There are different tools on the market that help generate calm and peaceful environments for your cat, we recommend two of them: Synthetic Pheromone Tranquilizer , which generate the feeling of being in a pleasant and trustworthy place which improves the behavior of the cat; and Flower Essences ( Adaptation and Travel ), useful when a new animal comes home and that the other animals accept it, this is important to be able to give it to both cats (the current and the new one), before, during and after socialization.
- If your cat does not have a specific schedule routine at mealtime, it is time to start implementing it and get him used to schedules, that is, give him a certain amount of food so many times during the day. This change will help create an equal standard for the new cat’s arrival time, to generate a shared feeding routine between the house cat and the new cat (cat happy hour).
- It is important to know that moments of prolonged stress in the life of a cat, in this case due to the arrival of a new individual at home, can cause a drop in defenses or immunosuppression, which can lead to some problems in its health. To reduce this we recommend providing your cat with vitamins ( Cat Balance ) that support the immune system and avoid an easy or extreme loss of them.
B. Reserve a unique space for the new cat, where he feels that it is a space of his property and can unwind in it, ideally that the human smell of the people in the home is present and he can mark with his own smell. This space can be a room, or it could be a bathroom if there are no other options inside the house, and that it is equipped with everything the cat needs, litter box , food and water dishes , a scraper, a bed or a warm space where you can sleep and toys to distract yourself.
The purpose of this exclusive room for the new cat is to keep cats inside the house for a while, we recommend that it be at least 3 days, where they do not see each other, they only smell and peek under the door one with the other.
Step 2- Odor impregnators
The theme of smells for a cat is the most important, that is how they recognize their territory, their humans, and even a female cat in heat several kilometers from her home. When we talk about odor impregnator we mean to use different methods so that cats recognize each other’s odor and reach the point of being familiar and reliable for both of them and not related to any danger or intruder. The methods we recommend are:
A. Objects impregnated with odor are those where a cat leaves its mark, objects where it lies down, rubs or scratches, since these actions are mainly for that purpose, marking its territory with pheromones. Beds, towels, cardboard scrapers, gyms, are some of the most common products that your cat usually marks or where its smell is more fixed. We advise rubbing a different blanket on each cat, especially on the cheeks and paws since they are spots filled with pheromone glands, and placing each one in the other’s room, that is, the one you rubbed on your cat in the new cat’s room and that of the new cat close to the house cat.
Also try to put cloth or pieces of cotton, rubbed in the same way on the opposite cat and putting it under the feeding plates of each one, so that they relate the smell of the other cat to something pleasant such as food.
B. After the first 2 or 3 days of the arrival of the new cat at home, being only in the space reserved for him, it is time to exchange them. Lock your current cat in the new cat space and let the new cat explore your entire home, generate these moments for approximately 1 or 2 hours each day and return each to their respective spaces. This way, your smells will mix little by little around the whole house. Keep in mind, they should not be seen yet, just sniff!
Step 3- Barriers and Visual Access
Once we start exchanging spaces between the cats, we can start generating “barriers” in the feeding ritual (ritual that you started generating from Step 1).
A. First we will begin to put the feeders from side to side of the door at mealtime, that is, the dishes of the new cat on one side of the door and those of your current cat on the other side with the door closed, This way they will be able to eat and smell at the same time, causing a positive stimulus with food and odor. It is important that at the beginning of the dishes they are separated enough for the cats to eat without eventualities, but close enough to manage to smell, with the passing of the days we will approach the feeders little by little.
B. Once you can locate the dishes as close to the door, it is time to change the barrier. If you can configure a mesh door, it would be somewhat easier, thus continuing the feeding routine side by side of the barrier, but this time starting with eye contact. Bring the feeding points back to where they can be seen and eaten with little or no discomfort, and slowly move the cups closer.
C. If creating a mesh door that serves as a barrier between cats but with visual access is difficult for you or your home, you can put the new cat in a box for a few moments of the day and let the oldest cat Inspect and see it, the guacal will serve as a barrier to avoid confrontations between them. If you hear hissing or grunting it is normal, do not be affected, just try again the next day.
Step 4- Look, eat and play
A few days after starting eye contact with a barrier, it is time to gradually remove the barrier, and let them see each other slowly. The best method to start will always be food, this time you will put their dishes at a good distance, not too far or too close where they can be seen while they eat, and provide them with a special food, which can be wet food or chicken (if they like it) , so they will enjoy the moment more; Remember that in this process it is essential that this someone is 100% pending, so if any mishap occurs you can act on time.
Once they have eaten, or at another time of the day, break the barriers again, but this time you will play with both cats, you can use reed toys (such as our Flying Wand ), since it is very likely that each one is in a different corner of the room, and this type of toys will help you reach both distances. It is important that they see themselves playing, as it will show them that they are similar beings, with similar tastes, in addition to being a moment of pleasure for both of them and that they are sharing.
Step 5- Follow and not give up
After the weeks, day after day, it continues to encourage pleasant moments for both cats, with food, play and petting. If with the passing of days you are observing that they are more tolerated in the same space, without hissing or grunting, it is time to open your home so that you both enjoy them in the same way, without barriers or delimited spaces. It is likely at this point that they will tolerate and respect each other, but they still do not love each other at the level of sleeping together, but do not feel bad about it, everything only happens over time.
We know that the socialization process between two or more cats is not an easy thing or is achieved overnight, but it is not impossible despite the fact that in their wild environment they are more solitary animals (although the type of feline also depends) . Your commitment as responsible for these feline lives, your effort and dedication, will be what leads to victory and you can enjoy your two, three or the number of cats you want in the best possible way in your life, thanks to the steps you We just gave away for it.