Do Cats Believe in Best Friends?
Can they be best friends?
In an ideal world the getting acquainted time period would have gone without a hitch and your two cats would now be best friends. If that happened consider yourself very blessed and you would not have to read any further.
However, if it still is nip and tuck and the friendship is lukewarm. Please continue down the page.
Even though the resident cat is accustomed to the new cat’s presence,it is best to keep them separated, when you are not at home to supervise or when you retire for the night.
Cats are not like dogs, which are pack animals and enjoy social “dog” contact, cats are by nature solitary creatures and they take their time making friends.
It is important during this getting “really acquainted process” you keep a few tricks up your sleeve in case you have to step in and referee.
One thing to keep in mind is that cats have a tendency to yowl, hiss, snarl and growl even as best friends, when they are establishing the household rules.
The resident cat and the new cat may even get into a paw slapping routine. They are not really hurting each other, they are just creating some understanding. A little friendly disagreement is okay, however, if it looks like it is getting a bit out of hand, the best thing to do is “distract” them.
How do you distract them?
That is relatively easy, bang a pot (cats hate loud noises,) throw a toy across their field of vision or use your handy water spray bottle.
When they stop give them praise and a treat.
I know that in the heat of the moment it is sometimes hard to remember but, do not yell, scream or hit either of the cats. Cats do not understand punishment. A “sharp no” is probably the best you can do to correct an action.
Re-directing their attention by giving them something else to do is the best way and yes, there are times when that does not work either.
It really will take time and patience on your part if your resident cat and the new cat are having a personality conflict. Hopefully they are both not “dominant” cats. That means they both want to be “boss.”
I have a dominant male cat “Smokey” that does not like my female cat, “Miss Tiger” and he will go out of his way to stalk her. They have lived in the same household for 5 years and no matter what I do, I cannot make them become friends, let alone best friends.
Smokey knows what “no” means and will stop his stalking while I am in his presence, but the moment I leave, if Miss Tiger is still around he will continue his game of “cat and mouse.”
The getting acquainted period may last for several months, as cats are not in any hurry to make anyone a “best friend.”
During this time period you need to be watchful for several things.
Be on the lookout for signs of “stress” in either cat. Stress will show up in various ways, eating too fast and then throwing up, sleeping or drinking more than usual, or in excessive grooming.
Litter box problems might also rear its ugly head if either cat is unhappy.
If either cat is showing signs of stress separate them and start the introduction process all over again, slowly. Give the cats more time to adjust to each other.
However, if stress is creating a health problem for either cat call your vet. Your vet may have a suggestion that might work.
Getting a second cat was your idea and not your resident cat’s.
It may not work and if it doesn’t, I hope you have an alternate plan in mind.
The new cat needs a proper home and it is your responsibility to find a good home for it should your plan not work out.
Cats are unique critters and it is a rare cat that will accept a new cat without a bit of a struggle.
That is why, if you are thinking in terms of two, you do it at the beginning. Two kittens, even if they are not of the same litter can be best friends.
The shelters usually have “pairs of cats” that are in need of a good home. Cats that have been brought up together usually bond and are best friends. My house is the exception, however.
Probably the most taxing thing to your nervous system will be finding the time to play with each cat and give them the attention each deserves.
Hopefully you have thought this all out before you brought the second cat home.
Fishing pole toys (one for each hand) is a good way to combine playtime for both cats without giving one preference over the other. You might even try using the mice or feathers you tied together as an interactive toy for both cats to play with.
With the passing of time and a little help from “Lady Luck” your two cats should become if not, best friends, partners in crime with their chief goal being “driving you bananas.” Good Luck.