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Introducing a cat to a new home is a stressful time for you and the kitty. For the feline, her world has just been ripped into pieces.
There’s no longer the sweet face of mommy and the warmth of her siblings. She has no idea how the new world will be.
It is worse if she meets a resident cat that is unaccepting of her presence.
Without a smooth transition, the new kitty may suffer emotional, physical, and mental scarring for life.
This is where you come in. As a pet parent, you are responsible for making sure that the new cat is not on the receiving end of the resident cat’s rage.
At first, that means separating the two cats until things quiet down a bit.
Once they do, you can take a risk and put the pets in one room.
If no war erupts for a few days or weeks, you can leave both cats in one room in your absence.
The challenge is knowing when to do that. In this guide, we will help you make an informed decision with regards to when to leave a new cat alone with a resident cat.
Why Do Cats Act Up With The Introduction Of A New Cat?
First things first, you have to understand why your sweet and charming resident cat wants nothing to do with your new friend.
When you introduce the new member of the family, the old cat is likely to avoid her at best.
Things can also escalate to where your old friend growls and hisses at the new cat. By this time, his hair will be upright ready to fight the intruder.
While it is easy for you to interpret this as dramatic behavior, it is important to know that it ties to the nature of the cat.
For one, cats are afraid of other strange cats. In the wild, cats exist in groups where every member is known to other pack members.
If another stranger approaches, he or she is seen as a danger to the pack. They may not necessarily dislike the new cat but will trade carefully around her.
Secondly, a new cat comes to share resources with the resident cat, a fact that the latter may not like very much
Most of the time, the resident cat develops fear and mistrust towards the new cat. Other times, the reverse plays out where the new kitty shows aggression and fear towards the resident cat. The reasons are still the same.
Related Post: How Much Hissing is Normal when Introducing Cats
When Should You Leave The Cats Alone?
There’s no standard time for when your cats will feel comfortable around each other. Some take a few days, others weeks, and even months.
According to Paws.org, most kitties need 8-12 months to cultivate a friendship with another kitty.
While most cats eventually learn to be close to one another, some never really create the bond.
They may learn to peacefully co-exist with each other but don’t expect cuddles and sharing meals. Others keep on fighting like mortal enemies until they are permanently separated.
Generally, you know your cats can be left together if they are fully acquainted.
Obviously, this needs trial and error a few days or weeks before you decide to go away with both kitties in one room.
You need to watch how the cats relate to each other in your presence. If they seem to get along for a day or two, you can leave them for a short session at first.
Once you notice the cats exist peacefully with each other, you can proceed to leave them for longer.
Else, if you still notice the cats having stare-down contests, constantly glaring at each other, growling, and hissing, don’t leave them together yet.
You want 100% friendship for not less than one week before you go on a week-long trip with your cats being together.
Tell-Tale Signs That Your Cats Are Ready To Be Left Alone
One of the ways you can tell your cats can co-exist peacefully is how they behave during meal times.
If both cats can eat from the same bowl or next to each other, you are making progress.
Next, watch if the cats can use the same litter box without fighting.
If there was aggression at first from one cat to another, it should gradually go down to the point that the cats can be really close to each other without tearing their ears off.
Once you see that your kitties can share the bowl and litter box and are willing to be close to each other without any problem, you can leave them alone.
If they develop a strong bond and become the best of friends, you are lucky.
However, be content if the pets can tolerate each other without a war erupting for a week straight.
Let them be alone for a few hours and come back to see what is happening.
If nothing is wrong, proceed to two days, five days, and more.
Many cat owners wonder when to leave new cat alone with a resident cat.
The short answer is that the cats will tell you when to do that.
Watch their relationship over the course of a few days or weeks.
If they relate well, feel free to leave them alone. Else, keep them separate for a while longer.
Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.
Disclaimer: While I ensure that the advice and tips given here are in line with the latest evidence-based veterinary information and health guidelines, under no circumstance should you misconstrue my suggestions as medical advice. Please contact your veterinarian in all matters regarding your kitty’s health.