How to Encourage Two Cats to Get Along Better
The ASPCA estimates that it can take up to a year for cats to become friendly with one another. Some cats will form strong attachments and even grow to love each other, but that’s not always the case. If two cats living together in the same home don’t take to each other after an extended period of time, they may never develop a friendship. But as long as they aren’t fighting it may not be a problem.
How to Encourage Your Cats to Like One Another
Each cat needs to feel secure and it helps if they have ample space of their own. Provide separate areas for each one where they have their own food and water bowls, toy box, bed and litter box. When they want to be alone, they can retreat to their own “safe space.”
To further solidify their sense of security, give each cat a lot of individual attention and affection. The last thing you want is for one cat to become jealous of the other, resulting in aggression.
If your cats are inclined to fight, avoid giving them catnip as it may increase aggression. Make sure each cat has plenty of toys to play with and if a fight breaks out, you can distract them by playing with them. A fishing rod toy works great for breaking up fights, as long as you don’t let one cat dominate.
It’s up to you to make sure that your cats have as much fun as possible whenever you’re playing with them together. And when they’re finally exhausted, reward them with treats in equal amounts. Believe me, they know how to count when it comes to treats!
You can encourage your cats to get along by letting them play together in a big cardboard box on the floor. Make sure both ends are open, so it looks like a tunnel. It would be a very rare cat who isn’t eager to play inside a cardboard box. Before you know it, both cats will be inside playing with each other.
How to Minimize Aggression
Make sure your cats are in separate rooms when you leave the house. Keep doing this until you are sure they won’t get into a fight when you’re gone. This is especially important if one or both of your cats have not yet been spayed or neutered. Unless you are in the business of breeding cats, you should have your kitties neutered as soon as they are 8 weeks old and at least 2 lbs. Cats that haven’t been neutered are naturally more aggressive.
If you have two cats that have been getting along just fine and now all of a sudden, they don’t, there could be a reason. Maybe your cats are suffering from stress. Has anything changed in your household recently? Have you moved? Is there a new baby or pet in the home? Could one of your cats be sick and feeling grouchy? You need to try and figure out what could be causing this incompatibility.
If you think one of them may not be feeling well, a trip to the vet is in order. Cats can easily hide their physical symptoms, so even if you don’t notice anything wrong it’s better to be safe than sorry. A bad mood can indicate an illness.
Also, them not getting along could mean they’re simply bored and if that’s the case, giving them more individualized attention and spending more time playing with them can help. It might also help to get some new cat toys, cubbies and scratching posts.
Just like humans, no two cats can be forced to like each other or get along. However, as long as they can coexist in the same household, it should be fine. All you can do is continue to give them each their own space and a stimulating environment. If they have shelves to climb on, scratching posts with platforms, plenty of toys, a spot in the sun with a good view outside, and a lot of individual love and affection from you, they should be happy. In time they might be able to tolerate one another and maybe even begin getting along. Just be patient.
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