How do you reunite two cats?
Easy Steps to Help Your Cats Get Along
Cat owners often adopt more than one pet because they want their cats to have friends. You might want another cat around to keep your kitty company. But sometimes, two cats just don’t get along. Whether it’s a new introduction that went poorly or a sudden issue that just started between two cats, you may feel discouraged if your cats are now communicating with hisses and claws. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help your cats get along again.
Give Them Their Own Territory
Cats often don’t like to share and can become selfish with resources. They might be territorial about essentials like litter boxes, food, and water. But they can also get possessive about a favorite window perch, a cat tree or condo, a pet bed, a catnip toy, or even a favorite towel.
You can avoid these issues by making sure all the favored resources are in plentiful supply and in different locations in the house. Don’t keep the toys all in the same location, or the window perches right next to each other. Maintain one litter box per cat, plus an additional box. Keep the food bowls and water dishes in different spots throughout the house. Each cat will have his own preferences, and they can work out territorial issues much easier if everything is plentiful and located in multiple locations.
Visit a Veterinarian
If one cat has had a sudden change in behavior or mood, you might want to visit your veterinarian. Sometimes a cat will act out due to illness or pain. A vet visit will ensure nothing more serious is at play.
Use Calming Diffusers
Calming diffusers are a great way to help your cats feel safe around each other. These diffusers release drug-free, odorless vapors that mimic a cat’s natural pheromones. These communicate in a cat’s language that an area is safe and secure. For multiple cat homes, try the Comfort Zone Multi-Cat Diffuser. Set them up in the rooms where your cats spend the most time. One diffuser lasts about 30 days. Or, you can snap a Comfort Zone Calming Collar around each cat’s neck to help keep them calm and relaxed wherever they go. Each collar lasts for about 30 days as well.
Look for Triggers
Look for triggers that might be stressing your cats, causing them to take their tension out on each other. For example, a stray cat wandering outside at night might make your cats so upset they start hissing and clawing at each other. Or a cat that just returned from the vet might have an unusual smell that causes your other cat not to recognize her.
Try to minimize any triggers if you can find them. You might want to close the window shades at night if that’s a trigger, or even set up motion-activated sprinklers outside to deter strays from wandering too close.
Reintroduce Your Cats
Sometimes cats were introduced poorly and always had tension with each other. Or one cat might have been startled by a sudden noise when the other cat was around, and now that fear has been «misdirected» onto the innocent cat.
Whatever the situation, you might need to reintroduce your cats if they’ve had ongoing tension. A new introduction can help them start making positive associations again. Keep them in separate rooms for a few days or weeks, and sometimes swap towels and other items so they can «smell» each other. Even switch rooms from time to time.
Feed them on opposite sides of a closed door to help build positive associations. Then use a screen door, so they can see each other. When your cats can eat near each other without hissing or tensing up, slowly crack open the door. Then give them supervised visits together. If one cat tenses up, redirect his attention to a catnip toy or treat. Over time, they’ll likely start getting along again. Just remember, this process can sometimes take weeks, and that’s okay. Give your cats the time and space they need.
If you’re wondering if your cats will ever get along again, the answer is they likely will. They just need a little intervention on your part to help them create a purrrfect truce. Giving them their own territory and reintroducing them to each other can help bring peace back to your home.
Cat Siblings: What Do I Need To Know?
Growing up alongside the loving – and unavoidably annoying – siblings is a priceless experience. Cat siblings are each other’s prized companions during the early weeks of kittenhood. The relationship between cat littermates can be puzzling, though. Here are some of the most important facts you should know about cat siblings.
Did you know?
To honor and celebrate the precious relationships between siblings, in USA we recognize the National Siblings Day every year on April 10th. Did you already wish your sibling(s) a Happy Siblings Day? Don’t forget to give them an extra hug for the occasion! #NationalSiblingsDay
«The smallest feline is a masterpiece.» ― Leonardo da Vinci
1. Why having littermates is so important during kittenhood
The early interactions between kittens and their mom are vitally important for the development of learning abilities, social skills and personalities of the kittens. It is a common misconception that kittens are ready to be separated from their mom and littermates as soon as they are weaned and start eating on their own (between the 4th and 8th week of age).
The truth is, however, that it is generally recommended to keep the kittens with their littermates for at least 12 weeks. The first 7 weeks of kittenhood are marked as the period of socialization and it is during this period when the kittens start grooming each other (and themselves) and interacting. But the period between the 7th and 14th week is the most active play period, and this is when the kittens start more actively interacting.
Kittens observe their mom and siblings and start playing with objects and animals around them. Through this play, they practice their physical coordination and social skills. They chase each other, pounce, ambush, leap, hug and lick. They behind scooping, tossing, pawing and holding objects. This is the crucial learning period when the kittens are learning how to be a cat and when they’re exploring the ranking process (who’s in charge).
Kittens who are more playful and curious often make for better learners, thus are more likely to develop larger brains. These kittens can also help and motivate the shier and more careful kittens to blossom too. Kittens who are separated from their mother and littermates too early often fail to develop ‘appropriate’ social skills (i.e. they may not learn to inhibit the bite strength) and are more likely to suffer from anxiety, aggression, temperament problems or poor learning skills later in life.
2. Adopting two (or more) littermates
When you first bring a kitten into your home, they will often be scared of the new, unknown, environment and they won’t have their littermates to confide to. This is why it can actually be helpful if you’re bringing home two or more cat littermates together.
This way your new kittens will have each other for support and they will always have company they can trust around them. It is recommended to, when possible, bring the kittens to the new home before the weekend (or any other day you don’t have to work). This is how you can ensure to spend as much as time with new kittens as possible.
Make sure to create a safe spot for them and to interact with them as soon as possible and as much as possible. This will help you ensure that they will accept you (and other people) in the social circle. If you’re trying to decide whether to bring one or more kittens home, check out all the benefits and drawbacks of choosing one or more kittens summoned up by Catster. For more tips on getting a new kitten read this post by Purina.
3. Littermate syndrome
Littermate syndrome is a social ‘disorder’ characterized by intensive bonding of two littermates to the extent of excluding most animals and people out of their own social circle. These littermates are dependent on each other and suffer severe separation anxiety.
They are typically very fearful and have poor social and learning skills. While this is a relatively common phenomenon among dog littermates, luckily, it doesn’t actually occur in cats! Cats, unlike dogs, are not pack animals. While some cats are friendlier than others and do seek companionship and attention of other cats, most prefer being the only cat of the house.
This is why keeping littermates together can provide the kittens with support during stressful situations and friendship during the lonely times of the day, but it typically won’t interfere with their social development and the cats are still capable of becoming independent. So, choosing two cats may just be better than choosing one!
«Siblings teach us about fairness, cooperation, kindness and caring — quite often the hard way.» — Pamela Dugdale.
4. How will the littermates get along once they grow up?
a) Kittens who have been separated during the early weeks of life will forget each other. Young kittens often miss their mom and siblings and show signs of separation anxiety after being taken into the new home. However, it doesn’t take them too long to adapt to the new home and reattach to the new family. And once this happens, they typically forget their mom, brothers and sisters and adopt their new family.
This is because cats recognize each other via scent, and the cat which smells unfamiliar is considered to be a stranger. Two littermates who have spent a longer period of time separated will develop completely distinct smells, and when reunited, will act as they’ve never met before. From here on, their relationship is developed just like it would be with any other cat. They can get along well, not so well or simply and respectfully ignore each other.
b) Kittens who grow up together can remain friends or… not. A lot of times kittens bond very tightly during the early weeks of life. Some sibling pairs carry this bond into adulthood, while others, sadly, don’t. It is nearly impossible to predict whether a littermate pair will remain friends once grown up.
The dynamics of the littermate duo can change greatly and quickly, often due to competition for your attention or territorial conflict. If you have a sibling duo who are not purrfectly peaceful and synchronized with each other, we recommend this article by WebMD on Aggression Between Cats in Your Household.
5. DNA tests for cat siblings: how genetically similar are littermates?
Cat siblings are generally genetically very different. Unless the breeding occurred in a controlled environment, kittens of the same litter can actually have different fathers. And even those kittens who have both of the same parents, have likely randomly inherited a number of different gene combinations. This means that while certain genetic traits will be shared by the siblings, every sibling will be genetically unique. This remains untrue only for identical twin cats.
Identical twins are cats who have developed from the same initial egg fertilized by one sperm. This happens when a fertilized egg divides early in the development and results in two different lineages of cells that will ultimately form the whole organisms. This means that the two identical cats will carry the same genetic information. Unlike human identical twins, it can be rather difficult to recognize cat twins though, because the color pattern genes can be expressed differently in two cats even when the genetic information is identical.
With that being said, unless two cats are identical twins (which cannot be determined based off appearance), the DNA test results of two cat littermates are expected to be different. While siblings will have a certain amount of DNA in common, the combination of all the possible genetic variants given by the parents will be unique for each individual. And again, multiple fathers are very common in cats (particularly stray cats), which increases genetic diversity in the litter.
Your cat’s DNA make-up matters. All the information required for the functioning of every little bit of your cat’s body is written in the genes. Luckily, with Basepaws, discovering your cat’s genetic background, ancestry, and health predispositions has now become a lot easier and less expensive than ever.