How to Make Cats Get Along When Your Cat Doesn't Like Other Cats
See files for Cats
Cats are solitary hunters, which has caused some confusion when it comes to whether or not they are social animals. However, contrary to popular belief, cats are social animals that live with a community they trust and can play with. This is why they make such great companion pets.
However, what do you do when your cat has a hard time socializing with other cats? In this AnimalWised article we're going to explain how to make cats get along when your cat doesn't like other cats. We'll take a look at the causes and how you can help them socialize with other fellow felines.
Why your cat doesn't like other cats
If you're trying to help your cat get along with other cats, it's probable that you've noticed your cat run away from other cats or be aggressive towards them. This type of behaviour can be seen as dislike, indifference or even aggression, in certain situations.
This can be due to a couple of reasons. Let's take a look at the most common reasons:
Your cat is elderly
The first reason is that your cat doesn't like other cats and doesn't want to socialize with them is because they are elder cats with the age of 11 years old or older. Once cats reach this age, they aren't as interested in socializing as they may have been when they were younger.
This is why they may prefer to be alone with you or by themselves in their resting area. A young kitten or cat may want to play with them, but older cats will not have as much energy or patience to do this all the time. Cats of these age tend to be more calm and adapted to their lifestyle. Therefore, any change can make them feel stressed or annoyed.
Your cat is protecting her litter
Another reason is that your cat is pregnant or has recently given birth to her litter. Pregnant cats need lots of space, rest and support. If your cat has recently given birth, she will also need space and time to rest as it is not an easy task. This is clearly not the time for her to socialize with a new cat.
In fact, even after she has given birth, she may not want to be with other cats other than her children. She is busy protecting and caring for them. Having a new cat around at this time will cause her to be stressed as she may feel that her children may be threatened by the presence of another adult cat.
Your cat is suffering from an underlying sickness
Another reason why your cat may not like other cats and tends to run away or become aggression at the presence of another cat is because they are suffering from an underlying sickness. Perhaps you already know that your cat is sick and they are on their treatment. If not, check out our article about how to know if your cat is sick and if they seem to be experiencing certain symptoms, you will need to take them to the veterinarian to be properly diagnosed and treated.
If this is the case, your cat will not feel well enough to socialize with a new cat. They will feel weak and uncomfortable. They may even feel threatened or stressed by the presence of another cat. This is why you should first make sure your cat is properly treated by a professional before trying to get them to socialize or get along with another cat.
Your cat hasn't been properly socialized from a young age
The most common reason for a cat not getting along with other cats is that they have not been properly socialized from a young age. The socialization period is very important when caring for a cat as it will help them have a balanced temperament as an adult and be able to get along with different people, places and other animals. This is why, if your cat hasn't been properly socialized, it's understandable that they do not get along with other cats.
With that being said, you shouldn't worry as you can socialize your cat as an adult and re-train them to be more social with other cats. This way, your cat will learn to socialize, play and trust other cats. This is beneficial to make sure your cat doesn't get into cat fights when they're out and about. It's also good if you are thinking about adopting another cat into the household.
How to help your cat get along with other cats
Now that we've had a look at the main reasons why your cat may not get along with other cats, we will give you some tips so you can help them get along with other cats and become more social. Here are some things you can do to help your cat in this situation:
Make sure they are in good health
The first thing we need to do is rule out any medical causes. We do this by taking our cat to the veterinarian for a regular check-up. We can also mention the issue to our trusted veterinarian and let them know that our cat is having a hard time socializing with other cats. You should also let them know if you've recently seen any abnormalities in your cat's behaviour.
If your cat is in pain due to an underlying illness, it's understandable that they do not want to socialize with new cats. Therefore, the best thing to do is to make sure they receive the proper treatment they need in order to recover and then you can try to get them to socialize more with other felines.
Socialize them as kittens or adults
Now that we've ruled out any medical reasons, we can move onto socializing our cat, no matter their age. Although kittens will have an easier time doing this, older cats will also be able to adapt and learn to socialize. To do this, we need to slowly introduce them to new places, new people and other pets. This way our cat will learn that it is not a bad or threatening situation, simply a fun moment to be curious and playful with others.
Some ideas to do this is by inviting your friend over and introducing them to your cat, arranging pet dates where a friend of yours can bring their cat or dog over to play with your cat, or by taking your cat on short walks around your neighbourhood.
Positive reinforce good behaviour
Cats learn similarly to dogs, they learn by association. This is why training cats through positive reinforcement is so effective, cats can learn to do many tricks, such as walking with a leash, sitting, fetching, rolling and more.
When your cat socializes with your friend or their cat in a kind and respectful way, you can positive reinforce this behaviour by offering them a treat or having your friend offer them a treat. This way, your cat will associate this with a positive experience. Try to avoid any conflicts in these situations in order to avoid your cat associating socialization with a negative experience. This is why you will need to be patient and allow them to feel safe in these new situations.
Be careful on how you introduce new cats
When it comes to introducing cats to one another, whether it is for a play date or you've chosen to adopt a new cat, you must be careful. We should never force them to interact as each cat will need to feel confident and safe with the presence of the other cat. Cats will also need to learn to pick up social cues from the other cat on whether to back away and give them time or if they are ready to play and interact.
This is why we need to give them time and space, but still observe them and intervene if they get aggressive with one another. Some hints that they are not content and may attack is if your cat begins to hiss, fluff their hair and whine long meows while backing away. If you see any of the cats react like this, it means that they are scared and they are warning the other cat to back away or they will attack. In this situation, you can make sure they have space by separating the cats until they feel more comfortable.
You should also allow your cat to go back to their resting area or their personal space if they wish to do so. By forcing them to stay and interact with the other cat we will only encourage them to associate socialization with a negative and threatening experience.
Don't forget to check out our video below about how to get two cats to get along.
What to do if your cat doesn't get along with other cats but you want a new cat
If your cat doesn't get along with other cats but you want to adopt a new cat into the same household, you will first need to socialize your cat to prepare them for the arrival of the new cat. However, before you start with our guide, make sure to bring them in for a check-up at the veterinarian's centre to make sure these behavioural issues aren't due to an underlying health issue. You should also comment the problem with your veterinarian as they will also be able to give you some tips.
Follow these steps to best prepare your cat for the arrival of a new cat when your cat doesn't like other cats:
- Socialize your cat: just like we've mentioned in the section above, you will need to socialize your cat to new people, places and other animals.
- Introduce your cat to new cats: arrange play dates or take them on small walks for them to get used to meeting new cats for a short period of time.
- Avoid big changes in their lifestyle: make sure you do not make any big changes in their lifestyle as it will cause stress in your cat. Make sure you do all of these things gradually to avoid any more behavioural issues and in order for your cat to adapt and remain happy and healthy.
- Prepare your house before the arrival of the new cat: before adopting a new cat you need to make sure that your current cat is well socialised. You will also need to make sure that the house is ready: you have enough litter boxes for two cats, an area where the new cat will be until they are comfortable with each other, different food and water bowls for each cat and different bedding for each cat. Learn more in our article about how to welcome a kitten into your home.
- Slowly and carefully introduce them to each other: now it's time to introduce them to each other. You will need to do this slowly. First, swap toys or blankets so they can get used to the odour of the other cat. Then, allow them to see each other without being able to touch each other. And then, you can let them to meet in a common area, such as the kitchen or living room. They may hiss, smell each other or even run away to their private area. You must allow them to do so. By forcing them you will only make them associate one another negatively. Each cat is different and will take their own time to feel safe with another cat. Be patient and understanding, they will eventually get used to each other and even become great friends!
If your cat continues to have behavioural issues, you should contact a feline behaviour specialist as they will be able to observe your cat and professionally help their personal issues. You may also be interested in our article about how long it takes for two cats to get along.
If you want to read similar articles to How to Make Cats Get Along When Your Cat Doesn't Like Other Cats, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.