This post has been sponsored by Wayfair, a brand I love. All opinions are 100% mine alone. Did you know that June was Adopt-A-Cat month? Well, just because it’s the last day of June, it doesn’t mean you can’t go and adopt a cat in July! But if you are thinking about adopting a cat and happen to already have one, I’ve got some tips below on how to introduce kitty #2 to kitty #1. First, let me introduce you to my two silly cats. We got Poops the cat back in 2010 because the Mister had NEVER had a pet and I thought it would be good for him. And we found Poops (previously named: Bashful) over on Craigslist where she was looking for a new home because her family was moving and they couldn’t take her. (Don’t even get me started.) So we brought her home and everything was fine for 6 years until I brought home Lucy in March. My dad passed away a few months ago and somehow I inherited his dead girlfriend’s cat. Yeah, it’s as convoluted as it sounds. But now I have two cats. Poops is 14 years old with a thyroid issue, she’s declawed (again, don’t get me started), she’s a biter, and her current nickname is Barfield, you can guess why. And then Lucy the newbie is 5 years old and totally fits the phrase “curiosity killed the cat.” I really wasn’t prepared for Lucy. The day I brought her home, I had to run out and buy a second litter box, a scratching post (because she has claws, unlike Poops, and I like my furniture), more food, toys (because she’s a curious little cat), and what felt like a ton of litter. Since then, I’ve made Lucy a new litter box within a cabinet because she’s a litter kicker and I hate stepping on litter and I made her a new ombre pink scratching post because the brown one I originally bought was UGLY. And I also was not prepared on how to introduce the two cats. Poops was my first cat (I was a dog person) so I had NO CLUE what to do. So of course, I turned to Jackson Galaxy, the cat whisperer, and checked his YouTube channel to see what he had to say which is basically introduce the cats slowly, do not let them free eat, feed them on opposite sides of a door, and site swap them.
Ok, well, that was 4 months ago and I’m STILL living with closed doors. He was NOT kidding when he said slowly. But we also messed up a bit in the beginning and I was still allowing them to free eat, so when it came time to feed them together, they weren’t hungry. I’ve since learned that in order for it to work, you really need to use food as a reward and food only works if the cat is hungry, so no leaving food out all day. It’s not a kitty buffet!
So we started feeding them on opposite sides of a door and it took about a month until there was no howling/hissing. Then we upgraded to feeding on opposite sides of a baby gate. And then it turned into 2 stacked baby gates because Lucy liked to jump it. And now we are finally feeding them together, about 6-12 inches apart, no door, no baby gate, and with very little to no hissing. That is what progress looks like! It has taken what seems like FOREVER to get to this point, but I really want these two cats to live in this home without fighting, so I was willing to give it the extra time. After they both eat, we try to play with one or both of them in the same room to show them that the other kitty really is ok and is not the enemy. And now Lucy just keeps trying to smell Poops’ tail and Poops hisses at her, but I’m seeing it as progress. Hopefully in another month (or two tops), I can stop segregating them in different parts of the house and leave all the doors open again. Fingers crossed.