Why Does My Cat Not Like Other Cats?
Having a cat at home brings so much joy that you may want to bring another kitty home without further thought. However, your current cat may have other ideas. Some cats may simply not like the idea of having another animal in “their” home, and may even become aggressive. The Refined Feline has compiled some reasons why your current cat may seem to not like other cats.
They See Other Cats As Competition
It’s not uncommon for one cat to dislike a new addition to the home at first. They may feel like they are the “baby” at home and suddenly another cat is taking away some of their attention. Cats can also become territorial. Even the friendliest of cats may not like another cat trying to get the attention of their human.
If a cat had to previously search for its food, it may see this new cat as competition for the food that you put out. If this seems to be the issue, there are things you can do to avoid aggression. Separating the cats during feeding time can help. You may want to feed the cats in separate rooms and even close the door between them. There are even microchip feeders available that ensure that only the desired cat can access that specific food.
They Have Not Been Around Other Cats
Cats can be social creatures but it depends on how much interaction they had with humans and cats earlier in their life. The critical socialization period for most cats occurs between two and seven weeks of age when they are still very young. They are very impressionable during this period and will acclimate to all kinds of environments and creatures if introduced. If they aren’t introduced to other animals during this time, they may be more shy or scared of other cats and won’t know how to interact.
The same can go for any species a kitten is introduced to. If a kitten grows up with rabbits, dogs, or children, they will feel comfortable around them. This usually leads to easier cohabitation than being introduced to them later in life. It’s also important to remember that cats can grow up with other cats but have a negative experience. If they had a bad experience with another cat while they were young they might be defensive in the future.
Cats Prefer A Routine
Cats depend on routine more often than you realize. Just like humans, they may find joy in doing something random more than once. Generally speaking though, cats depend on daily routines to help them feel in control and predict any given action of the day. Cats like to have their meals at the same time of day and see you return from work at the same time. Some cats adjust to changes in routine better than others, but it’s best to stick to a routine when possible.
When a new cat is brought home, every routine may seem like it was thrown out the window! Suddenly, there’s a new cat that is changing the times and activities of everything your cat was used to.
Every Cat Is Different
Let’s face it – you don’t get along with every single person you meet, right? Neither will your cat! Everyone is different, and that includes felines too. Your cat may not necessarily dislike all other cats but may prefer cats with certain qualities. If you have an older cat at home and bring in a super energetic kitten, one of two scenarios will happen. Your older cat will either take to the younger kitten and feel a little more energized or they will feel very bothered. Pay attention to their energy levels and their need for attention and try to match a personality that fits those criteria.
Stress or Illness
If your two cats did get along and now seem to hate each other, it may not be a clash of personalities. A cat may lash out if they aren’t feeling well or is stressed. It might be time for a vet visit if it’s been a while since their last appointment. The same can be said for their environment, too, as change can stress cats out. Has your neighbor been doing noisy renovations? All these factors and more could make your feline unhappy, and they will inevitably take it out on their feline friend.
Spaying Or Neutering Your Cat Can Help Cats Get Along
Some cats also feel protective of their items or people and will act accordingly. When a stranger is roaming their room, eating their food, and sleeping on their favorite plush bed, they may be upset. Territory can become a big issue if your cats aren’t spayed or neutered, either. Being intact (not neutered), whether male or female, makes it almost physically impossible for them to cohabitate easily. Two males or females that are not neutered or spayed will not get along due to their high levels of hormones.
Introduce The Cats Slowly
A lot can be said for proper introductions. If a stranger suddenly appeared in your house and ate your food and used your things you’d be confused too. Cats are no different! When another cat is brought home and simply let out into the house, your other cat has no idea what to expect. They don’t know if this cat is supposed to be there or if it could be a potential intruder. This can end up causing a lot of stress for both kitties involved.
When bringing a new cat home, you will need to separate your new arrival into a small room for at least a couple of weeks. Your cat still has the roam the house, but can start to get used to the new cat. They can smell the newbie under the closed door and hear them if they meow or move about the room. After a few days, you can even swap out their bedding so they can better smell each other. You can also brush them with the same comb so they get used to sharing each other’s scent.
Depending on how your cat reacts, you can open the door a bit to begin some short introductions. If your cat doesn’t seem too keen about a new cat, wait at least a week before allowing any nose-to-nose introductions. If your cat seems curious, you can try it after a few days. Make sure to end the interactions before either of them has a chance to get uncomfortable or scared. Gauge how they both react so you can plan the next introduction. If either of them looks uncomfortable or afraid, give it a little time before trying again. This process can take time and you don’t want to rush it. Forcing either cat on the other before they are comfortable will almost negate any of the introductions up to that point.
Stress Reducing Products or Medications Can Help
If your cat is stressed, the stress can be reduced through the use of items like Feliway products. Feliway uses pheromones to aid in reducing common signs of stress in cats like scratching, spraying, and aggression. If nothing else seems to help, your veterinarian can also prescribe short or long-term medication that can help cats with a lot of different stressors.
Understand Why Your Cat Does Not Like Other Cats
We hope this short list of potential reasons why cats don’t get along will help with your household. If you’re struggling in maintaining cohabitation with your felines, you can also talk with a vet or a cat behaviorist