Its been 1 year and a few months since Tron has came to live in my house. When Tron was introduced to Cheeba, she had been here for over 5 years and she was use to being the only cat that came indoors. Since then, it has been a long and frusterating struggle trying to get both cats to live together peacefully. Today, I finally feel as if they may be getting along or at least tolerating each other.
Tron came to live with me unexpectedly. I never would have considered having another cat.
But now that he was living here, I wasn't going to let him go homeless or to a shelter. I worried about Cheeba and I didn't want to stress her or make her uncomfortable, but it was clear that she was not at all happy about the new addition. Mimi happily welcomed Tron to the house and to her backyard.
There are some steps to take when first intorudcing cats to each other. It needs to be gradual and the pace should be chosen by the cats.
This is what I did when first introducing Tron and Cheeba.
- First I had cats smell each other through a door
- Then I introduced cats to each other for short time periods in a mutual location
- I provided cats with their own space, bed, litter, food and water bowls
- I provided cats with the options for climbing up high as well as lower (cat trees, cupboards etc.) so that they could find their own space and feel comfortable in the room.
Even after taking all of those percatiouns, Cheeba and Tron were just not getting along. They would fight. They would hiss at each other and were unable to walk by each other peacefully. I found this very strange because Cheeba gets a long with all other animals and is very friendly.
The worst problem was the litter box. One of the cats..or both.. had stopped using the littler box. Waste was found in piles of clothes, on my bed, in the sink, and in the cat beds and baskets. A few times a week laudry needs to be done because something smelt like piss. Two littler boxes were provide, the litter was clearned daily, and blankets/clothes/towles.. anything that looked like a good spot to go to the bathroom was removed and picked up as soon as possible to avoid a cat thinking it looked like a good place to use. But the problem wouldn't stop. In addition, I noticed that fights between the cats would occur near the litter box. It was clear that changes needed to be made.
First I had to find out which cat it was that wasn't using the litter box. After watching and paying close attention it was clear that it was Cheeba. Next, I needed to find out why she was doing this. I thought it unlikely to be a bladder infection or other medical issue since the problem occured around the same time Tron moved in. I then tried to figure out her pattern. After watching for a few days and noticing that she would use the litter box in the morning, evening, and right before bed. I also noticed that if she felt the litter box was too dirty, she would strach around in it and then walk away without using it and find a nice blanket or bed to go in instead.
Two litter boxes had been provided in hopes that each cat would use their own. But of course this didn't happen and both cats used the same box while one box sat unused. It tunred out that they both didn't like the location of the other box. So that box was moved to a new location.. but this was still without any luck. It was very frusterating and difficult to see both cats under stress. I kept moving boxes around and trying some with lids and some without lids until it appeared as if the perfect location and type of box was found. Now that both litter boxes were being used, the inappropiate bathroom places were reduced.
It has been a little over a week now, and the litter boxes have been used the way they sould be! Also, the cats appear to be getting a long better in general. They don't fight. They even have been seen to by sitting close to each other, when before they didn't like to be in the same room. I have even caught Tron trying to play with Cheeba. Cheeba wasn't too sure about it but hopefully she will warm up to the thought of Tron as someone to play with.
So can change their opinion about another they dislike?
For awhile it seemed like Tron and Cheeba would never get a long, but I think the answer is yes. But all cats are different, I know that Mimi, the oldest cat, has had no problem with the addition of Cheeba and Tron. However, she has had issues with other neightbourhood cats that she has found in our yard. Just this morning Mimi scared everyone with a loud meow and a cat fight in the back yard with the neighbours black cat that was "tresspassing."
What makes some cats welcome other cats but dislike another cat?
Cats are picky when it comes to likeing and disliking humans as well...however I havn't come accross a cat that changed their mind about a human as Cheeba has appeared to change her mind about Tron (hopefully).