If you love sharing your home with a cat, it's hard to resist adding even more feline friends to the family. However, you should keep in mind that your cat might not feel the same way.
Cats are social creatures, but not everyone gets along. It is not uncommon for cats to aggressively resist socialization with other cats. Even cats that love people and get along well with dogs, birds, rodents, and other animals may not like another cat in the family.
If your cat doesn't get along with other cats, it could be disappointing. However, it helps to understand why your cat feels this way. With a little more insider knowledge, you can be more empathetic to your feelings and there's even a chance you'll change your mind.
Read too:10 causes of aggression in cats and how you can help
However, remember to do what's best for your current cat. If she insists on not accepting other cats, you have no choice but to accept her decision.
Here are some common reasons why some cats don't like other cats.
1. Lack of socialization
The most common reason an adult cat grows up not to get along with other cats is because vital socialization was lost during childhood.
The most common reason an adult cat grows up not to get along with other cats is because vital socialization was lost during childhood. All kittens go through a phase where they are most receptive to new experiences.
Read too:Why do cats take care of themselves? Reasons why cats groom themselves socially
This occurs in most kittens between 2 and 7 weeks of age, and can sometimes extend to around 14 weeks of age. During this important window, the developing brain forms more lasting associations and bonds.
This means that the lessons kittens learn and experiences they encounter will stay with them well into adulthood. For example, a kitten who spends those vital weeks enjoying time with people, dogs, and other cats will likely grow to continue to enjoy these experiences.
When it comes to other cats, a kitten that grows up with her littermates and spends time with other cats has a good chance of being friendly with other cats as an adult. Many cats who hate other cats were separated from their siblings at an early age.
Without initial positive associations to build upon, the cat may become resistant to these new experiences after this socialization window closes. Fear of the unknown is a powerful influence.
We must also remember that socialization goes both ways. The keyword in the scenario above is "positive". Even if a kitten grows up with other cats, if the overall experience is negative or if they experience something traumatic like being attacked by another cat, that memory will stay with them and could affect their behavior in the future.
An adult cat can form new associations and improve its social skills. However, it is usually more difficult and may require more time and patience.
2. Protection of your routine
Changing an established routine in any way can cause a negative reaction from a sensitive cat.
Your cat might randomly jump up and run down the hall or attack your ankles out of nowhere, but cats are generally not spontaneous creatures. They like predictability and routine. A fixed schedule helps them feel more secure and in control of their circumstances. Changing an established routine in any way can cause a negative reaction from a sensitive cat.
There are few events more upsetting than having a stranger barge into your life. For your cat, the arrival of a new pet in the home will disrupt any routine they have come to enjoy. How and when they are fed, how much attention they are given, and even the freedom to nap wherever they want: a new cat changes everything.
There are certainly some cats that can accept change and move on. However, others find it too distressing. If your cat seems to hate other cats, he may just hate that his routine and comfort are compromised by a new arrival.
3. Protection of your territory and resources
In addition to routine, cats value their territory. As territorial creatures, cats typically spend their entire lives within what they believe to be their geographic boundaries. Even feral cats rarely venture too far from what they consider to be their home territory. Cats can share territories. However, many will resist any cat (and sometimes humans or other animals) that try to enter.
Territory is especially important for cats that are not spayed or neutered. In many cases, it is simply impossible for two intact (unneutered) male cats to share close quarters. The same can also be applied to intact females. Their hormones prevent them from living in peace.
In addition to the physical area, cats can also be socially territorial. This means they become possessive of the people they care about. It's unclear whether cats can feel genuine jealousy, but their territorial feelings towards a favorite human can lead to significant arguments when another cat enters the home.
Cats have similar feelings about food and water. Dividing a territory means sharing these vital resources. Of course you make sure all your pets have everything they need. Adding another cat doesn't mean the first cat gets less food, but a worried cat might not be convinced.
Read too:Introducing Cats to a New Home
4. Personality Differences
Cat personalities are as varied as human personalities. It's unfair to assume that your cat can be the best friend with any personality type.
Chances are, your cat doesn't have a say in the people and animals that come into your home. We can try to pick new pets that we think will be a good fit for current family members, but we don't always get it right. Cat personalities are as varied as human personalities. It's unfair to assume that your cat can be everyone's best friend.personality type.
Sometimes cats just hate other cats. A sensitive cat who values alone time, for example, is unlikely to like a wild extrovert. You might think differently about a cat who also enjoys the quiet life.
Read too:What kind of personality does your cat have?
Uniting personalities is not easy. Your cat can't sit down and interview potential roommates, and you can't ask him what qualities he looks for in a potential friend. If you choose poorly, your cat may appear to hate all cats, when in fact it only hates the cat you chose.
5. Independent stress
In addition to illness, stress can also affect a cat's behavior.
Before you accuse your cat of being antisocial, think about what else is going on with your cat. In some cases, cats begin to behave with other cats due to completely unrelated situations. A good example of this is when acat feels bad. No one is happy and friendly when they are not well. If your cat is sick or injured, it's understandable that he might behave aggressively towards a strange cat.
beyond the diseaseStress can also affect a cat's behavior.. Introducing a new pet is stressful in itself, but when something else happens, there's virtually no chance of a positive experience. Maybe your cat is uncomfortable since you started working late. Or maybe you changed their food or bedding.
Independent stress is often the culprit when two cats that used to get along well suddenly start fighting.
Is it possible to change a cat's feelings towards other cats?
Whether you can really help your cat accept other cats depends on why they are uncomfortable. First,spay or neutercould be the key to a more peaceful home.
When this is not the case, slow introductions along with positive reinforcement can help two cats get along. They may never be close friends, but they can reach a level of tolerance for each other. If your cat continues to refuse, it may be helpful to speak with a feline behaviorist.
Some of the underlying non-medical causes for aggression between cats in the same household include fear, lack of socialisation, inappropriate introduction of a new cat, overcrowding (i.e. not enough vertical or horizontal space, too few resources etc), redirected aggression, play and predation.How do I get my cat to like other cats? ›
First gently rub one cat with the towel. Then rub the other cat. After the towel carries both cats' scents, bring the towel back to the first cat and rub her with it again. After a few more days, play with each of the cats near the door.How do you punish a cat for being mean to other cats? ›
Species appropriate punishment such as “hissing” or the use of punishment devices such as a water sprayer, can of compressed air, or hand held alarm are better than using any physical techniques since they are less likely to lead to fear and retaliation.How do I get my cat to stop hating other cats? ›
- Make sure each cat has plenty of his or her own space. ...
- Don't give the cats catnip. ...
- Have plenty of their favorite cat toys around to distract them from fighting.
- Make the time they spend together as pleasant as possible.
Keep cats separate, and do a blanket swap so they can get used to each other by smell first. Then, gradually start re-introducing the two, first with a baby gate and then without one. Reward good and neutral interactions with treats. Eventually, you'll probably be able to leave them alone together.Should you let cats fight it out? ›
Don't let them fight it out.
If it's a real fight, never let your cats fight it out. Cats don't solve disagreements with aggressiveness. You don't want to get in the middle of two fighting cats, so try to distract them instead, with a loud noise or sudden movement to break their concentration on their fight.
Again, some hissing when they see each other is normal so don't be alarmed. Some light swatting is also common. Separate them if the hissing doesn't die down after 1 or 2 minutes or if there is any sign of threat (swatting with force, chasing, screaming, ears flattened, etc.). Try again when the cats seem to be calm.Do female cats get along better with male or female cats? ›
Gender. Male (neutered) cats are generally believed to be more accepting of other cats, both male and female. Even though this has not been my experience, female cats may not get along as well with each other.Is spraying a cat with water abuse? ›
Spraying cats with water from a squirt bottle is not a reinforcement; it's a punishment. Giving your cat a choice of ways to express his behavioral needs and then rewarding his use of the choice you prefer is the best way to encourage your cat's “good” behavior.What to do if you hit a cat? ›
- Move the animal to safety (if it can be moved) and ideally take it to the nearest vet.
- Notify the owner as soon as possible if the cat is microchipped.
- If the cat cannot be identified at the vets, tell your local council and file a missing pet report.
Spraying your cat with water can have long-term negative effects. On top of the physical discomfort, spraying your cat with water doesn't actually teach your cat better behaviors and could end up seriously confusing her.Do cats get jealous of other cats? ›
Can Cats Get Jealous of Other Cats? Jealousy over the presence of another cat is very common. All cats have different personalities, and some will be made insecure and display jealousy more easily than others. It is important to watch your cat and observe their cues and triggers.How do you socialize an antisocial cat? ›
Always move slowly around the cat. Once the cat seems comfortable with your presence, try sitting with him for a few hours a day. Don't try to touch the cat yet—just sit near and talk to him. Each time you visit, you can also try to sit closer and closer to the cat, being sure to pay attention to his signs.Is it ever too late to socialize a cat? ›
Don't worry-cats are fairly easy to socialize all the way up to 14 weeks. Older cats can also be successfully socialized; it may just take more time and patience.Why is my cat so antisocial? ›
Feline experts believe that the reason people believe that cats are antisocial lies in their domestication process. Unlike dogs, cats were domesticated gradually and a lot of later than dogs. Moreover, cats didn't depend entirely on humans as their canine counterparts.How long does it take to socialize a cat? ›
Socializing Shy Cats
Each step will need at least 3-5 sessions before progressing to the next step, and make sure the cat is 100% comfortable before moving to the next level. The entire process can take anywhere from several weeks to more than a year…but it will all be worth it in the end!
Never let the cats “fight it out.” Cats don't resolve their issues through fighting, and the fighting usually just gets worse. Interrupt aggression with a loud clap of your hands or spray from a water gun. Neuter the cats. Intact males are particularly prone to aggressive behavior.Do cats get traumatized after a cat fight? ›
Often, the signs of a cat fight are subtle and your cat might just seem jumpy and on edge, subdued or lame. They may rush indoors and hide, because cats often feel upset and traumatized after a fight.How do you reintroduce cats who hate each other? ›
The solution was to have the cats associate one another with positive experiences, like food. We started by feeding the cats on separate plates on opposite sides of a closed door. Once they were comfortable with that, we fed them on the same plate placed under the door to bring them closer together.Is it OK to let cats hiss at each other? ›
Don't be alarmed by hissing or growling. These are normal reactions. Encourage interaction through the door. Place your new cat's food near the door of his room so he stays near it.
Introducing too quickly with little preparation will often lead to cats feeling threatened and scared, which increases the chance of aggressive behaviour being shown. Once cats feel this way about each other, it can be extremely difficult to change their minds.Can 2 cats share a litter box? ›
And when they are doing something as private as elimination, sharing the same litter box can be stressful for some cats. Ideally, a multi-cat household should have the same number of litter boxes as the number of cats, plus one extra box; in other words, for two cats, there should be three litter boxes.Are cats happier in pairs? ›
Pairs are Happier
Despite their independent natures, cats are social creatures that need companionship to thrive. Left alone, a cat can develop behavioral problems, and in some cases, even show signs of depression. Cats in bonded pairs, on the other hand, are more likely to be better adjusted.
It's suggested that you choose two male cats or a male and female combination if bringing home two kittens who are not already bonded as they tend to get along better than two females. Cats generally don't like eating close together, so consider placing your kittens' food bowls across the room from each other.How do you know if your cat doesn't like other cats? ›
Cats that have set up separate territories in the house and don't really get along will: Chase or run away from one another and avoid contact. You may notice that one cat consistently leaves the room when one enters. Watch each other intently and may hiss or spit when they meet.Why is my cat antisocial with other cats? ›
Not playing together enough. One of the most important reasons why a cat can become antisocial is because they are bored. If we don't stimulate the mind of our cat, as well as their physical being, they will develop behavioral problems.Do cats get jealous of other cats with their owners? ›
Jealousy over the presence of another cat is very common. All cats have different personalities, and some will be made insecure and display jealousy more easily than others. It is important to watch your cat and observe their cues and triggers.Will cats get along eventually? ›
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.How do you fix a territorial cat? ›
If territorial aggression escalates into a full-blown fight, don't attempt to pull the two apart, as this can result in injury. Instead, try to distract them. Blowing a whistle or spraying them with water are often effective ways to startle them out of fight mode.What are signs of aggression between cats? ›
Signs of aggression include dilated pupils, ears flattened backward on the head, tail held erect with hairs raised, and an arched back.
Sometimes cats hiss at other adult cats to show dominance. Cats are territorial and may have specific spaces in your home marked as "theirs." When another cat encroaches on that space, hissing might occur to re-establish the hierarchy in your home until they learn to get along again.Do cats Think Their owners are also cats? ›
Unfortunately, your cat sees your pet-owner relationship much differently, according to the new book Cat Sense by English biologist Dr. John Bradshaw. It actually thinks you're a “larger, non-hostile” cat.