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Getting a second cat...what do we need to know?

L'il Frankie
January 23rd, 2006, 02:05 PM
We are bringing home a little friend for Frankie later this week, and need to know what to be ready for. We keep Frankie's litter box in the basement workshop, and food and water in the upstairs dining room. Should we put out a separate litter box and food bowl for the new guy? Do they share these things eventually? Do we just show the new cat where the litter box is and let him deal with it? So many questions, a whole message board of knowing cat lovers to answer them!


Lucky Rescue
January 23rd, 2006, 02:23 PM
Frankie is an adult cat, right? Is the new cat an adult also? If so, you can't just bring the new cat in and plunk it down in front of her.

You need to put the new cat in a spareroom with all his stuff - food, litterbox, bed - and will have to slowly do introductions. This is very important, as introductions done wrong can result in a lifetime of hostility.

Let each cat sleep on a bed or towel, then exchange beds so they can both get a good smell of each other.

Let Frankie sniff under the door, and feed them treats on either side of the closed door.

When you think the time is right, open the door an inch or two and let the new cat look out so Frankie can see it. If her reaction is bad, close the door and give it more time. When she's more nonchalant, you can just open the door and let them meet in their own way. If there is fighting, have a plant sprayer handy to break it up, and take a step back with intros.

Some hissing and spitting and even a bit of swatting is normal.

If the newcomer is a kitten, then things should be much easier!:)

L'il Frankie
January 23rd, 2006, 02:40 PM
The new cat is a young male (just over a year). We do plan on keeping him in a separate room for a few days or a week, until the initial shock wears off for him and Frankie (Frankie is female, by the way, and quite docile). When they are finally free to roam as they please, should they have separate bowls, litter boxes, etc?

Thanks again.

January 23rd, 2006, 04:06 PM
They dont "have' to have seperate bowls, lots of cats share. I keep two bowls of fresh water out, but feed mine the wet food individually because one cat "hogs" the food. One dish of dry food is down for all to share.

So, you could just see how this works out with your two.

As for the litter boxes, again, many people find one enough.. and the cats are fine with arrangement.
As a rule of thumb, one cat per box is advised.. so two boxes would be best, imo. Some cats just prefer their own... while others require one box for pooping and one for peeing in.
I use three boxes for three cats - works for me.

Good luck with your new boy!

January 23rd, 2006, 04:22 PM
Lucky gave you excellent advice and like Shamrock,I have seperate bowls for their twice daily canned food and common ones for free-feeding dry food.
I too have a little hog,who would eat all the canned food by himself.
I have 2 LARGE,rubbermaid storage boxes for 3 cats for the litter.
Please give us some updates how you are doing,it can be frustrating,a lot of hissing and growling,but they will eventually settle down and accept,maybe even love each other.