questionshow long does it take for cats to get used to…


There is a resource you can try to get some information about this issue concerning introducing cats to each other. Jackson Galaxy is a Los Angeles area cat expert who has recently had a show on Animal Planet in which he dealt with issues of cats getting along.

Basically, there is a process, and if I try to tell it I would not be as good as info on that site, but in a nutshell it is that you have to make sure that you have an hierarchy preserved between your existing cat and the new cat, such as feed them first, pet them most, etc. so that they don't begin to have feelings of jealousy. Next, there could be a period of separation between the animals so that they can smell each other without seeing each other, as like two sides of a door, and that will acclimate each other to their presence and scents. Then when they do meet face to face, they have a chance to start negotiating it on their own terms. Good luck.


When we got a new cat, we gave him his own room as a safe place with a gate. He could jump out if he wanted or stay, his choice. He chose to stay there for quite a while, like a couple weeks. He had his food, own litter box, etc. He finally started to venture out bit by bit to see what was going on. He got to where he could stand the dogs and cuddle with the other cat. The other cat tolerated him. I think she thought he was a derp, personally.


No open hostilities is a good sign. How long it takes to achieve tolerance depends on personality. The first time we introduced a new cat, we followed instructions that said pretty much ignore the new cat until your resident cat accepts, which was too harsh. Adding in the next two, we isolated them for a couple of days and Pongo got curious. With the new kitten, we put him in a safe space to sleep because one of the cats was dangerously unhappy about the addition. She adjusted.

Hope your lot find common ground soon.


@srfoolishbuyer: Hah, my mom had to show me an episode to convince me there was a real TV show called "My Cat From Hell" starring that Jackson guy.

I sugest 3 litterboxes; 2 in separate areas of the house and 1 "community" cat box. Introduce new cat to the litterbox far away from the one your first cat uses regularly, but leave the "community" one up for both of them to discover. They will need time to get used to each others smell, particularly foul, territory-marking odors like urine and feces.

There's a difference between getting used to each other and getting along. My older male cat, who like yours, had to be put to sleep after renal failure (my apologies), never really got along with the younger female cat we adopted. When she tried to play with him, he just kicked her in the face. It was just his natural disposition as he never really liked the company of females, whether human, canine or feline. It depends more on how each cat deals with strangers and new situations.


A sad story I wanted to add was that when our older cat passed away, the young cat would keep looking for the older cat. She had a routine that when it was time for food, she'd run out of the kitchen to tell the other cat to come to eat and greet him along the way. She kept that up for months even after he passed away. We draped his collar over a box of his ashes and on occasion she will visit the shelf to smell his collar.

I'm bringing that up because your other cat is probably confused as to where his brother is and perhaps sad he cannot find him. I know for a fact cats can have great memories that last more than just recent events. Adding a new cat may add to the confusion, so keep an eye out for odd behavior and acting out. He may urinate in places around the house and start scratching the furniture in order to mark his territory. The new cat is probably more curious and adventurous at this point, but look out for odd behaviors as well.

Best of luck.


@curtisuxor: It is poignant to read your story about the loss of the cat and the other mourning. I faced a similar situation when my seventeen year old passed away after having been adopted "pappy" to two rescue kittens, grown up to be about a year and a half by then. They both were attached to him and especially one who was curled up with him when he was at his first terrible turn. I had them separate while caring for the cat who seemed almost too sick to save (but I tend not to give up), until it came true that he was too sick to save. The next time I greeted them after he was gone from the house, they both scattered around taking different tacks to search for him. Looking here, there, everywhere, looking at me, I talked to them. I made them kitty partners to my own mourning and spoke to them, and we got through it as a family together. I told them he was gone, that I wasn't hiding him. I know that may seem a bit "loopy", but sometimes I am just a little like that.


My condolences @gt0163c. We have two cats (7 yr old brothers) and I can definitely speak to the “establishing hierarchy” recommendation. Ever since we had children, the jealousy started and the cats started fighting…I mean knock down drag outs. We noticed that the bigger of the two was always the instigator, so we figured he was the alpha. It took some time, but we made sure that he got fed first and pet first when we came home. Eventually the fighting ceased, although they do have occasional spats. I feel sorry for the smaller brother, but some things are just out of our control. Good luck!


Pro tip: Pet one kitteh then pet the other directly after then go back the the first kitteh. It helps mix their scents and it'll help them be more comfortable around one another.


My method was to keep them separated for a day or two just so that they're aware of each other, then just let them beat the crap out of one another until a pecking order is established. Probably not the best way, but I've never had a pair of cats get into a "real" fight. Just hissing and maybe a swat here and there. In a few days to a couple weeks they always had things sorted out and would be the best of friends afterwards.

This is what I did when my sister had me cat-sit for her for about a year. It lasted until my cat had kittens. My sister's kitty did not like that at all and got bent out of shape over it. I eventually had to tell my sister that I couldn't keep her cat anymore.


Usually the best way to introduce is to keep them separated and let them smell each other through the door. Let them do it in their time.

No not rush this. It could take a long time and I mean up to year (personal experience)

I would get a towel or something that has the scent of the cat and put it in the bed of the other so they can get used to the scent.

Remember just as you are mourning so is the cat. Give them time to work it out on their own. If you force it it will not work.


i am very sorry to read about your loss.


Thanks for the advice and stories.

As of this morning Mars (new cat) has moved to camping out under my bed. He was out and about a bit last night but hisses and growls at Doc (original cat). Mostly I think he's just scared. Mars will let me pet him...provided I go to him. And he purrs a lot when I do. But he definitely doesn't want to come out from his hiding place.

Doc, on the other hand, seems to want to get to know Mars. He sniffs around a lot and will carefully approach where ever Mars is. He backs off a bit when hissed and growled at but doesn't return the hostilities. I think he really wants to be friends and doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. Otherwise, he's acting very normal, wants to hang out with me, be petted, etc.

Depending on how things go the rest of this afternoon I will probably end up getting another litter box and putting Mars in the office or playroom, give him a chance to get more comfy with his new home without having to deal with Doc.


Sorry to hear about your kitty :( Doc is probably dealing with some 'separation anxiety' with the loss of his sibling. Am sure he realized he was not well but when we take animals to the vet and don't come home with them the remaining pet(s) can undergo a type of separation anxiety - separation from their sibling. (That is why I am a firm believer in home euthanasia if you have a veterinarian who offers that service) And Mars is also undergoing the stress of being separated from his family. So you have 2 stressed animals (and you are stressed too!)

Best to keep them isolated and to let them 'meet' each other by sniffing each other under the door, or thru a gate. If Doc is used to sleeping with you, then I would have Mars in a different room so that Docs routine is not messed up. Is best to let Mars occasionally explore the house without worrying about confronting Doc, so if possible, put Doc in one room while you allow Mars to investigate.



Using pheromone diffusers such as Feliway can help. Allow them to interact in controlled situations - when you are there to supervise.

Some cats will work it out relatively quickly - others can take months. Or sometimes never. Make sure they always have their own space to call their own. And litterboxes - always always have at least one more litterbox than you have cats. And in separate areas, in case one cat decides to 'resource guard' them and not allow the other one near them. That leads to trouble!

Hopefully they will work it out in due time and become friends.


First, definitely get another litter box.

When we introduced a male kitten to our existing territorial female cat, she absolutely hated him. We did everything that we had read suggested about cat behavior (separation, supervision, scent mixing, preserving hierarchy) and it took a couple weeks before we could even introduce them with us in the room. From then it was separation while we weren't around, free exploration when we were. It took probably a month before we would leave them alone when we were out of the house, and probably four months before the female stopped grumbling every time the male got close. That was almost three years ago, and now they're buddies. They playfight but never really fight, and they cuddle and the female bathes the male.

You'll get there eventually, just don't rush it. And if the second cat needs a home and the first needs a friend, please don't give up on it.


The behavior you are describing (new cat scared and defensive, old cat interested) makes me think they will come to terms sooner rather than later. Hope it goes well.



Mars (new kitty) has been moved to the office (far end of the house) and set up with everything a kitty needs. I spent a good bit of time in there with him yesterday and he's doing much better. He's definitely eating, drinking, using the litter box, wanting to be petted (even letting me pet his tummy), purring and just being a mostly happy cat. This morning he was seriously considering making a break for the door to see the world beyond "his room".

Doc (original kitty), meanwhile, is sometimes curious of the odd smells in the office but mostly it's business as usual, as long as I continue to pay attention to him.

Tonight I plan on trying to reintroduce Mars and Doc, through a cracked door first and then, if things go well, together with good supervision. And we'll go from there. Here's to hoping for less hissing and growling this evening!

Thanks again for all the advice.