Cats are territorial animals, and when they are first introduced to one another, they may hiss to communicate their displeasure. Hissing is often accompanied by other behaviors, such as stalking or backing away.
While some hissing is normal, keeping an eye on the cats’ interactions is essential to ensure things don’t get too heated. If one cat starts bullying the other, it’s time to intervene.
This blog post is an ultimate guide about cats hissing when introduced and tips to overcome the problem.
How much hissing is normal when introducing two cats to each other?
According to pet experts and behaviorists, occasional bursts of hissing from 1-5 minutes is normal and considered a normal feline behavior when introduced to a new mate. Every cat is different and will react differently to being around other cats.
Make sure to stay with your pet for this duration so that they do not harm each other.
If you notice your felines friends hissing at each other more frequently than usual or if the behavior seems excessive, separate them and seek a professional pet expert help.
Note that a little bit of occasional hissing between cats is nothing to worry about.
Why do cats hiss at each other when they first meet?
There are a few reasons why cats hiss at each other when they first meet. One reason is that they are trying to assert their dominance over the other cat. Hissing can also be a sign of fear or anxiety.
Sometimes, felines hiss at each other simply because they don’t like the look of the other cat. Whatever the reason, it’s best to let the cats work it out on their own.
If they continue to hiss and seem agitated, it may be best to keep them separate.
Symptoms additional to hissing when introduced to a new cat
The common hissing symptoms in cats are change in behavior, change in the ear position, aggression, growling, baring her teeth, swatting, hiding, excessive meowing, scratching and pawing, and fighting with the newly introduced pet.
What causes hissing in cats?
Understanding the root cause of hissing in felines is essential so that you can address the issue.
One of the most common reasons for cats hissing is fear or anxiety. If your kitty feels threatened, she may hiss as a way to try to scare off the perceived danger.
Cats also hiss when they’re feeling pain or discomfort. If your pet is hissing and showing other signs of distress, such as hiding, increased vocalization, or decreased appetite, it’s essential to take her to the vet to rule out any medical causes.
Some felines may also hiss as a sign of aggression, especially if they feel territorial about something. If your pet is hissing and growling, baring her teeth, or swatting, it’s best to consult a behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist to help you safely address the aggression.
Some cats may simply hiss to communicate their dislike of something. If your kitten hisses when you try to pick her up, for example, she may just be telling you that she’d prefer to stay put.
How to introduce two cats to each other
1. Set up a safe Space
When introducing two new cats, choose an area where your pets can comfortably explore without feeling trapped or hemmed in. A spare bedroom or bathroom works well for this purpose.
2. Give each cat its own food and water bowls, litter box, and bed
This will help minimize competition and help your cats feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.
3. Gradually introduce them to each other
Start by letting them see and smell each other through a door or baby gate. Once they seem comfortable, try letting them have short supervised visits. If all goes well, you can eventually let them roam freely together.
4. Give them Equal Attention
When you first bring your new cat home, give her plenty of individual attention. Spend time petting and playing with her, and let her get used to your scent. At the same time, continue to show affection toward your resident cat equally.
5. Go Slowly
Once you’ve introduced your cats to a neutral space, let them take things at their own pace. If they seem interested in each other, allow them to sniff and explore one another.
If either pet hisses or growls, give them some space and try again later.
6. Keep things consistent
Once your cats have started getting along, it’s important to maintain that progress by keeping their routine as consistent as possible. Avoid major changes in their diet or schedule
7. Keep up with regular vet check-ups
This will help ensure that both of your cats are healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
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What to look for when introducing cats
If you’re considering introducing a cat into your home, there are a few things to consider first. Here are some warning signs that you should be aware of:
If you or anyone in your family is allergic to cats, bringing one into the house is probably not a good idea. Cat allergies in humans can cause symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.
2. Resentment from other pets
If you already have other pets in the house, they may not take too kindly to a new feline friend. Cats can be territorial creatures, so it’s essential to ensure everyone gets along before bringing a kitty into the mix.
3. Lack of space
Cats need plenty of space to roam and explore, so if your home is already cramped, it might not be the best environment for a new pet.
Make sure you have enough room for a litter box, scratching post, and other cat-related supplies before bringing a feline into your home.
4. Financial considerations
Felines can be expensive creatures to care for, so you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared for the financial commitment before bringing one into your home.
From food and litter to vet bills and toys, there are a lot of costs associated with owning a cat, so make sure you’re prepared for them.
5. Time considerations
Kittens need plenty of attention and care, so you’ll need to make sure you have the time to dedicate to a new feline friend. If you’re already stretched thin, it might not be the best time to add another pet to your household.