I didn’t think that we would get another cat, but when my director at work posted pictures of her cats that needed new homes, I felt the urge to try it out. My husband and I first adopted Solange, a domestic shorthair mix, adopted at just 5-6 months old from the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago in 2015. She’s now 4, pretty set in her ways, and was comfortable getting solo attention. With this in mind I knew that we could not get a cat that was older than Solange to insure that she had some sense of dominance in our home.
In early April, I went to go pick up Fenty after work at my director’s home. At the time he was around 8 months old, and he is a flame point Siamese. We read all of these different articles and blogs about how to assimilate a new cat in a home with an established cat, but honestly did nothing that was recommended. I will explain.
One of the main points the internet made to us was to keep the cats in separate rooms with closed doors of the house when the new one arrived. When I got home, Fenty had already sat through a pretty stressful car ride of about an hour and fifteen minutes in length. He was totally confused and scared and I just wanted to get him out of his carrier. I was greeted that door by Solange, and she followed me to my bedroom where I set Fenty down in the carrier and just opened it so he could start to relax. I just needed to get him out and trying to coordinate separation would have been more stress. As soon as I opened the carrier Solange went right up to him, sniffed him, licked him on the head, and ran in the opposite direction. From there, I just left him to explore/hide on his own accord.
For the first few days he just hid, and Solange just watched him from afar. The internet also told me that I should get a second litter box. I didn’t do this, and it was mainly because we technically had Fenty on a trial period. We wanted to test out how things went before committing to it, because of Solange. Neither of them had any problem sharing. I should mention Solange is not a picky cat. She will use any litter brand, eat any treat, dry food, wet food, it doesn’t matter to her. Fenty was so young I don’t think that he really cared either, he just recognized the box as a bathroom.
We slowly got them to interact with each other by giving them treats at the same time, playing with them together and this seemed to be the best method for getting them familiar with each other. It wasn’t always perfect, they would fight from time to time, but nothing too serious.
Moving to the present day, we have clearly decided to keep Fenty. I would not call him and Solange the best of friends, but they do like to have each other around. They sleep near each other, they are always around each other, but they never get too close. We have separate litter boxes for them now, they use both. They have separate food bowls, they eat out of both. They recognize that they share the space and have really sweet moments together from time to time.
The picture of them was taken when they both found a moth in the corner of the window of our patio. They both ran to it and were able to distract them for a second to snap the photo. If you would like to see more photos they do have an Instagram so feel free to follow them @solange_fenty