Not Friends Yet

Sampson and Lola

Sampson has been living with us for about 6 months now. He actually settled in pretty quickly after getting here. He clearly remembered me, and was happy to cuddle up to me. He also quickly got used to husband, and nowadays will spend as much time on his lap as he does on mine. Perhaps more!

However, he and the other cats have yet to get beyond the tolerating each other stage.

Sampson does know how to get along with other cats. In England he lived with three others (four, in fact, when we first got him) and got along just fine with them. We would frequently find him cuddled up with either or both of the other boy cats, Woody and Sacher.

Lola and Elvis too know how to get along with other cats. Lola always got along brilliantly with her sister, Maisi, and has been at least tolerant of Elvis and the foster kittens that we had. She even allows Elvis to give her kisses sometimes, but generally prefers to be alone or with us than with the boys.

Elvis got along wonderfully with the kittens when we had them, and even became like a dad to one of them in particular. We would frequently see the two cuddled up together. Ever since we got him he has tried to be friends with Lola but she frequently rebuffs him. As I said, she’ll tolerate his kisses for a while, but once she’s had enough she’ll tell him to stop by way of a cuff around the ear.

To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if we never see Lola cuddling up with either of the boys (at least not on purpose), but I haven’t given up hope that Elvis and Sampson will become friendlier with one another. I’m certain they must both miss the cat cuddles that they used to have.

Love,

Lady Joyful

If yours is a multi-cat household, are your cats friends with each other, or merely acquaintances (or – hopefully not! – enemies)?  How long did it take them to tolerate or become friendly with one another?

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34 thoughts on “Not Friends Yet

  1. My two were friendly from day one when I introduced the younger one to the tom that was already there.
    Tom was aged 5 then, Kessy 1 year and 7 months. She fled me for 7 months, but the two of them got along well enough. Just this morning though FunTom, who is always slow at getting to a treat thrown at him, hit out at Kessy when she got to his treat as well … She is very greedy when it comes to treats!

      1. Oh, I know, I was extremely lucky in that! I chose the little one for her temper – she was a little shy and cautious, but not overly panicky. But nothing had me prepared for the reaction when the two met first time, she “escaped” the frightening situation of a new home under my bed – and there was FunTom. Countdown to hissing fight … no hissing. No fight. Trust me, the lady from the cat shelter and I were BOTH astonished! It was shere luck I have such a gentleman tom and the little one preferred cats to humans. Did not want to come over smugly. I was lucky, nothing else!

  2. I’ve had cats for most of my life and I’m almost 60 years of age. Whenever I introduce a new kitty, I keep the new one separated from the others for about 3 days so that they can sniff each other under the door and gradually get used to the idea that there is a new kitty pal in the household. If there is going to be any bonding, it will happen within the first month. After that, then all they will do is tolerate each other if there isn’t anything more friendly. I’ve tried rubbing all of the cats, the old ones as well as the new one, with cloths that have all of their scents on them before letting the new one out to join the clan, but I’m not sure if that really helps or not. Since cats have such distinctive, individual personalities, it is hard to figure out who will bond and who will not. But after six months, I’m afraid that the bondings and the friendliness and the aloofness is what you will always have from now on with your kitties. But yours sure are cute!

    1. Yes, we did the whole keeping them separated thing. I think it’s a shame that they’re not likely to become fast friends at any point (and I agree that after this much time it does seem unlikely), but at least they don’t hate each other! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. I don’t have any cats right now, but I’ve spent most of my life in multi-cat households, and the cats have almost always got along so well that I’m puzzled when people say cats are solitary animals. The only time I saw a real clash was when two (neutered) males kept slugging it out over who was going to be top cat! However, this was a temporary thing, because one was just staying there while his owner was overseas. Generally, it only seems to take a couple of weeks for cats to get used to each other, but it’s important that people don’t intervene while they’re working out the hierarchy. Unless, of course, it’s getting just too violent!

    1. Yes, your experience matches mine exactly! Thanks for the reminder about the hierarchy though. Perhaps we need to be less quick to intervene when the boys bicker. Like you said, if it’s not getting violent then it’s probably a good idea to let them sort things out between them. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. I live with 5 cats. Sunny gets along with everyone. Not a fighting bone in his body. His brother (real brother, same litter), Smokey, gets along with Sunny and tolerates Sally and Mr. Stevens. Sally gets along best with TJ, but doesnt have any big issues with anyone else, she spends most of her time sleeping with TJ or flirting with the shih-tzu (not joking). Mr. Stevens (my sweet sweet boy!!) the newest to the bunch has been slowly warming up to everyone, but its been two years and progress is evident but slow, my advice don’t rush it, six months is not long. TJ, the dominent kitty, only gets along with Sally, doesn’t bother with Sunny, but will take on Smokey or Mr. Stevens for top cat spot daily. Smokey and Tj have been duking it out for years–like about eight. They don’t always fight, we just hope they don’t meet in small spaces like the stairs or hallways. Anyway, our home is nwver a dull moment. 🙂 If you want to meet them all and see pics please visit my blog at suzannecostigan.com

    1. That sounds a lot like my group of English cats were, when all living together. (Sampson included.) Sacher sounds very like your Sunny – he got along with absolutely everyone. I still have hope that Sampson and Elvis will get along better at some point. Not so certain about Lola though – she still isn’t really friends with Elvis, and they’ve been living together for several years now. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. I have 2 young cats and an older foster kitty.

    I rescued my young cats at separate times – Panda arrived with his litter mate sister but sadly she died unexpectedly. Although young adults they were very close. So after she died I took in another young girl and thankfully, as I’d hoped, Panda took to her like he did with his sister. They’re best buddies!

    My foster kitty merely tolerates both of them. She’s an independent woman!

    1. Lola is, like your foster kitty, very independent. My English girl cat (Belle) is too – I wonder if it’s a girl thing?! It’s good that Panda made friends with the new cat after losing his sister. I know people say cats are solitary but I feel that they often like some companionship. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  6. I have two cats. Noel is 13 and I rescued her from a store environment three years ago. Little One is almost three and she is a stray I rescued two years ago. Noel who was very happy to retire from store life, got totally stressed out when Little One came to live with us. So much so that she wanted to stay gated in the bedroom by herself. It took two years of watching Little One from afar and through the gate before she ventured out on her own again. The two are far from being buddies, and Noel hates it when Little One wants to play, but they can amicably share the same spaces now, so it was worth giving Noel the time she needed.

    1. Great to hear that Little One and Noel are gradually getting to know each other. Our cats haven’t been that extreme in their responses but it does give me hope that things will improve with them too. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. We had three kitties until last May. Two kitties were both adopted when quite young, although a year apart. They were best friends, always sleeping together, grooming, etc. A couple of years ago I brought in a stray and our older boy immediately took to her, but the older girl did not. Eventually they got to the point where they would tolerate each other, but they were never buddies. The older girl passed away in May and now the boy & young girl are quite good companions for each other.

    1. Tolerance is definitely better than the alternative of them hating each other! It’s good to hear that your two are good companions to each other. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  8. Sadie and Sally, littermates, get along fine. Although they don’t cuddle. They were only cats for ten years when Sophie, formerly a stray, moved inside after months of wooing. She joined us nearly three years ago. Despite very slow introductions over many weeks/months, she and the other two do not get along, with frequent hissing and chasing, still. Even so, things have calmed down considerably since she first arrived. Sophie would prefer to be an only cat. I expect she learned well to defend her territory while surviving on her own outdoors. She wasn’t feral, as she’d been spayed. But she’d been outside for some time judging by her poor health. Poor baby was starving. But she has slowly calmed down and relaxed, little by little. I think relations with the other two will continue to improve. Either way, she’s here to stay.

    1. It does make sense that a once-stray cat would be more territorial and therefore not so friendly with the others. Good that they are gradually improving their relationships though. Thanks for commenting!

      (Also, I love the S names – all our cats used to have S names, but Belle and Woody came with their names when we adopted them, as did Elvis. And when we named Lola and Maisi husband didn’t want S names. Sampson got one though!)

  9. It is NEVER easy to bring more than one cat into a home (unless they are litter mates and love each other). Best of luck. I just adopted a sad kitten-sized monster that 5 families rejected and I know she was feral and had 2 litters. She is tiny due to starvation, but BAT CRAZY. I found a “solution”: I bought her 3 of the best new cat trees I could find and all her favorite foods. Kit Kat is now smiling! Does she still BITE AND AMBUSH ME? Yes. So BEWARE!

    The Cat Communicator was clear that I let her come to me and THAT IS how we are making progress. She comes and sleeps with me and purrs. Pet her? She will BITE. But there is so much LESS DAMAGE being done to my home and I am cleaning much fewer messes. Kit Kit has all HER OWN cat trees, toys and foods. I back off. She PLAYS and wears herself out, as this is now a very “catified” house. I hope KIT KAT continues to progress. I love her. She is now MY CAT.

    Thanks for sharing YOUR story. The cats are gorgeous!

  10. I have 14 and only see Snowball cuddle up to whoever she can when they are sleeping. I have zones for them and the largest area with 8, they all get along and will be on the bed together, but not touching.

  11. When I had 3 cats they tolerated each other but kept their distance – until we moved house. I couldn’t find them for ages and then I discovered them in behind the laundry door, piled up one on top of the other like caterpillars!

    1. How sweet! I did wonder if us moving to a new flat would help ours get along better. When Sampson came to live with us it was him coming into Lola and Elvis’s territory, and I thought perhaps a new flat would be a fresh start for them all. It hasn’t worked as well as I would have liked, but they do seem more tolerant of one another than they were before. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  12. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
    I have 5 they are brothers and sisters and mom. They get along well, of course there is the occasional “hissy fit” between siblings or mom when she doesn’t want to be bothered. Everyone likes having their own special sleeping place. The only cuddling is when they have to share me .

  13. The magic number for us has been 6 months. However, our cat Gwennie is a work in progress. We’ve had our second cat, Little Miss for years and Gwennie still barely tolerates her.

    1. I’ve seen 6 months crop up as “the number” a few times, so perhaps you are right on that. I hope things between Little Miss and Gwennie continue to improve. Thanks for commenting 🙂

    1. Oh dear, that’s not so good! Our English cats lived in a divided house for a while, but for them it was cats upstairs and dog downstairs! The dog wanted to be friends with the cats, but they weren’t so sure. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  14. I have a female cat about a year old, and my neighbors car, is a bit younger but is a male. And those two love and hate each other with passion. A prove of such passion is my last photography/post… caught red handed.

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