2 cats laying together in a cat bed
How to Successfully Add Another Cat to Your Household

How to Successfully Add Another Cat to Your Household

Thinking about getting another cat? Of course you are — they’re the best. Adding a second cat (or third … or fourth …) to your home can be exciting, but there’s a lot to consider before introducing another cat into the mix. 

Should I Get Another Cat?

When it comes to cats, the more, the merrier, right? Well, sometimes. Some cats thrive with a playmate or two, while others are more content solo. Personality and age are two factors to consider before bringing home another cat.

cat and dog getting along

Compatibility Is Key

It’s important to understand your cat’s temperament when thinking about adding another cat to the mix. It’s just like dating: Compatibility is crucial. Is your pet energetic and playful? Shy and gentle? A couch potato probably isn’t the best match for a marathon runner. Your best bet is to look for a cat with a similar energy level and personality. Not sure about your cat’s vibe? Read more about cat temperament here


Age Is but a Number … Except ...

Similar to temperament compatibility, age is also an important factor. Your greatest chance for success is to introduce a new cat into your household when your current cat is still a youngster. If you have an older cat who’s been master of their domain for a long time (read as: cranky), they’re more likely to become territorial and hostile toward the new addition. That’s not to say it can’t be done; the introduction will just need to be handled more delicately than when introducing two younger cats or kittens.


Tips for Successfully Introducing Another Cat

So you’ve found a new cat you can’t wait to bring home to your growing fur family. While it may be tempting to simply put all cats in a room and let them work out the introductions, this can cause a lot of stress for new and resident cats alike. Here are a few ways to help the introduction go smoothly.

mutiple cats in the same household

Stock Up on Supplies, Toys and Kitty Litter

Double the cats means double the supplies needed. Before you bring your new addition home, make sure you have plenty of toys, scratching posts and lounging spots so territorial standoffs are less likely. The rule of thumb is to have one more litter box than you do cats, so if you’re becoming a two-cat household, you’ll want to have three litter boxes. You’ll also need double the food, so consider buying in bulk, like IAMS™ PERFECT PORTIONS™ 12 packs, so you can spend less time making trips to the store and more time snapping pics of your adorable new addition.


Slow and Steady

Give your new kitty a space of their own with a door that can be shut before doing a formal introduction with the existing cat. This will give both cats a chance to adjust to the other’s smell. Once you’re ready to have their official meeting, keep the initial interactions short and well supervised. If things start to feel tense, separate the cats and give them a chance to settle down before trying again. Don’t be discouraged; they’ll come around. 

Adding another cat to your household is not without challenges, but it will ultimately bring immense joy to you and your family — and hopefully to your current cat. Or maybe we just shoot for indifference. Now what are you waiting for? Head to your local shelter today!

  • Does Your Cat Have Tummy Troubles?
    Does Your Cat Have Tummy Troubles?

    Does Your Cat Have Tummy Troubles?

    An upset stomach is more common in cats than you might think. But how can you tell if it's a serious problem?

    Every cat owner recognizes the warning signs of an upset feline stomach: the mournful meow, gagging, and heaving retch. But in a flash, the cat seems to snap back to good health while you're left scrubbing the carpet.

    The scenario is a familiar one for Cynthia Bowen of Cleveland, Ohio. As the owner of four Maine Coons, Bowen has cleaned her share of messes. "It would happen every couple of months or so," she says. "Otherwise, they were perfectly healthy."

    Although it's not a pleasant subject, vomiting is something cats seem to do almost on cue. Many cat owners accept this as a natural part of owning a pet, but it doesn't have to be that way. Knowing what triggers an upset stomach and what you can do about it will make for a better relationship with your cat.


    Cause for Alarm?

    Repeated cat vomiting should never be ignored because it can lead to dehydration. But, because vomiting is common in cats, how do you know what's normal? "A general guideline is that if the cat is vomiting one to three times a month, we consider this 'normal,'" says Dr. William Folger, a DVM from Houston.

    He considers it serious if the vomiting occurs twice daily for two or three days. If your cat stops eating, seems to have stomach pain, or retches continuously, or if there's blood in the vomit, take her to a veterinarian. And, as always, if you're suspicious that a lingering problem could be harmful to your pet, call your veterinarian. A visit to the office can help relieve your cat's discomfort and your worries as well.


    Why Cats Vomit

    Many owners attribute their cat's vomiting to hairballs, but that's not the only culprit. "It's careless to assume that most cases of vomiting in cats are due to hairballs," says Dr. Folger. Two other frequent causes of an upset stomach are:

    • Eating too fast. Cats sometimes eat too much, too fast. When the stomach wall expands too quickly, a signal is sent to the brain to cause regurgitation. In these cases, the mess on your floor is from regurgitation, not actual vomiting. When a cat regurgitates, he brings up fluid and food from his esophagus by opening his mouth–unlike vomiting, where there's gagging and retching. Regurgitated food is still formed, and may smell fermented. "Cats that eat too quickly because they are gluttonous or stressed by food bowl competition can regurgitate right after eating," says Dr. Sara Stephens, a DVM from Montana. But don't assume regurgitation is always a case of eating too fast. It could be caused by esophageal problems, obstruction of the digestive tract, hairballs, or dehydration. If you've forced your cat to eat slowly and he still has problems, contact a veterinarian.
    • Curiosity. Grass, carpet, and toilet paper are just a few things cats may digest and later vomit. The vomiting is a protective mechanism–nature's way of cleansing your cat’s system. Sometimes, though, curiosity can lead to more serious problems. String, toy parts, and feathers are favorites of playful felines and can lodge in the stomach or intestine, causing repeated vomiting and severe distress. If your cat exhibits these symptoms, take her to a veterinarian immediately; surgery is often necessary to remove the object.


    Preventative Measures

    Often, owners accept their pet's vomiting as a natural part of their behavior, but just because cats seem to have more than their fair share of tummy troubles doesn't mean you have to sit idly by.

    One simple preventative measure is to get your fast-eating cat to slow down or to simply eat less. Stephens recommends smaller portions, elevating your cat's food dish slightly, or putting an object, such as a ball, into the dish. The cat will be forced to eat around the ball, and thus her intake will be slowed. If you do this, make sure the ball isn't small enough to swallow. And you may need to feed cats in a multiple-cat household at different times and places to reduce competitive eating.

    If simple solutions don't work, watch your cat's eating behavior and reactions. Bowen, for example, tried changing her cats' diets. "Since switching to IAMS®, they rarely throw up," Bowen says.


    "Usually, when you change to a higher-quality diet, there is no problem," Stephens says. Here are some tips for helping make sure your cat's change is as successful and comfortable as possible:

    • Go slowly. Make the transition gradually to allow your cat time to adjust. "Make sure the cat eats something every day," Stephens advises. "A cat that quits eating suddenly can develop liver problems."
    • Add appeal. Switching from wet to dry or vice versa should also be done gradually. Many cats find canned food more palatable. If you switch to dry, add water and warm it slightly for more appeal. Discard uneaten food after 20 minutes to prevent spoilage.
    • Measure up. How much should you feed? Your cat's age, sex, breed, activity level, and overall health need to be taken into consideration. Talk with your veterinarian, then read the manufacturer's recommendations. Premium foods like IAMS cat foods are more nutrient-dense than many non-premium diets, so don't be surprised if the recommended amounts seem low.
    • Pay attention. Beyond careful measuring, also regularly weigh your cat and adjust the feeding amount accordingly after switching to a premium food. Your cat may appear happy if you overfeed him. But over time, he may become overweight. Tummy troubles can be in the past with your veterinarian’s help and a little effort on your part.

both email signup


Get pet care advice, product updates, event information and more when you sign up for the IAMS™ newsletter made with your pet in mind.


Shop Dogs

Shop Cats


© 2022 Mars or Affiliates. US Patents Pending. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
chat icon