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How Much Hissing Is Normal When Introducing Cats?

How Much Hissing Is Normal When Introducing Cats?

Adding a new furry companion in your home is so existing. I’m sure you’re thinking how a new animal is an awesome idea for your resident cat to have some company while you’re away from home.

Well, it should be, but, there isn’t a guarantee that your car will be thrilled with this move. Actually, many cats will disapprove of the new pet in their homes, since they’re territorial and are used to having all the attention from their owners for themselves.

Stiil, this doesn’t mean that you should give up on having another cat, since there are ways to make your two pets get along.

But, you might notice some warning signs when introducing the two cats, such as hissing.

How much hissing is normal when introducing cats? When should you expect it to stop?

Let’s take a look at this issue in more detail.

How Much Hissing Can You Expect When Introducing Two Cats?

Hissing is a form of feline communication. This means that, it’s almost one hundred percent certain your resident cat will hiss at the new kitten in your home.

You can expect this to happen even for a first couple of days after they have been introduced. Simply, it will take some time for them to get used to each other’s presence.

The video below shows what a hissing cat sounds like.

But, if your resident cat continues to hiss for days after, or even weeks after welcoming a new cat in your home, this isn’t a good sign. This indicates that you should intervene, and find a way to make the hissing stop.

But first, you should know why cats even hiss at new animal companions in their homes.

Why Do Cats Hiss At New Felines In Their Homes?

There are a couple of reasons why your cat might hiss at the new kitten.

First of all, this most commonly happens due to territorial aggression. It’s important to understand that your resident cat has been accustomed to having the house all to herself. Sharing it now with a new kitten might trigger territorial instincts, leading to hissing.

The presence of a new cat can also make your resident pet fearful and/or stressed, as the Humane Society of The United States explains. This is a huge change for felines, and, when they’re stressed, they might hiss.

Competitive behavior is another potential cause of hissing in your cat. She will try to show that she’s the dominant one in the household, meaning that she’s likely to hiss, or even attack the new cat.

How Can You Make The Hissing Stop?

In normal circumstances, your cat should stop hissing once she gets used to the new kitten’s presence.

Some hissing from time to time isn’t too worrying, and probably won’t even require you to intervene.

However, if the hissing continues, and your cat seems to be rather hostile towards the new pet, you will need to react and make it stop.

Let’s discuss the steps you should consider to help eliminate the hissing.

1. Introduce Your Two Cats Properly

two cats meet on the street

This is the first and the most essential step for your two cats to get along and to avoid undesirable behaviors, such as hissing.

To start with, you should take the new kitten to your home in a cat carrier, and immediately put her in a separate room where she will have her bed, water and food bowls, and a litter box. You should keep the new cat isolated for the first couple of days.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa suggests how, during this period, you should take a bath towel and rub it on your new cat, and then do the same with your resident cat. 

Allow both cats to gradually become accustomed to each other’s scent by providing them with this towel. Smell is very important for two cats to get used to each other’s presence. Once they meet for the first time – they will scent the smell they are already familiar with.

When they first meet, make sure you’re around all the time, and don’t leave them alone. Let them explore each other.

A good moment to do this is during mealtime, since it will be more important for your two cats to eat than to hiss at each other!

Don’t force them to spend too much time together at the beginning. This process will probably be very slow, and it will take some time for cats to stop acting territorial and to approve the other cat’s presence.

In the beginning, hissing will be perfectly normal. Therefore, there’s no need to intervene immediately unless they escalate to physical fighting or similar aggressive behaviors.

2. Use Positive Reinforcement

the woman rewards the cats with treats

Rewarding them for good behavior is a great way to build a good relationship between your two pets.

So, every time your two cats spend some time in the same room, without any hissing, and behaving properly, you should give them something they like. In most cases, these will be some really tasty treats!

Some cats will also be thrilled and will react positively to new toys.

Keep in mind that your two cats don’t necessarily need to adore each other. If they’re able to coexist and avoid displaying destructive behaviors, they certainly deserve a reward.

3. Make Sure The Both Cats Are Perfectly Comfortable

two cats are lounging on a scratching post

Your home should be a safe and warm place for both of your cats. You have certainly decided to expand your family with another furry friend to make both your and her life richer.

Consequently, your goal isn’t solely to cease the hissing but also to ensure that both your resident and new cat enjoy the best possible life under your care.

To achieve this, and to make the introduction of your two cats successful, you should make sure there is enough of everything for both cats in your home.

This means there should be enough water and food bowls, scratching posts, hiding spaces and comfortable resting spots for both of them. They should definitely not share their litter boxes, since they’re especially picky about their place to defecate.

Additionally, both cats should get enough of your attention and time so that they don’t feel like they have to compete over anything.

Final Words

How much hissing is normal when introducing cats?

Some hissing is definitely normal and expected when a resident cat meets the new animal companion in her home.

You can expect this to happen for the first couple of days of their coexistence. However, it’s not a good sign if your resident cat keeps hissing even for weeks after meeting the new kitten.

The most important thing here is to properly introduce the two cats and give them time and space to get used to each other’s presence.

Also, you should reward both cats when they act nicely towards each other, and make sure they both have enough of their own things, so that they don’t have to share.

With your devotion and patience the hissing should stop soon, and your two cats should start tolerating, and, perhaps, even liking each other!

Read Next: 5 Reasons Why Your Cat Hissed At You For The First Time