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Your two cats have worked out who the boss is and who the low man on the totem pole is. Her cat has had several years of being the king of the household. That’s all good and fine until you decide to move in together. What now? How do you get your cats to play nice with each other without ripping each other apart and your new home in the process? You can avoid all this by taking a few simple steps.

The common household cat is a relative of the great lions and tigers of the wild. And like those animals, they are very much into the “pecking order”. Cats work in a hierarchal system where one cat will be the dominant alpha male and the rest of the cats go down the scale in order of importance. If you were to toss two different sets of cats together without any prep work, they would fight and clash to establish a new pecking order.

You need to establish a safe zone for each set of cats where they can’t be seen by the other cats. In this example, my two cats were placed in one room and her cat was placed in another. This gave each of them a safe place to get used to the new surroundings while not having to worry about being attacked by the other cat. They could also get used to the smell of the other cat. This also allows them to claim that room as their “territory” and gives them a place to go that the other cat knows is their room. The first few days (up to a week) should be spent with the cats closed in their respective rooms.

When you finally open the doors and let the cats roam freely, there will be a lot of posturing and checking out of each other. There will most likely be hissing and some fighting. The cats will be establishing a new pecking order and trying to break them up would be a very bad idea. At this point you have to let the cats figure out amongst themselves who the boss is, but with the preparations you have taken it will greatly reduce the amount of tension and fighting your cats will go through.