Introducing Mooncake: Our Second Cat Experience

As I’m sure many of you are well aware by now, we added a second Scottish Fold cat to our family in June last year. Mau was almost three years old at the time, and Mooncake (our new addition) was around three months. Since then, I’ve had a lot of questions around the second cat experience: how we introduced them to each other, how it went, anything we’d do differently etc etc. I’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions (a) in case this info is in any way helpful and (b) because I really like talking about my cats.

Did you keep Mau and Mooncake apart at first?

Yes! We kept them apart from around 24 hours, although we probably would’ve pushed this out to the 48-62 hour mark if our house was better set up for it. We let them see each other from a distance a couple of times during this period, and I’m sure they could smell each other constantly, but that was it.

How did you introduce them initially?

We put them on different sides of our open-plan living area to make sure they both had an easy exit away from each other (so neither would feel cornered – one could easily head for the garage and the other upstairs if they needed to). Carl and I stayed super close by, but we didn’t touch either of them, and just let them sniff each other out. I was suuuuuper nervous, but it was actually quite a non-event.

How did they respond to each other at first?

Mau definitely wasn’t stoked with the situation at first. There was a fair bit of quiet growling and the occasional hiss (which was pretty funny to see). She wasn’t aggressive with him though, and mostly just avoided him and/or kept a close eye on him whenever he was around. Mooncake, on the other hand, seemed totally unphased by Mau. He was pretty keen to hang out from Day 1 (much to Mau’s initial displeasure).

How long did it take for Mau to warm up to Mooncake?

To be honest, not very long! Mau tolerated Mooncake pretty well right from the start, and by the end of the first week we were really comfortable leaving them both in the house together when we went out. It was probably only a couple of weeks before they started play fighting and napping the same vicinity. I don’t really remember the exact timeline, but it was probably around six weeks before I first caught Mau grooming him.

Do they always get on now?

I think so! Mau can definitely be a bit grumpy with Mooncake – he likes to follow her around and get all up in her business, which she doesn’t always appreciate, but she really seems to love him. They’re almost always hanging out in the same room or chasing a bug together in the garage or out in the garden or napping in the sun together. Mooncake just has a lot more energy than Mau!

How did you feed Mau and Mooncake different food?

This was actually something I was v concerned about initially, but it didn’t end up being a big deal at all. They have both always been on the same wet food (Fancy Feast), and then had different biscuits (both Royal Canin but Mooncake was on kitten biscuits). Eating each other’s biscuits occasionally is an inevitability, I think, but it was actually surprisingly easy to get them used to eating out of their designated bowls.

My advice would be to feed them in the same spot all the time (we have Mooncake on the right and Mau on the left) so they really get used to it. I thin kit only took a few weeks before they would both walk up to their feeding area and automatically go for their designated bowl rather than whichever one was closest.

Do they share litter trays, and how many do you have in your home?

Yes, they do! I wasn’t really sure whether they would want to share, and we actually had three trays initially (to avoid any potential kitten accidents). However, they made it VERY clear very fast that they couldn’t care less about sharing. We have two trays now – one upstairs in the guest bathroom (in a little nordic litter house so it looks cute) and one in the garage where they love to hang out. It is a bit annoying having to deal with two trays, but I think our house is just a bit big for one now that we have two v lazy cats.

Has the fur been harder to keep on top of since you got Mooncake?

Not noticeably! They do shed a fair bit leading up to summer, but it never seems too crazy to me (and I definitely don’t vacuum every day). I think it probably helps now that we’re in a house with a properly enclosed outdoor area, so they actually get to spend quite a bit of time outside (and I’m always hoping the wind is subtly whisking their winter coats away). But all in all, I haven’t noticed an increase in fur or cleaning time, so no complaints here.

Is there anything you would do differently next time?

I do sometimes wonder if we should have given Mau a bit more time to get used to the idea of Mooncake before we actually introduced them, but it’s obviously impossible to tell whether this would have a difference now. I think if you have the patience, 48-62 hours would probably be a little kinder to the older cat, just to give them a bit more time to adjust / get their head around things.

Do you think they’re happier together, or do you think they’d be happier as only children?

I definitely think they’re both much happier to have each other. Mooncake absolutely adores Mau, and chooses to be wherever she is 9 times out of 10. It’s sooooooo hard to imagine him as an only child! And although Mau might be a little less clingy, she really does seem to love him and appreciate the company. It’s so nice to know that they have each other when we go out (as Scottish Folds generally don’t appreciate a lot of alone time), and we almost always find them napping together when we get home.

P.S. If you have any other questions about our cats, you might be able to find the answer (including the breeder’s contact details) on this post: Everything You Need to Know About Mau.

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