Do Cats make friends?
There is no doubt that cats are rather independent creatures! However, there are some cats that find it easier than others to bond with their feline and human neighbours. Even when we photograph Melbourne’s cats, a brief discussion on this subject always seems to end with “I’m not sure why they love cat A but hate cat B!”
As Humans, we naturally adopt our Brothers and Sisters. However, when we get two or more cats together that resemble each other, and are the same breed – we often end up with cat conflicts. We have already covered introducing a new adult cat into an existing feline household, but with or without our help – a cat’s personality is the most important reason for them fighting, or getting along with each other famously.
As with single people, trying to ‘date’ two cats is a good start, but perhaps we are trying to match two clashing attitudes on life. It’s not so much what the two cats look like, or if they are moggies or pedigrees. But when they share similar outlooks, suddenly friendship becomes much easier. This is often known as persona-mirroring.
For example, have you noticed how adult cats and kittens (who are not genetically related to each other), usually fail to get on with each other. A mature adult cat often prefers to hang around with humans, think profound thoughts and locate themselves on the warmest and comfiest sofa cushion. Meanwhile, what does the kitten want to do? Well obviously they want to play – sprint – play –fight – jump – play .. etc. There’s not a whole lot of empathy happening here!
However, as with humans – even “like minded” personalities can get off to the wrong start. The obvious differences in kitten and adult interests are usually evident from the first meeting. Yet, with some human intervention, they can learn to get along. Perhaps, in time they can get to know each other more.
For this to happen, we need to remember that older cats are still interested in play-time. It’s just not 100% ‘physical’ any more. It’s more about mind-games – imagining situations where they are chasing prey. However, in fact they are safely indoors, looking out on the garden through a window.
All cats do both kinds of play, and sometimes the adult cat simply has to watch the kitten at play. We can encourage the older cat into playing with ‘buzzy’ the catnip bee at the end of a springy wand. When the kitten fades out for a quick nap, the time is right to scoop the little one up, and place them next to where the old cat is sitting down.
We can then stroke the kitten and encourage them to settle down. We can also stroke and gently reassure the adult cat that we are hanging around to make sure the kitten doesn’t annoy them. This trick may not work the first-time, but eventually – the adult cat can acclimatise to kitten company, and actually spot the right times to approach for a friendly sniff and cuddle.
And then who knows? Perhaps they will both share the odd play-time together. If they seek each other’s company when they need a rest, this is a welcome start to friendship.
In many ways, the attitude in a cat’s personality is driven by their health and activity levels. An 11 year-old active feline can feel right at home with a 1 year old juvenile.
The beautiful cat below gets on fine with almost everyone. They love the company of others, and definitely showed their best face forward for our photography sessions around Melbourne:
For a humorous example of how Dogs and Cats can get on together – have a little look at this amusing article.
Friends – Cat Photography Melbourne