Separating Cats

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Member Since
Purred: Thu Jan 19, '12 3:48pm PST 
Does anyone know what would happen if I separated my 2 cats and then put them back together after a few weeks/months? They're 3 yr. old brothers and have never been apart but I'm currently unemployed and living with my parents and the cats are with my sister. One of my cats doesn't get along with her cat so I was wondering if I could bring him home and let the other one stay until I find a job and can move out and have both of them. I'm just unsure of what will happen when I put them back together. Thank you!


Mr. Eko - dark, but- good-hearted
Purred: Fri Jan 20, '12 5:54am PST 
We've never been through a separation, but going on what we know about cats, you will probably need to reintroduce them (using separate rooms for them for the introduction period.) There would likely be some hissing and you'd want to keep visits supervised until you are sure they are getting along. Cats rely a lot on smell to recognize each other so living in different houses they will no longer smell the same.

Some cats even get hissy with each other after one just goes to the vet for an hour because they come home smelling like a stranger.

The thought of separating brothers who are so attached sounds sad...hope it works out well for everyone.

Edited by author Fri Jan 20, '12 5:56am PST


Charmaine- Neville

Hey Dawlin!!!!
Purred: Fri Jan 20, '12 10:57am PST 
We had a suggestion - when you leave one cat with your sister and take the other one with you do this: When you go to your sister's house bring the cat you are keeping to visit his brother. And put a towel in the carrier and leave it at your sister's house so the other cat can smell his brother's scent, and bring a towel to rub on the cat at your sister's house, bring it home with you. Hope this helps, sorry you had to do this, but thank goodness you had family to help you, and your can keep your cats.

Sending MASSIVE amounts of purrs and prayers you find a job!!!

The New Orleans Kitties

Member Since
Purred: Fri Jan 20, '12 1:07pm PST 
Thank you both so much!!! I will try the towel, thats a great idea. I've been agonizing over this for a while now and it breaks my heart! Hopefully I can keep them together but thank you so so much for the suggestions!!


Ramsey - The Bedroom Cat- Burglar
Purred: Fri Jan 20, '12 3:27pm PST 
Never had a major separation except once when the mean old cat Hoot had to be in the hospital for a week. Daddy put her in a separate room so I could not go tease her.

But a gradual reintroduction is best. Also besides the towel already mentioned you might try brushing both cats with the same brush. That way they have each others scent. Sorry you are going through all of this.

Alexander,- Dreamboat- #110

I am really a- lap dog in- disguise.
Purred: Sun Jan 22, '12 3:16am PST 
You are fortunate in that you have a place for your cat to stay while you are experiencing this time.
It sounds like a plan. They will have to be re-introduced again because of the smells that each one will have.
Use the towel method and keep them separate in different room until they are used to the smell of the other.
Do it slowly and they will do fine. Also, get a gate for the door so they are separate and you can feed them treats near each other. Meanwhile, you will know in this separation that the other one is being taken care of.
Give your sister a hug for helping out.....My daughter do this for her relative. They are good people. The economy is slowly coming back.