This is another cat behavior type problem. The title is based on a Catster question posed by a visitor. At the time of writing there is only one very short answer which was to leave the cat at home.
The cat’s owner Miss A is going away for a holiday and she wants to leave her cat with her Grandma. Grandma has recently adopted a new cat. Grandma’s cat is said to have a personality that makes her suitable as an “only cat”. That means Grandma’s cat does not get on with other cats that well.
Despite the potential for problems Miss A is going to leave her cat with Grandma and she wants advice on how to help the cats get along and minimize potential conflict.
This is my personal advice. It is neither right nor wrong. I respect the views of others.
I believe the solution partly revolves around the size of Grandma’s home and as a secondary matter the facilities in her house such as vertical perches etc.. The first thing to do is a test. If I was Miss A I would take my cat to Grandma’s for a visit well before the holiday. Put the two cats together in the same room and supervise closely. This will confirm if the two simply can’t get along probably because Grandma’s cat feels like her territory has been invaded.
It is likely that there will be some hostility. However, I believe it needs to be tested because cats have preferences and they may be able to get along in a manageable way for the duration of the holiday. This is a matter of assessment. If the cats do get on to a certain extent some supervision is required and there should be enough space so that they can maintain distances between themselves of at least 1 meter. And a place to hide would be useful. If a cat can hide they will feel secure.
On the basis that the cats are hostile to each other, the next stage is to assess Grandma’s home. If the home is a decent size there is no reason why the two cats can’t be kept apart for the duration of the holiday. Grandma can take care of Miss A’s cat with ease in her home while keeping her cat comfortable as well. There will still be some disruption for both cats but this arrangement would be preferable to putting Miss A’s cat in a boarding cattery. This solution is dependent on Miss A’s cat is kept in decent conditions such as a reasonable sized room at Grandma’s house.
If Grandma’s home is too small to realistically keep the cat’s apart or at least introduce them to each other in a manageable way, I would lean towards placing Miss A’s cat into a good boarding cattery. Boarding catteries are OK but can be stressful for cats. Health problems can develop at catteries as stress can bring on existing, low grade health problems.
I don’t think you can do much to ensure that cats get along who have only just met and who will be together for 14 days or less. The time frame is too short for the two to learn to get along. That can take months and sometimes cats never get along.
However, if there is sufficient space and supervision I don’t see a problem with having the cats together for this limited amount of time. Another matter that comes to mind is, “how competent is Grandma?”. If she is a competent cat caretaker and physically and mentally able to manage that would certainly encourage me to favour Miss A’s plan.
However, if the converse is true things may get out hand. Miss A needs to feel reassured that all will be well. She doesn’t want to be worrying about her cat on holiday.
Incidentally I don’t really favor leaving Miss A’s cat at her own home while someone visits to feed her cat etc.. For a short time of about 2 days that might work but for 14 days it is not good enough. A boarding cattery would be better.