Tips on Introducing Two Cats

I have a very dominant 6 year old female cat. She has an aggressive nature, but not to us, her owners, just other people. My daughter just moved in with her 3 year old female cat. Both are fixed.

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They have been in the same apartment for 4 weeks now. I kept the newer cat in my daughter's room. I let her out, and lock up my cat. Switch around as much as I can.

My cat still wants to attack her. Twice they have had really bad cat fight lots of meowing, screaming, and my cat goes crazy trying to catch her. I don't know what else to do. We've done everything to introduce them slowly. They fight all the time under the door. Pawing at each other, but not in a playful manner, its growling involved.

I've tried putting the newer cat in her carrier and then let my cat sniff her, but it ends up a screaming match for both of them and I feel so sorry for the one in the carrier, like being in shark infested waters.

I told my daughter that she will have to find another place soon. It's been 4 weeks and my cat wants to kill the other one.Please help.

By Mary from Toronto, Ontario

November 1, 20090 found this helpful

Cats are very territorial. It is quite rare that they accept a newcomer as a buddy off the bat. I take it you've given them separate food and litter box spaces. Also that the newcomer's safe room is not one of your cat's favorite spots. Displacing a resident for a newcomer in their happy room will never work well.

Boxing one for an introduction is ok as long as the box is large enough for the cat to move about a little comfortably. If the boxed cat isn't comfortable in the box, it's not a good idea to use it for introductions as the cat will already be stressed.

As long as there haven't been actual fights, I'd say let them get over the initial introductions. They are sizing each other up and it may take months for them to settle down together, especially if your home isn't that large. Make sure you put away the breakables no matter how high they are usually placed.

It's important that you stay as calm as possible. The more stressed the people are, the more likely the cats are to fight. Good luck.

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November 3, 20090 found this helpful

Pet store. Buy the plug in pheramone thingey. Unbelievable but it works in most cases. I thought Yeah, right when it was recommended to me. Surprise, it worked.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

The pheramone thingy is called Feliway, it calms them. Sounds like you've done everything right in introducing a new cat. After you've had the Feliway for a while, maybe you should just let them settle it between themselves. They will.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Cats are very territorial. I have never introduced a new cat but I have 2 litter mates that are 3 1/2 years old (both male) and all of a sudden they started hissing, growling, and one of them started screaming at the other one. I tried homeopathic calming drops, the feliway spray, separation, and anything else I could think of. They never made contact but it was certainly nerve racking. I took them to the vet to make sure there weren't any illnesses and he said they were just stressed. He gave me some anti anxiety pills and I just give them 1/4 of one in their food every day and what a difference it has made. I don't feel like I am walking on egg shells all of the time and I am less stressed and they are too.

The vet told me that sometimes even litter mates develop behavior problems. I think it is a hormone thing as even though they have both been neutered one of them kept wanting to hump the other one and the other one didn't want that kind of play. I would ask the vet for a mild anti anxiety pill for the older cat till they adjust. I was totally against this at first but life is short and we couldn't go on living the way we were. I was tired of both cats being traumatized. Wish I would have done it sooner than waste the money on calming drops and the feliway stuff.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

This is worth a try; get a wash cloth and slightly wet it, rub one cat with it, then the other, do this several times. It is supposed to confuse the cats by making each smell like the other and hopefully end the fighting.

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Anonymous Flag
November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Have you tried keeping your cat in the carrier for a few hours and letting your daughters cat roam free so that your cat can see that she is not in charge?

I felt really mean one time when I was introducing a new cat because the exisiting baby was doing the same thing but it worked and what I did was when a spat would start I would gently but firmly push the existing baby a few feet away while firmly saying no (no yelling - just firmly) and picked up the new baby and ignored the existing baby for quite a few minutes. It does sound mean but I could see by the look on the exisiting baby's face looking surprised (and hurt feelings) but after only two tries the behavior stopped (I would like to think it's because the existing baby learned who the Alpha was which was me - LOL) and in almost no time at all they became best buddies :-)

It may not work in your situation because all cats, like people, are different but it's worth a try.

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November 4, 20090 found this helpful

I recommend putting a towel or clean blanket for each cat to lay on. Then after a day or two swap them. Or rub one with a towel then rub the other with the same one.

Basically, its like people. You may not like everyone you come in contact with. Same with cats. They will eventually learn to live with each other, although they may not like each other. I have two cats in my home that don't like each other and will avoid each other, when face-to-face, they hiss and swat. I have four all together.

I would just recommend that you make enough places for each cat to have their own spot to be safe. I have one cat who lies on my dryer, another on the couch, another on the office chair and another on a kitchen chair. They all sleep with me.

When I brought home two of mine (together) the stress level in the house was high for six months. Now there are occasional hisses/swats but mostly a quiet house. =)

Remember to give your kitty the most of your attention.

Good Luck.

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October 30, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have just recently move to a new apartment and I have a 2 year old cat. I have taken her with me to two other apartments. She is fixed and has always been exposed to other cats. My last two roommates both had cats and she got along fine with them.

Now I am in my own place and I didn't want her to be lonely so I went to the shelter and adopted a new kitten. I had only lived in my new place for 3 days when I got the kitten. They cannot seem to get along. I have separated them, punished them and still nothing.

At first the older cat was mean and hissed and scared the little one, now the little one (who is also fixed) growls and hisses and the big cat attacks him constantly. I called my vet and he suggested cat therapy, but I thought that there could be another option? Please help?


Amanda

Answers:

Tips on Introducing Two Cats

Adding a new member to your feline family is usually more exciting for you than your current cat. Even though they are solitary by nature, most cats eventually learn to accept or at least tolerate newcomers. Because they are very territorial, the way you go about introducing the new cat to your existing cat can mean the difference between success or"cat-astrophe".

The introduction process can take as little as 10-12 days for kittens and very young cats, to as long as 12 weeks for older cats. It all depends on each cat's personality. Be sure to give your "first" cat plenty of attention. This will help him feel secure that he is not in competition for your affection.

Confine your new cat to a "safe" room until the introduction process is complete. This should be a small room, such as a bathroom or small bedroom that your current cat rarely visits. Furnish it with a bed, scratching post, food, water, and litter box.

In the beginning, your first cat may hiss and yowl at the cat on the other side of the door. Just ignore him and walk away. Never punish him for vocalizing aggressively, it will only cause trouble between the two cats. Be sure to praise and pet your first cat when he acts calmly when near the new cat's room.

After a few days, take a rag or washcloth and rub it over your new cat as you pet and play with her. Use a different rag to do the same thing with your first cat. At feeding time, put each cat's scented rag under the other cat's bowl. This will help them associate the other cat's scent with something positive-food. Lots of little feedings each day will help them get used to the smell more quickly. Be sure to renew the scent on the rags each day.

Next, you can feed them in closer proximity. Keep your new cat in her "safe" room with the door firmly closed, and place each cat's dish on their side of the door. Be sure to feed them at the same time. Once they both eat with no growling or hissing, you can move to the next level of the introduction.

Close your first cat in a room he likes to frequent, making sure he has water, some favorite food and a litter box. Let your new cat out to explore the house. After a few hours, put her back in her room and let your first cat out. He will probably hiss and fuss when he smells another cat's scent in his territory. Again, be patient and praise him when he acts calmly. Repeat this activity at least once a day until both cats seem comfortable.

Before you let the cats have full access to one another, let them come face to face in a safe situation. Use two hard plastic doorstops to jam the door to the new cat's room open a mere 2-3 inches. Check that the door can't be pushed open any further, and that neither cat can get its head through the opening. The object is to give them a chance to swat paws at one another and even go nose to nose without the opportunity for full body contact. Feed each cat on their respective side of the door. Once they no longer hiss or growl at one another, you can try playing with both of them in the same room.

About The Author:

Copyright 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard. This article is provided courtesy of MyPetAnimals.com - http://www.mypetanimals.com - a large and growing pet website featuring articles, tips, advice and shopping for popular pet supplies, toys and accessories. This article may be freely published on any website, as long as the author, copyright, website address and link, and this notice are left intact. (08/04/2005)

By ThriftyFun

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