Recently I had to take in two older cats whom my sister's ex could no longer keep. They are both mature, around 2 or 3 years, and are fixed. I also have my cat, who's been here for around 1 1/2 years. The two cats are male and female.
The female is "very" shy. The male has began to come out and explore the house, but my cat, a female, is aggressive towards him and hisses, growls, and sometimes chases him. The male still tries to come out and explore, but seems to have no intention of attacking my cat. I expect this is because he has lived with the other cat when he was still young. My cat has had one run-in with the shy female, which was when I brought my cat in my room and she saw the female, and they got in a small fight. They seem to tolerate each other if I bring the shy cat out and keep her in my lap, but I'm afraid my cat might attack her again.
The cats have been here 2-3 weeks now, and I'm not sure what to do. My cat seems to be the aggressive one. Are there any ways to make them cooperate or at least get them to tolerate each other?
By Amy from Florida, FL
Hello Amy. First of all, bless you for taking in the two older cats. Second, your original cat may never like them. I love, love, love the cats, but since they are solitary animals (versus dogs which are normally pack animals) the three of them may never become best buds. But third and oh so important, this doesn't mean you all can't live together successfully.
Since the "in-law" cats seem to get along, set them up a separate eating, sleeping, litter box area from your original house cat. Don't change your first cat's routine, give the new cats a different area. (Different rooms if possible.) Sharing is not always something an "I was here first" cat is interested in trying. :-)
Keep a spray bottle full of water in each room and squirt them wetter than wet if any two get in a spat. (They will usually go to separate corners and ignore each other as they lick to dry off!)
Is your original cat spayed? (You mentioned the other two were fixed.) If so I wouldn't worry too much about separating them when you are gone unless any of them have a big size advantage or if any of them are declawed. (The declawed ones are at a huge disadvantage and should not be left with clawed cats that are aggressive.)
This is not scientific nor fail safe advice, just a bit of "been there, tried that, this worked. and that didn't" such and such talk. Your concerns are real and legitimate, but sometimes the solutions aren't so cut and dried. Hope I've shared some info that might be helpful for you and your cat kids! Good luck and best wishes for your fur family.
KansasCindy is right ... they may never become friends. I have four spayed females and one in particular is always the outsider. It's taken almost two years for her to be tolerated (just every once in awhile) by two of the others. If they get into a scrap, spraying them with water is the best thing I've tried. They definitely stop fighting when they feel that water, and eventually they think that's part of the fighting and they back off. Keep food and litter boxes separate between the old and new cats, be patient, and use the spray bottle whenever necessary. You'll get some results ... maybe not all that you're hoping for, but you can establish some peace.
I agree with KansasCindy except for placing their litter boxes, food and water in separate areas. It would be different if it were their very first few days and being introduced to each others scents but they need to be on equal ground after scents have been established to help them work out their own rules more quickly. I've rescued and kept many cats during almost forty years and for about 1/3rd of those years there were up to three or four indoor babes at a time.
Each new introduction took about a month before they worked out their particular details and differences no matter how long territory had been established by the existing babes. Some became best pals, others were loaners but they always worked it out amongst themselves for peaceful coexistence. All except one lived happily and healthily to be the ripe old ages of 14 through 16. The one who only made it to age six was not because of trauma or a stressful coexistence but because she had tummy cancer.
Bless you for taking in the two new additions to your home! Just be patient and they will work it out amongst themselves. :-)
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