(Closed) Introducing two cats: Not going as well as planned…

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
Member
427 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Have you looked in to purchasing Feliway? We used it when we introduced our cats to each other and it helped ease their nerves.

http://www.feliway.com/us/What-causes-cat-stress-or-anxiety/Introducing-new-cat-to-the-existing-cat 

We bought the diffusers and the spray. We get it off Amazon since it can get kind of pricey at the local petstores. Anyway, we experienced the same thing with our female when we introduced her to our male and then when we got the Feliway at the suggestion of my sister (she is a vet tech) things slowly started changing. They never became best friends, but we did catch them sleeping very close to each other on the bed and couch. 

Post # 3
Member
1757 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

newlywednewbie:  I had this similar thing. And to be really honest: it took patience and 6 months to get good between them. Now they play (secretely so we don’t notice, lol. I think our “Cat A” wants us to think she still hates New Cat) they eat together and cuddle kinda/sorta on occaision. 

But it was rough and took a long time. New Cat hat stress cleaning and licked away a lot of hair (poor guy) and threw up often for the forst two months. I would have given up if I wasn’t 100% certain that his life with us was still a sh**load better than at the shelter. 

And now it’s all peaches. Cat A is happy and playful and truly enjoys the company and New Cat is his untrouble uncomplicated self 🙂 

Maybe stick it out?

Post # 4
Member
1757 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Also, my bad, but I didn’t do a “slow introduction” thing. Maybe it was a mistake, I dunno, but I didn’t have the heart/patience to draw out the introduction. Maybe I was naive, but I figured: I need to know if this is gonna work out and what up ahead. It wasn’t an easy start to be honest, but they got the “getting to know you” business right away. Things stabilized week 3. (not great, but no one being battered all the time) and by week 5 they just avoided each other respectfully. Month 6 was bliss. Sharing the couch and petting both without hissing and drama.

Post # 5
Member
309 posts
Helper bee

I would not put them face to face. Cat A cannot even stand smelling the other cat, I’m sure there would be a terrible fight if they were together.  I’m actually suprised the shelter suggested another adult male cat, most of the time same sex cats have a harder time getting along. Personally, I would suggest you take this cat back and look for a female kitten that was bottlefed (will be extremely friendly towards people) Older cats tend to adjust to kittens better, and the opposite sex is easier as well. You’re coming up to kitten season, so it won’t be hard to find one. 

I made the mistake of trying to have 2 female cats coexists when I moved in with my Boyfriend or Best Friend. My female cat (3 years) had previously lived with multiple other female cats, and my BF’s cat (12, had lived with another female cat as well. We had them separated for a month before even trying introductions, but it always resulted in a fight. It was more of a “you scared me at a doorway so now I’m fighting you thing”, but still. Its been almost 2 years and they have never gotten along, the one cat even started spraying for a little while because she was so stressed. We have to seperate them in the day with a gate, and then at night the one cat gets locked in a room so the other cat can roam. However, it was our fault and we have to live with it. 

 

Post # 6
Member
338 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

newlywednewbie:  ah that sounds so difficult! I desperately want a second cat but I have seen my cat act so aggressive with visiting dogs and cats that I haven’t made the plunge yet. This would be my worry! had you observed your cat with other animals before? 

I wish I had suggestions but just wanted to wish you good luck! It’s still early.

Post # 7
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

newlywednewbie:  Cats are fickle creatures, it can take MONTHS for them to get used to one another! I would ease up on the forced involvement… ie let your resident cat eat where he normally would, and just pretty much let him ignore that Cat B exists. Take Cat B out during the day for snuggle and play time, but remember that even if he is spending a lot of time in a room alone, it is better than a shelter! Cats often do well with other cats of opposite gender, your resident cat may just be asserting his alpha male tendencies. I know it is frustrating, but honestly, introducing cats is difficult… I worked in a shelter for years and the most customer complaints we would get would be about cat – cat intros! It’s hard, but be patient 🙂

Post # 8
Member
2902 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

newlywednewbie:  I know it seems insane because you’re going so slowly, but I think you may be rushing the steps. I would probably try keeping them completely separate without doing the room swaps for a week. See if they’ll eat near the door. Then try a room swap. Definitely do not move on to the “seeing each other” steps if Cat A is still so unhappy! With introductions with one resistant cat, slower is definitely better.

Almost all cats will learn to tolerate each other eventually. They might not be buddies, but they’ll probably figure out a detente eventually. My two cats aren’t huge fans of each other and still fight on occasion, but 99% of the time they tolerate each other. Sometimes they even hang out and groom each other. Feliway is definitely worth a shot, and make sure to really lavish Cat A with affection and treats. Cat B sounds very adaptable so I wouldn’t worry about him feeling left out. He’s probably fine. But the resident cat is the one who needs to adjust to sharing his territory, so he’s the one you kind of need to baby right now. Lots of tuna and praise and play time!

Post # 9
Member
2123 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I wouldn’t move onto the next step in the introduction, and I certainly wouldn’t put Cat A in a carrier to let Cat B explore. Cat A sounds stressed, put out and territorial. I’ve kept cats for years, sometimes I lived with 20 adult cats at a time. 

I personally would have given Cat B a comfortable room with lots of toys and a litter tray, and I’d have left Cat B there for a week before trying to swap their scents and toys etc. When any new cat came into our home this was important not only to reduce stress but also to quarantine in case of any undesired infections and viruses that may enter the home with them.

I wouldn’t quit just yet. But I would go back to the beginning, back to basics, and do nothing. When you want to spend time with or feed Cat B, go do so. Cat A should have the run of the house and normal habits should be maintained. Food in its normal place. Litter tray in its normal place. And I definitely recommend buying a Feliway diffuser or two. They are incredible. I would purchase a spray too and spray their beds and sleeping areas. It’ll help massively. I would wait until both cats are healthy, eating well and behaving normally for 48 hours before exchanging the toys and blankets. If this doesn’t happen, then there’s your answer. It’s rare and I don’t believe you’ll have the same problem, but two of my parents’ cats hate each other and have to be kept separate all the time. Thankfully their house is big enough to do that. But sometimes it really doesn’t work. The other situation to consider is that Cat A will never allow another cat into your home. But I do think you havr a good chance and I wouldn’t give up yet. Good luck.

Post # 10
Member
427 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

kaitie:  I agree. I am confused why they suggested a cat of the same gender. I have had cats my entire life and was always told to adopt the opposite of the resident cat. When we adopted last year, our female was the resident cat and was 12 years old, we found a younger male cat who was very close in coloring to her. She passed away in February and we started the looking process again. We are searching for a younger female.

And like I said above, ours never became best friends, but in my profile picture they are sitting next to each other just fine & I have a lot of pictures of them together & they would both share the bed with Fiance and I at night with no issues.

But I do highly suggest feliway. We will be getting some again when we adopt. I use the spray in our males carrier when we take him to the groomer and I spray it on his bed. After 2 weeks we could tell their nerves were calming. 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by  svnnh09.
  • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by  svnnh09.
Post # 11
Member
15 posts
Newbee

Hi there! 

I think you are doing everything really well right now! You’re doing slow introductions behind closed doors, feeding in front of doors, etc and that is all right on point with properly introducing 2 cats.

Cats of the same gender can be somewhat difficult to introduce. Plus, cat A was your first cat. Your home is his territory and he is used to having it to himself so it make take him longer to adjust to having another male in his house.

I wouldn’t put either cat in the carrier since it will leave one feeling very vulnerable to the other and make things very stressful (and if cat A is in the carrier, he may be VERY resentful seeing cat B have reign of the house).

My suggestion is to continue with feeding on opposite sides of the door. In addtion to that, try praising cat A in front of that door. If he has a favorite toy, now is a great time to have him play with it outside of that door. Give him some treats and reassure him. I know this isn’t always feasible depending on the area of the house, but if you have a cat tower, put the tower outside of the room that cat B is in. Perhaps cat A will feel more comfortable being off ground level and “above” his kingdom. Even if they can’t see each other through the door, cats feel safe and confident when they have access to high spots.

I’d steer clear of any ground level, face to face interactions right now because they don’t seem ready. Maybe in a few more days before you hit the 15 day mark, but not right now. Is there any room in your house that has a glass door or window or even screen that they can see each other through? That would be ideal so there is a barrier between them and neither feels so anxious or territorial.  

Definitely try the cat tower approach so cat A is up high and feels in control and try treating and playing with cat A in front of cat B’s door. 

I hope this helps!

Post # 12
Member
7765 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Ehh I would keep trying, 6 days is really nothing in cat-time. And definitely get one of those pheremone dispensers that plugs into the wall, if not a pheremone collar for cat A. I used this collar on my trouble cat for a few months and it worked wonders….he had been beating the shit out of my other cat for weeks, to the point that she was afraid to use the litter box and got a UTI. Then the vet suggested I try this collar, and it was a MIRACLE. All his aggressive tendencies nearly vanished, and now he doesn’t need the colloar at all: http://www.amazon.com/SENTRY-Calming-Collar-Cats-Pack/dp/B0083F8XVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1459447279&sr=8-1&keywords=pheromone+collar

I would stick cat A in a carrier and let cat B roam around him, and then vice versa. I did that with my cats when I got the second cat and it was helpful. Though they still had a very drama filled first few months (see above). But it’s now been almost 2 yrs with both cats and they are basically fine…..not besties, but they play and tolerate each other for the most part.

As for feeding, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. When I got a second cat, the first also went on a hunger strike (in part cause the new cat is a fat pig who was eating all the food before she could get to it, but thats a separate issue lol). But she eventually got over it. Cats are animals and survival is built into their DNA. I think cat A will eventually start eating again.

Also would advise against trying to psychoanalyze your cats as though they are humans. It isn’t that Cat B has “given up on” cat A. If anything it’s probably just that the novelty has worn off.

Post # 13
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee

I definitely wouldn’t put Cat A in the carrier. He seems really upset and the carrier might make him feel trapped! Just buy a gate or something. Can you ask your vet for some advice?

Post # 14
Member
3244 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Took like three months before my old cat adapted to the kitten. Now they are best buds!! Some alpha cats get a bit moody but it doesn’t mean they won’t come round. I personally wouldn’t worry at all 

Post # 15
Member
740 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I read somewhere that it can take up to 8 months for cats to truly adjust – theyre temperamental animals. They have their own ways to do everything and there’s no real timeline. We adopted a 1.5 year old female cat last year to be with our older male cat – took some time, and they’ll never be best buds, but sometimes theyll lay together when they’re cold and they give each other baths as well. Not all of the time – sometimes they are chasing each other around hissing and fighting. For the most part it’s worked it great, just took some time. Cats are cats, yknow, they do what they like. Don’t give up on your cats yet.

Some suggestions that our vet gave us for our transition: buy Feliway – it plugs into an outlet and releases calming hormones for the cats. Place it somewhere they go most often. 

Have enough litter boxes – can not emphasize this enough. Especially if you have 2 floors. Have atleast 1 per cat and maybe even an extra. 

We also did group treats so all of our cats would be given treats next to one another. We also bought many toys to peak their interests and they’d gather nearby, both wanting to play.

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