- 3 years ago
Hello, again. A few weeks ago I wrote here asking for your opinion about adopting or not a second cat. You all convinced my Darling Husband and myself, so we went to the pet-shelter and started the process. We asked for a cat that would match our home-cat’s personality, and they suggested “Cat B”.
Cat B is the same age as Cat A (our resident cat), same sex and slightly taller. He is super friendly and easygoing. He is what you would call a “lap cat”, who accepted my husband and myself as his new family right away. He even accepted living with Cat A, as he has never hissed or growl at him. He actually tried “talking” to him in their first closed-door encounter.
But, Cat A has been completely the opposite. He hissed and growls at Cat B even thru the closed door and has been mad most of the time since we got Cat B.
We are trying the whole introduction process that we read on several websites and told by the pet-shelter people. Overall, this is what we have done:
Day 1: Cat B was placed on safe-room away from Cat A. Cat A spend the day at his own room (our bedroom), ate normally, played as usual, etc.
Day 2: Cat A was allowed to go outside his room and explore the house, he quickly found out about Cat B and started hissing at the door -normal- he also made this deep growling/meoowing sounds that are way too funny, but also aggressive. Cat B didn’t react to them. We tried feeding them on each side of the closed-door: we places both cat’s food three feet away from the door and slowly pushed them together. Cat B didn’t mind at all and ate his food. Cat A stopped when we approached the two-feet mark.
Later that day, we feed them again. Cat B remained one foot away from the door, while Cat A refused to eat even though his dish was three feet away from the door.
Day 3: We feed both cats. Cat A refused to eat at all. Cat B ate everything. We decided it was time for Cat B to explore, so we locked Cat A on our bedroom and let Cat B explore. He was very happy, even cuddled with us on the sofa. We played and he ignored Cat A’s hissing and crying on the other side of the door.
We also tried rubbing Cat B with a towel and then let the towel at Cat A’s room, and viceversa. They both sniffed at their respective towels, and while Cat B seemed okay with it, Cat A began attacking the towel.
Day 4: Again, feeding both cats. Cat A refuses to eat when Cat B is eating, despite being hungry (as soon as Cat B finished, Cat A runs to his dish). Cat A keeps hissing and growling at Cat B’s door.
As recommended by our pet-shelter, we did the “room-swap” exercise. Cat B was pretty okay with being in Cat A’s room: he sniffed around, played, etc. But Cat A hissed and growled at my husband, almost bitting him. He also hissed at me when I decided to be the one in the room with him (I got scared after he acted so aggressive towards me!), then smell the room and all the toys in it, and then simply hide on a corner. As soon as we undid the room-swap he ran towards under the bed and refused to come out to eat.
Day 5: Feeding time remains the same. Cat A refuses to eat if his bowl is less than three feet away from Cat B’s door, and usually doesn’t eat until Cat B has backed away from the door. Cat B has been feeling sad lately, as he is less energetic than before. Cat A still hissed at Cat B’s door randomly during the day, and “guards” his door by sitting near it. Ocasionally, he has been sractching at Cat B’s door while growling.
Husband and I fist thought he might want to play with Cat B (he was initially just scratching, not growling) so we opened the door enough so both cats could smell but not see each other. Bad idea…Cat B sat calmy on his side, while Cat A was pushing the door while hissing and growling, waving his tail with anger.
Day 6 (today): Feed time is still the same, and I am starting to worry for Cat A’s health. Cat A continues scratching and hissing at the door, and when Cat B is left out his room to play (Cat A being in his room) he cries and growls from his side, breaking my heart in two. He then becomes angry for the rest of the day and refuses to cuddle with us, like he used to. Cat B has been less energetic, and looks less interested in Cat A as if he had “given up” on him.
We were given 15 days to see if both cats can adapt to living together, but so far we have seen no improvement. I read somewhere that if after one week there is still hissing and growling for either or both cats, then they are unlikely to be together.
I do not know if I should move on to the next step in the introduction, letting them see each other, given that Cat A has been so aggressive. I also do not have a cage or baby-fence, all I have is a plastic carrier. Should I put Cat B in the carrier on neutral ground and let Cat A explore him? Or should I put Cat A in the carrier and let Cat B explore? Or it is an awful idea?
I guess I am worried that neither cat will adapt and they are just having an awful time. When is it time to quit? How can I understand what my cat is telling me? Should I continue the introduction or is it already doomed to fail?