Moved In With My Boyfriend And Our Cats Do Not Get Along!

posted 7 days ago in Pets
Post # 2
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee

DO NOT FOR A SECOND FEEL BAD FOR CHOOSING A PET OVER A BOYFRIEND.

 

please, I was in an awful, controlling & abusive relationship and when we moved in together he made me get rid of my 2 cats.
I hate myself every day for doing this, I have no idea where they are, if they’re okay and there is NO way i’ll ever know.
This makes me feel sick every day.

 

Introducing cats takes MONTHS. When I got my second cat, it took me probably 

 

2-3 weeks of them 100% seperated just can smell each other under the door,  Feliways work well, the hanging ones & the spray to refresh.
3-5 weeks of them chasing each other and making me miserable
week 5-6 SILENCE. It was magic and they were finally happy.

Cats are not pack animals and don’t particularly need companionship from another animal.

But patience is key, you’ll get there. They will eventually tolorate each other.

 

ETA: you will have to start again btw. from the beginning every time you skip ahead and things don’t work out. start again, the months it takes now will be worth the years of companionship. 🙂 

Post # 3
Member
1261 posts
Bumble bee

Someone who is worthy of your love will never force you make the choice between them and a beloved pet.

I have cat wars at my house, so I feel your pain. Sleep with your cat some of the time. If your boyfriend is worthy he’ll understand and not try to guilt trip you.

And get his cat spayed.

Post # 4
Member
2889 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

It will be tough because they were not properly introduced in the beginning and have now had the opportunity to have repeated negative encounters with each other. All you can do is start from scratch with introducing them very slowly. This will require a lot of work on both your parts because one cat has a new roommate, and the other is in an entirely new home. It’s an adjustment for both cats. Expect to have failures and setbacks, but don’t get discouraged. Also, he should absolutely get his cat spayed.

As for the sleeping arrangement, I think it would be in your interest to adjust to not waking up to the cat in the bed. I know it will take time and work, but I think it is a better solution than just never sleeping in the same room as your SO.

Be strong. Your kitty has been there for you and now he needs you to be there for him. Don’t give up on the process of getting the cats to live in relative harmony. 

Post # 5
Member
1630 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

laureng1 :  agree with others: 1) do not choose boyfriend over cat and 2) ajustment takes a very very long time. I am a very gung ho person (did not follow the introduction rules to the detriment of my new cat. He paid that price emotionally, which I regret, but even so it still worked out) My cats were all very very easy going and still it took almost a year before there was virtually no more upset. Three years in and they are not cudly with one another or anything, but they accept each other, respect each others respective territories (essential for cats to each feel comfortable) and very very rarely they will acutally play together for a hot minute which gives me great joy. 

Girl, it’s just gonna take some time but don’t give up. Start the process over as PP have said and good luck!

Post # 6
Member
2787 posts
Sugar bee

Can I say that cats are more adaptable than you think. 

The first thing is to have the female cat neutered. It’s probably a good thing because you don’t intend on breeding from her and if she gets out of your accommodation she might come back pregnant with kittens. 

I’ve only owned neutered male cats and my experience is that some of them, although neutered, don’t know it. One of my cats happily fought all the cats in the neighbourhood and occasionally came in after a night on the tiles win a state of sexual excitement with all his fur on end and a look of intent in his eyes. 

So your neutered male car may be responding sexually to the unneutered female cat and her smell. She of course, can tell by his smell that (in cat terms) he’s a dud.

Cat romance isn’t all candlelit dinners and moonlight walks in the park. At best, it’s spitting, yowling, torn ears and flying tufts of fur.

if your neutered male cat is hopefully mounting the female unneutered cat then she is going to object by fighting him. 

If she is neutered she will be calmer and because she won’t smell like an object of desire the chances are he won’t mount her.

Once this has been done try the vets instructions again.

And patience is key. It might take a few months before they start getting on.

Post # 7
Member
965 posts
Busy bee

The cats WILL get along eventually. Either they will generally tolerate/ignore one another, or they’ll straight up like each other. That’s just how it works. You haven’t had them together very long at this point, so there’s quite a bit of time left for you to make any drastic decisions. I would actually wager a good amount of money that they will eventually be fine together. 

But, umm, yeah, he should be spaying his cat. Why hasn’t he done this?!?!! This is Pet 101 anymore. It costs very little money at an SPCA or whatever no-kill shelter in your area. I don’t give a rat’s ass that it’s an invasive surgery for a female–he needs to do this STAT. 

Post # 8
Member
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

It took our cats 8 months to get to the point where they can be in the same room without chasing each other or hissing and growling.   There’s still some of that but it’s nowhere bad as it used to be.  They’ll probably never be friends but I’m ok with where they’re at right now.  It takes time to get to that point though. Try switching out their toys and blankets so they can smell each other and switch off who stays in the room with you at night.  That gives you cat time with your cat but it’s also a way for both of them to smell each other and hang out in a room the other has been in.  Eventually they’re going to realize the other isn’t going anywhere and learn to at least tolerate each other.  

Post # 9
Member
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

No advice on the behavior and getting along but why doesn’t your boyfriend’s cat go in the living room so your cat can sleep in bed with you since it’s such a sacred thing for you two? That way you and your boyfriend can still sleep together.

Post # 10
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I will mimick what other’s have said about there being no shame in picking a pet over a boyfriend.  I will also mimick PP’s question about why his cat doesn’t go in the living room and yours in the bedroom so you can sleep with him and your cat. 

Other than that, introducing two cats is a long, painstaking process.  I found a sick cat underneath my car and decided to take him in.  We are about a month and a half in and finally can have my cat and the new kitty in the same room while on leashes.  They don’t like each other yet, they are showing no interest in being pals and they might never be best friends, but I want them to at least tolerate each other.  We have gotten here from the new cat being down right hostile with my current pets, so I’m confident it’ll get better with time.  

I gave the new kitty his own room so him and my current animals could smell each ohter underneath the door.  Then I eventually started feeding them next to the door, then I started cracking the door so they could see each other without contact.  Now I’m on to harnesses.  It’s tiring, but it’s working.  It’s hard making sure I give each cat dedicated time out and feeding them separately, but with dedication all is going to be fine and I’m sure the same will happen for you.  

Post # 11
Member
7020 posts
Busy Beekeeper

It took my cats a couple months to be able to coexist without regular violent scuffles. It got so bad at one point that my female cat developed a UTI because every time she’d try to use the litter box, the male cat would attack her. I lived in a studio apartment at the time so there was no real way to separate them. What ended up helping in my case was getting a feliway collar for the more aggressive cat. The collar is more effective than the wall diffusers because it’s on the cat all the time so it’s a more direct “dose.” We noticed a drastic change in aggressive cat’s behavior when he had the collar on…he went from attacking female cat every five minutes to more like once every couple days. After a month or two wearing the collar, we took it off as an experiment and found that he still behaved even without it. So I def recommend trying the collar if you haven’t already!

Also fwiw, “aggressive” male cat is the most sweet, gentle cat otherwise…it’s only his sister that could ever bring out his wrath. With humans he is totally docile so I would have never expected him to act that way!

Oh and also, while I don’t think rehoming either cat should even be on the table at this point, I do think some compromise is needed on both sides, and in your case I think you should sleep in the bed with your boyfriend. I understand how nice it is to sleep with your cat, but think of this as a temporary solution. I promise, in time, your cats will learn to live in the same airspace…it just takes awhile with some kitties.

Post # 12
Member
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I know it’s difficult, but trust me when I say it gets better. I have had many kitties over the years, and it is NEVER easy or problem-free when newly introducing two cats. 

I too have had major struggles with mental and physical illnesses and I credit my cats as one of the reasons I’m still alive today. 

I know it’s hard to sleep without your kitty, but I think you should sleep in bed with you boyfriend- especially since you just moved in together. Sleeping separate during this big step in your relationship could be detrimental to the relationship itself. Why not switch it around and have your kitty in the bedroom since it seems like you really depend on him?

Remember to be patient. The more supervised time the kitties have with each other, the more chances they have to get used to each other.

Post # 13
Member
33 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Introducing cats is THE WORST. I have 3 cats and one 6 month old puppy, so I’ve done introductions a few times in the last couple years. When I moved in with my boyfriend (now fiancé) he had one cat and I had one cat. They HATED each other. They would terrorize each other and fight and screach at all hours of the day and night.

We did try introducing them slowly like you’re supposed to. These are some things we did:

  • Had them in separate rooms.
  • Fed them near the door so they could associate each others smells with food.
  • Let them see each other through a crack in the door, each of us petting one cat.
  • Each of us held one cat while we were in a room together.
  • Gave them TONS of treats while they could see each other in the same room.
  • Gave them TONS of love and affection while they could see each other in the same room.

They weren’t having it. They didn’t want to be in separate rooms. One cat destroyed the carpet just to try and dig out of the room. So we let them be free together. They fought and hissed and attacked each other. One night there was screaming super loud.

Then, it all stopped. They needed that one crazy fight to just hash it out and establish the pecking order. Oddly enough, the small female (Zoey) is the alpha, and the large male (Parker) was the beta. Now, 1.5 years later, they LOVE each other. They snuggle together all the time and groom each other. It’s a true love story. (see photos attached).

Then we got another cat, Lily. And it happened again, but worse. Lily wouldn’t come out from under the bed for a month. If she did, Zoey would ferociously attack her. We had her in a separate bedroom for 1-2 months…and Zoey dug up the carpet by the door trying to get to her. Even after we let Lily out of the room, it took about 2-3 months for their pecking order to be figured out again. Now it was Zoey (smallest), then Lily, and the large male, Parker, was on the bottom rung of the social ladder.

Mind you, Zoey and Lily STILL fight. And we’ve had Lily almost a year. It’s more playful fighting now, but there’s still growls and shrieks and chaos at least once a night. Zoey plays too rough, Lily growls and hisses, and then Zoey chases her under a bed. Sometimes though, they are friends and groom each other. It it just Zoey keeping her dominance and alpha status. They DO like each other, but Zoey plays too rough. It’s just how she is. 

When we got a puppy 4 months ago, the routine changed again. Zoey, the smallest of cats, is still the alpha of the house. She even keeps the pup in line. 

Some cats just need that alpha status. Your cats may never truly get along, but they will learn to at least tolerate each other. Make sure you give lots of love to BOTH of them, all the time. Get some Feliway diffusers for sure. Keep them in a couple rooms. They may grow to love each other.

Good luck!

 

 

They hated each other a year before this:

IMG_1369_1

IMG_2922

 

The small gray one. The alpha. Zoey.

file-4 copy

 

 

And then there were three. And it’s not perfect but they tolerate each other.

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Post # 14
Member
2637 posts
Sugar bee

laureng1 :  Stick with it.

How long have you been trying… just over a month?

I dont have experience for 2 cats, but my cat and dog could not be in the same room when i first bought my cat home. It probably took about 3 months to feel like i wasn’t living my life in two separate rooms. 

What helped me immensely was a pet gate. Keeping them completely separated for most of the time was not cutting it. I would work on “introducing” them in the morning, night and sometimes lunch breaks. But when they were able to see/hear/smell the other one without the threat, it really helped them get use to eachother.

I pretty much used cans of tuna and fancy feast to force them to be friends. They had to eat near the gate, then at the gate, then we graduated all the way down to nicely sharing treats and now they both use the same water bowl lol. 

Most of the time they do their own thing. And that is the goal – it is fine if they are never friends, but they need to co-exist and it is possible, but takes work. 

Post # 15
Member
7 posts
Newbee

 I agree with previous responses: your timeline is moving way too fast. Follow your vet’s advice. Keep the cats separate at all times — it won’t be like this forever, but think in terms of weeks/months, not days.

 

Why can’t your cat be the one confined to the bedroom so that you can sleep with him?

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