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How long for two cats to adjust?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I have a bit of an issue in my household. I have a Ragdoll cat, Oberon,that I've had since he was a kitten. He's just over three now and has been the only cat for the entire time. He is neutered

About about a month and a half ago I came home to a very friendly little stray on my doorstep (Cash). She seemed disoriented being outside and more than a little nervous. So I brought her in, keeping them seperated. I tried to locate her owner (if she had one). After about a week of no luck, I took her in to the vet to get her checked. When she was given a clean bill of health, two weeks after I first brought her in, I introduced them. I did everything right. Well, at least according to the research I did. I did it slowly, allowing them to get used to each other's scents, etc.

I expected a certain amount of resistance. I kept my eye on them and there was no blood shed. It's been a month and there has been a lot of progress. Oberon seems to tolerate Cash. But recently Cash has been a bit more aggressive than I expected. She rushes at Oberon and swats him. He'll sometimes do the same. They chase each other through the apartment and I can't tell if they are playing or serious. Sometimes it seems like they are playing and others I know it is not playful.

So I'm wondering if this is normal. They've been living together for a month and there is still a certain amount of aggression. How long before they are comfortable with each other? Thanks.
post #2 of 13
Sometimes it looks worse to us than it is. If there is no bloodshed, no blood curding howls, it should be all right. Do you think the new one doesn't feel well? That could be a reason for a behavior change. But I'd like to think they were playing. Lots of luck with your 2.
post #3 of 13
Welcome to TCS!!

They might be testing each other's boudaries. Honestly, no cat introduction can take a set amount of time. Some people, in a day, have a happy household. I'm going on 1 year 3 months & still have very unhappy cats. So, it sorta depends on the kitties!

Have you tried Feliway diffusers?
post #4 of 13
Sounds like they're feeling each other out to me. Probably some play in there. The dynamic will keep changing, evolving. A month really isn't that long. My two have been together many months now, but the relationship has changed. Sometimes they seem to like each other more, other times they sleep on opposite sides of the house and have stare-offs. Then I find them cuddled up together

If there's no bloodshed and everyone is using the litter box OK, you're probably better off to just let them work it out cat-style.
post #5 of 13
Depends on the two cats. We've had Charlie since end of December and Ling still gets upset with him. But Charlie usually is the one instigating stuff since he's younger and still a kitten (8 months old).

We usually tell Ling to "knock it off" when she starts growling - 1/2 the time Charlie isn't doing anything to her; but she thinks he "might"....
post #6 of 13
[quote=lithiumribbon;1796397]They chase each other through the apartment and I can't tell if they are playing or serious. Sometimes it seems like they are playing and others I know it is not playful.QUOTE]

Our cats did this same thing for about a month as well. I wasn't sure if they were playing or not. When I watched them more it seemed as though they were playing, but when one was done they would let the other know. I also think they were testing boundaries and seeing who was the top cat. You're older cat has been there for awhile so your house is HIS property. He just needs time to accept that he has to share and the young kitty has to accept the older cat is probably the one in charge.
Our two cats were fine by the second month and by the third month they can't be without the other. If I want to take Leya anywhere with me and leave Enzo behind he throws a FIT!!! They love eachother!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much. I just wanted to make sure that things weren't abnormal. I'm really attached to Cash (the new addition), but I don't want Oberon to be miserable.
post #8 of 13
Sounds to me as if they are sorting out who is 'top cat' which usually involves a bit of chasing, swatting, hissing, and growling, but as long as there is no blood being spilled I wouldn't worry too much, it is just something that they have to sort out between themselves. It's probably a good idea to keep their claws trimmed as if they get long they can cause damage even if that is not the intention.

It's more usual to have a period of disruption when introducing cats than it is for it to go harmoniously, it's just in their nature as territorial and routine-loving creatures to take a while to adjust to changes in their environment or newcomers. I assume that Cash is spayed?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi again. Cash's aggression seems to be getting worse. She is establishing herself as top cat, since Oberon is such a marshmallow. I found a scratch on Obie's nose today and a similar scratch on Cash's. She reacts quickly with very little warning and she alternates between agressive and affectionate, even with me. When I first brought her in she was sweet as pie, but has steadily shown that she has some aggression issues. She is very sweet to me most of the time, but sometimes she lashes out.

Since I don't know her background I'm not sure why she reacts the way she does. I try not to antagonize her and watch her body language but she is quick to bite and scratch. I'm not really sure what to do. Should I continue to wait it out? Should I try Feliaway diffusers? Should I think about rehoming her in a household with no other cats? Help!
post #10 of 13
I have tried Feliway with success, but not always. Is cash spayed yet? If not, that may help her to calm. I would trim nails for right now, for any future spats.
I have used a good smelling baby food that I will place on the cats fur, for the other cat to lick off, and sometimes after the first "bath" it seems like they bond.
You may want to bring them back apart and only have them together with supervision, and try to bring them together by playing with toys, or catnip. Also a cat tree may help, giving one a chance to get at a different level than the other.

I wish you much luck.
post #11 of 13
Do try feliway, also you can use the vanilla trick, where you use some vanilla extract on each cat so they have a common scent.

Also anything you can do to increase territory (remember cat territory is vertical too!) will also be helpful. Do you have a kitty tree, or various places they can perch?
post #12 of 13
Get some Feliway diffusers (best price I've seen is at www.petguys.com). It's really helped two of my cats, who, after 4 yrs still aren't crazy about each other.
I can tell when chasing is not playing: one cat seems panicked and desperate to get away and the other is relentless in pursuit. When that happens I will clap my hands or make a loud noise to allow the chasee to get away before it gets more serious.

Have you tried feeding them, or giving them treats together? That's helped; getting them to associate a good thing (food) with each other.

Good luck!

post #13 of 13
As others have said there is no given time.

I am in the process of integrating a cat right now as well. She is a five year old spayed female I adopted from petfinder.

I have seven other cats and surprisingly is has not been to bad but I can tell things are esculating.

For the most part the new kitty keeps her distance from the other cats. If they get to close she hisses and sometimes growls at them and they back off slowly letting her know they do not want to fight.

But yesterday and this morning our cat Uno did not back off. Yesterday she chased her upstairs but I really think she wants to play. She is an indoor cat and she gets bored when the other cats are outside. The most popular place to place is the steps were they play tag. Uno had her ears up and I could tell she wanted to play tag but Frosty wanted no part of it. She growled and then ran away.

Then this morning Frosty was hissing at Bob and Uno headed at her and bopped her in the face. I think she was protecting Bob (her son). It was almost like she was telling her "Hey you can hiss and growl all you want at me but not my kid"

I clapped my hands and Bob and Uno took off and Frosty was fine. She is very affectionate with us and has become fairly comfortable with the dogs.

I don't know if they will ever become buddies but I just want Frosty to become comfortable enough to stop hissing and hiding but I know it takes time. Since there has been no fights yet I am letting them work it out for themselves.

I am just glad it is summer when I got her. The cats are in almost all the time in the winter and I think that would have been a lot more stressful on Frosty.

Originally Posted by clpeters23 View Post
Have you tried feeding them, or giving them treats together? That's helped; getting them to associate a good thing (food) with each other
I forgot about that. I am going to get some cheddar crumbles today! Thanks
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