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PLEASE HELP!! Need advice on cat beahvior, specifically introducing to new cats

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
This is my first post and would first off like to say thank you to anyone who reads this and posts anything as I am at my wits end. I will first start with a little history. I moved to a new house in college about two years ago and one day found a very friendly stray on my porch. She was extremely affectionate and as I had been looking for a cat I decided to take her in, if she would continue to come back. Well, she did and since that day she has been my cat. She is spayed, and i do not keep a litter box for her as she has always gone outside because she was a stray before and just kept going outside. I keep my window open for her at all times and she comes and goes as she pleases. She is always laying around my bed, and when she decides she feels like it will come into the living room to hang out, or if i am at my computer she will sit in my lap. She has never been afraid of any person and has always been a big hit with all my friends. She has been skiddish around dogs before but always gets over it, and i have found other cats inside my house before. Some were strays, some had collars, but she always seemed not to mind them.

Well, about two weeks ago I got a new roommate who also has a cat. Her cat is an only indoors cat who is not spayed. Since the days the new cat (Honey) came to the house my cat (Natty) has been avoiding coming inside as if it were full of the plague. I know Natty comes inside periodically because she is still eating her food. But she will leave as soon as anyone sees she is inside and she has never ever been afraid of me, or not allowed me to approach her; but she keeps her distance now . I am rather cat ignorant, I have had them my whole life but have never really had any problems, especially one of this magnitude. I dont know if there is a proper way to get them to interact because Natty just runs outside as soon as she comes inside, or as soon as I put her inside to she what she will do. I closed my window one day so she could not leave, and she seemed to contentedly lay there, but as soon as i opened my window to see what she would do, she left.

I am really at my wits end and am starting to miss my cat, also i worry about her because i live in the desert and she is a black cat where the temperature regularly reaches 100+ degrees. If anyone has any advice to give I would really appreciate it. Thank you for your time everyone.

Cobywan, a concerned cat owner.
post #2 of 5
Hello and welcome to the site - I am sorry that you find yourself in this sticky situation But dont worry theres lots of things you can do to help integrate these two kitties

Cat introductions can be difficult but with time, effort and patience it can be achieved.

Theres lots of useful information in Cat Behaviour and Cat Care Forums - heres one link about introductions.

You dont say much about how Honey is reacting to your cat - can you tell us some more about what happens when they get up close and personal - there may be some good signs already

As you know you cant force cats to do anything that they don't want to and to be honest two weeks is still very early days. Natty's obviously got a moody on, she wont like that another cat has invaded her space, she'll smell Honeys scent and that will confuse her.

To start with, maybe you could buy some Feliway plug-ins or sprays, this helps calm the atmosphere. Also vanilla extract dabbed under both cats chins will make them smell the same and will ease tensions a bit

I know this might sound mean, but when Natty comes in, make sure she cant get back out and monitor them meeting each other, obviously only for short periods of time to start of with. If they are living in the same space they really need to meet and get to know each other

It also sounds like you leave food down for Natty so she can eat when she pleases. This was obviously fine when she was the only cat. Maybe you could get into a feeding routine that means Natty only eats when you put food down for her. Make it the same time that Honey gets fed, feed them in the same room but one at one side of the room and the other at the other side. In time move the bowls closer to each other. This all helps with integration.

Try not to expect too much too soon - I'm in the process of integrating a new addition, Teddy, into a 3 cat household and we are still dealing with some minor issues Teddy has been with us over 3mths and its been slow but there has been improvements. Hes a lively little thing and I have 2 seniors both over 13yrs and a youngster so you can imagine the fun and games we are having.

Well for now, don't panic Natty will sense that too, its early days. Try a few things, get into a routine and in time things will settle down

Keep us posted and good luck !
post #3 of 5
Welcome to TCS, cobywan!

Honey is unspayed which makes her high in the pecking order. Natty also considers her the dominant one and does not wish to challenge her. The house and specially the room you share with your roomate has become Honey's territory.

Perhaps you can convince your roomate to spay Honey and then start introducing both cats. Please read the stickies above for more advise on proper introductions.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
To answer you Moofi,

Honey is responding well, if anything she seems to be interested in Natty and will try to approach her, but Natty makes sure Honey knows she does not want to be approached . Natty will growl and hiss at Honey and as soon as she can find a way out, she takes it immediately. Natty is much, much bigger than Honey so to a relative layman like myself I thought Natty would not feel threatened; but she definately does.

There has been a bit more normalcy in Natty's behavior the past few days, she is announcing herself to me again, and last night even came inside to sleep with me for the first day in a few weeks so things seem to be looking up a bit. Im just going to try and do as the site has said and get Natty accustomed to Honey's scent and let her do everything at her own pace.

Well Im keeping my fingers crossed, but things are looking up. Wish me (and Natty) luck! Thank you!
post #5 of 5
just checking back in on you and your kitties - well I am glad you are getting some sort of normality it does take time and its a good sign that Natty came to sleep with you aww how sweet !

So how things going this week ?
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