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Introduction Troubles: Help!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've read many scenarios about introducing a new cat to a resident cat, and am following the instructions. 5 days in and I don't think it is going to well. Please tell me what I am doing wrong:

New cat is 4 year old mixed tabby oriental short hair, and the resident cat is an 8 month old mix lynx point. New cat has been in the bathroom for the last 5 days. She is very shy and has started allowing us to pet her but she is still very skittish. On day 5 our resident cat finally would smell the door and not hiss so we decided it was time for a face to face introduction. We put the new cat in a carrier and placed the carrier in the kitchen. The resident cat came up and investigated the carrier. On first sight, the resident cat hissed over and over, and then swatted at the carrier cage door. At that point I decided the introduction was not going well and brought the new cat back to the bathroom. She hid in the corner for the next 2 hours. She finally came out and was requesting pets from me so I decided to try another introduction and this time through a slight crack in the bathroom door. Again a hiss by the resident cat, and then the resident cat ran away.

Will these two cats ever get along??? Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
5 days is not really long enough to tell if they will get along or not. I would introduce them when the resident cat is no longer hissing at the door. And when you do introduce use positive reinforcement with toys and treats.
post #3 of 12
Based on your description your new kitty sounds like she lacks confidence right now and needs time to bond to you. I recommend that you have some play sessions with just you and her. Ideally you will get her to attack a feather or toy - encourage her to "get the toy!!" with the end result that she is back doing something that reminds her of how she was in her last familiar setting, in control etc. It will put her mentally back in the game so to speak.

When you introduce her and the resident cat, give them both treats at the same time. Do play sessions with them through the door crack or under the door with a string or feather toy so they become absorbed in the game with each other and can experience each others' smell in a positive reinforcing setting. Also this will make your resident cat want to be around the other cat more, if resident sees that treats and play happen around new cat.

Get Feliway spray or plug-in to release positive pheremones if you can afford it. Also mix their bedding so they get familiar with each others' smells. The carrier idea was a good one but just too soon. I would keep the bathroom thing going since it is now a place where the new cat feels safe. You can also try opening the door when resident cat is asleep so new cat can do a bit of exploring on her own. If you open the door to let resident into the bathroom, make sure there is a place up high for new cat to go to in case she needs a bit more comfort. Best to distract them with play somewhere in the hallway so new cat can bat at toys in the hall from the bathroom vantage and resident can bat from the hallway vantage.

I hope this makes sense and let us know what happens! You are doing well with patience and understanding!!!
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsnow View Post
I've read many scenarios about introducing a new cat to a resident cat, and am following the instructions. 5 days in and I don't think it is going to well. Please tell me what I am doing wrong:

New cat is 4 year old mixed tabby oriental short hair, and the resident cat is an 8 month old mix lynx point. New cat has been in the bathroom for the last 5 days. She is very shy and has started allowing us to pet her but she is still very skittish. On day 5 our resident cat finally would smell the door and not hiss so we decided it was time for a face to face introduction. We put the new cat in a carrier and placed the carrier in the kitchen. The resident cat came up and investigated the carrier. On first sight, the resident cat hissed over and over, and then swatted at the carrier cage door. At that point I decided the introduction was not going well and brought the new cat back to the bathroom. She hid in the corner for the next 2 hours. She finally came out and was requesting pets from me so I decided to try another introduction and this time through a slight crack in the bathroom door. Again a hiss by the resident cat, and then the resident cat ran away.

Will these two cats ever get along??? Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
yes, you are doing something wrong. let the new kitty trust you and anyone else in the household first, this will give her the confidence to talk back to the resident cat. once you have established a firm connection with your newbie, let the interactions just happen. keep them supervised, also. and do either of them like laser pointers? i have found that they are a wonderful way to distract a kat from being a butt-head, that is, only if the kitty in question is like mine.
p.s. my new kitten just rolled herself up in the karpet!! kitty taco!!
post #5 of 12
Definitely get the Feliway! What's worked for me is to regularly switch the rooms the're in, so they can smell each other without seeing each other. If the new cat is very timid, put her in the carrier so as not to overwhelm her with a big new house all at once.
When things calm down, try to feed them or give them treats within a safe distance from one another, if necessary, keep them in their carriers. Help them to associate good things (food) with each other. Trying to get them to play together hasn't worked in my house; one cat gets too aggressive and freaks out the other one.

I know it's difficult; I've had introduce and reintroduce my cats many times. Be patient and don't rush them.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Update...

I've continued supervised introductions. They were progressing well; resident cat would hiss a little while new cat would meow, looking as though she wanted to play. Well over the last week the tides have turned. Now the resident cat seems to have overcome her anger/fear and attempts to play with the new cat. The new cat is now the one hissing and has actually swatted the resident cat a few times. Every time they are within a few feet of each other, the new cat hisses uncontrollably and swats the resident cat. We now monitor very closely their interactions. We feed them with their bowls within 2 feet of each other and they appear fine.

I guess more time is needed...
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh yea, and so much for keeping separate litter boxes and water bowls. The resident cat thoroughly enjoys using the new cats water and litter box.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsnow View Post
Update...

I've continued supervised introductions. They were progressing well; resident cat would hiss a little while new cat would meow, looking as though she wanted to play. Well over the last week the tides have turned. Now the resident cat seems to have overcome her anger/fear and attempts to play with the new cat. The new cat is now the one hissing and has actually swatted the resident cat a few times. Every time they are within a few feet of each other, the new cat hisses uncontrollably and swats the resident cat. We now monitor very closely their interactions. We feed them with their bowls within 2 feet of each other and they appear fine.

I guess more time is needed...
You might want to read my experiences with introducing Penny to my fur family. Here are the links:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Hissing is normal and to be expected, and it DOES take time for the cats to get to know each other and reshuffle the kitty hirarchy. Hissing does NOT mean there will be permanent problems. When Penny wants to play with Ferris, they bomb all over the house having fun, but if she's not in the mood, watch out, Ferris!

It sounds to me like you are doing EXACTLY the right things, and with patience and time you will all be one big happy family.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
gingersmom,

thanks for much for directing me to your write ups. very encouraging!

i am a bit confused regarding your use of vanilla extract and flower essence.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsnow View Post
gingersmom,

thanks for much for directing me to your write ups. very encouraging!

i am a bit confused regarding your use of vanilla extract and flower essence.
Cats use the sense of smell as their main sense - they recognize each other by the smell, NOT by sight.

A new cat coming in does not have the "house" smell, so by using the vanilla extract (the real stuff, NOT the artificial) by applying it to the backs of their necks where they can't reach it to lick it off, they then smell the same to each other, and this reduces aggression.

Flower essences, the most popular brand is Bach's Rescue Remedy, is a holistic treatment that has worked wonders for reducing fear and panic in my feral rescue, Ferris. I do not give it to the other cats, only him, because he has capture trauma and panic issues.

I hope that helps.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Cats use the sense of smell as their main sense - they recognize each other by the smell, NOT by sight.

A new cat coming in does not have the "house" smell, so by using the vanilla extract (the real stuff, NOT the artificial) by applying it to the backs of their necks where they can't reach it to lick it off, they then smell the same to each other, and this reduces aggression.

When one of our cats is due for a vet visit, we take both of them so that one won't smell differently when they come home. So far this has worked great for us. It also seems to have a calming influence on them while at the vet since we hold them near each other.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Introduction Update

It is coming up on 3 weeks since we got our new cat. She seemed to get over her fear of us and the new house, but lately has been terrified while out of her "seclusion" room we put her in when first adopting her. The only time she spends considerable time outside of the room is when she is either hiding under a couch, the bed, or on a kitchen chair under the table. If you walk up to her while she is between any of the 3 places mentioned and her room, she bolts to her room. The odd part is once she is in her room she is the most friendly cat. She wants pets all the time.

Our resident cat has taken to the new cat very well. She no longer hisses, unless she gets hissed at. For the most part she will "stalk" the new cat by chasing her around and has attempted to pounce the new cat a few times in friendly play. All these efforts end in the new cat hissing and sometimes swatting the resident cat. While the new cat is in her room, the resident cat will come and sit and lay with the new cat (new cat is up on her perch atop the toilet. resident cat is on the floor).

The only time I see the new cat even go towards the resident cat is when the resident cat has her back to the new cat, the new cat will on occasion slowly walk up and sniff the resident cat.

I feel the new cat's skittishness in general is the main problem in not taking well to the resident cat, because the resident cat is bonkers 24/7 (always on the go). I'm sure if I was scared in a house, an overly hyper person would not make me feel any better. But after 3 weeks, the new cat is almost as skittish as the day we brought her in.
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