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Cat fighting - how much is too much?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ok, I know there have been a number of threads and articles on this topic and I have read several of them, but I was just hoping for some advice on my own specific situation.

Background - I have had my 5 month old male cat, Mister Matt Esquire, who was neutered and had his shots before I adopted him, for 3 months, he was the only animal in the apartment. I just took in a stray female cat 3 days ago, the Professor, who has not been spayed (to my knoweldge) and who is 9 months old. I took the Professor to the vet yesterday and she has an overall clean bill of health. I had them in seperate rooms for a couple of days and would switch them off between rooms without introducing them, just so they can get used to the scent of the other cat. I have tried introducing them a few times for very short periods of time, about 10-15 minutes a session, but things get very ugly every time. I've never owned a cat so it is hard for me to tell the difference between play and fighting, but to me, it looks like these cats are trying to kill each other. Mister Matt is extremely aggressive and territorial, absolutely terrorizing the Professor. He tackles her and bites her on her throat and chases her all over until I feel compelled to step in and seperate them. The Professor is fairly passive, only attacking Mister Matt out of self defense.

I know there are different schools of thought on how to handle this and I know it has only been 3 days, but I'm seriously wondering if these cats will ever get along. I'd hate to have to get rid of one of them. I've heard that I should just let them duke it out and establish their heirerarchy and eventually they'll learn to co-exist in their own way, but that's hard to do with all the hissing, screaming, and what appears to be all-out combat. I've also heard that I ought to break things up when it gets rough, but it's always rough and I'm afraid if I don't let them work it out on their own, then this will just continue forever.

My question is, should I continue with this routine of switching them between rooms and allowing short, supervised meeting sessions? Am I just being impatient? I didn't expect them to be best friends immediately, but the intensity of the fighting has me worried. Any advice would certainly be appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 3
Welcome to TCS!

It's only been three days. The level of aggression you are seeing is normal.

If it were me, I would contain Professor to one room. I wouldn't switch rooms, but rather rub a towel/blanket on one & give it to the other & the same for the other kitty. Or else just give one a blaknet for a day, then give that blanket to the other. Switch scents. I'd do that for a week, at least.

Then, what I'd do....put vanilla on the tops of their heads & at the bases of their tails before introducing them face to face. Also, invest in Feliway diffusers now & get them going....that'll help calm them down.

Take things slow....cats are territorial & it's normal to experience aggression.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
The switching between rooms was the vet's idea. I'll check out the Feliway and I'll try the vanilla. Thanks for the advice!
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