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Unsuccessful attempt at playing together

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I tried playing with Asher and Jack together as has been recommended. Jack was more interested in playing than Asher of course, but I tried to get them both involved. But, Jack started hissing and growling at Asher and tried to take off with the toy. Why would he do this? He's never been like that? I'm a little worried!
post #2 of 11
If Jack's the dominant cat, he wants the playtime all to himself; he doesn't want to share with Asher. Trying to share playtime with multiple cats when you have a dominant cat can be an exercise in frustration because the dominant cat hogs all the toys, all your attention, and all your time, and the other cats just sit there watching. That's been my experience, anyway. When I want to give quality playtime to another cat, I have to take that cat in a room for playtime together, just the two of us.

Are you trying to use the playtime to introduce the cats to each other? I don't know the background on the situation. If that's the case, don't worry about it too much. You're using the playtime mostly as a diversion, so they focus on you and the toys instead of on each other, and also so they'll associate being together with something pleasurable, fun and interesting. So it's no big deal if Jack's hogging the session -- you're still accomplishing what you're trying to do.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Are you trying to use the playtime to introduce the cats to each other? I don't know the background on the situation. If that's the case, don't worry about it too much. You're using the playtime mostly as a diversion, so they focus on you and the toys instead of on each other, and also so they'll associate being together with something pleasurable, fun and interesting. So it's no big deal if Jack's hogging the session -- you're still accomplishing what you're trying to do.
Yes, I'm using playtime to introduce them. Jack is the new guy. He's about 9 weeks old and we've had him for about 4 weeks now. Asher is my resident cat. He's 4 years old and has been the only cat since we got him when he was 6 mos old.
post #4 of 11
I've had success with food. Feeding them together, gradually moving them closer to one another, has worked for my cats. They've learned to associate a pleasant experience (eating) with the other cat(s). Whenever tensions rise, I always get out their favorite treats as a diversion (make sure there's no competition) and it's worked every time.
I've also tried having them play together and have not had much luck. The body language can seem threatening, especially when there's sudden movements and one or more cat is already on edge.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by clpeters23 View Post
I've had success with food. Feeding them together, gradually moving them closer to one another, has worked for my cats. They've learned to associate a pleasant experience (eating) with the other cat(s). Whenever tensions rise, I always get out their favorite treats as a diversion (make sure there's no competition) and it's worked every time.
I've also tried having them play together and have not had much luck. The body language can seem threatening, especially when there's sudden movements and one or more cat is already on edge.


I have to play with my cats separately - When I try to play with them both together Sonic has a habit of grabbing the toy and then holding it in his mouth and growling - and this can carry on for as long as I'll let him! The introduction of toys into their relationship is always a disaster. I don't know if you've ever heard an Oriental cat growling through a mouthful of furry mouse for half an hour without letup but it's quite disconcerting.

They will eat together quite happily though!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I think I'll try the food idea. Maybe that will go a little better! Thanks guys!
post #7 of 11
Jack is a kitten and is going to hog play time. You have to get them to associate each other with good things. Rub Jack all over with a clean cloth, and rub Asher all over with a clean cloth, then put down treats on the cloths - put the "Jack" smell cloth down for Asher, and put the "Asher" smell cloth down for Jack. Do this at the same time every day.

The best way to introduce is to keep them separate initially and let them meet gradually, but it's a little late for that.

For now, I'd play with them separately, and I'd give Asher loads of extra attention. Any time Jack comes in the room, give Asher a treat, or get out new toys and toss one to each of them. Asher needs to learn to associate Jack with good things, and this will help - it's a party every time Jack shows up! If Asher loves being petted or being brushed, you can do this too.

Since Asher is the one that needs to make the most adjustment, if you free feed, I'd put a cloth with Jack's smell on it under the food dish. If you feed them wet food, I'd do the same cloth trick for each. Put Asher's smell under Jack's food, and put Jack's smell under Asher's food.

There's going to be hissing, growling and fighting. This is normal. Let them work it out. If ears are back, tails are agitated - then maybe give a loud clap (or shake coins in a can) to break it up. But one of them is going to have to establish dominance, and that'll take some time.

Good luck,

Laurie
post #8 of 11
Have you also tried a Feliway diffuser? That's also helped in my house.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
The best way to introduce is to keep them separate initially and let them meet gradually, but it's a little late for that.
We did keep them separate for a week and then gradually let them meet. Jack still has his room that he stays in while we are gone and at night. He and Asher get to "meet" for a little while a few times a day. We've had Jack for about 4 weeks now.

Quote:
There's going to be hissing, growling and fighting. This is normal. Let them work it out. If ears are back, tails are agitated - then maybe give a loud clap (or shake coins in a can) to break it up.
Yes, I do this when I feel things are getting out of hand.

I'll try the towel trick too. Maybe that will help.

Thanks!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clpeters23 View Post
Have you also tried a Feliway diffuser? That's also helped in my house.
No, I haven't tried that yet.
post #11 of 11
It seems to calms everyone down and I swear by it. When two of my cats got into a major hissy-fit, I started using it and I saw a difference within two hours and now have one plugged in all the time.
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