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Have I messed this up already?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

We have just got ourselves a second cat. She's lovely, 3 years old and very loving. She is still quite jumpy but is fine when I'm around.

Before we got her, I decided to look up advice on introducing 2 cats. Obviously most of it is aimed towards a kitten, but I assumed the same principle applies. I set everything up, the new cat was going to stay upstairs in the bedroom and Kitty would have the run of the rest of the house as usual.

The plan lasted a couple of hours before a forgetful member of the house left a door open. Anyway, i've tried to keep to the advice as much as possible but seeing as they'd already met, their curiosity was gone. I've since given them a few hours supervised meetings a day. It is pretty much ok in the sense they don't fight. Kitty keeps her distance and does funny meows. Lou couldn't care less. She's used to other cats, so kitty isn't anything interesting to her. Whenever she goes near kitty, kitty hisses and sometimes, raises a paw, but never actually fights.

At the moment, they are both sleeping in here with me. Kitty is next to me and lou is on the arm chair.

What I'm worried about is that Kitty is still quite hostile towards Lou and I've noticed today that Lou was becoming a little less tollerant. I don't know how to make life better for them and for them to become better together. I hate the idea of Kitty not coming round to the idea of lou living here and would hate to have to keep them a part when we're not home.

Does anyone have any advice to calm this cat lover down?

post #2 of 9
You need to make extra special time for Kitty as she's feeling displaced and jealous. Try to have play time separate from Lou for a while. My newish kitten is not at all shy, and my 2 yr old was reacting badly (not mad, but stopped eating, etc.) until I made sure to just have time for him and keep the kitten away from his special places. They're getting along better now, but it will take time and may never be perfect and, in fact, once Lou feels more confident there, could even start trying to dominate Kitty so keep an eye for that too along the way.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I have been giving Kitty lots of attention to make sure she realises that she's not being replaced or is any less important.

I can't tell if I have a problem on my hands or not today. They are both in the lounge with me again and are quite happily sleeping on various sofas. Neither cat appears to be interested in the other any more but Kitty will still hiss is Lou Lou gets too close.

I'm assuming it's good that they aren't or haven't fought each other yet.

Quite stressful for me regardless
post #4 of 9
My cats always come together when it's treat time!

Make sure pleasurable experiences include them both. Even at a distance. That way each will associate the other with good things.
post #5 of 9
I am going through the exact same thing. I had the introduction all planned out but in a small apartment it's a little more difficult. Especially when you have a SO that tries to bring them together.

For the first couple of days, Chloe (3 months old) was in the second bedroom with food, litter, toys, etc. and the door was shut. Mattie knew she was in there and would sit at the door. Mattie would find her way in and sit by the door and watch us play with Chloe. After day 5 when Chloe was checked by the vet, we left the door open. Chloe has tons of energy and Mattie is annoyed by it. Mattie will hiss at Chloe when she comes too close but it's not an aggressive hiss. We were once playing with Chloe and the feather teaser so they could focus on the toy and be around each other and Mattie swatted Chloe on purpose instead of the feather. It's definitely her annoying little sister.

When I'm not home, Chloe stays in the bedroom with the door closed. This is mostly so Mattie won't eat Chloe's food, but it's also so that Mattie can wander around the place without the kitten bugging her. I think this helps. I've also fed them near each other gradually too. When Mattie is in the same room as Chloe and isn't hissing, I will give her a treat.

Introductions just take time. Mattie is slowly spending less time under the bed and they will sit by each other in the same room. They aren't playing together yet or sleeping together, but they are getting used to each other. It's only been a little over a week since Chloe even came home so things are going quite well, considering that.

I think it just takes time for them to adjust, cats are not big on change!

I also have a Feliway diffuser, not sure if that's helping.
post #6 of 9
Kitty may just be showing Lou who's boss/alpha, too. Cable still hisses at Chip occasionally, & he's been in our house for 1.5 years, now. she just has to prove to him she's still the boss, i guess...
you could try putting vanilla on both of them, altho smell probably isn't an issue anymore.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the replies. They are all helpful and it's good to get some words from those of you that have been in my situation.

Lou-Lou has declared the top floor her own and will dart upstairs at the first chance she gets. She's a funny one really. She'll be perfectly ok around me and my OH but can then be freaked out by us only an hour later

As she won't come downstairs much, her and kitty haven't spent much time around each other. When they are in the same room, they are often doing what cats do best - sleeping!

This evening, I brought Lou downstairs (she's still not enjoying being picked up!) and I fed her and kitty some nice treats together. They both responded well and basically ignored how close i got them. Lou made one swipe at kitty, but they soon carried on taking the treats. At the moment, they are both sat in the lounge. Kitty keeping a close eye on lou-lou and sometimes getting in the 'pounce' position (thankfully she never has)

If, at some point, one of them does start a chase. Do i let them get on with it - as long as they aren't attacking each other? perhaps they need to work out who is boss before they can start to get on better? Both cats are stopped as soon as they hiss and maybe that's wrong on our side?

Thanks again everyone!
post #8 of 9
Theres a fine line between play-fight and fight. You just have to judge what they are doing. Links only hissed at Lexi for the first 10 mins, then he started a chase, and it turned into play.

Leave them to chase, as it could end up being important when it comes to them getting to know each other. If it turns nasty, stop them, but pay close attention as to whether or not it is play-fight or fight.
post #9 of 9
My view is that as long as they aren't actually fighting they are fine and there is no reason to keep them separated.

I consider hissing and growling between cats that are new to one another to be perfectly normal. Paw swipes are OK too as long as it isn't followed by an all out attack.

One of them will likely be really for play chasing before the other is ready for it and the not ready one will hiss and growl. That's OK, as long as the chasing one gets the hint and stops. Let them work it out.

Just keep a close eye on them. If one becomes visibly agitated, separate them for a short time.

What you describe sounds to me like normal, non-fighting, getting to know you type behavior.
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