or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Older female can't adjust to new addition to family
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Older female can't adjust to new addition to family

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We have an almost 14 year old female indoor cat who is very sweet, friendly, and SPOILED. Our adult daughter moved back home with her one year old male cat, and our sweetie has turned into a hissing, growling, neurotic mess. We started by keeping Monty (young male) in a separate room from Nala, but she would continually hiss at the door and drive him crazy. Monty got out through a screen and was gone for about 5 weeks, then showed up during a rainstorm. My daughter took him to a friend's house, with other cats, and he was doing fine. Now she has been forced to bring him back to our house, and I'm at my wit's end as to how to get Nala to tolerate Monty.

Monty is a very laid back, good natured cat who just wants to play. Nala is very territorial, used to being the queen, and simply cannot relax when he is anywhere near. I have been separating them when no one is home, and trying to let them roam when we are here to supervise. So far, no big fights, just a lot of hissing and growling. My biggest fear, however, is that Nala will start to resent us for letting Monty stay, as she has occasionally hissed at me and my son when stressed out over Monty.

Am I doing the right thing by trying to let them roam and work it out themselves? How long do you think it might take for them to get used to each other? I should mention that Nala is declawed (don't hate me, she has always been an inside cat and was destroying my carpets!) and Monty is not, although Monty seems to defer to Nala and is not aggressive at all other than to try to make friends.
post #2 of 7
I wish I had some answers to give.. I'm having a similar problem w/ two of my furbabies: Gabriel, who is the older cat (11), and Geronimo, who is about a year & a half old. They just do NOT like each other: Geronimo is the "bully", and Gabriel is really laid back and will not fight back when Geronimo starts in with his "I'm the boss!" attitude. Normally, there's just some hissing & growling going on between the two of them, but the other day they got into almost a blood bath (I posted a thread about it). I figured they'd get over it by now (it's been going on for over a year now), but they just won't come to terms. I'm afraid to leave them alone now when we go anywhere - especially since their fight the other day - and am now going to keep Gabriel safe from harm by keeping him in the bedroom when we're gone. I don't know what else to do, either: I've tried everything..

I hope your two work it out eventually..

post #3 of 7
I had this problem with my Callie when we got Hannah. What worked best for us was getting Comfort Zone with Feliway plug ins and putting them in every room Callie hung out in. Then, we started her on Rescue Remedy, which helped A LOT! I can't remember how many drops we did, but over about 6 months, I weaned her off the drops. Now we just use the feliway plug ins. I can always tell when it's time to change them because Callie gets hissy with Hannah. It's not a marriage made it heaven for the two of them, but they can coexist and even play together some.

Another thing to do, is to make sure that you lavish the love on your older kitty. Reassure her and stick up for her.

post #4 of 7
oh boy...

I'm having the same problem with Bea and the kittens, well... MOSTLY Berach.
He really wants to play with her and she is just not interested.
It's been almost 5 months now though and things are getting better, but slowly. I think patience is key. I really only see very slight progress about once every couple months but it is progress just the same.

I just made it my business to give Bea her own sanctuary to go to. I bought her a new bed with a canopy and put it in the office, the kitties know their not supposed to be in there, they usually stay out, and Bea knows this is her place now.
It's really helped a lot...
post #5 of 7
It'll definitely be hard for your mature female to accept a newcomer, if she ever accepts him. You do want to keep them separated for at least a week without seeing eachother. Hissing and growling is normal - that's just your female letting the new guy knows who's boss and who's house it is. If there hasn't been an all out fight, that's a good sign. You cannot expect your baby girl to be okay with this new guy if she's been an only cat for so long. Oh, and cats are EXCELLENT at redirecting their anger; i.e. hissing at you or other family members.

My female resident cat, Merlynn, is 1 1/2 years old, so she's still very young, but when we adopted the first friend, Piccolino, for her (about a year about), she took to him in about 2 weeks...with hissing and growling at first of course. About 5 months ago, we rescued a baby, Kink (5 weeks). He was kept away from both cats for 3 weeks because he was still too young to be tested and given his first set of boosters.

So after 3 weeks apart we slowly introduced them with supervised daily visits. Nothing vicious, but she definitely unhappy. We started leaving him out once we were sure he could defend himself or at least get away. It took Merlynn about 3 good months to accept Kink...now she grooms him and I catch them playing every now and then. And I am an advocate of the FeliWay spray. If you can afford it, it doesn't hurt. And I did add some Vitamin C to Merlynn's food for a while - it acts as a destressor.

Bottom Line: Patience. It takes time for cats to accept eachother. Some more than others. And they may never even be friends...they may just coexist.

I read something great: You and I can pick and choose who we would like as friends. Our cats are forced to be friends with whomever we choose for them. They deserve some adjustment time.
post #6 of 7
How long will your daughter and her cat be in the house? I'd just keep them separated. At that age, she may NEVER accept him. I'm assuming the male is neutered - if not, get him done. That might help things.

You can try one of these:

1. Wash both cats in the same shampoo.

2. Sprinkle cornstarch baby powder on both and rub it in.

3. Put a dab of vanilla extract on their noses and around the base of their tails.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the tips and for letting me know I'm not alone! Have been keeping them separated when no one is home, and letting Monty out of his room for short periods when Nala is relaxing on her perch in the window. I bought her a new purr pad and have been extra nice, trying to let her know that she is not being displaced, and it seems to be getting a little better. If Nala is relaxed and resting, she doesn't seem to be bothered by Monty unless he stops and looks her in the eye, then she lets him know who's boss!

I plan on trying the Rescue Remedy; I think if Nala stays calm they might actually co-exist, at least for the time Monty will be staying with us. It is not a permanent situation, but may be for a few months or a bit longer and it would really be nice if they can get along.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Older female can't adjust to new addition to family