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Cat rejecting all other cats?? (long)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for reading this beforehand, guys. My fiancee and I have been close to panic trying to figure out a solution on our own...

We have two cats that we raised together from about 6 or 8 weeks old. They were both strays; one, Turk, is a very affectionate, people-friendly cat and the other, Pixie, was once a feral cat. As she grew up she began to love people and she now rolls in the floor for attention and behaves like a normal cat, only she hate, hate, HATES being picked up. Pixie has been spayed and Turk is neutered.

Enter the Kitten. My parents had an adorable little black kitten on their back porch that was a stray but as sweet as she could be. Her personality reminded me terribly of the cat I had had for years growing up, so I couldn't resist picking her up and taking her home with me. Well, I didn't do any research on it, because I am ignorant of the ways of cats and it was kind of a short-notice affair. So, we did the unutterably stupid thing and tried to introduce them right away.

I know. Horrible, right? I'm aware now.

Pixie was initially okay with her, but after a few hours she began to FLIP. She would growl and hiss and run around like crazy, going so far as to bang her head on the wall as she tried to escape. So we put the kitten in a bathroom and I finally researched the business. We tried several suggestions from all over the internet, but whenever Pixie smells the kitten's scent, she goes INSANE. It's gotten to where we have to lock her in a bedroom. And the worst part is that now she goes nuts whenever she sees Turk, too.

Is there any hope for them? I was going to just take the kitten back, but now that Pixie seems to have rejected Turk as well, I'm not so sure. Turk is a very social cat, so we want him to have another cat around that doesn't hate him. I have an aunt that would love to take in Pixie, but I don't want to consider that unless there's no way to reconcile her with Turk...

By the way, this morning when I visited Pixie, she was very happy to see me and acted like her old self. That's the weird thing. One minute she'll be very happy and sociable around people, the next she'll hear or smell another cat and retreat under the bed, growling and hissing.

Any ideas?? Thanks so much for reading this stupidly long post.
post #2 of 15
I think my Ophelia Rose must be at your house!

Have you tried Feliway diffusers?
Rescue Remedy?
Done the entire re-introduction process slowly (over several weeks) ?
post #3 of 15
You didn't give us any timeframes. How long has this all been going on? Our answers might be different if you can clarify duration.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
This hasn't been going on very long, admittedly. We brought the kitten in Sunday afternoon and have been trying to get Pixie used to her scent by letting the kitten wander around the house and then letting Pixie out where the kitten had been, and that's really about all we've dared to do yet, since Pixie seems to be so opposed to the poor little kitten. I know it really hasn't been that long, but I was just unsure if such a violent reaction is normal? Does it have something to do with the fact that Pixie and the new kitten are both females (though Pixie's been spayed and the kitten hasn't).

After a long day of growling and hissing, Pixie's finally accepted Turk again. We worry that Pixie will repeat this violent cycle if we introduce the scent of the new kitten and that she'll go back to hating Turk for most of a day every time she smells trouble (i.e., the kitten). Are we overreacting?

Also, I've been researching Feliway diffusers. What is the appropriate use for this product? Do we plug it in in the room with the older two cats or with the kitten? Thanks so much.
post #5 of 15
Here is a great thread on introducing new cats to resident cats. I particularly like the vanilla extract trick (get them to smell the same).

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67321

Hang in there. Some cats take weeks if not months to adjust!!
post #6 of 15
Takes time and patience. Females tend to be more territorial and resentful when a newcomer arrives. I had a RB female that hated other females and would beat up any other cat in the house in frustration - EXCEPT for Mitten (who raised her from a 4 month old kitten). She never talked back to him.

Since the new kitten is also female, I can see why your older female is acting this way. Eventually they will tolerate each other. I'd get the new kitten spayed as soon as possible, which will help with things.
post #7 of 15
Hi there, we went through intros not too long ago and it was quite stressfull! My supposed to be laidback ragdoll kitten (9 month) flipped out when I brought the new kitten (3 months exotic sh.). He growled and hissed at everyone and everything that smelled like the kitten. My hands, toys, blankets, even with Iggy confined to the office, Sal was so aggresive I couldn't even get close to him. From a cat that had never hissed, bit or growled at anything. In the end, all that worked was patience and time and I did notice a reduction in his agression of about 50% when i put the nutrivet diffuser. I was skeptical and didnt buy one at first but when i saw how bad things were I decided to get one ASAP. Also, it took about a week of closely supervised short "playdates" where both cats roamed free before I could leave them unattended for a few hours. 3 weeks later, the guys are pretty much inseparables! So hang in there and don;t give up on Pixie. I realize how frustrating it is to see your loved cat turn into this angry creature, but she was there first I'm sure she diserves a bit more time to adjust before you think of any drastic measures!

Good luck and keep us posted!!!
post #8 of 15
The thread that Momofmany posted a link to should be very helpful.

That said - time is the main ingredient. We've always had trouble with the females - especially with female intros. Our Spooky takes 6 months to stop hissing/growling or batting at the newcomer, and takes a full year to accept newbie as part of the OK clan.

Pixie's (and Turk's) needs come first. Make sure you give her extra alone time - to play or cuddle, both, or whatever it is she loves.

I think it might help to keep the new kitten separated for a few weeks? I mean in a room that Pixie doesn't use much. Do you have a guest bedroom? If the only room is the bathroom, that's probably too small. When we first went through all the intros with our clan and fosters, we lived in an RV, so separating the cats wasn't an option. We just had to do our best to keep everyone happy as possible.

If you have a guest bedroom or something, if you're up for it, it really works to temporarily replace the door with a screen door. Then they can see and smell each other.

If not, you just have to help Pixie associate the new kitten with good things. Get a stock of new toys, and any time new kitty enters a room where Pixie is, give Pixie a new toy to play with. Or rub new kitty all over with a towel, and when new kitty enters the room where Pixie is, put treats out for everyone - but put Pixie's treats on the new kitty scented towel.

As to the Feliway - if you can't get a plug-in for all the main rooms, maybe consider getting the spray bottle instead. Spray it along all the walls and furniture at cat height. Avoid scratching posts and litter box areas. We found it most effective for two weeks on, one week off, etc.

I'd also consider the multi-cat harmony remedy flower essences. In addition to adding it to the water Pixie drinks, maybe dab behind her ears. They're available here: http://www.catfaeries.com

It can be really stressful for everyone when cats react like this to new intros - but understanding that cats are territorial - and females tend to be emotional and jealous (in our experience), with patience, love and lots of incentives, Pixie will come around. She may never actually become friends with the little one - but at a minimum they'll work out a "territory truce." ...But even our Spooky now grooms the last intro, Ming Loy.

Laurie
post #9 of 15
I tend to be a barbarian. I pitch the new cat into the house and go out to dinner.
As long as there are no spurting arteries or severed limbs in evidence I call it a good introduction. Since I do so much rescue most of my cats can't be bothered to react to a new cat in the house.
This week I've taken in 3 identical white fluffy kittens, about 8 weeks old. They hate my cats, they hate the other foster cats and they now hate each other. Quite funny. I'm sure they'll all be sleeping in a pile by next week.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer Kitten View Post
I tend to be a barbarian. I pitch the new cat into the house and go out to dinner.
As long as there are no spurting arteries or severed limbs in evidence I call it a good introduction. Since I do so much rescue most of my cats can't be bothered to react to a new cat in the house.
This week I've taken in 3 identical white fluffy kittens, about 8 weeks old. They hate my cats, they hate the other foster cats and they now hate each other. Quite funny. I'm sure they'll all be sleeping in a pile by next week.

That's what my mom has done numerous times with the cats when I was growing up. She introduced Chassis to Mag by dropping Chassis on the floor next to him and letting them do what they wanted. Same with Caliper and Tailpipe later on. They're all happy-go-lucky for the most part.

We just introduced a 1½ year old female to our resident 6 month olds (male & female). Monte seemed to enjoy sniffing her, though he kept sneaking up behind her - which scared her, made her hiss, and then he hissed back.

Katina doesn't wanna know a thing. I let her sniff the cat through a crack in the bathroom door and she freaked, even attacking Monte on her way out. We are going to be gone for a few days next week after the wedding, and then gone for a week 2 weeks from now so we are planning on trying the vanilla extract to get them acquainted without completely different smells. (The new cat was from a house with another cat and a dog).
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouragement, you guys. We waited it out and took the suggestions you offered here, and now we have two happy cats and one mildly annoyed but accepting one.



Pixie is on the right and Moogle (the new kitten) is on the left. Turk's not in here, because he's not a problem child. Thanks again!!
post #12 of 15
you gotta frame that pic! So happy things are settling down for you all
post #13 of 15
Doesn't sound strange to me because I had a cat who was just like that. Thumper literally hated any other cat. Before I took her into my home she was just another cat with a group called The Cat People. They had to literally isolate her away from fellow cats.
Never knew why she was like that but I just assumed it was just a cat trait.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarall View Post
Thanks for the encouragement, you guys. We waited it out and took the suggestions you offered here, and now we have two happy cats and one mildly annoyed but accepting one.



Pixie is on the right and Moogle (the new kitten) is on the left. Turk's not in here, because he's not a problem child. Thanks again!!
Awwwww...Moogle is absolutely adorable!!! And Pixie is a knockout with those brilliant blue eyes!!!
post #15 of 15
Awww, I'm so glad everything worked out! You have gorgeous babies!

I've never done the "slow introduction" thing. I figure cat politics have to be worked out so might as well get that out of the way first. Now, if there was actual danger of physical harm, that is one thing, but a lot of hissing, growling and posturing...most cats work that out amongst themselves.

They will probably be the best of friends now (or at least live in the same house w/out killing each other!)
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