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Help! New cat not getting along with others...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So, about a month ago I found an adult spayed siamese female in a parking lot and took her in. I lived alone with her in my apartment for about a month. Everything was fine... she loves people and was very affectionate towards everyone.

A few days ago I moved back into my house with my male dog (he is excellent around cats and doesn't bother them too much) and my adult neutered male cat (he is also usually good around other cats).

My female cat does not like the other animals. Everytime they come near her she hisses and growls. She will let me pet her once or twice before hissing and growling at me. I'll try to play with her and brush her to calm her down, but she still hisses and hits me with her paw. She'll come out and walk around... sometimes using my male cats litter box..but still seems very uneasy and stressed out.

Last night my male cat started chasing her back into her room (I gave her a seperate bowl and litter box in different room than his). I've been shooting him with a spray bottle trying to get him to leave her alone. Should I do this? What can I do to help my female not feel so stressed? Is there a another way to help her get adjusted? Has anyone ever had a problem similar to this?

So now I read an article about keeping the cats seperate for a while. Should I start over and keep them seperate or just keep them out together since I've already done this for a couple of days.\\??
post #2 of 5
This has several links that will help. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22301

How long did you take introducing them? May have to start over and reintroduce them. Hang in there.
post #3 of 5
Question - have you made any effort to see if there's a family out there who might be missing her?
post #4 of 5
I'm assuming you vetted her and had her checked for FIV/FeLV before integrating her with the other animals? I would start over and keep her separated from the other animals. You're introducing her to too many things at once and she's telling you this with redirected aggression towards you. When cats get stressed they, like people, can take it out on those around them. My 2 cats have lived together for years and never had a disagreement. A foster cat set both of them on edge and for the first time they started fighting with each other. Once the foster was gone, it took a little while before they went back to their normal selves.

Cats don't like changes in their environment and she's been through a lot in the past couple of months. First being found in a parking lot, then to your apartment, and now to your home. On top of that, there are other animals present which is very stressful. This cat may never have seen a dog and can be scared. My current foster cat was scared to death of my dogs (Corgis) but can now sleep near them. I find many cats can accept other species faster than their own.

She needs a safe haven, a room where only she has access. The other cat and dog are not to be permitted in this room. Give her a couple of weeks or more to get use to the new smells and sounds outside the door. Visit her often and give her one on one attention. If both cats have a favorite bed or bedding, swap them so they can get use to the other's scent. Rub the dog down with a towel and place in her room so she also get's use to his/her smell. The cats can also get acquainted from under the door.

Let her tell you when she's ready for more. If she shows interest in what's beyond the door, then slowly introduce her to only one animal at a time. Keep the dog crated so she can check him/her out. A loose dog will make her vunerable, but a crated dog offers her a sense of security. I find most fosters will walk up to a crated dog and sniff them.

As for introducing the cats, start out with you holding the new cat and someone else holding the existing cat in their laps, keeping a distance from each other (6 ft). Keep intros brief (a few minutes) and try to end on a positive note. Don't place cats on the floor at this point. Observe the behavior of both cats. Hissing is normal and not necessarily a sign of aggression. My cats will hiss at all new foster cats but it lessens with time. If you do a few of these short visits and both cats seem to be fine, move closer together. Don't have cats facing each other intentionally as this can seem like a challenge. Again, watch reactions...is there any lip licking, dilated pupils, staring, etc. If all goes well, place the new cat back in her safe haven and put up a babygate so they can see each other but still not have direct contact. I find babygates are great tools for introductions, just make sure you're standing at the gate to prevent a cat from jumping over. If all goes well then allow them access to each other for a brief time and eventually add time if there are no issues. It can take weeks or months before they are comfortable with each other. At most, they may only tolerate each other and never become friends. You may want to try the Feliway dispenser as it may help. But all I can say is take your time, these introductions can't be rushed.

Let us know how it goes!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yes.. she has been to the vet and had all her shots before being around any of my other animals.
I decided to try to start over.. even though she doesn't seem to like or want to stay in her room! She keeps wanting to rome around and be in my room...
I'm going to keep at it though... thank you for your advice! it's very helpful
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