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She didn't listen to me, the new cats are together and it's not going well...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So, I was in temporary custody of a cat for someone, and it was my job to find the cat a new home. I brought her to a friend's place where they had no other cat on Saturday (in fact, later they told me they had never had a cat in their lives), but they called me Monday to say the daughter's allergies were acting up and they couldn't keep the cat. ARGH!!!

So, yesterday (Monday), I brought her to the back-up plan person, who is a friend of mine who is very familiar with cats, has had them all her life, takes in strays, etc. She has one male cat already (neutered).

I brought my female (spayed) cat over to her house last night. I emphasized a MILLION times that they should be separated at least for the first few days. But, she just doesn't want to do it, and they saw each other right away, and her male cat was totally fine with it all, but my female cat hissed and growled.

So, after telling her a million times AGAIN that she should be separating them, I am just giving up because she refuses to separate them.

Today she told me that my cat has totally dominated the house and is backing her huge male cat into a corner and is hissing and growling at him.

Can this EVER WORK OUT NOW???? I feel like she ruined the whole thing and my cat will always be pissed off at the other cat and not settle down.

Thoughts?

PS -- my female cat has lived in the past with another female cat and a dog and was fine with it.
post #2 of 18
She didn't ruin it. But the only way it will work is to do it the right way--start over.

Leslie
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
She didn't ruin it. But the only way it will work is to do it the right way--start over.

Leslie
But she won't. That's my point. She just won't separate them. She said that hopefully in a few weeks my cat will "get over it" and they will become friends.
post #4 of 18
I have never had a problem putting cats together right away.
post #5 of 18
At this point if she won't separate the cats will have to work it out amongst themselves. Sounds like the female won't be the one getting hurt, though.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
I have never had a problem putting cats together right away.
Same here. I always introduce a new cat to the family by letting them all get to know each other. I do make sure I'll be around just in case, but after the first few days of hissing & growling (and the occasional swat) they seem to get along just fine.
post #7 of 18
I never had an intro problem just letting them see the new cat right away. Mine love newcomers. There is always that pecking order half hearted hissing and slapping with sheathed claws, but it usually does not last long. Usually they are small kittens and are immediately washed and cuddled within an inch of their lives. Mine get mad if I don't do it that way. If the new one hides, they leave it alone.
post #8 of 18
I must have gotten lucky with my cats since I'd never heard of making gradual introductions. It never occurred to me to keep a new cat separated from the others.

When I brought Miss Patchwillow home I didn't anticipate any problems because she and Shareena were littermates, even though they'd been separated for 6 weeks. The first day and a half I thought I was going to have to find a new home for Miss Patchwillow the way they went at each other. Then the middle of the second day they suddenly decided they were best friends.

Goldy had been hanging around outside, sleeping on my back patio, etc. I only let my two out when I was with them, but they had seen Goldy, touched noses with her, then proceeded to ignore her. When I brought her into the house it was similar. They followed her around as she explored but didn't chase her away from the food or the litter box. Three female cats?!? Not normal cat behavior! It helps that Goldy is a very mellow kitty and never challenged Shareena's position as Alpha Cat.

How long has your friend had the cat? She may be right and things will settle down in a few days. Are you prepared to take the cat back if things don't work out?
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
awww, really? that makes me feel so much better. as the days go on I will be getting daily progress reports, so we'll see what happens.

thanks for your support though, and knowing that its okay sometimes to just put two cats together.

yes, of course I will take the baby back if it doesn't work out, but I really want her to have a new permanent home so I'm hoping this works out.
post #10 of 18
One word: FELIWAY Can't hurt! I too have had no probelms intro-ing right away. Fiona lives with two males and is the dominant one for sure. The boys don't seem to mind

They do swat each other and occasional hissing (mainly from Fiona) i figure she is so little and they are larger she just wants to protect herself by being vocal and on the offensive. But they also seek out each other for play and eat together etc.

It could be okay. I hope so! For everyone's sake.
post #11 of 18
A friend of mine had to rehome a kitten because she put her right in with the rest of the group. She never had any problems with that before, but this time it went terribly wrong. Screaming, fighting, blood, incontinence out of fear, everything. And no, they didn't get used to each other after some time.
You only get to make a first impression once.

I didn't have any problems introducing my youngest cats the abrupt way, but with this example in mind I won't do that again. Most of the time you get lucky and everything works out, but if things don't you will sure wish you would have taken a little more time.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think there is hope!

She has stopped hissing at the other cat and is even using his litter box (ha ha).

She's kind of cold to the new owner though, which surprises me. But I think she'll come around.

The other male cat is trying to play with her, but she's not having any of it right now. That's okay though, it has only been less than a week!

At least they are not fighting or hissing or swatting at each other anymore!
post #13 of 18
Sounds good !
post #14 of 18
I am having the same problem with a starving feral female 9-month-old kitten I brought in with two male neutered cats. The feral is loving with me, the hand that feeds her, but extremely aggressive with the males; chasing, swatting, every chance she gets. I introduced slowly, I thought, but she apparently still believes she is living in the wild. I'm praying this works out for all; she has nowhere else to go.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, after six weeks the new owner now tells me that the cats have begun to fight -- REALLY bad. My cat (the female) took a chunk of flesh out of the male cat's neck.

There seemed to be absolutely no reason for this, and they were getting along fine for six weeks!!!

What happened? Is there any saving this situation?
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by journey View Post
Well, after six weeks the new owner now tells me that the cats have begun to fight -- REALLY bad. My cat (the female) took a chunk of flesh out of the male cat's neck.

There seemed to be absolutely no reason for this, and they were getting along fine for six weeks!!!

What happened? Is there any saving this situation?
She HAS to separate the cats. It's insanity to leave them together with that level of aggression. She needs to either start from scratch and do a slow integration or rehome the kitty. You (I don't mean you specifically, is a general reference) can't leave them fight like that and think it will get better. Think Like a Cat and Cat Vs. Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett are 2 really great behavior books. She has lengthy chapters on integration. We followed that for our last integration.

I have always done a slow-ish integration. The newcomer spends at least a few days in another room, everyone can smell and hear each other. Stimpy was a really easy integration. He spent a few days in our bathroom. Once he got the all clear on his FeLV/FIV test we integrated. Everyone was friends pretty quick. Lola had some health issues, and spent a couple weeks in her own room before integration. Things were a little bumpier, but she's a kitten where Stimpy was 1 1/2 yrs old.

I'm the only one in my family who did slow integrations with all of my cats, and I'm the only one whose cats are pals (they sleep together). The rest of my family's cats tolerate each other's existence and that's about it.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
I'm the only one in my family who did slow integrations with all of my cats, and I'm the only one whose cats are pals (they sleep together). The rest of my family's cats tolerate each other's existence and that's about it.
Every cat I have ever owned was introduced after a very short time, and they have always become pals (this includes the dogs). Sony and Tsekani sleep squashed together into the barrel shaped part of the cat climber. I don't even know how they both fit.

The new owner could try Feliway, or try to separate them them, but if the hostility is that great maybe they do need to have separate homes.
post #18 of 18
Well, I'm no expert, but I've got more experience with cats than with pretty much anything else in my life. LOL

After reading everything posted, I have a few thoughts.

In 2000 I brought home two kittens (Apollo and Fae)that my mother's cat had before they had a chance to get her fixed (mom tends to put things off *shakes head*). They were pals as kittens, inseparable while they were growing up. My mom misjudged the age and I ended up having to bottle feed them for about two weeks before they would even look at the baby cat food (Royal Canin). I took both of them specifically because they were best of friends. The older they got the more their play fights got rough. They were both fixed at the right age (though after moving back home to my parents' house with them my mother forced a declaw on both of their front legs...ugh) and always slept cuddled up.
Now, they're almost 9 years old and to this day, once in a while, they take a good chunk out of each other. He beats her up for no reason, she beats him up, and ten minutes later, they're on my mom's bed, curled up asleep together. (Btw: those cats each adopted one of my family members and I couldn't drag them away again so they're permanent there.)

In 2006, I came across a little stray cat (Tegan) who was within days of dying of starvation. I brought her home, took her to the vet, got her fixed and fattened her up. But, because I was temporarily back at home again, there were the "twins" to deal with. I had a decent sized room so the new stray was restricted to that for the first couple weeks and introduced slowly. The other two cats hated her and the female (Fae) made it a point to stalk her, just to terrorize her and send her cowering under the bed.

It's been almost 3 years and finally, the cats are all getting along, mostly. There are still the occasional rumbles but Apollo loves Tegan now and they frequently cuddle. Fae on the other hand, has never really adjusted. Tegan (who is not delawed) finally stopped cowering and charged Fae one day and since then, Fae has had a more respect for her. She tolerates Tegan. At least.

Here's the point: A woman who dedicated her life to rescuing feral cats has a system for introducing new cats that is time consuming and tedious. She starts by getting all the cats familiar with the new smells (new addition and current residents alike). Then she allows them to meet by sniffing under a door about a week or two later. Another week or two after that, she brings the new cat out in a cage for short periods of time and lets everyone meet through the bars, serveral times of the course of another week or so. After everyone seems comfortable with everyone else and cuddling through the bars of the cage, she releases the new cat into the large area she has designated for her strays. Her method seems to work flawlessly. Little to no fighting. But, such is the nature of cats; to scrap and scuffle and prove rank within the group. It's a lucky house hold who has more than one or two cats and no fights.

Usually the rough and tumble is only play fighting and that's enough for them but sometimes, the one who is seen as submissive refuses to submit and may cause a more violent scuffle. Even a little blood. However, many times, if the fighting is out of hand, chances are that either one of the cats is sick or something within the house is upsetting them. Cats pick up on emotions and if there's a lot of tension at home their may get stressed and act out.

Regardless, it is always best to keep a close eye on things. If things seem too rough, it might be a good idea to split them up for a little while and look into what could be bothering them if they've been pals for a long time. For new additions, everyone's advice so far sounds awesome. I've also heard of people slathering new kittens with wet cat food so the established cat will lick it off and subsequently bond with the new kitten.

As for the friend, I'm glad she separated them. I really don't think it's fair to throw two strange cats together, or worse, a new cat into a house with established cats already in it, and expect them to just "deal with it." Cat's are sensitive creatures and I feel that that is excessively stressful on the poor cats. The tension, fear, stress and constant aggression is hard on any creature, be it cat, dog or person. I think the slow approach is a lot healthier for everyone involved.

Again, everyone here seems to give really awesome advice. Thank goodness. I've learned a lot in a few areas of cat care, like this one, through experience, but there are other areas that I need all the help I can get! LOL
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