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Introducing cats...it's all going wrong!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

We’ve recently introduced our two cats to one another and to put it bluntly, it ain’t working out! We followed the excellent suggestions on the behaviour section of this site and it worked to a point…the point being until they actually caught site of each other. Here’s the problem:

Zita (incumbent) is three-years old, neutered and very territorial, given what I’ve seen with her other cats that wander through the yard. Coco (the new comer) is one-and-a-half years old, neutered and doesn’t seem to give two hoots about either territory or all the hissing she is receiving.

We kept them in separate rooms for about a week although Zita figured out there was another cat around about 0.2 seconds after we brought Coco in. On first meeting, Zita sat and hissed and hissed until she tired herself out and hid under the sofa. Coco looked like she got bored at all the hissing and started to walk round the place as if she owned it. We’ve been keeping them apart in general (and especially at night) and only gradually increasing their time together. Zita is allowed the run of the house at night and is the only one allowed to use the cat flap; Coco has her own room and is allowed out on a lead for now.

We also tried the old-towel technique, which Coco loved but Zita attacked on first sniff. Playing cat games with them worked for Coco but Zita just used the time as an opportunity to hiss some more at Coco but this time at close range.

The thing is, Zita is a cuddly, soft-hearted puddy cat that I’ve only rarely even see hiss. Moreover, all her little quirks and foibles (sleeping between us, greeting us when we come home etc) have gone and she just mooches round hissing at everything that moves! Coco looks as if she wants to play and be friends with Zita but Zita’s having none of it and looks sad and lonely now.

On the plus side, there is no blood (yet) and the number of hisses per day is going down but is still at an alarmingly high rate!

Is there another technique anyone knows that would get Zita to be a bit friendlier to Coco? I can never, ever see them grooming each other like the behaviour piece suggests but all I want Zita to do is to stop hissing at Coco!

Anyone got other ideas?

post #2 of 18
Of course!
Well, when I brought home my kittens they didn't know the other(older cats) wouldn't like them. Of course, my older cats didn't like them. I would wait until my older cats/and kittens were tired. For some reason this worked. While my cats would be sleepy, I would slowly move them closer while they were still sleeping. Finding comfort in each other, they didn't care. Of course when they would wake up they wiould give a little hiss, but nothing bad. They got along alot better that day, and even ended up sleeping together. I have had probably 20 cats but now I just have 7. With each one of these cats I have introduced them in this method. Just make sure you are there when they wake up if you care to try it.
post #3 of 18
Sorry but I wouldn't recommend trying the above treatment, cats can wake in a split second and attack, even from a deep sleep. Peteben, have you thought about the new product called Comfort Zone from Feliway? It is a room mister, you buy it, plug it in and let it run. It releasses pheremones into the air, and calms even the most agitated cat.

Another trick to try is if you wear a certain perfume all the time, (or cologne) then dab just a tiny bit of it under the cat's chins and on the base of their tail. But not much, only a tiny amount. If you don't have a special scent- then use vanilla extract. Cat's are scent-driven, and the key here to is make them *think* they both smell the same hence the hostility ceases. But if you just have hissing, that is wonderful! You did it right in the introduction stage!
post #4 of 18
Like I thought I might have said. Well, it worked on my cats, but like I said. I make all my animals get along. That is the same way I got my ducks and my kittens/cats to like each other. My parot the same way. I guess it must be different to everyone else. Yall just don't have my special touch! <~~It's just a little joke. BTW....How about taking a blankie from one of your old cats and use it for your new cat. Switch and let them get used to the scent. Rub it on the cats and they will smell like each other. That can work.

Hissy, It has always worked for me, but of course it can be dangerous for other people I guess.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
I like the sound of the vanilla idea although it seems to me that the problem is visual. I've seen Zita pass within two inches of Coco then suddenly see her, turn and hiss. She'll also watch Coco from her high shelf until she's out of sight, then be fine!

Nevertheless, I'll persevere with the vanilla and see what happens!


post #6 of 18
The hissing will go down in time. When we brought Isis in the steps suggested couldn't be tried out. My sweetie of all cats couldn't stand the kitten. She would run up to her and hiss and then run away. My other cat, still a very nice cat but doesn't often come out for people, would do the same. It took time, and patience. We played with all of them, we played with all of them using the same toy, and we tried using the blanket trick. Truthfully I had the most success playing with the same toy with all of them and getting them used to their scent on my hands. They wouldn't go near Isis's blanket.

Mischief stopped hissing at Isis first. And then finally Niko has stopped as well. Good luck.
post #7 of 18
Just so you know, cats can't see what is directly in front of them- they have better peripheral vision.
post #8 of 18
Hissy...Do you have any pictures of your kitty cats? Just wondering
post #9 of 18
make all my animals get along.
I do not agree with "making" animals get along....either they will or they won't..but they "will" get use to each other in time...It just takes time and patience and consistancy......
post #10 of 18
You can see some of my animals on my homepage. Just scroll to the bottom and click on animal rescue

M & M
post #11 of 18
I don't "make them" they just do. I don't mean like, torture them if they don't, but I just introduce them the way they want to be introduced. Every time I say a comment like this it seems someone else takes it the wrong way, once again. I am sorry for not clarifing right.
post #12 of 18
i think i'm going to try the perfume thing. Neo hisses like crazy at the babies and I would really love for them to all get along. Also that room mister sounds good. I think i'll order some tonight!!!
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, one evening of vanilla essence down and I can see a little improvement. Still no nose touching yet but Zita's being a little less aggressive toward Coco.

Chriztal, I see you are from Texas...it struck me that this could be the root of the problem...Coco is also from Texas whereas Zita is Austrian and they are both now living in the UK; perhaps Coco can only speak English-cat and Zita German-cat??

Thanks for the tips guys. Will let you know how it works out.

post #14 of 18
i tried the perfume thing and it worked like a charm!! I'm so happy. Marble and moe and neo were sniffing noses and no hissing! They still kinda jumped back when he walked up to them but it think the perfume thing is going to work for me!! Good thing i where curve everyday
post #15 of 18
You simply need to mist your hands lightly with your perfume and air dry your hands before applying it. Perfume is not good to spray on a kitty- so I hope you didn't spray it directly on them?
post #16 of 18
haha, one speaks Texan! haha O boy, let me handle that kitty cat! (come handle my loud ducklings) Well, ya know how if one lives together with someone else, and they speak different languages, they adapt, just give that time. Does the meow have a sorta texan feel to it? hehe Sounds good doesn't it
post #17 of 18
Originally posted by hissy
You simply need to mist your hands lightly with your perfume and air dry your hands before applying it. Perfume is not good to spray on a kitty- so I hope you didn't spray it directly on them?
no i'm not stupid I just misted my hands and let them dry and then petted kitten...
post #18 of 18

I never meant to insinuate you were. Just clarifying for those who might not be aware that perfume can hurt kitties sometimes.
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