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Intro issues with Bold Loverboy

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So, it happened. I could not resist all those little faces on the rescue lists any more, and we got ourselves 4th cat on two weeks ago. He is about 2 y old, white & black DSH (shelter mugshot on my cat list) affectionate boy who I suspect has little oriental blood in him too. He was named named Stubby for his missing tail but we quickly renamed him Pyry. Pyry is neutered just like our three other boys who are all between 4-5 years of age.

We are just going through the Introductions Phase, and even though I think everything is going pretty well, I have couple of questions for youse there who have more experience. Mainly the questions I am wondering about are a) how much should I intervene at this point and b) should I still limit him to foster better relationships with his brothers.

Of course I would prefer the boys to sort it out on their own – but I also do not wish the new boy taking the house over. Especially, when I have one particularly nerdy boy who has blossomed under our care and come to be more confident and happy cat. He is the one who ends up being chased around the house at the moment – though most of it seems to be half-fun/half-freaky kind of play-chase.

I had observed Pyry at the rescue on two visits, and he surprised me a little with his twang towards dominance. He was quite scared of all the new space when he first came, safe room seemed big and he was very scared to explore into the house. Now that he has gotten used to the house, he thinks he is ready to take over.

One of the things he is now doing is being very territorial of his room and it’s spreading a bit to all upstairs. He will charge (like a dog) when someone approaches his room and chase his brothers from there. (His room is right on top of stairs too, so his brothers sit on the stairs confused/fearful about passing). This same behavior started spreading for sitting on couch with me or kitty beds. If he is first in, he will order that nobody else will come and share.

Now I do not like this, so right or wrong I have intervened. I am supporting the healthy hierarchy of the resident cats but I am open to suggestions how to do this more smart. It is fairly easy for me on the couch as I am right there. I will intentionally lift the other brothers to snuggle with me, pet them and ignore Pyry (or even lift him down if he is rude). I am more so trying to pet everyone to show Pyry that there is enough to go for everyone and he does not need to be so possessive, and only giving him the cold shoulder if he is making his brothers nervous and leave.

I am not so sure what to do with his room issue. At this point Pyry is not yet out when I am not in, and he spends nights in his room. I work from home, so he is out most of the day. I don’t like spray bottles what is what my vet suggested (they scare my other cats, they had been sprayed too much in their previous home). Yesterday, I intentionally took one of his brothers into the room when Pyry was there too (you know, usually intro visits have been exchanges), to “show him” that he does not own the room. I felt a bit ambivalent about that but obviously he already feels very safe in the house. His brother was very uncomfortable but I warded off Pyry’s approaches and showed all the affection for Ossi, kept him high up, and even let him eat treats there. Is this screwing up with poor Pyry’s mind? He still tried to charge a bit when we left but he was way more subdued.

Another question about ‘pushing it’ I have is relating to eating together. We just started doing it two days ago. Everyone will come together and take their cup (I set them about foot apart from each other). Two of the brothers have pretty much accepted Pyry, one (Teppo) still growls at him most of the time when he passes. I put Pyry and Teppo in the opposite ends. Pyry will eat with no concern and try to go to everyone’s cups which ruins other’s appetite - so they will leave after couple of minutes. Should I postpone this eating together, does it just create negative feeling? Eating is especially important thing to Teppo who is working so hard with this change… His growling status is improving on daily basis, they are already exchanging kisses and butt sniffs, and able to lay down 4 ft apart as long as Pyry is not talking…

Sorry this ended up quite long… I don’t want this headbutting, kissing little fool turning into a little tyrant with my three mushy boys. He’s a great little kitty and I want him to realize he does not need scare anybody to get more for himself when there is plenty for everyone.
post #2 of 6
I noticed the picture of your new addition while reading one of your posts the other day. He is gorgeous!

I am not an expert on introductions; I've only ever done a few, and I've never had more than three cats at a time. However, I wanted to point out that the new guy may relax more once he is fully integrated into the house. Obviously, I can't tell you whether he'll continue to try to be the boss, but your current dynamic could change over time.

When I introduced my third cat, he chased the other two around. I think he was more curious than aggressive, but he really upset the long-term residents. I worried whether he would bully them, but after they got used to him, things changed. I can't say now that any particular cat is dominant over the others, at least not on a regular basis. Your mileage of course may vary, but I hope you have a similar experience!
post #3 of 6
I dont have much experience doing intros. I have only had to indtroduce Mittens and Monster. Monster didnt care about a new cat in his territory, he wanted to play right away. Mittens was scared but after about a week she got comfy. I do have a problem with Mittens eating habits tho. She will gobble hers up and then go straight for Monsters plate(he eats much slower than her, he takes his time), and then he will just leave. So I started separating them so that Monster could eat all of his food in peace. Now, I just sit in the kitchen with them, and watch them eat. If Mittens tries to go for Monsters when she is done hers, I pick her up and take her out of the kitchen and make sure she stays out until Monster is done eating. So if you want to try that, it works for me. Its my way of showing Mittens that she cant bully food from Monster. So if you show Pyry that he isnt allowed to steal his brothers food by taking him out of the room if he tries to, he will eventually learn that he cant do it anymore.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by motoko9 View Post
When I introduced my third cat, he chased the other two around. I think he was more curious than aggressive, but he really upset the long-term residents. I worried whether he would bully them, but after they got used to him, things changed. I can't say now that any particular cat is dominant over the others, at least not on a regular basis. Your mileage of course may vary, but I hope you have a similar experience!
Thank you! I am relieved to hear things like that. Pyry tried to headbutt and kiss the other cats right on when he got to peek them from the crack of his door. Big brothers thought it was a little too pushy on first meeting but unfortunately Pyry did not get the message. When he did not get what he wanted, he chased the two that did not growl like lions and even keeps on hovering around Teppo who tells him to sod off.

I really think generally his behavior is about wanting to be with others rather than aggression too (although Kille wanted to groom him, and he snipped about that). Then when others start running, he gets all hyped up, trying to really grab them. It all gets mixed up when the other cats get both excited and scared.

Pyry probably also has a lot of bent up energy. I know in the evening (even after a long play session) all the other boys will still play a long while after Pyry goes to his room because they are so wired up about all this new stuff. Luckily he is quite scrawny, so we have been able to avoid getting too much play-envy. We can burn a lot of energy with Da Bird. Teppo and Pyry play in turns first. Then I hold wiggling Pyry, so that others get a chance.

I just do not want this chasing to escalate because right now both Kille and Ossi are walking around tiptoe keeping keen eye on Pyry, expecting him to jump them any moment. On the other hand, I do not want to bully little Pyry either, for being a normal kitty boy.
post #5 of 6
Like you, I have two brothers who are very happy together. When I introduced cat #3, I became convinced that I had ruined their lives by disrupting their harmonious existence! I was seriously miserable for a couple of days. Fortunately, my better half had more sense and said that things would be fine if I would just be patient, and he was right.

I do know, sadly, of people whose crew never seemed to fully adjust to one another, but there are many others who somehow manage to keep the peace in a multi-cat home. Best of luck to you!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, there was a disappointing amount of chasing going on yesterday but both the room and eating issue seemed a little better. We went into his room a couple of times, and I just sat there with his brother in my arms, and did not give him a chance to be the king of the hill (well, after he first took it and he kicked someone's butt out of the room right away).

This morning started funny. We have Drinkwell fountain, and Pyry has right away taken a liking to it. We came down with Teppo and Pyry, and Teppo went to take his morning (long) drink. Pyry eagerly followed but Teppo told him to pish off. 4-5 times Pyry went back, and tried to snooker himself between the wall and the fountain to get to drink at the same time and share the experience. There was nothing about taking over, he begged and whined, and Teppo growled and hissed. Finally Pyry sat down and from as far as he could, reached and pawed at the stream like saying "I am just wanting to do this, man, PLEASE".

Teppo was not willing yet. He sent Pyry away, and Pyry had to wait until he was finished to get his fresh morning dew.
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