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introducing new cats

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We've had a cat for about 7 months (Waffle) and he's a very happy friendly cat. he's now 10 months old.
Yesterday we bought a new kitten (Jinx), a boy, 8 weeks old. We did the whiskas recommended way of doing things, we kept them in separate rooms for a couple of hours then let them meet. It didn't go too well, no fighting but a lot of hissing and growling, mostly by the resident cat, Jinx has now stopped hissing and growling and basically ignores the resident cat while Waffle follows him around and hisses and growls, he's taken a couple of swipes which makes Jinx jump, when that happens we move Waffle away somewhere.
We've now looked around and found we've done it totally wrong and shifted Jinx to his own room and every couple of hours we bring him out for a while to meet Waffle, Jinx now just about ignores Waffle while Waffle follows and growls.
When we put Jinx into his own room he meows and complains and in the end one of us ends up sitting in the room with him while the other fusses Waffle.
Last night I had to sleep in the spare room with Jinx because he wouldn't shut up until one of us went in there with him.
I've also read that you're not supposed to shout at Waffle in front of jinx to assert his authority. So we've been doing that too.
I know it's only day two and we shouldn't expect miracles, but what can we expect to happen? when can we expect Waffle to tollerate Jinx enough to not have to keep them separated when we're out or in bed? Jinx doesn't like being in his own room at all, he cries loudly when he's alone and only quietens when someone is in the room with him. As this separation is supposed to be for days I'd rather not have to keep one of us in the spare room with Jinx all the time.

Any advice?
post #2 of 7
"A couple of hours" is not enough time. Some say as much as two weeks, but certainly a few days.

Do some looking here, and you'll see suggestions of how to make them smell the same, etc.
post #3 of 7
I think your first attempt wasnt too bad. It saw quite normal. Hissing and some pursuing, but no assaults by the older resident, nor open fighting.

After a couple of days it would be better and better.

There are of course also other, more scientific ways to get them along.

The thing is to proceed to cuddle most with the resident. The newcomer is new so he never understands he is cuddled less. Important is to the older shall not get jealous or such...

And the little one. He lacks his siblings and mom. Of course he doesnt want to be alone... Be his Mom now, you will get it repayed with a big procent.

Good luck!
post #4 of 7
Separation plus integration is he approach I took with my kitties..(I have 5) A you know Cats are driven but what they smell and by territory. You have an invisible maze of scent marks through your house left by the resident cat(s).

I would first isolate the new cat in a room by himself...for a day or 2. No need to introduce...your resident cat will know a newcomer is inthe house. On about the third day I would rotate the cats....isolate the resident cat in the new cat's room and let the new kitty roam the house. This will give the cats time to adjust to the scent trail left behind by the other. I would do this back and forth for about 2 days. Then on the 5th day let the cats visit...supervised...but an hour or 2 at a time. Finally...let them roam together on the 7th day. This sounds fast..but it has always worked for me. Be prepared for some hissing, growling, etc. This will happen as the cats establish their pecking order...especially in households with 3+ cats.
post #5 of 7
While doing the separation, rub Jinx all over with a couple of hand towels or clean rags. Put one under Waffle's food dish.

Waffle is upset and stressed that another cat has invaded his territory. He'll adjust - and they may well become best friends (Jinx seems to be handling it very well!). Play and extra attention will help reduce stress and reassure him that he's still #1 even if he is going to have to share his territory.

So give him extra play time - I'd suggest 15 - 20 minutes each morning and evening. At the end of the play session, put treats down on another rag that smells like Jinx. This will help Waffle associate Jinx with GOOD things.

Hissing and growling at a newcomer is very normal, and as Stefan pointed out, it's just a matter of time.

Do you have much vertical space? This can also help diffuse introduction tension. Waffle can assert his dominance by going "up." Cat trees and condos, window seats - things like that can really help.

You may also want to consider purchasing Feliway. This is a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" markers in cats' cheeks. It comes as a spray or diffuser. Because you'll probably only need it for a few weeks or a month, you should maybe consider the spray, as you can use it around the whole house rather than investing in a bunch of expensive plug-in diffusers. But this can also reduce stress during the introduction process.

Consider purchasing some new toys that Waffle likes. When you bring Jinx out (or Waffle in Jinx's room) but you're not swapping, you're doing another supervised intro, give Waffle a new toy, and play with him. Let him think having Jinx around is a total party.

And you're right - you shouldn't be upset with him for growling, being aggressive or upset about the invasion of his territory. So instead of emphasizing the negative, emphasize the positive. When he gets to the point he's just looking at Jinx rather than growling or hissing, tell him WHAT a good boy he is! ... and maybe give them treats (always give Waffle his first). Food goes a LONG way to helping kitties share space in a friendly way. Cats learn well through positive reinforcement.

Some cats are cat friendly, and take to a new one right away. Our Spooky hates other females, and it takes her a full six months to get over being growly and pissy about a new female - and a full year before we'd catch her grooming the "new" cat. With male intros it "only" took her a few months.

But that is to say - every cat will move at their own pace. But given he's "just" following him around and growling and hissing, with a little help to switch his attitude about the new kitty, steps to help diffuse the stress, and lots of extra attention, it shouldn't take too long.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help guys!
Got ourselves a Felliway diffuser too.
Followed the advice so far, things are getting better! No more growling from Waffle anymore, we have a new problem! but I think it's a normal one so not too worried.
They now seem to tollerate each other, Waffle doesn't follow him around all the time now, they're happy to eat together and sleep on the same sofa.
Unfortunately Waffle things Jinx is a new toy and pounces on him all the time putting his teeth around Jinx's neck. Not tight enough to cause damage but enough to make Jinx cry out and lash back, at which point Waffle jumps back, waits a minute, and jumps on him again!
Sometimes waffle gets a bit too aggressive and grabs on making jinx hiss and scratch back and they grip onto each other and won't let go making them a ball of hisses and screetches.
I think Jinx just needs to get a bit bigger.
Thing is, Waffle isn't a very big cat and probably never will be, Jinx however looks like he's going to be a big cat when he grows up, Waffle might regret this later

On the flipside Waffle sometimes walks up to him, sticks his mouth around Jinx's neck then gives him a few licks and wanders away.
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by Antimus View Post
Unfortunately Waffle things Jinx is a new toy and pounces on him all the time putting his teeth around Jinx's neck. Not tight enough to cause damage but enough to make Jinx cry out and lash back, at which point Waffle jumps back, waits a minute, and jumps on him again!
ah, I think this is the next moment. Jinx is accepted now and they are pals, but Waffle must show who is the master cat here. And does it perhaps a trifle too thorough. As you see, it is also part of his playing.

Entirely normal, and unless not overdone, you dont need to do anything.
IF you do, take and shuffle Waffle gently aside with your hand. Should be enough.
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