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Did we make a mistake?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Help! I'm new to the forum & need advice!

I read Hissy's article and we've also done a LOT of reading on the web about techniques to introduce cats, we've followed all the advice but our little family is in so much upheaval- I fear that we made a mistake by adopting Noche, a 3 yr old male. We have him separated in our guest bedroom w/ his own litter box and food dishes. We 'rotate' the cats to let Noche out...putting our other cat, Cassey in our bedroom to let Noche run around. They are used to each other’s smells now but it hasn't seemed to help. Cassey has been an only cat for the last 5 years and is used to having the run of the house...she wants (and needs) to be the dominant cat but Noche is a big male and in cat hierarchy would be the dominant one. She hisses and growls and retreats to the bedroom during any introduction attempt. Noche has taken to charging at her and relentlessly pursuing her regardless of her hisses and growls.

Another problem is that Noche is VERY vocal! He meows. Non-stop. We keep them separated but it's very hard to listen to his constant yowling. He even expressed his dismay by defecating on the floor the other day.

We just feel so bad for both our cats...they are both at wits end and they have us there as well.

Don't know what to do?! It's been 10 days. How long should we continue to keep them separated? Is it mean to lock Noche up? He has to stay in that bedroom at night and all day while we are at work. Is it damaging to Cassey to let him out and allow him to send her hiding?

Help! Any advice/experience that you could share would be much appreciated!!!

Thank you!
post #2 of 8
I would first off take Noche to the vet to be checked out. Pooping on the floor means the cat is stressed, and when a cat is stressed, they can sick out. If he is indeed ill, he will smell funny and Cassie will hiss at the funny smell. That would be the first thing I would do.

The second thing is if Noche is not neutered, while he is at the vet, get him neutered.

Just because Noche is a male, does not mean he will be the head of the cat group. Out of all my cats, my most dominant one is a small female who is 8 years old. She is formidable and every one of my cats respects her place in the team.

I would also start putting vanilla extract under the chins of both cats and on the base of their tail. Just a little bit though.

Another good investment would be in a Feliway Comfort Zone Room Mister- it is expensive, but well worth the cost as it lets pheremones into the room and calms down aggression.
post #3 of 8
I adopted an 8 year old feral male into my household of adult cats. This new cat, Chester, was a big macho dude who had a badly healed broken leg. Despite the broken leg, he is a big tough guy. Because I knew that his being an adult who had lived on his own for a long time would make introductions more difficult, I extended the introduction time quite a bit. In fact I kept Chester in his room for a full month. Then for another full month I let him out while the others were locked up. Then I let Chester and the other cats out together only when my husband or I were home and awake. After one more month of that and many long conversations with Chester, he adapted to living with the others. He initially had some behavior problems (chasing the other cats - but not attacking, and spraying), but that settled down once he became more comfortable.

I am convinced that the veeeery slow introduction is what made this adoption possible.

I must tell you that I did this very long adoption, because the cat we attempted to adopt prior to Chester was absolutely brutal to the others. He would stalk and attack the others without mercy. This was after a much briefer two week introduction process. Even after hiring an animal behaviorist and trying meds, we could not get him to mellow. Thus, we found him a wonderful home where he could be an only cat. I learned a very painful lesson from this. I learned that you can never go too slow in introducing a new cat into the family.

With that in mind. I would recommend getting the Comfort Zone diffuser that Hissy mentioned, and I would recommend starting over with the separation. I would keep the two separated for at least two weeks minimum (preferably longer) and then try the introductions again.

Oh, I also agree that a vet check would be a good thing to do.

Good luck and keep checking in and letting us know how it is going.
post #4 of 8
Originally posted by hissy
I would also start putting vanilla extract under the chins of both cats and on the base of their tail. Just a little bit though.
What does this do curious....
post #5 of 8
What does this do curious....
hissy suggested the vanilla extract to me too...when we got mythie.
I tried it.
It worked.
They were all friends in like less than 3 days!!

Although i used rose essence instead.
I think it sort of makes them all smell the same...
You know how a cat markes stuff with their cheeks?
I'm assuming that the vanilla extract sort of dulls their own smell
and gives them like a common group smell and sort of tricks them into thinking they're not so different after all....

I also added the rose essence to our oil burners, and put some on the places where they tend to scratch a lot... I noticed with my three that as soon as the oil burners started diseminating the rose essence, the older two seemed a little calmer.

& I had three furry rosey kitties which was nice while it lasted.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
According to the shelter that we adopted Noche from, he was examined by their vet and checked out okay...they also gave him a round of vaccinations. He is neutered and Cassey is fixed as well! But, you're right...it might still be a good idea for us to bring him by our vet, just in case.

I tried the vanilla extract trick last night during another introduction attempt...it didn't seem to help but maybe it's just too early still.

We ordered a Feliway Comfort Zone Room Mister & some kitty herbs...hopefully that stuff will help!

Someone at my work advised that I need to keep from getting involved when the cats brawl and just let them fight it out, I've been separating them once it starts to get violent (more than just hisses & growls). Do I really need to let them fight for them to establish dominance? I'm so worried that they will really hurt each other. I had to pick a claw out of poor Noche's head last night!

Thanks to everyone for all your help!
post #7 of 8
Your lucky that yo have all thoes special things avalibe to you... kitty essences... pharamones... all that stuff, because I live in Canada, and we don't have anything like that up here. I can tell you you may have to let them duke it out. it was the only way i got all of my kitties to play nice. My one established kitty Vagabond, along with a 2 month old kitten *hobo* along with a 7 month old female *tramp* and a 2 1/2 year old male *rogue*. I didn't have the luxury of the kitty things so i just let them duke it out.

One month later I came home from work and found them all sleeping in a huge pile on my bed.

Give them time, love, and pacience and it will work fine.

Now if you can figure out my spelling, you have enough time and pacience lol

~ Salem

PS- Only break them up if there is blood involved. They usualy stop before that because of playfighting when they were little. they learn when to stop there. Just keep your eye on them and things should go ok. Give them about 3 months. If they arn't friends by then, ... um.... *shrugs*

post #8 of 8
I hope you get things straightened out! I'm paying close attention to everyone's replies since I might be getting an addition soon.

Usually when a shelter says they've had the cat checked out it means immunizations, check their teeth, feel the belly and listen to the heart. And if it's a kitten sometimes they'll treat for worms.

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