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Warring Kitties

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
A bit of background- About 5 weeks ago I moved in with my Fiancé. His cat, Miaka, is about 2 years old and has always been an only cat. My cat, Abby, is about 10 and has been around other cats and dogs in her lifetime, though she's never shared close quarters with another cat.

We introduced the girls a few days after I moved in and except for a bit of hissing and growling, it went well. They seemed like they'd settle in fairly quickly, but we're not that lucky! They never actually fight- only once have I seen one swat at the other- but they chase eachother around the house. Miaka will chase Abby to one side of the house, hissing and growling, then Abby will turn and chase Miaka back... and this goes on for about 15 minutes at the time! It wouldn't be a really big thing, but it's sort of scary at 2 in the morning when a pair of hissy kitties leaps up onto the bed in persuit of eachother.

Recently they've taken to hiding in spots around the house and ambushing the other kitty when she walks by for a round of chase. I'd just consider this playful behavior, except for the hissing and growling and the fact that this is the only sort of interaction they have with eachother. Can we ever expect our little angels to get used to eachother, or should I just learn to sleep with my head under the covers?
post #2 of 6
It's usually best to do a slow introduction with cats. In your case, I'd totally separate them for now. Keep them that way for at the least week.

You can swap rooms every day or so - put cat 1 into cat 2's room, and visa versa - so that they get used to each other's scent.

If possible, you might try playing with a wand toy that can go under a door that separates the two; that way you can get them to interact with each other in a non-threatening way. You can also try feeding them on each side of the door.

If after a week there's no growling at the door, you can try just opening it. Don't force the cats to interact with one another, just see what happens. If they're growling & hissing at each other, then it's not time yet.

The hissing isn't really much to worry about; it's normal. But if they're growling at each other, too, then it's probably not play, and they definitely shouldn't be left together unsupervised at all.

Some cats get used to one another really quickly; with others, it can take months.
post #3 of 6
There are some great threads on introducing cats in the Behavior forum and I will second what jlitt said.

I had that problem with 2 females that would ambush each other at the litter box. If you don't have at least 2 litter boxes, they could start peeing in places you don't want them to go. I added boxes and reintroduced and the problem went away. Not that this will happen to you, but something to watch out for.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I talked to my fiancé, and he said it was a bit over a week before we let them together. He's got a better memory than I do! We left Abby in the bedroom during that time, and the door is glass so they could watch eachother. We didn't force them together, we just opened the door one day and let them investigate on their own (closely supervised of course!).

Abby still considers the bedroom her territory, her litterbox and food/water are in there. Miaka tends to hang out in the living room, where her food and litter box is. It's just when they go exploring that the chasing starts. Sometimes they walk right by eachother without seeming to care, and sometimes not.

If seperating them for a while and trying an even more gradual introduction might help, I'll give it a try.
post #5 of 6
A week isn't very long. And being able to see each other probably didn't do much to help - because they can see each other, but they can't get at each other.

I would try a separation, and a slower introduction if it were me.
post #6 of 6
Could they smell each other through the door? Cats recognize each other by scent, not by sight. If they couldn't smell each other through the door, they would still essentially be strangers when the door was opened.
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