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Reintroduction not going well...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Recently, I have been having redirected aggression issues with my two oldest cats. I read that what I need to do is reintroduce them just as if they were brand new to each other. First of all, this breaks my heart because they have been best friends for two years! Now they are mortal enemies!

Anyway, the problem I am having with the reintroduction is that neither one of them will accept being confined to a specific area of the house. They both consider the whole house as being part of their territory, and when i try to keep one in a separate room , the one being separated gets really ticked off! I mean, they are howling and very mad at me for this! They just don't understand why they can't go through the house as normal. I've tried it now with both cats, and both of them just get so upset! It upsets me too, because I don't want the separated cat thinking I am punishing them or singling them out for something. The redirected aggression is going both ways here- I mean it's like "Sophie's Choice" trying to pick which cat should be isolated for such a long time!

I would love any advice on how to make this work, or any other clever alternatives because this is really not working out for my little kitty family so far.
post #2 of 4
Brienne, in your case, separation of the cats and reintroduction may not be the best way to go. The first thing to do would be to take both cats to the vet as one cat can lash out if one senses the other is ill.

If the result of the vet check is that both kitties are well, you can try the vanilla extract trick. Place a dab of vanilla extract under both cats chins, between the shoulders and at the base of their tails, 3 times a day. This helps the cats to smell the same.

Something else that has been found to be successful is a Comfort Zone plug-in. You can read about it here.

Good luck with your two cats.
post #3 of 4
Oh, I know Brienne! I have the same situation at the moment.
And both my cats used to sleep with me. So now the one who doesn't get to sleep with me cries all night. I wake up several times a night because of it ( and so does everyone in the house).
But the good news to you ( and me ) is that it will get better ( it has to!!). My cats are already doing a bit better with the Feliway plug-in and vanilla. You should also try them.
Good luck and let me know how things are going.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks guys! i know it isnt a health issue, thank goodness. All of my cats had their annual check up and shots mid-may and vet says they are doing great. Plus, i was right there when the incident occured that triggered all of this...

Basically, all three of my cats were sitting on the couch watching me work out to my exercise video and then my big cat, Action, jumped off the couch. When he jumped, the release of his weight made the couch cushion give way, and it caused another object on the couch to fall over onto my 2yr old girl kitty, Rodman. Well it wasnt enough force to hurt her, but it scared her and really ticked her off. She went WAILING at him, like he had done it to her on purpose. She howled at him all throughout the house, and poor thing, he was dropping hair everywhere. Eventually she backed him into a corner and was really in a very angry attack mode. He was petrified, and he's nearly three times her size!

So then she would just keep doing that to him every few hours! Finally I didnt shoo Rodman away when she did it again. She wasnt hurting him, just trying to make herself look threatening, so I just let her "say what she had to say" to him. That seemed to work for her, but unfortunately, Action wouldnt forget about the attacks. He reversed it on her! Every time she would walk by, he would start all this hissing, and then she would freak out again, and I am back at square one.

Thats when I started the whole reintroduction thing, which as i said wasn't working. From you guys suggestions, I am going to try the Feliway spray. I wanted the plug in, but all the stores near me are sold out right now- must be pretty popular- so I am starting off with the spray. I sparayed it for the first time early last night, and so far no incidents. I have even seen both of them sleeping with belly side up, so that seems like a good sign. I am also going to do the vanilla thing, beacuse that worked very well introducing my other kitten, Milhouse.

Just one question, as far as the feliway spray goes, how often do i need to respray the stuff? The directions included didnt cover usign the spray as a room spray. They mostly focused on marking and scratching....
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