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Unable to introduce cats traditional way - PLEASE HELP!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Recently I adopted a 2 year old male cat (Schroeder) to become a friend to my current 4 year old female cat (Zoe). Unfortunately, where I currently live, my doors do not latch closed, so the cats are able to open the doors on their own. This makes it impossible to keep Zoe and Schroeder apart, I am worried, that because I am unable to introduce the cats the way described in most articles, that my cats will never get along. Does anyone have any advise that may help me? I would be very greatful! The first few days have been iffy at best. Zoe hisses, growls, and wants nothing to do with Schroeder. Schroeder will sometimes antagonize Zoe, but I think it is because he wants to play. I have yet to hear him hiss or growl.

Thanks in advance,
Zoebean (Zoe and Schroeder's fearful mommy.)
post #2 of 8
Buy two baby gates, stand them on top of each other, stretch them across the doorway putting one cat on one side, another cat on the other side. Or buy one gate and stretch it vertically in the doorway. Quick and efficient way to get cats accustomed to each other's scent and keep them safe.
post #3 of 8
An additional thing about the baby gates. I got two thinking the height would be enough to keep my new 7-month-old on the other side but was totally surprised to come home and see him on the other side with my Tigger! I figure he climbed up the plastic gate material (in the middle of it) and then over the top!! (There was no way he could of jumped over it) Lucky for me they only cost $9 each so I wasn't out a whole lot of money but you may need to make sure it covers the entire length of door. As a result of that discovery I couldn't utilize the gates from then on cause I thought he would just climb over them again.
post #4 of 8
You might also want to read this thread about introducing cats & try the vanilla extract trick mentioned in it.
post #5 of 8
Cats don't necessarily like each other upon introduction. They're territorial, and in a "multicat" situation, an alpha has to be determined. Even with slow introductions, with two strong personalities, there will be fighting. Also - we as people can mistake play for fighting - though hissing and/or spitting and ears back are not good signs. Batting on the head is a way to establish who's boss. Fluffy tails and ridged backs CAN happen during really active or intense play. Play can turn into a fight, however, it happens here, and these guys have been living together for two years.

But just because introductions can't be made slowly doesn't mean they won't become friends! You just can't ever tell with cats. The slower intros give things more of a chance to work - for you and them. But we don't live in a space that allows for segregation except for in a VERY small bathroom. So new kitties didn't get left out in the general population until we were sure no one would get hurt when we were gone - and we just supervised interaction while here otherwise. We did use Feliway and vanilla - Feliway to help calm the environment (which helped with our situation), and vanilla rubbed behind their ears and on their rumps for the first few days to help make everyone smell the same.

Lazlo is still a loner. Spooky and Flowerbelle and Sheldon play, play-fight, groom each other, and cuddle with each other. Tuxedo only tolerates Flowerbelle. It's just his personality. Only time will tell - but only Flowerbelle had a separated intro. So just do your best to adapt your situation - and if they're fighting and it looks like they're going to hurt each other, rattle coins in a jar at them to break it up. Do NOT physically get involved in breaking up any fighting. Startle them with a noise - clapping hands should work too.

But if you can invest in a baby gate, having a little time to get used to each other without actually being able to fight because they're separated will help things go easier - but not being able to do that doesn't mean they won't become fast friends. It'll just happen on their timeline, not yours.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I wanted to thank everyone for the responses....I did try the baby gates, one stacked right on top of the other. No sooner I finished setting up the second gate, Schroeder jumped right on out of the room. So much for that idea. I am going to try the Vanilla Extract this evening as well. When the two cats are fighting, I think it is just Zoe that is seriously fighting, not Schroeder. Zoe has her ears way back and is as low to the ground as she can get.

Thanks again,
post #7 of 8
My 2 cats are always getting into tussles and I never have a noise making object so i suddenly "fall" making a loud noise that startles them.
post #8 of 8
Well, each time we brought a new kitty home, we introduced them by buying a LARGE dog cage, putting the new one in there for a couple of days. We put it right in the middle of the livingroom, so they could sniff eachother through the cage and get used to eachother. Worked well both times. I think Petals and Tiggy only were in it like 1 or 2 days. There was lots of hissing by the old cats to the new comer, and there still is from time to time, but the cage worked great for us.
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