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I joined this site back in April seeking desperate advice after Bolo (M,10 yrs) & I moved into my girlfriends house, and after a horrible first encounter with my girlfriend's cat, Boots (M,10 mos.) I was both surprised and grateful at all the quick responses I received on how to handle the situation, most notably, Hissy's terrific suggestions. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share what worked for us, in case someone out there is facing a simialr dilemma....

That first encounter was indeed vicious (as the scars on my leg would attest!) Tried Feliway (sheesh, is there a generic version out there?! 2 diffusers and reflls ran about $150 !) and the vanilla extract, but neither seemed to calm Bolo down. But after Hissy described how she had a chicken wire/pvc pipe type door separating the newcomers from the residents, I thought that would be the way to proceed. Home Depot sells ready made screen doors (which can be cut down to size if needed) for about $20. I picked one up with a set of hinges and a couple of "hook & eye" locks. The whole thing ran just under $30. After installing the door in the basement where Bolo had made his domain, the 2 would get to see, smell, and swat at each other, without bloodshed. Boots would trill with excitement at the sight of Bolo, charging the screen door, while Bolo would charge at the screen door hissing and swatting back at him. This went on for about 2 weeks, when little by little, Bolo's hissing would diminish, and he'd gradually spend a few more seconds sniffing Boots through the door. After about 6 weeks, I noticed the condition of the screens were deteriorating due to Boots' constant clawing and occasional jumping and hanging on the door. I decided it was now or never, I had to try another encounter. I dabbed them both with a bit of vanilla extract (wanted all the help I could get!) and had at the ready, a water bottle, a cat fishing pole toy, and some treats. Success, at last! Bolo showed some displeasure at Boots getting a bit too close with a hiss and a swat, but gone was the aggression and attacks that had me thinking these two wouldn't get along. While they still aren't exactly buddy-buddy, they are co-existing peacefully, even displaying somewhat of a tendency to play/wrestle a bit from time to time. HIssy also recommended a great book, Cat vs Cat, which I picked up immediately and read it cover to cover.... it had good insights and ideas for this kind of situation.

Once again, thanks to all who took the time to respond... Your reassurances that they would eventually get along really helped me out. I hope others can somehow benefit from this testimonial. This is a terrific web site, and I'm thankful to have joined.