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Changing Personalities

post #1 of 3
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Last year we adopted three wonderful cats...a mom and two of her kittens. About a month ago, we brought our fourth adoptee into the house. All four are female.

The original three had great personalities. They were fairly wild when we got them, but they had settled in and were turning into really affectionate and loving cats.

We slowly integrated the fourth cat in and after two weeks, we brought them all together. It seemed like everyone tolerated the new cat to a certain extent. There were a few chasing sessions, but it wasn't bad.

As we continued on, the chasing sessions were getting more aggressive. They weren't mean...it really looked like our "old" cats were just trying to play. It was wild play, but they were showing mannerisms of play like they always did.

Our new cat is terrified of them. She spends most of her days under our bed. When she does come out to eat or go to the litterbox, it's done cautiously and almost always ends with her running up the stairs to our bedroom.

Our old cats personalities are changing into more aggression...even with each other. Again, it doesn't seem mean, but much more wild and out of control.

One cat really doesn't like the new one. And is constantly stalking. She's never really done much to her...in fact, she runs away from her after "looking tough." But it really seems to stress our new one quite a bit.

This stalking cat is also taking on some really weird mannerisms. She now stalks flip flops and shoes. She'll slowly approach them, barely touch them and recoil back, sometimes jumping high in the air as if scared. We've never seen this before.

Our new cat, when alone with us is so loving, purring constantly and playing all of the time. We'd like for her to be free to do this all over the house, but it really doesn't happen unless we close her off in a room with us.

Any suggestions this forum could provide would be great. This is stressing us out too. We don't want our old cats to change, but it seems like they are. I know we need to be patient and let this whole thing runs it's course, but it's tough. I lose sleep because these cats are wild maniacs during the night time hours and I'm constantly getting up to see if the new cat has been killed!

Please let us know your thoughts. We're anxiously awaiting some wisdom.

post #2 of 3
A new cat in the mix is going to change the dynamics of the social structure, because they're still "integrating" ... still working out their places. It sounds like you're doing just fine. I'd just give it some more time. Plenty of attention, affection and playtime for all, individually and together.
post #3 of 3
Maybe you should limit the time they are together. Sounds like the new girl is intimidated by the original three. If she can have time alone, or time with on at a time...maybe they will build better relationships.

Cats will establish an alpha position, maybe your Momma cat was the natural alpha so you didn't see any jockeying for position. Now they need to decide, and show the new girl who is boss. Good luck!
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