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new kitty

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I need some extra advice. I brought home a foster kitty that I really want to keep. She's very petite and gets along well with cats. In my case, she gets along well with my three males, but my female terrorizes her. I have the new comer in her own room. I've tried feeding each kitty on either side of the door, have my resident cat explore the new kitty's room. Everything that all the books and experts say. I want to install a screen door so my female will be able to see the new kitty and perhaps reduce her anxiety. My female has always been defensive. She was the last kitty to come into the household and now, four years later, really only tolerates the other cats. She's very active, almost hyper, and a needy kitty. She grew up in a shelter which can explain some of her not so positive behavior. I love my resident kitty and we have set routines that we both look forward to. I would appreciate any and all advice. I'm anticipating that this may takes months. Thank you.
post #2 of 4
Hi Kathleen

My resident female cat was very territorial as well when we adopted another female. We were fortunate in that the resident cat was indoor-only and the adopted cat was a neighborhood cat used to being outdoors mostly. So we had the luxury of introducing them very slowly since they were physically in different areas most of the time.

Here is the pattern I have noticed. First my scaredy indoor-only cat was petrified and would hiss with fear aggression (pupils large) and try to hide. As she became more comfortable, the fear aggression became true territorial aggression (her pupils constricted). Over time she has mellowed out considerably and though she can stil be startled if the new cat approaches too fast or too close, resident cat will sleep and relax as long as newcomer maintains a distance. So basically they each pretend the other doesn't exist . . .and that has worked for them.

I tried to let them work it out between the two of them as much as possible. If I was concerned that indoor cat might try to swat (which she never did) I simply broke their eye contact by moving a chair between them or standing between them. By breaking eye contact, my indoor only could walk away without "losing face" and appearing that she lost the fight. Really since she is such a scaredy cat she just wanted to slink away anyway and this allowed her to do that.

We tried doing the same things suggested in the books but found some worked and some didn't.

For instance, when they first met face to face (after seeing each other only thru glass, or smelling each other's scent for several months) we put them each in a cage with a dish of food. My indoor cat was so terrified that she couldn't eat. We tried feeding outside of the cages, but the presence of food seemed to make her more territorial.

What worked for us, and it may be because our indoor-only is such a scaredy cat, is to basically ignore the indoor only. She acted as if she wanted to disappear anyway and fearful that the new cat would see her and eat her. of course new cat just wanted to say hi. So we just acted as if everything was absolutely normal and went about our business. .. this gave indoor cat time to get used to the situation. The new cat learned not to get too close to indoor cat, or risk a big hiss.

Also what works for us is to announce that we will let the outside cat in. .. so we call the outside cat's name very loud before letting her in so that indoor cat will not be startled.

Good luck. . .hope it goes well!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply. I'm happy
your kitties are finally working it out.
We do ignore the new resident, Nina, which is
why I think my 3 males are o.k. with her.
I give the resident female, Mia, extra attention.
I've put Nina in her carrier and in the living
room (with her bed in it) and then get the kitty
treats. Everyone gets treats. I place the treats
closer and closer to the carrier. Mia will go up
to the carrier and take her treats and be fine
She's smart - she knows she can't do
anything! Thanks again.
post #4 of 4
Have you swapped bedding yet? Have your new kitty sleep on a blanket or towel for several days to get it innudated with the scent, then give this towel or blanket to resident cat? Or put it under resident cat's food bowl? Also give new kitty old kitty's blanket, do this several times so they are used to each other scent?
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