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Kitties not getting along

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm having a lot of trouble getting my two cats to get along.

I've had Tara for about 3-4 years now, she's around 5 years old. She was a feral/stray beforehand. She's always been a good cat, but last spring, she seemed to be getting bored. She stopped playing with her toys and started destroying things. My vet suggested another cat, and I agreed, since I know I'll be busier down the road and have less to time to spend with her.

So I got a kitten around July 4th. I kept Tara and her totally apart and only let them sniff each others towels/blankets until the end of July. Then I started putting Drusilla (new kitten) in her carrier and putting it in Tara's suite (she's confined to the two top floors for several reasons, namely because my Grandmother lives with me and has a habit of leaving pills laying around and doesn't watch to make sure the kitties don't jump in/on the oven when she's cooking). Tara hissed and hid. I tried this for months. If I let Drusilla out of her carrier and Drusilla got anywhere near Tara, Tara would attack her. I installed Feliway, nothing changed.

Drusilla's has been confined to the downstairs spare bedroom the whole time. But she's getting big (6 months old now), and its not that big of a room. The Kitty Suite is three large rooms, and the entire empty attic and its got so much more space plus large windows, two cat trees, and more toys than they could want. Drusilla is obviously getting annoyed with being kept in a small, windowless room, and she's become quite destructive by throwing herself at the door and ripping up the carpet. I can't let her have the run of the downstairs for safety reasons, so I think its really important they get to the point of tolerating each other so they can both enjoy the comfy kitty suite I put together just for them. I'd hoped they would just avoid each other until they got along, but it seems impossible. Drusilla runs around and explores, and if she gets near Tara, Tara attacks. Drusilla is extremely curious of Tara, and doesn't stay away. I'm terrified if I just let them loose together, they will fight and seriously hurt each other.

So, advice? I've tried everything I know and its not working.
post #2 of 9
hmmmmm? I dont know what else u should do. You have done all the things i would have told you to do.
post #3 of 9
When you say they fight. Is it a quick attack then retreat type thing? 6 Months is long enough for the new cat to be shut away. You going to have to let them work it out for themselves and see if they will. Do this by letting them out around together and being right there to break up a fight that seems like one maybe getting hurt.
Its time to let them around each other its going to be the only way to get them used to each other. Sounds like you have done all the right things.
Just do not leave them alone together at all. be right there to supervise.. If its just a little tussle and looks like no harm is going on let them be. Just break them up if its a really mean type of fighting. Swiping at each other is normal.Hissing growling also normal.
Good Luck...
post #4 of 9
We need to better understand what you mean by fighting. There have been times I thought mine were tearing each other apart only to find them just yowling at one another. Start giving Drusilla and Tara more time together supervised. Unless they are seriously causing each other injury, let them work it out. I still have problems where Lucy goes up to Carly and whacks her. Fortunately Carly just ignores her.

I'm also sure the experts will give you more advice when they get the time. Good luck.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
The fighting is not a Slap and Run kind of fighting. They will actively go at it, biting, scratching, and when I squirt them or make a loud noise, they usually scatter for a moment, but only run about 3 feet, turn, see each other, and run at each other and start fighting again.

Most of the time, Drusilla instigates the behavior, as she runs at Tara and follows her. However I think thats only curious kitten behavior and I thought Tara turning and hissing would stop it. But when Tara hisses, Drusilla only stops for a moment, and then crouches and taps Tara with her paw, which causes Tara to attack. After Tara attacks, Drusilla attacks back.
post #6 of 9
This might help you... Well It works for me all the time.. but is just a matter how long i recently get my oldest cat to be adaptable with my 2 new kitten... it took 3 month to get them along....

I get this from ASPCA website you can read it at : http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer...introducingcat

Introduce a New CAT...

Some cats are very social and enjoy living with other cats, while others prefer to be solitary. If you are integrating a new cat into your home, understand that it will take time. The best advice is to introduce the cats gradually and be patient. It takes most cats about 8 to12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. Others never become friends, but and will simply mutually avoid each other. Still others continue to fight until your only choice is to re-home one of the cats. If you are dealing with cats who have lived harmoniously with other cats in the past, the odds are probably good that they will adjust. However, it is impossible to predict if any two individual cats will get along. If the resident cat becomes aggressive when he or she sees other cats outside the home, you will probably have a difficult time integrating a new cat. There are no reliable guides for deciding the best matches among cats. We do know that male cats—if they do become friends—tend to spend more time with each other. The individual personalities of the cats are more important than any other factor, including sex, age, or size. Be aware that the more cats you have, the higher the likelihood that you will have conflicts between the cats.

When you first bring the new cat home
The first impression the new cat makes with the resident cat(s) is critical. If the cats display aggression, this may set the mood for their future relationship. For this reason, it is best to separate the cats initially. The cats should be able to smell and hear, but not see or touch, each other. Each cat should have his or her own food and water bowls, litter box, scratching post, bed, etc. Feed the cats near the door that separates them so they learn that coming together, even though they can’t yet see each other, results in a pleasant experience. Feed extra special treats near the door as well—tuna, salmon, cheese, chicken, liver, etc. After 2-3 days, “rotate†the cats so that they can investigate each other’s smell. This also allows the new cat to explore a different section of the home. Some behaviorists even suggest rubbing the cats with the same towel to intermix their scents. After a few more days, play with the cats near the door. In particular, encourage the cats to paw at a toy under the door. Eventually the cats may play “paws†under the door with each other.

After a week or so, assuming you see no signs of aggression at the door (no hissing, growling, etc.), replace the door with a temporary screen door so the cats are able to see each other. Continue to encourage feeding, eating treats, and playing near the door. Start these activities a few feet away from the door and, over a few days, gradually move closer.

Together at last
The next stage is to permit the cats to spend time together. Carefully supervise these interactions. It is good to bring the cats together when they are likely to be relatively calm, such as after a meal or a strenuous play session. Keep a squirt bottle handy in case the cats begin to fight. As the cats become more familiar with each other, allow for longer periods of time together. If one cat spends most of his time hiding, or if one cat is continually harassing and pursuing the other, you should seek the assistance of a certified animal behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist.

Be sure to consider the layout of your home. Make sure there are plenty of hiding spots for your cats. Some cats like to sit up high, on shelves and on kitty condo perches. Frightened cats tend to hide under and behind things, so make sure there are hiding places at floor level as well. Place food, water, and litter boxes out in the open so the cats do not feel trapped when accessing these resources. Make sure you have a litter box for each cat and at least one extra.
post #7 of 9
It's been four months since we introduced Napoleon to Cassie, where they have interacted on a daily basis almost 24/7. It hasn't been 100% pleasant all of the time, but there have been breakthroughs.

Cassie is very much an ALPHA CAT whereas Napoleon *thinks* he is one LOL. He tries to question her authority to which she responds with a smack, a hiss, a growl or a love nibble -- I've borne witness to a lot of this and while it stressed me out in the beginning, I figured, it's probably more stressful to me, they are just doing what is natural to them.

I know the kitties tend to claw and hiss and bite and snarl -- but I think as long as there is not bloodshed, the fighting is perfectly normal. The little one sounds like she is questioning the older one's authority and the older one really hasn't had an opportunity to do so.

I think your best bet at this point is to keep them *supervised* visits while you are at home (I know you said you weren't home a lot but whatever makes you comfortable), feed them treats (*stinky* treats preferably!) together...my saving grace has been Da Bird, which was recommended to me by Jackson Galaxy (who I think has penned some articles here as well)...I thank him every single day for pointing me in the direction of this wonderful wonderful toy. My cats have been pleasant towards each other, and it's also a great stress reliever.

They'll be fine. You just have to do what course nature takes.
post #8 of 9
td128... i have the same exact problem... my kitty is restrained to my room and my roommate's kitty is out in the rest of our large apartment. my kitty will attack my roommate's (resident) still and i've had her for almost 4 months. they smell eachother, but Shiraz (mine) is just devil cat when she sees Jingles (resident) and is an angel with people. it's so tough, i totally feel your pain and i am so fustrated. i was going to try to think about how i could do a screen door (not sure really how to make one... or put a couple baby gates up (tall enough) so that they can be close to eachother and eat on opposite sides of the gate but not be able to hurt eachother (i know how scary and stressful it is to let them near eachother, i get nervous every time i open my bedroom door ). i'm thinking maybe Shiraz will calm down if she can see Jingles all the time, but i'm not really even betting on that. I'd hate to keep her in my room all the time, I feel so bad, especially because i work long hours right now. Feel free to IM me or anything because it seems to be a big issue for the both of us. I'm hoping one day yours (and mine!) can just tolerate eachother
post #9 of 9
I'll 'fess up. I have 8 cats at the moment, had cats waiting for their human to appear, 5 that have crossed the rainbow, and I have never ever used the presentation protocol.

I let them figure out who's boss. Normally there will be fights. Pooka (my eldest) absolutely hates kittens (I've no idea why) and will hiss and run away if one gets near (except for Perla, everyone fell in love with Perla, and boy, does she know it). The others more or less don't have much problems. They'll fight, and I make sure there is no bloodshed, but I've found out that they know what they're doing better than I do.
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