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New kitty in heat, old kitty not so happy

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I just got a new kitten, Adele. She's about 9 months old (was a stray, so the vet guessed from her teeth) and has just gone into a spay cycle. She's loud and very, very affectionate.

Here's the thing...I've got another cat, Dusty. Dusty is about 9 years old and has been an only cat for the time I've had her (about 2 1/2 years). I kept them separate for several days and slowly introduced them. Adele was very friendly and wasn't bothered at all by Dusty...Dusty was a bit more wary, although she hasn't attacked Adele at all. There's been a bit of hissing and growling but just as often Dusty is willing to play right along with Adele or lay just a few feet away from her on the bed. (Note: when I'm gone, asleep, or otherwise preoccupied, I keep them in separate rooms so there won't be unexpected fights.)

These last couple of days, though, it seems like Dusty's patience with Adele is getting shorter and shorter. This corresponds nicely with Adele's heat cycle. Could Adele be putting out pheremones that Dusty is reacting to? Adele is a bit louder, and tons more affectionate, but her behavior is pretty similar to what it was prior to her heat cycle. She's going in Tuesday to be spayed, so her cycle won't last much longer.

Do you think that Dusty's behavior might be because Adele is in heat? Should I start the introductions over again or see whether it gets better once Adele is spayed? I really, really want them to get along and I think that they will...but I don't want their first couple of weeks together to ruin any chance of future kitty love.

post #2 of 5
Several days sometimes doesn't work, it can take a long time for them to learn to like each other.

Introducing Cats
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response, Hissy.

Yeah, I know that several days doesn't work. I'm still not expecting that they love each other since it has only been a couple of weeks that I've had Adele (in fact, my guess is that it'll take a couple of months at least for Dusty to warm up to Adele). My worry is that things seem to have gotten worse in the last few days. Before, Dusty would tolerate Adele's presence and only hiss if Adele got too close to her. Now Dusty is far less patient with Adele...she's far more likely to hiss at her or growl whenever Adele even enters the room, her meowing alone will often cause Dusty to start growling in response.

The only difference that I see is that Adele is in heat...so I'm wondering whether Adele's being in heat might be affecting Dusty's behavior towards her. If it is, then hopefully things will get better once Adele is fixed (Tuesday). If it isn't, then I think I may need to go back a few steps in the kitty-cat introduction process.
post #4 of 5
Hey shellcat.

Her spay may help the situation, as you said, but you may have to face the possibility that these kitties may not get along for a while.
We have a cat (Skittles) who was an inner city rescue who does not get along with any other cat, not even her mother (they were a package deal from another rescue). I kept her crated for a few days (intro) then crated her at night allowing the other cats access to her cage for several weeks. She's great with us but runs around the house hissing at everybody until she reaches her roost, on top of a bookshelf. She is physically healthy, eats well (FIVFeLuk neg) and is about two years old. The other cats just ignore her.
Have you considered getting three? <runs>

We also have our first cat (Moon) who hated every cat we introduced just like Skittles but after four years of introducing new kitties, she is absolutely wonderful with them, so hope is not lost.

Good luck!

post #5 of 5
My cats always act differently when Meeka is in heat. Its like a disturbance in their usual routine. Autumn gets easily agitated by all the cats and Hope is beffudled by her usual play partner who will not play during this time.

All around getting her spayed will help as I'm sure the heat isn't helping. At the same time it will also take a while for them to get along.
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