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Combo issue: New cat intro/scratching to get out/husband-aversive-conditioning

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello! I hope somebody can help. On Saturday we took on a second cat, named Crazy, to be a companion to our first cat, Precious. We've been trying to keep them separated and carefully control the introductions - we set Crazy up in her own room and have been visiting her regularly; we're trying out the scent-transfer tips and the lavish treats and petting and play, etc. So far they've only met nose-to-nose through a narrowly opened door, which went well with a little hissing from Precious. I've closed Precious in a different room and let Crazy roam a little outside her room. This morning, though, Crazy woke us up by scratching on the wooden door, reaching under and rattling it, and meowing like a thing possessed. She reeeeally wants out.

I'm afraid I may have positively reinforced her behavior by getting up and going in to see how she had gotten the barricade out of the way, and petting her while I was in there - seemed like she needed some people-time. Went downstairs to get tinfoil and tape, and while I was down there, she attacked the door again, which made my husband jump out of bed, go BANG on the door and yell to scare her away from it. (when I went in to engineer the tinfoil solution, she was definitely in retreat/wary/grumpy mode). He's talking squirt gun now. Mad about the damage to the finish on the door, of course. Talking about sending her away if she's going to trash the house.

So - any help on how to proceed next? Crazy seems keen on accelerating the pace of the introductions, and also seems very willfull. I am a bit worried about the size difference between her and Precious - she's a tank.

Any tips on bringing the husband around on the non-punishing issue would be appreciated too...


post #2 of 5
Goodness! Sounds like she wants out and now. How handy is your husband? Do you have your own home, or are you renting? The reason I ask is there is a quick way to make a door that can't be destroyed is negligible in cost and allows the cats to get adjusted to each other on a quicker basis. Using PVC pipe, elbows, hinges and chicken wire, you can make a quick door to block out any type of assault, let the cat see the resident cat, allow the new cat to smell and get a sense of the pulse of the house, and it just works really well. You use cable ties to attach the wire to the PVC frame and because it is on hinges, it is easy to get in and out of the room.

Scaring her, banging on the door is not a good thing. You do not want to do this type of behavior around a cat, because it can over time turn into aggression on your cat's part.

You can email me or PM for instructions on how to make the door. Cost about $45.00 takes about 20 minutes, saves a lot of grey hair.
post #3 of 5
We had this same problem.


Letting the new cat out too early cause our resident cat to freak out and hide. We are still trying to recover from this.
post #4 of 5
Often, people want cats to conform to their schedules, and not wait for cats to let them know when they (the cats) are comfortable enough to meet and greet correctly. Living in a multi-cat household (16 at the moment) it is always fascinating to me to watch the dynamics of the group. Just by sitting back and taking your cues from your cats you can prevent a lot of stress, trauma, expensive vet bills. Let your cats make the moves, don't move for them.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well, that's very true - I guess we just have to interpolate between Crazy's "READY already GEEZ you PEOPLE LEMME OUT!" moves and Precious' "Not so darned fast there, interloper!" moves. Thanks to Hissy for the barrier suggestion - the one I have in mind now should block off one end of the hallway, allow Crazy access to the bathroom and her bedroom, let her see us & Precious coming & going.

Construction is going to have to wait til tomorrow night... we'll have to hope the foil is unpleasant enough a deterrent til then. or - OH! double-sided tape! When we moved in, we bought some adhesive carpet runners, about 24" wide, at Home Depot. I have a ton of it left! I can mount that to the door and frame! Halleluja, you people are inspiring.

Thanks much!

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