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Please help with introducing two cats

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey, I hope everyone is doing well, I'm new to this forum and I'm requesting help that anyone can offer. I really appreciate it.

I'm a 23 yr old college student and I live with my girlfriend and two cats. About 2 1/2 yrs ago my girlfriend had to take in a family cat, Roxie, because her dad was moving to a city. She's an older cat, about 11 years old now and she had some trust issues. Apparently she had some traumatic experiences when she was younger before they got her.

Then about two years ago we adopted a kitten, Ruxpin, we thought to keep her company and because he needed a good home. Unfortunately I didn't do any research on the subject and we did pretty much all the introductions wrong. When we took him home we had him in the carrier for a few minutes and then basically just let him out. Roxie wasn't very happy with the situation and was pretty hostile towards him. After a month or two of them not getting along I started to do some reading but I guess it was too late because all the stuff we tried to do didn't work. It ended up that they can't really be together so we have to seperate them a lot when we're not there, but Roxie has always been an outside cat so she can go out when she needs to and our room has always been her safe haven. So things between them have worked out okay and that isn't the problem, but I just wanted to give some backround information.

Okay on to the issue. We just had two new roommates move in who are twin sisters and they have a cat Michael. We desparately want Ruxpin and Michael to get along so we don't have to worry about keeping 3 cats seperate. I've done a fair amount of reading online and a few different books and we've been trying to follow what they say.

We kept them seperated at first, letting them get used to each other scents. Then we slowly started to feed them on opposite sides of a door, then used just a baby gate, and now they will even eat almost right next to each other. But once they are done they start to stalk each other and I'm not sure what the next step should be. Everything I've read pretty much stops at having them eating next to each other, saying that they should get along after that. I'm not sure if Ruxpin (our cat) is hostile towards him because of how Roxie (our other cat) reacted to him when he was little or what. They mainly just stalk each other and kind of pounce then back off, or stare each other down. There isn't any hissing or growling, although sometimes Ruxpin will make this whiny cry when he is close to Michael right before he is about to pounce. We don't want to leave them alone with each other because we're afraid something might happen.

So basically I am wondering what I should be doing at this point other than feeding them together and trying to get them to play with each other. Also when should I break up their spats? If they aren't hurting each other but are still fighting should I break up the fight? or try and let them work out some sort of heirarchy. I'd really appreciate any advice anyone could give on what else I could try to help them get along with each other. Thanks a lot, and I'm sorry about the really long post.
post #2 of 4
Heres a link for you


Lots of luck and don't give up
post #3 of 4
I just went through this and at this point it's best to just let them be. You're lucky there isn't hissing and growling! I was told that as long as they weren't "killing" each other to just let them be....

I know this is such a stressful thing, but as hard as it was I did it and they no longer "stare down", hiss, or anything..

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies and the link. Yeah I've read all of that stuff before and everything seemed to work well but now it seems like their relationship has stalled. They will eat right next to each other and even sit down pretty close without any growling or hissing but as soon as I leave the room or take my attention off of them problems start. I think what is happening is that the cats get curious and are trying to be a little friendly but the other cat ends up getting scared. For example after feeding them together and trying to play with both of them, one cat will get up and try to go explore or just leave to the room for something else, then the other cat will be curious and try to follow them. This usually scares the other cat if he notices and leads to a staring match. Worse, if one cat doesn't notice the other trying to smell them, then he gets really startled and tries to swipe at them.

I guess what I am asking for is any other ideas that aren't the typical things you find in articles, I've done a lot of reading on the subject, but not much of it deals with things at the later stages. Or knowing when it is a good fight like, trying to establish a heirarchy, or if it is a hostile fight that should be broken up. I don't want to make the situation worse, I've read that you should never punish them, but when do I stop the introducing session and break them up. Is there a good way to know when things are getting too stressful for the cats and they should be seperated? I am also worried that if I keep seperating them they will never get used to each other.

Thanks for any advice or tips that you can give, everyone on this forum seems really nice and well versed on the subject. thanks again,
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