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Introducing a new cat to an old cat

PeenPeen tw1tch0rzoccasionallyRegistered User regular
We have a 5ish year old girl cat. We had two cats until last July when our other cat got super sick and we had to put him down, so she's not a stranger to having other cats around. We thought we'd get another cat so we picked out a 10 month old girl from a local shelter and adopted her and so far they are getting along 0%. We didn't introduce them face to face until 4 days in and we've kept them separated during the day but have tried to leave all of the doors open at night and they've had a big fight that we've had to break up every night. It's a week that we've had the second cat today and not only are they still hissing at each other but new cat scratched my wife when she tried to give her some attention.

Do we need to give it more time? Is cat #2 just a bad fit?

Posts

  • Zombie HeroZombie Hero Registered User regular
    When you kept them separated, did you switch their locations and trade toys so they got used to the other's scent?

    Steam
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  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Well its hard to say cause a week isnt enough time. My parents just got 2 kittens and the existing cat is just starting to get use to the idea 2-3 months later. One trick to try is to take something that the new cat sleeps on like a blanket and put it in the location/bed that the old cat sleeps on to let her get use to the scent of the new cat.

    No promises tho.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
  • PeenPeen tw1tch0rz occasionallyRegistered User regular
    Yeah, we've tried the smell thing. We've switched blankets, toys, and gone back and forth with a brush. "They" said we should take 5-10 days to gradually introduce them, 2-3 months seems intolerable.

  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Try isolating them for another week and doing the same routine again. If they are still trying to tear each other to bits, you might have to give up the new cat.

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Only a week? Cats really hate new cats. They might like each other in a year if you are lucky!

    Give them two litter boxes well away from each other so they don't have to compete on that. It's surprisingly important to cats.

    SkeithShadowfireKiasNot MandatoryCog
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Female cats are more territorial then males as well so that will also be an issue to add extra time for.

    And it's very possible that they'll never get along.

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    From Jackson Galaxy, star of the Animal Plant show, My Cat From Hell.

    In addition, one of his early episodes had a cat that, by temperament, was rambunctious, which required that the owners play and walk the cat for about 30-45 minutes, each day, in order to get the cat tired, which was the secret to getting the cat to stop attacking their other cat.

    iTNdmYl.png
    Lovelytapeslinger
  • puffycowpuffycow Registered User regular
    I had a cat for a year and then I decided to get it a playmate. Worst decision ever. She much rather be a loner but it was too late, the adoption was done. I tried the whole separation thing for about two weeks but then had to force cohabitation due to the new one constantly finding a way to get stuck in the room I was keeping him in.

    At first it was a lot of fight breaking up and at night, or when I wasn't around, I'd keep them separated. It's been two years but old cat tolerates new cat now. They probably will never cuddle but they definitely play every day. Every once in a while she'll give him a hiss and a swat to let him know she isn't in the mood.

    TLDR; Keep at it, it takes diligence.

    FrankForum-1.jpg
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    2-3 ,months is not that long, a friend of ours took longer than that.

    what they did was build a door size screen and kept them seperated through that so they could smell each other.

    camo_sig.png
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    puffycow wrote: »
    I had a cat for a year and then I decided to get it a playmate. Worst decision ever.

    Yeah, I find that most cats prefer "alone" to "unrelated cat." People anthropomorphize them by assuming they need a playmate or they will be sad, which, I find, is not true. They do like cats that are related to them, but IMHO they'd prefer to be on their own if that is not available. Human company is enough for them, unless you work 12 hours a day and are never home, in which case getting a cat is probably a bad idea. You do need to do a bit more to play with them - drag a string around or roll a ball for them to pounce on.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    every cat is different.

    we used to have play dates for our one cat, but the second hates other cats and would much rather have a dog friend

    camo_sig.png
  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Cats do like having a playmate but they need to be comfortable with not sharing territory from a very early age. It's why i got 2 kittens last time i went looking for a new baby.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
  • CogCog Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Peen wrote: »
    Yeah, we've tried the smell thing. We've switched blankets, toys, and gone back and forth with a brush. "They" said we should take 5-10 days to gradually introduce them, 2-3 months seems intolerable.

    When you do the smell swapping thing, make sure you rub the item along the cheeks, where cats tend to rub their faces against your fingers and such. That's a pheromone related spot for cats. I've had the best luck using a small blanket or towel, and placing that towel under the other cat's food dish when they get fed. It helps them associate the scent of the other cat with the pleasant activity of being fed.

    You could also try a pheromone relaxant spray or collar, but I can't make any claims about their efficacy.
    mts wrote: »
    what they did was build a door size screen and kept them seperated through that so they could smell each other.

    This is more or less the ideal meeting mechanism, because they can see and smell each other without touching. A glass barrier or a very narrowly cracked door is better than nothing. Whenever they are to meet without a barrier, have blankets on hand to wrap them up in. Never try to separate them bare-handed.

    Understand that getting along may simply never happen and that when mixing cats, "disdainful tolerance" is considered a win.

    Cog on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    azith28 wrote: »
    Cats do like having a playmate but they need to be comfortable with not sharing territory from a very early age. It's why i got 2 kittens last time i went looking for a new baby.

    The problem arises when one of the cats dies, as happened to the OP. Do you get another cat, or do you let the cat be alone? I find that cats are not as unhappy to be alone as you would suppose.

  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Cats can get very Jealous of attention. make sure you are giving the older cat a lot of it. even my kittens who grew up together will show it. Pet one and the other will either walk up and try to push your hand away from that cat onto them, or you can make an effort to pet both at the same time :)

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
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