General Question

tonedef's avatar

How do I handle a catfrontation?

Asked by tonedef (3935points) September 4th, 2008

I adopted a beautiful cat that was orphaned by TS Fay, but my beautiful other cat is none too happy about it. I tried keeping them-separated and letting them get acquainted through smell, but they would just howl at the door, so i let them meet. Original cat has been very defensive and on edge ever since.

What do I do? There’s been hissing, horking, and one cat isn’t eating as much. I’ve only had this new cat for 2 days. Do I have anything to worry about it? Is this normal? Will it subside? Thank you.

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12 Answers

iJimmy's avatar

Check out Feliway. It’s a synthetic cat pheremone that can be diffused with a wall diffuser like a Glade Plug in. It can calm cats. You can get it through you vet or online.

marinelife's avatar

It is difficult for adult cats who were not raised together to bond, because cats are territorial. It is likely to get better, but never great.

tinyfaery's avatar

When I adopted my second cat, my first cat HATED him. She yelled and screamed and put up such a fuss, so much so that I thought that I’d have to take the new kitty back. Some cats just take longer to get acquainted, and things like sex, age, and whether or not one/both/neither of them are spayed/neutered can factor into it. There are great web resources out there that will give you the skinny on introducing cats. (I don’t have the time at the moment. But just search, and you’ll find something.)

As a side note, my two cats in question LOVE each other now; it only took a few years.

= ^. .^ =

JackAdams's avatar

Bring along a dog, for protection.

September 4, 2008, 9:55 PM EDT

augustlan's avatar

My two hated each other on sight. Within a few weeks, they were lovey-dovey. Now, they only fight for fun. During a “fight”, one will pin the other to the floor, and after a few seconds, begin grooming her. “Be still, so I can LICK you!”

Adina1968's avatar

Hang in there they will eventually get used to each other.

makin8's avatar

With dogged determination.

VanBantam's avatar

@makin8 oooh you dog you.

marissa's avatar

Feliway is a great suggestion, I always use it when I introduce a new cat and it has worked to calm them every time. Also, as long as they are not in a nasty drawn out cat fight (fur flying, blood spurting), I would not interfere with them interacting (unless one is cornered and can’t retreat). Make sure you give the original kitty lots of tlc and take some time each day to spend sometime alone with it giving it extra love (like take it into your bedroom and shut the door and just pet it or sit there and read while it curls up next to you). Also, make sure that you have a new litter box so that you have the old one the orginal cat has used and a new one for the new kitty to lay claim to, this helps prevent territorial issues that can lead to urinating elsewhere. As for how long it will take for them to get use to each other, it could be a few weeks or a few months, it really depends on their individual personalities. Good Luck! I love kitties!

scamp's avatar

I’m glad I read this thread. I have two cats that grew up together and suddenly decided they don’t want to get along anymore. They were having knock down drag outs anf fur flew until I decided to keep them separate. I’m going to get some Feliway and give it another try.

@tonedef good luck with your two. I think what you are doing for the misplaced kitty is wonderful.

Tantigirl's avatar

Your original kitty is maintaining his/her place in your house as the dominant kitty. She’s basically slapping the other one down, saying This is house and my pet human, so stay in your place, I’m the boss. Your new kitty will be poking and prodding your original kitty to test the boundaries.

They are going to have scraps, even when they get used to each other they’re most likely to have scrag fights on a daily basis. We have three kitties, two from the same litter, and the other is their nephew. They fight and carry on often, pick fights etc, and like augustlan’s kitties, they’ll end up grooming one another and then fall asleep in a big kitty heap.

There are times when they are genuinely angry with one another, and then the fight will be on. That is definitely the time to intervene. When the fur is flying, and they are screaming at one another, that is when you need to tell them that it’s not on. We’ve found that raising our voices, and loudly, sometimes to a shout, will cause them to retreat. If it doesn’t, then you’d need to separate them for a couple of minutes. That is all it should take. You’ll soon be able to tell by their tone of voice which kind of fight they’re having (if you don’t know already). If you don’t want to physically get in between them, or pick one of them up, squirting them with a water sprayer should quickly break them up.

MicaDirtCat's avatar

A lot of these answers provide great advice. I will only add that cats react similar to new competition as kids do with a new baby. They of course have all their kitty instincts but have been so domesticated that their bond with their owner becomes the sole comfort in the fifteen minutes a day they are awake. Scolding the cats will work sometimes but it reinforces a negative attitude. Water bottles are better because though the super soaker comes from you, ‘it isn’t linked to your voice or physicality.

I’ve had one cat for 8 yrs. and she has gone through a roommate’s new kitten and now I have got a new one myself. She was an only kitty for 5 yrs and didn’t accept the change well either time. I saw her vie for domain as jealousy. I started to keep her in my room at night with the door closed (litter box included- you get used to it and it won’t be forever) so she had her own “me time”. She responded very well and has now come to always follow in front of me when she thinks I am going to my room. I don’t need to do it anymore. My other cat has actually learned to respect her space in a way, too!
If that is too much, I recommend that you set up a little bed, blanket, etc. for her somewhere she likes and try to spend some time with her there every day for a while. She will associate the area with getting pet, brushed, whatever, and feeling that undivided special attentiveness. You should see a difference in her behavior.
My girl is too old to change her ways completely but I can’t tell you how amazed I am when the other one tries to sleep next to her and she’s too tired to care!

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