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Jude's avatar

My girlfriend and I each have an indoor/outdoor cat; what is the best way to get them used to each other (without killing one another)

Asked by Jude (32134points) August 28th, 2010

She has Maggie. Maggie is 10 and is a diva. She’s constantly after critters outside, my dog is scared of her, and now with Frank (my boy), she hisses and spits when they’re inside. I rarely bring Frank over to Nikki’s. This is the second time, and both times, she’s been a kitty bitch ;-) Frank’s so easy going, but, he’s not the type of cat to run and hide. He just sits and they stare at each other. Every time that she sees him, she hisses. He hasn’t hissed once. He actually seems pretty relaxed in that he has no problem sleeping comfortably here and cuddles with Nikki and I. She, on the other hand won’t come near and wants to get the hell outside.

It’s a small apartment and like I said, I rarely have them together, but, yeah, I’m looking for a way to help them get used to one another.

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8 Answers

daytonamisticrip's avatar

My older cat and new kitten hated each other. They battled it out and are buddies now. Cats will be cats once both cats know their place they’ll either be friends or they will go their separate ways.

bobbinhood's avatar

Personally, I’ve always just let cats go at each other until they learned to live with each other. However, I have only introduced kittens to older cats rather than introducing two older cats. Either way, I don’t think this is actually the best method, so it will not be the one I use in the future.

I’m not sure how well you can expect to teach the cats to get along when they are not actually living together. Given enough encounters, they may eventually acclimate, but it seems unlikely. It would probably work better to simply wait to introduce the cats until they will be living together.

I did a little research, and while most sites disagree on the specifics, they all follow the same general principles for acclimating cats that will be living together. Whichever cat is moving to the new home should be given a safe room. After a few days, they should have some opportunity to get used to each other’s scent without directly encountering each other. When you believe the cats are ready for a formal introduction, you must make sure it is in a setting that feels safe for both cats. Within a couple weeks of working with the cats, you should be able to let them both roam free in the house.

Pat Brody Shelter for Cats
Richmond SPCA
We for Animals
Litter Maid

Ben_Dover's avatar

The only way is to love them both and talk to them…They must come to their own truce, but you can help nudge them…

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Oh forgot to mention DO NOT i repeat DO NOT lock them in a room together. It’s a long story.

marinelife's avatar

It is going to take some time for them to come to an accommodation. They will probably never like each other, but can learn to tolerate each other.

Coloma's avatar

I introduced a young female less than a year old, to my old guy Gad that passed away in May.
I did the separate room thing for the first 2 weeks, letting the new cat out multiple times a day for brief explorations. They ultimately blended well although Gad passed away within 2 months. :-(
It was heartwarming though as I felt a little guilty bringing home another cat at his advanced age to find him washing her head next to each other on my bed one day not long before he died.

After he passed I went out within the week and adopted a male of the same age as the girl kitty. The new cat hit it off immediatly within hours, chasing and playing together as the female never attempted to play with Gad, she sensed he was too old and not well.

Cats always work it out, and most of the time they do end up enjoying each other.

rooeytoo's avatar

If all that is going on is some hissing, I would just let them figure it out for themselves.

Battousai87's avatar

i would agree with rooeytoo, if all they are doing is hissing then there is no harm in that. they will eventually come to an understanding of who is boss, and who is not on their own.

My brother came home from school with 3 kittens….and the cats we had (old cats of 11yrs) didn’t want anything to do with them. they had their spats, smacking the kittens around (no claws don’t worry no one was hurt in the process) but the point is eventually they got along once the kittens learned to give the older cats the space they wanted.

the slowly introducing them is a good way too though. I’ve done toddler gates between rooms (stacked usually so that neither cat could jump it) or a screen door if you have one between rooms in the house.

Just give it time the cats will figure it out for themselves. Oh i also recommend that since you each have your own cat that you make sure that you display affection for your cat in particular over the other. It may seem mean, but dont forget your cat has been your cat for longer, and cats are possessive over their owners. I had to prove to my cats that they were the ones i favored even with the kittens there, and once they weren’t putting all their efforts into making sure their relationship with me was secured and unwavering, they spread out and got along better with the kittens. good luck hope that this all helps!

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