New cat vs. old cat - how long 'til buddies? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-10-2004, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
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New cat vs. old cat - how long 'til buddies?

So, it's official: my cats don't like each other I'm disappointed, but not giving up hope yet. This past Sunday saw the two month, two week mark pass with my new boy, Hobochangba.

Next Monday marks one month since he's had full access to the house, and to Pfeffa, the resident cat. They can tolerate each other - but she still spits and growls at him 85% of the time she can see him, and he bats at and chases her 90% of the time the opportunity is there.

I'm wondering, how long did it take for your cats to be friends?

(I'm still hoping to move beyond just plain ol' tolerance here)
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 11:24 PM
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I'm going through something similar now, except it's only been two weeks for us. We adopted a little kitten and our two older cats are in various stages of dealing with it. Our younger cat has accepted the kitten, but gets into dominance play with him that gets very rough at times - he'll hold him down and bite at him until the kitten cries out. But he'll share food with him, play with him, lie down with him, etc. so I'm not sure how much of that is really aggression.

Our older cat just doesn't want to deal with him. He's not being aggressive at all, but he growls and hisses when he sees the kitten. And yet, they will sleep in the same room, and he will eat in the same room with him - but if the kitten gets close, out come the hisses again.

My husband really wants to encourage them to be closer and to get over it, but I keep telling him there's really nothing that we can do to urge things along, and that urging things along might backfire on us. Is there anything we can do, or should we just leave them to it, even if it takes a long time?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 11:30 PM
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Did you do a VERY VERY gradual introduction? You must let the cats dictate the pace, you can't just say "oh it's been 2 weeks, that's good enough!" ... roductions
Do not proceed to the next step until there is complete acceptance at each stage.

It's never too late to start over. I'd separate them and try again.

Dr. Jean

Jean Hofve, DVM

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 11:40 PM
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I'd add what I tell everybody getting a new pet - make sure you give your resident pets as much and, if possible, even more attention than before.

I had Zoltan and Knievel for almost a year when I got Jekyll. Knievel and Jekyll took less than a week to become buddies. After the first night, Knievel quit hissing at Jekyll and Jekyll was actually the one that had to adjust. They quickly became really good buddies and played together all the time. Zoltan tolerated Jekyll but was wary of him for a while. It took a few months before Zoltan and Jekyll played together. Now they all get along really well - there's never been a real fight and I've seen them cuddle together and play together a lot.

I remember when my parents first got Duff. My brother originally wanted Dizzy but didn't see her when he went to pick out a kitten. When she was discovered a few days later my parents decided that we could have Dizzy too. Even though Dizzy was her own littermate and they've only been separated for a few days, Duff hissed constantly at Dizzy the first night.

After we had Dizzy and Duff a couple years, we got Taz and Bandit. I can't remember for sure, but I think it probably took around a month for Dizzy and Duff to quit hissing at them all the time. Eventually, Dizzy and Duff became sort of surrogate mothers to Taz and Bandit and they played and cuddled together a lot. Though once Taz and Bandit (mainly Bandit) got older, there were more spats. Even after 10 years together, they still hiss at each other every once in a while. I don't think they ever did set a dominance chain so they all think they're top cat.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2004, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Dr. Jean - when you say "complete acceptance at each stage"...can you explain what you mean by that? Do you mean absolutely NO hissing, spitting, growling, swiping, chasing, etc...?
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