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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Old Cat/New Cat Introduction

Hello, I'm pretty new to this site.. and by that I mean I joined up just now because I need some advice on introducing a couple cats to each other.

About 14 or 15 years ago my family and I rescued a kitten from a box that was laying in a ditch. This cat, who we've named Fluffy, has had the run of the mill ever since. A few weeks ago my father brought home a stray cat that had been lurking around his job site, she had obviously been in a pretty bad fight, was starved and wasn't going to be around much longer unless she found a home. We are pretty sure she is not feral, she acts waaay to domesticated. After a few vet trips, she is finally starting to get a little energetic. Her name is Bow by the way. The vet guessed that she was about 3 years old. This is a huge difference in age between cats.

We have slowly been introducing them to each other over the past few days and have been getting expected results; hissing, howling and so on, however it doesn't seem to be getting better... in fact.. the opposite seems to be happening. I haven't let them in the same room with each other yet, rather on opposite sides of glass doors, so they can see each other but are unable to get physical. Like I said they started out with hissing and howling, but tonight I watched Bow run face first into the glass door at full speed in an attempt to get at (presumably to attack) Fluffy. She was a little stunned to say the least. Any website I have looked at on this topic seem to assume that the dominant cat is the one that has been on the turf for the longest, however... Fluffy is really old and although she hisses, she just runs away. Bow appears to be the one that is gaining dominance, this seems to be opposite of anything I've read online.

I've never introduced cats before and have no real idea what I'm doing, no website I can find has any information about introducing a young adult cat to a mature adult cat. If anybody has done this before or has any advice.. please share!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 12:03 AM
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Re: Old Cat/New Cat Introduction

Welcome, and I hope we'll be able to help you.
First, has Bow been spayed? It is possible her hormones could be making her aggressive in an attempt to secure resources; food, shelter and kittening areas. You could do a search here at CF about how to introduce cats. I've always kept them completely seperated for quite sometime. Letting them get accustomed to each other via scent swapping (where you rub towels over each cat and exchange the towels so each cat has a towel to smell of the other cat) and in some instances, a neutral territory sharing of space. One locked in a room while the other roams, then switch by isolating the other cat and letting the locked up one roam and explore, both sharing scent over the area.
I also like to let them sniff noses through a door crack. When hissing decreases, open the crack just a bit more to let them *see* a bit more as they sniff. I stand there the entire time with my hand on the edge of the door and closing it to the door jamb with my knuckles in the way, thereby creating the size crack/gap I wish to make. Outdoor cats are intro'd to the indoor cats by seeing each other through the back French (glass) doors. I also do the hand in the door jamb with the back door.
This may take time, you cannot rush it. It will take as long as it takes...and they may not *ever* get along, but you can hope that they could learn to co-exist with a minimum of fuss.
Best of luck,
Heidi =^..^=



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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Old Cat/New Cat Introduction

Yes, Bow was spayed about a week ago. I have been doing the neutral territory thing, letting Bow roam around while fluffy is either sleeping or outside, and then putting her either back downstairs where she has been for the last month, or in the small room where they are on opposite sides of the french doors, so they can see each other but there is a barrier in between them. I'm just concerned that Bow is trying to affirm dominance where Fluffy should be dominant, Fluff has had 15 years of being the Queen of the castle. I caught bow earlier using Fluffy's litter box, is that an act of marking territory?
I just don't want to mess this up
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