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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Question Rikku & Jesse Integration (w/video)

Integrating two older cats, need help, feed back and lol maybe prayer.

Here are the specs:

Cat #1/Resident cat: Rikku
Marble Bengal
female
7 yrs old
9 lbs
Spoiled Princess, Somewhat anti social but making drastic improvement since the move. no previous contact with other animals until just recently. A small maltese that she learns to tolerate as long as he doesn't get close.

Cat #2/New cat: Jesse
Mix/Tigerish Maine Coon? (size and frame of Maine Coon)
male
9 yrs old
24 lbs
Fat King Lover, It's the largest cat i've ever seen and when he looks and meows at you, you swear it's a 24lb 4 month old kitten. Lot's of past animal experience, cat's and dogs. Non confrontational.

Newly married couple moved across the country. New landlord only allows one cat - Cat #1 is brought to new home. Cat #2 stays with family. Amazing husband (me ) months later eventually convinces landlord to allow 1 more cat.

Now the fun part

Day1
Isolated Cat#2 in bathroom with litter food and bed. Started scent swapping.
there is a little hissing at the door by Cat#1

Day2-3
Continuing with isolation I also move both food bowls to the door of the isolation room. With Cat#1 it took the whole day to get her to eat close to the door. Started with the hallway and slowly worked up to the door.

Opened door a crack to allow them to see each other for the first time. Cat#2 is relatively calm with a short hiss, Cat#1 dug down and evoked the spirits of her asian leopard heritage and hissed, yowled and made noises i've never heard come out of an animal. It was rather frightening.

After that Cat#1 knew what she was dealing with and spends regular hissing and growling time at the door throughout the day. I do need to say the intensity of this has gone down since the initial face time. Not much, but some, not hearing the crazy sounds anymore.

started also swapping cats so Cat#1 could smell in the isolation room. Cat#1 immediate response was to pee in the letterbox.

Day4
Let Cat#2 Walk around the house for a while while Cat#1 was in bedroom. Later took the resident cat out in a cat carrier and set it in the middle of the room where the New cat was. The howls and Yowls came back and calmed down as cat plopped several feet away. I decided to get out treats, put one in the carrier which was ignored. Cat#2 immediately knew what was going on and got up and walked to the carrier with cat#1. The Yowling and guttural craziness started again as he got closer. I dropped a treat about a foot from the carrier, Cat#2 approaches. Cat#1 GETS CRAZY and in what i feel is a testament to Cat#2's non confrontational spirit he gets closer and decides the treat isnt worth it. walks back the place he was before and plops down. To me that was huge! Cat#2 will do anything to eat anything any time he can. But he decided on peace, that or my tiny 9lb cat really knows how to make a threat. Maybe a bit of both.

I'm now on Morning of Day5
and I have a Video Daily Double for to add to this. I need some feed back on where you think I am and where I might go next.

Thanks for putting up with the read, any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by marie73; 01-03-2011 at 11:58 AM. Reason: font color
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 03:58 PM
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I think you should slow down the process. When introducing two adult cats, especially one that is 7 years old and not used to being with other cats (#1), it would take at least 1-2 weeks of separation, scent exchanges, feeding behind doors, etc., before moving to the "open the door a crack" stage. In fact, you shouldn't move to the next stage (opening the door, carriers, etc.) until it's clear that neither cat is too upset when he/she encounters the other cat's smell and until both cats are comfortable eating on either side of the door. From the sounds of things, you're not there yet.

So, I suggest you take a step backwards. Continue the feedings either side of the door and continue to do some scent exchanges. When both cats seem comfortable with those, you can start the room exchanges. Then move to opening the door a crack, etc.

You can also try using some stress relievers, such as Feliway or Rescue Remedy, which might help the situation.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, was waiting to see if there were a few more opinions before i responded. That Calm tincture seems like something to try.

Is there nothing to be said of just letting them have one go at it so they both know what they are dealing with. Or is that exactly what needs to happen just when they get past a certain amount of stages?

Day6
Cat#1 showed some slight playful curiosity at the door, it was nice it felt like progress... Later in the night it turned to obsession with being at the door and it now trying to attack at the new cat under the crack with paws.

Do i let her sit there and be curious, even if she is yowling? Or do i distract her and get her somewhere else? I read somewhere that you should distract when hissing turns to yowling.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:24 AM
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I just went through this - however it went much smoother than I imagined it would! So I'm hoping you find the answers you need -- slowing it down some might work.

Also - feliway diffuser (a plug in thingee) really worked on my two - calmed them down, and just helped them get along better. I'm a huge believer in the stuff and believe I should be getting a paycheck from them for all the promotion I give them! ha!

Good luck - you have a bengal? So do I - a girl - marbled - three years old - she is my newest cat only have had her a month or so.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:26 AM
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One question - you say the cat is trying to attack the other under the door - is it for sure attacking, or playing? is the cat hissing? Mine played under the door for a week before I left them even see each other - not attacking, just batting paws at each other. Try sitting on both sides of the door - see how each cat reacts to the other, play with them under the door - roll a tiny ball back and forth so both cats see you accepting the other and avoid jealousy.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 11:51 AM
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I kept my boys COMPLETELY separate for 2 weeks (closed door, scent swapping) before even doing a crack the door intro (though, once, Teddy decided to door dash to see who the stranger in the bathroom was). Teddy would also bat at Leo from under the door, but it wasn't aggressive. I then moved to putting LEO in a carrier and letting him sit in the main room with Teddy for an hour or so while I was home. I couldn't do cat swapping because I had a hard time handling Leo. I then bought a Cat Condo cage thing so Leo could stay in the main room with Teddy but they could get used to each other but still be separated. Then I let Leo have free roam of my apartment but I would put Teddy in the condo while I was at work or if he bothered Leo too much. They are now best buds. Here is a video of one of the carrier sessions. Granted, Leo and Teddy are litter mates and they lived together until they were 1yo and the reintroduction was done at 2.5yo. Your case may be a bit tougher. BTW, Lovely Bengal Girl. As you can probably tell, I'm a bit partial to the breed.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Got the Feliway, seems to calm a very little bit. An edge that I'll need. More info to come, just been doing more of the same.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coff View Post
Is there nothing to be said of just letting them have one go at it so they both know what they are dealing with.
I wouldn't recommend that approach. If they're involved in an actual fight at this point, you could end up with two cats that never get along, or at best only tolerate each other. Furthermore, a real fight will only lengthen the time it takes for them to even tolerate each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coff View Post
Do i let her sit there and be curious, even if she is yowling? Or do i distract her and get her somewhere else? I read somewhere that you should distract when hissing turns to yowling.
You should distract when hissing turns to yowling if/when the cats are together (to avoid a fight), but not when they're separated by a door and no harm can come of things. So, I'd just let her sit and be curious.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks that helps me clear it up, that's what ive been doing.

I dont know what day this is, 7 I think.

Cat#1 is much calmer. Still goes to the door to try and pick a fight through the crack.

Started doing room introductions yesterday which was brief, tonight did it for about 5 min with alot of distance between the two of them. Cat#1 was constantly trying to get at the other cat, but wasnt freaking out as bad as i thought. Cat#2 just sits there calm like nothing is happening.

After a rubbing Cat#2 i went to go rub and pet Cat #1 and she went after my arm much more aggressively that when we wrestle. She started biting me alot harder than normal and get the feral beast face look with mouth open and teeth showing. I had to pull away, she just kept looking at me for a few seconds with that face. I'm worried, seems some progress is happening, but theres is always something new to be discouraged about.

I don't think there is a future where there is no fight or attack from Cat#1, it's only been a week, but I just can't see her getting over 7 years of being the only cat in a house.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Day#8 (morning melee)

Door wasn't shut totally tight. Cat#1 pushed her way in, went right after Cat#2.
Cat#2 is so passive, he didn't move. So Cat#1 just stood there inches from his face until i walked in and distracted with a loud noise. Then she lunged at him and both ran out into another room where Cat#1 scratched off a nice hunk of fur, all this time Cat#2 who weighs well over twice her weight, does nothing but retreat and never advances at all.

A few positives, tell me if I'm wrong.
1) They met, it wasn't nearly as bad as i thought.
2) Cat#2 never attacked, Cat#1 must have realized that. There has to be some of that intent or motivation expressed to Cat#1. That has to be somewhat positive that she now knows there is no real threat coming from the new guy. Then again, I see life like a human not a cat.

Next step, less face time, more face time? Any comments welcome.
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