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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Semi new cat owner needing intro help!

Hello all, bare with me as this is going to be a lengthy post, but i really appreciate any help!

I have had my first cat for a year. Her name is Nova and she is two years old. We have fish tanks and shes constantly trying to hunt the fish (normal, but this will make more sense later.) When we first brought nova home, she didn't hide and wasn't nervous. She immediately felt right at home. Nova does not like to snuggle or receive love unless it's on her terms. But she really is a sweet kitty.

Last night, we put Raisin in the front of the house to let him get familiar there, and kept nova in the back of the house with us (with the door shut, because Raisin is constantly trying to climb the gates now.) All the other nights my bf and I slept separately.

We recently rescued a 6 month old male cat named Raisin. He is quite skittish, but SUCH a sweet heart, loves to snuggle and be on your lap. When we brought him home, he hid a lot, unlike Nova. My bf and I live in a small one bedroom apartment so the only place to let him get comfortable was the bedroom. They have been separate for 5 days now, with limited interaction via baby gates and having Nova on a harness.

The whole issue is that Nova is a serious hunter, and is trying to hunt Raisin. I would take this as playful, but she doesn't even get a chance to catch Raisin bc he gets into a hiding spot. The one time we let them freely interact Nova's hair raised on her back, her tailed puffed, and she chased Raisin into hiding. She then waited with her hair raised for Raisin to come out/tried to coax him out, which caused Raisin to growl a lot. Raisin has done most of the growling and hissing, Nova just always looks aggitated and has tried to also hunt Raisin through the baby gate.

I am so new to this, so excuse me for my stupid questions but do you think we should keeping having the interaction with Nova on the harness? I am SUCH a nervous nelly and don't want Raisin getting hurt, and it seems like they both aggitate each other, but when we have the door closed, they paw under the door and there is no hissing! I am so confused by this.

I'm sure i'm leaving key info out, so feel free to ask me for more, and thank you in advance for all the help.

-Mama Sierra

Last edited by sierranwomack; 02-17-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 04:28 PM
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These are good guidelines:

Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat

I think it's a little too soon to have them interact. A while longer with the baby gates could make a big difference. Feeding them both at the baby gates, teaching them that being near each other is a good thing, helps, too.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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@Marie thank you for the article, I will read that asap! Nova (the older cat) doesn't like to eat near the baby gate, she's weird about having her food in the right place, but we've had Raisin eating near the gate. But Raisin's constantly climbing it, and although he can't get over, it looks like it could be painful, so i've had the door shut between them today. I played with a toy under the door and they were both pawing, and i cracked the door twice today and they pawed nicely at each other.

@Mary_NH: We have collars on both kitties, Nova has a bell, Raisin did as well but it caused Nova to want to hunt EVEN more! So we took the bell off of Raisin.

Also I should mention that we've been giving both cats lots of attention, and they're both using each other's litter boxes when we switch rooms, and they are eating regularly. We did everything else properly; the scent swapping, the door crack, and playing and giving lots of love when they're near the gate. Raisin doesn't like any treats we give him, so we've been giving Nova treats.

Is it okay to have monitored visits with Nova on the harness and leash?

Last edited by sierranwomack; 02-17-2011 at 04:46 PM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierranwomack View Post
Is it okay to have monitored visits with Nova on the harness and leash?
It wouldn't hurt to try, provided you can control Nova. However, if Raisin starts hissing, growling or hiding, then I'd slow things down and go back to a few more days of playing with the door open a crack before trying again.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hello all,

We have had them together for a few hours at a time, and so far there have been no spats. The only thing that has been happening is a lot of chasing (nova chasing raisin, the first day raisin was hiding under the bed to get away, now not so much) and a lot of biting raisins neck. I have not witnessed this, but my boyfriend has. He says Raisin does not wince or cry, and he doesn't think Nova uses her claws but can't determine whether she's biting hard or not. Is this normal behavior?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 09:44 PM
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This is normal playing behavior. Kitties love to wrestle with each other and will often chase, tumble, and softly nip and bite. Cats start doing this when they are real young kittens and it continues through adulthood. It sounds like Nova really wants to have fun with Raisin! I would relax and let them play. If you start seeing them raising their fur, growling, the tail swishing wildly, ear flattening, doing an unbreakable stare off, or one calling out for help then I would have them take a break. Other then that let them play, it will create bonding between the two
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 09:50 PM
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My girls chase each other, wrestle and bite each other on the neck all the time. They're just playing. I suspect that's also the case with Nova. Given that they've only been together for 5 or so days now and considering Raisin's skittishness, I'd keep an eye on them to make sure things don't get out of hand. I'd put a stop to things if you see either cat hissing or growling, or if you see Raisin frantically trying to get away or hiding. But if there's no noise and Raisin doesn't seem to mind, then I'd just let them play.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your help! I'm still not used to this as I grew up with dogs and I've only had cats for a year now! Good to know they're just playing. Raisin will hide under the bed when nova chases but comes out almost right away. The only time we are interfering is when Nova stalks outside of raisins hiding spot. We just distract her or take her into another room until raisin comes out. I really appreciate the help! Thank you!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:35 AM
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When we got Marley, missy didn't like him she is 4 months older and poor Marley was tiny, I was afraid missy was going to hurt him and kept a close eye on them, in the end I left them to it and they started playing with eachother and now couldn't live without eachother! But then the age gap between mine were close, sorry I'm not much help! Btw my Marley also jumps up at my fish!! I've had to put them in my bedroom and keep the door closed because he scares the he ll out of them! Not to mention completely ruining my tank! Lol naughty kittie!!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 05:08 AM
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Hi Mama Sierra,

I am in a similar situation as I recently brought a new kitten home where we allready had a 2 years old "resident" cat.

I have extensively searched the net prior to introducing them (to no avail as my wife decided she knew better...)

the best article I have found so far is in a website for which I do not put the link as I think it is not allowed in here, it is a 3 pages long article that truly goes into details with all possible scenarios and situations

If you like let me know how can i send u the details of this link and I will.

Pls keep us posted on the progresses so we can compare experiences

Ciao


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