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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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How to get two cats to bond?

Alright, so I've just brought home a hyper little five month kitten, Grimalkin. She stayed in my bedroom for three days, so that my resident cat, Marmaduke (seven year orange fluff ball) could get used to her. He was a mix of extreme fear and curiousity...for the first day, he wouldn't even go upstairs. He just stayed in a dark corner, completely petrified. Seriously, when I felt him, he was completely rigid and stiff, not showing any response. For the next few days, he staked out my bedroom door. I put his food dish beside the door, but he refused to eat out of it until I moved it back three feet.

Grim was so completely bold, trying to grab Marm under the door even while he was in full hiss. It was a seriously terrifying sound too, something I've never heard from him! But I don't think he was being aggressive, I think he was just afraid. His ears never went back, and his back never arched. He remained sitting, and even slept curled up beside the door.
On the third night, Grim escaped. She was always rushing to get out, but this time she managed to slip past me. Marm, of course, was right there waiting. I was about to completely freak out and grab her, until I saw that they were sniffing noses quite calmly. Marm let out on last hiss (his final one. No more after that), but was very eagerly sniffing her all over. After 10 seconds, she lost interested and ran off to explore the house.

On the first day of Grim running freely, Marm followed her everywhere. It was like he was in a trance; he was just fascinated with her! She largely ignored him, except for a couple faux-rushes, where she started to play and then chickened out. He wanted to play, though. He kept flopping onto his side, swatting at the air, and purring. She didn't take the invitation. That night, they both slept on my bed, Grim on my chest and Marm on my feet. I was woken up in the middle of the night by a loud yowl...Grim had finally summoned up the courage to play, and was chasing my poor tabby (who, at 17 pounds, is over four times her size) around my room. I was ready to leap in and save him, until I realized that he was quite enjoying this. He leapt onto my bed and began batting at her from above, ears fully forward.

It is now the second day of Grim running free, and the fifth day altogether. Marmaduke has stopped following her everywhere, but still pays her full attention whenever they're in the same room. He let her steal his bed, and his food, and use his litterbox. She's a cheeky little thing! And, when I got her still for a couple minutes (she was lolling around in my lap, purring), he came over and started licking her all over. I was completely surprised....it's not uncommon for Marm to try to groom Bailey, my gigantic dog, but I never thought he would warm up to Grim so quickly. He's still quite intimidated by her, but he loves her!

Grim is a different story. He's tried since then to come up and lick her, and, while she often touches noses with him, she won't let him get that close. When he tries grooming her, she swats at him (but with retracted claws, and never quite touching). She doesn't seem to be interested in him at all.

TL;DR - Start here ;]
So, that's what I want advice on: how can I get Grim to warm up to Marmaduke? It's a bit sad to see her giving him the cold shoulder, and I'm worried that this disinterest will be permanent. They've only been together five days, so I should probably give them some more time, but is there anything I can do in the meantime to nudge Grimalkin into being more affectionate?




Sorry for the poor picture quality. These were all snapped pretty quickly with my phone

Last edited by EmmaFay; 02-26-2013 at 03:39 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 03:42 PM
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How to get two cats to bond?

Wow those are two beautiful kitties! And that they're not trying to tear each other apart this soon is fantastic. I wish I was having that kind of luck with my bullies and victim. I'd give them time. You can't force a fast friendship. I'm just in awe that they play nicely together. And slightly jealous! Lol.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 04:22 PM
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Rescue Remedy in the water and some Feliway sprayed in strategic places can help the friendship along.

It's pretty great they're getting along so well! You definitely got lucky! Since she's a kitten and Marmaduke is an adult it may take a while before she wants to do anything but play-play-play-eat-play-play-sleep. The fact that Marm is already trying to allo-groom her is a great sign, tho!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Wow those are two beautiful kitties! And that they're not trying to tear each other apart this soon is fantastic. I wish I was having that kind of luck with my bullies and victim. I'd give them time. You can't force a fast friendship. I'm just in awe that they play nicely together. And slightly jealous! Lol.
I really am lucky with these two. They have such fantastic temperaments! And I saw something promising just now that makes me think things are going in the right direction. Grim was walking by Marm, and did a full-body rub, cheeks and all. She's just a little scared, still, of this massive ogre four times her size.

Quote:
Rescue Remedy in the water and some Feliway sprayed in strategic places can help the friendship along.

It's pretty great they're getting along so well! You definitely got lucky! Since she's a kitten and Marmaduke is an adult it may take a while before she wants to do anything but play-play-play-eat-play-play-sleep. The fact that Marm is already trying to allo-groom her is a great sign, tho!
I've heard those Rescue Remedy and Spirit Essences mentioned by Jackson Galaxy, but I've never really thought about them. That might be a good thing to look into, thanks!
Grim is an Ocicat (super high energy), so I'm a bit worried she'll always be in that play-play-play stage. Marmaduke is such a lump! But I have hope for them :]
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:47 PM
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many articles you would read say keep them separate for a while for the primary cat to get use the the new cats scent. Its seems youv just thrown him into the mix. Surprisingly there was no violence. Honestly it can sometimes take WEEKS or in worst cases a month or more for cats to adjust to a new animal in its home.

She probably took a few days to examine his actions and how he acts in the house and how he navigates her "property". Now she knows what he does shes just keeping an eye on him for now.

Just give it more time. Since she isnt mean to him maybe incorporate fun activities with them together. Give them a little catnip at different sides of the living room and start playing with toys so they play together, not with each other but with the same toy.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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many articles you would read say keep them separate for a while for the primary cat to get use the the new cats scent. Its seems youv just thrown him into the mix. Surprisingly there was no violence. Honestly it can sometimes take WEEKS or in worst cases a month or more for cats to adjust to a new animal in its home.
Don't worry, I didn't just throw her into the mix. I was following the proper procedure quite carefully until she escaped, after 3 days of closed door interactions. I don't blame you for skimming my intro (I have a tendency to ramble), but if you read what I wrote, you'll see that I was actually very careful. Marmaduke showed zero signs of aggression toward her, and only seemed curious. For the next 24 hours, I followed Grim everywhere she went, to make sure no fights broke out. It's only now, once I'm sure that there will be no violence, that I let them alone together unattended. Not all animals fit the cookie cutter formula...some take months, others take days. Luckily for me, these guys took days :]

Thanks for the tips, I broke out the catnip and it had some pretty immediate effect! They were both rolling around my floor, high as kites. They're actually quite good at playing with the same toy...they'll dart looks at each other now and then, but they get some beautiful moments when, entirely focused on the toy, they accidentally collide into each other.

I should definitely give them more time. I just keep over thinking things!

Last edited by EmmaFay; 02-26-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2013, 03:24 PM
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Emma, I don't think you did anything wrong with their intros. I introduced my kitten to his brother in a day of two once I saw the older cat was rolling around by the door and trying to play. Some cats may take weeks to introduce, others don't need as long.

I think the fact that Marm has already tried to groom grim is a great sign! My two boys have been together for around 4 months now, and they'll groom each other in between biting each other while they're playing, but won't do it passively (although I wish they would). The full body rub is also a great great sign. It sounds like they're off to a great start! I don't think there's anything you can or need to do to "make" them be friends. It sounds like they're well on their way. Also, keep in mind that cats reach social maturity at around 2 years of age, so grim may become more or less social as she gets older, which would apply to you and her new brother. BTW, grim is really beautiful! Stop worrying and enjoy your new baby (and her older brother)
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