Cats not integrating. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-02-2015, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Cats not integrating.

First, while I've had cats for years, I've never tried to integrate multiple cats.

My husband and I are finally back in the same house together after 4 years of being apart (job requirements). He has one cat (about 5 years old), I have two (sisters, under 2 years old). Me and my two cats have moved into the house his cat has lived in for about 6 months.

We thought if there was a problem, would be one of my cats, Smudge. Unfortunately, the problem is my husband's cat, Nikita. We have been feeding them on the opposite sides of the door for 6 months. We switch them back and forth from the bedroom to the rest of the house. After a week, we thought things were going well, so we allowed them access to each other - and hubby's cat (Nikita) attacked Smudge and terrorized her so bad that she peed as she ran. So, we went back to square one.

It is now two months later. Still doing the door thing, switching, etc. Added in having Nikita on a leash while my other two have free run of the house. We have two Feliway diffusers plugged in. Nikita and my other cat, Merida, have been playing footsie under the door. Merida has approached Nikita while she's harnessed and they have touched noses without issue.

Merida slipped out the bedroom door today while Nikita had the run of the house, so we decided to allow them to interact. Merida approached to near Nikita, who immediately lunged at her and swiped, sending Merida running. No posturing, growling, any of the usual cat discussions of rank (just a little staring) - just went after her. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard Nikita actually growl.

Nikita was adopted from a shelter two years ago, so we don't know her history. My two were adopted as ferals from my barn at about 12 weeks old, I've known them since they were about three weeks old.

I'm at wits end. I just don't know what we are doing wrong, or what we can do different, besides drugging Nikita with kitty prozac or something.

Travelcat
Owned by Smudge and Merida

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 11:45 AM
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It sounds like you've done everything right with a very slow introduction. These are a couple of good websites for cat intros....maybe something here that you've missed? A lot of the success of integration is how well socialized a cat was as a kitten from 3-12 weeks when it learned how to communicate as a cat, to control its bite and claws. Kittens removed from a litter earlier than 7 wks. may have difficulty getting along with other cats if they've been the only cat in a household. As a breeder of Manx for many years, I don't recall in 18 yrs. of breeding having any problems with my ever-changing clowder of about five females. They all seemed to get along well without fighting, but then they were well raised socially as kittens. I hope you may find some good suggestions in these articles.

Living Together - Introducing a New Cat

The Unsociable Cat - Are Cats Really Unsociable?

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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If we assume for a minute that Nikita is lacking those necessary social skills, and was not properly socialized as a kitten - what can we do to help her?

She seems very aggressive, even if she's behaving herself on a leash, the look in her eyes makes me wonder if she'll ever accept these two... our house isn't really big enough for them to divide it up into 'territories'.

Travelcat
Owned by Smudge and Merida

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-03-2015, 04:25 PM
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The best you could do is to get her to tolerate the other two without fighting, tho she may never be good friends or cuddle buddies with them. If you have two stacked baby gates to put in between doorways where your other two are isolated from her so they can see each other and smell each other, by always feeding them near each other (at a distance initially, and gradually move their feeding dishes closer over time, until they can feed near the gates without bother), there is a chance that you may be able to get them together. Make all good things happen there.....all treats given.....active play with a fishing pole type of toy flicking from one side of the gate to the other. These things may help.....as well as switching up their rooms to mix their scent together. You can't force a cat to like another or other cats, and some just won't accept it but are happier as an only cat. Give it your best try for six months, but don't beat yourself up about it if Nikita doesn't want to change.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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