In need of some suggestions and help - adding new cat - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation In need of some suggestions and help - adding new cat

Good evening everybody!

I'm hoping perhaps I could get some insight into a bit of a problem I am having with my cat, Abby.

First of all, Abby is 5 years old. I got Abby from my brother's girlfriend (who rescued Abby and her two litter mates from an abandoned mobile home.) I fell in love with Abby the moment I saw her and decided to take her. She was spoiled rotten as a kitten (and still is) and the center of attention.

So, a little about my current living situation:

I live with my parents, however I live in a separate building, apart from my parents house (where they have 5 cats!) Kind of like a little apartment. Abby lives in here with me, by herself (and two rabbits, which she loves. Abby is also an indoor-outdoor cat and spends most of the day outside, except for night. She's an extremely independent cat.)

From time to time, Abby likes to make a pass through my parent's home and throw her weight around, hissing at all the other cats and being a bully. She doesn't bite or scratch the other cats, just hisses when she passes by, acting as if they don't belong there and my parent's home is hers and only hers, or should be anyway.

I guess basically what I'm getting at is since I have had Abby she has been I guess what you could call an "only child." She's used to being the only cat around and seems to be very socially awkward around other cats.

In the very near future, probably within the next few months, I plan on adopting a cat and I'm a bit scared of how Abby will react, which is why I am writing this. I love Abby to death and don't want to stress her out but yet I want to have another cat, a cat that is very affectionate (something Abby really isn't, well, not often, that is.) I don't want Abby to feel as if she's being kicked out of her space and cause her to retreat from my room, which I have a feeling that it could happen.

So, I guess what I'm asking is there anything I can do to help Abby? Will Abby be able to live in harmony with not just the new cat, but the other cats as well? And what can I do to make the arrival of a new cat less stressful for Abby and the new cat, too! (Besides a very slow introduction.) I've done some reading (books, articles, etc.) and I've started to "catify" my room. I'm not sure if it's helping though.

Last edited by marie73; 02-13-2015 at 03:10 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 12:45 AM
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Hi PentagramCereal!
Oh wow! That's a good question...
I'm not sure Abby would adjust well with another cat...
Perhaps, you could work more on her affection levels?
Unfortunately, there's no guarantee, that another cat will be any more affectionate, than Abby is...
And there is the possibility, that a major Cat War could erupt...
I hope others have some ideas and thoughts on this for you!

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 06:59 AM
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There is really no guarantee that any of the precautions you take will have the desired effect on Abby.
You have to remember that you are considering bringing another cat onto a property that already houses 6 cats!
There is already a turf war between Abby and your parent's cats (I assume they are all in/out-door cats since Abby seems to have free access to their house.)
One thing is certain, it will be an uphill battle all the way. You need to be prepared for that.
I have a super territorial and sensitive cat. If she can't fight her way out of a situation ,due to her small size, she will sit in a corner and refuse to eat until I give in out of fear for her health.
We've already tried adding another cat, but we had to re-home him after 9 months.

I've noticed her interaction with the other cats in and around the neighbourhood and have come to the following conclusion:
If we ever DO get another cat, it would have to be female (of equal size or smaller when fully grown). And it would have to be a tiny kitten. Something she can get used to without feeling threatened. Not even a young cat would do. It needs to be small enough to almost bear no resemblance to a cat. Only then would we have a semi solid foundation to maybe start encouraging a friendship. And even with all the love and care in the world, she may still refuse to come around.
You need to really understand this moving forward. It will take a very long time with lots of patience from you. You may want to consider a contingency plan for the new kitty in case things don't work out.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 07:19 AM
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My immediate first response to Abby's hissing in mom's house is she is more nervous that aggressive. She is NOT in her territory and is sounding the alarm to keep away from her. Frankly hissing and growling never really bother me when cats meet. All out fur flying is another story.

I think introducing a kitten up to maybe 6 months old might be ideal as long as the kitten is not anti social. If not a kitten then be sure the adult cat is also not averse to other cats. The new cat's reaction to Abby is important, but time will be your best friend and help both settle in. Is your place big enough to keep 2 cats separated for awhile at first?

Lastly, there are plug in pheromones that help but you would need to shut your house completely up for them to be effective (no open windows or doors).

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Abby is the only indoor/outdoor cat we have on our property. The other cats in my parent's home are all strictly indoor.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Marcia View Post
My immediate first response to Abby's hissing in mom's house is she is more nervous that aggressive.

Yeah, Abby never scratches or bites, just hisses and walks away when she does come into my parent's home (and it's usually only because she doesn't want to walk around the home to get to my place, so she takes a "short cut" through my parent's home to get to me, lol) Abby is definitely not a fighter and does not like confrontation.

The cat I plan to adopt is an indoor only, 7 month old, spayed female Canadian Sphynx, who is friendly with people, other cats and has even been socialized with dogs too (of many, many different breeds and sizes). She's a very sweet cat and I have had the opportunity to meet her (as well as cuddle with her. She's an absolute doll.)

Unfortunately my space is not very large so I wouldn't be able to keep them separated for very long, which is why I was looking into the pheromone therapy. Have you by chance personally tried any of the Feliway products? Or perhaps even Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences?

Last edited by marie73; 02-13-2015 at 01:10 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 02:52 PM
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All I can say is I have two cats that would like to be "only" cats in the house. I tried feliway spray once and it didn't seem to do anything.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 02:59 PM
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If you are getting a cat from a rescue, it might be worth asking for a blanket with the new cat's scent before they have even though the door contact (and take one scented with Abby to them). It can help a bit for cats to have some contact with each other's smells before even barricaded contact.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 10:58 PM
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I've had a Feliway diffuser plugged in in the living room for the past month, and I can't tell if it's doing anything. It says it's supposed to be effective for an area from 500-700 sq. ft. I'll also be bringing a new kitty home at some point, but the Feliway is to calm the current kitty right now. I lost my other one in early December, and the two were together for 13 years. She was so depressed, stressed, jumpy and then was sick, so I tried the diffuser. She's still depressed but maybe a little less jumpy and anxious than she was before. However, I use a pheromone spray in the carrier prior to vet visits and it has a noticeable effect. It really calms them right down. But the effect is very short-lived - 30-45 minutes max, I'd say. There are also calming collars - either pheromone, or vanilla - that are supposed to work well.

How things work out between any two kitties is such a crapshoot, and Abby may not like having another kitty around. But if the kitten you're thinking of adopting has the right temperament, you'll at least increase the chances that things will go well. Hopefully, she's laid-back and won't be the type to challenge Abby so that she feels threatened.

I hope things go well!
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