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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is this cat integration going ok?

So we are integrating our new 3-year old female Olive in with our two boys Gohan and Trin. This is three transitions at once: adoption, transition to indoor only and meeting two new cats. Olive has been friends with another cat previously that moved away, and Gohan and Trin are friends so I know they can coexist with another cat. We started with scent trading using towels, and then we would let Olive inside the den during the night (closed off from the rest of the house) and let her outside during the day. That way Gohan and Trin were able to smell where she stayed for better scent transition. After that she was inside all the time with the door closed for about 10 days. Then we opened up the door and separated with a baby gate so they could see each other. Trin hissed a little bit but generally was ok and curious. He tends to want to go right up to her face and smell her which predictably causes a hiss or swipe but they've shared space fairly peacefully for some amount of time. Gohan (the alpha) sat back and watched (he does this often with new experiences or during playtime. He's a sniper). After a while Olive started hopping the gate and coming up for visits while we were home or coming out to explore at night).


And this is when Gohan decided he wanted to defend his territory. He started chasing her back to the den. Now she will run back if she even sees him, and he will trot after to see where she is going or actively pursue and chase depending on his mood. After a few disrupted nights (one where Olive was probably scratched and another where she injured a claw), we have started keeping the door closed when we are asleep or not home. We have started some combined play sessions to distract them when they are in the same room, and that seems to work ok. Gohan will also jump the gate when we are in the den to check it out, and as long as she is on her cat tree or in my lap she there aren't any fights. If they are both on the ground they sometimes start to fight.


She doesn't seem overly "bullied", after being chased out she will often pop right back over to say hi once he's gone and she doesn't hide under anything even if she stays in the den. I think she is getting tired of being cooped up in the den and she is ready to expand her territory. Gohan is worried about losing his territory, and losing especially my boyfriend Randall who he is intensely bonded to after being rescued as a feral kitten.


Our next move will be to move the play sessions to the den to get them normalized there first. I'm hoping we can distract him enough to have a good interaction.


My specific concerns:
1. Is this going ok? I'm worried it will be hard to break the pattern of behavior of run/chase that's going on. She will often start running away first out of habit now, and he chases when that happens.
2. Sometimes Gohan will sit on the other side of the gate and stare at her while she is on the cat tree. Is this negative, should we curb that behavior? Not many soft eyes or slow blinking, but also no hissing or indications of aggression.
3. Is there something else we should be doing to help this along?


From everything I've tried to research, this may be one of those month+ integrations where it may take a while. But any advice helps! Also any stories of others having long but eventually successful integrations (especially involving multiple resident cats) will help. Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 07:35 AM
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Food is usually a good way to manage harmony in cats. Are you free feeding them? If you are, you will likely have better success if you give them meals---morning, evening and late evening snack just before you go to bed. Most cats like routine and being fed at the same time each day or evening. So far I think things are going pretty well.....Olive isn't really being bullied to the point that she's fearful of Gohan and is indicating she wants to join the boys by jumping over the gate. I would go along with your idea of playing with them in the den. Do it with an interactive fishing pole type of toy with feathers, such as "Da Bird", and you can try and give them a turn.....Flit the toy around like a bird flying and occasionally landing on floor or a chair and moving across the floor. Don't just wave it in front of them. After a play session, give them their meal or some treats. Have all the bowls in the same room in a different location, and see if this is a bonding experience for them. Cats soon learn to go to their eating spot. This works if the cats all eat at the same rate and finish their meals and there isn't one of those that eat a little throughout the day. One of the things I used to do when I had more cats than I do now is to put a large plate or tray with enough food on it for the number of cats, and let them eat together. This worked well, except for one neutered boy that was a fast eater and a real piggy, and he did have to eat alone in another room, otherwise he ate more than he should have and gained weight. Hope these ideas are helpful. Keep us updated as to how things progress. All the best!

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Last edited by catloverami; 12-20-2017 at 07:38 AM.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Catlover. We do free-feed (although we fill the bowls in the morning and evening) and I know it isn't recommended but Gohan likes to eat teeny bites throughout the day, and Olive is a fast eater. We can be better about portioning food and feeding them in that room though. We have fed them treats near each other and that works out pretty good, although sometimes it weirds Gohan out and he leaves without finishing. But no fighting.


Last night we hung out in the den and Olive was sleeping on my lap. Gohan came in to explore and it went pretty good. Olive woke up and was watchful but no hissing, growling or swiping from either of them. Gohan walked passed her to get pets from Randall. We felt that was a pretty good interaction. They key moments are usually when they are both awake and on the ground, that's when fights seem to break out. Thanks for the advice and I'll keep you updated!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-20-2017, 05:07 PM
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Sounds like things are going well....one thing I forgot to mention.....when you do see them being friendly or companionable, always reward the good behavior--with your voice, or caresses, or a small treat.

"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 #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Update on our integration: we have focused more on the basement since that can reopen some of Gohan's territory. This past weekend we had a few instances of both Olive and Gohan being about 6 feet from each other - both on the floor - with no hissing, fighting or chasing. And lots of slow blinks. We are definitely working in some play, and we always shower them with affection when they are being neutral towards each other. So it's coming along, albeit slowly. Thanks for the advice!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 12:41 PM
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Glad to hear their behavior to each other has improved.....sometimes it goes along swimmingly, and then there'll be a day with quarrels, which is natural with cats, but as long as it's friendly or at least tolerable between them most of the time, that's good!

"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 #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up I am the dominate kitty!

I just had to share this. We are trying to integrate our third cat into the mix, and while it's going ok it's pretty tense and early. What doesn't help, is when we try integration time (play session with a group feed) sometimes the neighbor's cat Myrtle comes by and stares in or attacks the window. We were getting frustrated because it makes our cats twitchy and tense and is not helping integration efforts.


So I decided to have a staring contest with Myrtle, and after a few tense minutes I totally won! She retreated entirely and we haven't seen her back since! I feel flush with confidence and power! I feel proud.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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So I donít know what happened, the above reply was supposed to be a new post and somehow ended up on this thread. Sorry for the redundant information!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 03:16 PM
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I combined the threads since they were on the same subject and so people could see the background info.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, ok. Thanks!
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