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Discussion Starter #1
With 20 plus pages, no one probably wants to here another "I have two cats that aren't getting along" story... But aren't they all a little different...?

Last year I had one of my cats euthanized (Samantha) due to a long debilitating illness - she was a real GEM, and no cat could ever replace her.... But...

I decided this summer to adopt a rescue cat.

Now my resident cat Ripley a 13yr old female Maine Coon (small at 9.8 lbs.) was always a social cat. She got along well with Samantha, they even played once in a while. They had been together since Sam was about three and Ripley a year. Ripley always sat on my lap, and greated all visitors.

New new girl, BooBoo is about 2, according to the vet. We kept her in the family room for a week, not allowing Ripley a visit. (Only once through a cracked door so they could sniff -- BooBoo extended a paw and Ripley hissed -- door closed!) We would shut Ripley in the bedroom -- she's comfortable there -- and let BooBoo explore and "scent up" the place. Then back to the family room, and Ripley out of the bedroom.

We only waited a week, since BooBoo seemed the absolute sweetest cat, without any disagreeable tendencies, and our past history with Ripley and Samantha. We brought BooBoo upstairs, and Ripley was on my lap. Ripley got off, BooBoo wanted to get close... Hissing and growling ensued -- from Ripley. BooBoo plopped down, and generally made it known that she wanted no fight. But Ripley just isn't buying it. This has been going on now for just about, well it'll be two weeks since the introduction this Friday.

At times she'll sit on the bed with BooBoo, but BooBoo is always trying to get close, and then the hissing starts. They've actually swatted once or twice. BooBoo always seems to want to go up to Ripley, when Ripley Hisses and growls, BooBoo generallypauses, and will lie down. Sometimes taking a nap.

Since the into, Ripley has taken to hiding all the time and BooBoo is seeking her out. We've put food/water/and litter in the bedroom for Ripley so she could get some peace.

I don't THINK BooBoo wants a fight, just a playmate.

What could we try next!!! They both (alone) are VERY sweet cats!!!! We love them both, but don't want a cat living like Ripley!!

Thanks All.

Mike K
 

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A week was evidently not enough. Time to separate them and start the introduction process over -- and let the *cats* tell you when they're ready for the next step. You need to operate on their timetable, not yours! That way you have the best chance for a successful relationship.

Please see http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... roductions
for details on how to do the process for greatest success.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK... If we separate them, how will I know when Ripley is "ready"... Before, she was spending time downstairs outside the door... BooBoo of course, wanted to be out and about right away.

I worry that the longer I keep them apart, BooBoo will get OVER anxious to meet Ripley again and wind up approaching her with too much excitement, and that Ripley will begin to feel that "OK that other cat is out of the picture".

It's really knowing when it will be ok... I was thinking of putting a screen door temporarily downstairs so they could see each other and sniff, but not touch.

Would that be sensible -- well -- OK -- it's not sensible, but pet owners can go to extremes, we all know that!

Thanks All.

Mike
 

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How go the introductions? I've been searching for some ideas to help in my own cat-to-cat introduction (which is a very similar situation to yours), and thought I'd add some of my thoughts...

I think separating them for a bit longer is a good idea - even though Ripley shows some occasional acceptance, she's obviously not quite ready (the hissing, growling, and hiding) to have BooBoo around 24/7.

With BooBoo sequestered, and with your encouragement, attention, and special play time and love, Ripley should reappear and start to regain her confidence. Once she is out and about, and appears to be more relaxed, somewhat back to her normal self, it's time to restart some meetings.

Dr. Jean listed that link in her reply - have you had a chance to read through that? There are some good steps to try between the door crack sniff/viewing and letting the new cat loose in the house. Like feeding on either side of the same door (serving a meal this way doesn't work for my situation, but I'm doing treats and "what a brave girl" kisses when Pfeffa approaches the stairs or actually climbs the stairs to his door at the top).

Play with BooBoo too, so she sees you as a fun source of play and works out some of the stress and energy from being in one room all day and doesn't become too anxious.

"OK that other cat is out of the picture" - My husband has voiced the exact same concern about my suggestion to keep our new cat separate for a while longer. I don't think that it's possible for a cat to think that the other cat has gone. They will smell the fresh new cat scent on you - and in the air - everytime you are with them. Also, I don't know about BooBoo, but Boba is very vocal, and quite a loud solitary player (we hear his little feet thumping across the floor above us), so she is hearing him, as well as smelling him.

Good luck (and let me know if you discover anything else worth trying!!)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Our cats sound very similar: BooBoo is a real singer! When I come in in the am to see her, she's moewing like crazy. The feeding for me as well doesn't work for the opposite sides of the door.

With BooBoo sequestered, Ripley is back to her old self in several hours. She seems to pick up that that BooBoo is not available to bug her. Its really amazing how soon she is back to her "old self". I am worried that she may never want another cat around -- at least not one who thinks she's a spring chicken ready to play all day! We'll be keeping the separation going for as long as it takes, with the swapping of environments as we can.

I'll be updating this as things "happen".

Mike
 

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Pfeffa too, appears to know pretty quickly that Boba has been put upstairs.

I've started short supervised visits where I sit as mediator on the floor between them in the hallway and distract him with toys while she sits on the other side of me (or just out of sight in the bedroom) playing with her favorite toys. There was no hissing or chasing, even when Boba squeaked by me to check out her toys. As he sniffed them, she sniffed him. She even sprawled out on her back once (her way of displaying ulitmate relaxation) and didn't jump up or turn when he walked nearby.

Of course, I was feeling good about all this and got up to tell the husband, and Boba chose THAT moment to give chase. That ended the visit.

Thinking about your screen door idea - my late cat, Norville, destroyed our screen door by stretching up and pulling down with his claws. Growing up, we had inside/outside cats that would climb the screen doors to let us know they wanted to come in. Instead of replacing the solid door, can you just add the screen door to the frame somehow? That way, you can have the benefit of them seeing without contact, and be able to shut the solid door if BooBoo (or Ripley) becomes too agitated.

You mentioned (in your other reply) your finance's use of baby gates to separate her cats - what kind of gate is she using (is it pressure mounted or does it have a swing door thing) and is she using just one - or several stacked above each other? I'm wondering about the practicality of having half my house blocked off by gates I'll need to climb over or take down every time I need to get through.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
...she uses a single, but she found a fairly large one. It keeps all but one cat out. (She has 4) The two that need separation don't attempt the jump.

The screen door I was looking at is pretty cheap, so I was thinking of a shade to attach to block the view... Ya know, I hope all this is worth it and they DO finally get along....!

My two have spent time together on the bed without hissing or anything. It is when BooBoo "moves in" that Ripley gets agitated. Altogether, Ripley would rather NOT have BooBoo around, but when she is, Ripley then starts the hiding, with BooBoo "stalking" as i like to call it....


Mike
 

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Screen Door

I was reading you little intro story and I wanted to comment on the screen door idea. My Boyfriend's sister did this with her two cats. At first they hissed and swatted at each other through the door. Next came sniffing then growling (kind of low, rumbling). Eventually they would talk to each other through the screen ad len on each other through it. During the final phase they would bring them together for short supervised visits. Now they look for each other and when one accidentally got out (both are fully indoor cats) the other cried and searched the house for hours till we found her.

I guess what all this is saying is, give it a shot, it couldn't hurt. :D
 

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.... Well we never got around to putting up the screen door for this intro, but in the future, I ma ywell do it...

The update on BooBoo and Ripley so far... after six weeks they are "living" together... Last Friday, Aug 6th, I decided to allow BooBoo the freedom of the house with Ripley all night. Prior, she was kept in the family room during the day and for night's, only out when I was at home for supervision.

Ripley had been re-asserting herself around the house and was no longer hiding out. Also, she was tolerating BooBoo when they were in the same room. There was less confrontational behavior, and I believe BooBoo is becoming "used to" having Ripley around without having to bug her.

Friday night both of them slept on the bed without incident... There are still occasional hisses when BooBoo gets in Ripley's face, but I feel the wosst is behind them.

....Last night both were on the bed before I fell asleep... I cought Ripley sneaking closer to BooBoo to get a better sniff.... I think things will work out fine.... I Hope!

Thanks all, for your support!

Mike
 
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