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Please Help!

I recently lost my dear cat to heart disease. A few weeks had passed and I thought it would be a good idea to liven up the house (and spread the love) with a couple new cats. I chose to adopt two adults as I realized that kittens in shelters would find a home faster than the more mature cats.

The two cats are Tootsie (appx. 4 years old) and Ed (appx. 2 years old). Tootsie came from a home where she was the only cat (indoor), and her owner had to move into a nursing home. She was alone in the house (only being fed) for almost 2 months. Upon coming to our house (only 2 days BEFORE Ed), she was a very loving kitty...adapted to us very quickly...cuddly and sleeping in our bed the very first night. She would purr incessantly and greet us everytime we came in the door. She was a darling. Two days later we got Ed from a shelter. He too was very loving and friendly, and was described as playful and getting along well with other cats.

Our initial introduction was to just let Ed out into the house...he hid behind the couch for a little while, and Tootsie found him, hissed and growled at him, and did all of the typical cat behaviors upon introduction. Ed sat quietly...never hissed or growled back...seemed very scared. So, we went on to put Ed in a quiet room where he had everything that he needed. I followed ALL suggestions on how to properly introduce and integrate him into the house...we did the swapping of scents, trying to play through doors, feeding, in close proximity, supervised face-to-face encounters...EVERYTHING! We then thought it best to try to let Ed out of the room and put Tootsie in the room for a while. He wanted to get out so bad, and seemed ready, but Tootsie was so hissy. So we did the switcharoo. Ed got out and about...seemed fine. Tootsie came out and did her thing too (avoiding Ed, of course). It took Tootsie a while (3 weeks) to be able to even walk by Ed without hissing and growling, but she started to come around (could actually sit in a room with him without staring/hissing at him the entire time)...still having occasional spats but there was progress.

Over the past couple of days we have noticed that Ed sneaks up on Tootsie, when she is not expecting it (washing herself, in the kitty box, looking the other way-out the window), and he will swat at her. He also positions himself in areas where he seems to be resting and calm, but she can't get by (i.e. top of the stairs so she can't access the bedrooms without passing him). We have noticed the sneaky acts of aggression, and these acts have caused Tootsie to regress back to her former anxious, scared, hissing self.

This morning, we woke up to the sound of a major cat brawl (in our bedroom)! I'm not sure how it started or what, but Tootsie was running away and Ed was right after her. We started to yell...he hid under the bed...Tootsie went into hiding (a spot where she has never hid before, but a spot where Ed has yet to go as well). We put Ed into the carrier...he continuously meowed. Tootsie continued to hide. As I walked around the house I noticed that there were several areas that had spots of urine on them. I don't know who did it, but I'm willing to bet that it was Ed marking his territory. It was on the rug in the bedroom, on the landing of the stairs, in the living room, and who knows where else! Needless to say, I've had it! I'm trying to do everything that I can do, but I feel like it isn't fair to either of them. Tootsie is living in total fear, and now Ed is just ruling the house and marking it with that unbearable cat pee stench! They are both fixed, so I don't know how he is managing to spray, but I cannot have this!

Does anyone have ANY suggestions? Should I continue to try to work on this, or is it going to be to no avail? I got two because I wanted them to be friends and to keep eachother company. Boy did I learn MY lesson! I think two can be a good idea given the right circumstances. This situation doesn't seem to be working, but I really love them both and want to see it work if possible. They are both so wonderful and friendly (especially loving!) when they are alone. Tootsie was that way at first, but now she is like a totally different cat. I haven't heard her purr in about 2 weeks and she rarely allows for any love at all. Ed just relishes it, and when we try to give Tootsie any attention to get her to come back out of her shell, he comes over and tries to get attention himself (which only causes her to hiss, back off, and be more distant). I hate to rehome one, but I can't keep doing this...it's not fair for them or for us. Please help!!!! I'm sorry this was so long, but I wanted to include all the details that I could so that maybe someone could offer some sound advice. We now have Ed back in his "safe room", and we are trying to coax Tootsie out of hiding. ~~sigh~~ I feel just terrible...totally tried to do a good thing...
 

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First off, sorry about the loss of your kitty, but congrats for taking on 2 adult cats.

The first thing to know is that 2 years old is when a cat will challenge for dominance in a multi cat household. So Ed is right at the age where he wants to flex his muscles.

brivera said:
So, we went on to put Ed in a quiet room where he had everything that he needed. I followed ALL suggestions on how to properly introduce and integrate him into the house...we did the swapping of scents, trying to play through doors, feeding, in close proximity, supervised face-to-face encounters...EVERYTHING! We then thought it best to try to let Ed out of the room and put Tootsie in the room for a while. He wanted to get out so bad, and seemed ready, but Tootsie was so hissy. So we did the switcharoo. Ed got out and about...seemed fine. Tootsie came out and did her thing too (avoiding Ed, of course).
How long did you take for this process? Given the bad start where you just let Ed loose (wrong thing to do, he should have gone straight to a safe room without Tootsie ever seeing him...she should have been confined to another room while he was brought in), the above should have been at least a 1-2 week process. If it was less, then I'd recommend starting over again and giving it the appropriate amount of time.

I would add some Feliway diffusers to the home. Feliway is a synthetic cat pheromone that is a calming agent. It's not a miracle cure, but I've seen a difference when introducing a new cat.

I think the urine spots you're seeing are more likely a fear response from Tootsie than Ed spraying to mark his territory (I had this with Maggie & Kobi...see below). Make sure to clean them with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle. It's the only thing that will break down the urine and eliminate the scent. Make sure to pour it on and let it soak in, not just spray the surface.

I've been through a similar situation with a re-directed aggression problem with Maggie and Kobi. They had been together for over 3 years and got along well, but got into a fight over a cat in the yard. Both ended up with abscesses and their relationship was destroyed. I kept them separated for well over a month and slowly worked the re-introduction process. It took a good three months before I would leave them alone in the house or both of them out at night. It was a good year before Maggie wasn't constantly on the lookout for Kobi everywhere she went (she would literally stop at a corner a peak around it before proceeding).
 

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Thanks for replying...I appreciate the feedback.

We kept Ed in the room for a week. We allowed him out for a few hours and put Tootsie in his room during that time. Then we put Ed back in, behind a closed door, and let Tootsie have run of the house. We did that for about two more days. Then, Ed was scratching at the door, meowing and wanting to get out. So, for the next week, we allowed Ed to come out when we were there...and I sat there for hours on end paying attention to the both of them...trying to play, feeding treats, petting, being calm when there was hissing, etc. I was right there the entire time. During that week, we would have one kitty closed in the "safe room" to sleep. We alternated nights, and the one that was in the room for the night would have run of the house during the day...until about 1pm when we switched them out again...then at night we switched them again. This fairly alternated their time to have run of the house. If we had Tootsie for longer, I would've allowed her to have run of the house constantly, only slowly introducing Ed. The problem was that she too was new, so I wanted there to be equality. She was ALWAYS hissing and growling and Ed did NOTHING to retaliate. He would just sit there and take it...meowed back sometimes, but nothing major. The alternating of rooms took a week, but during that time we would allow them to have face to face time ONLY WHEN WE WERE PRESENT and able to sit and interact the entire time. So, all of that took about 2 1/2 weeks. We decided to let them have more time together...not locking either in the room anymore because they were getting better. Tootsie was hissing much less, and not paying as much attention to where Ed was at all times. Now, for the past few days, we've noticed Ed demonstrating sneaky type behaviors. I don't know if it's playful (doubt it, but he is VERY playful), or if he is trying to establish dominance and bogart the resources. We do have EVERYTHING spread out...multiple kitty condos, lots of toys, window perches, litterboxes, dishes, etc. Hmmmm... you think the urinating was Tootsie? It's so bizarre...Tootsie hisses and growls at him, but when we are out of the house and we come back and let Ed out of the room, she likes to be right there, in his face, to see what's going on. The hissing and growling REALLY HAS LESSENED, which was why I thought more exposure would be better. I just don't want them to be living in fear.
 
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