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Discussion Starter #1
I have two cats Manu and Minai (male and female siblings, 4.5 years old) that are my resident cats and have been living in my house for about 1 year. My boyfriend moved in about 2 weeks ago with his cat, Magic (male 7 years old) and we've been going through the process of introducing him.

We setup a small safe room for Magic with food/water, litter box, and his cat condo. We started feeding all the cats by the door of the safe room. Magic felt comfortable and ready to explore the house the first day, so we started room swapping fairly early, but we put Manu and Minai in a different room (not the safe room) while Magic explored the house. Magic is accustomed to spending a lot of time outside and his natural tendency was to want to go outside. His new neighborhood is close to a busy street so we plan on not allowing unsupervised outdoor time for him indefinitely.

So then, everything went well, so we started feeding them together in the kitchen. They were able to eat fine together with minor hissing and growling but yesterday while we were preparing food Magic made his way to the back door (which is glass and where he goes outside) across the kitchen and was cornered by Manu. There was a non-aggressive stand off until Minai joined Manu and tried to attack Magic. Magic ran across the house with Manu and Minai chasing him. None of the cats were hurt, but they were shaken up.

Now, when we try to feed them in the kitchen Magic will not eat with them. They will eat fine on either side of the door, with the door closed.

What's next? We thought about gates, Feliway, Bach flower remedy - but what do you suggest? Where would we put the feliway if we got it? Should we start everything over?

Thanks for all your help! They are all individually really sweet cats and we are dedicated to making this work and making it comfortable for all of them.
 

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Thanks, I have read that article.

I guess I should be putting the resident cats in the safe room while Magic is out exploring. I have tried the door stops, however the cats just try to get the door open. The don't seem to get it.

I have been playing with them separately but the aren't interested in playing next to the door.

I have done some scent swapping but at this point everything seems the same.
 

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I’m a big believer in Feliway. I would put plug in dispensers where the cats spend the most time. The least expensive place to buy them is on line at Amazon. I just had a friend of mine go purchase some. They were $45 a piece at Petco and she got 3 for the same price on Amazon.

Maybe start over and it was a little too fast letting them all be together on their own. Start again with short limited times together with the feliway going!
 

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Closed doors. They’ll just climb over the gates.

I thought about it a little more. There will be scuffles when they are together because they will have to determine who is boss of the group. There are normal scuffle and then ones that are which are fur flying, yowling screams, blood bites.

Cats are territorial. Magic is entering their territory. They will each need their space. Give it a little more time for them to accept that there is a new cat in the home.


A good book is Cat vs Cat by Pamela Johnson Bennett which can be purchased on Amazon also. Used ones at very good prices

A friend of mine adopted a blind cat from me. He spent hours construction a gate that the two resident cats could meet the blind cat thru the gate. First thing the blind kitty did was climb up and over the gate! LOL. We cracked up at all the effort he put into that gate!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so I got 3 Baby gates like suggested and I have them up. Beneath the gates, I put some catnip. My boy, Manu, is happily rubbing all over the gates and playing by it. I think this is a good sign because he's the "boss" in the current 2 cat relationship. Magic, the new cat, is watching Manu but only has walked near the gate a couple times. Minai, the girl, is still scared to go near the gate as well. She has hissed at Manu, her brother, a couple times, i think because he smells like Magic laying next to the door.

The plan right now is to test the gates out and see how it goes. We are also going to keep feeding them near each other.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I have taken them all to heart and will keep working at this until we're all comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the gates have been working out well, except that none of the cats really go up to the gates, so I am not sure if it's helping a lot or not. One thing that has been going really well is playing with the two male cats in the same room. We let Manu, the resident cat, into the safe room with Magic and play with both of them, the are fine while playing, except some growling from Manu from time to time.

Today we stopped playing and tested the waters with letting Manu roam the room with Magic. Everything was fine until they were close up and Magic ran away. A chase ensued, and Minai, the resident girl cat came to join. Basically all the cats were chasing each other at this point and they didn't know who was who. We separated them and everyone was relaxed a minute or two after.

How do we get these guys to get along? Should we continue the playing and food, and at what point do we let them be together without a distraction?
 

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The feelings are simular if you both were bringing human children and step children together as a family unit. It takes time. I see the play therapy as a great ice breaker plus your waring them out which helps bring the tensions down.

Ive seen the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Melan do that with dogs. Take them on a good run, then work with them on the problems so the tension is operating on a lower level and easier to correct.

Hang in there. Your doing a good job. They will come around.
 

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Well of course they'll go over 1 gate! That won't work. They can't climb over stacked gates, however. gap.
As I said in the other posting yes they will climb over a gate. Most active familys cant block an entire door way with several gates. That is why I always used the cracked door method and suggested it to her.

The story about the blind cat was meant to be an ice breaker. You should know... non judgmental sounding story that lightens the mood in a difficult situation a person is trying to solve. Giving advice with grace and not sounding like a know it all helps a person hear what your saying otherwise people tire of listening to your advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update: The cats are still not completely getting along. We still can't let them all together without worries of a fight. They have been accidentally together at times, and in the same room with supervision, they are ok if they don't get too close. Once they get too close, the new cat runs and the resident cats chase. Then their tails get all big and they all hiss at each other, even the resident cats. I've started doing more scent swapping, with dish towels under their bowls, etc. I still haven't tried any Feliway, Rescue Remedy, etc. because I've read mixed reviews.

One thing that is happening soon is that we are moving into a new house. Do you all think this will help things? I know the two resident cats are very territorial here, because they've lived here a long time. What's the recommendation in the new house?
 

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You seem to be doing all the right things, and I suspect it will just take time. I think it's been about two months now, which might seem a long time, but that's not unusual, particularly given Magic's age and assuming Magic has never lived with other cats before. It took about 4 months before my girls finally decided they liked each other, but they're fine today.

Interestingly, during the time I was introducing my two, I went to visit my parents. My parents wanted to see the two cats, so I took both of them with me (we were about 6 weeks into the intro at this point). I figured I could separate them at my parents' house if need be. When the cats were at my parents' house, I was able to put both of them in the same room and they just ignored each other...no fighting, which was a first. Regrettably, that didn't last when I took them back to my place! But, who knows, perhaps the new house will help in your situation.

Have you tried actively engaging them in play on either side of the baby gates (assuming the gates are still in place)? I found that helped with my two. I would dangle a long piece of string, half on one side, half on the other and the cats would chase it on either side. I would also shine a laser light on the floor on one side of the gate and then move it to the other side, so each cat took a turn chasing the light. I would then give them a treat on either side of the gate. I used various other games to try to keep them playing in close proximity to each other, but on either side of the gate. If you haven't tried doing that already, it might be worth a shot.

As for Feliway, it really depends on the cat. It has no effect on some cats, but does help others. In my case, Abby was unaffected by Feliway, whereas Muffs was visibly more relaxed when I used Feliway. I have no experience with Rescue Remedy.
 
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