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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading everything I can get my hands on lately about introducing a new cat. I have a 6 yr old female, Nutmeg, who has had anxiety issues in the past but managed to live peacefully with me and another cat until he passed away in feb. I just got the newcomer, Gabriel, a 1 yr old male. I am trying by any means to get Nutmeg to accept Gabriel. I have only been at this two weeks, but my friends and family all make it sound like if it hasn't happened by now it never will. I have Gabriel living in a guest bedroom right now. Sometimes I out her in the cellar and let him roam the house. I have Feliway plugged in both upstairs and downstairs, but she still hisses whenever she catches a glimpse him. I am n the process of trying "sock therapy" - I rub her belly or feed her something yummy and rub her face with a sock. Then I do the same to him. Then I switch socks and make sure that each cat gets a treat or belly rub or brush - something they love - whenever they smell the other cat's scent. This supposedly will train them to associate the other cat's scent with pleasant things and then they won't be as hostile at their next face-to-face meeting.

But my family has been so negative about it (they don't live with me fortunately) that I am a bit discouraged. Does anyone out there have a success story they can share? One where they had to work at it and not just threw the cats together and all lived happily ever after?

My test subjects:
The New Guy - Gabriel - grey
The Little White Terror - Nutmeg - white and brown
 

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Think like a cat book

Sounds like you might have read this book. I just finished reading it myself in prep for a new cat, too, hopefully. What I got out of it is to take it slower than you think it should take. I don't think 2 weeks should discourage you. I am hoping to introduce a new cat over the course of 4 weeks actually to give them the best chance of getting used to each other.

I've heard lots of stories as well from others who thought their cats would kill each other in the beginning, but are like best friends now. Others have also said that at least they did learn to tolerate each other, but it took a full year. But I hope that doesn't discourage you. You might get lucky and be like the first group.

And, by the way, if you havent read that book after all, it's a good read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just got it on my Kindle. I have read some of it, but I have another book by the same author, Cat vs Cat, which specifically addresses the problem of introducing new cats to each other. The author doesn't include enough anecdotal information to ease my worries, but she is a nationally known feline behaviorist. So I guess I should calm down. But it would be nice to hear from folks who have successfully overcome an initially unsuccessful introduction.
 

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It took two months to fully integrate Ella and Buffy into my household with my four male cats. One thing that really helped was when I finally
started letting them all be in the same area was to let my resident cats enter into the two rooms that Ella and Buffy had been living in.
That seemed to be less threatening to my boys than letting the newbies encroach on what had always been their space.

It worked out very well doing it this way, and even Nicky who was the most resistant to the newcomers eventually has come to accept them
as long as they don't bug him too much.

Nicky and Graybee have never really liked each other even though they have lived together for years but they have learned to co-exist peacefully
which is probably the best I can hope for with those two. They both have alpha cat personalities.
 

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Cat vs. Cat (same author as Think Like a Cat) is a great book for those with more than one cat.
 

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Dont give up, sometimes it can take quite a while for them to come around. Long time ago, I introduced a rescue cat into the home and I swear it took almost 8 months before my other cat felt comfortable enough to finally play with him
 

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The first thing to understand is that a cat introduction process is not going to eliminate all hissing, posturing or even growling...it's to prevent out and out war. The incumbent is going to hiss at the newcomer, it's just a fact of life. If she's just hissing and not attacking you're doing OK. Maggie hissed at Holly for months...at first it was every time she spotted her, then it was just when Holly got within a few feet, then when Holly got into what Maggie considered her personal space. It was 4 months before she stopped hissing and then probably another two before she stopped running away when Holly got too close.

The thing was, Maggie was never overtly hostile towards Holly. Her response was fear, not aggression. She would hiss and run away.

You haven't described anything other than the hissing...if that's all that's going on and you're not seeing any aggression I would let them work it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, it is just hissing when they can only see each other through a gate. If I let them out to roam the house together, what generally generally is Nutmeg chases Gabriel all the way back to his safe room, and then he is too afraid to come out.

I do have the book Cat vs Cat and have been following the advice as best I can. But it is difficult for a single working person to do some of the things they suggest. Also, my house is not that big. 1500 sq ft. So I have been trying to use a very inadequate baby gate to keep them apart. Gabriel jumps right over it whenever he wants, and Nutmeg camps out on the stairs. Gabriel has already outgrown his safe room and wants to roam, hence my problem.

I will keep at it. thanks all for the advice.
 

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two weeks is not long at all... as I mentioned on another thread, it took me 3 months to get my first pair of kitties to get along. As someone mentioned, hissing will always be there even if they do get along, so don't let that alarm you too much. In my latest kitty introduction, I did what you did, have a gate in front of the room and only let the kitties meet each other at the gate. After 3 weeks, I decided to let the new kitty out to explore more on her own and whenever I see the resident alpha trying to chase the new kitty back to her own room, I would try to focus the alpha on her favorite toy because she loved to play and after awhile, she started associating new kitty coming downstairs as time for me to play with her, so somewhat positive reinforcement....maybe it is just random luck that worked, but it did...because I was afraid my alpha would not take kindly to a new cat in the house. They still don't get along 100% and my alpha will smack her from time to time to show her who is boss.. I think we can live with that because now they roam around without supervision anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All, I am encouraged by your comments. I think this might not be impossible. I will keep at it. For one thing, I need to get a better gate, one that Gabriel can't jump over. I will try to play with each of them when they are within sight of each other, and also feed them within sight of each other. You have given me some ideas. I have a kitten coming in June, another Chartreux (yes, I am an impulsive wretch and I ordered two new cats before I even had the first one), which is why I am so anxious for this to work between the two older cats first. Another question i have is - does having more cat trees help the cats work things out easier? I have one cat tree in the safe room that Gabriel loves, and another in the TV room that neither of them will use. Should I get more?
 

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I laugh at your 2 week time frame. HA!!!

Whem I introduced Mia to Fay, my first into, I though I was going to have to send Mia back ay yje one month mark. At 4 months they could tolerate each other. Now they're like a mommy and her kitten grooming and cuddling all the time.

Cat 3, Buddy, moved in on New Years day. Twice in the last week he and Fay have been withing 2 feet of each other and she graciously didn't rip any fur out of him. Mia was terrified of Buddy at first and he of her. Now I see them ocassionally nose touch and they have no problem sharing a 3 sq ft piece of sod outside.
 

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that is what I did as well, play with them and give them some treats within site of each other so they get a sense you are giving them both equal attention. And I also fed them in the same room at first but not that close then move the plates closer each time. I don't know if you like grooming your cats and whether they like being groomed, if so, you might also want to groom/brush them with same brush at first to give them even stronger scent of each other through the brush. As for the cat tree, I also wondered why my cats didn't use a nice cat tree at one point then I moved it closer to a window and now they use it very frequently - they climb on it to watch the birds/squirrels in the morning and bake in the sun during the day. So I think it might have something to do with location of the cat tree. I know it isn't always convenient to have a cat tree in front of a window but that is only place they will use it so I gave in. Good idea to get more cat trees if you are getting more cats. You just need to find good spots for them to use it and you might want to consider moving the cat tree that they aren't using to another spot where they might make better use of it.
 

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I have cat trees and cat condos in my living room, two of the bedrooms, and the sunroom. I think having plenty of
vertical space helps a lot with my 6 cats......there is always a perching place for each cat.

(Of course, I don't share my little house with any other humans so
there isn't anyone to complain about there being more cat furniture
than human furniture, ha-ha!)
 

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Well timed thread.

Buddy and Fay finally touched noses. I adopted him on Jan 1st. He spent the first 3 weeks behind a screen door. Until a week ago fFy was still clawing out bit of him on sight. Over time he had to come closer to get wacked. Now they're sleeping 3 feet apart.
 

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It can take a long time for cats to become friends. Sometimes it happens and they're the best of friends, sometimes they learn to just tolerate each other and sometimes they just never get along. But it sounds like you're approaching this with the right attitude, so my bet is that you'll make sure that they have the best possible chance to get along.

It took a month for my boys to start being friendly and now, sometimes they're friends and sometimes they're still working out the whole alpha cat social hierarchy. It takes time and patience so don't let people's negative comments get you down.

Lots of luck to you and your babies! :)
 

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It's been like 5 months since we got Peanut and he and Chinchilla STILL aren't getting along. Peanut is always testing her boundaries and no matter how many times she growls, hisses and "puts him in his place" via many slappings, he keeps coming back for more. Is this a common thing with male adolescents? My SO said he never had this issue when it was Chinchilla and her companion TC. They were both girls. I'm playing referee all day with them and for ONCE, I would like to see them getting along better or at least giving each other a wide berth, you know?
 
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