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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry to be jumping in straight away with a problem, but I'm at my wits end. I will try to give as much info as I can without making it too long winded.

7 weeks ago we took in a cat who was about to be kicked out onto the streets. We didn't want another cat - we have 4 already and a dog.

We started the journey by confining her - Poppy/female, to our bedroom. The cats could sniff under the door, and when we went in or out they saw her. I would spend time with her in there and we swapped bedding around so they could each get each others scents.

After about a week we let Chester/male into our room and after some initial hissing the two seemed to be ok. Slightly wary, but fine. We repeated this daily for about 4-5 days, after which the two were great together - playing and the such.

We then repeated the process with Angel/female and Poppy wasn't fussed but after the few days they were just ignoring each other so we moved onto Whisky/male. Again, some hissing from Poppy, Whisky was disinterested and ignored her. We thought at this time that if we let them all together that they would probably go about their business fine. Poppy was wary of Whisky and Angel, but as they weren't bothering her we didn't think it was an issue.

Then we let Baz/male into the room (days had passed, we didn't rush), and he was very aggressive, so we stopped contact and left it a few days before trying again. The same thing happened so we left it.

Poppy then went to get spayed (previous owner was taking care of that so we had no choice on timing etc). We decided on her return home, to put her in a large cage in the living room for her to recuperate, and also thinking the other cats could be let in now and then and be 'around' her without any physical contact. We also bought 2 feliway plugins to try to keep everyone calm.

That was 3 weeks ago. Every day during those 3 weeks, Angel, Whisky and Baz have been brought into the lounge for a few hours a day. The rest of the time, Poppy has been free to roam the lounge/diner/kitchen along with our dog, and Chester. Those 3 get on lovely. However, whenever Baz or Whisky came into the lounge, they would 'charge' the cage and hit it with paws/claws. Poppy would hiss and growl etc etc.

On the advice of the vet, today I allowed Whisky to come into the room while Poppy was out of her cage. He attacked her and she retreated to her cage. A while later I tried with Baz, and the same result. I don't understand why Whisky suddenly has a problem, when he did not before... and how to deal with Baz, who seems to have taken a dislike from the start.

Sorry this is so long. The bottom line is... the feliway have been in the house for over 3 weeks now. They have all had their smells around each other for 7 weeks, yet my 2 boys - both 11 years old are not amused by the new addition and I don't know what to do next. I feel that putting her back into the bedroom would be a step backwards when she is socialising fine with 2 of the animals already.

Please, please can someone help me? Right now I feel the only solution would be to rehome, but I really don't want to unless it is the only option. Thank you for reading xxx
 

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It's "water over the dam" now, but you probably should have kept poppy in the bedroom while she recovered from the spay, rather than confining her to a crate in the livingroom.....the territory of Baz and Whisky. Both these senior cats, especially Baz, were upset with her in the livingroom, especially with the vet smell still on her. Even cats live together and know each other well will react negatively to the other when it comes back from the vet.

I suggest you start over at ground zero again in a couple of weeks. If you can get a blanket or towel that Baz and Whisky sleeps on and exchange scents it may go better. Trouble is that when a cat takes an instant dislike (like Baz did) to another, often it stays that way and it's very hard to change its mind. I certainly don't agree with the vet'advice in telling you to let Poppy out when Baz and Whisky were charging her cage. No surprise that they went after her! That was bad advice. Now Poppy's really spooked with the two of them. If it's possible to have her stay with 1 or more of the 3 she gets along with and keep Baz and Whisky away from her, you'll likely have to continue with that sort of arrangement to keep a peaceful household.

I can't vouch for Feliway as I've never used it, tho I do read that some CF posters have had success and others none at all. So if it's not working, I would try something else. You have to consider what will be best for everyone concerned, you and any other members in your household, including the other cats, and Poppy herself. It might be that rehoming is the best solution in this case. Juggling cats around to different rooms, and someone lets out Baz or Whisky and then cat fights is very stressful on everyone, cats included. Stress in cats can result in inappropriate elimination other than the litter box, and can be a cause of UTIs or other problems and result in expensive vet bills. Good luck in your decision and all the best! Hope you'll give us an update.
 

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We had a similiar issue when introducing Zoey to Piper. We did exactly the same steps (minor the spay), but Piper still hated Zoey. We started feeding them wet food at the same time in the same area. So, for example, you could feed Poppy in her cage and bring the other cats into the same room next to the door to eat the wet food. The every day you move the feedings closer to the cage. That way everyone is still safe and they start to associate the new kitty with good things. You can also do this with treats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both. I have fed them all in the same room once, and they all ate their meal then started fighting afterwards.

I think I will start again as suggested and see how we go. I'm upset with the vet giving bad advice - she seemed to think that they were charging the cage because she was locked in there. Anyway, luckily she's not my vet - but the previous owners.

Thank you xx
 
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