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Hi there, I am Debbie. I live in the UK. I have two cats. A 7 yr old long-haired Persian cross, mostly white with black patches, beautiful long fur and quiet, gentle, tolerant temperament named Bella. Recent addition is Misty, who we rescued. She is approx 1 yr old and a naughty tortie, i.e. tortoisehell. She's very forward and vocal, confident and she goes after what she wants with gusto. You may be able to guess from these descriptions that we are having some problems with their compatibility!
 

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Hello and welcome to you and your kitties! Well done for rescuing a "norty tortie"! Its normal to have some period of adjustment for new cats living together. We have LOTS of good info on here about how to introduce new cats to each other if you just search for cat introductions.
 

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Welcome! I would also recommend reading through this website on introductions. There are some really cat savvy individuals here who know their stuff! Just curious, has Bella ever lived with other cats? Where did you rescue Misty from?
 

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Hi Debbie and welcome! I went through a very difficult introduction with my girls, although they're now best friends. Muffs is a Ragdoll and, like your Bella, she's very quiet and gentle, although Muffs is also quite skittish a bit of a scaredy cat.

Like Bella, Abby is a Persian mix (part Persian, part Ragdoll), and these days, she too is reasonably quiet...although she can be a bit of a devil from time to time! When I adopted Abby, she was only 10 weeks old, and she was a rambunctious little kitten. She kept running up to Muffs, jumping all over the place and wanting to play. Poor Muffs didn't know what to make of this little Mexican jumping bean...she was terrified!

There are lots of people here who can help you with Bella and Misty, although given the difference in their age and temperament, their introduction could take a bit longer than normal. When you can you must tell us a bit more about the situation.
 

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Thanks everyone for the warm welcome! Well, as y'all asked I'll tell you more about the situation. We adopted Bella from an animal rescue centre. She was extremely timid and nervous when we first got her almost 6 yrs ago now. It took her a full 2 yrs to really properly relax around my harem scarem family. I have two boisterous children who were 4 and 7 at the time. Since then Bella has become very content and very happy, never any accidents, and she always asked to go outside when she needed the toilet. She's pretty much a housecat but she likes to go outside in the late evenings for a bit.
Well, we've just had a very cold winter here in the UK and it started particularly early. Late October a young cat (we think just under a year old) started coming to our back door meowing noisily. She was very thin and obviously desperate for food and it was extremely cold outside. Guess you could say she adopted us, rather than the other way around!
We have a catflap in the backdoor that Bella has never used and this cat was trying to get in through it but at the same time she was afraid of us. We enquired around the neighbourhood, with the local vets, etc etc, but no one seemed to be missing her. So we brought her in to the house. At first she was very scared and wanting to escape. Her movements were unusual - almost ferret-like if that makes any sense - slinking around and around, meowing alot, needing a lot of petting, but very skittish.
We kept her in a room on her own with litter tray and food/water and gave her as much attention as we could. At the same time, we kept things normal for Bella - whose favourite room in the house is the master bedroom where she can sleep undisturbed by the comings and goings of humans.
Once Misty was a bit more settled and familiar with the house and its noises and inhabitants, we started trying to introduce the two cats together. There was a lot of hissing and some paw-whacking although we did get to the point where they would eat in each other's presence. I think we even got to the point where they were both able to nap in the same room.
Then it started to snow very heavily here in November. The snow really upset Bella. She didn't want to go outside at all and started to have "accidents" in the house. Peeing on our bed, peeing on the sofa etc. She also became very antagonistic to Misty, who went from fairly laid-back with Bella, to full-on aggressive with Bella.
We took emergency measures. I put a litter tray in our bedroom, Feliway in the bedroom to calm Bella down, put her food/water in the bedroom too. Misty was given the run of downstairs, with her own litter tray and food/water.
Well, the snow stayed with us until Christmas so the emergency measures turned into a longer term thing. And now, young Misty believes downstairs is her domain and if she catches sight of Bella, will chase her off back upstairs.
After putting Misty to bed in the kitchen at night, and firmly closing the door, I bring Bella, her food and litter tray down every night so we don't have to listen to her eating during the night! And so I don't have to deal with her litter tray at night! (Not nice!) then Bella has to go back upstairs (with all the aforementioned stuff) every morning before we can let Misty out of the kitchen.
This morning, I was up super early and didn't want to send Bella upstairs in case she woke anyone. I decided to let Misty out of the kitchen whilst Bella was still sleeping in the front room on the chair Misty usually sleeps on...(eek, I know what you're all thinking!) Misty sat at the foot of the chair and meowed at Bella, who growled at Misty. This scene repeated itself
Every few minutes, Misty would inch slightly further towards the chair hoping Bella wasn't looking, which of course she was! Eventually she came over to me (I was now sat on the sofa opposite Bella having been poised for half an hour with a water spray in my hand in case of a fight). I gave her head a rub, she purred, then stalked quite confidently back over to the chair, closer than before, and meowed again. Bella ignored her again. Then Misty came back to me again, jumped onto the sofa and engaged in a lot of affectionate stroking and nudging. After about 10 mins of her purring and rolling on her back etc. she suddenly stood up, leapt off the sofa and launched herself at Bella jumping right up onto the chair beside her where they began to fight (although no damage seems to have been done, well, physical damage anyway). The water spray sorted them out. Misty ran out of the catflap which I locked for an hour. I took Bella upstairs after a suitable cooling off period.
What can I do to get these girls to tolerate each other? I'd be so grateful for any tips or advice.
Thanks for reading this far!
Debbie
 

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hi, new member here also. i am trying to domesticate a semi-feral and while it is going well she definitely is a very forward girl so any tips would be great.

one more thing, she is the first long hair that i have had and boy oh boy do my allergies wish she were a short hair!
 

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That's a tough one, complicated by the fact that the cats seem to be indoor/outdoor, something I have no experience with. However, the fact that you were previously able to have them in the same room napping together does bode well.

One thing you might try for starters is to switch the cats around every other day (unless you think that might cause other problems). So, let Misty have the downstairs and Bella the upstairs one day...and then reverse roles the next. Or reverse roles for a few hours in a given day, if that would work better. The object of such an exercise would be to continually expose each cat to the other's smells, and get them to the point of thinking they both belong in the house...as opposed to Misty believing downstairs is her domain and Bella belongs upstairs.

You might also try some "baby steps" at first to try to get them together. For example, you might try feeding them together, in the same room if you think they're at a point where they won't immediately start fighting (i.e., they'll be more interested in the food than each other). Otherwise, feed them in adjoining rooms, separated by a baby gate or on either side of a door held slightly open with a door stopper (enough to allow them to know the other is there, but not enough to allow them to get at each other). See how the baby steps go and, if things aren't too bad, you can potentially move to some short periods of supervised time together.
 

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I also don't have personal experience with indoor/outdoor kitties and I know that that will change the dynamic of things. By chance are both of your girls spayed? If they aren't then that can play into things. Also did you take Bella to the vet to make sure that her change in behavior is not for any medical reason?

I think the baby steps is honestly the best thing. Cats are territorial by nature. Misty needs to see Bella as an acceptable being in her territory instead of as a threat. I would recommend reading up on some info (this sight has some good stuff) on cat communication, especially with body language. If Bella is stressed she could be sending Misty some aggressive signals in cat lingo. This could help you evaluate when the situation is getting tense and stop it before getting to the lunging stage. I would pretend like you are introducing 2 cats that don't know each other at all and go from their. Put items with Misty's smell in Bella's area and vice versa. Allow Bella to go to Misty's area without Misty there, and vice versa. That will also get them regularly exposed to each other's scents. You can then move to where they can see each other but not necessarily get to each other. Praise them when the ignore each other or react positively toward the other cat's presence. Let them then slowly spend small amounts of time with each other and increase at it gets better. This is also where knowing cat body language comes into play. Reward them when they act appropriately around each other. If they completely ignore each other give them a treat. If they caution sniff but don't react aggressively treat them. They will start associating the other cat's presence as a positive thing for them self. Feeding with each other is a powerful thing, especially when it is yummy wet food time.

I hope that things improve with your situation. Please keep us posted :)
 
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