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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

My boyfriend has moved in with me, which is fantastic.
The issue is, I have a 4 year old female cat (Maya) who is my little baby. She is really small for an adult cat and has the sweetest nature. She loves everyone and has never, hissed, growled or been angry in any way. My boyfriends cat (Mulberry) is also a lovely cat and very friendly towards humans. She has lived with other cats (Maya has not!) and is about 8 years old. Mulberry is a fairly large female cat.
After much searching on the internet etc. I set up a room for Mulberry and she moved in. I have spent the last few days swapping cats and their scents around the flat and trying not to allow direct contact. Last night we put Mulberry in her carrying case and allowed Maya to investigate. Maya immediately wanted to make friends and Mulberry hissed at her and didn't seem pleased at her presence. Tried giving them treats but they were not interested in food!
Today, an accidental door opening incident allowed Maya to get into Mulberry's room and Mulberry ran at her. They didn't make contact but it wasn't pleasant and Maya was terrified.
I am very protective of my wee Maya and am so worried that Mulberry could really hurt her. (Mulberry has, in the past brought home rabbits bigger than Maya 8O ) I really love Mulberry too and just want things to work out.
Any advice or support would be fantastic. Where should I go from here?
Thanks :D
 

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I understand exactly where you are coming from. I have my sweet little girl, Pfeffa (who is quite little at 7 years and pathetic), and we recently got Hobochangba, who is not quite a year old, very energetic, and likes to chase her down and tackle her. She doesn't care for that at all, and spits and growls, many times even when he's just nearby. Makes for a stressful home :(

It sounds like you have been doing everything right with the separations. Don't worry too much about the accidental meeting and chase down. My bad boy Hobochangba also escaped his room one day while I was at work. It happens. It's just too much too soon for them and they react badly. Keep them separate, continue scent swapping, and continue spending time with them both. If you haven't already, read through this article at little big cat (I think I read it about 10 times!!):
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=cattocatintroductions

Take it slow. In addition to the initial total separation, I also kept my two separated whenever I wasn't home or awake for close to two months. Sounds long, but until I felt I could trust that Hobochangba wouldn't eat her when we weren't there to stop him, I couldn't let them be together all the time. Plus, it was very stressful for Pfeffa, and that gave her a little break from attacks.

Good luck - and welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your support. Have read the article and intend to follow the advice. Think I just needed to hear from someone who understands :D
Will let you know how it goes.
Thanks again

Lorna
 

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Lorna,

It will probably be fine. I too felt very protective of my 'baby' when I added a second cat and was horrified whenever I felt she was threatened. What I found that I was actually adding to the trouble with my anxiousness. Cats can sense when we are concerned or tense and if at all possible it's best to keep following the introduction advice and to relax!

I have full confidence that Mulberry won't hurt Maya. Maybe she'll even end up the dominant one. Cats don't really seem to notice size as much. I'm sure he can tell the difference between a fellow cat and other prey! I've never heard of two adults doing much harm to each other. Your little girl will be fine. Who knows? Maybe Mulberry will be a great friend for her once things settle down.

Good luck. I know it's difficult. My 'baby' Megan actually loves the other cats now and is much more happy and confident than she was as an only. She loves having felines to play with.

If you are worried please post again any time for moral support or advice.

~Heather
 

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Lorna,
Congrats on moving in with your BF :D

I am sure everything with the cats will be fine. My cat,Gaylord, is skinny and sort of, well, petite. For a few months, we had a cat living at our house, (his name was Boris) and Boris was,literally, 3 or 4 times the size of Gaylord. I thought Boris was going to eat him...but Gaylord was faster. They did fight a few times, nothing serious, and then they were fine. Here are some pictures, so you can see what i mean:

Gaylord: (8 pounds)



Boris: ( 26 pounds)

 

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My oh my...Boris is a big boy! Wonderful though :D

I wouldn't worry if i were you..When Teddy came some months ago, Fluffy hissed at him all the time...She seemed like she couldn't stand him, but after getting used to him, she fell in love with him :D Today they are best friends, and sleeps together every day....

Just be patient :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to everyone who replied. I think you are probably right Heather, my nervousness wont be helping so I will do my best to chill out and be positive. Nothing new to report as I am still scent swopping and managed to get the two cats to touch paws under a door while playing with some wool :D. will just take things nice and easy and hopefully they will end up as friends or at least tolerate eachother. it would be so nice to see them together like your cats Fluffy.

Thanks again everyone :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hi everyone

Nearly two weeks since mulberry moved in and still feel no further forward. Mulberry seems to hate Maya and maya is still terrified. I feel like they are both frustrated and curious because they know there is another cat in the house but can't get to them or see them. I am seriously considering just letting them in together and hoping that they 'sort it out'. my friend has been adopting cats for years and said she finds this the best approach as it gets it over with. have followed all advice so far ie. swapping scents, feeding and playing at opposite sides of door but we are making no progress and it's a nightmare in a small-ish flat. wondered about getting 'soft claws' for Mulberry as she is the aggressive one? all support gratefully recieved,

thanks

lorna
 

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Soft claws might be a great idea. You might be right. The two might have to "have it out," especially if they can't hurt each other, just do a lot of hissing and harmless batting. I think there might be a stand off after that. If things go too far, of course you'll have to put a stop to it. I wish you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks jeanie, will let you know how we get on. have been in touch with my vet and am going to see her tonight, luckily she is a cat lover and has lots of experience with introductions. will see what she says. thanks again.

Lorna :D
 

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Lorna, Just in case---have you put a drop of vanilla on the back of the neck of both cats? That way they have the same scent. I know you said you exchanged scents, but I wanted to be sure you did the vanilla bit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks jeanie. have not done that but I will do it tonight and see if it helps. Have seen my vet but she more or less told me what other people on this forum have said. she recommended feliway as a possibility to calm mulberry down. she also suggested a baby playpen turned upside down so Mulberry can have space but can't get to maya - not sure where I can get one though. thanks again for all your advice and support

Lorna
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have put a drop of vanilla on both cats - what now? Do I let them adjust to the new scent and then try them together again? Might be a silly question but do i need to keep applying it daily? How should I proceed from here?

Thanks

Lorna :?:
 

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Of course, their noses are better than ours, by far, but if you can no longer smell it, you could put on another drop. I would put one under that playpen or in a carrier in the same room first, so that they know they have the same scent. Vanilla has very a distintinctive odor, so they should know right away that they have the same scent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok i have let them both explore eachother's rooms/beds etc and there certainly was a lot of sniffing and scent marking going on. think the vanilla has helped alot with that. Will try mulberry in the cat carrier tonight and see how it goes. Thanks again, your advice is much appreciated,

Lorna :D
 

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When my brother had to go into a nursing home I had to merge his two and my 4. I didn't have the opportunity to do a lot of scent swaping. Just a week. THen it was everyone for themselves. Funny thing is that his cat Tiggie (28lbs) is the one that was getting beat up. By the 5lb Siamese.
Of course I have never had aSiamese that wasn't the alpha in the household. I finally let them have it out. Even though she will still pounce him from time to time. He is now allowed to lay in the kitchen floor without any trouble.
You may simply let them figure out who is going to be the alpha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks lynda. I have started to think that i will just have to let them sort it out as long as they are not injuring eachother. It is so difficult, and messy, keeping them apart and it doesn't seem fair to either one to leave them alone but there just aren't enough hours in the day to spend time with them both. I have been doing my best but working a full time job and my boyfriend works long shifts, doesn't allow for this. It's so difficult to tell if Mulberry is being aggressive or just showing Maya that she's 'the boss'. She runs at her hissing and chases her into corners and Maya hides and gets quite upset. I knew it wasn't going to be easy but am finding it quite stressful and would like to see progress. Thanks for letting me know about your experience, it really helps to hear about others in the same position,

Lorna
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Major set back - Mulberry has fleas!!! Thought i had checked them both but she has very long thick hair. Have frontlined them both but am really struggling to keep them apart and keep them out of bedrooms etc to limit the flea spread! :cry:

Lorna
 

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Try not to consider fleas a set back. Unless Mulberry has been vacumned sealed away from Maya and the rest of the house - they're in your house, and Maya already has them.

I kept my new boy and resident girl separated anytime I was not there - or awake - to limit the time they had together without supervision for close to two months. It was a long time, and I felt bad ushering Boba upstairs every night and then cuddling with Pfeffa in bed, but I think it was best for everyone - especially Pfeffa - to have this settling in time. If I had waited for complete acceptance on Pfeffa's part, they would STILL be completely separated (since mid-June).

Unfortunately, it's still not perfect. Pfeffa's not keen on Boba, and Boba, who is constantly spit at, isn't so keen on Pfeffa. I've seen improvements at the micro level, and am rejoicing in each teeny improvement.

It WILL improve - take comfort in that. It just will take time and patience.
 
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