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Hello everyone. I'm hoping you cat enthusiasts will be able to help me with my little problem.

My parents have a cat (my cat), Ziggy. Ziggy is about 1.5 years old now and has been fixed. He is a sweetheart through and through.

My mother's parents are very elderly. Recently, events transpired causing my grandparents to be forced into a home which does not allow pets.

My grandparents have an elderly female cat, Socks. She is about 12.5 years old. My parents are now in charge of the well being of Socks. She, from what I can tell, is a very timid cat (who also happens to be mute).

While my parents nor I have ever encountered a problem with Ziggy being territorial over anything (not even his litterbox or feeding area), when Socks was brought into the house the other night he showed a side of him I never saw before.

Since Ziggy stumbled upon our family about a year ago (read my thread on Ziggy Stardust and how we acquired him if you're so inclined), he has had no interaction with any other felines, strictly interaction with humans.

Ziggy has free reign of the entire property, both inside and out. We have not confined him from entering any room in my parent's house. When Socks came home to us, we closed off the kitchen doors from Ziggy, as that was pretty much the only area in the house we could keep Socks in that has the ability to be completely confined. In the kitchen there is a door which we keep open that leads down to our garage. Socks has found refuge in the basement, in the pitch dark.

Ziggy despises Socks. So much so that even when I go downstairs to pet Socks and come back up, Ziggy will hiss at me, as I assume he smells Socks on my hands/clothes.

I've been home at my parent's for a couple days now, and will continue to be for the next week and a half. I try to keep the cats separated as much as possible, but every day I let them see each other in hopes that continual meetings will help ease them into being at least civil with each other, but really, I have no idea.

If I open the doors to the kitchen, Ziggy will start growling and hissing even if Socks is downstairs in the garage. The smell of Socks is enough to get him riled up to the point of not allowing me to pick him up (normally Ziggy lets me do whatever I want to him, as he knows I will never hurt him). I have the scratches to prove this (he's never broken my skin prior to Socks coming home).

I'm pretty sure both cats are stressed out, Ziggy feeling a massive sense of intrusion by Socks and Socks being terrified about being in a new home, with new people, and a very mean big cat who growls at her.

Should I open all the doors and just let them sort it out on their own? I'm sure there's some sort of hierarchy that needs be established -- Ziggy being the alpha male/dominate one. So far, I have not allowed him out of my arms when in the same room as Socks, and after a few seconds of hissing/growling/snarling, I'll remove Ziggy completely.

I feel terrible for Socks. She sits in the basement all by herself, terrified to come upstairs because of a fear of Ziggy. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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sounds like we're in a similar situation, but we are almost 6 weeks into it. kittyhawk has another thread going about integrating a senior kitty into an established household and she has some great tips for you. maybe she'll get a chance to chime in here, too.

anyway, yes. our resident cat is 11. we adopted her just 8 months ago and i believe she has always been an ONLY cat in the house, even with prior family. she had complete run of the house for 8 mths. we adopted a 2nd cat, another girl, age 14, hoping she'd be a good pal. the 2nd cat is a trooper. she's lived with lots of other cats, dogs and people and is very easy going. there was definitely hissing, spitting and growling on #1 kitty's part over the first few weeks. it was on and off, but it was really stressing us out (more my husband than me). having to take #2 to the vet for medical issues constantly, too, was no help as i'm sure she brought home all kinds of weird scents with her after each visit.

so, i happened to read kittyhawk's thread and PM'ed her about our situation. she fosters cats a lot and has never had a failed intro so i took her advice and cut off the visuals completely again at home. she says visual should definitely be the LAST thing you do before letting them in the same room. and i'm also doing the towel under the food dish thing, too. i've been doing this for the past week or so and at least there's no hissing. #1 obviously knows #2 is here, though. she still goes right up to the covered baby gate and tries to look through. and she definitely hears #2 meowing on the other side, but there's no hissing.

i'll probably be PMing kittyhawk again pretty soon to when i should try the visual thing again.

good luck with your intro. even though #1 has always been a spoiled, only child, we remain hopeful that she will eventually learn to accept and even enjoy the company of #2.
 

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