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We thought our 2-year-old male, Shadow, was sometimes lonely and could use a playmate. We looked up a lot of info about introducing a second cat (he's been our only cat since we got him as a kitten), and we thought it would go well. We read it would be best to get a smaller, younger, female cat as a companion. Last Sat. we brought home a sweet 4-year-old female (she turned out older than we thought). We didn't realize how small she was until we got her home. Shadow is 3x her weight!

We kept her in a bedroom/bathroom the first day. Shadow was able to smell the cat carrier and he seemed interested - not at all upset, though he knew something was up. My husband decided to rush things, and let them see each other through the slightly open doorway the next day. The female, Libby, came up to say hello, but Shadow got really upset, so she just walked away. Shadow sat there hissing and making noises no human ear had never heard before! He was poofed out as much as possible. But he slowly camled down. Later that day, though, hubby decided to REALLY rush things and put them in the same room. Luckily he put Shadow on his leash, because he soon got bored of watching and moaning, and took after her.

Now it's been a week. Hubby figured out that was not the way to go, and the cats have been separated since. After a few days, we let them see each other through a crack in the door again. Shadow hasn't been as upset, and I've only heard him hiss once, though he does poof out and whine and moan a lot. We were debating on opening the doors a little wider today when Shadow forced his way out.

I heard Hubby yell and ran out of the bedroom to see Libby running down the hall toward me with Shadow in hot persuit. She ran past me and I got Shadow to stop, but he was very upset and poofed. I hissed at him - it was the first thing I could thing of - but it worked. So, it looks like Shadow isn't any better about the idea than he was a week ago. He's still very curious, but also very jealous, though we do give him just a much attention and playtime as before (if not more). He's not normally an agressive cat, in fact, he's quite a scaredy-cat, but since there's another animal in HIS territory, he seems pretty mean. I'm afraid he would really hurt her if he caught her. He has claws, but Libby is apparently declawed.

Hubby thinks maybe I should try holding Libby on my lap and see if Shadow will come investigate NICLEY. (We can walk around holding her and he watches, but doesn't do anything, not even whine.) And if he gets jealous, hubby can pet him, too, though he generally doesn't like pets. Do you think that would work or should we try something else? I know it can take some time, but as things haven't changed at all, is there even hope?
 

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I think there's a sticky on introducing a new cat but I can't seem to find it.
Take it slow and err on the side of caution, if you screw this up and let him beat up the new kitty they might never be friends and that's your reason for getting a 2nd cat.
When my ex tamed a stray we didn't know the proper method and they never became friends even though they shared a house for 11 years.
They're some experienced member here that should be chiming in.
Don't lose hope but these things can take weeks and even months.
Here's a link.
http://www.littlebigcat.com/behavior/cat-to-cat-introductions/
 

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Today it's 1 month that I adopted Princess. Also female, younger, a lot smaller than Prince. I posted some very anguished threads during this month, I was almost sure it wasn't succeeding and feared I'd have to put her back in the street, then it all suddenly solved itself.

The key (in my case, at least) was to go back to CLOSED DOOR AT ALL TIMES each time I realized things weren't going well. Something, I don't know what, makes cats that get used to smelling each other with an obstacle in the middle for a very long time, lose the animosity once they're face to face.

Just go back to closed door. And don't rush it this time. Keep the door closed at all times until the day they spend a long time smelling each other under the door with curiosity and no hostility. I only opened the door again the day I realized that Prince spent most of the day sitting on the other side of the door, just for the company from the other side (when I'm at work, long hours). Then one day I came home and realized, to my astonishment, that I had closed Princess' door with Prince inside and left them together locked up!!!! Since no one had blood on them or seemed upset at all, I haven't closed the door ever since, not even when I leave them for 10 hours to go to work. Princess, however, still hisses at him (rarely) and refuses to leave the bedroom because she's afraid of him. Cats change in leaps and bounds, so I'm expecting Princess to come out of the room when she's ready, suddenly one day. She did it yesterday, just for a couple minutes, indeed.
 

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Hi there. Congratulations on getting a second cat. Hopefully, in time you and Shadow will come to enjoy many years of great companionship from having two of them.

Your thread started by saying you looked up a lot of information about introducing a second cat. yet--and I don't mean to sound at all judgmental, as we all make mistakes, sometimes many of them--you (or more accurately, your hubby) does not seem to have followed the advice that almost all well-reasoned intro books and Websites emphasize, namely, go very slowly, and introduce them one sense at a time--hearing, scent and smell, then--last of all--seeing them.

The intro also has to be done on their timetable, not yours, in order to succeed. That timetable is often slower than we humans would prefer. There are several good sources for cat intros here on this Forum, if you search under cat introductions or look for a sticky on it. Also, the book Cat vs. Cat by Pamela Johnson-Bennett is a resource many folks including me, think is excellent.

The key is to do things like exchange scents through towel-rubbing on them while they are kept in separate rooms, then allow an exchange of rooms, with the other cat NOT PRESENT, so each of them can sniff around and get accustomed to the other's scent, without any direct contact, then start feeding them on opposite sides of a closed door. The theory to this, and it's very important, is to get them to associate good things with each other, like food. Gradually, you should be able to open the door a crack, so they can see each other but Shadow would not be able to attack her, and you should play interactive games by the door so they both can reach the toy (Da Bird is excellent for this) but not harm each other. Some people use baby gates for this purpose, but I won't go that far since I don't know your full situation. Eventually--and I emphasize eventually--you should be able to let them be in the same room together for very short periods, during which you give them both kitty treats and play with them, so they get good vibes from being together.

One other note of caution. Because their first association has now been a negative one, it will take longer than it would have originally to counteract that negative first impression. I speak from experience, having made my own mistakes in the original intro of Snowball and Blizzy and rushing things. I ended up with baby gates for five months before I could get them in the same room together, and they still don't like each other, 1-1/2 years later. Some of that is my fault, I believe, by not going by their timetable. That is somewhat extreme, I am not saying it will take you anywhere near that long.

How can you tell when you can move to the next step? You will be able to see them being both calm and curious. Incremental, baby steps are the way to success in this endeavor. Please do check the many resources here on this Forum and on the Web, as well as books on cat intros. And tell your hubby, this may seem like a pain now, but it may mean the difference between two happy companions and two cats who don't get along, and the results will last for years.

Good luck to you, I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but it sounds like you are on the wrong track and need to do something about it right away. Most books recommend in these cases you just start from the beginning again, by separating them for a week or two, and that is what I would do in your case.
 

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Cats change in leaps and bounds, so I'm expecting Princess to come out of the room when she's ready, suddenly one day. She did it yesterday, just for a couple minutes, indeed.
Straysmommy,

I think you are giving sound advice, but I wanted to highlight your observation above that cats change in leaps and bounds. I need to offer a different point of view on that one. I think cats change very slowly and incrementally. They are extraordinarily observant and subtle, and often they are changing little by little in a way that might go unnoticed unless one pays very close attention. Case in point--you mentioned that Princess came out of the room "suddenly" but just for a couple of minutes. Chances are good she had been spending more and more time next to the door, so from her standpoint, the next incremental step, when she had the chance, was to come out, but just for a few minutes. Next time it will be longer, and so long as nothing bad happens, before you and she know it, she'll be out for good. BUt each step of the way, she is testing and watching, and if anything bad happens, she would retreat to her comfort zone.

That's what happened to Snowball, a little at a time, until finally, one day and with encouragement, she ran downstairs.

So yes, we all have our "breakthroughs" after what seems like a lot of pain and lack of progress. But usually, there is a buildup to each breakthrough, some back and forth, and then that positive step takes place, seemingly all at once, but in fact it is the product of their incrementally growing confidence/curiosity that allows them to move ahead. IMHO, anyway!

And, by the way, this only applies to cats that have these types of behavior issues. There are some cats that are so amazingly adaptable that they take all new situations in stride!
 
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