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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let me tell you about my cats and then my story. Hopefully I won't be too long winded. I am going to be very HONEST, even though I realize now I probably did not go about the introductions in the right way. PLEASE do not bash me for the way I did it, rather try to help me to see if we can have a household without scared cats and fighting.

Gizmo(Boyfriend's cat)- 13 year old, hates dogs, hated cats until Yuki was brought into the home as a kitten. Now she is very laid back and nothing phases her. If the other cats fight she will get in the middle and attack the attacker so the victim can get away.

Yuki(boyfriend's cat)- introduced to Gizmo as a kitten, they've been living in harmony 2 years now. Very playful, very curious cat. Likes to start stuff.

Kiwi (my cat)- about 2 years old. I rescued her from a shelter little over a year ago. Lone cat until I moved in with my BF almost 2 months ago. Vocal, playful with herself, skittish of anything new.


I moved into my boyfriend's apartment 2 months ago. We knew Gizmo would not be a problem and she wasn't. She sniffed Kiwi while Kiwi was hissing and went on her merry way. Yuki and Kiwi did not get along so well. We sat on the bed holding them and facing each other so they could see each other and smell one another. lots of hissing, lots of growling and low meowing. We did not let them touch one another. Kiwi spent the night in the bathroom/bedroom. yuki and gizmo had the run of the house.

did this for about a week. My boyfriend was tired of them growling all the time and decided to put them all together. Yuki and Kiwi were ok with touching... until they realized they were touching each other. the largest cat fight ever ensued, Gizmo got in the middle (attacking Yuki) and Kiwi ran and hid.

Then we kept them separated for a couple more days. Then we opened up the bedroom doors and allowed every one to go every where. Kiwi chose to stay in the bedroom unless we physically put her on the couch with us. All was good, very few cat tussles, every one seemed to ignore each other. If Kiwi got scared (yuki likes to stalk and watch) she would hit behind the TV or under the turtle tank. At night Kiwi would stay under the bedside table or sleep by my head while Yuki slept by the foot of the bed.

One night Kiwi was sitting under the table and meowing pitifully. I didn't know why, but I tried to soothe her as she scratched around. Then she started peeing on the floor. She's NEVER peed outside the litter box before, so I was shocked! it wasn't until she'd finished and I scruffed her to take her out of the room that I realize Yuki was peeking her head around the bed, watching Kiwi. I realized that Kiwi didn't feel safe leaving her safe spot- even to go to the bathroom! After that we kept Kiwi in the bedroom and kept Yuki/Gizmo in the living room with NO contact.

Then we moved to a new place just a week ago. We got them Pheromone collars, hoping it would help calm them down. We figured since it was a new place with new smells no one would be feeling territorial. We had the house set up and released the cats at the same time, in the same place. The pheromones seemed to be working. The first couple of nights Kiwi and Yuki got along no problem. Kiwi is still prone to hiding in the closet, under the couch, on the bed, in any corner she can find away from Yuki. Yuki doesn't care any more. She sniffs Kiwi, Kiwi growls, Yuki walks away. Kiwi peed in the bedroom again the other night. I'm not sure why, she seems more comfortable moving around the house than before. I set her up with a litter box/food/water in the bedroom again, but this time the doors are open. She can come and go if she pleases and so can the other cats.
We're in a 2 bed/2 bath apartment. Is there any chance our cats will ever get along? Can we save this relationship? Is Kiwi the problem child or is it Yuki? Rehoming any of them is not possible. If it came down to it, i'd sleep in the guest room to make sure Kiwi was happy.
She used to be a happy, licky, vocal cat who loved to cuddle and give me kisses. Now she's jumpy, hates being held, shakes all the time, and rarely meows or gives me kisses. It's making me sad, and putting a strain on my relationship with my BF since I keep blaming his cats.
 

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Nobody is going to bash you. Lots of people have no idea how to properly introduce cat into a multi cat household. You can do a start over. If your patient and dont rush the second intro I think you can make it work.

First get Feliway plug ins for around your house. They have really worked for me.

Read thru this article on cat to cat introductions.
Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat

Base Camp — How to Prepare for your New Cat | Little Big Cat

Im sure you know now never face off cats. It just doesnt work. Cats are territorial. They need their own space, and can be slow to accept other cats.

This is a great resource too. I send this book to their new homes with my foster kitties. Think Like A Cat by Pamela Johnson Bennett

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Think-Like-Cat-Pam-Johnson-Bennett/dp/1579544258/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317402248&sr=1-2"]Amazon.com: Think Like a Cat (9781579544256): Pam Johnson-Bennett: Books[/ame]


Im sure other members with post also and give you good tips too.
 

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Yeah don't worry about it! Nobody's gonna judge you. We all make mistakes and what's important here is the learning experience :) As Mitts said, it doesn't work when you face off cats.

If you read the links Mitts gave you, that's pretty much everything you need to know. You'll need a lot of patience and determination, but I'm sure it can work. Your kitty is just terrified, I'm sure you've realized about that now. So just go through the intro process all over again, very, very slowly.

Tuna or any other smelly food on each side of the door for each "group" of cats (in this case, bf's 2 cats one side, your kitty the other) has really worked for me-they start relating good things with the scent of the "strange" cat.

Just that, good luck and keep us posted! Ánimo! :wink
 

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Nobody's the problem child...but it sounds like Kiwi is frightened, which is not unusual for a skittish cat when introduced to new cats.

I'd set up your spare bedroom as a safe room and put Kiwi in there. Keep the cats separated for about a week, to give Kiwi some time to settle down and feel safer. Spend as much time as you can in there with her. After about a week, follow the standard cat-to-cat introduction posted by Mitts & Tess, but take things slowly.
 

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since I keep blaming his cats.
You've received great advice already. I just want to add that you should not be placing blame on any of the cats. They are being cats...this is how they respond to the situation they've been put in. Restart the introduction process according to the articles you've been given. Definitely read Think Like a Cat...and I'll also add...read Cat vs Cat by the same author...it will give you great insight into how cats in a multi-cat household "think" and act (and why). There are always ongoing challenges with a multi-cat household...you need to learn to react to them instinctively...what to ignore and allow them to work out themselves and when to intervene.

In addition to the Feliway, you can try Pet Naturals of Vermont Calming Chews.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your great advice, everyone! I'd seen the feliway plug ins and I think I am going to purchase them since I've seen many good things posted about them.

Since posting this topic I've set Kiwi up in our bedroom with the door closed. However there were a couple of times Yuki snuck in here yesterday (we had people over, they didn't know to keep the door closed, etc). at one point Kiwi and Yuki got into a scuffle and I separated them. At another point I opened the door to the bedroom and was surprised to see both Kiwi and Yuki relaxing on the bed only feet from each other. I don't understand how some times they will fight and other times they get along fine together?

Gizmo came into the bedroom this morning and Kiwi was very very curious. She was acting more like herself this morning after being able to settle into the room without any distractions from the other cats. She was very interested in how Gizmo smelled and did not even hiss back when Gizmo hissed at her for getting too close.
Should I think about getting Gizmo and Kiwi co-existing peacefully to get Kiwi used to other cats and then try to get her and Yuki to play nice?
 
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