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hi all,

I'm a pretty seasoned cat mama but have run into a new issue I have never before encountered and would love some advice.

I have four cats. Three are residents: Bitters (4 female,) Bandit (~18 months male,) and Daphne (8 months female.) One is new: Maize (~18 months female.) Everyone is spayed/neutered. My problem is between Bandit and Maize.

Bandit has been a little menace since I brought him home as a kitten. I mean that with all the love in the world; he's usually just the sweetest boy, but he plays rough and knows how to get into everything. He and Daphne are the best of friends; although occasionally I need to break it up when he plays too hard with her (he's twice her size,) he's perfectly fine to be tackled when she says it's his bath time and they play together all day long. Bitters is mostly just tolerant of her siblings; she prefers her own space and they both back off with just one growl when she indicates she wants to be left alone. We've even brought in a number of foster/rescue situations (Daphne was a foster fail) and although hesitant of new cats, Bandit has never been physical until we brought Maize home about a month ago.

Maize is kept in our sun room, which has a big, glass-paned door leading right off of the kitchen. Bandit will sit at that door and stare at her through the glass for what seems like hours. Every so often he hisses and growls through the door, and paws/bats at the glass. Because of this, I have not intentionally introduced them face-to-face yet. He slipped past me into the sun room one time when I was going to change her litter and made a beeline for her. He was definitely about to attack her; I grabbed him to put him in the bathroom to cool off awhile and walked away with a number of bite and scratch marks.

We've done the standard stuff: we rotate toys and bedding between the two cats, we've had Maize wear Bandit's collar awhile before putting it back on him, and we've even brought Maize in to roam the house freely for awhile and put Bandit out in the sunroom so he could get used to her scent. He hisses and growls and tries to bite/scratch us at all of it.

I can only think of two reasons he's behaving this way: first, Maize's size. She's a sixteen pound Maine ****. Bandit is a thirteen pound long hair and he's used to being the biggest cat in the room. Second, Maize came from a home with a dog. Maybe he smells it on her (although he doesn't react negatively when I come home from visiting a friend with a dog?) and we've made a grooming appointment for her to get a bath.

If anyone has any suggestions for his behavior, I would love to hear them. I'm just at a loss with what to do with him at this point. It's been a month and I feel like we haven't made one bit of progress with him, when normally I can introduce him to a new kitty within a week or two.
 

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I wish you the best of luck, I really do, and hope it works out.
In case you don't know Jackson Galaxy, look him up on YouTube and see if he has an idea you have not yet tried.

And....I do not want to discourage you, but only to be realistic and tell you my experience......sometimes it just doesn't work out. Just like with people, sometimes cats won't like each other. It is too soon for you to give up on this, by far. But I just want to say that if they continue not to get along and it goes for months, rehoming is the only solution. I once tried and tried everything under the sun for three years and it never worked. Once I had rehomed the cat I realized it was very wrong of me to keep trying for so long, because no one was happy and there was so much stress in the home. He had a great life somewhere else, and we went back to our peaceful life.

I hope this doesn't happen to you. I am only saying that you shouldn't feel terrible if it comes down to that, and you have given it your best try. sometimes things just do not work out between two personalities.
 

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It sounds to me that Bandit is still in his "terrible teens" as I call it.....with very bratty behaviour, attacking and biting. Sometimes it last up to 2yrs. Suggest you give him some extra play time with a wand toy on his own and get him tired out to the point of panting and do it at least 2 x/day. This should help decrease his aggression. Find him a new toy such as automated "Flappity Fish". Switch the toys around, don't leave them all out at once. If he hasn't settled down in the next year, then you may need to re-home him. All the best!
 
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