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Discussion Starter #1
We kinda adopted my brotherinlaw's cat this past Saturday. The cat had been in his carrier for almost 14hr, 9 1/2 of that being the flight from Hawaii to Atlanta, and then another 2hr drive to Alabama. The cat hiding under his bedding when we picked him up, we cleaned out the carrier and offered food/water but he didn't budge. No hissing or anything from him, he actually let me scratch his ears and his neck. Got him home in his safe room (large upstairs bedroom w/windows) and after about 2hr he was laying on the bed with me! Still tense - but I thought it was a good sign. Then he was exploring the room and apparently one of my 2 cats was on the other side and the new cat smelled them - he has been hissing, growling and lunging at me non stop ever since. Sunday- He was trying to get on a shelf in the closet (I contacted the prior owner and they said he spent a lot of time in the closet sleeping stalking etc.) so I cleaned off the shelf, put down a blanket and made steps up to it (its about 7ft high) and he got up there - you can tell he looks like he's more at ease. I finally lured him down the wet cat food so he is eating, drinking and using the litter box and after midnight he comes down and surveys the room, eats, and looks out the window. Me and my husband are taking turns sleeping with him and just being in the room, talking to him or reading out loud etc., not trying to force him to do anything, just letting him get use to us. Early this morning (Tuesday) curiosity got the best of him and he came down and out to see what I was doing with his toys - he actually played with them for a good 15min - but would look over at me occasionally and growl. I have since found out from the previous owners - that he is not a full blooded Birman, he is a Birman Siamese Mix (the severe looking oriental siamese). He was raised with 4 small dogs and because of that supposedly loves to run and chase, has always been submissive and the only contact he has ever had with another cat was a few weeks ago when he accidentally got out of the house and the neighbors cat attacked him. He is almost 2 1/2 years old. I have 2 cats - a 5yr old Tonkinese and a Traditional Siamese (a/k/a apple head siamese) the same age as the Tonk. The Tonk is very laid back and easy going, loves everyone and everything (had to make him quit sniffing my neighbors rottweiler this afternoon lol) my Tonk is also on medication for a severe case of feline hyperesthesia, The Siamese is a little more leery of new things - I don't think she will be ugly to him, but she won't greet him with open arms right off the bat either. I want to give the new cat the best chance possible of fitting in and getting along with everyone and I really can't afford for him to traumatize my 2 cats (I know at first they might be a little stresses) especially the Tonk. I hate to say this - because its not the cats fault, but if we had known all of the "issues" the cat had we would never of agreed to take him and put him through the horrendous traveling in the first place. (never ship a pet if you can possibly help it!) I have read and watched all of Jackson's (from my cat from ****) information on introducing cats, but I need to get him comfortable with me and my husband first obviously. Just wondered if anyone had any other suggesting or things to try.
 

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You are doing really good things so far. The cat was shipped a very far distance and is stressed. It's so sad that he had to go through that but he's in a wonderful home now, I'm sure. It takes patience to introduce cats, especially with all this that has happened. It usually takes a couple of weeks for a cat to get used to its surroundings and about a month to get used to the people around it. I was lucky with Pinky, she's the only cat but she got used to us right away. Plus we had to take extra care because she had a URI.

You mention the cat is 21/2 years old, that makes introductions harder when cats are older. It's nothing against the cat, but kittens seem to get used to things faster because they are young and more open.

I wish you the best of luck with this kitty, and hope your sick kitty gets better soon. A lot of people may have better introduction things for you to try, I'm not an expert at introducing cats to each other since every time we have ever done it we do it like a band aid. I'm one to let cats do things as natural as possible because they are pack animals, while being a referee, for example I don't let them bite each other or scratch but hissing and growling is natural. If someone moved into your home you'd lay down your ground rules. Essentially they have to lay theirs down too. It's proven to be successful each time.
 

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Every cat is different as is every case is different. I had Miu for about a year before I took in Cap'n Jack the stray. I have no idea how old he was at the time (best guess is about 1.5-2 yrs)

It's only been a couple of days for you. I'm not sure how many hrs you've spent with him. I had Cap'n Jack in the main floor bathroom for about 2 weeks, then we installed a prison type door with wooden bars and he was in there for another 2 weeks. During this time, I would spend several hrs after work just sitting in there and chatting with him. Sometime I'd read him a book. To simulate natural light we left the light on during the day and put in a nightlight to simulate the moon at night. He spent the better part of the time hiding behind the toilet.

We took him to the vet around the 1 month mark for neutering and checkup. Then we moved him to a bigger cat room along with the door for another 2 weeks. After that, we let him have full freedom. So we basically confined him for about 1.5 months total. I strongly suggest confinement. Although it sounds cruel, it's calming to a cat. For integration with the rest of the gang, I also strongly suggest baby gates or something similar like my DIY wooden bar prison door. It'll allow them to see, hear, smell and touch each other without danger of fighting. Miu would walk over or past the door and hiss at Cap'n Jack, but she couldn't hurt him. You can also feed them and give them treats on either side of the door/gate to associate the other cat with good things.

Even after I let Cap'n Jack out, it still took time b4 Miu would accept him. She spent the first year with him establishing her alpha cat status. If he'd so much as look at her, she's have this look of disgust on her face then she'd go over and slap him silly. Almost like she was saying 'you gross, disgusting man, what are you staring at?'

They're now at a stage where she doesn't slap him so much anymore. After meals, they often go off and play b4 settling down for a nap. It's very endearing since Jack seems to love Miu very much...although I'm not too sure she loves him. :)

Good luck with your introductions!
 

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It doesn't look like it's going badly...at least compared to my cats :) You're doing all the right things. Throw in some extra treats, attention and play - those help them see you in a positive light. What works for me the best is to observe attentively and spot little things that the cats seek or that they favor or that relax them, then do more of those. Eg: I see the new cat is less aggressive, more confident, when sitting in my computer chair, so I made her a cozy bed there, pet her, feed her, encourage her to sleep and watch the world from there. A feeling of safety is a result of experiences that build like blocks, one on top of the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone! I was worried about keeping him in his safe room to long, but I feel better about it now. Its a really large bedroom with w/double windows and he spends a Lot of time looking out the windows at all the birds. I think (hope) we had a breakthrough this morning. I slept in the room with him again last night and around midnight he came down off his shelf in the closet, ate, used the litter box and got in the window, I was talking to him and I guess he didn't like what I was saying because on his way back to teh closet he hissed and growled and got back on his shelf lol Then this morning at 5:00 a.m. he's back in the window, I get up to go get his food for the morning and I noticed he had knocked off the blanket on one of the shelves so i was folding it back up and trying to get it on the shelf right and next thing I know he has jumped up on the 2nd step and is standing right next to me! no hissing or growling! I must of still been asleep because I was still trying to fold the blanket and didn't want to hit him - so I just turned and picked him up and sat him on his shelf and he didn't do anything! I went on downstairs and got his food ready and took it back to him and sat back down on the bed. He ate and then jumped on the night stand and started playing with a toy (da bird toy) then he left and went back to the window, I got the toy and sat in the floor by the window and he started playing with it - he jumped on the bed while chasing it and was going crazy jumping and doing flips attacking it, and getting within inches of me and not being bothered. He played for a good 20-30min and then he was just laying there, tired I imagine and then just all of a sudden hissed and growled and jumped off the bed. I figure it must of dawned on him what he was doing lol Since he's staying up all night, he pretty much sleeps all day, but I have checked on him several times and he took a treat out of my hand - he slapped at me... but didn't use his claws and the 2nd time I offered the treat he didn't slap at me at all. So hopefully he's coming around and getting comfortable.
 

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I took in a new guy on New Year Day. He spent about 3 weeks seperated. He's doing pretty well with one of my cats and the nother hasen't raked him in 24 hours. Every day they get better.
 

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Just a thought here.

Could he be hissing at you because you smell like your other cat? It might be easier to wash you hands before you go near him so at least he gets used to you smelling like you (without another cats smell on you) and thats way he will probably come to think of you as his sooner.

It might be easier to not introduce the smell of the other cat until after he has settled down a little more and accepted you completely. Otherwise it sounds like it's going very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think you might be right, my husband pointed out the same thing last night. I have a Tonkinese (serious velcro cat!) so just washing my hands won't help lol But that could explain why the new cat will play and play with the toys but then if I put my hand out to let him smell me and/or pet him - he will hiss and back up, because he can smell the other cat on me and my clothes. I had to go back to work this morning, so after my shower I went up to give the new cat his food etc., and he actually let me touch him on the head - granted it was while he was headed to the food bowl, but still he didn't hiss or growl. I had on my work clothes and hadn't touched either of my cats yet. So when I'm spending time with the new cat I need de-scent myself! Thanks!
 

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New cat tree/condo arrived today! He has been playing on it for over an hour now! When I finally got it all put together, he was climbing and almost slipped and I grabbed him and helped him on up and he seemed fine with it. Hopefully he will take to the top perch and feel safe and comfortable and stay out of the closet now.
 

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Its been almost a month since we got the new cat - Mr. G. After we got his cat tree, he immediately came down out of the closed and has only been back up there 1 time. I questioned the previous owner and realized that his Rough (really rough) behavior was what he thought of as playing.. yea. He would try and slap treats out of my hand (never using his claws), he would go for your hands sometimes when playing with toys, he would lung at me and then sprint off across the room - only to come right back and rub up against me, if you tried to leave the room he would try and attach himself to your leg, even jumping at me and pushing off in a matrix move. All of this apparently stemmed from living with 4 dogs and his daddy playing with him just like he did the dogs. The jumping at my legs was caused because Mr. G wasn't allowed to go out when all the dogs would get to go out for walks, and he would attack his owners legs when they would try and leave with him. So at least I knew where it was all coming from. He doesn't really like being petting that much, except at night, when its time for bed, he immediately gets in the bed and cuddles, you can pet him, pick him up, rub his belly, he doesn't care. Maybe he's really tired by that time and his defenses are down. A little over a week ago he was getting really curious about what was on the other side the the bedroom door (2 door in his room - 1 to the hall and 1 to the balcony overlooking the downstairs of the house) So I decided to open the door to the balcony door so he could see the other cats but still feel safe. He would alternate between hissing and growling at them to just sitting there and watching them. My husband would get them to all play together using one of the da bird toys - and there would be no hissing/growling, we did that for about a week. Then last Sunday we decided to open the bedroom door so he could explore the hall, landing and come down the stairs if he wanted to (baby gate at the bottom). He was all about checking that out. We had out 2 cats locked in the master bedroom. G came down, jumped the gate and explored the house, hissing and growling the entire time, I fed him in the kitchen so he would associate it with something good and then he finally went back to his safe room. He did this several more times that day and that night, we were always very aware of where our 2 cats were at. He as back to hissing and growling at me now. The next night when I saw him coming down - I got the Siamese and held her, we were sitting about 5 feet away and G came on over the gate and walked around the house, making noises the entire time and then went back to his room. My Tonk just kinda hung back watching him and then retreated to the master bedroom. Mr. G did this same thing for a few days but my 2 were always locked away. We were leaving the door open all day and closing it at bedtime. THEN last Thursday my husband got in teh shower (yea I know stupid) and our 2 cats were out and of course Mr. G decided to some down stairs. When my husband noticed him he was in the kitchen just walking around, the Tonk was on the desk just watching him (I don't think Mr. G even saw him) then Mr. G wandered into the master bedroom, well that's where the Siamese was sleeping... Mr. G was looking out all the windows and then something work up the siamese and my sweet little timid, runs and hides when the doorbell rings or something loud is on the tv, hides her head under my arm when she's scared, turned into a Mountain Lion! She chased Mr. G out of the bedroom, through the Den, through the Kitchen and Study until Finally Mr. Go jumped the gate and went back to his safe room. No one ever touched the other one but the sounds were horrific! I was shocked when a few hours later Mr. G came back down the stairs, of course by now the Siamese has planted herself at the bottom of the stairs. G hissed and made noises and then they both attacked the gate trying to get at each other, then G retreats to his safe room. This has happened several more times. Earlier this afternoon both of my cats were in the sreened in room on the deck and G came downstairs, I got up and shut the door to the screen room - G walked around for a while, used their litter box, climbed their cat tree... then he saw them through the glass door to the screen room - and he bolted back upstairs. We have had to lure him out of the safe room with his food now. I am feeding him on the stairs and feeding the tonk at the bottom of the stairs at the same time. The siamese isn't as interested in food so I either put her up or hold her so that she's not just pacing back and forth and staring at him. I understand why Mr. G is scared and making all the noises (he is suppose to be a very submissive cat to everyone and everything living with the 4 dogs and all) but as long as he is putting on a show with all the noises, my Siamese is going to try and attack him, I have never seen her tail get that big - as it does when they are both right at the gate having their hissing and godawful noise wars! It happened this morning right after I don't know what else to do. Someone suggested putting my 2 in a carrier and letting Mr. G meet them that way OR putting Mr. G in the carrier and letting my 2 meet him. Someone suggested putting everyone in harnesses (they are all 3 use to a harness) or in a carrier and taking them to a neutral spot that no one is "claiming" and letting them meet that way. I don't see "more time" helping this situation - the siamese is relentless in watching the stairs now and I'm just shocked that G keeps occasionally trying to come down, but still with all the hissing and noises. My husband is ready to get rid of him right now! because its upsetting our Tonk and we have had to increase his medication (feline hyperesthesia) he was having break through episodes and pulling out tufts of hair. Fortunately he has gone back to work, but will be home again Friday. I'm about ready to medicate everyone in hopes that they will all chill and get along! Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Adult cats fighting - what can I do?

Its been almost a month since we got brought our adopted 2 ½ year old cat (Mr. G.) home. He was born and raised in Hawaii with 4 small dogs and seriously thinks he’s a dog. He had to fly from HI to Atlanta and then a 2hr car ride to Alabama - so he was locked in a carrier for upwards of 14hours. Needless to say he was terrified when we finally go him home. His 2nd day at my house he smelled my siamese on the other side of the door and he got very very upset and did some really ugly growling and took off to the closet. He stayed on a high shelf in the closet for about a week until we got this cat tree - and he has been perched on it ever since and not back in the closet. All the hissing and growling immediately stopped. He stayed away from the bedroom door. I questioned the previous owner and realized that his Rough (really rough) behavior was what he thought of as playing... he would try and slap treats out of my hand (never using his claws), he would go for your hands sometimes when playing with toys, he would lung at me and then sprint off across the room - only to come right back and rub up against me, if you tried to leave the room he would try and attach himself to your leg, even jumping at me and pushing off in a matrix move. He will lightly bite and tug (and toss his head) at my coat sleeves, etc All of this apparently stemmed from living with 4 dogs and his owners playing with him just like he did the dogs. The jumping at my legs was caused because Mr. G wasn't allowed to go out when all the dogs would get to go out for walks, and he would attack his owners legs when they would try and leave without him. So at least I knew where it was all coming from. He doesn't really like being petting that much, Except at night, when its time for bed, he immediately gets in the bed and cuddles, exposes his belly and flops around, you can pet him, pick him up, rub his belly, he doesn't care. Maybe he's really tired by that time and his defenses are down.

A little over a week ago he was getting really curious about what was on the other side the the bedroom door (2 door in his room - 1 to the hall and 1 to the balcony overlooking the downstairs of the house) So I decided to open the door to the balcony door so he could see the other cats but still feel safe. He would alternate between hissing and growling at them to just sitting there and watching them. My husband would get them to all play together using one of the da bird toys - and there would be no hissing/growling, we did that for about a week. Then last Sunday we decided to open the bedroom door so he could explore the hall, landing and come down the stairs if he wanted to (baby gate at the bottom). He was all about checking that out. We had our 2 cats locked in the master bedroom. Mr. G came down, jumped the gate and explored the house, hissing and growling the entire time, I fed him in the kitchen so he would associate it with something good and then he finally went back to his safe room.

He did this several more times that day and that night but out cats were always locked away or in our laps. My Tonk just kinda hungs back and watches or retreats to the master bedroom. Mr. G did this same routine for a few days. Wanting to come downstairs but being very on edge and agitated while he was exploring. We were leaving the bedroom door open all day and closing it at bedtime thinking he would eventually get comfortable with the rest of the house and quit the hissing/growling while he was downstairs. BUT THEN last Thursday my husband got in the shower (yea I know stupid) and our 2 cats were out and of course Mr. G decided to some down stairs. When my husband noticed him he was in the kitchen just walking around, the Tonk was on the desk just watching him (I don't think Mr. G even saw him) then Mr. G wandered into the master bedroom, well that's where the Siamese was sleeping... Mr. G was looking out all the windows and then something work up the siamese and my sweet little timid, runs and hides when the doorbell rings, hides her head under my arm when she's scared, turned into a Mountain Lion! She chased Mr. G out of the bedroom, through the Den, through the Kitchen and Study until Finally Mr. Go jumped the gate and went back to his safe room. No one ever touched the other one but the sounds were horrific! I was shocked when a few hours later Mr. G came back down the stairs, of course by now the Siamese has planted herself at the bottom of the stairs. G hissed and made noises and then they both attacked the gate trying to get at each other, then G retreats to his safe room. This has happened several more times. If he doesn’t see the siamese he will come on over the gate - if he see’s her, he will still come on down, but then it ends up in a yowling match and slapping at the gate and Mr. G runs back to his safe room. Yesterday afternoon both of my cats were on the deck and G came downstairs, I got up and shut the door leading out to the deck - G walked around for a while, used their litter box, climbed their cat tree... then he just saw them through the glass door to the deck - and he bolted back upstairs.

We are having to feed him outside the safe room now (he loves his wet food) because he wasn’t wanting to come out of the safe room - he had food, water, litter box, people came to play with him and sleep with him - why leave? But he comes on out to eat and then curiosity gets the best of him and he tries to venture down the stairs I have been feeding him on the stairs so he can see the Tonk eating at the same time The siamese isn't as interested in food so getting her to play along is impossible - so I either put her up or hold her so that she's not just pacing back and forth and staring at him. He came downstairs again last night, I shut the bedroom door where the siamese was sleeping and I had the Tonk in my lap - Mr. G came right on down, he looked at the Tonk a lot but never made a noise and went on about his exploring everything in the house. I understand why Mr. G is scared and making all the noises (he is suppose to be a very submissive cat to everyone and everything living with the 4 dogs and all) but as long as he is putting on a show with all the noises, my Siamese is going to try and attack him, I have never seen her tail get as big as it does when they are yowling at each other!

I’m at a loss as to what to try next. I just don't know what else to do. Someone suggested putting my 2 in a carrier and letting Mr. G meet them that way OR putting Mr. G in the carrier and letting my 2 meet him. Someone suggested putting everyone in harnesses (they are all 3 use to a harness) or in a carrier and taking them to a neutral spot that no one is "claiming" and letting them meet that way. I don't see "more time" helping this situation - the siamese is relentless in watching the stairs now just waiting on him to make an appearance and locking her away isn’t really an option, its not fair to her and she would tear the door down trying to get out. I'm just shocked that G keeps trying to come down, but still with all the hissing and noises - if he would stop with all the noises, the siamese might behave and back off. I learned from the previous owner that the only time he has seen another cat was a few months back when the neighbors cat chased him - he ran so hard that the vet said he pulled a muscle in his back leg (we didn’t know this when we agreed to take him) My husband is ready to get rid of Mr. G right now! because its upsetting our Tonk and we have had to increase his medication (feline hyperesthesia) he was having break through episodes and pulling out tufts of hair. Fortunately he has gone back to work, but will be home again Friday. I'm about ready to medicate everyone in hopes that they will all chill and get along! I do not want to get rid of Mr. G, I feel sorry for him, its not his fault he was raised the way he was or was just up and Given away by the only family he had ever known, and I don’t want to do that to him again. He’s friendly when he wants to be, but I don’t see anyone at a shelter adopting a cat that they can’t even pet without getting slapped! Any suggestions? I’ll try anything at this point. Thanks!
 

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I actually think you're doing great! Some cats do take longer than others to adjust. You might try exchanging their bedding every couple of nights so if they want to sleep on something soft it always has lots of the "other" cats smell on it. This is one of the tricks I use. Trying the neutral area is also good. Keeping the gate between them and feeding just out of sight and gradually moving the bowls closer together could also be tried. I've also heard of using a drop of vanilla or some other strong smell on everyone so they all smell the same. My last intro between animals took 4 mos. but was well worth the effort to go slow and easy so no one gets hurt or has bad memories. GL, B
 

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Happy to report that I think I make some progress tonight! My Siamese (Mia) is not tempted with food of any shape form or fashion, if there is anything more interesting going on, she will ignore her food. Plus after the last reaction to the new cat smelling her through the door, I figured it was pointless to try the feeding on opposite sides of the door. But, I knew I needed to try something/anything to make some kind of progress. I gave the new cat his food which he loves and he's always hungry so that helps, shut the door, took down the gate and encouraged Mia over to the stairs, once she saw the gate down she bolted up the stairs. I had a pocket full of her favorite dry food that she alwaysssss wants more of, and I put it by the door, she walked right past it. But the new cat smelled it and was trying to put his foot under the door to get it, so Mia got to touch him and really smell him. They both sniffed and tried to see under the door for a good 20min. No hissing or growling!! The new cat was actually on his back trying to get the food under the door, I slid a few pieces in to him some would be happy, and he was making his little playful meow sounds. Mia was doing the same and ended up in my lap purring. That's when I took her back downstairs and put the gate back up and then praised and loved on her for a good while. I'll try doing the same thing tomorrow. I was really really happy that it went so well. I wonder how many days I should keep doing it, before letting the new cat try and come downstairs again?
 
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