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Hey gang....thanks for taking the time to read this. I moved in with my girlfriend and brought my two cats with me. Problem is, she has a dog and another cat, and it's been world war 3 (between the cats) since we moved in. I will give details so that someone can hopefully offer suggestions.

I have 2 cats, both about 7 years old. The have been together about 6 years. One is an orange tabby, about 6 whole lbs, who I rescued from being euthanized, and is the love of my life. Her name is Friday (the day I brought her home). The other is named Willie and she is a grey tabby and weighs about 14lbs. Willie is also very sweet but at times kinda timid. Friday is very affectionate, but very fiesty when it comes to other animals. It's kinda funny because she is soooooo small but fearless. They are both fully declawed (I know, I know, never again). I had never owned cats before and was told to get it done. My mistake. Willie and Friday love each other (both are indoor only) but when they they play fight or wrestle, Friday is clearly the champ...so much more aggressive.

My girlfriend has a huge black cat that is front declawed named Buddy. He weighs about 18 lbs. He is very very sweet and very laid back. Rarely hisses and never seems to get worried about much. He is around 7 years old also.

When we first moved in, they all avoided each other, but Friday was so stressed out, she started swatting willie and hissing at her. It has been about a month and Willie really has a problem with buddy. She growls like crazy and if buddy comes within 3 feet of her she screams loudly and starts swatting at him. This causes Friday to come running in the room, bushy-tailed swatting EVERYBODY, including the dog, which is a corgi and gets along with buddy, but is kinda scared of the new cats.

It sounds like mayhem when they are all in the same room (they will awake us from a dead sleep with their screaming), and I usually come in with the squirt bottle squirting my two cats, which promptly causes them to stop fighting and to go hide. Every now and then they can lay in the vicinity of each other act civilized, but not very often.

Will the water eventually teach them to stop all the fighting? They know the squirt bottle, but still try to kill each other if they accidentally run into each other. I suppose they really can't hurt one another (none have front claws and two don't even have back) but I hate for all of them to be so stressed. Is there anything else I can do? Thank goodness my girlfriend's cat (Buddy) is so laid back or it would definitely be worse. He rarely pays attention to my two cats, but mine freak out if he comes into the room. Should I turn it up a notch (squirt if they stare or growl)?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Brian and Denise in Atlanta
 

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Some thoughts...
1. Are all the animals spayed and neutered? I assume so, if not get that done ASAP.
2. Introductions should really be done slowly, with the new animals confined to a space where the old cannot get to them. They can sniff each other through the door and get to know each other that way at first.
3. Their scents may be a problem. Try to switch out blankets/beds they sleep on to get them used to each other's scents. Also you can try Miracle foaming waterless cat shampoo (or something else with a smell, like vanilla) rub a little on their fur and they will all smell like each other.
4. After a bit of a separation, try putting the new cats in a carrier or cat playpen and letting the old cat meet them this way. Then you can switch out and put the other cat in and let the new cats out.
5. You can spray Feliway around the apartment to reduce stress.
Personally, I would go back to square one and separate your cats (I keep calling them new since they are new to the house) from the old cat. Give them a break from each other for a bit and then try again. Don't rush anything. Just feel the situation out and see how they are doing as you go.
 
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