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Hello all:

I am new to CF, i posted that I was new. Those of you who did not read, I have two cats. The older cat is Nova, a female who is 2 years old. 5 Days ago, we got a new cat who is a male, named Raisin. He is 6 months old. They are both 100% indoor cats.

Beware this is long, but i'd really really appreciate help from people with experience, so please read!! :)

My boyfriend and I kept them separate the first day, but that night made the mistake of putting them together and Nova swiped at Raisin so we separated them. We did the closed door separation, then went to the baby gate separation. Nova is quite the hunter, and she would try to hunt Raisin through the gate, by stalking and then hitting the fence, which would cause Raisin to scamper off under our bed. After a few days, we took this as Nova wanting to play and the hissing subsided. Also today I noticed for a good 15 seconds they were pawing each other through the gate in a nice way. So, my boyfriend came home and we thought we would try putting them together again. We pet them both when we took the gate down, and they were within 2 feet of each other and seemed to be okay. (this was in the bedroom where Raisin had been staying for the past 4 days) It seemed like once they migrated to the living room, Nova got upset and immediately chased Raisin into hiding. Nova's tail got VERY bushy, and the hair on her back raised. Nova stalked and tried to get Raisin out of hiding, and Raisin growled. My boyfriend put Nova in her harness and let her walk semi freely with it on just to make sure she wouldn't stalk. It seemed very aggressive that's why we did this. Raisin seemed scared and didn't want to get close to Nova. So we did this for about half and hour and Nova was stalking the entire time. Eventually we put them separate again with the baby gates up.

My question is, if Nova seems to be really aggressive, and Raisin seems to growl back, should I keep them separate longer? I just feel like if Nova got ahold of Raisin it would break out in a fight, and I am VERY nervous about that kind of stuff. To me, Nova's back hair raising and intense stalking/hunting isn't a good sign. Is it normal for a cat to hunt another cat?

I just need advice, am I being a nervous wreck or am I being properly cautious? Thank you in advance for all the help I appreciate it.
 

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I would separate them and try again. Some of the members here have taken months to fully introduce their cats, while others just take one day... basically it just depends on the cats. Besides separating the cats, make sure you do things like swapping their beds (for the smells) and maybe swap their "territories" a few times so Raisin has a chance to explore the whole house before meeting Nova. When I got my second cat, I really encouraged them to play through the door by passing toy mice to each other and I would give them lots of treats whenever they were near each other. Good luck!
 

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If Nova's being aggressive (hair standing on end, stalking) and Raisin is growling, then it's too soon for the two of them to be together. I would put Raisin back in his room. If they're ok being separated by baby gates, then continue to do that. Feed both cats on either side of the gate and do a few 5 or 10 minutes play sessions on either side of the gate each day.

You should also try doing a room exchange once or twice a day. Put Nova in Raisin's room and let Raisin explore the rest of the house. That way, they will start getting more accustomed to each other's smells, and their scents will start to mingle on things throughout the house, creating a "communal" or family scent...which will help to make both cats feel like they belong.

See how they react to each other by the gate after a few days and, if they seem ok, you can try another face-to-face at that point.
 

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I think that the other members have given some great advice. Just keep trying. Try your best when they are together to not feel scared or nervous. Your cats will feel this and think that there is a reason to be feeling this way and match your feelings.

Cats are creatures of territory. Right now the safety room is Raisin's territory and the rest of the place is Nova's. When you brought Raisin into the living room she was in Nova's turf. It is a normal cat reaction for Nova to feel threatened by this. This is another reason why the room swapping with scents is a great idea. They get the impression that this new cat and scent is now a permanent part of the area. This signifies that the boundaries have changed. As they come together they will establish new territories, what yours, whats mine, and what is neutral. Keep up the hard work and I can't wait to hear how it is going!
 
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