Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know, we brought Mui Mui home about 10 days ago.
We have been introducing her to Cheetah and Panther. We let Mui Mui into our bedroom and Cheetah and Panther stay in the living room.

We exchange toys, exchange rooms, put the carrier Mui Mui stayed for a while for Cheetah and Panther to smell for the first 3 days. 3 sections each day.

Then we put Mui Mui 2 feet behind a baby gate in the carrier for Cheetah and Panther to look at. We give them treats each time they see each other. This lasted about 3 days, 2-3 sectons each day, until they are not hissing when they see Mui Mui behind the gate.

Then we let Mui Mui out from the carrier behind the gate. We let Mui Mui play a toy, and then throw it to the other side of the baby gate to let Cheetah and Panther play. We did this 2-3 sections each day for 2 days.

Then we put Mui Mui in the carrier and put it in the living roon with Cheetah and Panther. We are right next to the carrier all the time.

Cheetah and Panther were hissing Mui Mui here and there before but now Cheetah is getting better at Mui Mui. Yesterday, he only hissed once when we put Cheetah and Mui Mui both in bedroom, Cheetah in the carrier and Mui Mui get loose in the room. When it was Mui Mui's turn to get into the carrier, Cheetah rolled on his back right in front of the carrier. We consider this as a good sign. Please tell me if I am wrong.

Sometimes Cheetah will bat Panther real hard if Panther is hissing at Mui Mui.

On the other hand, Panther is still hissing at Mui Mui when she is in the carrier. Panther will get close to carrier and hiss. He is also becoming stressed out. He hissed at the chicken when Cheetah gets close. About the 2nd day Mui Mui came home, Panther hissed at me because I have Mui Mui's smell on my hand (I think). And this morning, Panther (I think) poo'd on the floor. This has never happened before. Panther has been a sensitive kitty. Do you think the introduction will go well?

We might be faster than normal on the introduction, should we reverse a little bit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,268 Posts
Yes, Panther is showing his displeasure and stress by pooing outside of his litter box. You are rushing the intro. You don't want him to get in the habit of pooing outside his box. Go back to having them in separate rooms.... with the baby gate separating them. It will depend on the cats but rather than days or weeks, it may take them months. Sorry, you probably didn't want to hear that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes, Panther is showing his displeasure and stress by pooing outside of his litter box. You are rushing the intro. You don't want him to get in the habit of pooing outside his box. Go back to having them in separate rooms.... with the baby gate separating them. It will depend on the cats but rather than days or weeks, it may take them months. Sorry, you probably didn't want to hear that.
Yes, we know Panther is stressed. He shows in this daily behaviour. So pooing outside the litter box means his stress level has increased?
We don't mind going backwards, we just hope it will work one day.

So how about Cheetah? Should I continue the introduction process with Cheetah and see if Cheetah and Mui Mui can get along easier? What does Cheetah meant when he rolled on his back in front of Mui Mui's carrier?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,268 Posts
Often that's a play soliciting behaviour, but on the other hand maybe he was expressing "oh good, she's locked in the carrier, now I can relax and don't have to worry about being attacked" (ha ha). I would progress with your intro to Cheetah since he seems to be more cool and accepting of Mui. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
I would slow down the introduction. You will have the cats for another 15 years or so, and it's worth taking a few extra weeks or even an extra month now to make sure the next 15 years are peaceful and happy! I presume you have the baby gate on the bedroom door. If so, leave Mui Mui in the bedroom, with the baby gate in place.

Try feeding all three cats beside the baby gate...with Mui Mui in the bedroom and Panther and Cheetah on the other side of the gate. You might have to place the bowls 6 or 8 feet away from the gate at first, in order for Panther and, possibly, Cheetah to be comfortable...but put them as close as you can, and move them a bit closer to the gate each time. Also try playing with the cats on either side of the gate, and giving them treats as you're doing. The more "good things" that happen by the gate every day, the quicker the cats will get used to each other.

Also, once a day, switch the cat's places. So, put Panther and Cheetah in the bedroom, and let Mui Mui out of the bedroom to explore the rest of the house. That way, Panther and Cheetah will get more accustomed to Mui Mui's smells, and vice versa. Plus, all of the cats will be depositing their scent throughout the house, which creates a communal or family scent, which is also important to the cats ultimately accepting each other. When you exchange rooms, make sure the cats don't "bump into" each other (you can use the carrier to help with that).

Before you put either Panther or Cheetah together with Mui Mui, wait until you see signs that one or the other is ready. Cheetah sounds like he will be ready first. So, wait until at least a full day or has passed with no hissing from Cheetah. Other good signs would be when Cheetah is comfortable eating right next to the gate with Mui Mui right beside, or if you see Cheetah approaching the gate and trying to sniff Mui Mui or trying to play footsies with her, etc. When you see those sorts of things happening, you can put Cheetah and Mui Mui together in the bedroom (with you there to supervise), and take it from there.

Keep doing the same thing with Panther until he too is ready to accept Mui Mui. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Susan, thank you for your reply.

The baby gate is actually between the living room and an entrance area. We used it to stop Cheetah from running out the door. I think it might be better since Cheetah and Panther can see Mui Mui all the time whenever she is in that entrance area.

The first couple of days during the baby gate separation. Panther was actually the first one to try touching Mui Mui's paws. Then Cheetah went over the bit Panther's neck. It happened a few times.

Now when Mui Mui is in the bedroom, and Cheetah in the living room. Cheetah will sometimes put his paw under the door, and Mui Mui will play with him.

Can you help me understand why Cheetah does not want Panther to approach Mui Mui no matter if Panther is behaving friendly or not?

Regarding who is the Alpha cat in the house, I really don't know. Cheetah is on the top shelf of the condo most of the time. But if Panther goes up and squeezes in with Cheetah, Cheetah won't mind. Sometimes Panther is on the top shelf too. Is Cheetah trying to show his alpha cat position?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Can you help me understand why Cheetah does not want Panther to approach Mui Mui no matter if Panther is behaving friendly or not?

Regarding who is the Alpha cat in the house, I really don't know. Cheetah is on the top shelf of the condo most of the time. But if Panther goes up and squeezes in with Cheetah, Cheetah won't mind. Sometimes Panther is on the top shelf too. Is Cheetah trying to show his alpha cat position?
What is Cheetah doing when Panther tries to approach Mui Mui (in your post you said Cheetah was batting Panther when he hissed at Mui Mui, but not what Cheetah is doing when Panther approaches her). Also, how old are the cats?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
What is Cheetah doing when Panther tries to approach Mui Mui (in your post you said Cheetah was batting Panther when he hissed at Mui Mui, but not what Cheetah is doing when Panther approaches her). Also, how old are the cats?
The first couple days when we put Mui Mui behind the baby gate in the carrier, Cheetah was mainly staying near the gate and looking. Then Panther would come and stay for a little while. There were not hissing because Mui Mui was in the carrier.

When Mui Mui was NOT in the carrier but behind the baby gate. We were playing balls. Mui Mui played the ball for a while and we put the ball really close to the baby gate. So Panther tried to grab the ball through the gate and Cheetah bit his neck.

Other times when Mui Mui got close to the baby gate, Panther tried to reach her paws through the gate and Cheetah bit him also.

A few days later, we put Mui Mui in the carrier in the living room. Panther hissed whenever he got about 1 foot close. Then Cheetah bat Panther on his head. There was one time, same situation, Cheetah hissed back at Panther when Panther hissed at Mui Mui.

That is why we are confused. It was like Cheetah does not want Panther to get close to Mui Mui at first, and now Cheetah does not want Panther to be rude to Mui Mui now.

Cheetah and Panther are both 15 months, and Mui Mui is 3 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
I don't think Cheetah's behavior has anything to do with who is or isn't the alpha cat. A cat's territorial instincts are not fully developed until he or she reaches social maturity, which typically happens at or around 2 years old (between 1.5 to 2.5 years of age). If Cheetah and Panther are only 15 months old, chances are they aren't yet concerned about who is the alpha cat, although they will no doubt start to sort that out in the upcoming months.

The most likely explanation for Cheetah's behavior is something called redirected aggression (if you google "redirected aggression", you will find lots of information). Briefly, redirected aggression occurs when a cat is feeling stressed or agitated about another animal or person that he can't get to. He therefore "redirects" his agression to someone (another cat, person, etc.) that happens to be close by. In this case, it seems like Cheetah is still stressed or agitated with Mui Mui, but since he can't get to Mui Mui because of the baby gate or the carrier, he's redirecting his aggression toward Panther.

If you have seen Cheetah do this lately, I would say that Cheetah is not yet ready to be put together with Mui Mui. So, again I would slow down the introduction process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I don't think Cheetah's behavior has anything to do with who is or isn't the alpha cat. A cat's territorial instincts are not fully developed until he or she reaches social maturity, which typically happens at or around 2 years old (between 1.5 to 2.5 years of age). If Cheetah and Panther are only 15 months old, chances are they aren't yet concerned about who is the alpha cat, although they will no doubt start to sort that out in the upcoming months.

The most likely explanation for Cheetah's behavior is something called redirected aggression (if you google "redirected aggression", you will find lots of information). Briefly, redirected aggression occurs when a cat is feeling stressed or agitated about another animal or person that he can't get to. He therefore "redirects" his agression to someone (another cat, person, etc.) that happens to be close by. In this case, it seems like Cheetah is still stressed or agitated with Mui Mui, but since he can't get to Mui Mui because of the baby gate or the carrier, he's redirecting his aggression toward Panther.

If you have seen Cheetah do this lately, I would say that Cheetah is not yet ready to be put together with Mui Mui. So, again I would slow down the introduction process.
That is a new term to me, thank you for the information. Should I try getting close to Cheetah when Mui Mui is in the carrier to see if Cheetah will react negatively to me? Is redirect aggression common in cats?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
That is a new term to me, thank you for the information. Should I try getting close to Cheetah when Mui Mui is in the carrier to see if Cheetah will react negatively to me? Is redirect aggression common in cats?
Redirected aggression is one of the more common reasons for aggression in cats. You shouldn't try to get close to Cheetah when Mui Mui is in the carrier for two reasons. First, if he does react negatively, you could be sorry you got too close. Second, if he doesn't react negatively, it won't tell you anything anyway. That is, just because Cheetah might be aggressive with Panther doesn't necessarily mean he will be aggressive with you (some cats might get aggressive with people, but other cats won't).

What you should do is give both Cheetah and Panther more time to get used to the idea of having Mui Mui around. Let them guide how quickly the introduction goes and take things at their pace. Don't put the cats together until you no longer see hissing, aggression and/or other negative signs. Wait until you start to see positive signs. I know waiting can be frustrating...it took me three months before I could put my girls together. But taking things at their pace is the best way to ensure success.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank you, Susan. I have never thought of issues like this.
We have decided to start the introduction all over again. Probably eact step will last 1 week.

Well, I have been out working and my brother was helping me introduce them. I told him it is going too fast, and he did not like. He saw some improvements and moved on to next step. Now I have to make him do what I say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Starting over and taking things slowly sounds like the wise approach, but you will need to convince your brother to listen. I understand how your brother feels. When I first introduced Muffs and Abby, they didn't like each other and I felt like saying "Muffs, you're nice. Abby's nice...and I'm nice. We're all nice. So, why don't we all just be friends?"! No luck! So, I too had to start over and take things slowly. Nowadays Muffs and Abby are best friends.

You should tell your brother that, with cats, every step forward is a baby step, but every step backwards is a giant leap. So, each time you try to push something to soon, you take a giant step backwards and it takes that much longer before you get back to where you started. So, it pays to take things slowly, particularly given Panther's reaction (defecating outside of the litter box) and Cheetah's reaction (biting Panther).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I have explained to him, especially now Panther got URI from Mui Mui. Poor Panther is having a fever. He has been taken to the vet today already, and it's on antibiotics.

Since Cheetah and Panther were cagemates, they have been getting along very well. Sometimes the thought of "Did I do wrong by introducing Mui Mui to the family?" came up. I can't help. I feel guilty of stirring things up for Cheetah and Panther.

We love Mui Mui and we want her to stay in our family. And yes, we think Mui Mui is very friendly, welcoming, and thought she would be okay with the boys even she is a lady. We will spend as much time and resources as needed.

What should I look for as a sign that they will not get along? And when should I start looking for those signs? I have a friend who has 2 female cats who do not like each other at all, for 12 years. One hisses at the other one everyday. I do not want that to happen in my family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
You've only had Mui Mui for less than 2 weeks, so it's FAR too early to be worrying about negative signs or about the prospect that they won't be getting along 12 years from now.

I didn't know Mui Mui and Panther were sick until I saw your other post about the supplements. I suggest you put the introduction on hold for a while until all of the cats are back to good health. I suggest you put Mui Mui in a room by herself (your bedroom perhaps, or another spare room) until she and Panther are feeling better. Then start the intro again.

There's no set amount of time that introductions can take. Some only take a day, some take a year, and there are all sorts in between. Of course, neither a day nor a year are common. Most often it takes a few weeks to a few months, depending on the cats.

I think your chances of ultimately having all three cats get along are very good for several reasons: (1) they're all quite young, which usually improves the odds; (2) Cheetah and Panther already get along...so they're not the type of cats who need to be in a single-cat home, and Mui Mui is just a baby, so she'll be fine; and (3) none of your cats seems to have any other behavioral issues (overly aggressive, overly skittish/nervous, etc.) that might cause me to anticipate problems. So, I would suggest you try not to worry so much and try not to feel guilty. If you're worried and stressed, the cats will pick up on that, and then they will be stressed...which will make things more difficult. So, try to relax and enjoy your babies, separately for now, but I'm sure that will change in the near future. I hope they feel better soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thank you for your support, Susan!
When I adopt Mui Mui, I think she will get along with others. I know it isn't any big failure compared to some others on the forum, but still...

Yes, Panther went to the vet today, and he is 12.6 lbs! He is huge, I suspect he is a mini panther.

Panther has been quiet, but he will still come to my laps. I try to give him a long of attention. He has a favourite blanket he will always be on. He will be good soon.

Mui Mui has been playing with Cheetah, separated by the bedroom door. Cheetah will put his paw under the door and Mui Mui will go catch it. I hope that will be first good thing followed by more to come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear that. I know you said he had early poo'd outside of the box, but I didn't realize he was peeing outside as well. If this has happened more than once, you should probably make sure it isn't a medical problem. I know he was just at the vet. Did your vet test him for UTI (urinary tract infection)?

If there's no medical problem, then the other thing you can try is Feliway, which often helps with inappropriate urination that is stress-related.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear that. I know you said he had early poo'd outside of the box, but I didn't realize he was peeing outside as well. If this has happened more than once, you should probably make sure it isn't a medical problem. I know he was just at the vet. Did your vet test him for UTI (urinary tract infection)?

If there's no medical problem, then the other thing you can try is Feliway, which often helps with inappropriate urination that is stress-related.
Sorry for my late reply, no that was the first time Panther pee'd on the carpet, the pooing was the first time too. I am glad that those were isolated incidents. He has been doing good now. The medicine kicked in pretty quick, just one dose and Panther is back to normal, but we have to give him 14 days of medication.

We reversed the introduction, Mui Mui and the boys where separated for a week, with the last 4 days of room exchanging. Yesterday, we let the boys confined behind the baby gate and let Mui Mui run in the living room. It went well, no hissing, probably because when Mui Mui got too close, she ran away herself, so no chance for hissing.

We did the same thing today, and no hissing again :). We fed them together on the different side of the baby gate. Then after 10 mins, we exchange them on different sides of the gate. They played a little with their paws. Panther played too, even Mui Mui put her paw on Panther's face, Panther did not hiss. We think it is getting better.

We will still have the gate separation for another 5-6 days, and then move to another step. What will you suggest as the other step? Should I put Mui Mui in the carrier and put the carrier in the living room?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
I'm glad to hear that the litter box problems were just isolated issues, and it sounds like things are going much better. Your suggestion about continuing with the baby gates for another 5 or 6 days is a good one. During these 5-6 days, you should feed all meals on either side of the gate (if you're not already) and try to play with all three cats about 2 or 3 times a day...even if only for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. Then, end each play time with lots of treats for all three cats. That way, the cats will start to associate good things with each other. Also, keep exchanging the cats, as you're doing, by putting the boys in the bedroom and letting Mui Mui have the run of the house for at least an hour a day. That will continue to create a communal scent, which will make all of the cats feel like everyone is part of the same family.

What to do when the 5 or 6 days are up? A lot will depend on the behavior of the cats at the time. I suspect, at that point, there will be no (or very little) hissing and they'll be playing footsies under the gate. If so, then I don't see a need for a carrier. At that point, I would just open the gate to the bedroom and feed them all together with no gate in between. Then let them groom, and see how things go. Anyway, let's see where you and the cats are in 5 or 6 days...but feel free to post again in the meantime. Good luck!
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top