Cat Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I want to apologize for the loooooooong post, but we really need some advice!

We are having issues introducing our new cat, Dino (8 month old male) to our other three cats. Our other cats are all females between 1.5 and 2 years old. There is plenty of space in our home, we have a sufficient number of litter boxes, and there is something for the cats to climb on in almost every room.

Dino was adopted on the 15th. We were familiar with the introduction process of separating the cats by a door, then feeding them on opposite sides of the door, scent swapping, etc. because we had to do it when we adopted Ava about a year ago. (It really only took about a week before we could leave her with the other two cats and not be worried.) Anyway, Dino has his own area of the house upstairs and the females have the rest of the house. As expected, there was a good amount of hissing/growling from the females the first few days. We just fed the girls and Dino on opposite sides of the door and rubbed them with washcloths to expose them to each others' scents.

After a few days had passed, we let Dino out with the rest of the cats for very short periods. There was still occasional hissing/growling, but the only cat that seemed extremely upset by him was Ava. A good amount of the time she'd ignore him, but he pounced on her a couple of times and she did NOT appreciate it. I really, really think that he was trying to play and not trying to fight, but I guess that's just my opinion. Either way, once he pounces on her she gets into a mood where she just doesn't want him anywhere around, and she makes that really clear. (Note: He has pounced on the other two cats but they haven't reacted as strongly. They'll hiss and swat at him a little but it doesn't go beyond that. He never hisses back at anyone.)

Dino was out with everyone a lot over the past weekend because we were home to supervise. There were a couple little hissing/growling/swatting incidents, but nothing too serious. However, last night Dino was only out for about and hour after dinner when Ava got really upset with him. Unfortunately I don't know what exactly triggered it because I had walked into the other room. I heard a commotion and came running. It was the most aggressive I've ever seen Ava get, and my husband suggested that we not let Dino out with the other cats at all today. I think that's probably wise.

Here are my questions. Do we need to completely start the introduction process over again from square one? At this point, is there still any hope at all that the cats (really mainly Ava) will tolerate him? (I do not need them to be best friends or anything.) Do the "resident" cats need to each spend time with Dino one-on-one so it's not so overwhelming?

I know this is something that can't be rushed, but I just HATE leaving Dino separated all day. He meows frequently because he wants to be able to run around. It breaks my heart. At the same time, I hate seeing Ava upset and I obviously don't want to risk the safety of any cat. I am really hoping that there are some possible solutions here, but maybe we have a three cat maximum :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,862 Posts
Ahhhh, the trials and tribulations of introducing a kitten to adults. Of course he wanted to play and of course Ava was indignant. What exactly did Ava do? He is probably going to have to remain somewhat isolated until he learns manners or he's going to get his butt kicked by Ava - which in retrospect might not be a bad idea. I don't think you have 3 cat max, but it may mean Dino may be a tad too young for Ava to deal with right now. Others will be more helpful, I hope!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Hahaha, what's funny is that I always thought of Ava as the most playful of our three females, and she is the least likely to play with him! She did a lot of spitty sounding hissing and made this awful, angry meowing sound that made her sound like she was being tortured, had her ears back, claws out, and was trying to tackle him. I guess it just freaks me out because I've never seen anything like that happen and I don't know how much it takes for a cat to actually get hurt. Plus that noise was so terrible! I think it was the worst part honestly.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
I know that sound you are talking about - it definitely raises the hair on the back of one's neck. I think it sounds like Ava definitely feels threatened by Dino and is now making sure he doesn't get the jump on her by being the aggressor. When he jumped on her he may very well have been playing but she obviously didn't think so - also, whether or not he was playing he needs to learn to respect the resident cats' signals that they don't want to play.

Do you know anything about Dino's beginnings? For example, whether or not he was with his mother and littermates for sufficient amount of time? If not, sometimes cats don't learn the 'signals' and how to relate to other cats. It doesn't mean they can't learn it, but it might put some cats off (like Ava) until they do.

It doesn't sound to me like it's a good idea to have Dino and Ava out together unsupervised right now. You could rotate them in and out of the group, or have just the two of them out together so you can concentrate on feeding them treats together, playing with wand toys, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately I don't know anything about his beginnings, but I'm betting that he was on his own for a while. His foster is the one that found him, so maybe I'll contact him to see if he has more info.

Don't worry - I'm definitely not going to have them together unsupervised. Maybe this weekend I will try the rotation thing. I don't know why that didn't even occur to me!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top