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Discussion Starter #1
I got a new male cat just over two weeks ago and went through a quick introduction with my resident female cat (the new cat escaped from his room one day and introduced himself). Until this week, things had been improving (she is still hissing and growling, but it had lessened).

Each morning this week, at around 5:30 am, he has decided it's time to play, and begins egging on the other cat - who does NOT want to play with him and starts hissing and growling from the bed, then jumps down to run away, only to have him chase after her with some swipes. Our solution, so far, has been to bring him to his room, and separate them until we are awake.

Today at 6am, we awoke to sounds of ripping and shredding - he tore open the box spring from underneath the bed. Later this morning, he started to chase her again, which resulted in lots of growling and hissing.

It SEEMS like he really just wants to play (he's shown interest in my pathetic and brief attempts to engage him in toys, but continues if I go back to bed).

I've been playing with him right before bed, in an attempt to tire him out for the whole night, but obviously that's not working.

I was thinking of shutting him in his room for the next few nights to try to break the cycle (???)

Or, a bit of me is wondering if much of the problem is stemming from their abrupt introduction, and her wariness of him. In which case, I should do a re-introduction (???)

I can't stand to see my little girl chased and swiped at by that big boy :(
What should I do?
 

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Yes, you'll have to keep reintroducing them for a few months.

Keep them separate at all times, except when you're there to supervise them.

After a year and a half, I still keep my 12 year-old resident cat with us at night and the other 4 much younger kitties locked in the kitchen. This is so we get some peace to sleep as well as he. The kitchen is large enough for them to play and run around. When they get older and more used to sleeping at the same time as we do, we might let them out on a trial basis.

For your kitties, I do suggest keeping them separate whenever you're not around to supervise them. They'll be able to smell each other through the door. When you do let them around each other, watch what they do. Discourage your male kitty from disturbing your female kitty. Say a sharp no or use a water spray.

I assume he's a lot younger than her, and is hence more playful. This is quite normal. For your female kitty's peace of mind, don't let him harrass her. She might become stressed and start overgrooming (like my eldest). I had to take my eldest kitty's side (still do actually) till he felt confident enough to defend himself and swipe back.

In time (for us it took 6 months) they'll get used to each other (this means being in the same room and looking somewhat restful). That does not mean to say the boy won't start annoying her again, it might just mean she's starting to swipe back and reinforce her position as queen of the house. :) Once they've established their pecking order they should be fine. They may not like each other, but most will at the very least accept each other. If the stars align, they may even love each other and start grooming each other. But that's usually not very likely unless they were raised together.

I have a full account (at my blog http://fivecats.blogspot.com) of how I introduced my then 11 year-old only cat to 2 new kittens, then another 2. I hope it would help. Introducing cats can take some patience and rearrangement of the home, but the ultimate joy of seeing them touch noses is really worth it. :D

All the best!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you threecats. I have to tell you, I've spent much of my time today reading your online blog (what a bunch of cutie-pies you have!). I was having mixed feelings about having to separate them every night, but it seems to have really worked for your Boy.

Our new cat IS younger (10 months vs. Pfeffa's 7 years) and has so much energy it's unbelievable. If he wasn't so big, I'd swear he was much younger.

We started the separation yesterday at dinner time, and have spent a lot of time with both cats since then. Pfeffa slept away most of the evening - I think she's exhausted from constantly being on alert - and seems generally calmer and happier. I've attempted twice to encourage her to climb the stairs (the door to Boba's rooms is at the top of the stairs) but she's really not interested.

I'm not sure what to do next.
 

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Let the cats' behavior guide you in when and what the next step should be. It's their schedule, not yours, that is in charge here.

The main thing is to get both cats to associate good things with the presence of the other. Here's more details:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... roductions

A single escape does not constitute an introduction. If it occurs, just separate them again and back up a step.

He obviously has a *lot* of extra energy. As much as possible, keep him up and about during the day, and add an extra play session in the morning. See http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... w&item=012

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks drjean - your advice is invaluable and those articles are so helpful.

I'm working to keep all interactions positive and not push anyone into something they're not ready for. I think too, because Boba seemed so completely happy and never apprehensive around Pfeffa, and never outwardly showed any signs of stress (well, until this past week), that I mistakenly assumed that he was completely fine with the introduction process, and shrugged off the fact that he was dealing with the stress of new humans, a new environment, and a un-welcoming resident cat. Poor guy.

I'm also spending big chunks of time with each kitty, so they each get one-on-one attention and kisses, and an opportunity to work out some of the stress with play. I'm anticipating a lengthy process.
 

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ospunkyo: It sounds like you're off to a great start integrating them.

Boy does also feel more relaxed when he knows the kitties are safely locked up in the kitchen and that he won't be suddenly rudely awakened by a naughty kitten playing with his tail. :D

I'm sure your two kids will get along fine in time.

Cheers,
FiveCatsMom

P.s. Thanks for your compliments on my 5 naughties. :D
 

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I share your stress... I started a post similar to this here. My older cat 13yr old female (Ripley) has a new addition to contend with, an approx 2yr old female (BooBoo)...

The new girl looks like she just wants to be sociable, but in doing so is really making Ripley stressed. She hides under the beds, and doesn't want to come out, and she HAD been a VERY social cat, my lap cat in fact.

We started keeping them separated once again, and Ripley is feeling much more comfortable. We'll do room exchanges, etc. for a while... I'm going to put a temporary screen door on the family room (replacing the solid door), so that they can "see" without touching....

I wish you luck.... Doesn't make you sad that they just can't get along!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pfeffa is definitely more relaxed and braver - she sat with me on the sofa this morning right next to the evil lazyboy recliner.

My house is just not very conducive to cat introductions - there are no rooms downstairs that I can use as a base camp, so he's upstairs, where she doesn't even care to venture.

MichaelKo: I remember reading your thread and thinking how you and I *are* in very similar situations (I didn't feel I could offer any advice since I was feeling like such a failure in my own introduction attempts). I think my new cat, Boba, became comfortable quicker than Pfeffa, and he wants to play (chase and pounce type of play) but she is so completely not ready to have a cat chasing her, let alone sneaking up behind her, and gets spooked, then runs...he thinks "Chasing Game!" and runs after her...It's a bad circle.

I'll be curious to hear how your screen door idea works out. I was thinking of doing a smiliar thing by stacking up some baby gates in the hallway to divide up the space and allow safe interaction without having to shut him upstairs. Boba, oddly, doesn't seem to have the desire to jump up on things, so if they were high enough, he *might* not even attempt to jump over...at least for a day or so.
 

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My fiancee uses the baby gates as you described to keep two of her cats that don't get along separated. It works for them... But in our cases, it seems we have a cat that insists upon "getting to" the other cat. And I have to agree with your observation in my place as well: when Ripley turns to run away, BooBoo sees it as a signal to go for her...

I haven't done the screen door yet: I've been mulling over the possible bad aspects... if they could see one another, BooBoo may become more determined to get out... etc. I stll may do it, but right now its separate areas, and allowing BooBoo house access when I have Ripley shut in the bedroom (which has food/water and litter, since when BooBoo had been out, Ripley was a recluse there).

Hope we have success!

Mike
 

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I'm going through a similar thing right now.
I have a year and a half old female called Mei and a 11 week old female called Jinks.
Mei has never been a very friendly or sociable cat, she only likes my partner and pretty much just tolerates me and other people.
Jinks on the other hand is so clingy and loves being tickled everywhere all day. I try not to pet Jinks around Mei but Jinks is so clingy and usually wants to be on me all the time.
I keep Jinks locked in her own room whenever I am not around and at night. They are not fighting but Mei does growl and hiss whenever Jinks gets too close.
I was told to introduce them by someone I know with cats but reading this site and others I see it was the wrong thing to do so soon. I was recommended to lengthen their time together by another cat site now that they have already met as they are not fighting. Jinks seems to like Mei and always wants to approach whereas Mei doesn't want to know.
I'm giving Mei treats next to Jinks so she can associate the treats with being close, paying attention to Mei first in a room and making sure they are not alone together.
Although Mei has thrown a few swipes at Jinks they look very harmless, almost like playing but then she seems to remember herself and starts to growl and back off again.
I've also done the vanilla trick (dab on chin and tail of each cat) but that doesn't seem to make any difference. But then i'm not a cat so i might be missing the difference.
It's been just over a week of being introduced now and I'm wondering if this is normal behaviour and if it will settle down eventually.
I just hate seeing my little Mei looking so grumpy.
What does everyone think? I saw someone say to somebody else that the cats should not be allowed to see each other again for a few weeks, is this really necessary now they've been introduced? Or should I keep doing what I'm doing?
Any help would be welcomed... :D
 

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I guess we would all like our cats to behave as we think they "should"! Wouldn't we all be happier!!

from all the different posts I have read, the solution by drjean is "separate until they are ready"....

I've gone back to isolating my cats, though I don't think i will "know" when my Ripley will be ready. BooBoo appears to have been born ready! For all I can see, Ripley being older, I'm betting she will never "be ready". Isolating them is hard on BooBoo, She REALLY wants to be around us! She moews up a storm when I spend time with her in the am before work, and getting out without her squirting out the door is getting harder to do!! I am fearful that the longer I Keep her away, the more "overly enthusiastic" she will be when she sees Ripley once again....

But separation seems to be the mantra.... Ripley sure likes it! When I first got her, she was a year old, and my other cat at that time - Samantha - was about three. I was living in a studio at the time, and ignorant of cat psychology, so it was 'Open the carrier and out ya go"..... After a few days of getting used to the new place, Ripley and Samantha became quite good friends... Now however, things are different.

I guess the age difference is figuring in, and perhaps Ripley wants to be the only spoiled cat in the castle... who knows!! What works for one set of cats may not work,or may never work, for others.... But slow introductions, with supervision to avoid bad fights seems like the best advice. For me it is better than seeing a cat go into hiding, obviously not happy.... So We trying it again... And I also bought two Feliway diffusers and a territorial essence to use... no effect....

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think I've read the "cat-to-cat introduction" article over on little big cat about 17 times, hoping to find some new little trick to try.

Mike - you've said a few times that you are not sure how to tell when Ripley is "ready". I don't either, and that's one of my problems with the process - I'd like to know more about how to judge your cat's reaction to all these tricks to know when to move to the next level of introductions.

What little signs could you watch for to know that you can move to the next step?

What is an acceptable amount of hissing (or growling) - and should you move to the next step if there is still hissing?

What about chasing (particularly one-sided chasing) - forge ahead or step back?

Mynx - I've also did the vanilla dabbing, but didn't find that it had any noticable effect on the cats either.

The only thing I've had success with is short periods of joint play time, in a hallway - the small space and with the rooms off the hall, I can keep the older cat somewhat out of sight while I tempt the other with toys and keep him occupied and distracted from being naughty. During lulls, they have brushed by each other, touched noses, and sniffed each other. I discourage them from playing with the same toy at the same time, though. And they each get one-on-one play/loving time when separated.

I've known cats that simply will not tolerate having another cat around. Those cats attack the new cats. There are fights and it's ugly. My two are certainly not attacking each other - Boba is energetic and impulsive, and Pfeffa is slow to accept change.
 
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