Cat Introduction Help

s ws w Member Posts: 2
edited 29 December, 2008 in Behavior & Training
My cat Spookie has been the only cat in the house for the past 5 years. She is not the friendliest of cats, is skittish, timid, screams/hisses/growls if other cats are around and she still has CLAWS. But I love her still. My boyfriend on the other hand has a nice, calm, friendly cat that IS declawed. We will be combining households in the near future but I\'m really afraid of how the cats will get along. My biggest fear is that my cat will claw the heck out of the new cat and scream and growl all the time. We tried an introduction before and it did not go well. I realize it must be extremely stressful for both cats but I dont\' want to see any cats injured in the introduction process. In preparation for the introduction I recently tried the pheremone spray and the plug ins to see if that calmed my cat down at all. It helped a little but I tend to think it\'ll be all out the window when I actually bring the new cat into my house. I hate the thought of medicating my cat to calm her down but is there anything a vet can prescribe for \"mean\" cats? Additionally, what other suggestions can you offer to help the transition go well for both cats (and the parents)? Thank you ~Merry Christmas~

Comments

  • Diane WallineDiane Walline Hamlin (suburb of Rochester)Member Posts: 500
    edited 24 December, 2008
    We had a somewhat similar situation here. Harley was front declawed and was an only cat for 2 years when mom adopted me. I am not declawed. I was ( ok still am) somewhat... moody. Does your boyfriends cat sill have his back claws? because Harley quickly learned to kick me with his back legs when we play fight ( and the rare real fight) Since it was harleys house, that i was moving into, mom kept me locked in a spare bedroom. We could sniff each other under the door and for the first couple days we pretty much hissed at each other through the door, and tried to fight when we were introduced. Then mom started switching our beds/food & water bowls/ toys every day. That way we were forced to get used to each others scent. Then they gradually started letting me out more and more so i could explore the whole apartment. When nobody was home, sometimes they would lock harley in their bedroom ( where he liked to sleep anyway) so i could explore and get used to my new home without the hassel of worrying about harley. They kept switching who was locked up, and who was given free roam for a week and then on a weekend they finally decided its now or never and let us both out all day. They paid attention to our body lanuage and if one of us seemed overly agressive or scared they would move us apart. They also gave us both lots of affection in front of the other kitty so we each knew we were loved, and knew the other kitty was loved too. If your kitty will tolerate it, you can try softpaws ( the caps that go over a cats nails) although it didnt work for me - i would always just bite them off - many kittys love them. Mom never tried the sprays or plug ins but have heard it does help keep cats calmer during introductions. We on ocassion used to get a treat we got at PetSmart or PetCo ( mom forgets) I think it was Nurti-Ease or something to that affect. It was a treat that was supposed to have some calming agent in it. I dont know if it was the joy of them each getting a treat or if it was actually working, but i swear it made them a bit mellower. Maybe before the move, you guys could switch a few toys or bed or something to get used to each others scent?
  • Anastasia OBrienAnastasia OBrien Member Posts: 15
    edited 26 December, 2008
    When Sylvester & I moved in here, I kept him in the bedroom for about 3-4 days. When Zoey, (the cat who was already here) took her naps in my roommate's room, I would shut my roommate's door and let Sylvester out 2-3 times per day so he could investigate the environment/new home without the knowledge of the other cat. I wanted him to get used to one thing at a time so as not to overwhelm him and stress him out even more than he was already stressed from the move. After 3 days, I started to let the 2 cats see each other through the cracked open door and at about day 5 I let them out & about with each but they were kind of afraid of each other at first and Zoey hissed at Sylvester a lot after that. It took a while, but eventually, they got used to each other.
  • s ws w Member Posts: 2
    edited 28 December, 2008
    Thanks so much for your responses. I\'m relieved to know there is light at the end of the tunnel! I\'ll let you all know how it goes. :-D
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 29 December, 2008
    This is how I introduce a new adult cat to the house hold, and it has always worked. If its little kittens, I do it totally different. Get a very large dog cage, not a carrier, but one that has bars all around. Put the cat that is coming into the household in the cage, along with food, water, cat box, soft blankets, his toys, and a few of the other cats toys. The reason for this, is they can smell, sniff, growl, hiss, etc, at each other, but neither cat can be harmed by the other. Pet, praise, treats each cat in front of the other, making sure its equal for each cat. The cat that is in the cage, this will be his/her safe haven, as in ha ha, the other kitty can't get me in here. This will take several days, usually 10-14 days, and ya can't rush it. Eventually they will get used to each other, as they will sniff thru the bars. And eventually the dominate cat will get used to, this cat does belong in the household, and the timid cat will not be as afraid. When you feel the dominate cat is somewhat accepting of the timid cat, just open the door, and let the timid cat come out, at his leisure. But be there to supervise, with a water spray bottle, just in case. Leave the door to the cage open, so if the timid cat feels afraid, he will return to where he did feel safe. For a few days after this, don't leave them unattended with each other. When you will be gone, put the timid cat back in the cage. One they have interacted with each other, and you feel safe they aren't going to kill each other, just be aware, there will be a power struggle of sorts, as in, one is going to establish themselves as "top man", in multiple cat household, it would be a re-shuffling of the pecking order. One will be accepting they are the "low man", and they will each have their "spaces" per say, that is normal. This alway works, it does take time, and ya can't rush it. If one is a little kitten, it has to be done different. Best of luck. :):):):D:D:D:D:):):):)
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