Having difficulty introducing new/aggressive cat

Megan ValentineMegan Valentine Member Posts: 29
edited 6 November, 2009 in Behavior & Training
I fell in love with a attention (and food) starved little stray. She was about six months old when I picked her up off the streets. I already have a six year old cat, and I took the introduction really slowly. Unfortunately, after only having the cat two weeks I had to leave the country for three weeks. The new cat stayed with my friend and acted aggressively towards her two cats (attacking them). Then my friend ended up staying at my place for two weeks. She was supposed to keep the cats separate, but she accidentally let the new cat chase the older one. The older one fell off the high cabinet trying to escape and is still terrified of the new cat. I've been keeping them in separate rooms unless we put the new cat on a leash and my husband holds her while I sit next to my first cat. New kitty will eventually try to charge original kitty and then we remove new kitty. The new kitty is extremely people friendly, but I'm despairing of ever being able to have my kitties in the same room without constant supervision. We've been back from our trip for three weeks, and putting them in the same room with new kitty leashed for one week.

Comments

  • Leigh PetersonLeigh Peterson AkronMember Posts: 796
    edited 14 October, 2009
    Can you put the new kitty in a large dog sized cage, big enough for food, litterbox and bed?
  • Megan ValentineMegan Valentine Member Posts: 29
    edited 15 October, 2009
    We're currently keeping the new kitty in our office which is set up with her food, water, litter box, toys, etc., but I'm not able to put her in a crate without buying one. I can put her in a carrier while I sit next to her if that's better than a leash.
  • Leigh PetersonLeigh Peterson AkronMember Posts: 796
    edited 15 October, 2009
    more people will be by with more suggestions. You can read my whole thread about hissing at the kitten. In my case tho, the kitten isn't necessarily aggressive. You can always resell the cage when you're done with it, people always need them. You can even search Craigslist for a used one. I had the kitten in her own room too, but my cat was just avoiding that room. So I went and bought baby gates to use instead of the door, so that my cat could see her in there and she him.
  • Megan ValentineMegan Valentine Member Posts: 29
    edited 15 October, 2009
    Thanks, Charlie. I really appreciate the help. If it helps the new kitty is only about 7 months old. She is already 9.5 lbs to my original kitty's 6.5 lbs.
  • Megan ValentineMegan Valentine Member Posts: 29
    edited 15 October, 2009
    Any one have more suggestions?
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 16 October, 2009
    Has she been spayed yet? Intact cats are usually a lot more aggressive than non-intact ones. If so, maybe focus on getting her spayed first, and then expose the scared kitty to her while she is still recovering (not the first 24 hours, I doubt kitten will be social, but after that), so that he can maybe realize she is probably not going to be a threat all the time. Other than that, I'm no expert on feral animals, so I will defer to those who do feral rescues on a regular basis. Don't worry, they will find this thread eventually. As far as intros go, you can never go too slow, btw, so if they have to be separated while you work on a solution, that's alright.
  • Megan ValentineMegan Valentine Member Posts: 29
    edited 16 October, 2009
    She has been spayed. She shows absolutely no feral tendencies towards humans; she was just curled up on my lap purring away, but I don't know how ferals react to other cats in "their" territory.
  • Cassandra NoneCassandra None Member Posts: 406
    edited 20 October, 2009
    Cats from hard places take a long time to adjust to new and better places. Your baby will take a few months to adjust to the fact that it is SAFE and SECURE and it not going to be dumped into a place it knew before. You know, Hell. My Scoots had been skinned, cut, stabbed and just about anything else you can imagine before he found me at my old office. It took him a full six months to realize that his new life was his permanent life - safe, secure, love abounding, food to fill his belly and that there was no need to fight for territory. He was not going to be tossed aside or replaced. He hid under a bed for the first month and then attacked all the other cats for the next three months. In the meantime and for another months is was pure human integration on our part as we already had five other house cats. Every night I would go down and cuddle him, bump heads with him and tell him, "Scooter is love and love is Scooter." until I was hoarse. Laugh if you will but it worked serious miracles. He got the message. Scooter is now pushing 9 years in our house and he is the true elder, the Master. He knows it and is now very generous and paternal to the other stray/needy cats (and dogs!) I manage to bring in. Much to my husband's dismay but that is another story. :D
  • Kelly HendryKelly Hendry Charlottesville, VAMember Posts: 556
    edited 22 October, 2009
    It took us 6 months for Sam and Hunter to be able to co-exist. The book Cat vs. Cat, the cat tree, Rescue Remedy for their water, and a Feliway diffuser were all big helps.
  • Megan ValentineMegan Valentine Member Posts: 29
    edited 27 October, 2009
    Thanks for everyone's stories. My husband talked to the vet, and what he's been doing is to put her on a leash and harness when the cats are in the same room. If she lunges for the other cat he tells her NO and then takes her to the office and puts her in her carrier for a few minutes. Do you think this is counterproductive? If she's reacting aggressively because she is scared will being put in "time out" make things worse? We keep them separated unless we're both there to supervise. I work mainly from home so I switch the cats out during the day so they both get time with me. Other than her behavior towards our old cat she's getting along beautifully. She's sits in my lap purring and kneading away. She uses the litter box, and is sharpening her claws on the cat tree not the furniture. She loves cat toys. Her fur is going from scraggly to gorgeous. I think she's very happy - except that she's sharing the apartment with our first cat.
  • Megan ValentineMegan Valentine Member Posts: 29
    edited 6 November, 2009
    The latest attempt to get Pib to be more accepting of Charity is to have them in separate rooms, crack the door, and then feed them both little bits of chicken or ham. Pib is still acting very aggressively. I'm going to buy some of the calming pheromones and keep trying, but it's very discouraging. We've had Pib 10 weeks now.
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 6 November, 2009
    It's pretty unusual for the 'new' cat to be the aggressor, from what I've read. In cat terms though, 10 weeks isn't long as far as settling in amongst other cats. What you're doing sounds regarding the feeding on either side of the door sounds good - keep at it! I would let your original cat take priority though and maybe just restrict Pib to one, or certain rooms for a while, to let let know she is not the ruler of your domain. She needs to respect that Charity was there first and that she has to fit in with her, rather than the whole household having to change to accommodate Pib. This is the mistake my humans made with my 'bro' Soda when he came here - they tried to treat us equally at first, but he took liberties and bullied me. He had to learn that I was here first and he can't just come in and take over. Good luck!
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