Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Aggressive new cat

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by CookPassBabtridge, May 2, 2019.


  1. CookPassBabtridge

    CookPassBabtridge PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi everybody, I hope somebody can please help with our dilemma.
    We've recently got a new male cat (Reg) around eighteen months old to add to our female cat (aggie) who is about 6 years old and formerly a stray. The new cat was neutered about 5-6 weeks ago by the cats protection league from where we got him and we've had him for about two and half weeks now.
    He is being kept in a room, until he has settled down, from which he is obviously desperate to get out of with lots of meowing and scratching. That's understandable but on the few occasions we have let him out and tried to introduce the cats to each other Reg has been absolutely obsessed with intimidating Aggie and invading her space and in the few cases where we have been unable to intervene has attacked her. It's all he wants to do when they're together. This has left Aggie very shaken up. She is usually quite assertive but is very scared of the new cat and wouldn't come back in last night after a particularly bad altercation.
    We have bought some pheromone diffuser which has been in his room for about a week maybe but to no effect as yet. The strange part is that he is an incredibly affectionate cat around us but this aggressive streak is too much and we really don't want to send him back so any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. Sнarкy

    Sнarкy PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2019
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    93
    Have you tried a mesh/screen door? This allows them to get used to each other's scents with no danger and would allow you to introduce them more slowly.

    You should be sure that he has everything he needs and you spend plenty of time with both of them. Apparently feeding them on either side of the door can help them associate each other with good things.
     
  3. CookPassBabtridge

    CookPassBabtridge PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you. Don't think we can do anything about the door but readin either side of the door could be good thanks. He's the problem. Need some way to calm him down around her and leave her alone. It's usually the other way round this aggression- from old cat to men cat
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    24,381
    Likes Received:
    21,246
    @CookPassBabtridge - your new cat Reg sounds as though he is a very territorial cat and does not want to share his home with any other cat. Did Cats Protection tell you he gets on well with other cats? Was he sharing a pen with other cats in his CP foster home?

    It is not strange that Reg is affectionate to you - you are the provider of food, warmth and shelter. He wants you all to himself. Aggie on the other hand, being a cat, is competition for Reg so he has no reason to be friendly to her.

    I have introduced a lot of new cats to many resident cats over the years, and also I help to run a cat rescue shelter. I have learnt from long experience the best method of introduction is the mesh screen door. The cats need to be able to see each other as well as smell each other's scent so they can get the measure of each other with safeguards in place to prevent attacks or bullying from either cat. A solid door is nothing like as effective.

    Normally I allow a 3 month period of gradual introductions for the resident cats and new cat to accept each and be able to live together in harmony. However, if I adopted a cat who was immediately as aggressive as Reg has been to Aggie I would not persist with the 3 months target if there was no change in Reg in the first 2 weeks. If he continued to be as aggressive (even with a mesh screen door dividing him and Aggie, I would return him to the shelter.

    IME a cat who is very aggressively territorial right from the start is fairly unlikely to get on with the resident cat. He may not get on with any other cat either and might be better as a solo cat.

    It would be unfair to poor Aggie for her to keep being attacked, bullied or intimidated by Reg during the introduction period. A mesh screen door is the only way to keep Aggie safe from Reg's possible attacks. Screen doors are inexpensive and one could be fitted in the doorway of Reg's safe room to open the opposite way to the solid door. It needs to be hinged and rigid (not a mesh curtain) and it'd need a hook and eye catch fitted the opposite side to the hinges to keep it firmly closed.

    e.g.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/vidaXL-Hinged-Insect-100x215-Curtain/dp/B01G3R6S04/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2EP1DKPVYWCBS&keywords=hinged+mesh+screen+door&qid=1556834705&s=gateway&sprefix=mesh+screen+hinged+door+,aps,135&sr=8-5
     
  5. CookPassBabtridge

    CookPassBabtridge PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you very much for this helpful response. He came in with other cats with whom he'd been living and getting on fine but in the cats home they werev all kept separate.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    24,381
    Likes Received:
    21,246

    Having lost his home and all he was familiar with, could have made Reg feel very insecure and anxious. This is maybe why he is being aggressive to Aggie.

    Are you using any Pet Remedy diffusers? We use them at the Shelter when introducing new cats to each other, and find they help a bit.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pet-Remedy...-supplies&sprefix=pet+remedy+,pets,132&sr=1-1
     
  7. CookPassBabtridge

    CookPassBabtridge PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks again. We're using a feliway pheromone diffuser that we were recommended. Is that a similar thing, do you know? He's being kept in a room with a wired frame so that they can see each other but he charged at it today when he saw her and she bolted off, obviously not knowing he couldn't get to her. Beginning to lose hope regrettably of it ever working out as Aggie is very scared to go past the room which is just by the cat flap and he's showing no signs of calming down after I think five/six weeks we've had him now.
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    24,381
    Likes Received:
    21,246
    @CookPassBabtridge - I am very sorry to hear this news. I must admit it is discouraging that Reg is charging aggressively at the wire door at Aggie after 5 or 6 weeks of introductions. This is not a good sign at all. :(

    I am not sure you will be able to continue with this situation for much longer, as I fear for Aggie's health and mental well-being. There is a risk that she may develop a stress related health problem, or decide to leave home and not come back, if she continues to feel so frightened of Reg.

    Also, if must be a frustrating situation for Reg if he hates having to share a home with Aggie (or with any other cat perhaps..).

    You could try using a Pet remedy diffuser which I find more effective than Feliway. It contains valerian, so it has a sedating effect. We use it at the shelter when introducing new cats to each other and it does help.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pet-Remedy-Natural-Stress-Diffuser/dp/B0043QPL4W/ref=sr_1_1?crid=32SSW69SRPY3N&keywords=pet+remedy+plug+in&qid=1558525143&s=gateway&sprefix=pet+remedy,aps,137&sr=8-1

    Also I would consider giving both cats a calming supplement in their food such as Yucalm :

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lintbells-YuCALM-Calming-Capsules-Cats/dp/B07D4R4W2T/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=21AY6SKBOZ0D5&keywords=yucalm+cat&qid=1558525209&s=gateway&sprefix=yucalm,aps,131&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

    But if these do not really help move things forward within a few weeks I think you may need to accept that Reg and Aggie are not a good match. If so they are unlikely ever to get on no matter what you do. I'm sorry.
     
    CookPassBabtridge likes this.
  9. CookPassBabtridge

    CookPassBabtridge PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you once again for this advice.
    I should say we've only recently installed the wired door and that we haven't tried introducing them for a couple of weeks and only half a dozen times in total so they've been kept apart and unable to see each other mostly. Maybe we'll try and introduce them more often and supervise as best we can and if that doesn't work then I guess we'll have to take him back.
     
  10. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    24,381
    Likes Received:
    21,246
    Ah OK, the wire door is a recent introduction! That does change things a bit. ;)

    What you need to do now to control the amount of time they are visually exposed to each other through the wire door. Very short periods to start with. The idea is to gradually desensitise the cats to the sight of each other.

    As soon as there is any growling, yowling, spitting or aggressive body language you close the solid door (or place a barrier, if there is no solid door) so they can't see each other.

    At first you may only get a few seconds before there is an upset. But it should be possible to increase the amount of exposure little by little.

    The important thing is you intervene and stop them seeing each other the very instant there is any negativity between them - apart from a bit of hissing. That way things are never allowed to escalate into a major incident and adrenaline levels are kept down.

    i must tell you this process will take up quite a lot of your time, as the cats' periods of exposure do need to be carefully managed.

    I think now would be a good time to get the Pet Remedy diffuser in place and give both cats the Yucalm supplement. It will assist with a more relaxed interaction between them.
     
    CookPassBabtridge likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice