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New cat aggression, advice appreciated!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by BlackfishFife, Aug 1, 2019.


  1. BlackfishFife

    BlackfishFife PetForums Newbie

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    I have a wee Semi Feral kitty, she's about 18 months old and she's a lovely natured wee thing, very timid but loves to play. She doesn't like to be touched, but enjoys being in our company. We recently adopted another young cat (10-11 months) with the hopes that she would help bring our semi feral around a bit more. Unfortunately, our newer wee kitty is being extremely aggressive towards out semi feral. She's attacking at every opportunity so we are currently keeping them separated. We have tried a number of different things to try to make it work but haven't had any success yet, does anyone have any experience with this? What worked for you?
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @BlackfishFife and welcome :)

    Can I start by asking if both cats are spayed? This is very important if they are to get along.

    At their ages the two cats need to be introduced slowly. They need time to get the measure of each other in a safe mode, so no chasing or attacking is possible. The best chance you have of them ever getting along is to go back to square one and start again with the introductions. Be prepared for it to take several weeks or several months as there has been a bad start.

    The new cat needs her own safe room with her litter trays, food, water, bed, toys, scratch post and scratch pads. The room should be large enough for you to spend half your time in there keeping her company.

    The older cat has the rest of the house as her territory for now.

    Start by keeping the cats out of sight of each other for a few days. Acquire a temporary see-through door to fit in the doorway of the safe room so the cats can see each other, and smell each other's scent but not have direct contact. This is important and is why a glass door won't work well. (A wooden door won't work at all).

    Either
    1/ make a door from cheap white wood (known as deal) for the frame with bird cage or chicken wire for the netting, adding hinges and a catch fastener

    or
    2/ buy a hinged rigid mesh screen door, such as this one :-

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/vidaXL-Hinged-Insect-100x215-Curtain/dp/B01G3R6S04/ref=sr_1_6?crid=3F4WMGEETF5M&keywords=mesh+screen+door+hinged&qid=1564699256&s=gateway&sprefix=mesh+screen+door,pets,131&sr=8-6

    or
    3/ buy a tall pet gate to fit in the doorway.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Callowesse-Extra-Tall-110-cm-Pet-Dog-Gate-75-82-cm-Extendable-to-96-cm-White/153018037187?epid=8007319982&hash=item23a095f3c3&_trkparms=ispr=1&enc=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&checksum=1530180371870736b3eeac5b42589e880153993b8535


    The extra tall pet gate costs more than the mesh screen door. The problem with the pet gate is your cats could jump over it, so you would really need two tall pet gates, one balanced on top of the other. The hinged mesh screen would be far more practical. If you get the mesh screen you'll need to fit a hook and eye fastener to keep it safely closed.

    The aim is to desensitise the cats to each other by gradual exposure. It works very well in many cases (has worked with all the adult cats or kittens I've introduced to my resident cats). It is not a guarantee - as there will always be some cats who never get along no matter what you do to help them accept each other.

    The first phase is to allow the cats to see each other through the mesh screen. If they hiss at each other it's OK. But any spitting, growling, yowling etc you close the main door so they can't see each other. Then next day you try again.

    You should be able gradually, day by day, to increase the amount of time the cats are OK seeing each other through the mesh without the new cat going ballistic, or the older cat running off in fear.

    When you reach the point where both cats can view each other calmly every day through the mesh, it is time for phase 2. Phase 2 involves allowing the new cat out of her safe room under your close supervision - for short periods to start with. You must not allow new cat to chase, attack or intimidate your older cat, or all the good work of Phase 1 will be undone. As soon as new cat shows any signs of aggression to older cat, you must put new cat back in her safe room and try again next day.

    I'd set yourself a time limit on this reintroduction. If you haven't reached the point in 3 months time where the 2 cats can be together without any aggression from either side, then I'm afraid the relationship is never likely to work and you would be better rehoming the new cat or returning her to the shelter. Keeping 2 cats together who do not get on is not an option as apart from making one or both cats miserable it would be very stressful and likely to lead to chronic health problems sooner or later e.g. feline cystitis, or behavioural problems such as soiling with urine or faeces, or over grooming.

    if you manage to successfully reintroduce them you should increase all the feline resources in the home once they are both using the whole house.This means at least 3 litter trays, preferably 4. Spread the trays around the home.

    Several water bowls spread around.

    Their own separate feeding areas, out of sight of each other, and microchip feeders so they know their food resources are safe.

    Plenty of scratch posts and scratch pads, several to every room. A number of cat beds spread around the home. High up places for resting e.g. tall cat trees, or shelves up the wall to make a safe route up to the top of a cupboard or wardrobe.

    If older cat has privileges such as sharing your bed at night, these should be respected and protected by you. New cat can be settled in her own room at night.

    I do hope you are successful. It's not likely to be an easy process, and you'll need patience. If it's going to work you'll see small signs (possibly very small signs at first) of progress as the days and weeks go by. This method has the best chance of success, given the circumstances of your two cats.

    Good luck :)
     
    #2 chillminx, Aug 2, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  3. BlackfishFife

    BlackfishFife PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there!

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. Our older cat (Tonks) has the run of most of the house, and our younger cat (Maggie) has the living room and kitchen at the moment. Both of them have been spayed. The times that we have had an altercation have been when Maggie has managed to slip out the living room door when we are going out ourselves. I will certainly order the mesh screen door - what a great idea! Tonks doesn't share our bed or anything but she does love coming in and out the room and playing. Thank you for your advice, I will definitely follow this and hopefully this is successful! They really are both lovely cats... I swear!

    Thanks again!
     
    Gallifreyangirl and chillminx like this.
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Please let us know how things go.:)
     
    BlackfishFife likes this.
  5. BlackfishFife

    BlackfishFife PetForums Newbie

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    I will do
     
    Gallifreyangirl and chillminx like this.
  6. Ottery

    Ottery Cat Lady

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    How long have you had the second kitty? If it's still early days you may just need to give it a bit more time.
     
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