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New cat dominating resident cats?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by PoisonIvy, Apr 26, 2011.


  1. PoisonIvy

    PoisonIvy PetForums Newbie

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    Foster cat intimidating resident kits.

    Apologies in advance for the lengthy post...

    About 3 weeks ago I agreed to foster a friend's cat for an indefinite period of time. Friend moved into a houseshare and discovered that one of the housemates is horribly allergic. So Ariel, a 3yo black boy (neutered) came to live with me, my partner and our two 1yo sibling cats, Angus and Wanda.

    Angus & Wanda are very friendly, inquisitive cats. They're pretty easygoing. Ariel, not so much. Although we don't need to keep them separated anymore, they aren't quite friends yet. Ariel growls and hisses at them, and occasionally will swat at them if they come too close. Then other times he'll bump noses with them, only to hiss and growl a few seconds later. *I've witnessed some chasing from both camps but it's hard to tell whether it's aggression or play. Could it be a bit of both?

    What should i do when he hisses at them? Usually I try to distract him with a toy (which of course then Angus and Wanda want to play with too), or sometimes I make a loud noise, such as a hand clap or a loud NO!*

    I just don't want my two kits to feel displaced. They do seem to want to be friends with him. Angus more so than Wanda - if Ariel hisses or swats at Wanda, she'll sneak up behind him a few mins later and swat his tail. Sometimes they just seem uneasy around him, and I swear they give me the stinkeye when he crawls into my lap!! Also, Wanda sometimes hisses at Angus when they're playing, which she's never done before (they are usually inseparable).

    Ariel has just started going outside in the past couple of days (his owner let him out all the time but I keep mine in), which seems to relieve stress levels a bit. I've also got a Feliway plug-in and spray (he's spraying a bit as well, though the combo of Feliway + enzymatic cleaner has helped). They all happily feed together near each other, and I tend to give them treats together so they associate their presence with something positive.

    Am I going about this the right way?*Do you think it'll eventually calm down? My two are quite "alpha" personalities, but Ariel is definitely used to being top cat. It doesn't seem fair for my cats to be dominated by a newcomer!
     
  2. becci-x

    becci-x PetForums Newbie

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    I have EXACTLY the same situation at the moment, I already had a male 18 month old cat (Toby), then adopted my mother in laws female 18 month old cat (Tibs), when they first met about a week ago the female was hissing and growling at him with the occasional swipe, and even though shes tiny (not much bigger than a kitten) Toby being the scaredy cat he is would run away, which let her be dominant.

    We started letting her out as her own did so before, and this kinda gives Toby some space during the day.

    They're kinda getting used to each other now, but like to keep their distance!

    Luckily we haven't had any spraying though!

    Anyway good luck with your cats, and it sounds like your doing everything right!
     
  3. CAstbury

    CAstbury PetForums VIP

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    I fostered a cat as an emergency and had major problems with it when it met my cat. I was told that I shouldnt have let them meet for months - that he should have been shut away in a room on his own :mad:

    Said foster cat had to go as it was intimidating not only the cat but 1 of my dogs who is a rescue himself and has been through enough.

    Good luck and hope it works out for you.
     
  4. PoisonIvy

    PoisonIvy PetForums Newbie

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    CAstbury, I'm sorry your foster cat didn't work out.

    becci-x, I'm letting Ariel out more and that does seem to help ease tensions a bit (for Angus and Wanda at least, I worry my head off until Ariel comes back!). My cats even seem to welcome him back when he comes in - they run up to Ariel to check out all the interesting smells, and he doesn't seem to mind much.

    There's still a few swats and hisses if Ariel's not feeling in the mood for company or if they meet in a confined space like a doorway or hallway, but they seem to be chilling out around each other. They seem to have accepted each other's presence, and will even play a little. I guess at some point they may even be friends, but for now there seems to be a sort of uneasy truce. I suppose it might be better if they don't become too attached to each other, as eventully Ariel will go back to his owner.
     
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