Introducing old cat to new cat?

  1. Hi OP, I've fostered cats from time to time. They've all been different in terms of how my cat acts towards them and vice versa. I think that may be a reason for the conflicting advice from everyone--why you may need to use more than one strategy and be very patient with each one.

    I've also heard that you can buy artificial pheromones. I've never tried this myself, but a good friend swears it works like a charm.
  2. Thank you so much, I just bought that book on my kindle and will be reading it tomorrow. I just want what is best for both cats and don't want the new kitty to be stressed, which she clearly is. It's back to confinement for now.

    Thanks again!
  3. Ha! I did say I'm no expert, didn't I?. Just checked Clevercat's adoption thread and her new guy and old guy look mighty chummy all ready! Have to admit, I did just chuck Laszlo and co into the mix back in '02 and while he and Dolores integrated with no problem, their sis Mathilda ( gone to the Rainbow Bridge) never did. So I guess what I really meant to say in my tipsy rambling is that it's an individualized process as just mentioned by a previous poster; in your particular case, OP, it seems a slower introduction is necessary. It's always best to err on the side of caution when other peoples'/ cats' well-being is at stake.
  4. I read your earlier post - I love that Pam Johnson-Bennett book, it's falling apart, I've read it so much. It's been read, reread, I've highlighted areas, there are post-it notes on almost every chapter - and when I was a newish adopter, I followed her method to the letter. Yes, it was very time-consuming, but it worked.
    I changed the way I introduce everyone for two reasons - the Special Needs cats were coming to me thick and fast, and I didn't have enough room to do the separation and gradual introductions. Secondly, at the rescue centre, they think if cats are hissing and growling when they are first introduced, it's fine and to be expected, it's only the punch-ups and fighting they are worried about. They gave me a large kitten pen and suggested the new arrival lives in there until the hissies are over. It works! Some introductions have been easier than others... Colin, when he was a kitten, he just walked around, did a meet and greet, selected a cushion and then slept through until dinner. Tommy strolled calmly out of his carrier, purring his head off and it was like he wasn't a new kittie at all, but rather somebody who had been with us forever. Figaro, on the other hand, maybe because he was older, it was quite stressful.... Still, he has only been with me for three and a bit weeks and look at him, he is transformed. A total lap-cat - and he has a best friend already. I just took this photo of them

    Phil n Fig.jpg

    So - I don't think there is a wrong/right way to do introductions but if you can get hold of a copy of that book, OP, I think you'll find it really helpful.
  5. Clever, I bow to your authority! Laszlo was so funny when he first came home with me, he knew right away that Gozer was the Boss Cat and immediately commenced his "flopping" campaign--- wherever Gozer settled down for a nap, Laszlo would show up and flop right down on top of him. Poor old Goze was mystified! It worked like a charm, though, and Laz does the flop on the Goze to this day, ten years later. Some cats just got it like that, don't they? Laszlo has never had a problem with anyone, he's a good kitty.
  6. I kept them separate. Lana (new kitty) was confined to the sun room which has a sliding glass door to the rest of the house so she could see everyone. I should mention that I also have two dogs, so they needed to be introduced as well. Fortunately Lana had lived with dogs prior to being adopted by me so she wasn't too upset by them. After a week or so, I would let Lana into the rest of the house but only when I was home. When I went to work Lana would go back in the sun room. I also put her in there when I went to bed at night. I think it was a couple of months before she was free to roam the entire house unsupervised.

    Great advice! I think I will have to check out that book too!
  7. I really admire all you've done for your sweet kittys. They couldn't have found a nicer home. I love this picture!
  8. I currently have three baby gates stacked in my doorway so they can see and smell each other, but cannot attack. New cat still hisses and runs under my bed when she sees new cat, but I'm hoping this will change.
  9. Something I've really liked that I've seen on TV (outside of the hyped up drama they create to yeild viewers)... My Cat from Hell show. He's a pet behaviorist and has good tips for following, whether its a new introduction between cats or a new re-introduction between ones that have had something tramatic occur to make them not trust again. I agree slower may yield better results, and using food as a way to bring them together may help it along too. We spent a fair amount of $ and time to resolve a break in the happy household we had, sadly we found our issue was bigger than conditioning could fix, something mentally was not right. That said, we learned a great deal from the behaviorist we talked to that we will put into practice when we add cats into our family in the future.
  10. I think it takes time. I just adopted a cat and within a day I just let them go at it. I made sure they weren't fighting. After a day full of hissing and growling they calmed down with each other enough to say hi. I tried to stay calm because I think they can feel my nervous energy and they will be more nervous.Each situation is different though. Good luck.
  11. Thanks everyone for the advice. It has been almost a month and new cat still hisses and hides from old cat when she sees him. I'm a little frustrated because the lady I adopted her from assured me she was great with other cats and had become best friends with two cats in four days. I just want her and old cat to get along.
  12. Don't worry! I was talking to someone who runs a rescue charity yesterday, and we were discussing how difficult and stressful introductions can be. She said she advises all adopters to give it a minimum three months. Your two may never be the cuddling up together cats, but they'll learn to get along and tolerate each other. Keep going, you're doing a great job with them!
  13. Its taken years for 2 cats at my mums to sit within a few feet of each other. They co-exist but will never be friends and we never did any proper introductions.

    If they arent fighting then thats a step in the right direction :smile:
  14. After a week of seeing each other through the gates, and a month of her being sequestered in my room, I opened the baby gate today and left for an hour. When I came back there were tufts of fur everywhere and my cat (new cat) is hiding under the bed. I really do not know what to do. I've tried everything but I don't know if they are ever going to get along. I put old cat on a leash so if he goes back in my room I can monitor the stuation and he can't attack her, but I am at my wits end. Thank you all for listening and for your answers.
  15. i am sorry they are giving you such grief, rkmc. i am still hopeful they will work it out.