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Cher, Cat Behavior-expert
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 20862
Experience:  40+ years Cat Behavior Consultant; Vol. Vet Asst.
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I just brought a new 1 yr old male to our home, where we have

Customer Question

I just brought a new 1 yr old male to our home, where we have a 4 1/2 yr old female. After her other cat brother passed a couple of years ago, she became very bonded & dependent on me to play with her. Of course, she is a bit freaked out, hiding under my bed, not coming out. New cat ver
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Behavior
Expert:  Cher replied 6 months ago.
Hello, and welcome! Thanks so much for your question; I will be glad to help, but it seems your question has been cut off at the end. If you can re-send it in its entirety, I would appreciate it. Thanks,Cher
Expert:  Cher replied 6 months ago.
Hi again, I see that you have replied with more information/the rest of your question by opening a second question, so I will reply here, and have that second one closed as a duplicate, so you're not charged twice. I copied your info below.--------------------Finishing above. I understand time is needed, it has just been 24 hrs. New cat is mellow, a lover, not a fighter. If she growls at him through door, he walks away. Trying to show her I still love her is impossible right now, she won't come out from under bed. Should I leave bdrm door open so she can come out when she's ready? Or allow her to isolate herself while he roams the small condo? He's quite comfortable, at home, wants to be friends. He hasn't growled or hissed, anything. Don't want to change her routine, continue spending our bonding time, but can't get her to come out. Also, she was just diagnosed with gingivitis, a bad case, is on antibiotic, due for surgery in couple weeks. Please allow me a short while to read through your information and then compose and send your detailed answer. Thanks,Cher
Expert:  Cher replied 6 months ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your patience. My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your female's brother, a couple of years ago. He died so young! : ( You're right--it has been just a short time and it takes time for them to get used to each other. You're very lucky that the new boy is mellow and not a fighter; this should help the transition. Most cats, no matter what their temperament, will be frightened and stressed and hide under the bed when a newcomer is introduced. It's best to introduce them slowly and typically, the new cat is kept in a separate room for a few days, so the existing cat can smell him under the door and then they are allowed to see each other when you crack open the door just a bit, but cats will eventually work things out on their own. Your female IS used to not sharing you and while I know you will give her as much attention as before, she's not only frightened, but afraid that this newbie will take you away from her. I know it's difficult to spend quality time with her if she won't come out from under the bed, plus, if she's on antibiotics and has bad gingivitis, she may be in pain and antibiotics usually make a cat feel 'dragged out', in general. For the moment, I would leave things the way they are and let her stay under the bed, where she feels safe, but make sure to bring water and food to her and place a litterbox in that room, so she has everything she needs and doesn't have to leave the room at this time. You can go into the room and close the door and lay down on the floor close to the underside of the bed and talk to her gently, repeating her name a lot (this makes them feel secure), telling her how much you love her and the new guy will not take away your love and she will have fun playing with him, etc. Try offering a cat-healthy treat from your hand and see if she will venture out to get it. If she does, don't pick her up, just stay where you are and see what she does. A very good way to help with new cat introductions is the scent transfer method---take a very slightly dampened cloth or paper towel and pet one cat with it, then pet the other, then vice-versa. Do this frequently throughout the day, so each cats' scent is deposited on each others' fur. You can also take one of your old t-shirts and pet both cats with it, so your familiar and comforting scent is on both cats and they will smell the same--with your scent on their fur. You're going to have to take this slowly and eventually, they will start at least 'tolerating' each other; they may not be 'best friends' at first, but they may not fight. A good product for new cat introductions is Feliway, a cat appeasing pheromone that comes in a plug in diffuser which resembles a plug in air freshener, but it has no scent to humans; only cats can detect it. Put it in the room where she is now, and put one more in the livingroom or anywhere that's central to the house and where they would spend the most time. Here is more information: Also, make sure they have plenty of toys to play with and a tall scratching post or two or a tall kitty condo/cat tree. Here is a list of great toys they will love, below. Put the toys into groups and switch them out every few days, so they feel like they're getting 'new' toys each time! the links are not 'clickable', just copy and paste them into your browser. Another good ice breaker is an interactive toy, like the feather wand/fishing pole toy, where you control/supervise the play. Play with them together with this toy (or two), but when you're finished playing, make sure to remove the toy and put it where it is inaccessible to them, as pieces can be chewed off. When they act well together, give them treats, so they see that good things happen when they're together. Here are two great sites with more recommendations re: new cat introductions: to do what you're doing, giving your furry girl her space and allowing her to feel safe under the bed. She will come out eventually. I hope things start to improve in a short while--you do have to give them time--cats are creatures of habit, so it takes them a while to get used to a new situation and a new cat. Please keep me updated on how they're doing, if you can. Thanks! Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, and I will be glad to continue.Warmest regards,Cher