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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7318
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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I have two cats. One is 6yrs and the other is 5yrs. The new

Customer Question

Hi , I have two cats . One is 6yrs and the other is 5yrs. The new cat we just got is 1yr and came out of a bad home. we have had here 2wks. The 6yr old doesn't to be putting up that much of a fight with the new one. She will growel a little but that is all . The tobbie is the louder one . We have already put $600 with all the things we have had to do with her. she is verrrrrrrry playful and seems to want to be with the other cats . what can we do to make everyone happy . My wife and I included . Thanks , Don parent .
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years’ experience and would be happy work with you if you are still needing assistance. It is not surprising that things may be a little "off" for awhile when you introduce a new cat to the household. It actually sounds as if things are going pretty well if only one is grumbling. I am not sure if you have been confining Emma or not at this time, but when bringing in a new cat, it is best to give them their "own room" for a short while. There are multiple reasons for this, including making sure they is not incubating any of the contagious cat viruses, like feline leukemia and/or feline aids. If she was not exposed to other cats for awhile previous to coming into your house, she may have already been screened for those however and that would be less of a concern. From a behavior standpoint, it can be a little less threatening to the other cats in the house if her living space is somewhat restricted to start versus being allowed to have full run of the house right from the start. Cats do not really have a hierarchy in the household, like dogs do, but they are somewhat territorial and may be upset if all of a sudden someone takes over their favorite spot or favorite litterbox. Even when confining her, the others will know she is there and they will be able to get used to her sounds and smells through the door, before she is allowed to mingle full force. Even when you start letting them mingle, I would do it slowly and only when you are there to observe at first. If they are left all out on their own, there may be altercations that occur that you are not even aware of. Depending on what the set up of your house is like and where the other cats like to hang out, maybe you could alternately confine them in specific areas of the house and let her roam around some also. Eventually, the goal is to allow everyone to be out at all times, but it is often best to build up to that gradually. Most cats do not like to live with one another right off the bat so we have to strive to provide an environment where all cats are able to find a place where they feel "safe". That begins by creating an environment of "plenty." There should be plenty of litter boxes, food bowls, climbing towers, toys and resting areas in multiple locations. All the litter boxes and food bowls cannot be clumped all in one place because that forces the cats together, something they don't want to do. If that is not possible due to the layout of your home, another option is to create a time sharing plan. One cat is out in the house for a bit, then put into a room and other is then allowed out. In some cases we just use a screen door on a bedroom to keep the cat separate, they can see each other but not interact, this can be very helpful. When they are separated, we can then proceed to limited introductions, where the cats are rewarded for being calm around each other. Also, if your Emma wears a collar in the house, you may want to consider adding a small bell (or something that jingles) to it. This gives an audible warning to the other cats of where she is and somehow that "heads up" seems to help. One other thing I would suggest is a product called Feliway®. Feliway is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the natural chemicals that a cat secretes. This may be the calming spray you mentioned. It creates a comforting, reassuring feeling that has a calming effect to cats in stressful situations such as transport, hospitalization, veterinarian visits, boarding, new environments, pets or people. Feliway® is a product that can be sprayed or used as a room diffuser. It can be purchased through veterinarians and pet stores. In your case, a few room diffusers may help low the tension. LINK HERE I am also including a link to a website about environmental enrichment for the cats. The Ohio State University has composed this to help cat owners structure the environment to provide adequate physical and mental stimulation. There are numerous medical conditions in cats that are precipitated by stress and multicat households are often those with more stress, even if not perceived by the humans in the house. Hopefully there are some ideas there that you can incorporate to help keep the stress levels under control OSU Indoor Pet Initiative It sounds like things are off to a good start, but you may want to consider some confinement until they all get to know each other a little better. When she is in her room, the others may feel more at ease and begin to accept her better. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you. Dr Z

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