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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20848
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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About 6 weeks ago my cat died. I still have another, 6 year

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About 6 weeks ago my cat died. I still have another, 6 year old female. Generally very docile. I decided I wanted another cat and rescued a 3 year old female. the 3 yr old is very timid and has moved in to my living room couch. She comes out when she is sure the other one is not there. She is a very affectionate little girl and seem to feel safe with me.
The 6yr old lurks on her and really intimidate her. She also chases the little one.
Any suggestions??

Hi Joanie and welcome back to Just Answer!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you and your kitties today.


My apologies that you did not receive an earlier answer. Different experts are online at various times and I recently logged in and read your question. Your patience is appreciated!

My heartfelt condolences on the recent loss of your other cat; I know how difficult this is on you, having experienced it myself, not too long ago.

Wanting your other cat, a 6 year old female, to have companionship, was a good idea and I'm so glad to hear that you adopted an older rescue cat! Kudos to you!

It sounds like the situation you describe is a pretty common one, when introducing a new cat into the household. Your older cat is trying to assert her dominance and let the younger one know that this is HER territory, and she is an 'intruder'. However, there are certain ways to introduce a new cat to your existing cat and if you have not started like this, you can go back and start again. It's a gradual process.

First, try to keep them separated for the time being. I recommend the 'scent transfer method', which involves petting one cat with a slightly dampened cloth or paper towel and then petting the other cat with the same cloth, then vice-versa. Do this frequently throughout the day, so each cat will constantly smell the others' scent on her fur. In addition, take an old t-shirt of yours and pet each cat frequently, so they will have your familiar, comforting scent near at all times, and this will also help to ease some tensions. Here are more tips and techniques on the introduction process, which I think you'll find helpful:

When they start getting along better, reward good behavior with a cat-healthy treat and enrich their environment with a tall kitty condo or cat tree with different levels, shelves and 'hidey' holes for playing and sleeping, if you don't already have one. These can also be used as scratching posts, since they're covered with carpet. Below, is a list of toys (and a dvd) cats love, and some are interactive, like the laser pointer. If you play with the cats with these toys, it will help them feel more comfortable with each other and 'break the ice'. Only allow them to play together after the first few other steps of the introduction process. Also, always supervise the play until you're sure they are getting along well.

These are some examples of what's available; you can find many of these types of toys, etc. at your pet supplies store or order online--whichever is easiest for you.

One note: re: the feather dancer/fishing pole toy--don't leave this alone with them, as pieces can be chewed off; always play with them under your supervision, then store the toy where they can't get at it.

With new introductions, most older cats find the more energetic antics of younger cats annoying and just don't want to be bothered, but this can be overcome as they get to know each other better and they're really not that far apart in age.

A calming cat pheromone called Feliway, which comes in both a spray and plug in diffuser (resembles an air freshener, but has no scent to humans) may help in this situation, where stress and anxiety is running high. You can find it in any pet supply store or order online. Here is more information about the product: Feliway

You can also get a calming collar for your older cat and/or both to wear:

In addition to that, you can try an over the counter oral calming remedy like Rescue Remedy for Pets or Composure treats

Use one or the other in conjunction with the Feliway, but don't use both oral remedies concurrently. Rescue Remedy for Pets is homeopathic and available in pet supply stores and natural food stores. All products can be ordered online if your pet store doesn't carry them.

When you see your older cat ready to attack the younger one, stand out of sight and shake a can of pennies or pebbles to make a sharp sound. This will startle her and make her stop her undesirable action. You want to stand out of site, so that she doesn't see the sound coming from you, but associates it with her action. If you are consistent with this, it should curb her going after the other cat.

If this behavior continues and the over the counter calming remedies don't seem to be helping, discuss with your vet, a prescription calming medication for for your older female, just for a short term, to see if it will help. I always prefer to suggest prescription medication as a last resort, so you can see how things go and then discuss with your vet if you would like to try this alternative.
I hope things will improve for your two kitties and please let me know how things are going. Thanks!

If you need any additional information or clarification, simply 'Reply' back before rating and I will be happy to help with any follow up questions.

If my answer has been helpful, a Positive rating and Positive feedback on the survey would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laughing

If you would like to request me to answer any new, future questions, please begin your post with "For Cher Only" and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thank you for entrusting your important question about your kitties to Just Answer!
Warmest regards,
Cher and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

Hi again, Joanie and thanks very much for your positive rating and most generous bonus; they are truly appreciated!

I hope things will progress well with your two kitties and please feel free to update me at any time, by clicking 'Reply'.

If you have any future questions, please don't hesitate to request me by name; simply begin your post with "For Cher Only" and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!

Best wishes to you and your kitties,

PS: no additional information is needed at this time; this is simply a 'thank you'! : )

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