How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Cher Your Own Question
Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20960
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
1470369
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We are trying to introduce a male (neutered) about 1 yr. old

Customer Question

We are trying to introduce a young male (neutered) about 1 yr. old to a household with
an older male, 9 yrs. and things are almost dangerous. The older cat simply loses it;
hiss, shriek, growl. After a confrontation, older cat is traumatized; dry mouth, etc. and stays under the bed for hours afterward. I am seeing behavior in the older cat that worries
me; won't come out of the bedroom even after the kitten is separated, is nervous on edge.
Help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi JoAnn and welcome!

My apologies that your question wasn't answered earlier; your patience is greatly appreciated!

I just have a few questions about the cats, to help me assist you better:

How long ago did you get the kitten?

How did you first introduce them when you brought the kitten home?

Has Stuart always been an only-cat or does he have any other furry companions (cats/dogs)?

What does the kitten do when they're face to face?

Does Stuart have any medical conditions that you're aware of? Is he normally a high-strung kitty?

Thanks for all your additional information and after you reply, please allow me some time to compose/send your detailed answer.

Warmest regards,

Cher

Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, JoAnn.

I was hoping to hear back from you to get some additional information about Stuart and your new, little one, but I also don't want you to wait any longer for an answer.

I'm so sorry that Stuart is being stressed like this, by the new furry addition, who, I'm sure, only wants to play. Older cats typically have no patients for younger ones and their constant, energetic antics. Stuart may also just be a 'one cat to a household' type of cat and has no interest in a new friend and just wants to be left alone and resume his life the way it was before the 'intruder' entered it.

It's very important that new introductions are done in a very gradual and correct way. Some people believe in just putting two cats together and I don't believe in this. Cats are creatures of habit and need to be introduced to new situations gradually. Here are tips and techniques about new introductions, that you will find helpful:

http://jacksongalaxy.com/2010/10/01/cat-to-cat-introductions/

http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/how-to-introduce-a-second-cat/

You can still start from square one, if you didn't follow this agenda, when you first got the kitten. I also believe the 'scent transfer' method is very successful: take a slightly dampened cloth or paper towel and pet Stuart, then the kitten, then, vice-versa. Continue to do this frequently during the day, every day, so they are walking around with each others' scents on their coats. In addition, you can take an old t-shirt of yours and pet both of them with that, so they have your comforting, familiar scent on them and they will both smell the same.

Feliway, a calming cat pheromone will be very useful in this situation. Get a diffuser or two and it should help calm the level of their stress, especially Stuart's. Here is more information:

http://www.feliway.com/us

After a while of them being separated, try to offer tasty, but cat-healthy treats while they are both in the same room. Someone will have to hold each cat. Don't force Stuart to stay there if he is too anxious, but try this in a couple of weeks and see how it goes. They should both also love playing with interactive toys (YOU direct the play) like a laser pointer and feather wand/fishing pole toy; however, don't allow them to play with the fishing pole toy alone, as pieces may be bitten off--only use this under YOUR supervision. If you don't already have one, a tall kitty condo or cat tree with different levels, shelves and 'hidey holes' is great and cats feel safe, up high, so maybe instead of going under the bed, Stuart will climb up to the top of the platform on the kitty condo and feel like 'King of the Jungle!' and more in charge.

If Stuart continues to be extremely stressed, that's not good for him, physically or emotionally, so ask your vet for a prescription anti-anxiety medication that might help--just a low dose, as you don't want him to be 'dopey.'

Two over the counter oral remedies you might try (but not together) are Rescue Remedy for Pets and Composure treats. Here is more info:

http://www.bachflower.com/rescue-remedy-pets-bach-flower/

http://www.petco.com/product/122726/Vetri-Science-Composure-Feline-Bite-Sized-Chews.aspx

They also make calming pheromone infused collars for cats that help with stress. These are two examples:

http://www.meridiananimalhealth.com/product/feline/nurturecalm.asp

http://www.petco.com/product/109457/Sentry-Calming-Collar-for-Cats.aspx

I hope that you find these suggestions helpful and things will start to improve for Stuart and his new pal!

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive recognition from the site 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 happy to continue.

Warmest regards,

Cher