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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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I "adopted" a stray cat 9 months ago. I separated him in th

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I "adopted" a stray cat 9 months ago. I separated him in the bedroom and finally let him out. My other cat was terrified of him because he would chase her around, just wanting to play because he is still young and playful. Now the tables are turned. The older cat hisses, growls, chases and/or jumps on the former stray cat. I've been using Feliway plus I brush each one around the face 3 times daily with the same brush. Is there any way to resolve this?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 9 months ago.
Hi there,

It's great that you've given the new cat a good home, and I'm so sorry to hear that all is not peaceful amongst your cats! Feliway is a good product and a good start. I do have some tips that may help.

-Start out by introducing them all over again, as if they've never met. Put the "new" cat in an enclosed room for a few days with his own food, water, and litter. Then, give them supervised time together, always allowing both cats ways to run away and hide if needed. Don't push them to interact. For the first few weeks, allow them to be together only if you can supervise them.

-Before putting them together, take a piece of laundry you have worn and rub both cats all over with it. Making them smell like you is more important than making them smell or smell like the other cat.

-Once they are together, still make sure that they each have their own food, water, and litter, and make sure these are far enough apart that one cat can't guard all the resources. In addition to the overt aggression you see, cats often covertly guard food, water, and litter to reinforce dominance and territory.

-If they are together and there is chasing but it is quiet, do nothing. This is where they can start to work things out between themselves. If there is hissing or growling, that's the time to get involved. Drop a bath towel on the one making noise (or both of them , if there is a fight). This is usually enough to break things up without getting your hands in where you can be bitten. Then walk away as if nothing has happened.

-Spend time separately with each cat allowing them to play aggressively with a lure-type toy. This allows them to get out their need to hunt and display aggressive behaviors in a safe way. As they spend time together peacefully, you can start playing with them with a toy together. Plan for 30 min to an hour per cat per day.

-Be patient and be consistent. Expect to take about 6 months before they can entirely be trusted alone together. Do bear in mind, as well, that some cats just don't get along, and that these cats can sometimes benefit from medication.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 414
Experience: Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 9 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Taus
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Things haven't really improved. I did separate them again. I've been using my dirty laundry to rub them both down, playing with each of them (separately) for long periods every day, and everything you suggested. The older female cat just will not accept the newer, younger male cat. She screeches, hisses, growls and tries to attack him if he happens to be in the same room she is in. They are no longer separated but usually someone is here to monitor them. I live in a small condo so it is really difficult to separate them. I was thinking of maybe doing it once a day -- maybe letting the older one have the run of the place in the morning and shutting the newer cat in the bedroom in the morning and then switching them later in the day. Although when I tried that before the older cat spent most of her time just meowing and clawing at the bedroom door, trying to get back in.


 


Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Taus replied 8 months ago.
If they can't be together peacefully, I think you will be better served to let the older cat where she's happy rather than switching them. Stress can play a big role in your older cat's ability to adjust. As long as no one is being hurt, giving it more time may also be helpful. Cats are painfully slow at adjusting to change, and some will never get along with a housemate.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


Thank you for your advice, Dr. Taus. I think that is all I can do. They are actually better than they were 10 months ago. It's a very slow process.

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