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Rosie_MRCVS, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1065
Experience:  BVetMed MRCVS, Qualified veterinarian of ten years in small animal practice in England
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HELP!!!! I am desperate...I rescued a 6 year old male 2 months

Customer Question

HELP!!!! I am desperate...I rescued a 6 year old male 2 months ago, and my 7yr old male cat HATES it!!!! I've kept them separate, but have had 3 violent encounters, the last one this morning.....I have a plug-in pheromones dispenser, but nothing seems to help!!!!!!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Rosie_MRCVS replied 2 years ago.
Hi I'm Rosie one of the vets and I'd like to try and help you and your cats. Quite often it is difficult to introduce one to another, especially when they are both male. However, there is a specific technique you can use to get them to like each other - but it takes space, time and quite a lot of patience. If you rush it, it won't work, and you can find yourself back at the beginning again. Firstly, you need to give each cat his own room. Each room should obviously have bed, litter tray, food, water, and you should go and visit them each day for fuss and play. Each cat should stay in their respective rooms for three days. After the three days leave everything in-situ and swap the cats over. Leave the cats in the new rooms for three days. This will force them to get used to each others' smell. After the three days you can start to introduce them to each other. Initially this should be under a closed door - if they start fighting then you will be back at the beginning again. When they are near the other cat (can smell and know they are there but no direct contact) give them a treat, so they associate the other cat with something pleasant. Do this for a few minutes, and no longer. You can do this for slightly longer period each time, then start to gradually open the door. A piece of string with a toy at each end under the door also works well as a reward, as the cats can then play with each other. This part will take several weeks, but eventually the cats will start to associate positive things with the other cat and you will be able to get the door open completely. To keep things calm between them it is important they feel they don't have to fight for resources. Resources include food, water, litter trays, beds, escape spots and your attention. For a two cat household you need to have a minimum of three litter trays, spread out, and at least three food/water spots (but not near the trays). I would also create several 'escape' places dotted around - little refuges high up where they can hide if they want to - they like being up high. Cats also like routine, so try to keep playtimes, mealtime and bedtimes to the same time each day. I would also make a point of playing with each cat separately, so they know they are not in competition for your attention. I hope I've helped - if you have any questions from this then just get back to me. Otherwise, if you have found this useful, please leave a positive rating so that I may be compensated for my time. Thank you, ***** ***** luck, Rosie.