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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3924
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My 9 year old Marky is terrorizing my new cat. How do I

Customer Question

My 9 year old Marky is terrorizing my new cat. How do I blend them as family?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

1) Is Marky a cat?
2) Neutered?
3) How old is the new cat?
4) Is s/he spayed or neutered?
5) How long have you had each of them?
6) What approaches for socialization have been tried?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Both cats. Both fixed. New cat 2years old. Marky 9yrs. Stevie one month.
Scent exchange. Feeding across from gate. Diffuser with scent, Spirit science bully solution. When Mark goes after her, I divert him, praise and love up when he responds. Then sit with them talking calmly and loving. He is responsive to diverting. But still takes after her when he can.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Is Marky an overly playful cat, by chance, or is he going after her to harm her?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
To fight. I've seen improving attitude from both, but he will still take after her, chase and fight. He's very attached to me, so defending his territory is part of it. He has been doing great being distracted, but how to get to stopping him going after her. She is doing great despite the fights. Has become comfortable walking around, play and has just started to seek me out and sit in my lap.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

If they're making improvements together, this is an excellent sign. The stage that you must make it to now is getting him to the point of full acceptance and keeping her protected while this happens. The initial improvements may happen quickly where the final stages may take days or weeks to complete.

The way I like to do this is to use a 36" wire dog kennel (or larger) and allow the new introduction cat to stay in the kennel (with food, water, bed and a covered litter box) and allow the established cat to interact with the new cat through the kennel. This should be done in the living room or other part of the house where you and Marky spend the most time. This can give either cat the chance to hide if s/he doesn't want interaction and can also keep the new cat from being pursued. In essence, they can socialize to their hearts content, she will be protected from his advances and he will have a chance to come to terms with her being within the home. You will want to continue this type of protocol until he is ignoring her. Once she's no longer the object of his aggression, she can be let out of the kennel and into the home full time. It would still be worthwhile to allow her a room to sleep on her own at night, separated and safe from Marky. You can rotate who gets free roam in the majority of the house, if you like. In my experience, even the most stressed out cats will calm down into a more mellow companion in about 1-2 weeks time. Marky may need more time with his age and having such an attachment with you.

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Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Checking in, Donna. How are your efforts coming along?