A friend is moving and gave me one of their cats. So I bring her home, let her out…and the old cat (Sponge) goes absolutely apeshit, hissing constantly. The new one (Princess; no, I didn’t inflict that name on her) lived with other cats, so she just looks confused.
Has anyone else made cats love each other before? What do I need to do? Sponge will walk around the apartment hissing at everything, on the off chance it might be Princess.
I have a friend at work who talks about bringing new cats into the existing cat environment and it always being a tramatic experiance. You might need a third cat to bring them together. Maybe get a tiger.
Won’t necessarily work. I have a boxer that weighs over 100 lbs and routinely gets his ass kicked by our three cats. If he gets close to them, they just start hissing and whack him in the head repeatedly.
Princess has taken a liking to going into the kitchen, opening a cabinet door, climbing inside, and then CLOSING IT. So I’ll wonder where the cat is and end up opening all the cabinets, only to find her looking drowsy and confused next to the pots and pans.
A friend of mine always speaks to her cats and dogs as if they were recalcitrant small children. I once heard her snap at a mewling cat ‘For God’s sake stop whining and GROW UP!’. Seems to work for her.
I told my friend with the cats about your problem and basically she reckons you should leave them to sort it out themselves. They’ll either grow used to each other or establish their own ‘territory’ where they can safely ignore each other, occasionally pausing to hiss at each other if their paths accidently cross. She knew of one cat that ignored its ‘rival’ for 10 years until its death.
One of them is declawed, but they’re both such cowards that I can’t imagine it’ll matter. The new one has started hissing back, but the both of them do it less often. They’ll get within 10 feet of each other now, so I guess it’s an improvement.
Female cats are more territorial then male cats, which was why I’d asked. In the past, we’ve had some success with spraying a little perfume (same on both cats) once or twice a day for a few days before introducing them (they tend to be less upset about an intruder that smells somewhat familiar).
It’s a good sign that they’re not as bad now as they were at first. They’ll probably never be best buddies, but you shouldn’t have to worry about them hurting each other.
I’ve had a lot of experience introducing new cats to old, and it doesn’t sound like a severe case of trauma. If there were big problems, one of them would outright attack the other–and there would be pretty strong physical signs from one of the cats if it was serious. From what you describe, they’re just determining the pecking order and first rights to the food dish.
The only case where I had to separate the cats was with a friend. His first cat was foaming at the mouth due to the stress of a new kitten introduced in the house, and she had to be sedated. In that case, I got to take the new kitten home with me. :)
On another topic, Sandy and I were thinking about picking up a fourth cat now that we bought a bigger house (no kids–yet). But in my mind a fourth cat is only one step away from the “strange old lady down the street with 28 cats who never leaves her house”. But maybe three cats is already past the line?