Adding To The Fur-family: 1 Month In

Salios

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Hey all!

So in December I adopted a five year old domestic black cat. I renamed her Banshee because she...well, she screams... A lot... The screaming is a little less now, more squawks, but the name fits. She has claws, which is new for me as my older cat was declawed when I got her ten years ago (vet/parent decision, I'd never do it personally), and I'm always worried the new cat will clash with the old.

They can handle being in the same room finally, and are aggressively sharing a food bowl. Or, more specifically, refusing to eat out of their own bowl and only eating from the other's bowl. Is that normal?

Eva, my support animal, is 10, black, declawed, and very very mellow. Next to nothing gets to her, but Banshee has her hissing and snarling.

I've found recently that Eva won't sleep with me anymore, which really upsets me. It's only been a month and I realise that cats cycle, but can anyone give suggestions on how to show her that these spaces are still hers?

Thanks!
 

calicosrspecial

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Hi,

I am a little worried that you are going through the introduction process too quickly. I have found that it is really important to take it slow and make every encounter (first through scent, then sight, then actually together) as positively as possible. So associating with positive things (food) and then making encounters as positive as possible distracting when needed.

I have found often times things go ok fairly soon but things can slide downward if the process is rushed.

The resident cat usually has the most difficult time adjusting because it is their territory being "invaded". So we have to make sure that we build their confidence. We build confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love.

So I would step up play with Eva in all parts of the house. Really good play sessions (alone) and feed treats or a meal after play. This replicates the "Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat" instinct in the wild. Building confidence. Make sure she has warm and comfy bedding (enough for each), cat trees, and scratching posts so they can "own" territory. Finally, make sure she knows she is loved, be calm and confident around her, give her good food, make every encounter between her and Banshee as positive as possible. If you sense an issue distract them with something positive like food, play, or calling their name lovingly.

Confident cats are more likely to get along and feel like they own the whole place.

Cats take on our emotions so it is important to not worry and just stay as calm and confident as possible. Eva still loves you and as she gets more comfortable and more confident she will most likely again sleep with you.

Oh and yes, in my experience cats do like to eat from the other's bowl (the grass is always greener as they say).

Let me know if you have any questions and how things are going.
 

margd

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Congratulations on the new arrival to your family! I love her name! She must have quite a piercing scream, but hopefully not while you are trying to sleep. :cutecat::zzzcat:

It's very normal for two cats to swap bowls like your two girls are doing. I have a pair of siblings who do the same thing. It's nothing to worry about unless they begin to fight over it, or you need to feed one cat a special diet and/or include medication. You may find that they eventually settle down to just going back and forth between each others bowl and their own. My pair seem to do this because in part to show each other who is boss, but mostly just to see if there is something more interesting in the other bowl. The grass is always greener...:catman:

You're right that cats do change where they sleep from time to time, so Eva may yet return to your side. Is Banshee sleeping with you as well? That could be why Eva has changed her sleeping habits.

While I was writing, C calicosrspecial posted her reply and said much of what I was planning to say, only better, so I'll end this with one last message:

WelcomeSign.gif
While you're here, take a look around the site. There is an immense amount of information available in the articles and in the threads, current and past. You'll also find TCS is an active community of cat lovers who are always delighted to welcome newcomers. :catman:
 
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Salios

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Hi,

I am a little worried that you are going through the introduction process too quickly...

Thanks for the reply! And thanks Margd as well! Sorry it took me so long to respond.

Where I live is a little weird in terms of setup. Technically I rent a room in a three bedroom apartment with the living, bathroom (x2), and kitchen spaces available to everyone. But, one roommate was pulled from school/apartment by her parents and therefore her room is empty/open for the cats to explore. The other roommate locks his door, but they seem content with just screaming at it once in a while (can you guess who?). That being said, there aren't multiple levels here like I grew up with, just one flat apartment.

If I take Eva to bed and somehow get under the covers while keeping her on my pillow, she will stay for a bit. If I don't, she might visit in the morning but otherwise sleeps in the living room on her blankets/my computer chair. Banshee sleeps at my feet and kinda wanders, but never goes far.

I've noticed that Banshee has started running at/ occasionally pawing at Eva and at first, I was terrified, given that Eva is twice her age. But aside from Eva hissing and walking away, nothing has come of it.

Eva rarely plays, never really has, but if I don't watch she will use Banshee's scratching post or skitter along, or even chase a toy for like, three seconds. Then she goes rigid like she's remembering she's 'old' and 'refined'. Cats are weird...

I've had Banshee a month and the two are coexisting, more or less, and there isn't any active aggression. I'm just worried they might never get past this point I guess.
 

himawari

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I think it just takes some time. I've had my cat for almost two years now, and it was barely at the end of last year that he and my dog (who I've had since he was a puppy & came first) are finally getting along. Granted, they aren't buddy-buddy like how I want them to be with each other like cuddling with each other, but there has been no aggression. They can actually sniff each other's faces centimeters apart without the other reacting. They can both sleep on my bed at the same time, and they take turns sleeping on this flat bed they co-share. And they both wait for me at the door when I come home. I think the thing to be careful of is making sure you don't show favoritism to the other. Give an equal amount of time to each of them.
 

calicosrspecial

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The key really is to make every encounter between them as positive as possible and try to make positive associations.

So keep feeding them together but watch them so there isn't any negativity. If you sense negativity distract them. Call their name, tell them it is ok (all in a calm and confident voice tone) maybe show them food to get them distracted. Feeding helps make a positive association. I like to have them eating from their own dishes but it sounds like yours want to eat from the same one.

What does Eva do after she hisses and walks away when Banshee runs at her? Does she walk away slowly or normal? Tail up or down? Body tall or low to the ground? Does Eva hide after this incident or does she go in her usual places? Does Eva avoid areas? How does Banshee react?

We will do everything we can to help you to get them to get along. Some cats like other cats and some are agnostic. It depends but if we make positive associations, make every encounter as positive as possible and build their confidence we should be able to at least have them coexist at worst. But you have a lot of positives so far so we need to just keep building on them. If we see any change in behavior or negative encounters we need to try to stop it before it becomes a problem.

Just ask anything anytime, we will get through this.
 

sam12

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I'm going through the same thing right now actually, I have a 14 year old ragdoll, Molly and she seems alot like Eva with the no playing, always sleeping on my be ect. and I got a kitten who is 3 months old (Richard) but he was born in my mums side of the house (I have a self contained apartment separated by a door) and she would occasionally wonder in there if the door was left open and while she most certainly didn't like my mums two cats, Paws and Mini, she was never aggressive cause she's a pussy (pun intended) but with Richard I first introduced her to him when he was 13 hours old (I had decided to keep on of my mums kittens so I wanted to introduce them as fast as possible while he was a kitten incase her maternal instincts kicked in) but she tried to swipe him! I have never seen her more aggressive with any other cat apart from strays that come over and attack her. But yeah now Richard 3 months old and she still hates his with a passion and honestly Richard doesn't care at all he just wants to play but she's not trying to outright kill him anymore and their currently both sitting with me right now (molly is sleeping but every time she wakes up she hisses at him and I have to calm her down its rather funny) so i think it is improving so from my own experience it just takes time.
 
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