Bonded cats and hissing?

Ntlaw

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So to make a long story short, I’m working on introducing my cats to my boyfriends cat. His cat is the resident animal, my two have been in our bedroom for the last month. The intro has been a very slow Process, his cat is having a hard time taking them in.

they are brother and sister, I adopted them as a bonded pair. In the last week or so I am noticing fighting that seems to be a little More aggressive. I am also noticing one of them will hiss at the other. Is this normal? If not what can I possibly do to correct this behavior.
 

ArtNJ

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Pretty common thing. One or both of your original two is feeling generally stressed by BF's cat, and stressed cats can lash out at their cat buddies, or even at their humans. This even has a name, its called "redirected aggression" and it can come up in a variety of situations where something scares/stresses a cat, and it lashes out at / blames whatever pet or human is nearby. If it gets to the point where one hurts the other, the relationship could be seriously damaged and require a reintroduction process. Obviously, you don't want that. So the question is whether you can stay the course on your introduction process to the BF's cat, or whether you need to move to a three way introduction, if that is even possible in your living space. Given the difficulty of a three way intro process, if you haven't had actual fighting, you'll likely try and stay the course and hope that as they get used to the new cat, their old relationship will resurface. As long as they don't fight, that is likely.

If you want to describe how the main intro has gone, what you've done and for how long and how they have reacted, we can perhaps offer more advice.

We do have an article specifically on redirected aggression -- Re-directed Aggression In Cats – TheCatSite Articles I don't especially think it will give you any guidance specific to your exact situation, but it might be worth a look.
 
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Ntlaw

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Okay. A months ago I started scent swapping, neither of the three had any aggression toward the scents. Once it got to a point where it didn’t seem like scents caught their attention. I moved on to site swapping. This was difficult and I’m not entirely sure I should have moved on from this step.
My cats are very skittish, one is more than the other. I could never get them both out of the room, to put the resident cat in.

so I decided to start feeding in opposite sides of the door, then I moved to the gates. My cats won’t come too close to the gate if his cat is here. But I noticed between my male cat and his cat (also male) that they seemed a lot more relaxed at the sight of each other. My cat would roll over on his back, and his would sit there and stare but the tail didn’t move anymore, and eventually he would get bored and walk away.

This led us to think maybe the two males were ready to have supervised time together. We fed them in the same room and then tried to play with the. My cat walked by him and his cat sniffed him, hissed, and started caterwauling. We stopped it by putting a pillow in between and my boyfriend removed his from the room. We have gone back a step since.

To make it even more difficult his mom is staying with us and she has a chi hua hua. My cats have never interacted with a dog before and they interactions they have had have not been pleasant. Hissing, she barks and they run away and hide.

I’m not sure what I am doing wrong, or if there’s something I could do better to even get my cats to want to engage more. I tried feliway, it helped to a degree I think
 
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Ntlaw

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How long was the gate up?
It was up the first time for about a week. I’d keep it up during feeding them wet food. I kept a blanket on it, and would slowly lift it. I gave treats if they reacted positively.
 

ArtNJ

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It was up the first time for about a week. I’d keep it up during feeding them wet food. I kept a blanket on it, and would slowly lift it. I gave treats if they reacted positively.
I would just leave it up for a whole week, 24/7. Its fine if they hiss. The whole purpose of the gate is to get the negative stuff out with no possibility of anything bad happening. So they sort of realize they were making a fuss for nothing. The blanket trick is really for if they are going totally nuts with the gate up (which does happen once in a while).

But the dog could really be complicating this. Its most likely not that you are doing anything wrong, its just a difficult situation.
 
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Ntlaw

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I would just leave it up for a whole week, 24/7. Its fine if they hiss. The whole purpose of the gate is to get the negative stuff out with no possibility of anything bad happening. So they sort of realize they were making a fuss for nothing. The blanket trick is really for if they are going totally nuts with the gate up (which does happen once in a while).

But the dog could really be complicating this. Its most likely not that you are doing anything wrong, its just a difficult situation.
Ok thanks so much!
Would it still be beneficial to let mine out for a little while? We can keep the dog and resident cat contained. I worry that mine are too cooped up in this tiny room. They have been bonded for 4 years now, the hissing is alarming. My male cat has been very territorial over this tree that they’ve shared nicely for 3 years now.
 

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ArtNJ

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Maybe worth a try? I've seen indoor/outdoor cats get along worse when stuck inside. They can't get the energy out, so the more active one pesters the other causing friction. I don't know whether being confined to one room might be causing something similar or just generally making them stir crazy. Or it could be the dog, in which case letting them out into rooms with more dog smell won't help.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
I'm not surprised that your male cat is getting frustrated and territorial.

How much longer is the dog going to be there? If not much longer, I'd frankly just wait it out regarding everything, and then get a calming product in a spray (Only Natural Pet has products like this) for the house.

If however this is a long-term situation you'll have to address it with a more formal procedure.

In the meanwhile see if calming products will help your kitties, and possibly use cat music too since I'm not sure which will be more effective.
 
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