Cats Getting Along Question

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
I've had my 6 year old for about 5 years now. Just in early November, I took in a street cat who is very friendly (with me). I've done the introduction so that now I can let the new cat upstairs with the residential cat with no fighting. However, the new cat will hiss and swat at the residential cat when they get close, and she'll moan/growl when they lock eyes - but that is it. The new cat will look away turning her attention elsewhere after that, so she's not interested in doing anything with the residential cat other than this. The new cat is slightly larger and will ram the residential cat right out of her food bowl and eat it. The residential cat submits as she is smaller. I have to feed them separately or keep them apart at meal time. The residential cat was malnourished before I got her, and so she won't get big (at least that's what the previous owner told me). She is 8LB - is that small for 6y/o (she's a tuxedo short hair)?

So, my question is whether or not they can eventually get along or be able to get close without the new cat hissing/swatting. I really don't want my residential cat to have to not be the boss anymore. I can tell she's not happy about it. And I know its an individual situation, but is this possible, or is the new cat always going to be mean like this?

So one option: my brother wants to take the new cat if I don't want her. Maybe I'll give her to him and just get a smaller second cat (I really want a second cat now after this). Of course, I'd have to then deal with the unexpected things of that cat, but at least my residential will still be the boss.

So any advice or thoughts on this would help. I'm a pretty good single cat owner, but I'm not that good at owning multiple cats as this is very new to me.
 

NekoM

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
86
Purraise
177
Location
Huntington Beach
This has happened a few times to me with some introductions, and it’s really a second stage when personal boundaries are being developed, stay patient with the introductions because 2 female cats get along a lot easier than 2 male cats, also females don’t have the same need to be the dominant one in the house. Personally I think giving her away is just giving up on her, face it your her hero, you saved her life, street cats life expectancy is around 6 years whereas an indoor cat can live between 12-20 years. One of the easiest ways to jumpstart things is the good old led pointer, because it’s two cats with a common enemy, just get as much group activity in there as possible, it’s often overlooked or underdone.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
Just a note that I only think she's a female but not 100% sure. The vet is that backed up with appointments, but he'll find out for sure. She was medicated to bring inside safely but no visit yet. I might even find out she has an RFID and belongs to somebody in which case I'd give her back to the owner. So not everything is certain yet, and she might turn out to be a he.

Also, I wouldn't give up that quick.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
23,166
Purraise
56,486
Location
Canada
Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2: Thanks for bringing the stray inside and giving her/him a home. Hopefully things work out between both cats and the newbie can stay Actually, things don't sound bad, from your post.

Your resident cat is still eating and using the litter box ok, right. And there's been no actual fur flying or blood shed fights. Those would be things that would suggest you needed to take a step backwards in the introductions.

My main concern, actually, is that the new cat hasn't been checked out by a vet yet. Since they were an outside cat, they could have worms/fleas, or even an illness that could be passed onto your cat. It's too late now, of course, but it probably would have been better if you could have kept them separated till the new cat got vet checked.

Again, hopefully things work out with both cats, since you've become so attached to the newbie. But if your brother does end up taking her, and you decide to adopt another cat, here's a TCS article on the topic. Your Second Cat: How To Choose The Best Friend For Kitty – TheCatSite Articles
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
5,059
Purraise
6,060
Where your at now, after what, a month or so, is actually a pretty good place to be. Could be far worse. It will likely improve, but even if it doesn't, this is barely a blip on the level of trouble you could potentially have. With a 6 year old, when you add another adult cat, all outcomes are possible, friendship, stress followed by toleration, and serious hatred/fighting. A kitten at least takes fighting off the table, but things can still be bad. So I certainly wouldn't give this cat up with the plan of getting another.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
The new cat still isn't 100% staying upstairs yet. I am letting her up for longer and longer periods of time. I would need to establish her 'base' in a room, but her litterbox and bed are still in the basement. So, I can't keep her upstairs too long. I'm still nervous about leaving them alone together for long periods of time like if I leave. I have a feeling that not everything that will happen has happened yet.

My residential cat hasn't used her litterbox yet while the new cat is upstairs. I still don't know if it's by chance or because of the new cat.

In terms of giving the residential cat an illness, I did check with the vet by phone the Monday right after I found her (11/14), and they told me to come up and get Bravecto. I followed their instructions on bringing her in. I gave both cats a dose of it long before they came in contact and hours before bringing her from the garage to the basement. It still doesn't protect against everything though.

But this is all put aside now because a higher priority issue had just come up - new cat is urinating several small amounts and going on the floor (and litterbox). She doesn't do it constantly, but when she does go, she will do it several times and go on towels in the basement. She doesn't seem to be in pain or stressed over it, and she acts normal otherwise. When she was upstairs, I caught her squatting on the carpet. Only a dime-sized amount of urine comes out. I am calling the vet today when they open, and I'm pretty sure they'll get her in really fast if there's a urinary issue. So now that's the priority.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
Update: New cat had no further bladder issues that night. I gave her extra water in her wet food to possibly help flush it out, and she was back to normal pretty quickly, so I didn't end up having to take her. Litterbox activity is normal since, and clumps are more or less normal. Regular vet appointment is Wednesday still for total check up.

Getting along is improving a lot. I left them home alone together for the first time the past 2 nights, and they were fine. It seems the new cat isn't getting as mad as she previously was at residential cat for getting close. It also seems her personal 'radius' had decreased a little meaning residential cat is getting closer to her without her getting upset. In fact, residential cat wants to play, and jumps at her tail. New cat gets a little upset at this, but all they do is a couple little swats (if anything) at each other and then go back to normal. They're able to sit pretty close to each other. Residential cat is using he litter box like normal, eating normal, acting normal, sleeping normal, and doesn't seem to be scared or upset.

So one question about litter boxes. Ideally, I want to end up putting their litter boxes in the same room (my "cat room"). Its a spare bedroom. Right now, I have their boxes in separate back rooms. I was thinking about moving new cat's box incrementally closer until its' in there. I'll put a picture of the "cat room" so you can see how perfect it is for litterboxes. Any comments or advice on this?

Thanks
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
23,166
Purraise
56,486
Location
Canada
Oh, that's great that the new cat's bladder issue resolved itself. And also good that she's getting her regular vet check on Wednesday. Paws crossed all is well with her. :crossfingers:

Sounds like things are going well between them. A few swats is totally fine, as long as it doesn't lead to fur flying or bloodshed.

So about the litter boxes, being in the same room should be fine, as long as there isn't any litter box bullying going on. Some dual cat families can even get by with just one litter box, but with 2 cats, 2 is probably best, at least until you see how things go.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
Vet visit today: they tested her for FIV and leukemia which are negative, so she's good! She is chipped, so I told them to contact the owner. Now we're waiting to see if he calls or not. I'll know in a few days. They only give the owner a few days to call back.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
23,166
Purraise
56,486
Location
Canada
Oh wow, I wasn't expecting to read that. Will be interesting to see if the vet hears from the owners.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
The owner did not call to claim her yet. The new problem that started last night is that the new cat is suddenly going after my residential cat. Since last night, there were 3 incidents where she went at my cat causing her to pee, scream, and then afterward, my cat is doing the howl or moan like its serious. This is new, and new cat is back in the basement as of 5 minutes ago. I don't know why this just started. They were doing fine for over 2 weeks.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
23,166
Purraise
56,486
Location
Canada
Sorry to hear both that the owner hasn't called to claim her yet, and that she is being aggressive towards your resident cat. Strange that it just happened. But definitely keep them separated and once you know if you're keeping her, then work on re-introductions.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
With the new behavioral problem, I think it's more of my cat's reaction changing. My cat does exhibit FHS symptoms, so she's very active and reactive. These incidents seem to happen at times my cat is real active, playing, running around, etc. I think she's aggravating Callie (the new cat), Callie gets upset, goes at my cat, then my cat reacts more emphatically. Their energy levels are very different. The slow-release anti-inflammatory is starting to wear off of my cat, so I do have to start addressing this again. If I could get my cat calmer, it might solve it. Callie doesn't seem to have changed too much. She has always occasionally gone after my cat. Again, I think my cat reacted differently which in turn caused Callie to react differently. And pain/FHS-induced aggression could be a disaster if Callie happens to get close to her at the wrong time. Also, I'm sure FHS attacks could scare and trigger nearby cats.

Now, in terms of the owner, I think it's been too long for me to think he will claim her. So hopefully I can get them to co-exist.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
So I realize it's not just a change in my cat's reaction. Callie is going after my cat even from way across 2 rooms.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
23,166
Purraise
56,486
Location
Canada
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
I called the vet today. They said the owner never called (which I figured), so Callie's officially mine. I have an appointment scheduled for more tests and vaccines on 1/3/23. I told them I want kidney tests because of the weird urinating a few weeks ago.

In terms of the aggression, I'm just backing up the introduction steps again. I initially had them together in like less than 3 weeks, so that's really fast. I guess I shouldn't be surprised if there are disruptions like this. Like someone above said, this isn't that bad. I've read some of the other stories on here. I can still have them together for 99% of the time, but I just keep them separated when I'm sleeping, showering, or leaving the house. Hopefully this will work.
 

Alldara

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 29, 2022
Messages
1,442
Purraise
1,987
M MikeAndCats Giving her some solo playtime with you where the other cat is behind a closed door will help, though might not fix.

If it helps, we deal with Nobel getting too involved with the younger ones play sometimes. Getting him his own play sessions help, though it looks more like rolling and batting at this age. Sitting near to him and comforting him when they played went very well. I keep my hand on his chest to stop him charging forward and tell him that they are playing. I don't know if that helps at all.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
I'm noticing that these "fights" happen when my cat gets very playful and runs around. Ex, when my cat is done in the litterbox, she runs around real crazy. Its normal. She doesn't necessarily have to do anything directly to Callie, but this crazy behavior is what is triggering Callie to do this. So, I now the precipitating factor now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20

MikeAndCats

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 1, 2022
Messages
15
Purraise
28
They had another incident tonight. Lisa (my resident cat) was running around the house real crazy from room to room. She ran into the living room and jumped up on the TV stand. She's so crazy you can hear her claws ripping the carpet when she turns corners - like the same thing that makes a car's tires screech. At this time, Callie (new cat) was very calm but became curious and walked into the living room to see what she was doing. Callie jumped up on the TV stand and just looked at her, and Lisa flipped out screaming, peeing, clawing at her. I had to put Callie in the basement for a while.

So its Lisa's energy levels being through the roof that precipitate these incidents. Lisa is 6 y/o. Her energy levels, though just in bursts, are like a 1 y/o cat... or a crazy 1 y/o cat. I know cats can be crazy, but I think its abnormal. She's pretty 'stimulated' when in her normal/calm phases too. She will walk around in repetitive patterns rubbing her head on the same things over and over again. She get's in the 'scaredy cat' or 'halloween' stance a lot over little things. She overgrooms, and she mutilated her tail this summer and had to get medicated. She bites when you pet her. Its a playful bite but still hard enough. In her most calm states (right before or after sleeping), you can pet her for 3 seconds before she starts biting.

I know they say to play with the energetic cat to diffuse her energy, but to be actually practical, I can't always be there to have a play session when she happens to go into crazy mode. What if I'm busy or not home? Or sleeping? I need non-fighting auto-pilot. Note that after this incident, I was able to pick Callie up no problem. If I would have picked Lisa up, she would have gotten crazier. Given her FHS like symptoms, I'm thinking at her age, I might have to drug her in order for her to 1) not agitate Callie and start fights, and 2) not further mutilate or exhibit FHS behaviors. I have to stop keeping Callie in the basement.

I know sedative drugs lower any organism's life quality, but I think there may already be a problem of equivalent magnitude here anyway. After the vet gave her just an anti-inflammatory, she was very calm and almost normal. He said it lasts 2 weeks, but with Lisa, the majority of the calming effects only lasted 3 days. I used to think she was just active, and it was kind of funny, but I'm starting to realize something is wrong.
 
Top