Concerned new cat is bullying resident cat

Fae

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Hi everyone!

I recently adopted a new cat to (hopefully) play with my bb boi.

We've had him for about 18 days now, however for 16 of those he's either been mostly separated and had a cone on due to a surgery he had before I adopted him.

During his healing process my resident cat played with him, groomed him, and loved him.

So he's been "free" for two days now and the new cat is starting to growl over resources, toys and food, and my resident cat seems to stick to a small section of the apartment for the most part. Instead of playing with the new cat like he used to, he almost seems afraid of him, and he stays away from the cat tree and our bed that he used to love.

I'm concerned the new cat is being too dominant and I'm not sure if it will subside or get worse. I'm making sure to give him love and encourage him to come out into the main living area like he used to, but I adopted this second cat *for* him... Now I'm afraid it's becoming too intense for him. He's not acting afraid of his shadow, they aren't fighting, will eat next to each other. Will play a little sometimes, use the same box, etc. I just hope you all can ease my anxiety a bit or ground me into reality.

Sincerely,
Over thinking cat mom
 

kateallen

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Hi Fae. Most of the cats are territorial. You could try separating them at first, one room for each other. Then after a few days, switch room with the other cat. After another few days, you could introduce them to each other. They should be familiar with each other scent.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. How was the new cat reacting to your resident's attention while new cat was on the mend? What are their ages?

It is not unheard of for a new cat to try to become the dominant one, and it may have taken a while for the new cat to feel up to trying to do so since he was convalescing initially. As suggested above, I would start an introduction process. It will help to reestablish some confidence in your resident cat, and enable the new cat to acclimate a little more gradually now that he is heathy again. Here are some TCS article that might help -
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat – TheCatSite Articles
Why Do Cats Attack? – TheCatSite Articles
 
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Fae

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Hi Kateallen!

Thank you for your help, I kept them separated completely for a week, swapped out scents, like blankets. Then got a baby gate and let them see each other, fed them through the gate. Swapped places to allow them to get used to each other's space, THEN let them meet.

They had only supervised interactions for about a week that was going great! But my new cat wasn't 100%, he was healing, and had a cone on.

Now as he doesn't have a cone on, and they are around each other all the time, he seems to possibly be bullying my resident cat away from areas of the house and toys.

I hope they se
 
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Fae

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Sorry I'm on mobile and it's being a little wonky.

They're both around 1.5 years old, male, neutered though the new one was neutered less than a month ago
 
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Fae

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The resident cat wanted to play when the new one wasn't ready, but they went through a few days of good back and forth play. My resident cat groomed the new one when he couldn't, face, back, bottom, because of the cone. The new one even groomed him back.

But now as his cone is off and he's healed he seems to be on domination kick.
 
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Fae

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From what I'm gathering is maybe I should separate them again and reintroduce them?
 

FeebysOwner

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From what I'm gathering is maybe I should separate them again and reintroduce them?
I guess if it were me, I would try that and see what happens. Part of the introduction process would be to try to get your resident cat back to his usual routine by rebuilding his confidence, and see if a slower introduction with the new cat now that he is healthy again would allow him to more gradually accept the resident cat. It may or may not work, but it is worth a try. You are kind of re-setting the situation in hopes that the re-set will result in a better outcome.

A longer period of time beyond the new cat's neutering might help too. I have heard it can take weeks for the hormones to leave their body after being neutered. Although, it's nearly been a month, it just may be taking more time for this cat.
 
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Fae

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Thank you, I think I just panicked this morning. My resident cat is so sweet and loves having a "brother". The new cat came from a home with a bunch of other cats, and seems mostly indifferent to dominant. So to see my normally rambunctious resident cat almost scared of the new kitty broke my heart. He's still playing and stuff, just seemed like he's keeping distance from the new guy and staying in the kitchen.

I'm hoping that they'll work it out and become good buddies. We're moving next month so that will also be a good chance to "reset" if needed. But if I feel he's getting worse, I'll separate them again and keep their interactions to supervised only until things are looking better.

Thank you again!

I'm attaching a photo of them,. light kitty is the new one (Archer) and the dark kitty is resident one (Mando) - Mando normally loves to follow Archer around, but not the last day or two. :(
 

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Fae

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Update: I feel not enough updates are posted. :3

Both boys seem to be getting along very well now. They do play rough, but they equally instigate and come back for more. They're grooming each other even, resident cat to new cat more than the other way around, but I've seen it.

I'm now a happy cat owner, and so are my boys 💜 thank you everyone for letting me get my worries out.
 
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