Introducing Sweet Boy to our Diva

chattyblackcat

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
2
Purraise
1
Cast of characters: Diva, about 4, a rescue. She is very closely bonded to me and my partner, and continues to be just as active as she was when she was younger. We adopted her at probably 1 year old. She seems to do ok in new territories (we’ve moved a lot) as long as we are around. I had been worried about her mood when we leave on trips and to work, as she acts extremely exuberant when we come home, and does display separation anxiety if we put her in a room while we do something else (like painting a wall, etc). I thought she could use an emotional support cat, so we adopted Sweet Boy, who is 3 months old, and a total kitten. We have him set up in a spare bedroom and he has been doing fine.

We are feeding on opposite sides of the door, giving Diva pets, and playing with Sweet Boy to exhaustion. Everything seemed ok for the first couple of days, and yesterday we did site swapping with no issues. Diva played with Sweet Boy’s toys and tried to steal his kitten food. Sweet Boy isn’t bothered, he just hopped around the house with my partner.

I don’t know if this really is a problem - but here we are. I put a towel underneath the door to limit visual access to the isolation room. Lately, Diva has been digging under the towel, and then sticking her face under the door and hissing. This has been going on for about a day, particularly when we are sleeping (during her nocturnal zooms) or cooking, etc. Should we discourage this? Ignore it? Give her more visual access? She seems to not hiss unless the boy gets up close to the door. She still accepts food near the door, but if she can hear him eating, she sticks her head under the door and hisses again. I know it’s early - but I have been worried that Diva may never accept Sweet Boy, and that the digging and hissing pattern is her way of trying to instigate aggression.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
3,992
Purraise
4,534
Hissing means very little, and you will likely get it at each stage of the introduction. If possible, you do want it to fade before you up the ante and move to the next stage, but then you'll get it again. When you get to your visual access step, through a gate, door cracked with door jambs or the like, you'll get hissing again. When you let them mingle, you will likely get hissing again, perhaps for several days. A few days of hissing at any step is not predictive of serious problems. Frienship isn't guarrantied, but its no more or less likely than when you started.

I haven't heard of anyone putting a towel under a door before and it strikes me as unnecessary. You want the scents to flow, and if one tries to play under the door and the other doesn't like it, so what? Getting used to the other cat while preventing actual fights is what its all about. Sometimes if one cat seems way too stressed when you go to full visual access, folks will gradually raise a towel over the gate over the course of several days, but you shouldn't need to do that in most cases.
 

vince

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
1,074
Purraise
1,690
Location
metro Detroit
I had to put a rug under the door to keep my little one from escaping from the isolation room (doors are old and were cut to accommodate carpet, which isn't there any more). She kept getting out anyway, so I figured she could handle the situation, which she did.

Back to the situation at hand: I wouldn't worry about a little hissing if they can't get together. It'll most likely stop soon enough. Diva just isn't quite ready for the next step in the introduction process.

Some additional scent-swapping may help. Rubbing both cats with a common towel (dirty preferred) will help spread the scents between them. Let them sleep in the towel if they will, as well. A cloth toy like a kicker switched between the two will also help.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

chattyblackcat

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
2
Purraise
1
Ok, I will remove the towel. I wonder too if Diva digging through the towel isn’t encouraging Sweet Boy to come over and investigate and resulting in more attention than she wants. She hasn’t hissed at his smell or had any issues when I let them exchange territories (she plays with his toys and all). And they had a few pawsies moments under the door the first day before the hissing started. I would really like this introduction to work out, so I am probably overthinking things.
 

vince

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
1,074
Purraise
1,690
Location
metro Detroit
Towels under the door definitely are fair game for play. Dropped underwear and hand towels disappear under the bathroom door like magic around here!
 
Top