keeping cats separated in a small apartment

em19220

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
12
Purraise
14
hi everyone. i recently moved into a studio with two cats that dont know eachother. in the process of introducing them to each other, im trying to keep them separated so they dont fight.

ive been keeping my one guy in the kitchen (which is 6x8 with a large 6x6 closet at the end) and the girl in the main living space (12x14). i let my male cat into the main living space during the day with supervision, but they cant be left alone because they fight if one startles the other

its been 5 days of separation and my male cat is going a little stir crazy in the kitchen and escapes into the main living space because he wants to explore (ive only been using boxes from the move to keep him separated). i do my best to keep him entertained and exercised but i still feel bad having to confine him there. its for his own safety, though, especially when i have to go to work for a couple hours in the evenings throughout the week.

i don't know what to do to keep him separated from my other cat. i cannot let him out and put the other cat in the kitchen because she is terribly destructive and might injure herself. even for a few hours, i feel like the bathroom is way too small (it's a 5x6 space with a small hallway), same with the closet which is a bit bigger. i'm a college student so i dont have a lot of money to spend on something like a big fancy partition, but i need someone wide to block off the kitchen (about 6ft wide and 4 feet tall) to keep him safe until my cats get used to eachother. i would really appreciate some recommendations. thank you!
 

FunfettiSquid

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
9
Purraise
6
If you really need to let one of your cats roam and keep the other in the kitchen, check out "puppy playpens" on Amazon (the ones with a top), which would keep her safe in the kitchen while you're able to work out his energy. Just make sure to have an intense playtime with him while he's out. Feeding is generally apositive activity and, if able, should be done while they're near each other but separated and not so close as to be threatened. Feliway diffusers may or may not help your specific cats but can be really useful if they respond to them. Also, this probably isn't an official solution, but you could use chicken wire as a cheap and effective way to block a door but maintain sight and smell contact once they are a little more acclimated to each other.
 

FunfettiSquid

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
9
Purraise
6
Alternatively, could you put your female cat in the bathroom for just a little while to let the new male cat out to explore the living area and get used to the female's smells and then reverse the situation? Also, having both cats spayed/neutered respectively would help immensely.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

em19220

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
12
Purraise
14
If you really need to let one of your cats roam and keep the other in the kitchen, check out "puppy playpens" on Amazon (the ones with a top), which would keep her safe in the kitchen while you're able to work out his energy. Just make sure to have an intense playtime with him while he's out. Feeding is generally apositive activity and, if able, should be done while they're near each other but separated and not so close as to be threatened. Feliway diffusers may or may not help your specific cats but can be really useful if they respond to them. Also, this probably isn't an official solution, but you could use chicken wire as a cheap and effective way to block a door but maintain sight and smell contact once they are a little more acclimated to each other.
thank you so much, this was really helpful. my parents have a roll of chicken wire, maybe i can look into tacking it onto some scraps to make a little partition.

after reading your post, i played with them both for about 30-40 minutes and they did okay, there was some growling but i was okay with that since they actually stayed about 4-6 feet apart earlier but played with little to no problem... they even rolled on their backs in eachothers' presence. i think that's progress!! its certainly much more than i anticipated theyd do at this stage.

and with feliway, i will certainly keep the diffusers in mind, ive heard good things about them but always forget they exist. thank you so much for the help!!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

em19220

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
Messages
12
Purraise
14
Alternatively, could you put your female cat in the bathroom for just a little while to let the new male cat out to explore the living area and get used to the female's smells and then reverse the situation? Also, having both cats spayed/neutered respectively would help immensely.
thats a good idea too. they're both spayed and neutered fortunately and im sure that's really saving us some stress. i'll continue giving that a try, especially when they need a little space to explore on their own. thank you
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
19,198
Purraise
49,987
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Welcome to TCS, em19220 em19220 and sweet cats! When you can't build out, build UP. Investing in a tall cat tree would pay well for years to come. Most cats love to climb and many feel secure being up high. A nice cat tree with multiple perches provides climbing and hiding options, and if you get one with sisal-wrapped vertical surfaces, it also provides a good clawing surface, which cats need to hone their claws.
You can gain a lot of insight by looking at the tutorials here on TCS about introducing a new cat to the family. Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy also has lots of informative videos on YouTube on the subject and on helping cats to become friendly toward one another. And yes, get and use Feliway in the environment! It is very valuable in helping cats to calm and gain confidence. Generally, experts suggest keeping the new cat isolated in his or her own space for up to 2 weeks and gradually allowing the cats to see and sniff each other. Jackson Galaxy has all kinds of suggestions to achieve the desired results! And here's a helpful article on this site: How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
Please keep us informed as to how it's going, won't you? Good luck!
 

moxiewild

Seniors, Special Needs, Ferals, and Wildlife
Super Cat
Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
1,044
Purraise
1,421
hi everyone. i recently moved into a studio with two cats that dont know eachother. in the process of introducing them to each other, im trying to keep them separated so they dont fight.

ive been keeping my one guy in the kitchen (which is 6x8 with a large 6x6 closet at the end) and the girl in the main living space (12x14). i let my male cat into the main living space during the day with supervision, but they cant be left alone because they fight if one startles the other

its been 5 days of separation and my male cat is going a little stir crazy in the kitchen and escapes into the main living space because he wants to explore (ive only been using boxes from the move to keep him separated). i do my best to keep him entertained and exercised but i still feel bad having to confine him there. its for his own safety, though, especially when i have to go to work for a couple hours in the evenings throughout the week.

i don't know what to do to keep him separated from my other cat. i cannot let him out and put the other cat in the kitchen because she is terribly destructive and might injure herself. even for a few hours, i feel like the bathroom is way too small (it's a 5x6 space with a small hallway), same with the closet which is a bit bigger. i'm a college student so i dont have a lot of money to spend on something like a big fancy partition, but i need someone wide to block off the kitchen (about 6ft wide and 4 feet tall) to keep him safe until my cats get used to eachother. i would really appreciate some recommendations. thank you!
How are you going about introductions right now? It sounds as though you are more or less allowing them to work it out among themselves, but with supervision. Is that correct?

I would keep the new cat in the bathroom.

My bathroom floor space is not-quite 3ft by not-quite 7ft + not-quite two feet of counter and cabinet space, and I use the tub for the litter box.

I keep cats in there for weeks all the time. Many cat trees, if you have one already, will fit (it’s inconvenient and annoying to use the toilet with them in there sometimes, but doable), then I place bedding or a small condo on top of the counter.

If I need to, I empty the bathroom cabinets and remove the doors, and place additional bedding in there, sometimes a ball track tower depending on the exact arrangement.

Some super cheap, regular shelves from Walmart can also be put up to further increase vertical space.

Here’s an example of my bathroom -

C4C94689-7A6D-4377-8E97-2B3E1D3979CC.jpeg


Not sure exactly how strained you are financially, or what you consider “fancy”, but stacking two metal pet gates (Amazon) on top of each other in the doorway is your best bet. Walmart typically has cheaper ones that are wooden, but you usually need three and they are more of a hassle to deal with.

You really don’t seem like you have many options here.

You can either continue what you’re doing and hope they get over their issues (there are certainly things you can do to help if you aren’t already!), or you can spend ~$45-80 on pet gates.

The cheapest option I can think of, but have not personally used, is purchasing this for the bathroom door though -

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N258SAG/?tag=thecatsite

So you might try that as well, going through the process of proper introductions, like feeding them on either side of the door.

Also, personally, as a behavioral consultant, I do not recommend Feliway anymore. The science just isn’t there to support it’s efficacy (and what little evidence there is, almost exclusively has to do with spraying).

Meanwhile, we have literal mountains of evidence regarding does work to keep cats calm, stimulated, and happy - and that’s environmental enrichment.

I only recommend Feliway as a Hail Mary of sorts - after you’ve invested in environmental enrichment, and only if you have the money to burn afterward.

Otherwise, your money is much better spent on things like trees, shelves, toys/play time, catnip, etc, and in this case, pet gates or the door buddy.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
19,198
Purraise
49,987
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Well, each cat is an individual. I sprayed Feliway on the bedding lining the carriers of a group of cats I had to airlift internationally. They made a 100-mile journey starting on sand and boulder roads and ending up at the airport without a peep (and no tranquilizers. They can be dangerous in these situations). They arrived safe, well, cool, calm and collected. I credit ALL of this success to Feliway.
 

maggie101

3 cats
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
4,760
Purraise
5,479
Location
Houston,TX
Cats like to explore not be separated. Most cats are verysociable though it may take time. Like tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 [ suggested,invest in a tree. Have high places they can jump on even if it's furniture. Wand toys to play with them. They need to get to know each other. If eating becomes a problem put one on the ground,other at kitchen table. You can make a toy with anything immitating string and tied to a stick. My cats like wand toys without the attachment. The best one I have bought is the purrfect leather bouncer. I have had it 8 years
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
19,198
Purraise
49,987
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
If the budget is tight, Cat Dancer is a very affordable, long-lasting, durable and extremely popular option. Available everywhere cat supplies are sold. And there are frequent sales on cat furniture on amazon. I got my big GoPet activity center on amazon in a flash sale.
IMG_0711.JPG

It's about 6' tall, and comes flatpacked with instructions.
 
Top