Male cat consistently cornered by female cat

Twocoastscat

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I posted back a couple of weeks ago and am still concerned about the interaction between these two cats. Jeter is a neutered 12 year old male who has always been an only cat. He did accept an adult female golden retriever who was raised with cats - they don’t snuggle or play or anything but will occupy the same couch peacefully. He is a beast - 14 lbs and irritable in general, completely unmanageable at the vet, for example, due to fear-based aggression (or so they say) and is hyper reactive - doesn’t like being moved and will snap, will hiss if you brush by him sometimes especially if you have another cat’s scent on you, etc. So he’s quite challenging and i assume very territorial.
The current problem is with an adult female Dolly (of uncertain age who was rescued by my son and his wife a few years ago) who’s been living with her two other housemate cats in a separate building on the same property with my son’s now ex wife (too long of a story.) She is pretty docile but playful. A couple of months ago she was brought into the main house where I live with my son, the retriever, and Jeter. The reason was that my ex daughter-in-law was fostering five kittens and two puppies and Dolly kept trying to get outdoors (she was formerly an outdoor cat) so the thought was that she’d be happier in the main house. However, she terrorizes Jeter despite being smaller. Somehow she manages to corner him and he hisses and growls and she hisses back and won’t back down but he can’t seem to figure out how to escape from her. Someone on this site suggested she might be trying to play and he wants no part of it - I can usually either chase her away from him or physically move her to another area but obviously can’t always be present and am worried about what could happen if no one is home. My ex daughter-in-law has had tons of cats and is rather blasé about this and believes that Dolly is happier in the main house. That’s great but I hate seeing Jeter intimidated. There isn’t a way to rearrange furniture to help because he always seems to get himself backed up against a wall and he won’t run past her. They’ve not made physical contact yet so I just am wondering if this is more likely to stay the same or more likely to escalate to the point of a physical fight. I am reluctant to “leave it to them to working out” but can’t always be there to rescue him either.

Also want to add that Dolly is definitely a huntress. Jeter has caught a few mice that have inadvertently wandered into the house but Dolly has had more experience.
 
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Twocoastscat

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We followed the usual advice for introductions - scent sharing, using a gate to separate but letting them smell each other through the gate, switching areas, etc. as well as a Feliway diffuser. They are always fed separately. They were and are tolerating each other’s presence at times but at some distance, which is fine. We don’t expect them to be close friends. They initially seemed to compete for a cat tree so we bought a duplicate and there have been times when each has been in their “own” tree about 2 feet from one another
In front of the window. They have used each other’s litter box although one “serious” but not physical altercation occurred when Dolly approached Jeter while he was using his litter box. It just seems that at some point usually in the afternoon Dolly gets it into her head to approach Jeter, they stare at each other and the hiss fest begins and he gets himself cornered. I’ve used the technique of putting a large barrier between them to break the eye contact. I ordered kickeroos for Dolly to see if that will distract her since she is playful and I believe that she is hunting/stalking and he’s her available prey.
 

rubysmama

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Considering that he "will hiss if you brush by him sometimes especially if you have another cat’s scent on you" I'd say things aren't going too badly if there hasn't been an out and out fur flying cat fight yet. But still having Jeter feel intimated probably isn't good.

About the litter boxes, are there just two? The "rule" is one per cat, plus one, so maybe another litter box in a different location could help with that issue.

Hissing isn't all bad, btw. It's just how cats communicate.

Except for that one litter box incident, are they both eating and using the litter box normally?
 
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Twocoastscat

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Yes. Neither has urinated or defecated outside of the litter boxes and both are eating normally. Right now Dolly is sleeping in a cat tree in front of the window (her morning preferred place) and Jeter is sleeping in his favorite chair about 6 feet away (his preferred morning place.) You would never think there is an issue but something happens later and I’m wondering if it is Dolly’s hunting instinct and/or active period that surfaces closer to what is usually dinner time. Jeter starts whining for dinner at 3:30 sometimes so he is up and about as well and that’s when I think the issues arise.
 

rubysmama

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but something happens later and I’m wondering if it is Dolly’s hunting instinct and/or active period that surfaces closer to what is usually dinner time.
Does Dolly like to play? If so, maybe when she gets into her hunting mode, you could satisfy that craving by having her chase or fetch a toy or ball.

They can be this close
Not necessarily every time, but maybe when they're close like that reward them with some yummy treats. Just something to put some positivity of when they're together. But really, sitting that close together, and neither looking stressed or anxious, is really good.

I know they haven't gotten into a fight, but here's a TCS article Are My Cats Fighting Or Playing? – TheCatSite Articles which has pics and videos to help recognize the signs of a pending fight.
 
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