New Cat Dominating Too Much

thepsguy

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Hello everyone,

So lately i moved to a new location with my girlfriend and her 2 years old male cat(Guigui).
After few weeks, waiting for him to be comfortable with his new home, we decided to adopt a new cat to broad him a new friend. Indeed, her cat used to live with a dog and was never alone, which is different now and we were worried that he would feel alone now.

So we headed to an animal shelter and we adopted a 5 years old female(Mimo) who just got sterilized. A thing to know is that we have a location with open rooms so hard to separate the 2 cats at the beginning but people from shelter told us it was not a problem ...

So as expected the male cat started to growl at the new coming cat for few days, resulting her to stay hide from us during few days.

Thing is, now Mimo is totally dominating Guigui, she just come with us on the couch and if Guigui comes, she meow at him and attack him, same for others situations when she attack him freely.

Now Guigui is isolating himself, he never come with us anymore. We tried to lock out Mimo in the bathroom for few minutes to let Guigui calm down and let him feel safe with us, but he just stayed behind the door of the bathroom waiting for Mimo.

We are a little bit lost, we don't want to bring Mimo back to the shelter but we are worried about Guigui being so scared since Mimo arrived in our home.

If you have any advice we are ready to do anything to make them happy.

Thank you for your time
 

ArtNJ

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Shelter gave you poor advice. With little or no ability to isolate the cats and do a proper & slow introduction, a kitten would have been a much better choice. A two year old is almost always going to end up friends with a kitten, and a slow introduction can be dispensed with if need be. Any issues usually self-resolve within a week. By contrast, two adult cats, without a proper introduction process, have a high chance of lasting problems and stress.

Since you don't have the ability to do a proper introduction process, I'd take the cat back and get a kitten. Yes, there are things you can try, and it should get better with time. And it doesn't sound like you've given it very long either. So reasonable minds can differ here, and some other posters will surely disagree with me. However, ask yourself this: is it going to be easier or harder to return the cat if there is still massive stress in a month? Is it fair to my resident cat? What is best for us?
 
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thepsguy

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Hi ArtNJ,


Thank you for your answer, it is heartbreaking to see your answer even if i totally understand how justified is your answer.
I'm a little bit angry toward the shelter, we would've totally understand that they don't want us to bring the cat with us due to high chance of cats not beeing happy because of our environment not being introduction friendly.

Thank you again for your answer
 

blumarine916

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I agree with ArtNJ. It's not easy to introduce older cats and since Mimo is already 5 years old, she may already have behavioral issues. The shelter doesn't seem to care about your concern.

Either take Mimo back in exchange for a kitten or get a pet cage to slowly introduce them. Otherwise Guigui will be stressed and nobody will be happy in your home.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hello! Sorry this is taking place. But, taking a 5 year old cat back and having her adopted again is a bit of a daunting task. And, and unless you are in a no-kill area, might result in her being put down. Not many people are willing to bother taking a mature cat - so, I do want to say thank you for considering her in the first place!!

First of all, Guigui wasn't given enough time to acclimate to his new surroundings before bringing in another cat (based on your 'a few weeks' statement). That is helping to make things more difficult at this juncture with another cat in the picture.

If you can't separate them somehow, and do proper introductions, can you at least search for neighbors/friends/family/etc. who might want to take Mimo as their own? Talk to vet's offices about any programs they might know of, or even rescue shelters in the area - preferably anybody but the animal shelter you got her from.

I don't think your situation is something that can't be fixed (ever the optimist!), but it would require you to be able to find a way to separate them and have some patience.

See if there is anything in these articles that might make you figure out a way to try and make it work.

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction
 

danteshuman

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I’m sorry to say it but I agree with ArtNJ. I would take the cat back and give the person who runs the shelter a strong talking to. A kitten could be kept in a bathroom or a large crate as a way to temporary introduce them if needed. I have heard of people stacking baby gates on top of each other and tying them together. However in your case since the cats have already dukes it out I doubt they would let a flimsy baby gate stop them! If you could keep one cat locked in a bathroom and install a heavy duty screen door within a couple of days (with a scratch resistant heavy screen that the cats can not scratch through or plow through when they try to take a running jump through the screen!) then you could try to do introductions again .... and cover the screen with a sheet.

I’m not sure I would advice adopting a kitten from them given their track record (besides your resident cat may want a couple weeks or a months to calm down after the intruder is returned.) I would adopt a kitten from somewhere else though.
:goodluck:
 
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thepsguy

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Hey guys,

Little feedback and i want to say thank you all for your answers. As they are as honest as possible even if it is a bad new for me.

So as a feedback, we decided to bring Guigui (the resident cat) to the vet to have another insight of the situation. One thing i have to say is that Guigui was unrecognizable, he was friendly, not scared at all, curious and he even cam for some cuddles.
The vet found him in very good health and wasn't worried about the situation at home because it's last for "only" 2 weeks.
She gave us some meds to calm the cats and a spray of, i guess, some hormones or something like this to spread it all over the appartment to bring some "good vibes" to the cats.

She also advice, like it is adviced here, to isolate Mimo for at least 24 hours.
As we said we have only our bathroom to separate the cats and it is very small. We tried to isolate Mimo in it, thing is she just meowed a lot if we were not with her, i could stay 6 hours in a row but couldn't stay more as staying in a small room like this started to physically hurted me.
So i can say it's a fail.

Unfortunately, Mimo is still aggressive with Guigui, attacking him for sometimes no reason, even if they can sleep with us in the same bed 5 minutes later.

So, as last piece of advice from the vet, we will keep her in touch in 2 weeks to make a point of the situation, if it's not conclusive, we will give Mimo back.
At least we would have try everything to make it work.

Thanks again for you answers and your help guys !
 

ArtNJ

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Its true that 2 weeks isn't long and sometimes cats can work through stuff on their own. I made the recommendation I did because I figured that if you did go a month and things were still not that great it would only be harder on you, but its certainly a reasonable thing to try if the fighting is not resulting in wounds.

24 hours in the bathroom is not going to do anything anyways. Not to mention, I assume you need to use that bathroom, and the cat is going to be highly motivated to dart out the door. An in-use bathroom is just not a practical place to isolate a cat for a proper slow intro.
 
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thepsguy

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Yes i am the one to blame for this, i didn't detailed enough on my first post my apologies for this.
No there is no wounds when they fight. We sometimes manage to prevent attack from Mimo because we know feel when she is about to run after Guigui.
A thing to notice is, when we are on our couch in the ground floor, Mimo will not let Guigui approach us.
But when we go to sleep on the first floor, they will come sleep with us, it not seem to bother them to sleep on the same bed lol.

Hope i have been more clear on the situation!
 

ArtNJ

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That sounds more like defending territory then being hostile to the new cat per se. Maybe a little of both. Defending territory is kind of a different thing, I've never had it and don't feel expert on how to deal with it. I've watched some Jackson Galaxy shows dealing with it, but his recommendations seem so general.

I'm sure we have someone with expertise that will chime in.
 
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thepsguy

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Hi, little update since last time.
ArtNJ was right, Mimo is a very territorial Cat. At the beginning, she just defended the sofa, which is OK i guess. But now she is protecting the entire living room, which is problematic.
Guigui is only staying in the kitchen. We did try to get him to the living room and calm him but he is always in alert, looking for Mimo. On Mimo's side, if she see Guigui approaching the living room, she charges him, most of the time we are able to anticipate and calm the situation.

Today, Mimo and Guigui got close to each other for couple of minutes in the kitchen without fight or anything.

We are waiting for the end of their medication.

In last case, we are planning to give Guigui to my girlfriend's parent, avoiding bring Mimo back to a shelter.
 
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thepsguy

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Hi guys,

Quick feedback to close my thread.
Because of my girlfriend moving out, she will bring Guigui with her and i will keep Mimo. It is better for them as Guigui is now staying in the kitchen day and night and it is no more a life for him.

Anyway thank you guys for your help, i will not even try to adopt a new cat as long as Mimo is here to not live this again !

Wish you best for you all and your purr friends
 
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