New cat growling and hissing at resident cat

Lara13

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Hi all - long post ahead.

I recently adopted Stormi, a 2 year old female cat from a rescue, 6 weeks ago. She is finally finding her mojo. Has changed dramatically since I brought her home. She is the sweetest cat ever, still a little skittish, but very sweet. Loves to be pet but doesn’t let me pick her up yet. Long story short, I wanted to get her a companion. So I’ve adopted a second male 2 year old cat named Tomorrow (still trying to find a good name for him).

Tomorrow was surrendered by his family because they couldn’t take him where they were moving to. Tomorrow was anxious at the shelter so they gave him gabapentin and had someone foster him after about 3 weeks.The resident cat in the foster home did not like him. She terrorized him, hissed and growled at him. Supposedly he would look for her and wanted to play with her but eventually he stopped coming out of the room and hid. The foster had him for a little over 2 weeks.

I picked him up and did everything like I’ve read. Set Up his safe space along with everything that he needs. He warmed up to both me and my daughter from that first day. He loves petsies (as my daughter calls it). After a few days he was scratching at the door and meowing, so I began the scent swapping and feeding by the door. He seemed fine with that.

Then they met, through a gate and he began hissing and growling (which I know it’s normal). He seems very anxious. He’s scared of every noise. Loves to do biscuits (a little too much) and licks his lips (signs of anxiety). What’s weird is that he can play and sleep while in the same room with Stormi but if she gets a little close he starts growling. He’s even growled when I bring something of hers. He hides whenever we open the door to the room and if he doesn’t hide, he’s constantly looking at the door, watching out for her.

Stormi just ignores him and proceeds to come in the room and sit, play, or even sleep.

should I keep doing what I’m doing? Should I be doing anything else?

Stormi is the gray cat and Tomorrow is the black one. Any suggestions on names for him?
 

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Lara13

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Forgot to mention that he’s very affectionate and LOVES tummy rubs.
 

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should I keep doing what I’m doing?
yes, you're totally on the right track. It's just time now for them to continue to work things out, but they've made huge progress to this point.
Good for you and for them!!

...try some cat music for him - there's Cat In My Arms on Spotify and elsewhere, RelaxMyCat and also MusicForCats :)
 

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I love the name Tomorrow. If it were me I'd stick with that one.

Make sure he has plenty of escape routes and hiding places for when Stormi comes into the room. He'll feel safer if he has a couple for cat condos, so he can get up above her and keep an eye on what she is doing, or cardboard boxes. Lie the boxes on their sides and maybe half cover with a blanket, so he can get into them but still see what she is doing.

It's great that she is so chilled out about the whole thing
 

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Stormi and Trumper has a certain ring to it, especially since Stormi is the dom and Trumper the sub. Ok, ok, no one thinks thats funny, sorry. Stormi and Trooper is amusing (to me). But Tomorrow is a perfectly good cat name.

Hyper vigilance (aka "guard duty") is a normal stage to be worked through in getting to acceptance of a new cat. You may eventually have to leave the gate open full time to make further progress -- you'll see how it goes with whatever "open gate time" your doing now. Sometimes it takes more time together and the smaller sessions don't work. After watching them for a couple of lengthy sessions, you'll know they arent going to fight, and then you can move to leaving the gate open as long as your in the house and can listen for trouble.
 
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Lara13

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yes, you're totally on the right track. It's just time now for them to continue to work things out, but they've made huge progress to this point.
Good for you and for them!!

...try some cat music for him - there's Cat In My Arms on Spotify and elsewhere, RelaxMyCat and also MusicForCats :)
Thanks for the advice. I will look for the music. I’ve been playing classical music.
 
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Lara13

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I love the name Tomorrow. If it were me I'd stick with that one.

Make sure he has plenty of escape routes and hiding places for when Stormi comes into the room. He'll feel safer if he has a couple for cat condos, so he can get up above her and keep an eye on what she is doing, or cardboard boxes. Lie the boxes on their sides and maybe half cover with a blanket, so he can get into them but still see what she is doing.

It's great that she is so chilled out about the whole thing
Thank you. I’ll look for some boxes.
 
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Lara13

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Stormi and Trumper has a certain ring to it, especially since Stormi is the dom and Trumper the sub. Ok, ok, no one thinks thats funny, sorry. Stormi and Trooper is amusing (to me). But Tomorrow is a perfectly good cat name.

Hyper vigilance (aka "guard duty") is a normal stage to be worked through in getting to acceptance of a new cat. You may eventually have to leave the gate open full time to make further progress -- you'll see how it goes with whatever "open gate time" your doing now. Sometimes it takes more time together and the smaller sessions don't work. After watching them for a couple of lengthy sessions, you'll know they arent going to fight, and then you can move to leaving the gate open as long as your in the house and can listen for trouble.
I think I might do that. Thanks for the advice.
 

cat nap

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I picked him up and did everything like I’ve read. Set Up his safe space along with everything that he needs. He warmed up to both me and my daughter from that first day. He loves petsies (as my daughter calls it). After a few days he was scratching at the door and meowing, so I began the scent swapping and feeding by the door. He seemed fine with that.
Then they met, through a gate and he began hissing and growling (which I know it’s normal). He seems very anxious. He’s scared of every noise. Loves to do biscuits (a little too much) and licks his lips (signs of anxiety). What’s weird is that he can play and sleep while in the same room with Stormi but if she gets a little close he starts growling. He’s even growled when I bring something of hers. He hides whenever we open the door to the room and if he doesn’t hide, he’s constantly looking at the door, watching out for her.
Stormi just ignores him and proceeds to come in the room and sit, play, or even sleep.
Hi Lara13 Lara13 ...I think you are doing great. :)

I would continue with the Scent Swapping...as much as possible...to get Tomorrow to accept the scent of Stormi.
Because you mentioned that Tomorrow has growled when you 'brought something of hers'...it sounds like he is still nervous and needs some more time to totally accept her...or at least to be comfortable around her.

How long has it been since you started the Scent Swapping?
and do you notice any lessening of the growling?
Have you tried "room swapping", yet?

Each step of the cat-to-cat intros...usually takes a week, ...but sometimes the time-table is faster or slower.
It's not written in stone. It just helps the cats lessen their 'fight or flight' responses...to the point of each cat not really caring too much about the other one...within their territory.
It also builds up each cat's Confidence, too.

You've probably read this Cat Site Article, but I'll just post it again, in case someone else needs it:
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
...The resident cat in the foster home did not like him. She terrorized him, hissed and growled at him. Supposedly he would look for her and wanted to play with her but eventually he stopped coming out of the room and hid. The foster had him for a little over 2 weeks.
(Not sure how long cats remember for,...but Tomorrow might still be feeling the effects of the last female cat who scared him.)

When you do the Scent Swapping,...try to always give Tomorrow some sort of treat, food, praise...to associate the scent of Stormi with something good.
Also, when you are on the step of doing the "room swaps"...then notice...if Tomorrow goes around the room, and smells all of Stormi's scent, and does any "scent marking of his own" ...using his cheeks, paws, body, etc.

(As for choosing names,I'm rubbish at it.
I really like Tomorrow, too...but you can also shorten it to "Morrow", "morro"...or what your daugher said, "Petsies"...lol.:lol: That is so cute. Though it might cause some confusion.) :blush:
Or choose a 'weather type name that goes with Stormi'...(I have no clue.*birds chirping in my head now*...um...Lightning, Cloudy, Snowy...for a black cat that would need some explaining...lol. :stars: :disappointed: ) I know you'll choose better and wisely.

Both your cats are beautiful looking. Post more photos when you have the time. :thumbsup:
 
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Lara13

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Hi Lara13 Lara13 ...I think you are doing great. :)

I would continue with the Scent Swapping...as much as possible...to get Tomorrow to accept the scent of Stormi.
Because you mentioned that Tomorrow has growled when you 'brought something of hers'...it sounds like he is still nervous and needs some more time to totally accept her...or at least to be comfortable around her.

How long has it been since you started the Scent Swapping?
and do you notice any lessening of the growling?
Have you tried "room swapping", yet?

Each step of the cat-to-cat intros...usually takes a week, ...but sometimes the time-table is faster or slower.
It's not written in stone. It just helps the cats lessen their 'fight or flight' responses...to the point of each cat not really caring too much about the other one...within their territory.
It also builds up each cat's Confidence, too.

You've probably read this Cat Site Article, but I'll just post it again, in case someone else needs it:
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles

(Not sure how long cats remember for,...but Tomorrow might still be feeling the effects of the last female cat who scared him.)

When you do the Scent Swapping,...try to always give Tomorrow some sort of treat, food, praise...to associate the scent of Stormi with something good.
Also, when you are on the step of doing the "room swaps"...then notice...if Tomorrow goes around the room, and smells all of Stormi's scent, and does any "scent marking of his own" ...using his cheeks, paws, body, etc.

(As for choosing names,I'm rubbish at it.
I really like Tomorrow, too...but you can also shorten it to "Morrow", "morro"...or what your daugher said, "Petsies"...lol.:lol: That is so cute. Though it might cause some confusion.) :blush:
Or choose a 'weather type name that goes with Stormi'...(I have no clue.*birds chirping in my head now*...um...Lightning, Cloudy, Snowy...for a black cat that would need some explaining...lol. :stars: :disappointed: ) I know you'll choose better and wisely.

Both your cats are beautiful looking. Post more photos when you have the time. :thumbsup:
Thanks for the advice. I tried swapping rooms but he just goes and hides in my room and does not explore the rest of the apartment. He has come out for like a minute and takes a look and goes back. He’s still very nervous. Then I feel bad for Stormi to be locked up all day in his room.

She has rubbed herself all over his toys in the room and I just saw him rubbing himself on them like he’s re-marking them with his scent.

I’ll try the treats when scent swapping again.
Thank you!
 

cat nap

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I tried swapping rooms but he just goes and hides in my room and does not explore the rest of the apartment. He has come out for like a minute and takes a look and goes back. He’s still very nervous. Then I feel bad for Stormi to be locked up all day in his room.
When doing the "Room Swaps"...you don't actually have to do it 'all day'.
Mainly it's just done for 20-30 minutes,...for the opposite cat to smell and cheek mark, and mingle all the new cat scents together....So that both cats have their Scents all over the apartment.

Yeah, it does sound like he is still timid and nervous...so probably needs a lot more time to feel Confident in his new place.
She has rubbed herself all over his toys in the room and I just saw him rubbing himself on them like he’s re-marking them with his scent.
That is fantastic.
It's like they are 'exchanging notes' or 'calling cards' ...for each other.

With more time, I think Tomorrow will feel more relaxed.
 

Danneq

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Everyone else has said the important things. I just wanted to add, since Tomorrow (I like that name, me) is specifically dealing with a little bit of trauma from being bullied by another cat, it may just take him a little longer. He was there for two weeks? I am not a psychologist (cat or otherwise) but I would think it would take at least the same amount of time to convince him that he's safe. Probably longer.
 

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Hi everyone...I’ve decide to keep the name Tomorrow. Didn’t know so many would like that name. :)
It's a great name.

There's a saying in Japanese, "Ashta ga aru" There's always tomorrow. No matter what today throws at you, there's always a chance to make things better tomorrow.

That's a very fitting name for a rescued cat.

:heartshape:
 
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Lara13

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It's a great name.

There's a saying in Japanese, "Ashta ga aru" There's always tomorrow. No matter what today throws at you, there's always a chance to make things better tomorrow.

That's a very fitting name for a rescued cat.

:heartshape:
Awwww...didn’t think of it that way. So sweet. Thank you.
 
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