Our two female cats (10 & 5) don’t like each other. Tips for bonding?

LadybugsMama

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Hi all! I moved in with my boyfriend in April. I brought my cat Ladybug (5) and he brought his cat Kitty (10). We slowly introduced them after keeping them separated for a few days, including bringing articles that smelled of the other near their food bowls, etc.

It seems to have been for nought, as they don’t like each other :( They are always chasing one another and batting in a way that doesn’t seem like play or rough play, as they growl and sometimes even hiss.

I think Ladybug may be more playful but she also kind of acts like the annoying little sister who gets herself into situations where Kitty is the bigger cat who can back her into a corner. Neither has hurt the other seriously, and we both work from home so can keep an eye on them often.

Ladybug was fostered with a male cat before I adopted her, and she seemed to get along with him. Kitty, however, has only been an only cat up until now.

We have one feliway diffuser in the living room. I can’t tell how much it seems to help, if at all.

Does anyone have additional advice for bonding? I don’t even need them to cuddle each other haha I just want them to not swat or growl when the other walks by!
 

MoochNNoodles

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Sometimes mostly peaceful coexistence is a win! The line between friendly wrestling and not can get blurry too.

Do they eat near each other? I think trying to create positive experiences is a good strategy. Like with good treats or being fed at the same time in the same room. I wouldn't necessarily try to feed them off the same mat or anything; but if they can be fed in the same room and generally near each other they may start to see each other as friendly.

Play sessions might help too. If not together; just to burn some extra energy. I know back when 2 of my mom's crew were younger the one just loved getting the older cat going. And she was dramatic! It was like when one sibling just touches the other and they fall down like you broke their leg. :rolleyes2: Usually the younger 2 played enough but sometimes they still tried to involve the older girl and she wasn't having it. And one of us would be like "Pumpkin! Cut it out!" :crazy: It was definitely better when everyone had a place to go to (cat tree, favorite windows, etc) and the more energetic cats had outlets.
 

Mamanyt1953

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And keep in mind that hissing and growling is not fighting, it is nothing more than a heated discussion, and even bonded cats will do it occasionally. After all, sometimes a cat's gotta say what a cat's gotta say!
 
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