Please help! Introducing 1 year old to 9 year old cat.

Lauraeidann

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Hello everyone,

I am looking for some advice. We recently (3 weeks ago) got a new cat (he is 1 year and 3 months old) as we thought our resident cat (9years) needed a friend. He is extremely needy with us and with me starting a new job I didn’t want him to be lonely. Our resident cat has never really had any interaction with other cats so we tried the process very slowly. Scent swapping / eating on the other side of the door / playing either side of a glass door and things seemed positive. But kept them separate the rest of the time. There was some hissing to begin with from our resident cat however after a while he just seemed interested in the new cat (rubbing up against the glass and sitting outside the door to the new cat). We decided to have supervised interaction and that’s when it all went wrong. Our resident cat swatted with claws / hissing and chased the new cat (it was like he lured us into a false sense of security). I am now terrified to let them get too close incase they hurt each other. It’s also really difficult to distract them if they know the other is there (other side of glass door). The only thing that distracts the resident cat is food (I try playing with him but he isn’t interested. He just stares at the new cat and when I try to break the stare he just immediately tries to find him again). We have been putting each cat in the carrier at a time and letting the other sniff which seems okay.. there are some low meows from our resident cat but I’m trying to create positive associations by giving them treats during this. Our new cat just seems like he wants to be friends but is a bit scared after the swiping. I’m not really sure what the next steps are and how to know when my resident cat is ready for the new cat to be there without a barrier. It’s hard to know if the swiping would escalate to anything more or whether it needs to happen for our resident cat to assert his dominance. Please help as I really want them to be able to get on and I’m feeling a little lost and disheartened 🥺
 
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Lauraeidann

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Hi
Try taking a couple steps back, and breath. All is not lost. See if there are things here that help;

How To Introduce A Kitten To An Older Cat – TheCatSite Articles

How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles
Thank you! I have had a look at these, but a step back might be what is needed. Do you have any tips on distracting my resident cat? I use toys he’s normally interested in when our new cat isn’t around and the only thing he seems interested in is food when he is - surely I can’t just give him lots of treats 🙈
 

Furballsmom

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You unfortunately don't have a lot of options, it sounds like, but what about freeze dried treats that maybe aren't quite as calorie heavy as temptations?
 

ArtNJ

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When stepping back, I'd focus on the gate step.

we thought our resident cat (9years) needed a friend.
If I had a dollar for every time someone thought this! Its a hidden truth that generally only experienced cat owners know that as cats age they get less adaptible and have a harder time making friends. Senior cats generally dont make new cat friends at all. Most shelters dont tell folks about this. Most likely, the journey here is to toleration, or close to full toleration, rather than friendship. But its still early, and you never can know until things play out.
 
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