Please help! Looking for advice or anyone who has been in this situation

Ladycat62329

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Hi, I'm new to the group but I have a problem that I'm hoping for some solutions. Really could use help and many sites don't cover about outdoor cat conflict.

So, back in August, I noticed this white cat I will call Bianca hanging around in our yard. I recognized her, she belonged next door in the apartments next to our house because I had seen her on fence earlier in the year.

But then she started to come into the yard more and eating cat food. Slowly she came closer to me and then let me pet her. She was a shy and nervous cat.

I made inquiries with a neighbor, and we found out her family had moved away and accidently or on purpose left her behind. I took her to a vet and he thinks she is 3 yrs old.

So, we have 3 cats already. One 10yr male: Po, 9 yr female: Ari and 8yr old female GG. They like to go indoors and outdoors. But one of our cats, an 8 yr old female, didn’t like Bianca and would try to chase her away or sometimes they got in a fight but that didn’t seem to happen often.

Bianca was shy and nervous so she tried to stay away from her. Then it seemed like they were starting to get used to each other. But then in December something shifted and Bianca started going after GG instead. My sister saw her stalking and watching GG.

They got into a fight which Bianca started. I’ve talked to a cat behaviorist but due to current stay at home orders, she might not be able to come out for a while to see what could be causing the conflict. She suggested to use a noisemaker to teach her to not go after GG. But then Bianca got nervous of me so I stopped. I am considering contacting the behaviorist come and observe for more ideas but I'm unsure.

I bring GG in at night and these last few days have been monitoring them both when they are outside. Bianca doesn't come in because I'm worried that more conflict will happen and I'm trying to give GG a safe space.

I have heard of trying to reintroduce cats and all that. But I am worried that Bianca's stalking behavior is just a sign that it will not work out.

I'm trying to see if anyone has had any experience with this type of behavior and what they have done.

She's a sweet cat. She enjoys being petted. And it would be hard to find her another home, but I know if it has to be done then I will do it. I just hope someone has been in my situation.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi! Welcome!!

Part of this, maybe most of it, is cats attempting to work things out in a somewhat fluid (being outside) situation. But you'll see this with indoor-only cats as well - it's how they learn about each other.

Do you have enough space indoors that you could give GG as well as Bianca their own rooms for a while?
 
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Ladycat62329

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Hi! Welcome!!

Part of this, maybe most of it, is cats attempting to work things out in a somewhat fluid (being outside) situation. You see this with indoor-only cats as well - it's how they learn about each other.

Do you have enough space indoors that you could give GG as well as Bianca their own rooms for a while?

Hi! Thank you for replying! Unfortunately we have a small house and I don't have a room to give Bianca inside the house but I do have a front porch that I was thinking could become her own spot. She sleeps there every night but I just need to fix the screens so she can't get out and then she could have a room to herself so GG gets a break.
 

di and bob

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Cats need SLOW introductions over a long period of time, I'm talking several months, If you had no major injuries when you first brought her in, I am amazed, they actually got along a LOT better than most do. The stalking etc. is their way of establishing hierarchy in the household. If you see it and can avoid it that is great, otherwise they will tussle until one comes out the victor, and then things will settle down. As long as there is no blood drawn everything is fine, if there is then they need to be separated and start the introductions over. I think the porch idea is great, and if they can see each other through a window, etc. even better, it helps them to get used to each other. As for reintroductions you just start over from step one. no contact at all for a while, then slowly letting them get used to each other's smells by swapping blankets and feeding on opposite sides of the door.
 
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Ladycat62329

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Cats need SLOW introductions over a long period of time, I'm talking several months, If you had no major injuries when you first brought her in, I am amazed, they actually got along a LOT better than most do. The stalking etc. is their way of establishing hierarchy in the household. If you see it and can avoid it that is great, otherwise they will tussle until one comes out the victor, and then things will settle down. As long as there is no blood drawn everything is fine, if there is then they need to be separated and start the introductions over. I think the porch idea is great, and if they can see each other through a window, etc. even better, it helps them to get used to each other. As for reintroductions you just start over from step one. no contact at all for a while, then slowly letting them get used to each other's smells by swapping blankets and feeding on opposite sides of the door.
Thank you for your response! I didn't bring her to our home, I happened to see her hiding under one of sheds in our yard in August. I gave her some water because it was hot and smokey due to fires and I was uncertain if her owners put out water outside for her.

Then I guess because I did that, she started roaming the yard. I mostly left her alone because I thought she was the neighbor's cat. But then she slowly came up to me and I petted her and then she decided to stay.

In Sept. I found out she was abandoned by her owners and the apartment she lived in was rented to a new family.

GG was doing the chasing from Sept to Oct. Bianca was nervous and ran away and stayed at the front of our yard while GG stayed in the back yard.

But in November, it seemed like things were starting to settle. But Bianca started stalking GG in mid Dec.

So far, no blood but I'm trying to avoid having that happen.

That's what I figured this might be months of work which I'm trying to decide if I am up to it. And I would need the help and support of my family. But I'm trying to research all my options and create a plan. So far, she's been with us 4 months going on 5.
 

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So we introduced an abandoned outdoor cat Olive a few years ago to our two indoor cats. She was sweet and just wanted to be with the group. Our older cat Trin was mostly ok with her, or if he wasn’t he was too clumsy to cause issues. Gohan was a different story - he watched her for months without engaging and then all of a sudden decided that this new cat was not allowed to stay. He started chasing her into her safe room whenever she ventured out. We had a few torn claws and abscesses, but generally he wasn’t attempting to harm her.

Over time he has accepted her more and more although they aren’t friends (well she thinks he’s great, he still is not sure about this brown cat). I’d say if they aren’t trying to kill each other they will likely learn to live with each other.

Keep in mind that this is super stressful on the human as well - keep in mind that this is a marathon and there will some setbacks. Over the years I found letting the cats work it out if the fights aren’t too violent helps things along. Also our cats get along better every time something traumatic happens - Moving, the death of our cat Trin, us going on vacation. While it’s not something that you can plan, it has helped us a little.

Good luck!
 

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Dante & Chester used to play rough until one day Chester scratched him across the nose! No more power struggles after that. He did get a small scar on his nose after that (the fur never grew back right on that small line.)

Years ago an abandoned cat found our garage. He was cat aversive but eventually settled down to come in to eat. However the yard & the garage was his. It took us 18 months to find him a new home.
 

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Ladycat62329

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So we introduced an abandoned outdoor cat Olive a few years ago to our two indoor cats. She was sweet and just wanted to be with the group. Our older cat Trin was mostly ok with her, or if he wasn’t he was too clumsy to cause issues. Gohan was a different story - he watched her for months without engaging and then all of a sudden decided that this new cat was not allowed to stay. He started chasing her into her safe room whenever she ventured out. We had a few torn claws and abscesses, but generally he wasn’t attempting to harm her.

Over time he has accepted her more and more although they aren’t friends (well she thinks he’s great, he still is not sure about this brown cat). I’d say if they aren’t trying to kill each other they will likely learn to live with each other.

Keep in mind that this is super stressful on the human as well - keep in mind that this is a marathon and there will some setbacks. Over the years I found letting the cats work it out if the fights aren’t too violent helps things along. Also our cats get along better every time something traumatic happens - Moving, the death of our cat Trin, us going on vacation. While it’s not something that you can plan, it has helped us a little.

Good luck!
Thank you! It has been quite stressful on me because it feels like there are setbacks and trying to figure out how to help them be ok with each other.
 
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Ladycat62329

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Dante & Chester used to play rough until one day Chester scratched him across the nose! No more power struggles after that. He did get a small scar on his nose after that (the fur never grew back right on that small line.)

Years ago an abandoned cat found our garage. He was cat aversive but eventually settled down to come in to eat. However the yard & the garage was his. It took us 18 months to find him a new home.
It really doesn't sound too bad.I think they will work things out.
Thank you, I hope so.
 
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Ladycat62329

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*Just a little update because I'm not sure what to think on this. GG was inside the house and Bianca sometimes sits outside on the window still to I guess look inside or look at me. But yesterday she saw GG through the window and was looking at her like this. GG saw her and they stared a bit, then GG turned her back to her and curled up for a nap.

Bianca watched her for a little more then left and peeked through another window. But then headed off her way. Anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

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KarenKat

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That to me sounds positive - anytime cats that aren’t friends ignore each other that’s a step toward neutrality and eventually (hopefully) cohabitation. I counted every time Gohan ignored Olive as a victory. Over time they will increasingly not care when they see each other and stop chasing.
 
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Ladycat62329

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That to me sounds positive - anytime cats that aren’t friends ignore each other that’s a step toward neutrality and eventually (hopefully) cohabitation. I counted every time Gohan ignored Olive as a victory. Over time they will increasingly not care when they see each other and stop chasing.
I hope so. Though GG probably knew she was safe because there was a window between them. Still, I was concerned with Bianca's staring through the window. I've noticed whenever she sees her, she just stares and sometimes stalks. This had happened before when they both were outside.

But I'm wondering if this staring is normal?
 

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Well cats staring at each other is kinda like “hold my beer!” It often is a precursor to a fight. So I would count that has a double win that GG ignored her! Sounds like progress!!!

Cat relationships are a very slow road. Sometimes cats agreeing to tolerate each other is a major victory. In your case I think GG and Blanca may become frenemies in the long term. (The occasional spat but buddies and ignoring each other.) Hang in there!

Dante and Salem were frenemies. They rarely were cuddled together. Then Dante died & I was surprised that Salem grieved..... for a whole year! After all though I loved Dante, he was a putz to Salem! Every timeDante got bored he jumped on Salem and nipped him right between his shoulder blades..... every time. I guess like brothers, Salem loved his annoying younger brother. 🤷🏻‍♀️ This is how they usually were, spaced out but friendly, just not bff.
0BF50C56-7473-43F0-A3BF-15F7EC4F12A1.jpeg

Also this is Nick & Jackie. They are litter mates and bff. However their play looks very rough! They love to wrestle, where they just roll around play fighting. Real cat fights have yowling, fur flying (sometimes clumps) & blood (sometimes pee.) I photographed them starting to wrestle and was suprised at how polite they were. Nick tapped Jackie with his paw (want to play?) and then Jackie tapped him back with his paw (of course! Let’s wrestle!!!) After that they were rolling around play fighting. 🤣

I disturbed their cuddle fest with my picture taking:
3047AFA8-3ACB-43A3-9943-F05A4CD35F83.jpeg
Nick (black) & Jackie (lynx) roughhousing:
8836FD99-AF27-4EE5-AB2E-2E8297B9BC33.jpeg
 

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Ladycat62329

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Well cats staring at each other is kinda like “hold my beer!” It often is a precursor to a fight. So I would count that has a double win that GG ignored her! Sounds like progress!!!

Cat relationships are a very slow road. Sometimes cats agreeing to tolerate each other is a major victory. In your case I think GG and Blanca may become frenemies in the long term. (The occasional spat but buddies and ignoring each other.) Hang in there!

Dante and Salem were frenemies. They rarely were cuddled together. Then Dante died & I was surprised that Salem grieved..... for a whole year! After all though I loved Dante, he was a putz to Salem! Every timeDante got bored he jumped on Salem and nipped him right between his shoulder blades..... every time. I guess like brothers, Salem loved his annoying younger brother. 🤷🏻‍♀️ This is how they usually were, spaced out but friendly, just not bff.
View attachment 366102

Also this is Nick & Jackie. They are litter mates and bff. However their play looks very rough! They love to wrestle, where they just roll around play fighting. Real cat fights have yowling, fur flying (sometimes clumps) & blood (sometimes pee.) I photographed them starting to wrestle and was suprised at how polite they were. Nick tapped Jackie with his paw (want to play?) and then Jackie tapped him back with his paw (of course! Let’s wrestle!!!) After that they were rolling around play fighting. 🤣

I disturbed their cuddle fest with my picture taking:
View attachment 366104
Nick (black) & Jackie (lynx) roughhousing:
View attachment 366105
First off, your cats are beautiful! My other cat, Po had an adopted brother named DS and they used to roughhouse like that. Sadly we lost DS last year. GG doesn't want to roughhouse with Po.

And the “hold my beer!” is definitely Bianca. I think if they had been both outside, Bianca would had gone after GG again. I've realized I've seen that intent look before. It always leads to stalking which does concern me. .

Thank you for your input, I appreciate it!
 
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