So scared it will not work out, should I be worried?

ann22

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I got a new cat a month and three days ago. At first I kept the cat seperate from my resident cat for about a week. I then started swapping scents and spaces. I then got a large cat enclosed tent with a see-through mesh enclosure and put the new cat in there and my resident cat out in the same room. At first the new cat started hissing, but then after several days she stopped when my cat went up to the tent, so I figured it was time to try them out together. The first day the new cat hissed and growled at my resident cat, but I kept my resident cats attention away from the new cat. For the most part they found seperate spots and slept. I had them out for 4 hours. The next day new cat still hissed and growled when she saw him, but they managed to stay away from each other. No fights in 6 hours. The third day my resident cat keeps trying to get too close and the new cat still hissed and growled, but this time she swiped her paw at the resident cat, but she did not hit him because I put a pillow between them. But after that my resident cat went and layed down and the new cat sat out in the open on a chair. Am I doing this wrong? I am so scared this will not work, as in the past I had a two cats that never would get along and I had to keep them separated permanently. That was such a stressful way to live and I swore that I never want to do that again, but at the same token I have already developed deep feelings for the new cat and don't want to take her back to the shelter. My resident cat never hisses and I would be willing to bet that he would never start the fight, but his downfall he is too brave and does not know when to back down and I don't want him to get hurt. However, the not backing down and continue to approach may be a sign of aggression from my resident cat. The new cat has no claws, I know horrible, I'm so against declawing, but she was like that when I adopted her. I still put the pillow in between them when she swiped at him to stop the tension and keep the new cat from biting. My resident cat has no teeth. His teeth were also gone when I adopted him. Any suggestions? Has anyone ever had hissing and growling and it ended up working out?
 

savannahjansson

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Of course! Introducing cats can be a bit bumpy at first, but it sounds like you're on the right track. The hissing and growling are normal reactions during the adjustment period. Using a pillow as a barrier is a smart idea.

Keep supervising their interactions, gradually increasing their time together, and rewarding calm behavior with treats and affection. It can take time, but many cat owners have successfully introduced cats despite initial hissing and growling. Be patient, and they may eventually become pals! 🐾😺
 

di and bob

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Hissing, growling, and swatting are all completely normal. The reaction of acts not sure of themselves. as long as there are no outright attacks, everything is good. Sometimes they will jump on each other too, but as long as there is just hair pulled out and no deep bites, that is normal too. The introduction sounds good to me!
 
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ann22

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Thank you Savannahjansson and Di and Bob! I will continue to go slow. Does anyone know on average how long it takes for things to get better. I thought my resident cat was so sweet, but after posting in here last night I did some research and it does sound like my resident cat is also being aggressive even though he is not hissing and growling. He is not backing off when he should at times, He is slightly chasing and I realize now he was blocking the water dish for 15 minutes, but for the most part this behavior is short lived. He is playing a lot lot more. I think he is realising agression.
 

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Thank you Savannahjansson and Di and Bob! I will continue to go slow. Does anyone know on average how long it takes for things to get better. I thought my resident cat was so sweet, but after posting in here last night I did some research and it does sound like my resident cat is also being aggressive even though he is not hissing and growling. He is not backing off when he should at times, He is slightly chasing and I realize now he was blocking the water dish for 15 minutes, but for the most part this behavior is short lived. He is playing a lot lot more. I think he is realising agression.
You should ideally have two of each resource placed so it’s impossible for one cat to guard both, that way they should both feel like they don’t have to compete for those resources.

There will always be jockeying for position when cats are getting used to each other - that’s how they figure out the hierarchy, what they can get away with, etc. as long as they’re not fighting or trapping each other in corners etc you’re doing great. I’ve had some litter box aggression with mine, where my resident cat would attack the other one when she was using the tray, but that seems to have calmed down now (thankfully!). It’s all part of the process and totally normal.
 
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ann22

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Thank you englishpixie englishpixie , I do have two seperate water dishes and feeding dishes far away from each other. I could see my resident cat trapping the new cat in a area or chasing, but I will try my best to keep a close eye on it. This is a full time task. For hours I am scared to take my eyes off of them. Watching a baby is almost easier. I have so much to do and I can't get anything done cause I have to babysit. I just pray in the end it was worth it and I get to keep them both!
 

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Thank you Savannahjansson and Di and Bob! I will continue to go slow. Does anyone know on average how long it takes for things to get better. I thought my resident cat was so sweet, but after posting in here last night I did some research and it does sound like my resident cat is also being aggressive even though he is not hissing and growling. He is not backing off when he should at times, He is slightly chasing and I realize now he was blocking the water dish for 15 minutes, but for the most part this behavior is short lived. He is playing a lot lot more. I think he is realising agression.
You're very welcome! Taking it slow is definitely the way to go.

Each cat is different, and it depends on their personalities and how well they adapt to each other. It's good that you're observing your resident cat's behavior closely. Sometimes, what may seem like aggression can also be part of the adjustment process.

As long as there are no major fights and they're making progress, there's hope for them to coexist peacefully. Just stay patient and keep facilitating their interactions, and things should get better over time. 🐾😺
 

englishpixie

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Thank you englishpixie englishpixie , I do have two seperate water dishes and feeding dishes far away from each other. I could see my resident cat trapping the new cat in a area or chasing, but I will try my best to keep a close eye on it. This is a full time task. For hours I am scared to take my eyes off of them. Watching a baby is almost easier. I have so much to do and I can't get anything done cause I have to babysit. I just pray in the end it was worth it and I get to keep them both!
Totally feel you on that. Last week I was convinced I’d have to give Freya (new cat) up, she was so anxious and peed everywhere. But I tried some new stuff over the weekend (Pet Remedy plug-in and Beaphar Valerian Spot-on) and they’re doing SO much better now, they’re even sleeping right by each other as I type this (though I’m not entiiiiiirely sure Maia, my resident cat, knows Freya is back there!)
 

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di and bob

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It takes at least 6 months for cats to get to know each other. Females are very territorial. Your new little one will eventually rule the house, females almost always do. Ibhad two groups of cats take almost a year once, but it did happen! Just be patient, as long as no blood is drawn, it is OK!
 
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ann22

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Di and Bob you said it takes six months, but that doesn't mean that I have to wait six months to leave them unsupervised? I truly don't think I could keep them separated that long as the new cat is in a room where my niece will be staying in four months, February. My neice is slightly allergic when they are on her bedding, but does OK otherwise as long as she does not pick up and hold too much. She stayed with me before and I always had cats and it worked out fine as long as I kept the cats off her bed. When she comes, I will have no place else to put the new cat. Englishpixie, are your cats left unsupervised? If so, how long has it been?
 

di and bob

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No, I meant 6 months before they bond and make a family unit. a month is nothing in a cat's world, they absolutely hate change. My Chrissy slept on top of the fridge for months when I was trying to blend two families. The others kept jumping on her. Finally she had enough, fought back, and they were fine after that. females are the rulers of the roost, your little girl will seem ferocious when she is ready. If all yours are doing is hissing, and swatting, they'll be fine. They are trying to establish a hierarchy in the house. Your boy doesn't want to give up his turf, and the little girl is trying to get some. They'll work it out......
 
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ann22

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I am feeling so discouraged. My resident cat does not seem to be the problem. He never starts a fight with the new cat and he has for the most part just looks at the new cat when she swats and hisses like she is crazy. My new cat continues to swat and hiss. For the most part she will hang out in the dining room and my resident cat will hang with me in the living room. But my resident cat will get up and go get a drink of water and sometimes it is out of her bowl and they cross paths and the new cat will start with him. Sometimes my resident cat will be sleeping and the new cat will get up and swat at him. Again she does not have nails. Today my resident cat followed my while I went into the bedroom for a second and crossed paths with the new cat and the new cat ran up hissed and growled and swatted at my resident cat, but this time my resident cat cried out and started sweating back for the first time. He does have his nails. I could tell that a real fight was about to be on, but I broke it up and put her away. I actually have the new cat in a bathroom as I don't have a extra room to keep her in right now. She cannot live in my bathroom forever nor can I babysit them 24/7. I have been putting in a ton of time babysitting, but nothing is getting better with the new cat. I am in tears. When do you know if it will work or not? When do you know to quit? I think my heart is going to break in a million pieces if I have to give the new cat up. But my resident cat is older, he has a non contagious, but serious health condition and I don't want the new cat hurting him, yet I already love the new cat. I feel like a bad mom for getting another cat. I just love cats so much and I definitely have the time and heart for two.
 
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ann22

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I did want to add my niece came early. Now the new cat is in the bathroom.
 

di and bob

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Everything you are describing is completely normal! Especially for females they are always hissing, growling and swatting. Dont give up, try to relax. It sounds normal to me and will get nothing but better in time. Get a kickeroo and some toys to throw towards them when they seem too intent on each other. Or treats. As long as blood isnt drawn and there is no outright fighting you are doing good.
 
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ann22

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Di and Bob, thank you. Not that long ago I did once have two cats the could never get along after 8 years, so maybe I am letting that fear get a hold of me. I swore I would never would live like that again. I might be just having a bad day and need the night to myself with no babysitting tonight. I just feel real emotional and your reply does help.
 
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ann22

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I do think that there might have been a all outright fight tonight if I did not step in though.
 

di and bob

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They may even do that, I get that once in a while, even though mine are all relatives and ten years old. They are more drama though than full fighting, hair flying and screeching. Then all is calm for a while after they get it out of their systems. I am like you though, I do break it up. If i check afterward, none are bleeding that indicates real fighting. Females are the manners teachers, the limit setters. They are very territorial and want everyone to toe the line. My little girl scares me once in a while with her full-out scream, and it usually is one of her boys getting too close or actually touching her! Your little girl has been with you for only three months! Now you have company band that is putting everyone on high alert and on edge too. You might try giving some calming treats to Suki to see if it calms her some. Her charging him and swatting is actually very normal. Sometimes we think charging, swatting, growling, are all signs of aggression, but really they are signs of a new cat very unsure of where her place is in the household and will resolve in time. Really, I think everything sounds as good as it can be at this stage. another few months and everyone will be fine. Including you! Come here as often as need to, we are here to help!
 
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