Two resident cats and new cat fighting violently.

ChelleN1019

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We have 2 cats and just adopted a third cat. Inky (m, 8yrs, abused as a kitten) an Jasper (m,4yrs) have lived together well for 2 years along with our recently deceased senior cat Roscoe. Roscoe passed 3 months ago and we thought it was time to bring another fur baby home. Enter Dexter, a 7 month old Tuxedo male. Dexter is very Energetic and playful, and he has become aggressive with the other cats.

we keep Dexter separated from the other two, but we have been trying to bring them all together for short amounts of time. We engage them with toys and try to keep them occupied. Inky usually stays under the table growling while the other two play separately. Dexter eventually attacks Jasper, and then Jasper violently attacks Inky. We get them separated and isolate all 3 from each other, but Jasper always seems to want to get back where Dexter is. It is incredibly stressful and we are wondering if it’ll ever work or if we should give up and return Dexter. We feel awful keeping them isolated because all 3 are very social and want to be with us. They cry when alone. I love all 3 so much. What do we do? Thank you for any advice you can provide.
 

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Condolences on the passing of your senior cat Roscoe. :rbheart: I find it difficult, no matter what age the cat is.

With Dexter, being only 7 months,...is he being truly aggressive...or is more like "play-fighting", excited play, over the top?

Have you done a planned formal 'cat to cat introduction'...period?
Say like the cat intro plan...here: How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
Or did you just introduce Dexter...and hope for the best?

Also, is Dexter neutered?
 
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ChelleN1019

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Thank you Cat Nap! Dexter is neutered (1 month ago). We did segregate the cats at first, but as I noted we are softies and feel bad when they cry wanting to be with us. I know we need to do it, but my hubby caves. We have gates up that the cats can interact through, and they usually do pretty well with some hissing from Inky. The resident cats are interested in the new guy And cautiously check him out. I feel like the aggression started as play, but it seems more violent. Dexter is also biting us harder at times as well to the point of drawing blood. I’m so worried about the well-being of my two older guys, but they seem to be ok after a bit of time. I just don’t know how to help them all adjust. Lots of tears lately.
 

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Thank you Cat Nap! Dexter is neutered (1 month ago). We did segregate the cats at first, but as I noted we are softies and feel bad when they cry wanting to be with us. I know we need to do it, but my hubby caves.
Great that Dexter is neutered.
Somewhere on this Site, I read that the male hormones take about a month or more...to get out of a cat's system...so some of the aggressive behaviour may be from that. (I can't actually remember where I read it...but I know I did.)

(Yeah, interesting...sometimes it's the men who cave...and want things done faster...but sometimes it's the women.:blush:)
Hearing any cat cry...is heart-wrenching...so I totally understand that. :agree:
We have gates up that the cats can interact through, and they usually do pretty well with some hissing from Inky. The resident cats are interested in the new guy And cautiously check him out. I feel like the aggression started as play, but it seems more violent. Dexter is also biting us harder at times as well to the point of drawing blood. I’m so worried about the well-being of my two older guys, but they seem to be ok after a bit of time. I just don’t know how to help them all adjust. Lots of tears lately.
I think what I would do...is go back and start from the beginning... in the cat introductions.

Dexter being so young, and not having learned 'bite inhibition'...might need some extra time...to learn to Play with only cat toys..."no hands, feet, human body parts"...so that he does not draw blood from his humans.
*Anytime he tries to bite your hands or feet...you'll have to 'exaggerate'...with a loud 'owww, whimper, yelp'.
Turn slightly away from him...and stop immediately playing...leave the room, (or put him in a mini-time out...with short periods of time.)
He should learn...that biting humans...means no more playing.:headshake:

The difficulty here, is that it sounds like Jasper enjoys playing with Dexter...but then gets too hyper...and re-directs his own aggression and play...towards older Inky.
Inky is the one...who is getting more of the undeserved and unwanted...aggressive Play and attention.

What you might have to do...is use Jasper first...to introduce to Dexter...and then after they are established...get Inky introduced.
You will be using Jasper...to teach Dexter...to Play...at a lower aggressive level...and not try to bounce higher on the cat hierarchy.
All the cats seem to want to establish who is 'top cat'...but because it's not the wild outdoors...and your cat Inky is a senior....then both Jasper and Dexter...have to learn to respect Inky.

**Make sure to have plenty of 'safe spaces' for all cats to go and sleep in, plenty of 'high places' and 'low places' (cat trees, side tables, boxes)...so that every cat can escape...if one is cornered by the other.

(I know that it is very stressful to watch, ...when our own cats fight...or when they seemingly out of the blue attack each other.
Cat to cat introductions...and also cat to dog intros...can be extremely stress filled times...and also very emotional, too, ...because we just want them all to get along....but they don't usually do so right away. Then we kind of feel defeated, or lost.:alright:
(I remember thinking this way, after introducing a new puppy...which took me longer than nine months. And also, even now,...when hearing my two sibling cats fight, male and female, both age six,...I still get a bit irritated...thinking, "why, why can't you both just get along peacefully".:frustrated:)

The most you can do...is lay out a Plan.
Do the intro in Stages..
.and then you'll slowly see results...because you will be reducing each cat's instinct...to automatically go after the other cat...in their territory.

PS. If you can post some videos...of how Jasper and Dexter Play....that would really be helpful to see.
 
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ChelleN1019

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Jasper and Dexter don’t really play. its Hard to figure out. jasper tries to stay up high when Dexter is around, but nothing stops Dexter. Dexter then attacks, Jasper tries to get away and Dexter follows him everywhere. Even into the boxes on the cat trees. We try to separate them but if we are not quick enough it escalates into Jasper attacking Inky. If we do get them separated Jasper wants to go back to the same room. I really can’t tell if Jasper is just dumb or a glutton for punishment. Dexter will go wherever the other cats go. There is no escape, and we are the people that have multiple cat trees, cat houses, etc. It seems like they would kill each other if they could, but then other times they can all be calm in the same room. We’ll have a good day, and it seems we jump backwards the next. I can try to get video, but it happens so fast and we have to intervene. Maybe I can find examples online. It’s been a month now. do you think there’s any hope?
.
 
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ChelleN1019

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I should also note that there is no posturing or warning shot. Dexter just pounces on their necks.
 

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It’s been a month now. do you think there’s any hope?
Oh yes, most definitely there is hope.
A month in cat introductions is very, very, short.
Plus the fact that Dexter's testosterone levels will be reducing, over this time.

I don't even count the first week...or two...since the 'new cat' needs time to Adjust to the new place, new sights, sounds, new humans...and the cat is probably so happy to have 'more space' and 'freedom'...instead of being where ever they were before.

New Cats can be extremely terrified,...or very excited...by new things and new situations...and need extra time...to settle in.

Cat Introductions...are suggested to be done slowly...so that reductions in the cat's 'automatic fear reactions'...are reduced.
Jasper and Dexter don’t really play. its Hard to figure out. jasper tries to stay up high when Dexter is around, but nothing stops Dexter. Dexter then attacks, Jasper tries to get away and Dexter follows him everywhere. Even into the boxes on the cat trees. We try to separate them but if we are not quick enough it escalates into Jasper attacking Inky. If we do get them separated Jasper wants to go back to the same room. I really can’t tell if Jasper is just dumb or a glutton for punishment. Dexter will go wherever the other cats go. There is no escape, and we are the people that have multiple cat trees, cat houses, etc. It seems like they would kill each other if they could, but then other times they can all be calm in the same room. We’ll have a good day, and it seems we jump backwards the next. I can try to get video, but it happens so fast and we have to intervene. Maybe I can find examples online.
Oh, I may have mis-read your first post.
I thought that Jasper was playing with Dexter,...but then got hyped up...and re-directed his play...onto Inky.

How many days or weeks,... has it actually been that Dexter was separated from the older two cats?
To you, does it look like Dexter is 'calming down' at all...after his neutering?
It seems like they would kill each other if they could, but then other times they can all be calm in the same room. We’ll have a good day, and it seems we jump backwards the next.
Oh, wow.
Trying to kill each other...is a whole different level of cat aggression.
Usually you only see that in non-neutered tom cats...but I guess if Fear for survival, or fear of the other cat is so high...then yes,...I would think that they would want...the other cat way out of their perceived territory.

Do you think...that if you were to go back...and re-start the cat introductions...that Dexter would calm down.
Try with just Jasper and Dexter first.

When either you, or your husband,...is Playing with Dexter...just on his own...Does he 'attack the cat toy'...as though he is really hunting, and wants to 'kill it'?.
Is he very 'possessive of his cat toys'?...and carries them around...or destroys them?
 
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ChelleN1019

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Dexter does carry around his toys, but I have not seen him destroy anything. He’s always up for play and will literally go anywhere he can.

we haven’t had him with the other two cats all weekend, and it was somewhat peaceful. Today we did a room swap so Dexter could be with both of us, and it made the other two miserable. When we swapped back inky and Jasper started fighting again. I feel so discouraged and anxious, and very guilty for keeping Dexter isolated. I should note that Dexter is not seeming to calm down yet from his neutering.
 

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... Today we did a room swap so Dexter could be with both of us, and it made the other two miserable. When we swapped back inky and Jasper started fighting again. I feel so discouraged and anxious, and very guilty for keeping Dexter isolated. I should note that Dexter is not seeming to calm down yet from his neutering.
It sounds like Jasper is a bit more sensitive and reactive...if he is taking out his frustrations, fear, and energy...out on Inky.

So before Dexter came into the picture...did your two older boys...play together fairly peacefully and not too rough?
Or was Jasper always a bit more energetic, forceful, and slightly pushy....if he wanted to Play...when Inky did not.?

(Your cats, right now...are all trying to get used to all the new changes...and establish a new hierarchy...of who can Play with who, how rough, at different times, when one wants to Play...but the other may not.
At the same time...they are 'releasing any pent up emotions, automatic instincts, and 'cat drives'...on the closest cat...object...and even their humans...if they happen to be in their way.)

It is going to be slightly chaotic...in the beginning...until each cat...gets to feeling more Relaxed...about being in this whole new situation.
And Yeah, it is really, really difficult for us humans to feel Relaxed...in these type of early cat introductions, too.
But we have to try...only because our Emotions, actions, voices...kind of get transferred to our cats...so easily...and then the cats pick up even more fear, hesitations, anger...added to their own 'state of fear', or frustrations...that it may make them take longer to calm down.

Don't be too hard on yourself. :alright:...or feeling guilty.
You're just in the early stages...and having each cat isolated...or having to keep Dexter isolated...(or rotating which cat gets isolated)...is all part of the intro Process.
The isolation is not forever.
Only until...you see progress being made by the cats...in lowering their 'fear responses'.

Is there any way that you can set up this type of "shelving gate partition...with zip ties"...so that when you have to Swap rooms, or place cats into different areas...that they can all remain separated...for a few hours?
If you can place it in a hallway, or other doorways.
How to Build a Free-Standing Cat, Dog, or Pet Gate Cheaply, Without Tools

This would help Inky...from getting 're-directed aggression'...from Jasper...since it seems that Jasper is getting riled up...and needs to let off energy...after being placed in different areas.
Also try to 'burn off' some of that extra energy....from Jasper...by Playing with him ...right before...he's moved back in to wherever Inky is.
Re-directed Aggression In Cats – TheCatSite Articles

What you might have to do,...for a little while...is divide the time...between you and your husband...on who stays with each cat...or in which area...so that no cat feels too alone...for too long.
Ask your husband to stay with Dexter for awhile.
Then switch...and you stay with Dexter...and vice versa...with the other cats.
 
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ChelleN1019

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Jasper is more playful than Inky, and he usually instigates the play. Inky will play a bit, but Jasper gets too aggressive and we have to break it up. 99% of the time they coexist happily, laying by each other, grooming each other, etc.

when we swap rooms we make sure to have them separated so they do not see each other. We also have two baby gates that we stack at the stairs, but 2 of the 3 have figured out how to get over it. Do you think it would be useful to have the shelving gates so they can see each other? They will lay outside the doors aand meow at each other.

I do want to mention too that Jasper is part Siamese and has always been more active and vocal. I wonder if that could be part of his sensitivity.

I also want to say you are a Godsend Cat Nap. You have given me hope and guidance when I thought there was none. We adore our babies, and want to do what is best for all of them. We love to spend outr time with them and hope we can all do so again soon. I appreciate you so much!
 

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...We also have two baby gates that we stack at the stairs, but 2 of the 3 have figured out how to get over it. Do you think it would be useful to have the shelving gates so they can see each other? They will lay outside the doors aand meow at each other.
Oh, I didn't realize that you already have stacked baby gates.

I am kind of wondering, now, which 2 figured out how to get over them ? :think:
(My guess would be Dexter and Jasper...but who knows...Inky looks a bit like my cat Tripp (black cat in avatar)...who loves to climb up high, too.) (Though my Tripp is six...and your inky is 8.)

Yes, I think the shelving gates would be useful...so that you can easily move them around...and place them wherever you wanted to.
(also, after using them as gates...when you no longer need them...they can be used for shelves, cat walks with carpet on top, shoe racks,...or even made into a type of 'cat crate', sleeping spots,...dog cage..etc. Wire shelving is useful.)

You can place them in hallways...and then section off parts of the home.
But yes...mostly they are used...for cats to just be able to look at each other...but not climb over.
(So I guess they would have to be pretty high, and sturdy, too.)

The more a cat is able to Observe, and see the other cat...the more Confident they become...and less Fearful of each other.

Eventually, though,...they do have to Touch each other...so as to Learn how to interact.

(In a previous thread...the member made an opening at the bottom of the shelving gate...so her two cats could play with their paws.)
I do want to mention too that Jasper is part Siamese and has always been more active and vocal. I wonder if that could be part of his sensitivity.
I think you are absolutely right. :idea:
(Although, I have never had a Siamese, or part Siamese...but do remember reading about them being more sensitive and vocal.)
That totally makes sense.:agree:
Thanks for mentioning that.
I also want to say you are a Godsend Cat Nap. You have given me hope and guidance when I thought there was none. We adore our babies, and want to do what is best for all of them. We love to spend outr time with them and hope we can all do so again soon. I appreciate you so much!
Wow! :hearthrob:
You actually brought slight tears to my eyes...but they are happy tears. :touched::biggrin:
Oh wow. I don't know what to say.
Thank you so much ! :) :blush: :cloud9:

Sometimes, I don't know what will work in a 'cat to cat introduction'...so I just kind of 'brainstorm with people'...and we try different things.
But the Basics of the Plan...are always there...and then you move forward...from there...and build upon...what you have done.
Every cat introduction is so different...and so unique...so it's hard to tell what will work with some...and what will work with others.
Also, sometimes....it's just a matter of Time...going by...and giving each cat enough time to settle down, get used to each other, and relax.

Honestly, though, my part is easy...since I just throw out suggestions...but the humans doing the cat intros...have to do all the work.
Your part is so much harder,... since it involves actually doing the Stages/Steps... and frustrating, too,...because it needs all the Patience...and Repetition,...until you start seeing Results.
It usually happens...at the pace...of the slowest cat.

Seeing even small Positive results...or changes...are taken as Steps forward.
And sometimes 'setbacks' ...only seem setbacks to us...because we don't actually see it 'from the perspective of the cat'.
From the cat's perspective...there really are no setbacks...they just 'live in the moment'.:bluepaw:

Having a lot of Patience..is key.
Not to mention...Playing,...handing out Food and Treats...to make positive associations...and also finding ways...in which to enjoy the cat to cat introductions.
(I know this last part sounds like it's impossible...but some days...just stepping back...and noticing how much Changes have already been made...really does help.)

Often times, when you're in the middle of something, we never really notice...how much we've already accomplished.
Also...Taking the Time for yourself, too,...not to get too overwhelmed.
Remember to Always, always,...take time for yourself.:clover:
I'm so glad that you feel more hope. :)

Thank you so much, for posting the above photos of your beautiful cats, too. :heartshape:
(I can't believe that I forgot to ask you to post photos, earlier. lol. I must be slipping.)

It really, really, helps me...when I actually see the cats. :blush: :catrub::blackcat: :caticon:
(that is kind of why...it also helps to see actual videos...because...I'm more a 'visual learner'...so when I get a visual picture in my mind...it helps to visualize what is happening...and try to get more ideas...of what to do next.)
(I basically go to youtube...for a lot of diy videos. lol.)

(in the case of cats...Jackson Galaxy...has a lot of good videos, too,...but I have not watched them in awhile...since there are always other things to watch.) :popcorn:
 

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Thank you Cat Nap! Dexter is neutered (1 month ago). We did segregate the cats at first, but as I noted we are softies and feel bad when they cry wanting to be with us. I know we need to do it, but my hubby caves. We have gates up that the cats can interact through, and they usually do pretty well with some hissing from Inky. The resident cats are interested in the new guy And cautiously check him out. I feel like the aggression started as play, but it seems more violent. Dexter is also biting us harder at times as well to the point of drawing blood. I’m so worried about the well-being of my two older guys, but they seem to be ok after a bit of time. I just don’t know how to help them all adjust. Lots of tears lately.
I have only had minor threats of aggression. What I do is call the aggressor by name in a paternal type voice. So far my ferals, semi-ferals and domestics all get along wonderfully. My main domestic, named Bibbs, was rescued from the wild, and I believe he is what is actually called a "diplomat cat" bridging the gap between the ferals and domestic life. I am very happy and surprised how respectful they treat each other, each recognizing other's place and role in the pecking order I guess.
 
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We seem to be going backwards and do not know what to do. It seems that Dexter is getting more bold and is now full on attacking Inky. Inky growls, and that used to deter Dexter but no more. We still keep Dexter separated from the other two, but when we have tried to integrate this happens every time. Jasper still gets upset (and some of Dexters wrath as well) and then also goes after Inky when we put those two together. We then separate all 3 from each other, but it just seems like a no win situation. how do we get them to ignore each other at the very least? Specifically, how do we get Dexter to ignore them. I never thought it would be this challenging.
 

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We seem to be going backwards and do not know what to do. It seems that Dexter is getting more bold and is now full on attacking Inky. Inky growls, and that used to deter Dexter but no more. We still keep Dexter separated from the other two, but when we have tried to integrate this happens every time. Jasper still gets upset (and some of Dexters wrath as well) and then also goes after Inky when we put those two together. We then separate all 3 from each other, but it just seems like a no win situation. how do we get them to ignore each other at the very least? Specifically, how do we get Dexter to ignore them. I never thought it would be this challenging.
I don't think you can actually get Dexter to ignore them,...or any cat to ignore the other...but you can get them to a point...where they feel comfortable, Confident, less Fear, and Acceptance around each other.
This definitely takes a lot of time.
(You cannot actually rush any of the stages/steps...since it would cause one cat to not feel ready...when the actual face to face meetings occur.)
------------------------------------------------------------------
Try doing the cat intros using the 5 Senses method....But spending at least a week, (or more if needed), on each Stage/Step.
  1. Hearing ...where the cats can hear each other, but not see each other.
  2. then Scent....and especially the 'swapping the scents, mingling the scents' and 'allowing all the new cat's scents to be all over the home'...so much so...that your resident cat will recognize and accept the new cat as part of their territory. This is the part where "Scent swaps" and "Room Swaps" are practiced to get both cats' scents everywhere.
  3. Visual is next, but you are still doing Scent Exchange, and rewarding any good interactions with treats/food/praise.
  4. Taste is using food and treats to make positive associations and encourage more Acceptance.
  5. Finally, Touch,....is when you've observed that your resident cat is no longer bothered by the smells, or sight of the new cat,...and you've noticed a huge decrease in your resident cat's fear responses.
In Dexter's case, try doing more of Steps 2, 3, and 4....before even attempting any face to face meetings.

-------------------------------------------------
(In cat to cat introductions...the idea is to get all the cats comfortable enough...with a Slow Process..and move from step to step...and then to do actual Face to face meetings (in the last step)...when the cats are not showing any signs of being fearful, still irritated, upset, or highly reactive.

Trying to integrate them...before the other cat is ready...is often going to lead to fights...since it would be the 'automatic responses'...of either cat that is activated.
When a cat feels fear, they warn the other cat off, or chase it off.
It's the 'automatic responses' that you try to lessen.)

It's very difficult, though, in the case of 'aggressive Play'...since you're also trying to 'lessen' Dexter's behaviour...in jumping on the older cats, and getting Dexter to respect the cues, hisses, growls, that the older cats are giving him.
**This is where 'Visuals through a gate'...are extremely important....since it gives you indications....if either cat...is respecting the other's cues, body language, hisses, growls, etc.
Plus it gives each cat, enough time, to Observe the other, ...and get used to the other one, being in their territory.
Each cat has enough time, to lessen their own automatic responses...to the other cat.

Is there a big size difference between Dexter...and Jasper and Inky?

***Could you possibly get Dexter "harness trained"...so that you would have more control of Dexter...when he decides to run at the older cats. (This would be for the actual face to face meetings...and only done on the last step.)

**This thread from earlier this year, may help, to visualize how the member used the harness with her cat.
Newly introduced cats: attack or rough play incident?
The earlier videos are not working, but if you skip to the later ones...and just skip through it....and read only the member's posts...then I think it will help you...for some more ideas to try.
(They also used the shelving gates...and their cat was very jumpy...in the beginning.)

***Another recent thread that is extremely helpful...because the member has multiple cats...and is introducing a new cat...is this thread:
It's from K kakers ...and is full of extremely useful information,...with a lot of photos...which show the progression of how things are going.
Another cat introduction thread!
(I haven't actually caught up to reading the entire thread, yet, but I find it very, very informative.)
 
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ChelleN1019

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Thank you again for your insight Cat Nap. We are going to start over again. I am wondering something though. When they are allowed to see each other behind the baby gates there is no hissing or posturing of any kind. Dexter will try to play through the gate, and the other two will sit next to the gate and just look at him. One at a time usually, but no signs of agitation are present. Is this a good sign, or just normal because there is a barrier? We see this, think they are ok, and then excitement takes over if we let them together. I used to think I was good at reading my cats and understanding them, but not lately.
 
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ChelleN1019

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Also, Dexter is almost the same size as the two adults (Inky is a chub though). We‘ve tried the harness with Dexter, but he just rolls around like he’s having a seizure or something trying to get it off.
 

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...I am wondering something though. When they are allowed to see each other behind the baby gates there is no hissing or posturing of any kind. Dexter will try to play through the gate, and the other two will sit next to the gate and just look at him. One at a time usually, but no signs of agitation are present. Is this a good sign, or just normal because there is a barrier?
This is a fantastic sign. :thumbsup:
The fact that either of your older cats are willing...and even care to sit next to the gate...to just look at Dexter...is awesome.
If you can get as much of these type of situations as possible, the better it will be...since the cats are still 'getting to know each other'.

***Try introducing 'Food or Treats'...at these times...at the Gate. :greenpaw:
The Food will help...to create more Trust, Bonding, Confidence, and less fear...of the other cat.
More Acceptance, too,...that the other cat will not try and steal Resources (food)...from each other.

(if you have to, mark the spots on the floor, with masking tape...and see how far towards the gate, each day,...the cats are Comfortable with eating...without getting upset. If you have to move the food bowls...either closer...or farther away from the gate...all depending on each cat's reactions. This exercise helps to get each cat to feel okay, about the new cat.

If you find that any of your cats will not eat at the Gate...then just skip this exercise...and try to use Treats, or Play Toys,...to get them close to the Gate. The major thing is that a cat does eat...and sometimes senior cats have their own established routines at eating times...so doing the above exercise with food bowls...is not always recommended.
You never want a senior cat, or any cat actually,...to go off their food.
Eating for a cat is really important.
So if this adds too much stress for a cat...then just skip it...and use treats, and Play.

***Another thing...to do...after about a week of Full Daily Visuals...through the Gate...is to 'lift up the gate slightly'...either on books, wood, or some type of sturdy supports...so that Dexter can have access...only with his paws...to touch the other cats. :bluepaw:
You have to make sure that the opening is safe, and not too big to get the entire cat's body through...and so that it does not fall on his paws, or pinch them if he tries to pull at the gate.

****If the older cats are willing to come up to the Gate,...and touch Dexter back...then this will tell you more...about how each cat feels.
Either it will be rough and aggressive,...or more of a Playful batting...back and forth.
It can be both, too,...with the 'touching of the paws'...leading to less and less aggressive bats, less aggressive body language, and more of a 'relaxed type of playing'. They will slow down,...and seem kind of 'bored'...and less intense.
This is usually done after the full week of Visuals...and when the cats are more Comfortable seeing each other...or being near to each other...with the gate barrier up.
We see this, think they are ok, and then excitement takes over if we let them together. I used to think I was good at reading my cats and understanding them, but not lately.
I totally get the excitement and thinking that they will all be okay...when the gate is down, and they are together.
It's hard not to think this way...but usually...it's the smallest little details...(and even the things that we humans don't actually see...like eye movements, slight body movements, ears, nose twitches, scents given off),...that the cats are communicating to each other...that tells each cat about the relaxed state of the other cat.

And don't worry, you still are good at reading your cats..:)..it's just that our cats are very fast and direct...at what they do.
(I'm not sure if us humans can ever really pick up on things, as fast as our cats,.:headshake:..but we do try to make the situations...especially cat intros...as easy as possible for them....so that they don't go into automatic fear mode.)
That's basically why...everything is done so Slowly.
Just to let the cats Adjust..in the slowest manner possible...to lessen their fear responses.
Also, Dexter is almost the same size as the two adults (Inky is a chub though). We‘ve tried the harness with Dexter, but he just rolls around like he’s having a seizure or something trying to get it off.
Lol. I'm sorry that I'm laughing right now. :lol:
It's just that you reminded me, of a previous cat I had,...who also would 'roll around and around'...when I first put his harness on. :lol:
He would do the same thing as Dexter.
And then try these little leaps, and foot holds...to try and take the harness off.

I basically could not have the harness on him for too long...while getting him used to the harness...maybe two to five minutes max.
Then I slowly increased the time...so it took over two weeks to get him comfortable enough...to where he was not rolling around.
I think I had to skip days, too,...since he would bolt...whenever he saw the actual harness.
After he got used to it...he would just lay there...and not actually move. :rolleyes2: :frustrated:

Try only putting the harness on Dexter for a few minutes...and then increasing the times.
Also, don't leave the harness on him, without supervision...since my cat did bolt under the bed with it on...and I had a long wait, and had to lure him out with treats...to get it off him.
Cats can get themselves all tangled up, and even get one foot through a harness, and limp around,...so it has to always be supervised.

I was also going to suggest to try and harness train Jasper...but maybe that's a little too much work for one week.
Remember, to also Relax, and Enjoy your own time...away from any cat intros.
Taking breaks...is always good. :)
 
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ChelleN1019

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We’re still trying with Dexter, but at our wits end. We have been able to have the cats in the same room for short amounts of time, but Dexter continually goes after the other two cats, sometimes instantly. We try to distract him with feather wands and toys to no avail. Usually we try a 5 minute time out in the bathroom, but he still will go after them When we let him back out. We then need to segregate him completely. Sometimes it seems more like play, but when the cats hiss or yowl he doesn’t usually stop. I’m also wondering if my two residents are dumb, or semi comfortable. We give them the option to safely leave the area, but they always come back right away. Neither one seems to want to go stay in a safe place. Any ideas? My hubby says he’s going to go crazy if this keeps up. He thinks I’m not being considerate of the resident cats and am allowing Dexter to destroy their peaceful content lives. I love all three so much, but am wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel.

I do want to note that we have gotten Dexter to lessen the force of his bitting with us. We had to do some scruffing to train him, but it seems to have worked on us humans. He hasn’t broken our skin with his teeth in almost 2 weeks!
 

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We’re still trying with Dexter, but at our wits end. We have been able to have the cats in the same room for short amounts of time, but Dexter continually goes after the other two cats, sometimes instantly. We try to distract him with feather wands and toys to no avail. Usually we try a 5 minute time out in the bathroom, but he still will go after them When we let him back out. We then need to segregate him completely. Sometimes it seems more like play, but when the cats hiss or yowl he doesn’t usually stop. I’m also wondering if my two residents are dumb, or semi comfortable. We give them the option to safely leave the area, but they always come back right away. Neither one seems to want to go stay in a safe place. Any ideas?
Ahhh...I was so hoping that Dexter was settling down a bit, ..but I guess at 8 months old...he would be like a teenager, now.
He sounds like he is able to listen, and is teachable,...since you were able to scruff him...to keep him from biting the humans. :bluepaw:
He's just not wanting to listen to the cues of the older cats. :doh:

(Yeah, Dexter sounds like he was taken from his siblings too early...and has no idea how to properly Play with other cats...if he is too Aggressive, and biting the other cats.
It's really strange that he does not Stop...when the other cats are yowling. :hmmm:
It's like Dexter is not listening to any Cues...that the other cats are giving him.)

Young cats do have abundant Energy...so they often pester older cats...but after a month or two...you should be seeing some improvements...to the way the cats act around one another.
It is a good sign that your two older cats...do come back right away...since it shows...that they are not really too upset by Dexter...or else they would just stay away, ...and avoid him always.

Interesting, though, that the none of the older cats...have aggressively hit Dexter back. :greenpaw:
They are definitely strong enough, too. And sometimes a big brush up...leads to getting along better.

Could you try giving Dexter some 'calming treats'?
Search Results for Query: calming treats for cats

You can google them online, pet stores, amazon,...to find out which ones are recommended by people.
Read the reviews, to get a better idea of which ones work.

This thread mentions some but it's from 2018,..I'm sure that newer ones are available if you search online:
Calming Treats For A Very Picky Cat

Are you sure it's not rough Playing?
Are My Cats Fighting Or Playing? – TheCatSite Articles

Can you link to an online video that is similar?...or post one that you've taken with your phone?
How To Upload And Add Videos To Your Posts – TheCatSite Articles

(I think that people just upload their cat videos, to youtube, or gif, vimeo, and then use the 'insert media' drop down function...(it's the three small dots...beside the smiley face...on the top ribbon...which drops down a menu.) to insert the videos into their own posts.
Embed videos

This article is also helpful...as it has some tips:How to Deal with Aggression Between Family Cats
My hubby says he’s going to go crazy if this keeps up. He thinks I’m not being considerate of the resident cats and am allowing Dexter to destroy their peaceful content lives. I love all three so much, but am wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel.

I do want to note that we have gotten Dexter to lessen the force of his bitting with us.
We had to do some scruffing to train him, but it seems to have worked on us humans. He hasn’t broken our skin with his teeth in almost 2 weeks!
Totally makes sense to want your peaceful home back...for your older cats.

C ChelleN1019 ..before you throw in the towel, and have to rehome Dexter to a no kill shelter...could you maybe start another thread in the "Behaviour Section".
...and specifically title it "Aggressive Play Behaviour..any Tips to Prevent an 8 month old kitten from Attacking and Chasing two Older Cats."...or else something like "Any Tips for preventing an 8 month old kitten from Jumping on the older Cats".
Whatever you think is good.

Nothing wrong with starting a new thread...and placing the photos in the first post, too.
This way you are sure to get more members seeing it...and maybe having better ideas to try.
At least with a new thread...you will hopefully get more better ideas.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
**Finally...I think You should ask your Vet...for some calming medication...before throwing in the final towel.
Just for the time of these intros.
Ask about Prozac, or Zylkene? Nutricalm liquid, or Composure.
There are many other meds with calming effects.
Some meds can be placed in the ear...as a cream.

See this thread:
see Post#24...Kitten Introduction to a Sassy Adult Cat - Help!
(And if you do a "advanced Search" ..you can bring up a few more threads, Search Results for Query: prozac for cat)

Ask your Vet about the transdermal prozac, that is rubbed on the ear, or the chewable form:
Fluoxetine Twist-a-Dose Transdermal Gel

Members here, have mentioned using Composure, Zylkene, and gabapentin for various situations, too.
Medications for Cat Behavior Problems: Aggression, Anxiety, and More on MedicineNet
 
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