New Cat Introductions: Breaking All the Rules

new-cat-introductions

When I brought Ruby home last Sunday, I had no way of knowing how introducing a new kitten to Allegra was going to go. Allegra had been an only cat for the past eleven months. Even though she had been in a foster home with other cats before I adopted her at seven months of age, I had no way of knowing how she was going to react to another cat. Ruby shared her foster home with two big adult male cats, so at least I knew that she was used to being around cats.

Feline behavior experts advise introducing a new kitten to your home and your resident cat slowly, and in stages. For even the friendliest kittens, coming into a new home can be a big, scary venture. Experts recommend setting up a safe room for the new arrival, complete with litter box, access to food and water, toys, scratching posts and a comfortable place to sleep.

Scent is important for cats. You can let the new kitten and the resident cat smell each other indirectly by rubbing a towel on one cat, and rubbing the other cat with it, and vice versa. This “scent exchange” can help them accept the new smell as something that is part of them. After a day or two, let the two cats sniff each other through a baby-gate or a barely opened door.

When you think they’re ready, let them mingle under your supervision. There will be hissing and growling – try to ignore it, but be ready to intervene if a physical battle breaks out. It’s important to take this step slowly. If they do seem to tolerate each other, praise both cats effusively.

Gradually increase the time they spend together. Make initial joint activities fun so they will learn to associate being together with something pleasurable. Play with both cats, pet them both, and share treats. Always praise them when things go well. If things don’t go well, separate the cats, and start again at the point where you previously left off.  Introducing a new cat can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks or even months.

I knew all of these things. And yet, I made a conscious decision to forego the traditional protocol – not in defiance of what every feline behaviorist and every feline rescue group recommends, but rather, based on my gut instinct, which told me that with these two cats and their respective personalities, it was going to work. Had I seen any signs along the way that things were going south, I would have reverted to traditional protocol.

Even trusting my intuition, I was amazed at how well things went. The first couple of hours were a bit rough. There was lots of hissing and growling, and Allegra was clearly very upset with me. She growled more at me than at our new arrival. I knew all of this was to be expected and normal, but it’s still not fun to go through. Ruby, on the other hand, just went about the business of exploring her new home. Having Allegra “yell” at her was only a minor distraction for her. Nothing seemed to bother her. She was having fun!

After about five hours, the two cats were hanging out together in my living room. By the second day, they shared space on my loveseat. The hissing and growling became less frequent. By the third day, the two of them exchanged nosetaps for the first time.

Since I lead a somewhat “public” life when it comes to my cats, and people come to me for advice on all things cat, I was concerned that my unorthodox approach to introducing Ruby would be construed as expert advice on how to do it.

I want to be clear that I don’t recommend this method for everyone. It certainly flies in the face of conventional wisdom. But sometimes, rules are there to be broken. For some cats, traditional introductions may work best. For others, it may be more stressful for both the resident and the new cat to keep the two separated. It becomes an individual decision that needs to take into account how well you know the cats involved, and how comfortable you are with new cat introductions.

new-cat-introductions

As of this writing, only ten days later, the girls have become good friends. They play together, chase each other through the house, and hang out together. They even sleep in the bed with me, one cat on each side. I couldn’t be happier, and I think Allegra and Ruby are pretty happy, too.

383 Comments on New Cat Introductions: Breaking All the Rules

  1. Ritu
    August 19, 2017 at 10:31 pm (2 days ago)

    I got my 3 month old male kitten yesterday. I loved him when I saw him and I was aware that he’s very shy and a little injured and scared for the same reason. He’s in a separate room of course. But he’s coming out of his shell and getting friendly with me little by little. I have to say, he’s still pretty scared in general. My older cat is 7 yo, has never been around other animals. She is herself defensive and reserved when she sees other animals at the vet etc. But my older cat Nunu is very curious. She hangs outside the kitten’s door. One time she tried to shove her head through the door when it was cracked open. I’m sure she wants to see the kitten but he’s not ready. HOWEVER, he meows pretty loudly once in a while after I leave the room as if he’s bored.. I try to play with him as much as possible but I can’t do it all the time. He gets pretty loud when he’s bored. He probably misses his cage mates from the shelter. My older Nunu pulls the same trick when I’m in the room with him! I try to play with her as much as I can too.. I’m being extra nice to both, so neither gets pissed.. I won’t let them interact for at least a week. They touch each other’s paws under the door! I’m afraid they’ll jump the gun and get too close.

    I can’t wait for the next couple weeks to pass so they can finally see each other. The meowing on both sides will make me crazy! I guess I don’t have a real question. I wanted to share my situation. Thanks for sharing yours!

    Reply
  2. Maria James
    August 8, 2017 at 4:31 am (2 weeks ago)

    Hope you can help, I have just brought a 13 week kitten into my house and have done the correct things, set-up a safe room (my bedroom) for the kitten with all the litter box and food and bed etc, kitten has settled in really well. I have also put up a stairgate at the top of the stairs cos I need to leave the cat flap open and downstairs for resident cat. However, my resident cat (Kittyjane) who is 4 years, won’t even go upstairs she is very very frightened and will barely let me go anywhere near to here cos she knows the kitten is there, I have tried to pick her up and take her upstairs and she is getting more scared. I know it will take time but I’m terrified it wont get any better as Kittyjane wont even go anywhere near to the kitten I have read lots of
    stories about peoples cats fighting and hissing at the kitten, but mine just runs away so I don’t know what to do to make it better,? Any advice would be great (please).

    Reply
    • Maria James
      August 8, 2017 at 4:33 am (2 weeks ago)

      I’ve even tried the scent swapping and used one of my t-shirts with the kittens scent on it, near to where the resident cat sits, but she still won’t go anywhere other than the conservatory which is where the cat flap is where she can run away quickly if I go anywhere near, she is also really off her food so am struggling to know what to do.

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 8, 2017 at 5:27 am (2 weeks ago)

      You say you “just” brought this kitten into your home, Maria, so it sounds like you probably need to give this time and go through the steps of introducing the newcomer very slowly and gradually. Do not carry your resident cat upstairs if she doesn’t want to go – that’s only going to make things worse. Allow her to get used to the idea of a newcomer in her own time. After a while, you can try to entice her upstairs with treats so she associates the presence of the kitten with something positive.

      Reply
  3. Rosie45
    August 2, 2017 at 10:25 am (3 weeks ago)

    hi i have a 3 month old kitten called Cosmo and just the other day a got a 8 mouth old cat called Princess. I let them see each-other strait-away but Cosmo was just hissing and growling so Princess did the same back. what should i do.

    Reply
  4. Kim
    July 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm (4 weeks ago)

    Hello! I have a question. I recently (one week ago) got a female kitten (about 12 weeks old) and I have a 2 year old male cat. I use to have a female cat that was 6 and when the male came in I tried introducing them properly and he always wanted to be her friend, however she wasn’t having it. Now fast forward, my 6 year old female has sadly passed. My 2 year old male seems like he’d love a friend. I bring a friend home one week ago and set up home inside my office for her. The office has glass doors that open up to the living room. I have kept her in there but every time he walks past he hisses and growls and gets mad at me, my husband and the kitten. I tried to feed him on the other side of the door this morning and he growled the entire time. Please help if you have any suggestions. It is so sad as he was such a happy little loving kitty before and never he just seems so upset and angry and then he stays that way. He never hissed or growled before and I feel like that is all he is doing. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 25, 2017 at 5:17 am (4 weeks ago)

      You need to slow introductions down. It sounds like it’s too early for them to have visual contact. I’d block off the glass for now, and start over with the introduction process. Go much slower this time.

      Reply
      • Kim
        July 25, 2017 at 8:04 am (4 weeks ago)

        Thank you Ingrid. She’s been in there for a week, so he will know she’s there but I will definitely try that and I was thinking that but just wanted to be sure it wasn’t too late to start over. Thank you again.

        Reply
  5. John
    July 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm (1 month ago)

    Hi Ingrid,

    Just came across your article, great info.

    I have a 2+ yr old male cat, whom I got as a kitten along with another kitten. Sadly the other cat passed away unexpectantly earlier this year. They were very close, so it was suggested I wait a few months to get another companion for my male to deal with the loss, so I did.

    About 2 months ago, I rescued a female cat, approx 2-3 yrs old. She was found at a feeding station in a neighborhood, but had been spayed, so she was a pet at some point. I had kept her in her own room isolated for several weeks, with initally only interraction with my other cat under the door, or items with scents. She took awhile to come out from under bed, but is now very affectionate and interactive with me.

    Their intial face to face meetings were through a cracked door, and they both sniffed each other’s noses, but she eventually started to hiss when he became too close to her.

    This past week, It was recommended that I let them have supervised direct contact, so I have started that, letting her wander out from the bedroom. (she has been out of the bedroom on her own before, with him in another bedroom, so it was not a new experience for her)

    My male cat has always been very curious and kinda needy, and I think he really wants a companion. He is very curious and wants to get closer to her. She seems to be somewhat relaxed until he gets too close, then she hisses, a few paw swipes, and yesterday a few low growls. He has not shown any aggression, more submissive and almost confused. There have been no fights. I was told that hissing is normal, but growling not so much?

    Yesterday I had them within about 4-5 feet of each other, feeding each some treats, with no issues. The issue becomes when he gets too close to her “space” and then she reacts.

    It was also recommended that I try a Feliway diffuser, so I have had one of those plugged in her room for the last 7-8 days.

    Also thinking of a pet gate on the bedroom door that separates them, but also allows some interaction.

    Like in other examples posted here, is it just a matter of time and patience?

    Thanks in advance,
    John

    Reply
  6. Claire
    July 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm (1 month ago)

    Hello,

    I would like some advice, if you don’t mind. I adopted a second cat (male, fixed, 5-6 years old) so that my other cat (female, also fixes, 2 years old) wouldn’t feel lonely.

    I have tired the normal protocol for over 3 months now: separated rooms, exchanging beds/litter boxes, not allowing them to see each other during the first weeks… they simply don’t seem to get along. She hisses at him and he tries to attack her (no hissing or aggressive body language on his part). I suspect he only wants to play since his ears are up and often meows at her, but everytime I allow him to roam the house he runs towards her to scare or dominate her, so I’m not so sure anymore.

    She clearly doesn’t like him, perhaps because he’s huge, although I have reached a stage a couple of times where she would try to enter his room to meet him (fighs followed so I needed to go a few step sbackwads everytime).

    Summer is here and air conditioning won’t reach his room, I’m desperate to find a way to make them at least tolerate each other so that he won’t suffer from the heat. I’ve tired feliway, batch flowers, catnip, asked several shelters, but I sikmply can’t make it work.

    It’s been a long time already and they both come from shelters where they lived peacefully with other cats, so I simply can’t understand what I am doing wrong.

    What would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 13, 2017 at 5:07 am (1 month ago)

      It doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong, Claire. Sometimes these introductions can take several months. You may want to consider working with a feline behaviorist to get some additional help. If you can’t find anyone local to you, I can recommend Mikel Delgado http://www.felineminds.com/ and Daniel Quagliozzi https://gocatgosf.com/ Both offer remote consultations.

      Reply
  7. Becca
    July 2, 2017 at 5:52 pm (2 months ago)

    I’d really like some advice! I have an 8yr old female cat that I rescued 6 years ago. She was found on the street with kittens at around 2yrs old. Yesterday we adopted a 9 week old male kitten and I need some advice on bringing them together. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. TallyKB
    June 26, 2017 at 9:27 am (2 months ago)

    Our situation seems to be a bit different – we have a 2yr old female who is the most chill cat, recently we adopted a 3 month old boy cat (they are both fixed). The older cat has no problem with the younger cat at all, we have him in a separate room and she hangs out by the door, she’s curious but no signs of aggression towards the kitten. The kitten, on the other hand, growls, spits and hisses at the older cat, ears flattened and fur all standing on end. All the scenarios I’ve read seem to show the older cat being the aggressive one, not the other way around! I have been following the guidelines – sharing toys, rubbing a cloth on the older cat and putting it in the new cat’s room. Any other advice?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 26, 2017 at 3:34 pm (2 months ago)

      That is a more unusual scenario, but the same rules still apply: go slow with introductions, like you have been doing. Maybe eventually consider some site swapping where the new cat gets to explore the rest of the house while the female gets to explore his room. Keep those sessions short initially until you can gauge how they react to it.

      Reply
    • SouDem
      July 7, 2017 at 10:58 am (2 months ago)

      Hey TallyKB! we are currently having the same issue at our house! the new cat (7yr old female) is not accepting our resident cat (2yr old male). He is the sweetest and friendliest kitty we have ever seen, and he just wants to be friend with her. We are doing the introduction the traditional way but she continues to hiss and growl at him. Did your cats finally become friends? any other tips we can use? it’s becoming stressful to us humans too!

      Reply
      • TallyKB
        July 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm (2 months ago)

        Honestly, it just takes perseverance! I think it was less than 2 weeks ago I posted and now the cats are the best of friends and sleep curled up together. Initially, our older resident cat seemed friendly towards the new kitten, but after we properly introduced them and let the younger guy have an explore around resident cat’s territory, our resident cat did get pretty aggressive towards the kitten. So we took it back a step, kept them separated…and honestly, the thing which seemed to work for them was tying one of each cat’s favorite toys on either end of a piece of string, and sliding it under the door separating them, so each cat had their toy on their side of the door. They started playing that way, then we cracked the door so they could see each other while they played. next step was the “site swapping” mentioned here, the older cat had a good sniff around the new kitten’s litter, and we let the kitten have a look around the downstairs of our house where our older cat likes to hang out. We increased the time they spent together every day and by the end of the first week they were playing and sleeping together, and sharing food. So just keep at it, slowly – you will get there in the end!

        Reply
        • SouDem
          July 7, 2017 at 3:13 pm (2 months ago)

          Thanks for your response! it makes me feel better! when you guys swapped sites, did you also leave the food and litter of each cat? we are not doing that and I wonder if that will make a difference..
          thanks again!

          Reply
          • TallyKB
            July 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm (2 months ago)

            Yes, we did leave the litter and food – it helps them get used to each other’s scent. Though now we have a whole new issue which is that our older cat has decided she prefers kitten chow and the kitten wants to eat the adult cat food instead!

  9. rajan bhayana
    June 22, 2017 at 8:29 pm (2 months ago)

    resident kitten – 7 month old (5 kg)
    new kitten – 4 month old (3.5 kg)
    both from same rescue center.

    we brought the new cat with proper introductions and lot of hissing. was a very stressful first day
    since then we have separated them for about 4 days and only contact has been via a 6 inch crack

    after 4 days there is no hissing but the bigger cat still goes for the smaller cat throat and smaller cat is fighting back

    not sure if we leave it as is and see how it goes or separate them again

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 23, 2017 at 5:17 am (2 months ago)

      Definitely separate them again and slow down the introductions. Do some scent and site swapping before you allow them together again.

      Reply
      • Rajan Bhayana
        June 23, 2017 at 6:44 am (2 months ago)

        There is bit of licking involved inbetween fights.
        Does that come with aggression or can be considered some kind of truce?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          June 23, 2017 at 8:04 am (2 months ago)

          Grooming can be dominance behavior, so I probably wouldn’t consider it a truce if it happens right after a fight.

          Reply
          • rajan bhayana
            June 23, 2017 at 8:17 am (2 months ago)

            Got it
            Thanks

  10. Jessica
    June 22, 2017 at 12:59 pm (2 months ago)

    Hello,

    I recently rescued a male 8week old kitten off the side of road early this week. I brought him to the vet right away to get him checked, and to get his shots – vet says everything looks good. I ended up taking the kitten back home with me. I already own a female cat – she turns one in July.

    When I brought the kitten home, my cat was very curious. I allowed her to wander up to the carrier on her own to sniff. She did this for a while and then hissed at him in the cage. When I got this reaction, I decided to make a safe place for the kitten in my room. At first the kitten was scared, and needed to get used to my room and the surroundings. He spent the first day mostly hiding, and cuddled with me for the remainder of the night. The kitten is now more comfortable, he is exploring, playing, and cuddling.

    I’ve been researching cat introductions, and I have been trying to feed them on the opposite end of the door. This seems to work, my Female cat will eat the wet food no problem on the opposite end, and even when I crack the door a little bit for her to see the kitten, she doesn’t seem to mind. She will take tiny breaks to look over at the kitten, but will go back to eaten. The kitten isn’t scared or stressed it seems from my older cat, he just does his own thing it seems. My Female cat has been getting more curious and she opened the door when it was opened a crack. The kitten was playing on the opposite end of the room, and my cat willingly went in and started sniffing around. I observed this because I wasn’t sure if this would be too soon of an interaction since I only had the cat a day in the half. She walked in and was sniffing around for a while (at this point the kitten didn’t notice her). My cat than noticed the kitten playing in the room, and she just sat there and observed her from a distance. Once the kitten got a glimpse of my cat, he became curious and excited – he wanted to come say hello lol. When he went to approach her, my Cat got a little freaked out.. she backed up and hissed a few times. Never did swat at the kitten, but the kitten didn’t get close enough for that to happen. The kitten doesn’t seem scared from the hissing, doesn’t seem to bother him at all he just goes off and plays with a toy, or tries to go say hello to her again. I don’t want my female Cat to get stressed out by the cat, so I took her out of the bedroom to give her some more space.

    Last night (3rd day of having kitten) I took the kitten to the washroom and left my door open. My female cat was able to go into the bedroom to get a good sniff of the kitten. I ended up giving the kitten a bath (there was a lot of meowing!!). When i came out of the washroom with the kitten in the towel. My female cat seemed more concerned than anything. She jumped up on the table to get a better view of him in my arms. I just stood there and allowed her to do whatever she wanted, she didn’t sniff him – just observe. I went into my room to dry him down more with the towel and give him a brush. While I was doing this my bedroom door was still open – I had the kitten on the bed. All of a sudden my cat jumps up on the bed and lays there, right beside the kitten! – I was in shock! But it looks like my cat didn’t know the kitten was on the bed – after she realized after a minute the hissing started again.

    This morning, I had my door open again. My cat did the same thing of slowly entering and sniffing around. Still some hissing this morning, it seems like my cat is trying to follow the kitten and just hiss. I don’t know if this will ever stop? The kitten doesn’t seem to care at the moment – still just does his own thing. I think she is showing dominance, but I’m not too sure? Will she ever allow the kitten to go actually sniff her, or allow him to leave the room?

    Should I be worried about all this hissing? Does it seem like im doing things okay? Should I be taking a step back with separating them a bit more? Or should I be giving them more and more time together? Im kind of lost on my next step – I just want both kitties to be happy 

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 22, 2017 at 2:20 pm (2 months ago)

      It sounds like you’re doing everything right, Jessica. Some hissing is normal. I’d probably continue to let them have some time together (with you supervising, of course.) If at any point, the hissing turns to growling, I’d back up a step and go a little more slowly.

      Reply
  11. Veronica
    June 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi, please I need some advice. I brought anew cat and he is 1 year old and my resident cat is 3 years old. The new cat is very sweet and he has never hiss or growl to my female cat but she hisses and growls at him. I am at the point where they can eat next to each other seeing each other too and between them is a glass door a bit open. But I feel I can’t move forward I tried to put them together in the same place because she doesn’t hiss at him when they are eating but when they are at the same room the male is very interest in her( just to play or smell her) but she doesn’t want him to came near her :(. He just gets closer and stays put but she swaps at him and he just stays looking at her like is nothing and then she runs and he follows (I don’t let him follow her anymore because he sees her at prey at that moment or as a toy). I also have a very small dog and the new cat is ok with him, when the dog runs he follows him and when he finally get there, he just smell him. What can I do so the female don’t feel so threatened and just stays there without running. I also play with him with the female around but if I stop he will turn his attention to her and is like: Hey I am the new cat let’s be friends and she: don’t came near me or I will kill you 🙁

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm (2 months ago)

      Have you done some site swapping yet? Allow the new cat to be in the space where the female spends most of her time, and allow the female to spend some time in the space where you are keeping the new cat.

      Reply
      • Veronica
        June 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm (2 months ago)

        Hi, thank you for your fast reply. At first I was letting the male cat in my room that is practically my female cat room lol and the I let the female in his room. But I have to admit I haven’t being doing it lately because I have been letting the male cat loose in the mornings and nights to go around the house, my room included. I also brush him and put his fur in my female cat tree. I will try more often to do the site swapping and lock them in the respective room so they smell each other more

        Reply
  12. Patrick McClouston
    June 2, 2017 at 12:23 am (3 months ago)

    My Fiancee and I brought home a new kitty. a 3 yr old Fatty who lived with Other kitties. I know the hissing and growling is normal but the big concern we are having is our one female is starting to get pissy with the other kitties she has lived with for a couple years now. Will this cease over time as well?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 3, 2017 at 5:25 am (3 months ago)

      Whenever a new cat is brought into the home, the dynamics between the resident cats can change. It’s also possible that the stress of the new arrival is causing your female to act out against the other cats.

      Reply
  13. sydney
    May 27, 2017 at 9:09 pm (3 months ago)

    Hello,

    I’m looking for some advice. I adopted a 9 month old tabby girl in January. She just turned a year and is still very kitten like, and we wanted to adopt another. We just brought home a 12 week old tuxedo male. Both are great cats, however I am worried about the Tabby girl accepting the new cat. The new kitten has his own room set up. My girl cat is very curious and keeps reaching her paws under the door, and the kitten the same. I thought it was a good sign, but the girl cat has hissed and growled a few times. I’v tried to block the space in the doorway, because I’m unsure if that’s a good idea or not. I was going to wait a week before cracking the door to allow them to see one another, and even then if timing isn’t right I may wait longer. I bought a cat play pen, and was going to place the kitten in that in order to acclimate to the rest of the home when timing is right. Does this all sound okay? Just very worried it won’t go well, I love the both to pieces!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 28, 2017 at 5:12 am (3 months ago)

      Everything you’re describing is normal. Go very very slowly with the introduction process. Do some site and scent swapping before you crack the door to allow them to see each other.

      Reply
  14. Gabby Alcantara
    May 22, 2017 at 10:30 am (3 months ago)

    Hi there! I have an 8 year old male cat that is quite dominant over other animals, he has the whole “king of the castle” attitude down pat. I recently rescued a stray female (not sure of age), had her spayed and she has been staying in a separate room. I brought my male cat in to introduce them and I thought he would’ve been the one to get mad since the female had lived outside with other strays but I was wrong! The female freaked out and tried to attack my 8yr old male. Before I could even set him on the floor she lunged and I yanked him back up and ran out with him. She didn’t get him but she definitely got me. I had some pretty deep scratches all down my arm and even my leg. I am wondering if it could have been because she was used to this one room and I tried to bring him into her territory (which is a small space). Is that why she attacked him? I am afraid to introduce them again so now she has been living in the laundry room for the past 2 months 🙁 I would really like for her to be able to walk around the house and get along with my male.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 22, 2017 at 10:59 am (3 months ago)

      Yes, bringing the resident cat into the new cat’s territory is definitely what set off this sequence of events. You skipped over a whole bunch of steps in the introduction process: scent exchange, space swapping, gradually letting the cat see and sniff each other through a crack in the door, etc. Start over, and go very very slowly this time, and don’t skip any steps.

      Reply
  15. Katy
    May 2, 2017 at 9:44 am (4 months ago)

    I just adopted a 4-year old super laid back male cat. I know he is good with other cats because he was in the shared room at the adoption center and never even batted at other cats. My problem is that I currently have a 3-year old male who acts more like a 1-year old (has a lot of energy). I am hoping they will get along well because my cat is super friendly and loves dogs. He has met my parents cats before (14-year old females who don’t even like each other) and it didn’t go well. My cat never hissed but they would hiss at him and try to attack him. I am concerned now though because he was on their turf at the time and now e he is on his. I got the new cat yesterday and have been trying to introduce them slowly but I feel like it is giving cats more anxiety not knowing what is on the other side of the door. I am so tempted to just open the door and see what happens but I don’t want to ruin their relationship forever. What would you suggest in this case?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm (4 months ago)

      “See what happens” is usually not a good idea unless you’re absolutely sure that the cats can handle it, Katy. I would at least give it a few days, working through the process of scent exchange, and possibly letting the cats see each other through a crack in the door while you offer treats on either side of the door before attempting to let them be together.

      Reply
  16. Sharon Dunn
    April 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm (4 months ago)

    So I have just brought home a five year old bengal as company for my 15 1/2 year old tabby after she lost her brother and was feeling very lonely and board, Millie, the bengal was very curious of her new house and the resident cat and Keira is such a sweet soul that I opened the cage and let them meet. There has been a few instances of hissing but I honestly thought it would be from the much younger cat but no my sweet natured tabby will not allow her to walk up to her. She can walk up to Millie but will only allow Millie to do so at feeding times or if I’m between then i.e. On the sofa
    Millie on the other hand is dying to get close to her new big sister and follows her everywhere I suppose in time Keira will realise that Millie just wants to snuggle up

    Reply
  17. Miranda
    April 10, 2017 at 2:28 am (4 months ago)

    I just moved into my uncles house it is. Small 2 story house. He already had a male cat about 2 or 3. I have my female cat who is 3. We ended up keeping her in her cat carrier and letting them sniff eachother that way. It seemed to be going okay so I opened the door and let her out on her own. It was a Ricky start and well she hisses at him when he tries to approach her. I know now i inteoducwd them wrong but how do i fix that. I need them to get along. I do not want to have to get rid of her. She is my baby. Also she hasn’t used her kitty litter box which is downstairs. My uncle has strict rules that no kitty box upstairs, but she usually sleeps with me and I am afraid to leave her downstairs where the male cat spends all his time. Buuut that is where her kitty box is. How do I get her to use her kitty box and not the floor???? She’s been kitty box trained since I got her. I want her with me until they are comfortable with each other, but I am afraid she will go to the bathroom on the floor. How do I figure this out.
    April 9th, 2017

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 10, 2017 at 5:23 am (4 months ago)

      There is no way around it: you’re going to have to keep your cat in your room, and you’re going to have to get a litter box for your room, no matter what your uncle says. Then you very slowly introduce the two cats to each other following these steps: http://consciouscat.net/2011/08/15/cat-to-cat-introductions/ Back up a step and go even slower if things don’t go well. It can take weeks or even months to properly introduce cats.

      Reply
  18. Lucia
    March 27, 2017 at 8:51 pm (5 months ago)

    I finally made the leap and got my playful adult male a little playful lady to have as a buddy. I am nervous because he is very territorial and am currently sitting in my bedroom with the new cat while my resident cat, Musa, is in the living room on the other side of the door. There has been no growling or hissing whatsoever, just curiosity (I have my PetCube set up so I can see what Musa is doing on the other side of the door). I am unsure if I should break “protocol” and let them see each other within the first few hours of bringing the new cat home. I was fully expecting Musa to be hissing and growling and upset, but he is not in the slightest. I don’t want to mess anything up so I am wondering if anyone has any advice: should I still wait a couple days before they can see each other?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 28, 2017 at 5:40 am (5 months ago)

      Go slow. I know the temptation is to just “give it a try,” but it’s going to be much harder and take longer to undo any potential issues than it is to wait.

      Reply
  19. Kimberly
    March 4, 2017 at 7:20 pm (6 months ago)

    Hello,
    I’ve had my cat Penelope since August, about seven months. I’ve had my heart set on a second cat though and finally adopted Coraline, a nine month old kitten. I first showed Penelope the new cat in the crate. Hissing was the immediate reaction. I figured this was normal but have a safe room set up to keep the kitten in. Day one the kitten slept in the safe room, content to see me when I’d come in to pet her. Penelope was sniffing her through the door but not hissing. I rubbed the new cats scent on socks, set one near Penelope’s play box and another by her food. She small-town but doesn’t react one way or another. We then decided to set up a baby gate for them to see each other. The new cat reacted fine. Wasn’t scared. Wanted to check Penelope out. She’s a very lovable kitten. Penelope however, reacted with growls and hissing. Then Coraline decided to jump out unexpectedly. I now have my old cat in my room (which does smell like the new cat Coraline because she slept with us one night) and she sniffs around but no reaction. The new cat has free reign right now to get Penelope’s scent. I plan to keep the kitten in the safe room once I can get her but she meows really loud whiney like. It breaks my heart because she wants to explore. And I’m also sad my old cat seems stressed around the new cat.

    My dad’s girlfriend also to let them “hash it out” and they’ll be fine, but both cats are rescues and have somewhat different personalities. I’m at a loss. My other issue is I rent an apartment. My cats both destroy the doors when either is locked up by scratching underneath. Any advice is appreciated because I don’t want to give up either of my feline babies.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 5, 2017 at 6:24 am (6 months ago)

      Definitely do not let the cats “hash it out,” Kimberly – that never ends well. You need to slow introductions way down. Once you get the kitten back into her safe room, start over, and go very slowly. Back up a step if things don’t go well. Proper introductions can take weeks, or even months.

      Reply
  20. Paul Martin
    February 4, 2017 at 9:18 am (7 months ago)

    I have a cat who is just over a year old. I’ve had her since she was a little kitten. She’s been the most loving pet ever since I brought her home. Just about a week ago, a 9 year old cat was about to lose her home. I got a hold of that cats owner and told them lets see if our cats get along. If they do i’ll take her, this way my cat will have a companion. I created a safe room for the new cat and when I brought her home I tried to see if they could be in the same room. so I let them out of there travel crates. They were both fine. I thought to myself, great this is going to be easy. Well……. mo more that two minutes I picked up the new cat and was cuddling her. My old cat really didn’t like that, as soon as she saw me she instantly started to growl and hiss at me. I put the new cat down then my cat attacked me. I was trying to stop her by trying to hold her down. She did some damage on my hand and arm. As far as introducing cats that is what I did wrong. After that I put the new cat in the safe room. Now my cat has been hissing and growling and swatting her paw at me. This went on for 4 days and the cats were constantly going at it through the door. I had no choice but to give the new cat back. For two days my cat was happy that that other cat was OUT. On the third day my cat tried to attack my son again. Before I brought that other cat home my cat has never behaved like this. My cat clearly hasn’t got over that change that we tried. I don’t know what to do now, I afraid I may have to put her down if this continues. I love my cat, I love her so much. I just cant have her attacking us, she really did some damage on my hand and arm when she first attacked me. Anyone with a thought?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 5, 2017 at 6:20 am (7 months ago)

      My guess is that your cat still smells the other cat on you and your son. She probably also hasn’t completely settled down from the stress of the other cat being in the house. I would confine your cat to a quiet room for at least a day or two to give her a chance to completely calm down. Keep some favorite items in that room with her. Minimize interactions with her during that time. While she’s in there, thoroughly clean the room the other cat was in, and wash all of yours and your son’s clothing the other cat may have come in contact with. I would also take your cat to the vet as soon as possible – while the behavior was most likely triggered by the other cat, the fact that it’s continuing even after the cat is gone is extreme, and there may be something else going on.

      Reply
  21. Esther Krieski
    January 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm (7 months ago)

    Hello!
    I’ve had my 6 month old neutered resident kitten for about 3 months. We got a second 6 month old spayed girl kitten 4 days ago. We kept them separate and have done all necessary steps: swapping rooms, scents, feeding very near each other w the door cracked. When they are eating, there is no hissing involved. I let them
    mingle yesterday.. and I thought they were fine. My resident cat would just stalk the newcomer, and newcomer would just hiss. Nothing crazy. Then of nowhere my resident cat attacked the newcomer. I’ve separated them again.. and I’ve also played w them in the same room (my husband playing w one and I with the other) and they are okay. The problem is, when I put resident cat or newcomer in a different room, he or she meows very loudly and constantly. It’s becoming very stressful for us. Do I keep putting them in separate rooms. It’s hard to choose who to sleep with 🙁 we just feel bad for both cats.

    Reply
  22. Nadine
    January 27, 2017 at 3:58 am (7 months ago)

    I have 2 cats. 1 is a about 8ish years old and the other is 4. Both are fixed males. The older one is the Dominant cat. My roommate recently got a 1yr old fixed female. She had a cat before who passed away a couple years ago (and she lived with my two cats too without a problem). The new kitty is very sweet and not very aggressive with the 2 boys. Typical light hissing and shuffling away. Poe (my oldest) warmed to her in a few days (this is how he works with all animals. He took to Amadeus and the previous female cat in less than a week each). However, Amadeus is proving to be more difficult with the new cat. He hisses at her if she gets too close but hasn’t yowled or actively attacked her. We started out with the new cat confined to my roommates bedroom, and would allow the boys in to get used to her smell, sight, etc. Since it has been a few weeks and Poe has accepted her (as he’s the dominate one) we’ve been letting her bedroom door open so her kitty can explore if she wants (with supervision). What we’ve noticed is when the new kitty starts to come down stairs, Amadeus is not accepting of it and will chase her back up the stairs and into the bedroom. I should note he does not chase her when he is in her bedroom… i theorize this is because he knows that’s her territory and he has never really been in the room that much as he follows me around everywhere. However once she comes down stairs, it’s now his territory and he has not completely accepted her. Again, there is some hissing but no really loud, aggressive hissing or yowling. I have not seen him attack her either but I do not believe the chasing is play either. I believe it’s more aggression. Amadeus is maine coon mix and is easily twice the size of the new kitty. He looks very intimidating (even though he’s clumsy and is kind of a scaredy cat as when my 25lb dog tries to pounce him, he just flops over and takes it). Any tips on how to lessen his need to aggressively chase her away? I know it’ll take more time, and I’ve read trying to distract him with a toy when he wants to chase her may help too.

    Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to give as much background info as I could

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 27, 2017 at 6:21 am (7 months ago)

      You may need to back up a step and keep the new cat in the bedroom and slowly create positive associations for Amadeus by feeding him on the opposite side of the door, eventually cracking the door a bit so he can see and smell her but not get at her, doing site and scent swapping, etc. I think that’s your best bet to ensure that they will eventually get along.

      Reply
  23. Ashley
    January 22, 2017 at 12:23 am (7 months ago)

    I have a 3 year old cat and i really love her i am like obsessed with her. BUT my best friend had to get rid of her cat so i took it. she is at my house to get her used to my old cat. but fluffy (old cat) cant stop growling at puddles (new cat) what should i do

    Reply
  24. Kayla
    January 4, 2017 at 4:13 am (8 months ago)

    I’ve had Madison for several months. She was adopted from the Humane Society. She’s an old lady; 11 years, the vet believes. When we adopted her the paperwork had said she had lived with another cat. Now, months later, we have adopted another cat, Dumpling. Dumpling is 4 months old and loves to play. I currently have them separated and am going through the motions of gradual introductions. Madison hisses at Dumpling through the door and does a low growl once in a while. I would like to let Dumpling out so that he can run a little but I’m afraid Madison will scare him. When we adopted her, Madison had been in a room with a bunch of other cats so I know she is capable of coexisting with another. If I open the door will she hurt him? Or will it just be a short lived experience of hissing like you mentioned with
    your cats?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 4, 2017 at 6:48 am (8 months ago)

      It’s impossible to predict, Kayla. When in doubt, slow and gradual introductions are always a better choice. You may want to start with “site swapping” – put Madison in Dumpling’s room and give Dumpling the run of the house for a little while, then put him back in his room and let Madison out. It’ll give Madison a chance to really get used to Dumpling’s scent, and Dumpling will have a chance to explore the rest of the house.

      Reply
      • Kate
        January 18, 2017 at 10:19 pm (7 months ago)

        Hi! I’m not sure how to post my own problem so I’m putting it here. I have a 9 month old kitten lilly. She is the sweetest kitten.. very playful and loving. She seemed to be getting restless lately , meowing for attention (although me and the boyfriend give her LOTS) , so we decided she needed a friend. So, just today I adopted an 8 week old kitten from PetSmart. Turns out she was just spayed yesterday 🙁 . Anyways,, new kitten is just sleeping on the couch and lilly is not being aggressive, but she is hiding. She won’t even eat as usual. She seems very unsure. I have tried to make lilly feel OK but it seems she is mad at me. I’ve been trying to give lilly attention but she is not having it. Very unusual for her. I’m just hoping that she will come to accept the kitten and maybe even have her mother instinct kick in since the new kitten is still disoriented and In a little pain from her spay. Any advice would be great. Thanks!!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          January 19, 2017 at 6:17 am (7 months ago)

          Put the new kitten in a room by herself, let her fully recover from her surgery, and then slowly and gradually introduce her to Lilly. Make sure you spend lots of time with both Lilly and the new kitten while they’re separated.

          Reply
  25. Molly
    December 2, 2016 at 1:07 am (9 months ago)

    Hi!

    I adopted a now 3 month old kitten about a month ago. Three days ago we adopted her sister from the same litter. They saw each other immediately and the first cat started growling and hissing. Originally the second cat just stared at her but now she had started to growl and his too.

    We’ve had them separated since the first night and trying to switch rooms so they can small each other but it doesn’t seem to be doing much.

    I know it’s only been a few days but is there anything else that I can do?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 2, 2016 at 6:49 am (9 months ago)

      You’ve got to give it time, Molly. Introductions can take weeks and sometimes even months.

      Reply
  26. Kim
    November 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm (9 months ago)

    I took in a friend’s 10 year old cat about 6 weeks ago as they no longer could keep her. She settled in quick but seemed bored and a little grumpy. I was set on having 2 cats so adopted a year old female from the rescue centre. I’ve had other friends tell me to just set up new kitty in the front room and if the older one comes in, she’ll be annoyed but eventually tolerate her. They’ve bumped into each other several times today but my older girl is more upset with me. I’m heartbroken, feeling I’ve done the wrong thing. New kitty is settled in fine, just avoids the older girl. I’m alone in the house so separating them is hard as one thinks I’m ignoring the other. They haven’t had any physical fights, just growling. Please help, I don’t want to give up on either of them.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 24, 2016 at 6:10 am (9 months ago)

      Your friend gave you bad advice, Kim. Keep the cats separate and introduce them slowly and gradually. Here’s how: http://consciouscat.net/2011/08/15/cat-to-cat-introductions/ Be patient, and back up a step if at any point in the process, things don’t go well. Proper introductions can take weeks and even months sometimes.

      Reply
      • Kim
        November 24, 2016 at 8:59 am (9 months ago)

        How can I get about separating them, now that they know the other is here? I’m trying to keep Willow in my front room, but I feel like I’m punishing her by not allowing her free reign like Stella who is my older cat. The main issue is that Stella seems to be really mad at me, will this pass?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          November 24, 2016 at 10:46 am (9 months ago)

          Keep Willow (the new cat, yes?) in a room by herself while you go through the gradual slow introduction process. There’s never any way to predict whether two cats will get along, but doing slow and gradual introductions are your best chance of that happening. I know it’s upsetting, but hopefully, Stella will settle down as they get used to each other.

          Reply
  27. Christy
    November 22, 2016 at 1:17 am (9 months ago)

    Hello!

    I just adopted a 6 month old female kitten and my shy resident cat, Doctor after day two seeing her for the first time, but was content with just watching and sniffed the litter box before disappearing.
    Has only hissed twice at her which she just turned her back to him and curled up to doze and now they seem like best friends, except if she runs off after her and I cuddle he tears down the call and chirps/meows as if he’s looking for her.

    What does this mean?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 22, 2016 at 5:56 am (9 months ago)

      I’m not sure I understand what you’re describing, Christy. Does Doctor chase the kitten or the other way around before he does the chirping?

      Reply
      • Christy
        November 22, 2016 at 8:50 am (9 months ago)

        No he meows fist then you can hear him/them running up and down the hall, obviously playing.
        I’m just not sure if he is urging her to come out. They were sleeping together yesterday when I came home from work. I was told by the shelter that she always hung around the shy cats so I’m just curious if the meowing would be him trying to be better acquainted with her.

        Reply
  28. Kyana
    November 14, 2016 at 8:39 pm (9 months ago)

    Hello, I have an eleven year old cat and a 9 year old dog. I just got a new kitten today and I am unsure how to go about things. I read up on it and tried to take things slow. I tried the scent thing but my older cat couldn’t smell the younger ones scent. I started them off with separate rooms and they could smell eachother through the door so I decided to let the cat out. My older cat went under the bed and started hissing at the kitten whenever it got too close so we put the kitten back in the room she was in. I would just like some advice on how to help my older cat accept the kitten. I’d also like to know how long I should expect this process to take.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 15, 2016 at 6:22 am (9 months ago)

      Here’s how to do slow and gradual introductions: http://consciouscat.net/2011/08/15/cat-to-cat-introductions/ It can take weeks and even months for some cats to accept each other, so go very slowly before you move from one step to the next. If things don’t go well, back up a step and go even more slowly.

      Reply
  29. Emylia
    October 18, 2016 at 4:20 am (10 months ago)

    Hello!
    I have a 3 year old female cat, and recently adopted a 3 year old male. When I first brought him home, my boyfriend immediately took him out right in front of the resident cat and she was rightly freaked out and hissed and growled because it was so sudden. We have since set up a separate room (which the resident cat seems to have claimed for herself before we could get him set up in there) so he sleeps in my room with me. We since have tried a few interactions after some scent swapping and switching rooms they are in. They seem curious about each other and will meow through the door and bat under it at each other, but every time we try to introduce them again he playfully runs at her and she goes into defense and hisses and growls again. I was thinking of making or buying some sort of partition that they could see each other through but not be able to chase or bat at each other. I’m hoping this will get them more used to seeing each other and we can slowly get them in the same room without issues. They are getting tired with being in different rooms with limited access to me so I want to find a way to move forward.

    Reply
  30. Rita Carvalho
    October 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm (10 months ago)

    Hello! I’m so glad I found your website. I have a sweet, playful 2 yo female that since birth was used to other cats, she’s now been by herself for 11 months since my other cat, a male, passed. Three days ago we brought in another male (he’s six months). He’s very mellow and is also used to other cats. She was very curious since day one, he as expected, was scared and hiding in the separated room we put him in. After feeling that they were both fine I let them see each other with the door opened. There was some hissing and I closed it. I did this twice and now on the third day I let him explore the apartment. There was some hissing and growling on her part, she was following and wanting to sniff him. They both seemed calm. Then suddenly the growling intensified and I noticed she was in a different mode, he went back to the room we’re keeping him and she was not letting him out. I closed the door again and everybody is taking a nap. Should I keep letting them see each other? Or was it too soon and I should go back to keeping them separate? Any tip will help. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 15, 2016 at 5:31 am (10 months ago)

      I’d back up a step and slow things down, Rita. Create positive associations for them on either side of the door first, then move on to scent swapping, and then try to let them see each other.

      Reply
      • Rita Carvalho
        October 19, 2016 at 9:41 am (10 months ago)

        Hello again!
        Thanks for your input Ingrid, I went back to having them in separate rooms for a few days and the hissing and growling stopped. However, although they are in the same space the new kitten usually plays by himself and doesn’t seem interested in my resident cat. They sniff one another and touch noses but that is about it. The resident cat seems more curious. The new kitten is still afraid of me and my husband and often hides under our bed or sofa, we are able to pet him but we have to sit and let him sniff our hand first. Well, I’m not sure they are a good match now. Do you think he’ll improve and feel comfortable with us eventually? Should we keep waiting for them to get along? Any tip will help. Thank you!

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          October 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm (10 months ago)

          I’d give the kitten time to settle in, Rita. It’s a lot to handle for a kitten: new home, new people, new cat. As long as there’s no hissing or growling, I’d leave them out together and let them get used to each other gradually. I suspect that the kitten will come around eventually.

          Reply
          • Rita Carvalho
            October 19, 2016 at 8:10 pm (10 months ago)

            Thank you so much Ingrid. I really appreciate you taking the time answer to my questions. Your work is so relevant to all of us who have find ourselves lost in these situations with our feline friends. Thanks again!

  31. Tia
    October 14, 2016 at 2:06 am (10 months ago)

    Hi! I got a 15 week old cat when she was 8 weeks and just last week we decided she might be happier with a friend. Now, we also took in her brother from the same litter since his family couldn’t have him anymore. We started introductions through scent and they no longer hiss at the door. They seemed excited to meet each other and put their paws under the door so I put them together to play. The first meeting was horrible and my resident kitten (girl) was terrified so I slowed things down. After a day or two I put them back together but if they get too close they hiss and start swatting at each other and I’m scared they will fight. I’m trying to ignore the hissing and growling but I don’t know if I’m moving too fast. My resident cat seems really territorial and scared sometimes and stalks him when he just sits down. I feed them near the door with it cracked and they act fine then. What should I do?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 14, 2016 at 5:27 am (10 months ago)

      You need to slow things down and back up a step. Introductions can take weeks or even months.

      Reply
      • Tia
        October 18, 2016 at 5:10 pm (10 months ago)

        Hi again! My kittens are meeting for a little bit each day. They seem to be excited to see each other but I’m worried about their playing which could be fighting. When they first meet they sometimes touch noses and then they run through their toy tubes and chase each other. This carries on and there is barely a hiss until one tackles the other. Sometimes they are fine and seem playful but other time they seem like they’re playing too rough or actually fighting. At this point they will be hissing and growling so I make a loud noise and separate them. However, every time they are away it seems like they wish they could play with each other again. I’m worried and I’m not going to let them play for a few more days or encourage eating next to each other to stay safe. What should I do?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          October 19, 2016 at 5:16 am (10 months ago)

          Rough play is not unusual, Tia. Watch their body language to determine whether it’s play or aggression: are their ears straight up? Tails up in the air? That’s play. If their ears are flattened against the back of their heads, and tails get really puffed up, it may be tipping over into aggression.

          Reply
  32. Emma
    October 10, 2016 at 6:01 pm (10 months ago)

    Hi I’ve got a 3 year old desexed female cat and yesterday took in another desexed female of the same age. My first cat is inside/outside and new cat is locked in the spare room. My first cat won’t go up the other end of the house at all now (where new ones room is) even though her food is up that end. First cat hasn’t seen the new one only smelt her through the door or on my clothes. She just keep wanting to go outside though and we are worried she will run away or never get used to the new cat. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 11, 2016 at 5:40 am (10 months ago)

      I would not let your resident cat outside at this time. Wait until you’ve properly introduced the new cat by going through all the steps very slowly and gradually.

      Reply
  33. Emily Jayne
    October 6, 2016 at 7:54 pm (11 months ago)

    Hiya! I’m bringing home a maine coon kitten this afternoon. My existing cat is also a maine coon and loves company and attention. I have friends and family that want to come and visit the new kitten which will be kept in a separate room. I have also given the kitten some of my existing cats furniture. I am concerned that I’m making too much of a fuss for the kitten and dont want existing cat to freak out.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 7, 2016 at 5:22 am (11 months ago)

      I would give the kitten a chance to settle in and your resident cat time to get used to the newcomer before you have friends visit.

      Reply
  34. Mattie
    October 4, 2016 at 12:31 am (11 months ago)

    Hello. I have a 2 year old male, very friendly sweet mannered. He uses a cat door and freely eats. He’s easy going and has always shown us love with head butts and lots of daily chattering.
    I brought a 3-4 month female kitten home in hope of a successful integration. But I am becoming worried I have made a terribly mistake.
    I read all the articles and kept the little one separated for a few days first. Her own water food litter box etc. I rubbed her with a sock and did the same with my older male. And then rubbed them both down with the other’s sock. I also let my older cat batt the kittens paws from under the door and sniff her.
    He immediately began hissing and growling even though he hadn’t seen her yet. Which I believed to be normal.
    We finally let the little one out of her room to explore and our older male is acting totally unlike himself. He growls and hisses at her constantly. Even if she is closed in her room. He’ll be laying in my lap like normal for 10mins and out of no where hiss and growl. Which is starting to scare me.
    He is now just bolting outside every time he sees the little one. And only comes in to sleep and eat.
    What do I do? It’s only been 4-5 days but I feel I perhaps am going about this wrong? Or making decisions that could cause irreprible damage between me and my 2yr old cat.
    Should I ignore his hissing and let him lay in my lap? Do I tell him no? His hissing is territorial so I don’t want to reprimand him correct?
    Please help. Any advice would do. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 4, 2016 at 5:43 am (11 months ago)

      I would slow introductions way way down, Mattie. Your male is clearly not ready for any kind of contact. Start by trying to create positive associations for your male cat with the presence of the kitten. Reward him with treats when he’s calm, but be very careful that you don’t inadvertently reinforce his negative behavior. It’s probably going to take longer to get him used to the kitten since he’s an indoor/outdoor cat, and he clearly prefers to be outside now so as to avoid the stress of the kitten in his territory. I am concerned that he hisses and growls even when he’s in your lap and not anywhere near the kitten – I would hate for you to get hurt, as there is a possibility that his could turn into redirected aggression.

      You may want to consider getting help from your vet and/or a feline behaviorist with this introduction.

      Reply
  35. Halle J
    October 3, 2016 at 3:52 am (11 months ago)

    Hello, So I’m have a 2 year old cat and I just brought home a new kitten a few days ago who is 8 weeks old. As expected my cat is hissing and growling at the new comer. I’m doing my absolute best to ignore it but it definitely frightens me. I worry they will never become friends and that my cat dislikes me now. Is there any way where I can help better this process. I miss my cat sleeping in bed with me. My only problems is I don’t have a room for both cats to call their own? I feel like I should have gone about things differently. They will be in the same room together but my cat will hiss and growl most of the time then leave. I want her to feel like my room is still her space. I’m just a little worried and stressed out and clueless about how to go about this. any tips from anyone? I would greatly appreciate it!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 3, 2016 at 5:40 am (11 months ago)

      You’re going to have to find a way to separate the two cats and introduce them slowly and gradually, Halle. You may need to keep the new kitten in a bathroom, or create a partition. Ignoring the hissing is not going to fix this situations.

      Reply
      • Halle J
        October 3, 2016 at 4:10 pm (11 months ago)

        Well I thought that ignoring it was supposed to no add to the tension. I read that somewhere. But now that my cat has smelled the new cat in my room she doesn’t want to stay in my room. I don’t think our bathroom is big enough for the litter box and everything. My cat has been hanging out in the rest of the house. I have 4 other roommates that all have animals so it’s hard for my cat and the kitten to find a place to call their own. but i’m not really sure where they can go. Do i have to find a new home for the kitten? I just don’t know where I can put them?

        Reply
  36. Lisa
    September 29, 2016 at 7:06 am (11 months ago)

    Hi! We brought an 8 week female home to our year old male. They have the same mom, and we were hopeful that would help! We are using a safe room and exchanging scents, but have let them spend some supervised time together since day one. Our resident male is very interested and is pretty much camped out outside of the safe room (very calmly) with some pawing under the door when he hears her nearby or playing. There has been no hissing at all, but their short visits together he seems on edge, pawing at her, and some biting. Maybe we moved too fast initially or maybe we are being too protective of the kitty?! Any insight would be great!!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 29, 2016 at 8:42 am (11 months ago)

      I would slow things down, Lisa. Create more positive associations for the cats by feeding or giving treats on either side of the door before bringing them together.

      Reply
  37. Angela
    September 28, 2016 at 10:16 pm (11 months ago)

    Hi…I recently adopted an 8 month old female cat who is scared and hides. And a 3 month old kitten who is super friendly with tons of energy. I live in a studio apartment, so don’t have the option to give them separate rooms. And my bathroom is too small. I will eventually allow them to be indoor/outdoor cats, but in the meantime, I’m breaking all the rules on introductions and just let them meet right off the bat! To top it off I have a 13 year old male cat too. Don’t ask why I took two more in, I just did! Any tips for making it less stressful? Mainly for the female. She doesn’t let me pick her up yet even.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 29, 2016 at 5:42 am (11 months ago)

      I’m not sure how you can make introductions less stressful with the space restrictions you have, Angela. You may want to consider working with a feline behaviorist.

      Reply
  38. Katie
    September 20, 2016 at 8:14 am (11 months ago)

    Hi – I just recently bought a kitten and have a 4/5 year old cat same exact breed and the first day there was hissing and now my older cat just seems to walk away if he doesn’t want to be bother but they are both smelling each other. The place I adopted said not to let them be in the same room for 2 weeks but I really think they are doing okay. It has only been 2 days what do you think I should do.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 20, 2016 at 9:14 am (11 months ago)

      It’s hard to tell whether they’ll be okay, Katie. As long as there’s only some occasional hissing, and it doesn’t escalate to growling or fighting, they may be okay, but it’s always safer to go slowly with introductions.

      Reply
    • Cindy
      October 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm (11 months ago)

      I am bringing home a new 8 week old kitten on Friday. My cat, whom is 5 is really not the friendliest of cats. I’m going to keep the kitten with my grandson in his room. My cat sleeps on my bed.
      I’m hoping the kitten won’t keep my 12 year old grandson awake all night! If so I guess my tiny little bathroom will have to do for nights anyway. Wish me luck! I sure hope my cats not a jerk and can get used to the kitten eventually. Both are females

      Reply
  39. Kate
    September 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm (11 months ago)

    Hello,
    My husband and I took in an 8 year old female cat (Zeda) 2 weeks ago for an acquaintance who could no longer keep her due to Zeda being jealous of the 4 year old grandchild who lived their as well. Zeda likes my husband and I best, but we have not fully bonded with her. Prior to our surprise adoption of Zeda, our daughters have been trying to earn kittens all summer long. They earned them over the weekend and we rescued two kittens, Luna(4 mos. F) and Bubbles(3 mos. M) from the shelter. The kittens are very much the kid’s cats and Zeda is the adult’s cat. All the cats have seen each other and we have kept them separate, aside from the occasional kitten leaping over the gate separating them. Zeda mostly growls at the kittens when the come over into the same room and give a few hisses, but she has stayed away from them so far. We have attempted to share smells. Seeing that we have not had any of the cats for very long, what is the best way to introduce them? Has Zeda had enough time to truly claim territory? I am wondering if the unconventional method you used would work in our situation.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 15, 2016 at 5:19 am (11 months ago)

      Since Zelda is growling and hissing at the kittens, I’d go slower with the introductions. Continue the scent swapping, eventually do some site swapping, and feed on opposite sides of the door before trying to let everyone be in the same space together.

      Reply
  40. Emma
    September 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm (11 months ago)

    Hi there, I have a 13 year old (male) cat Rolo and a six year old (female) dog Storm. I’ve recently taken in a kitten (Bingo), she’s about 4 months old and has bounds of energy! Now she seems to be getting on with the dog fine but whenever Bingo sees Rolo she pounces at him, jumps on his back, bites him, just constantly pestering him (I don’t think it’s done in a nasty way). So much so that Rolo doesn’t stay in when Bingo is around. We do have the rare occasion where there’s calmness in the room and when this happens for a little while I make sure I give treats to both cats. Is there anything I can do to give Rolo a little peace, or is this something we have to see through until she calms down?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 14, 2016 at 4:48 pm (11 months ago)

      Unfortunately, kitten energy is not always a good match for an older cat. I know it sounds crazy, but you may want to consider adopting a second kitten close to Bingo’s age and temperament so he has a buddy to play with. If that’s not an option, regular play sessions with Bingo are a must. Play with him 3 to 4 times a day, 10-15 minutes each. Really get him tired out to help him burn off some of that energy. Reinforcing the calm times with treats is definitely a good idea, but it’s not going to fix the problem. Good luck!

      Reply

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