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How do I get my cat to accept a new cat?
Pets / 10:58 AM - Monday September 14, 2009

How do I get my cat to accept a new cat?

I found a kitten on the road 3 years ago and she has been the only cat in my dog and kid dominated household. My mother found a stray cat (full grown) a few days ago and asked me to take him in, since she could not. I agreed to try him out. He's a very nice cat, and seems to want to be indoors only. My cat is an indoor/outdoor cat. The new cat does not appear to want to be aggressive at all to my cat, but my old cat is furious, and hisses and runs whenever she sees the newcomer. She is mad at all of us and growls when we pet her, feed her, and try to help her make the adjustment to the new cat. I just wonder if it's a lost cause or if I haven't given it enough time, or what I should do next? I hate to turn the new cat away, but I also hate to distress my old cat so much. I keep hoping they will end up being buddies, but maybe that is just wishful thinking. I don't think my cat has had much interaction with other cats except to run from them. Any advice? Thanks!

- Asked by abitspoiled, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Who Cares?

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Your cat's long-held territory has been invaded, and she naturally wants to defend it. You need to take it very slowly when introducing the new cat. Try to prevent any nasty tangles in the beginning. If they get into a big fight, each cat will remember it and will always think of the other cat as an enemy.

If you can, keep them in different rooms or parts of the house and just let them see and smell each other from a safe distance. Give them each some catnip to get them in a relaxed mood. Little by little, each one will get used to the other's presence and, in time, they will probably accept each other.

You might want to check into some books written by Carol Wilbourn. She's a kind of "cat whisperer". I'm sure one or more of her books discuss introducing adult cats to one another. Good luck.

- Response by Female, 66 or older, Medical / Dental

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give it time, trust me. I'm always bringing new pets into my house. My dogs are always fine with my new additions but one of my cats turns into such a bitch. she hisses, tries to scratch, jumps on thr new cat and it's not in a playful manner. but believe it or not a month or so down the line they are curled up together napping. It'll happen, don't worry.

- Response by almostcoolmom4, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, New York, Other Profession

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I think maybe you brought New CAt into Old Cat's life too abruptly, without a "getting used to" period. All cats are *extremely* territorial, and Old Cat is threatened that New Cat is trying to invade his territory.

Try closing New Cat into one room for a few days. Old Cat will sniff under the door and get accustomed to New Cat's smell. Then after a few days, close Old Cat into the same room for a day or two, so he can check out the smell even more intently, while New Cat gets to roam around the house. Then open the room and let them mingle. Even if they don't like each other, the CAN learn to tolerate each other, if you give it time.

Also, you may want to give Old Cat *ALOT* of attention so he doesn't feel that he's being usurped in your affections.

Good luck.

- Response by justpassingthru, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Financial / Banking

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She's just being territorial (in my opinion). You probably just need to give them more time. As long as they aren't getting it cat fights and hurting each other, she should adjust to the new cat over time. I have 4 cats and a dog. I started with one cat. Poor thing has gone through this many times. He always adjusted. Try not to keep them seperate all the time either. THey need to see each other as often as possible.

- Response by floridagirl, An Alternative Girl, Female, 36-45, Other Profession

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Just let them work it out. The first cat might sulk for as much as a month. But eventually it will accept the new cat and settle down.

- Response by llafsroh, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Boston, Science / Engineering

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I just had this same problem, and my old cat is still spooked by the new one, but it's SLOWLY getting better. Give them more time. Allow them to interact at their own pace and situation - just monitor from a safe distance (intervene quickly to prevent injuries) and continue to shower attention and goodies on your old cat. Keep calm and act like there's nothing to be upset about - animals pick up on our emotional cues and will adjust their behaviors accordingly. With cats, it can take a long time, depending on the cats' temperament. I have another cat who is very easy-going and tolerated the new (younger) cat within a short period. They may never truly get along, but if they can get to the point where your old cat isn't stressed out by the presence of the new cat, they'll be OK. Female cats are very territorial and some will be more protective than others - sounds like yours falls into that category. Good luck!

- Response by pamiejune77, Female, 56-65, Therapist

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They will work it out. There maybe scraps for the first couple of weeks until the new cat understand that the other cat is in charge.

- Response by MaryAnne, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Regina, Managerial

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Most likely she is not going to accept the new cat.
The old cat is territorial and wants to be the "ONLY FAT CAT" in the house.
The "FAT CAT" is jealous.

- Response by flwoodpecker, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Other Profession

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Hi, As a rule same gender animals don't get along too well.
However, if you have the patience, cat # 1 will eventually get over it. :)

- Response by hermitpath, Female, 66 or older, Transportation

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