Re-introducing two cats to each other after a rough start

by Sam
(Amsterdam)

Hello,

First I want to let you know that my English is not perfect, so I apologize if I make any mistakes. I have had a two year old female cat for almost a year now. She has been always calm and quiet. I wanted to bring my cat a friend to play with, so I adopted a second cat from the cat shelter. I made plans about how to introduce the cats to each other and explained it to my mother, but as soon as we came home my mother dragged my cat almost with violence into the living room in one quick second. There was nothing I could do. The two cats saw each other and I think you can guess what happened.

There was lots of cat hissing and I got really scared because my cat never acts like this. I took my cat into another room, but she kept hissing and the other cat got really scared. I am very sad about this because the new cat I adopted has three legs and can't defend himself. All of my plans about introducing them slowly to each other are now ruined and I am very anxious.

I have no idea what I should do now but I keep them separate, rub with a towel on each cat so that they can smell each other. My cat keeps hissing and the other cat is really scared, but he is always friendly and I feel like I am letting him down now. I will keep them separate for few more days then I’ll see what happens. But I want to know if they will ever be friends. I am very sad and I hope you give me an answer very quick.


Dear Sam,

Unfortunately, your cats definitely got off to a bad start. There are a number of things you can try to help with the cat behavior problems associated with this introduction, though sometimes bad starts work themselves out and sometimes they don’t.

Some of the best cat supplies and cat products for dealing with cat behavior are those that relieve stress. The use of cat stress relief products can be tremendously useful in introducing cats to one another. Comfort Zone makes cat products in diffusers and sprays that mimic the pheromones that cats produce naturally, and having these Feliway products in your home could help your cats feel much more calm in each others’ presence. You could also try homeopathic cat care products like Rescue Remedy to help your felines reduce stress.

Also, when having your cats spending time with one another in the same room, one person should keep one cat on one side of the room while another person keeps the other kitty on the other side of the room. This way, your cats will see and smell each other, but not be able to fight. Your body language during this time is very important as well. For instance, if you are stressed or anxious, your cats will be too. You can read more about the importance of body language here. When they are in same room, try using a cat toy, cat treats, or catnip to make the experience very positive for both of your kitties.

Most often, time holds the key to all cat introductions going more smoothly. As hard as it is, try to be patient and continue to work on the introductions very slowly. And even though your kitties had a rough start, there is still a chance that stress-reduction, positive experiences, and time will help your cats get along.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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