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Introducing cats: success rate?

Helene4
February 20th, 2012, 08:42 AM
Hello,

My sister has a female spayed cat, Roxy, appro. 3-4 years old and is thinking about adopting another female cat age appro. 9 months (not spayed at this time but will be in the future). I know there are web sites with helpful tips concerning cat introductions and I will send them to my sister.

But I was wondering, what is the success rate? I know there is no guarantee 2 cats will get along but do they usually do? I would hate for my sister to adopt the new cat and war breaks out between the 2 cats and they never get along...:( Roxy is quite a character and is the boss of the house!

Are there cases where the cats never tolerate each other and always have to remain separate from each other? I have 2 cats but I adopted them together when they were kittens so I've never been in this situation.

Thanks for your comments! :cat:

Love4himies
February 20th, 2012, 08:53 AM
I have 2 cats who are the "boss of the house" and I've had to keep them separate for 4 years so far. After a year of trying everything to get them to just stop the attacks, I've given up. One will immediately attack the other. Initially they did get along OK, but it went downhill after my Puddles hissed at one of Sweet Pea's kittens and that was it. They have no issues with the other two cats in the house. Well, actually, Puddles hates them all, but Jasper and Rose just ignore her.

If it was me, I would adopt a youngish male, rather than a female. I find male cats more social and less likely to be the "boss" of the house.

The other thing is to see if the shelter knows how easy going the cat is with other cats. That may help in making the decision.

Good luck! I hope it works out.

Helene4
February 20th, 2012, 09:10 AM
The cat isn't in a shelter: one of my coworkers found her 3 months ago when she was single and decided to keep her. She is now back with her husband and he isn't fond of cats so she is trying to find a new home for Chanel. I sent out pictures of the cat to friends and family and my sister said she was thinking about it. We don't know how Chanel reacts with other cats but we know she gets along great with dogs! My coworker has 2 dogs and the cat and dogs play together and cuddle!

BenMax
February 20th, 2012, 10:58 AM
I have had hundreds of adult and kitten fosters of both sexes. I have yet to run into a problem with the cats getting along with my own. Also, I have had 2 cats so far that would not tolerate dogs. The ratio is pretty darn good considering.
Introduction is key. It takes a while but it can work out.
Why not try this:
Take a rag or cloth and rub the sides of the cat's checks (each). Trade off scented cloths to both cats. Observe the reactions. This can be a pre-introduction to the scent of the other cat.
If the decision is made to take in the cat, separate them for a while. They will smell each other through a door. After a few days put the cats together and observe for brief periods of time.
BTW - continue with the scented cloths.
It has always worked for me. I never had issues on cat introductions.

Love4himies
February 20th, 2012, 12:01 PM
The cat isn't in a shelter: one of my coworkers found her 3 months ago when she was single and decided to keep her. She is now back with her husband and he isn't fond of cats so she is trying to find a new home for Chanel. I sent out pictures of the cat to friends and family and my sister said she was thinking about it. We don't know how Chanel reacts with other cats but we know she gets along great with dogs! My coworker has 2 dogs and the cat and dogs play together and cuddle!

I see, so there is no testing before hand. Seeing as the cat coming into the household is still quite young, it could be that she will be submissive to the resident cat. All you can do is try it out and go slowly.

Helene4
February 21st, 2012, 11:26 AM
Thank you for sharing your experiences!

Love4himies, I thought that with enough time cats would at least tolerate each other's presence but I can see Puddles and Sweet Pea really dislikes each other :( It must take a lot of work and patience to keep them separated... I admire you!

BenMax, gosh, you have a great track record! On average, how long does it take before you can leave the new cat and resident cat(s) together without supervision? On some websites they say a week and I've also read it could take a month or more.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on how it goes if my sister adopts cat#2 :)

Love4himies
February 21st, 2012, 12:07 PM
Love4himies, I thought that with enough time cats would at least tolerate each other's presence but I can see Puddles and Sweet Pea really dislikes each other :( It must take a lot of work and patience to keep them separated... I admire you!



Thank you Helene4. It is quite the pain in the butt, that's for sure. This has been my only instance that this has happened, otherwise I've been able to bring any cat into the house and have never had any troubles except for a hiss here and there.

BenMax
February 21st, 2012, 12:20 PM
BenMax, gosh, you have a great track record! On average, how long does it take before you can leave the new cat and resident cat(s) together without supervision? On some websites they say a week and I've also read it could take a month or more.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on how it goes if my sister adopts cat#2 :)

There is really no set time period. It is observation as to how the cats react to one another however keeping them apart for a period of time is recommended.

I just took in 2 fosters yesterday. One is a 4 month old kitten, and the other is a 3 year old adult. Both are females.
I have them with me in the office as I write this. One is in a very large dog cage (not sheltered top) and the adult is sleeping on the top of the cage (big blanket over the cage) and is free roaming. Last night the adult hissed initially but the kitten is safe so I am not worried. This morning I let the kitten out as they have been together for the evening without incident. There is no problem at all between these two however I am in the office with them so I can observe and monitor.
This is a rather quick interaction that has worked out great. Again, I knew I could do this based on the reaction of the adult. This morning I noticed her curiousity with the kitten and they touched paws so I knew it would work.

If you see the obvious signs of tail swaying vigourously back and forth, ears flat back, body hunched and fur ruffled, and/or load groaning or growl coming from either cat...you know that this will take time to introduce. Stop there and don't push the interaction.

If you see the cat stretching neck far out to smell, perhaps slight hissing then chances are that the interaction will go fairly quickly and smoothly.

The best thing really is to let them smell one another safely and separated initially. Never force interaction if one is very upset as this can ruin the interaction going forward.

I also introduce cats and dogs this way as well. Once my fosters leave me, they are used to dogs and cats which makes them more adoptable. I have had cats that will not tolerate dogs but at the very least I know this information and can ensure that the cat is not adopted to this environment.

Hope the interaction goes well. Don't give up quickly, go slow and be patient.

Helene4
May 3rd, 2012, 01:38 PM
Just wanted to let you know my sister adopted Chanel March 11. Chanel and Roxy were separated for 2 weeks. During that time, Roxy would hiss at the closed bathroom door where Chanel was being kept. But Chanel was and is really good; never any hissing or growling, she's very curious and wants to play.

After 2 weeks, my sister left Chanel in her cage in the living room and Roxy just ignored her! Later on, Chanel had the run of the house for brief periods of time under supervision. There was a bit of fighting but no major hissing or growling. It was mostly Chanel fault; she would always jump in Roxy's face. Of course Roxy would get mad :laughing: Chanel was also in heat every second week and it lasted one week :yell: During her heat, she would bug Roxy a lot; it was difficult for both of them. Her spay was scheduled for the beginning of May but was moved up the the beginning of April because of a cancellation :thumbs up. So things have calmed down... Since the vet visit following the surgery, they are free in the house without any supervision and everything is fine. They take turns using Roxy's bed by the window as well as the cat house in the living room. Sometimes my sister wakes up with 2 cats on her bed :cloud9:

They don't cuddle together or groom each other as mine do but maybe in time it will happen. But even if it doesn't, that's ok. At least they get along. So thanks for all the helpful advice! Another cat is saved! :thumbs up

BenMax
May 4th, 2012, 01:17 PM
Great News Helene4!!!:thumbs up

Longblades
May 4th, 2012, 07:24 PM
My crew right now consists of a 15, 17 and 19 year old plus a 10 month old feral who is not really mine and is temporary.

I have never had such a bad time with cats not getting along before. The 15 year old was also feral and came at 8 months old, the last to arrive. She was kept in the laundry room, screen door on it, lots of time for the cats to get used to each other through the screen while she tamed up. She HATES the 19 year old. Hate to the tune of big Vet bills.

The 19 year old came first, at age of one, and antagonizes the other two by growling, hizzing and saying nasty things to them. When they turn around to her as if to say, "Oh yeah? Lets see you come here and say that", she turns and runs. And the 15 year old has chased her, caught her and beat her up since day one.

We keep them apart as best we can but the odd rumble still happens. At night the oldest is locked in the laundry room. Sad but it has to be done to protect her.

The 17 year old gets along with everyone. She'll stand her ground but doesn't start anything, she's the loveliest dispositioned cat. She got along just fine with a couple of other strays, ferals we might have kept if it wasn't the youngest, the now 15 year old, attacks them all.


In another time long ago the first stray we kept hated the second stray we kept. He was so funny. Tommy would happily sleep on a lap or play on the rug till he realized Twitchie was in the house. Then he'd glare at all of us and stalk away. After a year though, they became good friends.


For me it has worked more often than not. But the not is awful. Even so, I'd say it sure is worth a try.