Originally Posted by EpicJean
SO. The million dollar question: what now? What's our next step with these little gals? How long should we wait before trying to introduce them again?
This is a really tough situation (as I'm sure you know!) and as Love4 said, these 2 cats may never reach a point where they can be left alone together. Because the fights have been so bad, it's possible that the damage to their relationship is irreparable. I think your best hope as it stands now is if you were to get a certified animal behaviourist on board to guide you with any further introductions. Perhaps you can ask your vet for a referral to Cornell University's Animal Behaviour clinic: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/abc/
There are also animal behaviourists that do house calls and phone consultations. Some links to check out (I'm not endorsing these, just giving you ideas):
Also, along with the Feliway (a couple diffusers in each of the cat's main hang-outs), you could try flower essences. I've used Spirit Essences
and Bach Flower Remedies
in the past with some success. I found Bully Remedy
and Safe Space for Cats
to be effective when dealing with a bossy cat vs an anti-social one, but they hadn't reached the full out fighting stage.
In the meantime, continue to keep both cats completely separated. I'm not sure I would even allow them to see each other for a while, if that's possible. Dezzie needs to regain her confidence, and Bubbles needs to learn she doesn't have to be "on guard" all the time. There isn't going to be an easy solution to this. Be prepared for a lengthy process, possibly taking many months or longer. It took me 10 months to reach a stage where I felt comfortable leaving all 4 of my cats together unsupervised, and that was without there ever being a fight, just emotional tension.
I wish you the best of luck with this, and would be interested to hear about any progress you make.