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Cat people, I need your help!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    25 years ago there was no internet. For me, at least. 25 years ago, I had several cats. So did my girlfriend at that time. We often spent a lot of time at each others apartments, so we brought our cats along. IIRC we left the visiting cat in their cage for 1/2 an hour, there was some hissing, then we let them out and all was fine. Maybe a hiss or swipe or two, but everyone got along just swimmingly.

    I now have two 3 year old cats (sisters). My sister in law who lives upstairs just got a new kitty. About 8 months old. Sister in Law is on vacation, so we thought it would be best to just bring this new guy down to make friends with our 2 girls.

    Ain't happening.

    Going on 2 days now where nobody has touched a morsel of food, and they each stationed themselves to a corner of our apartment. One of mine is hiding in the bedroom, the other on top of a kitty condo in the living room, and the poor new guy is hiding in the bathtub. If they venture away from their spots they do so as if Godzilla is lurking about, and if they see any other fur, they start hissing and growling. They're all hissing and growling at me, too, but I just knock them upside the head and they stop.

    I'm kidding :).


    We did everything according to the internet instructions my wife read before tossing them together.

    What's your experience with mixing the kitties up so that they all play nicely. Wondering if I should just bring this new guy back upstairs to the lonely empty space he'll probably feel a lot more comfortable in.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It's a funny thing isn't it? My daughters have a cat. Cool cat as cats go.

    He gets along with 3 of 5 neighboring cats (all outdoor cats). He will literally hang out under a tree with 3 if them. The other two come into his territory and fur starts flying. Gender has nothing to do with it. Two out of three of his buddies are males. One of each in the enemy club.
    bholder and Joe Nerve like this.
  3. Some cats just don't get along.

    I had a cat, once, that always hissed and swiped at my other cats, whenever they crossed her path. This went on for years, and they just learned to stay out of her way.
    Art Damage likes this.
  4. I think it just takes more time. I have a cat (Bearcat) that I adopted when I bought my house in 2006. Within a week he was king of the castle. Within 2 weeks, I brought home cat #2 (Chainsaw), and Bearcat basically hid under the bed and growled for an entire week...if not more. There was nothing I could do to speed it along, eventually Bear started poking his head out and slinking around, still did the hissing/spitting for quite a while, then after a few weeks or so they were laying together on the couch. A few years later, my girlfriend (now wife) moved in with her cat (Slate), and we did it all over again...haha. THEN we got the big dummy (Oscar) in my avatar, and that took even longer.

    I'm sorry I don't have anything more specific for you other than "wait longer"...but really that's my best advice. That and, don't force anything. Cats are stubborn, stubborn animals as I have no doubt you're well aware. :)
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I know with dogs, the best way to get them together is on neutral ground, so there is not issue of one protecting their homes.
    Lobster11 likes this.
  6. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Throw all of them in a duffel bag. They'll work it out
  7. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Some cats just hate other cats and always will
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
    Immigrant likes this.
  8. Introductions are never fool proof. I usually keep the kitten in the master bedroom for two days to allow safe bonding to the wife and I.

    Make sure to keep up the routine with the older cats and give extra reassurance. I introduced a kitten 3 weeks ago and my 11 year old boy is just starting to warm up to her.
  9. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Joe, if you have streaming Netflix, there is a really good program on cat behavior called "The Lion in Your Living Room" that explores a lot of interesting topics including that particular one. Well worth watching!
    Gazman, catcauphonic and jallenbass like this.
  10. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Food dish near the car's hiding place move a little farther away every three days until it's closer to the rest of them. It takes time, nothing you are going to do.

    Now if you want to know how I keep them from clawing my Hiwatt and other cabinets around their house, cause it certainty isnt mine any longer, that will cost you.
  11. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Dogs and cats are very different in many ways, of course, but they do have a couple of things in common: One is that they are territorial, as @buldog5151bass as suggested; the other is that they create dominance hierarchies in which each individual knows its place. If you just throw a new animal into the territory of a couple of others, you're bound to create chaos in both of these ways.

    I recommend just keeping them separate. It sounds like a nice idea (to us humans) to throw them together in hopes that they'll become one big happy family, but I suspect they will be much happier if you just keep them separate.
  12. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Hope you have a lot of rooms. So I'm guessing segregation works for you. Ours, came at different times, they he'd to work it out and did, as almost all will.
  13. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Just takes time, if it happens. My bother has 2 kitties, an upstairs cat and a downstairs cat.
  14. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    In this case, two of the cats already live in one apartment (with OP) while the third lives in a different apartment (with OP's sister-in-law). The problem arises only when they try to put all the cats in the same apartment. I'm just saying that it might be best to let them live in their separate apartments, in which they are all already comfortable, rather than trying to bring them together in hopes that they will create one big happy family. That sounds like a great idea to us humans, but it's causing nothing but stress and conflict for the cats.
    T_Bone_TL likes this.
  15. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    Oh an in addition to the good bowl, make sure you have a dedicated litter box as they will eventually share one but many times, the dominant one will guard the box keeping the new one from using the box, but don't worry, that just go somewhere else...think outside of the box.
  16. Watch this guy's show....called "My Cat From Hell".

    He is the "cat whisperer"

    Jackson Galaxy..

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
    MrLenny1 and catcauphonic like this.
  17. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    The cats need to have safe spaces around the house where they can retreat to and feel protected. Not necessarily physically isolated from each other by closed doors. Can't just throw them together in a room and expect harmony. Eventually they'll share the whole territory equally but it can take a long time.
    murphy and catcauphonic like this.
  18. Mixing cats is like mixing different speakers, some times you get lucky, other times its awful.... maybe you could try 0.5 aliment trick one one of the cats to reduce the frequency cancellation of the hissing...
    murphy likes this.
  19. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Joe, it could take days, weeks, months, years, (or never) to have cats acclimate to others.

    They are way more independent & territorial than dogs, they may only get along with certain ones introduced later, & overall are really mysterious in their thought process and actions.

    For now, i would split the new arrival up from the other two as it was. Since the downstairs guys already know there's something odd happening upstairs (intruder alert!) ... they may still act strange after you do this. Best to let them have an open passage to each other when they're feeling adventurous enough to check the other out (if your place is big enough and there's a stairway or few rooms between them, that's perfect.) It may be a hissfest when it does happen, so be prepared to intervene if things go sideways at first.

    I can't agree more how worthwhile this doc is to learn more about those parlour panthers we love to share our living spaces with!
    murphy and Immigrant like this.
  20. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    PS- just re read your OP. NEW kitten is more interested in exploring his surroundings & playing. EVERYTHING is a toy to a kitten ... including other cats. This may not be to your 3yo pair of cats liking. Just spend as much time as you can upstairs for now giving the kitten some human contact and playtime while sis is away. If she's going to be gone a long time, maybe try to reintroduce them on occasion, but very slowly ... thru closed doors first, then a baby gate type thing, then in the same room.
    murphy and Immigrant like this.

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