October 11th 2012 1:33 pm
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On Sept. 29, I (Grazie's person) brought home a new kitty. Her name is Ladybug and I got her from the shelter at which I volunteer. I'd been thinking about another cat for a long time, and Grazie was starting to be kind of moody and annoying, and I thought maybe a friend would do her good, both making her more active and giving her some company when we're not home. Having said that, she always did seem quite happy being an only cat.
When I brought Ladybug into the house, I put the carrier down on the floor and let Grazie sniff. She sniffed and didn't seem overly annoyed. I thought...woo hoo, great sign. But then things went awry. That early introduction led me down a path to thinking that I didn't need to follow the usual rules of introducing a new cat. I'd succeeded with two prior introductions with little fanfare...they both went quite smoothly.
And so, after only one night, I decided to let the cats see each other. That was when the growling started. Then I let them be in the same room. A couple of times, things seemed to go rather well and again I was very optimistic. "Oh, this is going to be EEEASY!" And then, later on the second day, I heard a terrible cat fight. Freaked me out.
Since then, I've continued giving them some face time, but now, every time she sees Ladybug, she approaches and dives right in. It seems to be instinct taking over. After being hit by water or distracted with some noise, she leaves. She might come back if I let her or she just remains in the living room and takes a nap.
I now have one aggressor and another frightened cat. She's not frightened when in her room...in fact, she's precious. But when the doors are open, she is on guard, and she knows that no matter where she goes, Grazie will be there taunting her. It's all my fault (but I'd prefer to blame my husband who said "put them together and let them work it out.)
I'm now thinking of starting over. Give Ladybug at least a week without Grazie. Let her feel comfortable. Trade scents and maybe even move both cats into the others' territory to continue with the smelling. I've purchased Feliway and have two diffusers going, AND the cats are both wearing pheromone collars. I think I'll just remove those as clearly they're not working and the cats would be more comfortable (bye bye $30).
So it's day 13. I'm hoping it's not too late and I could use all of your positive thoughts as I start this process over. I'm impatient, so this is really a test for me. I don't want to have to bring Ladybug back to the shelter although I have no doubts she'd be snapped up quickly. Sometimes I'm just so sad that this isn't going better. Thanks.
October 12th 2012 12:03 pm
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The cats are now sequestered. One week (it is so hard...I felt the urge to "see what happens" again today, but I was strong!). The stress level in the house is way down because of the division. At times, depending on what rooms are open, they may be able to see each other through the French doors. I hope that is okay. Grazie saw Ladybug this morning and was very interested again, but there was no contact.
Neither cat seems that interested in the others' smell. Per some instructions on introducing cats to each other (in my case, maybe it's too late), I have socks that I am using to pat one cat and then I leave that sock next to the other cat's food bowl. Doesn't bother or interest them in the least.
So I'm sure nothing new will happen in the week that they do not have access to each other. I will write when they start meeting through the crack in the door.