Oh no! Old cat hates new cat!

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


From a- distinguished- line of tabby- cats
Purred: Sun Apr 29, '12 8:44pm PST 
We just got another cat about 10 days ago - we moved and thought Nems hated it here and was lonely so we got him a "friend." Nems is about a 4 year old shelter cat who was very easygoing.

The new cat is a middle aged (shelter said five-ish, vet says more like 7 or 8, or a really hard living 5) male that was picked up off the street. Super relaxed. Was fostered with other cats and was fine. But since he got home it's nothing but trouble.

Nems went nuts! He stands at the door of the room where the new cat is and screams all day. Once, he slipped by and got in there and got in a HUGE fight with the new one, who cowered in the corner. We never saw this coming, thinking that the other was this tough old street cat, but Nems is bullying him like crazy. Tries to get in and attack him all the time, bangs on the door and twice has gotten it open. We have the new cat totally isolated but still Nems taunts him under the door and the new cat spends most of the day in the blocked off room hiding. He was a total clown/love bug at the shelter. Now they are both miserable.

I feel so bad about all this. I don't love the new cat yet and now everyone is unhappy and I can't take that smell in the house. And I can't take him back, that's the city pound and for an older male cat who is kind of ugly and scruffy that's a death sentence. Any advice? I just feel awful all the time. Will they ever be friends? What can I do if this doesn't work out? I thought that if it's that bad, maybe the new one can kind of live in the yard - I mean, it's not great but taking him back is death for him. What can I do? Will it ever work out?

Beatrice- (Miss You!- '94-'12)

The very Beast- of all

Purred: Sun Apr 29, '12 10:18pm PST 
I think it's still too early to give up. Introducing new cats can be a long process.

Are you using any products like Feliway, Rescue Remedy or calming collars? If not, you might want to give them a try.

Make sure that, with any interaction, the kitties are reassured, comforted and rewarded. Offer them treats and petting when one can smell or hear the other. I know that Jackson Galaxy has advised people with cats who don't get along to feed them on opposite sides of a screen so that they learn to associate the other cat with good things. It might be too early to let them have full view of each other at this point, but it's something to consider once they start to get used to the idea of each other.

Good luck! Bless you for adopting! Keep us posted!


Giggity giggity- goo!
Purred: Mon Apr 30, '12 9:15pm PST 
I was told older cats are fussier and not as accepting as younger cats. That's all I can say... I adopted Quagmire on Saturday. He's a 6-month old kitten, and my resident kitty is roughly 13 months old. The hissing and growling lasted less than 24 hours, and there was barely any fighting - it looked more like playing to me. Munchkin (resident cat) was a bit pissed off and did most of the hissing, but she's now bugging Quaggy to play with her, so it looks like she's accepted him into her territory.

The younger the cats, the better, from what almost every cat owner has told me. Good luck!

Member Since
Purred: Wed May 2, '12 9:46am PST 
I highly suggest trying the Feliway Comfort Zone. It worked on my two cats. Dr.s Foster and Smith has a great sale on these items right now. As a matter of fact they recently lowered a lot of their prices on items I frequently purchase. Check it out! Here is their website http://www.drsfostersmith.com/.


It's all about- me.
Purred: Wed May 2, '12 2:54pm PST 
The cats' reaction to one another is not at all unusual. It's going to be a long journey; please be patient. For good info on how to introduce cats, go to the cat pages at ask.com and the ASPCA website (they have good behavior info). Also, behaviorist Jackson Galaxy has a line of homeopathic treatments called Spirit Essences on his website jacksongalaxy.com, and you might talk to the vet about a short course of anti-anxiety medication for them to help them over the hump if nothing else is working.


Purred: Fri May 4, '12 6:43am PST 
When I was given Perdita she was 6 weeks old, Abbi was 14 years old. For the first 4 days she holed up in Trevs room and would not even look at Perdita. After the 4 days she finally came downstairs and licked Perdita, they have been bosom friends ever since and Abbi licks any cat that came here as a kitten. Good luck.


It's all about- me.
Purred: Fri May 4, '12 1:17pm PST 
oops, sorry. It's the cat pages at about.com

Angel Soc- Dreamboat- #56

sir soc because- he thinks hes- the boss
Purred: Fri May 4, '12 2:50pm PST 
Please dont give up yet,I took in Brian after i lost my darling Soc at christmas, Toby my other male cat hated Brian with a passion,they hissed as soon as they met and then the violent fights started,i really thought they would kill one another,although i tried to keep them apart they always found a way to get together and tear one another apart, i went out one day and they managed to get in together because my son forgot to shut the door,i was dreading what was going to meet me but when i looked in the room they both lay on the bed together,they now share the same food bowl and even share a basket from time to time,I have had Brian for 3 months now and everything is fine so please dont give up hamster dance


Ramsey - The Bedroom Cat- Burglar
Purred: Sat May 5, '12 1:33am PST 
No need to give up or feel badly. Eventually this will work out. The key word is patience. I've had difficult introductions with both dogs and cats. First thing to do is invest in the Feliway diffuser. I've not been without one in the house for years and will never be without it again. Check them out at Petsmart, Petco or amazon.com. The diffuser is pricey and the refills are a monthly expense but it is well worth the peace of mind.

Onto the next step. Take a rag and brush the new cat with it and then take the rag and brush the scent on the your other cat. Then vice versa. You will get them used to each others scent. Next, get a wire crate and if you can, spray a towel with the Feliway spray (a different product than the diffuser - follow the directions) and put the towel in the crate. Put the crate into the room you are in most often and then put the new cat in it for an hour. Go ahead and let the cats hiss and growl all they want to get it over with. After the hour is up, reverse them. Put the resident cat into the crate for an hour and allow the new cat the run of the house. Keep doing this and gradually neither cat will much care about the other cat. Keep the new cat in his safe room when you are not there. When things calm down with the crate separation, allow them to introduce themselves in a controlled environment, meaning you are present the entire time. Keep repeating this and soon they will at least tolerate each other. Have a spray bottle filled with water in case anything violent begins to happen.

This has always worked for me. Best of luck to you and I sure hope this works out.

Oh, and it can take as long as 6 weeks or more to get them completely acclimated.