October 3, 2008 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Cat conflict. As in fighting and spraying. Is there a way to broker a peace accord?

We've had Sasha for a few years. My wife volunteers for the humane society and offered to foster for them. We were expecting dogs, but there's a huge amount of cats in this area, so that's what we've ended up fostering. Our cat was largely indifferent to 4 separate cats we brought into the house. One of the fosters (Maggie) ended up staying with us. They fought a few times, but ended up becoming friends.

Recently we found a lovable stray - or he found us, I suppose. We didn't introduce him gently to Sasha, which was probably a mistake. In any case, there have been a number of tense standoffs between them. He doesn't get along with Maggie either, but she's not overly confrontational. Eddie was intact when we found him, and got neutered as soon as we could arrange it.

Unfortunately besides fighting (mostly growling at each other) Sasha is now spraying. It's happened several times around the house. Once he was brazen enough to do it directly on my wife's shoulder.

We bought Feliway, which hasn't done a damn thing. Unless we made a huge mistake by plugging it in behind a small dresser (not the best layout of outlets in this house). I'd rather not get rid of Eddie, but if that's the only choice then we'll do it.

Oh, and just to make things even more insane, we're fostering a mom and three tiny kittens. Sasha has barely been inside the house since we don't trust him, so I don't actually know how he would deal with the additional interlopers.
posted by O9scar to Pets & Animals (3 answers total)
Up the number of Feliaways and move the one to a more open location.
posted by k8t at 3:28 PM on October 3, 2008

you can also get spray bottles of Feliaways and spray the high contention areas that way. When I've had to introduce two cats to each other, I've found that introducing them to each other gradually works the best.

Put newer cat in one room for 1-2 days or so, then swap with older cat, so they can get used to the other cats scent but not their presence. The idea is to slowly get them used to each other and the fact that the turf is shared, before making them confront each other face to face.

And they may still split up the house and take different perches, but hopefully that will alleviate some of the tension.

Also, talk to the vet about it, they may be able to do recommend a more specific plan, or possibly some medication, to make the transition easier.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:17 PM on October 3, 2008

If this spraying is a relatively recent escalation, it may resolve itself over time. I had a cat once that loved spraying whenever I moved. Once, the little bastard (but a very lovable bastard) walked up, hopped on the coffee table as a whole crowd of us were in the new living room unpacking boxes, hopped into the box I was unpacking, looked straight into my eyes, and let go. The only thing that fixed it with him was a bit of time to adjust. I grew to dread moving...
posted by barc0001 at 2:37 AM on October 4, 2008

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