Are there any tricks for helping cats get along together?
November 6, 2005 1:18 PM   Subscribe

CatRelationshipFilter. Are there any tricks for helping cats get along together?

We have a 7 year old male cat and recently took in a kitten that was abandoned in our driveway. The kitten is female, about 14 weeks old. She has her food, water, and litterbox in a separate room. We don't like to keep her locked up all the time, since that room is pretty small, and she has a ton of energy. The problem is whenever we let her out, she terrorizes the older cat. It was kind of amusing at first to see this kitten chasing around a cat over 4 times her size, but we can't really have the cat not feeling safe in his own house. Is there anything we can do to help them get along better? If it doesn't look like it will work out, we'll probably just get the kitten adopted, but how long should we wait?
posted by electro to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Feliway. It is expensive, but a few rounds of the plug-in helpd acclimate our new kitty into the tribe.

Also, a lot of cat towers. We have the ones that are over 6 feet tall/floor to ceiling. We have three cats, we have three towers. They seem to appreciate the extra vertical space (we do live in a tiny apartment), and it affords them a place to go where the other cats are not.
posted by oflinkey at 1:25 PM on November 6, 2005

Feliway really does do wonders.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:27 PM on November 6, 2005

Slow and easy does it. After the cat has been in the separate room for a while, put her in a carrier and bring her out into the room with your older cat for a while. Let him sniff and poke at her in a safe fashion for a while. Based on how well they do, you may want to put her back in the room for a while and try this a few times to let them adjust to each other. You can switch and put him in a carrier and let her sniff at him too, but it sounds like she really doesn't that sort of introduction to him if she's rip-roaring to go out into the house.

You can also hold or prop the door open of the room she is in just a crack so they can see each other but not quite get at each other. Another good trick is to take two towels and give each cat one to sleep on for a while. If they won't sleep on it, rub it all over them. Then switch the towels so the cats can smell each other.

You want to take this slowly if you can--over a week or two would be great, depending on how your older cat adjusts. It could take a day or too. But go as slow as you can stand! If the cats have too many bad initial full-on encounters you're going to have to work a lot harder to get them to tolerate each other later.
posted by divka at 1:39 PM on November 6, 2005

I second the take it slow approach. We are still recovering from the addition of two new cats to the lair of one already neurotic princess cat. Things are so bad here that we have my big cat locked in my bedroom in the daytime, free to roam at night. The princess cat owns the house in the daytime and goes to her room at night.

Any other way, the big cat lunges at the princess, and the princess does not like that.

The middle cat, my little one, isn't best friends with the princess either, but they tolerate each other. After four months of this the princess is just now beginning to come into the rest of the house without coaxing (or being physically moved to the living room).
posted by bilabial at 1:54 PM on November 6, 2005

We wish that we had discovered Feliway two years ago. Our formerly timid cat sleeps on the bed with us now. We got it to remedy fighting between her and our new cat and it worked beautifully for that, too. That stuff is amazing.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:28 PM on November 6, 2005

Thanks, everyone, for the thoughtful comments. We're going to give Feliway a shot.
posted by electro at 7:56 PM on November 8, 2005

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