Skip to main content

Does anyone with two cats have any advice on bringing a new cat into a house with a pre-existing cat? I am thinking of getting a friend for Cash, he is very easy going, male, 8 years old, front declawed,  but I am not sure how easy/not-easy the process is, how long it takes, the best way to do so, etc. Any advice? Experiences?

I do not know what gender, is best to look for, I've read on the net arguments for both. Does it matter if he is declawed and the new pootie is or is not?

I know not to get a kitten or an aggressive pootie since Cash is so mellow, but any other advice?

Originally posted to BFSkinner on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 07:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Let them smell each other first (22+ / 0-)

    Keep them separated by a slightly ajar door or something, for an hour or two when you first bring the new guy home.
    I just made that up. :) heh - no actually pretty sure that's true. Good luck!

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:02:43 PM PDT

  •  done it a couple of times (21+ / 0-)

    It depends a lot on the personality of the cat, the first time my cat went ballistic and I even had to wash my hands before I could pet her.  A couple of generations later I brought two kittens to an 8 year old cat and he hissed at them for a couple of weeks then I came home one day and he was rolling around on the floor with them.  

      My experience is that opposite sex helps, and I think you're best with a young cat but not a kitten, say about 10-14 months.  It takes time and patience though, and you may find that once they get past initial hostilities, they may make friends when you are not there watching them.

    good luck

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:05:56 PM PDT

  •  Bring any new family addition into home situation (16+ / 0-)

    treating all loved and payed attention to equally.  Pets can do that more the merrier thing better than humans if they do not feel threatened by forgotten.

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:08:54 PM PDT

  •  My advice is don't sweat it and be patient. (25+ / 0-)

    I have introduced many, many new cats to my old cats over the years. Gender doesn't matter, nor does clawed/declawed. What matters is just basically telling them "You're here, he's here, no one is going anywhere, so take your time and get used to each other." There most likely will be hissing and growling. No cat has ever died of hissing and growling.  They are just basically staking out their space. The new one may hide for a while — as long as three months in the case of one of mine. DO NOT PANIC. Let him hide. He'll come out when he's ready.

    I think the main mistake people make is making too much of it. Just reassure them both that they are the cutest little treasures on earth.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:11:42 PM PDT

  •  Cats will work it out in their own way (19+ / 0-)

    regardless of what you think you may control.  The laid back guys will simply avoid the alpha dudes if there's a conflict.  I wouldn't worry about it.  You oughta know by now that cats are, well, cats.  You live to serve them.  Don't even think about dictating the terms.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:12:07 PM PDT

  •  Good advice from everyone (15+ / 0-)

    I would say that it's been my experience that it works best when they are different genders and both have similar dispositions. Sometimes it helps to bring a younger cat in with an older one, it can be very rejuvenating.

    And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

    by high uintas on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:15:07 PM PDT

  •  I have found they think they are lions. (16+ / 0-)

    You can put several females together and they are fine, but only one male in the mix, PERHAPS two mellow brothers, but mostly just one male.

    So in your case it would be a mellow female.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:17:18 PM PDT

    •  Extremely dependent on the cat. (11+ / 0-)

      We've rescued/fostered probably about two dozen cats, primarily from a local feral colony that we're trying to trim down. Most have only stayed for a few weeks until we find them a home, but we have 5 that are permanent residents.

      One older male we brought in instantly bonded with our other male. One younger female likes all the cats except her brother who picks on her. One female hates all the cats and loves the dogs.

      The two older males are best buds, and tolerate the other younger cats, except for the anti-social female. The annoying younger brother cat is in love with the male dog. So it really depends.

      But in each case, a slow introduction using a barrier or separate room for the incoming cats seems to work the best.

    •  Not so with my pack (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim, BFSkinner

      I have four males, three females in the house.

      The "brothers" get along pretty well with one another. I'll often find them all asleep in the same room.  The "sisters" are the same way.  Many times they will hang out together separate from the boys.

      Feeding time they all get along, but since some eat slower than others, some are fed in different rooms.

      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

      by kishik on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:11:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've always started off giving them separate areas (18+ / 0-)

    At first, so they could see and smell each other but be apart, with their own food and litter boxes. Then depending on how things go, if they seem to accept each other, the separation (I've used fireplace screens across doorways) can be removed with supervision so they can mingle. I would keep them locked apart safely if I was out of the house though, to make sure no trouble occurred while I was away. It usually takes just a few days until errthins kewl.

    And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here.

    by Fordmandalay on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:19:02 PM PDT

  •  Jackson Galaxy 'Cat Daddy' has advice (15+ / 0-)

    You can start here --

    http://jacksongalaxy.com/...

    And I suggest you read some of his other stuff about cat behavior and 'catification' of your home (and/or watch some of his Animal Channel shows, 'My Cat from Hell').  He's done several episodes on homes that have become war zones due to poor division of space between an existing and incoming pet.

    Good luck!

  •  It can take time, but I have brought (16+ / 0-)

    a few cats into the house and introduced them.  Put a blanket or towel that smells of Cash in the room with the newbie, and try to get the newbie's smell on a towel or blanket and leave that in Cash's area, then switch them out.  Switch places with Cash in the room the newbie is in and the newbie out in the house.  This mixes their scents.  Play it by ear regarding when to just throw open the doors.  The partially open door works well.  You can also get a feliway diffuser which can help with that whole hormone thing.

    Then there are the cats who just come into the house and both cats go "HEYYY, BUDDY, WHERE YA BEEN???" and they are best buds from day one.  I've had that happen, too.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:28:22 PM PDT

  •  we have 14 indoor cats. seriously. (15+ / 0-)

    And we just added numbers 13 and 14 recently.  There will be growling.  Some hissing.  Possibly a bit of batting and even a roll around or two - but they work it out amongst themselves and get sorted pretty quickly as a general rule.

    There are products you can buy, both spray and like an air freshener that put the "happy kitty" pherimones in the air and that can help soothe them into liking one another as well.

    We use that stuff a LOT, as we are running out of territory to stake out.

  •  I can only draw on my experience of having up to (7+ / 0-)

    three cats tenuously coexisting over portions of a period of 20 years, and I'm afraid it isn't helpful. "Laid back" on the part of all feline members is probably your best bet, because I can assure you that introducing a new (but unsuspected - at the time) psychotic grey tabby into the comfortable world of the reigning queen psychotic grey tabby in my household led straight to pandemonium. Fortunately, you are one big step ahead in this regard...

    ...I won't even start on the eventual introduction of a male tuxedo into my particular feline ecosystem who apparently didn't get the memo about his own neutering...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:29:36 PM PDT

  •  I have had good luck getting one of the (8+ / 0-)

    opposite sex. My experience has been that the older cat will hiss and sulk for a week or so, but soon accepts the newcomer. Cats are social animals. I think that if your current cat is used to having company there should be no problem. However things might get sticky if he is used to being an only cat. My friends had the experience of having their older cat take over a year to accept a newcomer.

    If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

    by MikePhoenix on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:32:00 PM PDT

  •  We kept the new girl in a room for a week (6+ / 0-)

    After a week, they really wanted to get to know each other.

    After a few days, keep the door open a crack.

    This should improve the health of the original cat that's been in solitude, up to now.

    Declawing really isn't nice & can lead to litterbox troubles, as rough litter can really hurt what's left of their fingers. Separate litter boxes & areas might be a good idea, as this is a place of vulnerability. Getting kitty litter that's easier on the paws might be a good idea for declawed cats.

    Cat castles, towers, and walkways up around the ceiling might be a good idea. They feel less vulnerable & defenseless if they are up high.

    Shoot them with a spray bottle if they fight. Wipe the bully off (gently) with a wet wash cloth if fighting persists, as that makes the bully busy licking himself off.

    Battery operating toys can keep them busy beating up on the toy, instead of each other. It might be unreasonable to expect both to have matching energy levels.
     

    •  THIS IS IT (4+ / 0-)

      This IS the ticket, right here. That way they can get slowly acclimate without sensory overload which leads to fighting and jealosy.
      We have three indoor boys, Sphynx, Siamese, and Mutt tabby. They are 4,3, and 1 now and we introduced them to each other in small doses over a week each time. They are best buds now.

      Also, there is a pheromone plug-in you can get which eases their minds and stops the hissy fits as they come from time to time, usually after a vet visit for one of them.

  •  Easier than Isreali / Palestinian peace talks... (9+ / 0-)

    ...for the most part.  We have our primary cat plus a couple backup cats we rescued a few years ago.  All were about 6 years old at the time.  Once they stopped trying to kill each other, they reached a détente that would have made Khrushchev proud.  Now they're almost friendly.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:36:22 PM PDT

  •  "Pre-existing cat" LOL (8+ / 0-)

    you make it sound like a condition

  •  Good advice (10+ / 0-)

    especially re: Jackson Galaxy's site. He's really excellent with cats, and understands them (as much as they will allow!). They should be kept separate in the beginning, and just learn the smells of each other. Any good shelter will be able to tell you if if the newbie gets along well with other cats.

    Gender? Well, you had Tango and Cash, so I think you ought to get a girl and name her Carrie. (Cash and Carrie) :D

  •  Since we were introducing a cat into an (10+ / 0-)

    environment with cats and dogs, I made it a point at the SPCA to carry my prospective buddy around the kennels and tested how he reacted to dogs and other cats.  My first choice hissed at dogs, so I put her back and tried out the tuxedo cat.  Scout was mellow with everyone and is now 15 years old and still living with 2 cats and three dogs.

    I can see how introducing them in a neutral space would be a good idea as well.

  •  As long as they have an area to retreat (5+ / 0-)

    (like under a bed) and a clear path to a litter box (preferably one that has not been used by the other - you can get a cheapo temporary one), I think it is easier to get it over with and just let them be in the same general vicinity.

    The animal rescue near us had a "cat room" where lots of cats interact together, my brother got one from there and she is amazing I think she would get along with anyone and anything that ever crossed her path, so if you can get one that had been in a group situation that should help.
     

  •  This is my experience: (6+ / 0-)

    I only get very young cats, like 5 or 6 weeks old. I'm home all the time, and spend most of my time in one area. My cats stay mostly where I am. First cat was 4 years old, and very mellow, when I brought in the baby. They were together immediately, as I had to teach the little one the ropes. She, being very mellow, protected the little one. The little one is now 4 years old, and she isn't mellow at all. She is very jealous, and is prone to annoy the mellow one. So we have spats periodically. But then the little one also goes to the mellow one to get her head washed (she's too impatient for the whole bath). If you're home to supervise, all will be well. But, I still would go for the youngest one you can find. And know that the relationship will probably not be the same as what Tango and Cash had. Every cat has its own personality.

    •  5 to 6 weeks is too young. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BFSkinner, mayim, kishik, HappyinNM

      I raised cats and I wouldn't let them go until they were at least 12 weeks (and sometimes 16 weeks) old.

      There are reasons for not letting them go too early:
      1. Kitten mortality is very high just after they have been weaned fully from mom (around 4-6 weeks). They haven't quite developed a strong immune system of their own and have lost mom's immunity.

      2. Kitten mortality is high at around 12 weeks for much the same reason, but not because they have lost mom's immunity. If they got their first shots at 9 weeks, their immunity is not built up but they might react badly to the vaccine. The second shot at 4 months (16 weeks) gives them enough immunity.

      People say that they cats won't bond with them if they are old. That may be true of ferals - if they aren't handled by the time they are 6 weeks old, they probably aren't going to be good house cats.

      However, cats raised in a home have usually been handled from birth and trust people. I've had cats over the age of 2 or 3 years who bonded completely with their new humans.

      With an older cat, please don't get a very young kitten. Get an older kitten (less than 1 year) or a young adult. Make sure all cats are spayed and/or neutered so hormones aren't going to crank everyone up.

      I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

      by woolibaar on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 11:35:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Usually with shelter cats (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mayim, BFSkinner, HappyinNM

        They do adopt them out as early as six weeks... Younger if they know the person adopting has experience.  Especially during kitten season when they are overrun with kittens!

        Sometimes their also are orphan kittens, so no mother where they are still being nursed.

        My first pootie in the house was six-seven weeks old! He was orphaned and picked up from a kill shelter.

        It really is best to keep kittens longer with family unit, but at shelters it just isn't done.  :-(

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:07:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  IMO (6+ / 0-)

    Since you have an older boy, Id avoid a kitten. The energy of a kitten is likely to drive him crazy.

    You say your guy is declawed. Hopefully you got him that way. If that's the case I would adopt another declawed around his age. It wouldn't be fair for him to get into scrapes with the new guy and have no way to defend himself (they will place fight, its just what they do). However, absolutely do not declaw a cat.

    Gender really shouldn't matter too much as long as both of them are altered. Girl probably slightly better in case of any territorial issues, but females can be that way too.

    A good way is to create a safe room for the new cat and keep him there for a few days so they can get used to each others smells and sounds.

    Then you can do site swapping. For a few hours switch and put the resident cat in the safe room and then let the new cat roam the house.

    Then you can do things like feeding them on either side of the door etc...

    Biggest thing to remember is that it's not a race. Don't try to rush it otherwise you just have to start over again.

    I love this site - lots of good info and a super helpful community:

    http://www.thecatsite.com/...

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:14:57 PM PDT

  •  Smell is of paramount importance (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BFSkinner, greenearth, mayim, S F Hippie

    Do you have a blanket Cash has slept on that a new cat could smell?  The reaction to how Cash smells would be telling.  Short of that, one of your own old T-shirts freshly washed (no confusing scents from soap or fabric softeners!!!) that you've slept in for a couple of nights that has your smell that Cash has slept on so you have both smells mingled to see if another cat accepts the smells.  Or, if you are willing to sacrifice an old T-shirt and wear it as Cash leaves his smell all over you (esp. from the oil glands by his whiskers) for a day or two and another cat could smell you wearing Cash's smell.  Or, if you see a new kitty who doesn't hiss at the smells, see if you can leave the shirt inside a cage to see if the new cat would sleep on it and then you'd have all three smells co-mingled..., and bring the shirt home so Cash can smell the proposed new cat.  If Cash doesn't object, you might be in luck with a new kitty.

    Since Cash is declawed, perhaps a mellow older and also declawed senior cat would be a good option.  Kitties who are used to a companion - like Cash - might accept a new companion more readily.  I'm sure he's been quite lonely since Tango died.  If the other cat is used to a companion, perhaps there would be a good chance of them becoming good friends and companions.

    If you being a cat with intact claws into your home, s/he is liable to dominate Cash rather quickly and even do some harm with intact claws.  Cash is unable to defend against a cat with intact claws, so that might be an issue, but I'm sure you don't want to be so cruel as to declaw a new cat.  That's very traumatic.  Maybe a new one who has already been declawed?

    Pet carrier with the wire door that they could see each other through and smell each other without doing any harm would be a good idea.  Take the door off and put an old T-shirt of yours in it and let Cash sleep on it in there if he so chooses (it's a cozy cave where he could feel safe if he likes enclosed spaces).  Make sure the new one has gone potty and been fed and watered before putting it in with the new smells on the shirt and bringing it into your home or the new one could leave an unhappy accident in the pet carrier if it doesn't like to travel in cars and is scared of new environments.

    Then, once let out of the carrier, be sure to show the new kitty where the litter box is FIRST, then let him/her leave its mark (urine or feces) in a clean litter box that still has faint traces of Cash's smell, and let it explore from there or show it where the food is after showing it where the litter box is.  [Showing a new kitty the litter box FIRST was the thing I hit upon when a new cat introduced to my large household of several cats was what I hit upon when one kitty had an accident when being introduced.  First and last time for the accident, but all other cats after that oriented themselves by knowing where they could safely go potty before they were free to explore the rest of the house and find the food.  Just traveling is upsetting to some so they need to go potty first thing.]

    Catnip might be a good idea if Cash likes 'nip and the if the new kitty likes it, too.  Put it on two different parts of the floor and let them get high and then play or sleep.

    Treats if you know which ones each likes.

    Pootie pads, if you have them.

    A new toy or two?  My house guest (declawed, spayed white female about five years old), loves, loves, loves the "thing" on a string on the end of a long plastic stick I flip around for her and she tackles it and chases it (long chenille thing with three ornamental kinds of ribbons that I don't trust because they unravel strings and I'm afraid she'll swallow the nylon fabric strings so I try to keep those shredded parts cut off).  Her other toys without the thing on the string just lay there in a pile most of the time and she's not particularly interested.  I have a duster thing made of synthetic material I use to flick across my laptop screen and she loves tackling that thing and bunny-kicking it while "killing" it if I sort of tease her with it between flicking the thing on a string.  (I took out a second smaller duster to clean the laptop screen.)

    Still, there's nothing like the co-mingled scents of you and Cash and the new kitty to get both adjusted to the idea that they are expected to get along, and as long as they can smell themselves and you as the common bond, it should make the transition easier.

    Good Luck!

    :-)

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:17:33 PM PDT

  •  We put up a temporary screen door (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BFSkinner, scyellowdogdem, mayim

    separating the new cat from the older residents and keep them apart for several days. That gives them a chance to see and smell each other without being able to inflict real damage.

    Kelly McCullough - author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade books (Penguin/ACE)

    by KMc on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 09:52:19 PM PDT

    •  This works great for us. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim, BFSkinner

      I work with a cat rescue and we use the screen door method. It lets the new cat feel part of the family but at a safe distance. It also lessens the threat to the old cat who can continue to have his territory. And I agree with the concensus here that it can take anwhere from days to months to successfully introduce cats. Keep trying. The end result is worth it.

      Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. (attributed to) Greg King

      by scyellowdogdem on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 04:13:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The best advice I can give you is what (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer, BFSkinner, Yo Bubba, mayim

    I got from Cat Fancy Magazine many years ago.  

    Let them work things out for themselves.  If they hiss, grown, or wrestle - don't interfere unless there is damage being done (very rare).  It sounds awful and the hostilities can go on for days, but if you interfere, they have to start all over again from square one.

    Feed them together.  Give them treats together.  Put the bowls out at the same time (giving to one before the other is a signal of favoritism - avoid that).

    Above all, spend MORE time with your "pre-existing cat" than you do with the new cat.  Your cat might just fear that the new cat will replace him or her and will become even more aggressive.

    When I brought Rocky home from the shelter, I was afraid Nolan was going to kill him.  That would not have happened because Nolan had no claws and Rocky was fully armed.  Rocky, of course, tried to be a buddy, but Nolan was full hiss and growl and I didn't get a minutes sleep before I had to go to work in the morning.

    I sent my sister over to my house to check on them since they were still at odds when I left.  She called to say they were both sleeping on my bed next to each other.  I seriously wanted to go wake them up for keeping me up ALL night.

    They were best buddies.

    Don't sweat it.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 11:08:08 PM PDT

  •  When you bring a new kitteh into the house..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, BFSkinner

    bring in a new exciting toy, object, pootie pad, etc....for Cash.  Don't be afraid to bring in a new cat, they will adjust to each other, claws or no claws.  It might be a bit stressful at first, but then again it might not be.  Just jump right in....feet first....

    "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Yo Bubba on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 05:07:20 AM PDT

  •  Depends on the individuals, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, BFSkinner

    I have a maine coon type, "Mango", that came from the shelter as a tiny kitten. He's lived here all his life and is very secure in his ownership. He has free run inside and outside.
    We adopted a full grown (also neutered male) orange cat. "That Orange Cat" is a PTSD kitty, had a terrible start in life and when he was given to us, (we didn't know this) he was loaded with the kitty versions of valium and prozak! He went cold turkey that first day and was a wreck for a week thereafter, panic attacks when he was alone, screaming and puking and racing up and down the stairs, panics when he was locked outside the house or when he was locked in just the basement.
    Mango sat back at first and watched this behavior and gave That Orange Cat a lot of space but on day two or three, I noticed him walking the new guy around, showing him the food bowl, where to get water, even a few good places to crash in the sun! Mango has never been made to use a litter box, he can always get outside. That Orange Cat had ONLY used a litterbox and that was the hardest thing for Mango to teach him: Go OUTSIDE!
    That Orange Cat is not the sharpest tool in the shed but he's an avid hunter. Mango is smart but not very educated about hunting. He grew up with people, not other cats. That Orange Cat taught him how to hunt and they have cleared out ALL of the mice in this big old house.
    Now they wrestle, they will eat from the same bowl at the same time sometimes, they crash in my room often but I notice that Mango always gets the prime spot and That Orange Cat is happily subservient.
    I guess it depends on the cats themselves, their personalities, their territorial imperatives and the physical set up.
    I lucked out, I hope you do too.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 05:12:30 AM PDT

  •  Separate safe room (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, BFSkinner

    At the beginning, so you can spend solo time with your new buddy and s/he can bond with the humans in the house first.  I find this really important (i now share a household with 7 cats and five out of the six intros were handled this way.)

    So with each, it's usually a month or more bonding time.  I know this may seem hard to juggle i to a pre-existing schedule, but the payout is that you have a new cat with better confidence about being in a new home.  Better confidence means better ability to cope with new pootie friend and they can establish their own relationship stqrting off on equal footing.

    The room i use i set up with a gate barrier (rigged with curtain barriers to keep the pooties on their respective sides) so that sight and smell can be exchanged.  The first few days, the old pooties will just hang out at the front of the gate staring in.

    My first pootie in the house is a low-key, low energy complacent kind of guy.  When I spoke to the rescue org where i was interested in one of their cats (seen on petfinder), they first asked about my cat and his personality.  As it turned out, the cat I was interested in had a similar personality type.  They were right, and they got along well.  They didn't bond with one another in any sense that they groom one another, but they do kitty nose greetings and there is true harmony and peace between them.  Essentially, the Princess' energy is so laid back, I've found she simply gets along with all.

    So look for a rescue org that knows their stuff! See if they can match you up with an appropriate candidate to begin with.

    Everyone else has also shared some really great ideas, but as far as letting cats work things out in their own, their are ways to smooth out the process... Like setting up that safe room and having bonding time.

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 06:01:40 AM PDT

  •  Glad you asked that (0+ / 0-)

    I have had the same thoughts and have hesitated due to the same uncertainty about the introduction of a new kitty to the mix.

    "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul is unawakened." Anatole France

    by Pam LaPier on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 08:46:53 PM PDT

  •  I have done it twice. Both times the cat (0+ / 0-)

    added was of the opposite sex.  There were a few tense  situations, but nothing major with either addition.

    Good luck to you,
    Amber

    Mother Teresa: "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

    by Amber6541 on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:47:10 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site