Introducing New Cat (problems)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2010
Introducing New Cat (problems)
Mon, 05-13-2013 - 9:17am

Hi all!  I haven't been on this board in ages, but I always found it very helpful.  Two and a half months ago, my fiance passed away and I took his cat in. She and I had become very close and she is one of the sweetest, most gentle kitties I have ever met. Also she was an only cat.  I have two cats who are also very sweet (boy and girl) and very close to each other (and possessive of me.)  Anyway, I took my new beautiful Shayna home and my two are having a difficult time with sharing me, especially my girl Chloe.  For the most part they ignore each other, but sometimes Chloe gets into this bullying thing and she sort of intimidates Shayna by staring at her and if Shayna tries to walk around she corners her. On Saturday, Chloe had her cornered in the kitchen and poor little Shayna peed on the floor!  Sometimes if she walks around, they'll chase her, hissing and she runs under the bed. I don't want Shayna to feel like she has to stay in one spot, afraid to move. I've screamed at them when they do this and then realize that is a terrible tactic and only upsets everyone. So I've been trying to use positive encouragement, trying to distract them and give everyone extra love and play time so they all feel equal. But it's slow going.  I really want Shayna to feel at home. She's been through so much-losing her dad and then being taken to a new home. I want her to be happy.  I would appreciate any advice.  I want harmony in this house :-)  Thanks so much!!!!

Community Leader
Registered: 03-24-2000
Mon, 05-13-2013 - 3:25pm

Welcome back.  I'm so very sorry for the loss of your fiance.  My heart goes out to you.

I don't know if you set Shayna up in a sancutary room of her own when you brought her home.  If you did you need to do it again and give her time to adjust to her new home.  You can re-introduce your cats to her very slowly.  Cats are very territorial and don't like to share their homes with strange cats.  Shayna needs time to greive too.  Everything in her life has changed.  You are doing good playing with them and trying to give everyone extra love.

I would set Shayna up in a room of her own.  Hopefully there is room under the door for them to sniff at each other.  I would take Shayna out with your other cats for short periods of time a few times a day at first and increase the lenght of time slowly. You can feed them all special treats and/or do some playing with them, just make it all positive.  You really want to try to avoid fights especially like the one that Chloe had with her.  I wouldn't let Shayna out when you aren't home or at night or anytime you can't watch her.  It may take awhile, but if you re-introduce her very slowly, I'm sure your cats will at least accept her.


Avatar for tiggs_mom
Community Leader
Registered: 07-02-1999
Tue, 05-14-2013 - 8:28pm

I am so sorry about your fiance. It is a whole lot of change is a very short period of time.

I agree with Leslie - reintroduction sounds like the way to go. And if possible, look around the house and see if there is a way to avoid anyone getting cornered - from shelves on the walls to cat trees to bookcases. There are a lot of great options out there now for vertical spaces.

Feeding on opposite sides of the door where you separate Shayna is good. As is site swapping. And, if your male seems ok with her, let them interact and as his smell gets associated with her, Chloe may relax as well.

And you are right - your stress adds to theirs. If it gets bad, separate them and take a walk. You have gone through so much as well that you need the support too. Please keep posting and let us know how things are going.