Fighting Like Cats and . . .?

What happens when you open your home to an adult cat in need? Sure, your motives are terrific and the cat is sweet and lovable. Your "firstborn" cat is likewise, sweet and loving. But put them together and something happens -- disaster! Will they get beyond the jealous stage? And will you survive?

That's a good question posed by Girlsmom8 on the Cats board. Rather than see her neighbor's cat, Ebony, go to the pound, she decided to take him in. But her own cat, Dee Dee, wasn't as charitable. "There are several problems. Dee Dee is an indoor/outdoor cat and stays in during the winter (she doesn't like her feet wet), but Ebony is an indoor, declawed cat who is leash trained. I'm sure you can guess what it's been like!"

Despite lavishing love on Dee Dee and giving her run of the house (with Ebony safely secured), Girlsmom8 despairs of ever seeing peace between her two cats.

"Is there any hope? Am I doing the right thing? Any advice?" she asks. Our own iVillage Cats board members pounced on the opportunity to help a fellow cat lover. Wivestale shares this advice, "I read an article suggesting that you spray your new cat with perfume you normally wear ... this distracts the established cat from being to aggressive due to the smell thing they do."

Giving each cat some space helps, too. Cats board member Melankitty elaborates, "It's advisable to keep a new adult cat and the home kitty separated by closed doors, so they can smell each other behind the door without actually meeting. Close one in and let the other out and vice versa. Also, a way to get them to coincide with each other is at mealtime. If you feed them at certain times of the day, then maybe you could put Dee Dee's dish at the top of the basement stairs along with Ebony's."

And from Cats Board member Maofpawz, some comforting words from someone who's faced this same obstacle. After asking her vet for medication so her two adult cats would get along, "The vet laughed at me and said they would work it out. Well, I thought about changing vets. But he was right. They have worked it out. They are not buddies, but they eat next to each other and sleep next to each other."

Finally, Community Leader Msjoecool reassures Girlsmom8, " If Ebony is not hurting Dee Dee then just give it time. Make sure that Dee Dee still gets a lot of your love. As long as you go about your life as usual and don't become anxious, Dee Dee will pick up your vibe. Please let us know how things progress."

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