Our new adopted cats hissing at each other

(25 Posts)
Twonewcats Thu 29-May-14 08:01:10

Our two adult cats arrived yesterday and are seeming to settle in quickly. However they keep hissing at each other despite having lived together previously for years. Is this purely because they are frightened of the new situation they're in?
One hissed at my 3yr old ds this morning, which made me very nervous. Hopefully after a few days they'll be ok.
I think it probably doesn't help that they're not getting outside yet, as they previously had a cat flap so they came and went as they pleased. How long until they're settled enough to come back if we let them out?
Thanks in advance x

Squeegle Thu 29-May-14 08:09:09

Yes, this is very normal. Our two cats (brothers) were like this when they came to us. We kept them in one room with litter tray for nearly a week, then have them the run of the house for another week or so before they went out.

A bit longer might have been better as one of them was out for about an hour and a half before he came back. I think the vet recommended a month indoors. Even though that seemed a lot- maybe it's the right amount so they truly feel at home. They recommend just letting them out for very short spells in the garden before getting a cat flap.

Squeegle Thu 29-May-14 08:10:01

I think they're just very nervy at the beginning. They don't hiss at all now btw.

Ours (sisters, always lived together and not neglected) came to us at just over a year old last October. They fought a lot the first few weeks. Now it's just the occasional skirmish. We kept them in for a month (decided not to let them out till after Bonfire night). They had free run of the house from day 2, although kept their food and litter and bedding in a quiet room for a few weeks.

cozietoesie Thu 29-May-14 08:49:13

There might also be a little bit of jostling for position - a sort of 'New House, New Rules' thing. It shouldn't last long once they find their feet and they'll likely go back to the way they were before. Is one of them doing more hissing than the other have you noticed? (I'm thinking whether the previous No 2 might be making a bid for glory!)

I'd be tempted to issue the occasional peremptory 'Oi!' at any hissing if I were you - and then go immediately back to normal routine.

orangemog Thu 29-May-14 11:38:01

My two have always fought - even though they've lived together for 10 years now! I think it's because Tree, my girl, was an only cat for the first 5 years of her life. She got a taste for it and has never wanted to share my attention since. Luckily my boy is fairly easy going. He'd love to be friends but she's never given him the chance. He just lets her get away with bullying him (even though he's twice her size!) most of the time. Sometimes he winds her up just for the hell of it I think. His favourite act of annoyance is to run across the room toward her then jump over her before she has a chance to react, and disappear into the distance :-D

Twonewcats Thu 29-May-14 15:55:07

Thanks for the replies.

cosie I think you're right. It's the "timid" one doing more of the hissing. I haven't heard any hissing today but my ds2 isn't here at the moment so we'll see what happens when he gets home...

I've always loved cats but I'm very nervous around them as I don't know how far they'd go if the kids end up frightening or annoying them, or if I look at them the wrong way grin

cozietoesie Thu 29-May-14 16:36:16

Don't be nervous. You're Mommy Cat to them so just go about your business and let them work things out. (That's why I thought that the occasional 'Oi' from you would do no harm because Mum Cats remonstrate with their kittens if things are a bit heated. But best not to do it in front of the DCs because kids can sometimes take things overboard if they're worried and it's better to give them the example of calm and in control - as always.)

Good luck. You should all be fine soon enough.

cozietoesie Mon 02-Jun-14 11:37:59

How are they doing?

Twonewcats Wed 04-Jun-14 22:56:53

Sorry for the late reply. I've been so busy at work doing night shift that I haven't been on here for days. They're doing great thanks for aasking. I don't think they like ds2 much but hopefully that'll all be fine soon. They seem settled so that's the main thing. X

cozietoesie Wed 04-Jun-14 23:00:15

Good. (And best of luck to DS2.) smile

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 05-Jun-14 16:55:32

Is ds2 young though? My cats not keen on kids but likes men.

Twonewcats Fri 06-Jun-14 00:23:45

Yeah ds2 is 3.

Tonight, weirdly, as I was about to go to bed I gave the little cat a pat as she was curled up on the chair purring. I patted her a few times, she rubbed her head on my hand. I stroked down her back three times. And she turned and bit my hand! !! WHY??!!! Just as we were all settling in nicely.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 06-Jun-14 06:52:55

Overstimulated from the sound of it, some cats like you to stick to the head & shoulder area.

cozietoesie Fri 06-Jun-14 07:10:09

Yep - overstimulated it sounds like. She's probably a bit irritable so best left alone to come to you. I know it sounds odd when she was rubbing her head on your hands but it happens so best to just leave her alone.

Even my boys have been known to do that occasionally and I use the same response. I'll say NO! very firmly and then leave them alone - sometimes I get a sulky back turning but I just ignore that. (Unless it's a bite in bed of course - that's a house rule and a relegation issue. I think Seniorboy may have done it once in 2012 when extremely tried by me but not since.)

I've always found, interestingly, that my boys have never been that big on stroking. What we do do at cozietowers is a heck of a lot of talking to the cats which seems to go down better.

Twonewcats Sat 07-Jun-14 23:27:57

They are really scared of my 3yr old. It's awful :-(

cozietoesie Sat 07-Jun-14 23:40:47

How is that showing? Try to describe what happens.

Twonewcats Sun 08-Jun-14 11:40:45

They run off and hide any time he even comes into the room. They're jumpy and anxious when he's around. We've told him not to run or jump or squeal when he's near them, but he's 3yo so it is a lot for him to be expected to do. He was patting one of the cats and she swiped at him. Not sure if she was just batting him away or if it was a proper swipe, though

cozietoesie Sun 08-Jun-14 11:55:47

No claws it sounds like (you'd have seen the aftermath) so - a mute protest.

Have they each got a high place to go to to get away physically from him? (eg top of bookcase/ top of cat tree etc.)

Twonewcats Sun 08-Jun-14 13:05:10

No they don't have a high place. They tend to go under the table when they see him coming, or behind the settee. The problem is its open plan so the downstairs is (sort of) one big area

cozietoesie Sun 08-Jun-14 13:31:25

Ah right. A high place is better. They're doing the sensible thing which is getting the heck out of his way (bet you occasionally wish you could follow suit?) because he's likely 3 year old-grabby/noisy and unpredictable and cats generally like a reasonably ordered life.

They've been through a lot, remember, so don't give up - but maybe try to provide somewhere inviting that they could go which is out of his reach eg have you got a bookcase or something similar where they could feel secure but also see where he is ? If possible, also, try to have two separate places because they're having to re-negotiate each other as well as DS.

(Or maybe a stairgate fitted on the stairs or a door so that they can get through and he can't? They would soon clock that.)

I'd also (and this will sound a bit out of left field) try to conjure up a 'phrase' to sing-song to them to indicate that DS is going to be around - a sort of 'He's cooommmiinnng! - and try to remember to intone that every time before you bring him in to the room so that they can exit in good time if they want. In my experience, cats do a heck of a lot of their communication orally and there's nothing wrong with using that to your advantage. (I've always had up to half a dozen catchphrases to use to my bunch for various aspects of life and they do come to know what they all mean.)

cozietoesie Sun 08-Jun-14 13:33:30

PS - that sounds like an awful lot when it's typed out but it's not much in practice.

Good luck

smile

Twonewcats Sun 08-Jun-14 13:42:35

Nope there is literally nothing high downstairs they could use, unfortunately. Thanks for the advice re using a phrase - I wouldn't have thought of that. We're not giving up - that hasn't crossed our minds. I'm certain that they'll be more relaxed about him when they start being allowed outside. They seem very content and relaxed otherwise, at least.

cozietoesie Sun 08-Jun-14 13:50:14

Ah well. Just try to always give them an easy escape route then because their big problem will be feeling that they're trapped and can't get away eg go upstairs. (And DS will soon be 4!)

Twonewcats Sun 08-Jun-14 14:49:35

Ha yes! He's been calmer today with them. Hopefully that continues.

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