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Rescue cat went for home cat after 2 weeks of semi-peaceful cohabitation

(12 Posts)
Izlet Sun 01-Feb-15 11:31:49

Just that really. Brought home a cat 2weeks ago from a rescue, a neutered male who was used to living with other cats (was in rescue for approx 6 months and only had problems with unneutered males). House cat is neutered female who lost her companion a few months ago, she lived all her life with him and has never been a lone cat. The idea was to get another male to keep her company. Female cat has territorial tendencies, mainly against other females, with her male companion it was all love and cuddles.

For 2 weeks there was a certain amount of tolerance, with house cat growling and hissing when rescue cat came too near, but at other times they managed to share a sofa, albeit at different ends. Rescue cat put up with it good naturedly and would sometimes run after her like he wanted to play, then leave her be. Until this morning that is. House cat started growling and hissing again and rescue attacked her. We separated them and put them in different rooms to calm down. After a while they emerged from their respective rooms and rescue went for house cat again. Now house cat is terrified and has weed herself from the stress. She is in hiding and growls when I go to cuddle her. Rescue is cool with it but a bit wary.

Where to go from here? Has a line been crossed? Will they ever get on? I don't want to return rescue as he has a few health problems (which are being sorted out) and no one was adopting him. If he goes back he'll be stuck in rescue. Also he was getting on well here and was improving health wise and mentally, he came from a situation of mistreatment and neglect, but has a lovely character despite all.

HotLipsHoulihan Sun 01-Feb-15 11:36:03

He may well be a lovely cat but generally speaking, cats prefer to live alone. Your existing cat won't have been pining for a companion as they're just not wired that way.

If one is attacking the other and you have stress signs such as hiding and weeing then in think you have no option but to re home one

chockbic Sun 01-Feb-15 11:49:51

Did the rescue place not give you advice about introducing them? You're meant to go slowly, keeping them apart for a while.

You could try a feliway diffuser and putting them in different rooms. Give them a litter tray each.

I'm sure other posters will have more advice. Although the damage may be done now and rescue puss will have to return.

Hope not and it works out for you and them.

Izlet Sun 01-Feb-15 11:55:12

Which is what I was afraid of. House cat was pining, I wouldn't have got a new cat so soon but as we're out of the house all day I thought it a good idea to get her someone to keep her company as she seemed to be suffering from loneliness. I've sent a message to the rescue place and a friend who is a behaviourist, but I don't think they can offer me other solutions. Unless we keep them in separate rooms for ever, which is in no way ideal, or even workable.

chockbic Sun 01-Feb-15 11:58:34

You don't have to separate them forever, its just until they figure each other out.

We had a rescue cat and a new kitten. I can assure you it wasn't love at first sight! They did integrate after a while, maybe because the kitten was submissive to older cat. They do like their hierarchy in the household.

Izlet Sun 01-Feb-15 11:59:31

We did introduce them slowly, rescue was in the bathroom for the first few days and we swapped blankets. However, as rescue has a problem with his mouth he can't wash himself properly and is a tad smelly, and house cat wasn't impressed by his odour. This is now improving. I've had cats all my life and this is the first time I have encountered this situation. I will try Feliway, if only to tranquillise house cat.

Izlet Sun 01-Feb-15 12:00:27

Mine are both adults, rescue is about 8-10yo and house cat is 13

Izlet Sun 01-Feb-15 12:02:12

They have a litter tray each, although house cat quite happily used rescue cat's. She had no issue with the smell of his wee etc.

chockbic Sun 01-Feb-15 12:24:28

Oh well that's encouraging. Can't absolutely detest each other wink

RubbishMantra Sun 01-Feb-15 17:52:51

When MCat came to live with (the sadly departed) Creature there was a lot of angst. He was fascinated with her, she hated him. She too pissed herself once when he was chasing her. They learned to live side by side, but never cuddled with each other or anything like that.

As Chock says, Feliway's always worth a shot, also Zylkene.

And bless you for taking in a smelly rescue cat who has problems washing himself. smile

Izlet Sun 01-Feb-15 21:44:14

Haha, I think that might be part of the problem! Previous mate was vain, perfectly groomed and fragrant, so for my female the smelly, mangy looking rescue is a bit of a step down and she's not having it!
He is a lovely cat though, considering all he's been through he's very sweet tempered. It's a shame Madam has been less than welcoming, he's been trying to play with her but she lashes out when he gets too close. Now he's decided to hit back and show her what's what and Madam is stressed.
I'll try the Feliway and persevere. I do know she can live with other cats, she's probably just in shock. Hopefully the grooming issue will improve and she'll feel more inclined to accept him.

lljkk Sun 01-Feb-15 21:59:07

Sounds like Rescue cat is making things clear he expects to be top cat.
My guess is that things will settle, but you need to hold your nerve until the 2 cats themselves have agreed to the new pecking order. And they will probably still swipe & hiss forever, at least occasionally.

My 'kittens' still go for the newcomer rescue cat 2 yrs after arrival; but luckily the newcomer never challenges. He's an old codger who can't be bothered to put up a fight. The only thing they all agree on is quickly & jointly chasing off any other cat who dares to come into the garden.

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