Cats that will NOT adjust to new cat - please help!

copanoladyDecember 1, 2008

I hope someone can help me - I'm about to take the newcomer to the Humane Society and desperately do not want to but I'm at the end of my rope.

I have three cats all neutered, all indoor in a fairly large house. Six, sometimes 7 litter boxes are in the attached garage with access via pet door which they all use - no problem. Well, I adopted a new cat, a two year old neutered male. The problem is my other 3 simply will not accept him. They're all neutered, all from shelters or otherwise homeless. One, Dusty, a male is an Alpha cat++ about 5 yrs old. He and the other two - Natasha & Purrcilla all get along, sleep together, eat together, etc.

Now comes Pumpkin whom I adopted from Craig's List. His picture was pathetic - he was scrawny, his coat was sparse and all the fur on his nose was gone and scabby, even a little bloody. I took him to the vet and had him checked out before I exposed him to my other (healthy) cats. It turned out he had a mosquito allergy which was treated - $450., and he's a fine healty (indoor) cat now.

He and Dusty have had fights off and on - some serious. I expected that but not so intense. One was so serious that when I intervened, I noticed Dusty had some blood on his muzzle and his eye was watering - took him to the vet and he's on anti-biotics - another $150. Also Purrcilla is terrified of him and he does stalk her. She's afraid to go to the litter boxes because he'll chase her - so you know what happened - she peed on the living room carpet and of course, though I've used every cleaner, repellent, spray known to man, she is fixated on that spot. There's enzyeme cleaner and bubble wrap on it now. I really could just cry.

He's very loving (to me) and I don't want to give him up but I want my happy, peaceful home back!

He's in an upstairs bathroom with food, water and litter box right now and I'm at my wit's end. I'm a VERY experienced cat owner but don't know what to do. Please help with any suggestions. I forgot to mention - I adopted him about two weeks before Halloween (he's solid black & I was afraid who might take him at that time of year) but it's been almost three months! Most cats adjust after three or four weeks. I'm desperate, please help.

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I hope you find an answer to this problem.

I just wanted to comment that I adopted a kitty named Pumkin thru Craigslist too. Isn't that funny?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Sorry for your troubles .. I'm not expert. But from your post it doesn't sound like you kept the new cat isolated at all to get used to a new home, and then slowly introduced him tot he new pack.

Whenever I bring a new cat into the house, I put them in my spare bedroom for a day or 2 alone with the door closed. The other cats can then come up to the door and sniff underneath it.

Then I put a screen door in place of the closed door, so the cats can all see and smell each other, and go nose-to-nose without being able to really touch each other.

Sounds like you just let the new cat loose in an established cat family. Sorry, but I can see why you are having problems. The fact that they are fighting and one got hurt is really not good.

Either you need to start the process all over again, as I mentioned above ... or find that poor new cat another new home.

Read thru some of the posts on here, there are a lot of posts that talk about introducing a new cat into a family that already has pets.

FYI .. I have 2 dogs and 5 cats in my home.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 12:50PM
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Yes, you're right Pamghatten, I should have known better. I don't have a screen door so I'm not sure how to try something else like that - but that would be ideal. I am trying to start over, so to speak. Another odd thing is, it seemed better in the beginning - occassionally, Dusty and he would sleep nearby each other (a few feet away) with no incident. Then suddenly one would attack the other and the other two would run and hide.

I feel stupid not introducing them more slowly - Not sure if I can undo the "emotional" damage.

To Shaun - that is a coincidence - I hope the former owner for your kitty was more honest than mine about his agressiveness towards other cats. She told me he was outside because he didn't get along with her older cat and that she was desperate to find a new home because of his mosquito allergy (which was true) and because her BF's dog was bullying him and he was scared of the dog. I still want to cry.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 1:06PM
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First I want to praise you for doing soooo much for Pumpkin!! You are to be commended!

and second... I am in the same situation.. after 8 LONG months. The 2 shelter cats live upstairs (litter boxes, toys, food, etc). We are keeping the resident (just over 12 year old Calico) downstairs.. However, it is our old cat who is the aggressor. So the situation is different. Things have slightly improved, as our Calico seldom now goes up to pick a fight. Fights were never to the point of needing vet's care.. though, however scary they sounded!
We, too, would love our peace back.

Is there any chance you could allow Pumpkin a little more room upstairs?

I think Pumpkin may still remember he was a full male just a few months ago....depending on when he was neutered. Have you tried to place a litter box just for Purcilla in a 'safe' corner , with no associations with Pumpkin? If she does not overcome her fear, then you may have to try to find a home for Pumpkin, before the shelter.

By the way, have you tried Feliway (plug-in or spray)? Rescue Remedy (to calm her down)? Some people report good results! Have tried both. Not conclusive.
I know how heartbreaking this may be.
Don't feel guilty (yah.. she said! easier said than done), but you have to think about your 3 other cats!
Best of luck,

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Did not get a chance to read previous 2 messages before sending mine (was in the process of responding). Just want to add that we did a very slow introduction approach, and it did not work. Maybe because of the age difference.. New cats were just too active for our quiet lady! Or just that females have a harder time?
Again, good luck,

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 1:33PM
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Hi,I'am in your situation as well.Well,kind of.One of my cats has excepted the Newbie and one hasnt.
The one that hasnt though,quitely frankly hates all other cats with a passion,so I'm not sure he will ever accept him.It's werid because he is good with other animals,even dogs.He just HATES cats.
Anyways,the kitten attacks him and jumps on his back and there will be a ton of growling and hissing.The kitten just will not leave my seinor alone.I've gotten so I've started scolding him for it,and my seinor runs to me like I'm saving his life,LOL.

It has been two to three months here,and the only thing that really helps is keeping the kitten preoccupied.If he is playing with something,it seems like he'll back off.But as soon as he gets bored,it's stalk my seinor cat time.

I have also heard of the Feliway (plug-in or spray) and am thinking of trying it.
Right now I give my seinor these treats I got from Petsmart called Petease.It's supposed to calm them.It seems to help make him more relaxed when the kitten is around.
Good luck~we are all in this together and it is hard to deal with!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 1:35PM
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As a foster mommie to kitties and cats, this is very frustrating. Some just will not want to adjust and others are very happy to the new friend. I can take a very long period of time. I had one baby that I could finally pet after 8 months, it's just amazing. First, basically room off the new baby. They can sniff under the door and hear each other without the fight. I do this for 2 weeks-as long as a month. I've used baby gates in the door ways, looks goofy using three of them to keep them confined, but it works. I had one cat that could leap over 3 of them and think nothing of it. Never leave them alone unattended if you are out of the home at any time (or bed time). I've gone as far as to give little room time or play time for acouple of hours during the day. It's hard and you think your being mean. But your not, it just takes time to make freinds. Think of it this way, would you like it if someone thrust you into a room of unknown claws and teeth!? Do the entire process very slowy, your baby may come around, it just takes time.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 4:35PM
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Thanks for the encouragement - it DOES help to not feel alone with this problem.

Pumpkin was only put in the upstairs bathroom yesterday when I decided I just couldn't risk any more injuries. It's a big bathroom though, with his bed, food & water in the double vanity area and his litter box in the potty/tub area. I tried to screen off the doorway but I only had a very large window screen which he immediately jumped over, so that didn't work.

I've gone in to love him and he starts purring. It's so sad. The Humane Society here only makes appointments as space is available and you can only call Monday, Wed or Friday between 8:30 and 10:30. I'll admit, I don't want them to answer but I feel I have to make the call.

Regarding age, Dusty is only 5 or 5 1/2 years old, Natasha about 4 and Purrcilla is 3 years old, so they're all youngish. I still have high hopes - I know this palls in comparison to "people problems" of which this past year has held many for me and my family but I still ask for those of you who love animals, especially homeless cats and believe in prayer to add a little footnote to your prayers for us. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 11:27PM
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Cats never really are pack animals like dogs so its really a hit and miss if you get them to get along. Its been 4 months sense we've interduced Bindi to Monty and Monty is still being fought, he has an abcess he is healing from.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 9:08AM
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