new cat attacks old cat

by debbie mcintosh
(edinburgh)

i have a 11year old female cat(cuddles) that i have had since she was 2 days old i hand reared her and her 3 sibling i kept her and her brother, unfortunately when i was in hospital 3 years ago and my friend was watching my cats her brother dissappeared. she sat by the door for weeks and was very sad for about 6months.


that was 3 years ago, there were times when she looked bored so i decided to get her a friend to keep her company when i was at work.

we went to a cat rescue after speaking to the owners we decided that a 6 year old cat called buster was best match. that was in september. he keeps going for her, he wont let her sleep on the bed she has slept on for 11 years and i am now wondering if i have done the right thing or not. i am by no means a cat expert and i could really do with someones help. i really do not want to send buster back cos i know my baby will miss him if he goes and he is suich an adorable big boy.

what can we do to help them get along??? he also gets really jelous if we pay her any attention.we could have petted hiim for hours but if we go near her for 5 mins you can garentee he will go for her at the first opportunity. he has also taken to sitting on my knee where cuddles always sits so she can no longer sit on my knee.

he also licks my other half until her hand is dripping wet. why is he doing this? is it a good or bad thing? he also bites her during play.

oh yeah he also gets steroids for an ongoing allergy on his leg. dont know if that could be making him angry too.

i really hope you can help

Answer by Kate
Hi
well there is a lot to contend with here. firstly unfortunately it is not always advisable to get another cat because you think the first cat is lonely. cats are solitary animals and unless they grew up with a cat will often treat new comers as a threat or at the very least keep them at bay.

Also this new cat sounds as if he is rather needy and may be this way due to his upbringing. The hand biting during play shows that he was not properly socialized as a kitten. So there are a few issues here too.

I'm not sure there is much you can actively do to prevent his attacking your other cat. You shouting at him etc would not help not all as this is not seen as a negative but as a positive reaction from you, after all he has got your attention.

usually when new cats are introduced to each other i always recommend a week or so of supervised introduction. this method is designed to build confidence in the cats without fear of attack. you may want to try this anyway to see if it helps their relationship.
the process is described here

http://www.our-happy-cat.com/introducing-cats.html

You will also have to try and address the new cats behavior i.e the biting. this is done with using negative responses to it, such as silence and end of attention. please see this page for more on this.

http://www.our-happy-cat.com/cat-discipline.html

There relationship should settle down over time but this can take some time. All you can do in the mean time is to make sure that both cats have their own space within the house that they can retreat to if they wish. You will also have to be quite firm with your new cat i.e by not always giving in to his demands. I.e if your female cat is sitting on your lap and he tries to push her off, then you will have to simply remove him from your lap. This is not punishment but lets him know that he is not boss and that he has to give way sometimes.

Sorry there is a lot to take in but changing cat behavior which is inground can be quite a task and requires a lot of time and patience. i wish you every success. I'm sure that they will find there own way and place in the household.

best wishes Kate

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