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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Thirty years experience in small animal medicine and surgery.
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need advice on settling my new cat help asap

Customer Question

Hi I have a spade 5 year old dsh she was with another cat when she was a kitten the got split at 1 and half old I have just got and 7 month old UN neutered male dsh my female is hissing and growling like mad she is partly out door cat during day and indoor at night is it say to let her out or will she run away and how long before she settles to the new Tom cat also how can I help them to get along my female is locked in bedroom and the new cat has free run of flat I'm scared they will fight if left together to long as I have an 18 month old what shall I do please help

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Barbara :

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer. I am a licensed veterinarian and I'm here to help you. Sorry it has taken so long for you to get some help. I just came online and found you here!

Dr. Barbara :

To have the cats separated for now is very wise, it's just that the new kitten should be locked in one room with food, water and litter, and Midnight needs to have the rest of the house as this is her territory.

Dr. Barbara :

Keep your new kitty in the room and let the 2 cats get to know each other through the door. You should also wipe Midnight with a towel and then wipe the new kitty with the same towel and vice versa. . .so they get used to each other's smell. After several days to a week or two you can open the door with you right there armed with a spray bottle of water to break up any actual fights. Hissing, growling and swiping at each other is OK, just not actual fighting. You'll be able to tell when it's OK to do this, both cats will be calmer towards each other with the door separating them. Then you try opening the door.

Dr. Barbara :

Once both cats are living in the same space, you shouldn't leave food out all day. It makes for much less stress for your cats to feed each in a separate room with the door closed giving them about 10 with their food. About 12 hours later you feed them again. . .they'll quickly adjust to this and won't feel the need to defend their food.

Dr. Barbara :

It is recommended that households have one more litter box than cats, so in your case this would be 3. If this isn't possible you should have at least 2 in private but easily accessible places.

Dr. Barbara :

I wouldn't let Midnight outside just yet. Let her get comfortable again in her territory with your new cat in the bedroom. She really needs to learn that the house is her home again, or she might take off!

Dr. Barbara :

Hope this is helpful information for you. Please let me know if you have more questions, concerns, or comments.

Dr. Barbara :

Thanks for coming to us,

Dr. Barbara :

Dr. Barbara

Customer :

Thank you I have a one bed flat so last night I put Felix the new cat in bathroom with everything he needed midnight was so relaxed having run again Felix seemed upset being in a room alone then early hours he clawed at the door and was meowing a lot is that normal. Shall I let them see each other everyday or avoid doing this

Dr. Barbara :

Thanks so much for your response. Knew, but glad to hear, that Midnight would enjoy her old territory again. I think the best would be they not be together yet without a door between them. A bathroom is usually a pretty small space for a cat full time. I wonder if you could confine Felix to your bedroom, at least during the day. If Midnight doesn't usually sleep with you then Felix could be confined in the full time for now.

Dr. Barbara :

It is pretty normal for cats to be up, meowing and scratching at night. Years ago I started sleeping with a fan on and door closed so I didn't have to hear their night time shenanigans. For such a young, healthy cat as Felix to be confined in such a small space would be difficult for him, so I can imagine he did lots of meowing and scratching..

Dr. Barbara :

I think that as Midnight regains herself in her territory that she might be less territorial, especially as she and Felix get to know each other "through a door". You'll know the right time to try things with the door open.

Customer :

Thank you midnight does sleep in the bedroom shall I keep Felix in bathroom for bits in day and night when we go to bed midnight is shut in bedroom with us anyway so shall I let Felix got out of bathroom tonight and midnight hissed growled and swiped he didn't react at all then midnight laid on sofa with Felix on floor

Dr. Barbara :

Sounds to me like things are progressing well! As you now know the key is to keep the resident kitty in their environment as much as possible so they aren't so stressed. When you are home during the day, it does sound like they could both be out safely. I think your plan is excellent. . .Felix in the bathroom when you aren't home, Midnight in your bedroom at night with the door closed, and Felix having the rest of your house overnight. Again, only hissing, growling and swiping should be allowed. . .no actual fighting which can be broken up with a good squirt of water.

Dr. Barbara :

When they are together in your home, make sure to follow the feeding and litterbox recommendations (at least at first).

Dr. Barbara :

I'm very encouraged!!!! In no time you should all be living together very peacefully!

Dr. Barbara and 2 other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Hi Sam,
Thank you so much for your very kind rating. . .greatly appreciated!
If more questions or concerns arise, this thread actually remains open for awhile, even after rating. Just let me know here.
Best of luck,
Dr. Barbara