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Question
I brought home a stray female cat 3 or 4 months ago. I already had two cats both female who get along pretty well. They have never had any major fights. When I first got this stray cat, I figured she had not been outside long because her fur was smooth and not dirty and she seemed to come to me very quickly. but from day one, we realize that when we would pet her or hold her she would invite us out of nowhere not hard, just to get us to stop touching her and then she would jump away. over the past couple of months, we have been coming home to find one of my cats injured, and most recently my cats lip is punctured. I have seen the new cat play around with my cats but have never seen her be vicious towards them. I am pretty certain that this new cat is causing me altercations that hurt my other cats. however, I don't know if I'm ready to get rid of her. do you think the behavior that she has displayed so far, is aggressive behaviour? And do you think it's fair to assume that she is causing the altercations between her and my cats? I am worried that my cats will get into more serious trouble if I keep the stray cat.  In many incidents,  I come home to find cuts or scrapes on my cats which never happened before i brought in the stray. Is it time to let go of the stray?

Answer
While it's really great that you took in this stray, you have exposed your cats to many diseases if you haven't had this cat tested for the most common, and potentially fatal, cat viruses such as Leukemia, FIV,and FIP.

Secondly, if she isn't spayed,that will cause these issues as well. You cannot just plunk a new cat into the midst of two cats that are used to each other, and not expect fighting. It just doesn't work that way.

Cats need slow introductions to each other. But only after you have cleared this one with the vet that she is disease free, spayed and vaccinated as well.

Here are some tips for introducing new cats:

http://www.petplace.com/article/cats/behavior-training/normal-behavior/bringing-
and this one:

http://www.petplace.com/article/cats/behavior-training/training-your-cat/how-to-

So you really need to back up a bit and get her into the vet's before you let her back into the house. Get her spayed, tested and vaccinated, then spend some time following the steps in the first article.

Good luck!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT

Expertise

PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!

Experience

I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Organizations
Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Education/Credentials
Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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