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Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)/Older cat just won't accept new cat.


Hi, thank you for trying to help me.My older female spayed cat ( 13 y.old )was overgrooming ( went to the vet and no medical issues )so I got the brilliant idea to get her a new cat friend.A kitten ( whose mother was a feral).They have been together for two years now.It is the great ongoing cat pee war.Older cat pees on anything and everything.She HATES the new cat with a passion.Looking at the new cat outside through a window is enough to get her in a bad mood ( I swear ).New kitten is happy to be outside a lot so it helps.There was no blood or injuries but older cat just sees kitten as evil incarnate.It does not help that kitten is bigger and stronger ( of course ). They have separate food bowl, separate litter boxes.Older cat will again be brought to the vet but appart from being a nervous mess with kitten, everything seems ok.Any suggestion will help, knowing that giving kitten away would be the best options...:(

Hi, Naomi. After reading everything I hate to say bad news,  but if this is the first time he's loved with another cat, he probably won't accept the younger cat. How did you first introduce them? The one thing that has always worked for me is the food mediator. Meaning using his favorite food as a distraction.  Do they eat side by side or clear apart? If side by side, then there's a chance for them. Otherwise I would pick a good that he can't resist, typically tune or canned food, and when he's focused on that being the other cat in...far away...and give him the same irresistible food. Slowly start moving the dishes closer together until they are side by side. Don't expect immediate results but this is what I've always done. It's best to do this in an area where they can't run and hide but enough room to start far apart. It could take days to start seeing results of this does work.

Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)

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Melissa Burg, RVT/Behavior Consultant


I have experience dealing with different cat behavior signs, including separation anxiety, possible aggression and the difference between fear aggression and actual aggression, this would include possible feral cats. I also am familiar with the several different approaches to introducing a new cat to the environment as well as how each cat or cat and dog and live comfortable and dealing with litter box issues and help you decide if the problem is medical or behavioral.


My experience began with my own cats and escalated while working with area animal shelters for the past 10 years. I was able to watch and learn how the cats would react to different stimulus and each other. My experience grew during college and became able to distinguish between medical and behavior issues.

"Pawfect Pets," a weekly column in my local newspaper with pet health and behavior and training tips.

I graduated with an Associate's in Veterinary Technology in 2009 and became RVT in the state of Iowa in 2012 with a focus on Behavior.

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