What are some tips for introducing a new cat to other cats?
Original Question: Dealing with cat behaviour issues after introducing 2 new cats to a 1-cat household. We have an 11-year-old Bengal cat who has been the only pet for about 4 years. She is 6 lbs soaking wet but very alpha and fierce. We adopted 2 1-year-old Bengals from an elderly couple who could not care for them. One is dominant in that pair (sisters) but she isn't the problem. Despite 3 weeks of careful isolation and slow introduction before letting them have run of the house the cats just can't get along and there is a lot of aggression from both camps but now about 8 weeks into this the non-dominant of the two new cats is viciously attacking our 11-year-old cat. We've resorted to isolating the cats and only letting the 11-year-old out by herself and then isolating her while the two new cats have run of the house - they are out in shifts. We are at our wits end and want to be able to have peace in the house with all three cats being comfortable with each other. I've been unable to find a cat behaviorist and I'm at a loss. Can you help? Thank you so much! - Kristin
One of the first things when introducing a new cat to other cats is to use a pheromone product. They may help limit the stress in them but is not meant to be a cure-all. Cats may also exhibit some behaviors like this if they see one of the pack members as prey or a weak link so I would suggest having each one medically checked out but at least the older cat. Your veterinarian might be able to help with some behavior issues but you can also look for a veterinary behaviorist at the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists website.
I hope this was helpful.
Dr. Ryan Llera
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