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Introducing adult neutered males

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#1
I know there is a ton of information out there about this subject and likely a lot of threads about this here. I don't mean to be redundant and I already have two awesome breeders to talk to about this who've been supportive and very helpful, I'm just posting here in hopes of hearing more stories and information. I think the more people you can talk to and the more scenarios you can hear about the better.

Here is where we are today. Anecdotes, advice and encouragement welcome. :)

I have an almost 3 year old F7SBT Jengo and we just got an 1 year old F5B - Wiggles is his name for now. Jengo has always been a very shy and extremely skittish cat. He really has only bonded to me. For the first year and a half he wouldn't come out of hiding unless guests were here long enough that he needed to eat. Over the last 6 months or so he will finally come out but no one should try to pet him or play with him. Jengo and I spend 24/7 together most of the time. He is okay with my boyfriend, sleeps int he bed with us and if he has to will cuddle with my bf at night. He recently started stress eating which doesn't always include food. This is when we realized he really needs a mate. Everyone told us that buddy would make him feel better.

Saturday - so 5 days ago I purchased Wiggles. Wiggle is very social, friendly and playful. Because he is Wiggles the two cats have met. They saw each other during the delivery process of Wiggles to his room in which Jengo just ran and hid all puffed up.

Saturday Night - Wiggles escapes, they meet Jengo is cornered he hisses and yowls, Wiggles returns the same, Jengo hisses and yowls again - Wiggles backs off.

Sunday - Friends over - Wiggles gets out - Jengo watches, doesn't hiss only observes. We let Wiggles run around. Wiggles finds Jengo - hisses are exchanged, Wiggles backs down

Monday - same thing Wiggles gets out, hisses are exchanged Wiggles backs down.

Tuesday - Wiggles runs into Jengo's room - see the pattern here - He slips out and looks for Jengo. I am hesitant to intervene when they've made eye contact for fear of spooking either of them or enforcing something bad, They nose bump - chasing - Jengo ends on the fridge. Wiggles gets put away

Wednesday - We bring Wiggles out on a leash so that Jengo sees he is contained. Wiggles walks around having a great time. We play with a toy with him and invite Jengo to play. He doesn't want to so I try to put the toy near Jengo so he can get it and Wiggles goes after it, Jengo hisses, Wiggles backs away and if the toy gets in Jengo's domain Wiggles waits patiently. Jengo makes his way to his safe spot on the fridge. All is well. Feeding everyone treats. Jengo won't eat the treats - he never, ever does when he is upset. I cannot ever bribe him with food. Jengo gets curious comes down to play, gets cornered he hisses and yowls and Wiggles returns the same - Jengo gets louder and then Wiggles chases Jengo around the house then tries to go at him through the curtain.

Thursday - today. Wiggles escaped once - no contact between the cats. Wiggles is crying in his room - it's heartbreaking. Jengo will not go anywhere near the door. I sprayed Feliway between the rooms and on our bed, I rubbed a sock on Wiggles then rubbed it on Jengo. I spend much of the day with Jengo, playing and feeding him treats as he gets close to Wiggles's room which by close I meant atleast 10 feet away. I play with him the room directly across from Wiggles - but Wiggles is still locked away. I check on Wiggles every couple of hours spend 20-30 minutes with him, playing and loving. Come down immediately let Jengo smell my hand ad if he's okay I pet him.

I think Wiggles might be getting a wee aggressive but then again Jengo is hissing so at any rate there are no sides to pick. I have been loving Jengo lots, playing with him lots, giving him extra privileges and access to places in the house he normally is not allowed. Extra treats, his favorite food, bought him a replacement of his favorite toy. He knows he's loved.

I know this takes time but I am worried I've already messed up and am the worst cat owner ever. I am so scared they are never going to like each other and I'm afraid I've made a huge mistake which just made them both unhappy and it breaks my heart.

Thoughts?
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
#2
I'm trying to socialize three cats, two neutered males (F2 and a DMH) and a fixed female (F6 with lots of Bengal).

I think the most important thing is time. I kept Ziggy in quarantine for 3 weeks, with the cats only seeing and eating together through glass. It's now been another 3 weeks, gradually increasing access.

I got a small dog crate and allowed Oni and Jax to visit with Ziggy as desired. I've also let them visit with either Ziggy or Oni on leash. The two boys came to terms fairly quickly.

I don't think you've done anything that caused any permanent damage. I think you do need to slow things down and give them time to get used to each other. Have them exchange spaces and litter boxes. Continue using the leash. Put one in a carrier or crate and let the other sniff. Try to limit accidental uncontrolled visits--I know how hard this can be.

Don't expect things to change quickly.

Best wishes.
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#3
I agree with Chris on slowing down a bit :) I also agree with using a carrier or crate to let them get to know each other; this way one will be contained without potential harm to the other.

As a rule, introducing adult cats to one another can take two-three weeks...or more. I know it is heartbreaking and nerve-wracking to hear one cry to be let out; but stay strong, and wear ear plugs ;) Perhaps a TV in Wiggle's room turned on to Animal Planet might help him feel less alone during his quarantine, or if you can hang a bird feeder outside the window that would give Wiggles some entertainment when you cannot be in with him or trying to sleep.

You will be glad you took the extra time right now rather than have to start all over.

All is not lost; you are a very good cat mom :)
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#4
Ok I will try the carrier - neither cat likes the carrier so I was hoping to not have to go that route but Jengo is pretty scared. Jengo spent about 15 mins in Wiggles room - sniffing things out, while Wiggles was downstairs. They are taking turns being out.

They are directly across from one another that's the problem. If I were to do this again I would put Wiggles in the room NEXT to us and move my "dance studio" to the office where he is at.

I've also realized it's easier to wrestle Jengo so I'm going to need boyfriend to feed Wiggles in the morning and I'll grab Jengo's food and make sure I leave nothing out for him at night to snack on, if they are both hungry that should motivate even the un-bribeable Jengo into a few bites.

It's harder than I thought it would be. Hopefully, it will all work out. It's awful to hear either of them cry. I'll try putting some light sounds on for Wiggles. I bet that will help or at least drown him out, lol.
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#5
***update*** the feliway is helping - Jengo is at least sniffing and I realized since I stay downstairs all day and Jengo is used to being with me we need to redirect where we spend our day. I'm going to spend the day up in the office next door to Wiggles - Jengo won't spend the day downstairs if I am up there.

...and everybody said a 4 bedroom house was too big for 2 people - ha! I say, very blessed to have the space in this case!
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#6
Do you have a large dog crate or cage you can borrow? That would be a better option if neither boy likes the carrier. If not, use your largest crate and put some treats in it...I think I'd put Wiggles in the crate/carrier/cage vs Jengo.
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#7
I do have a larger crate that Jengo used in the beginning. I just noticed something though. I have Wiggles out and Jengo in his room - where he'd much rather be I'm sure but Jengo is right at the door. I played with Wiggles out side of it and threw the mouse under the door and Jengo went for it. I have something I can play with here. Jengo feels more secure in the bedroom so maybe I can get Jengo to eat in his room with Wiggles on the other side of the door at first then reverse it?
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
#9
Jengo wouldn't eat with Wiggles outside the door. I put Wiggles away - Jengo wants to eat in his normal spot. I have put his food at the bottom of the stairs. Wiggles's crying isn't helping. The bottom of the stairs is a good place to start. I still think bringing Wiggles to him is the best approach since he's stubborn. I will keep sitting with Jengo for a bit while Wiggles is out and then spend time just outside the door with Wiggles.

Wiggles doesn't have any issues. I feel bad for him - he's looking for friends. Well at least he has us, lol :)
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#10
Honestly, I think you should let Jengo go to Wiggles....not bring Wiggles to Jengo or vice versa. Let him do it on his own, at his own pace. You cannot force them to like or accept each other, unfortunately.

Jengo not eating while Wiggles is outside the door is telling you he is not ready nor relaxed enough with him yet...Jengo is not being stubborn. This new intruder has only been at "his" house for 5 days...and without his consent or input ;) Remember, Jengo has been the head honcho for a few years. Give him lots of time...you won't regret it!