We have had a cat for 5 years in my home. It is a male cat adopted from the streets when he was barely 3 weeks old. Recently we introduced a new cat, which is a male Ragdoll that is 9 months old.
We initially do the "getting along ritual" to make these two cats to get along:
- Initially kept them in separate rooms, but they could sniff each other
- Made them eat together but only sniffing each other; then seeing each other until they eventually got confident enough to be in the same room without hissing etc.
Everything was fine, they even played together without hissing or growling for a week, then the problems started. The main problem is that the ragdoll one is too playful, wants to play all the time and that eventually makes the other cat upset, so the older cat starts biting him harder, until a point the ragdoll cat meows because of the pain. We then proceed to separate each other to avoid further damage to the ragdoll (the ragdoll can't do any harm, their "bites" are so soft you can't even notice sometimes and he never uses his claws).
After a while we try to join them together again, so currently the situation is like this:
- If the ragdoll doesn't want to play, there isn't any fight whatsoever, they ignore each other and can even casually touch one another without fighting. They can even sleep as closely as minimum 50 cm apart.
- If the ragdoll wants to play most of the time it results in a fight because the ragdoll "surprises" the other cat by hiding and jumping into the older cat. The older cat usually takes this as an offense and bites the ragdoll. The ragdoll thinks he is playing so he plays with him "fighting" too, until the older cat bites him so hard that the ragdoll meows in pain.
- After the fight, they are separated in different rooms. After a short while, the older cat starts meowing because he wants to go out, and the ragdoll meows because he wants to play with the other cat (already forgotten the fight).
- When we open the door, sometimes they ignore each other, and sometimes the ragdoll starts licking the other cat in the head and in the back like he is giving some affection to him. The older cat most of the time thinks the ragdoll is attacking him again and after a bit of licking (not instantaneously) he bites the ragdoll again. Then we go again to step 3 and repeat.
We already tried to play with the ragdoll to make him not want to play with the other cat, but he eventually wants to play with him (the ragdoll has energy for everybody I guess) and he ignores us to play with the older cat, eventually fighting.
What can we do so these fights won't happen anymore?