We have had Millie, now a seven-year-old ragdoll, since she was 14 weeks old. She is quirky and sweet in her own way but we think that she wasn’t properly socialized as a kitten. She doesn’t like to be touched much and is really only tolerant of me petting her and maybe a little bit from my husband. We had another older 14-year-old ragdoll that passed away this summer that ignored Millie and they lived together fine for six years.

Two months ago, we adopted a neutered male retired breeder ragdoll, Teddy Bear, who is one and a half years old. With humans, he is super docile and affectionate. I thought it would be a good match. However, I didn’t take into account that he is used to being around other cats at the breeder's house and wants to play and be with a cat often. Everything is fine between my two cats if Teddy does not try to touch Millie. For example, yesterday, Millie was relaxing on the daybed and sleeping and he was on the floor next to her sleeping and they would look at each other and everything was completely calm for a n hour or so. We have gotten it to the point where they can be in the same room together supervised and he can even go up sometimes and smell her foot if she’s on the chair etc. and she’s fine with it.

However, it doesn’t last long if Millie decides to move or walk to another spot. He then starts to stalk her and if she walks away from him, he chases her and jumps on top of her. The chase is very dramatic - she runs and he runs too and she is hissing, growling and screaming and he is very quiet but he jumps on top of her and today was one of the worst attacks - we broke it up - we didn’t see all of it - but we heard it and saw him on top of her and she ended up peeing on herself (or spraying - first time she’s done this) and on the floor.

We installed Feliway diffusers last month in every room and do play sessions with him throughout the day, keeping them separated except for visitations that are supervised. They can eat a couple of canned meals near each other just fine - a few feet apart. We are at our wits' end and really need advice how to get them to understand each other better. I just need him to ignore her and not try to touch her and then she’s totally fine. Both cats have their claws. Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1

  1. If you're keeping them separated, most likely it's a situation where each cat has their established areas. This makes the situation of putting the cats together more stressful because not only is there a strange cat, one or both are in a strange territory. You can help with this problem by moving things from each cat's territory into the other's territory, to help establish their smells in both areas.
  2. Make sure you fix all areas of contention. Cats often get into problems when one cat is able to trap the other somewhere. For example, one goes on top of the cat tree, the other sits at the bottom and waits for it. Think to are there particular areas where this is occurring, or are there any areas where fights particularly seem to happen. Try to create alternate escape routes, and remove any spots that you notice the one cat is using to ambush the other.
  3. Play with both your cats during their supervised meetings. You want both cats completely ignoring each other while they are in the same room. If the cats have the opportunity to pay attention to each other, then that encourages the stalking behavior and the timid body language that encourages stalking. If you do this enough, hopefully your more timid cat will gain confidence that it can be in the same room as the other cat without feeling like it's being stalked, and it will start to naturally act more confident, discouraging the stalking in the first place.

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