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I need help. I bought a new cat 2 days ago. As soon as I got home, I put her in a safe room with litterbox, water and food. The new cat seems to be very trusty of people (naive?), so she took to me pretty fast (although I see her being skeptic from time to time, depending on my movements).

Anyway, already a few hours after being in her safe room, she started wanting to get out (meowing in front of the door). For the first day I resisted, and didn't let her get out. On the second day, I opened the door a tiny bit. I wanted the 2 cats to smell and see each other. The new cat just dashed out and started exploring the rest of the house, much to my resident cat's displeasure. They were hissing at each other, but the new cat seemed to try to avoid the resident cat as much as possible and just kept exploring. After a while, I put her back into her safe room. That was yesterday.

Today I let her out again. Again, hissing. However, now instead of exploring, the new cat would just sit under the couch the whole time. After a while, I lured her out with a laser and put her back into her safe room, as I had to leave the house. Now, a couple of hours have passed. I was playing and bonding with the new cat in her room earlier. Whenever I leave the room, she instantly tries to get out. She just meows at the door and scratches it. Like, scratches for 30 seconds non stop. Eventually she will stop, but it will take 5-10 minutes.

What is the best course of action here? I'm a bit scared to just let her out, especially when I go to sleep and I can't supervise them.

Should I just let the new cat out? Again, there was hissing the first and second time, but it never broke out into a fight. The resident cat seems to be a bit more negative here, as the new cat just tries to avoid it.

Some more info:

  • resident cat is very small and only 4 months old;
  • new cat is quite big (ragdoll) and 1 year old.

Again, I'm very scared, because if a fight does break out, I feel like my resident kitten will stand no chance and could get seriously hurt. Any advice is welcome. Thanks.

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    Hi and welcome to Pets SE, I have broken apart the longer paragraph into smaller chunks for visual clarity and fixed few missing capitalizations and added relevant tags for increased visibility and traffic, I hope you like it, [cats] is the most popular tag on this site so I think you will get a helpful answer soon. – lila Oct 5 '20 at 22:40
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    Hi lila Thanks, much appreciated. Writing long-ish stuff definitely isn't my strong suit. – NewCatHome Oct 6 '20 at 2:18
  • how did it all pan out? I'm in a similar position thinking I've made a massive mistake taking in a large second cat when I have a tiny cat, hence finding this thread! They're in separate spaces now but the big cat is keen to get out. – Alexandra Apr 6 at 21:18
  • I am in similar situations. I adopted a new cat (B) thought he will become a friend with my resident cat (A). Cat B hiss and growl both at me and to cat A from day one. B is in safe room for two weeks and shows no improvement even though I keep play and feed him. Hope he can get relaxed after perhaps another week. – Sally Jul 24 at 14:04
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Cats are intensely territorial, and an unknown (and much larger) predator has invaded your resident kitten’s territory. He/she is scared and angry, but probably mostly scared. Hissing is a way for a cat to try to intimidate the invader into leaving without a fight, especially one the kitten would probably lose.

The new cat is usually also afraid because it has somehow gotten lost in another predator’s territory and can’t get out, but Ragdolls are known (and bred) for being unusually social cats, plus she knows she has nothing to fear from a kitten, no matter how much it hisses.

The purpose of the isolation period is so both cats can accept the other’s smell as a “normal” part of the territory. This cannot be skipped, but you may be able to speed it up by swapping blankets, pillows, etc. and alternating who is locked up while the other cat explores the common area. Pheromone diffusers (like Feliway or Comfort Zone) might also help. But at the end of the day, the cats will decide when it’s over, not you.

I would not leave them alone together (including while you’re asleep) until you’re certain the kitten won’t get hurt, and that may take a while. I wouldn’t worry about a Ragdoll being aggressive, but if the kitten attacks, she might accidentally hurt it while defending herself.

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    Hi Thanks for the answer. I will try to swap their places tomorrow, and see if i can buy a feliway from a local pet supplies store. Hopefully that will speed things up. My biggest problem is that my apartment isn't too big, so i hear the cat in the safe room. Again, she meows and scratches at the door because she wants to get out. Then she stops for a few hours, and starts again. Also, instead of using the litter box i put in the room, she has used my other cats litter box twice now (always when i let her out). so i'm assuming it's just a matter of time before i find an accident in the room. – NewCatHome Oct 6 '20 at 2:23
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    I just swapped their rooms. Something i realised -> the new cat wasn't especially crying because she wanted to get out of the room (although i'm sure it was part of the reason), but because she wants to be in my vicinity i think. After swapping their rooms, i went into the safe room, where the resident cat was. A minute later, i hear meowing and scratching on the door from the new cat Also, after some time i let them meet again. Surprisingly, they hesitantly touched noses, but then went back to avoiding. There was no hissing anymore, but especially my resident cat keeps curling her tail up. – NewCatHome Oct 6 '20 at 6:55
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    Update 2: Back to hissing. Resident cat approached the new cat, which she didn't like and hit the resident cat (although it seemed very soft to me). I'm not sure how to react in those scenarios. Should i put the new cat back into her safe room? Should i just let them be as long as it doesn't get too aggressive? – NewCatHome Oct 6 '20 at 7:04
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    Update 3: I tried to play with the both of them, but the new cat didn't seem confident enough, only my resident cat was playing. I also tried to give them snacks close to each other, but again, only my resident cat would take them. Eventually they started to somewhat fight, so i instantly split them up and put the new cat back to her safe room. Not sure how good an idea that was, especially since i kind of hat to pull her out under the couch, as she ran and tried to hide. I guess this session now ended on a bad note, so this might reverted any progress they made? Not sure. – NewCatHome Oct 6 '20 at 7:28
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    I would be lying if i said the thought of bringing the new cat back didn't pass my mind. That being said, i will absolutely give it more time and see how it develops, not only between the two cats, but also how the new cats character is in general. I think they have already made progress. There was a paw or two involved, and "running to each other menacingly", but nothing really happened. They seem to be extremely wary of each other, but kinda "okay" at the same time too. Anyway, thanks for your tips. I will keep you guys updated. Probably in form of comments here on this post. – NewCatHome Oct 6 '20 at 18:14

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