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Some of you might have read my other thread I've opened yesterday.

I have bought a new cat a few days ago, much to my resident kitten (only 4 months old) displeasure. My new cat absolutely hates to be closed in the room (she constantly meows and scratches at the door to get out), so on the second day, I already let her meet my resident cat. They don't seem to be extremely aggressive towards each other. No actual fight has broke out in the last 2 days. That being said, earlier my resident cat approached the new cat in what I'd personally describe as "friendly manner". Her tail was not puffed at all, no hissing. The new cat hit her twice with her paw. I think it was pretty soft, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I instantly took the new cat and closed her into her safe room again.

TL;DR Is it good to close the new cat into her room when she or the resident cat behaves badly? Or what's the best approach here?

Thanks.

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I read through your previous post, and it sounds like the cats are making headway in their potential friendship. A soft paw hit is nothing to worry about. That may even be a sign of play, since they're both pretty young!

To answer your question: locking a cat up for "bad behavior" is generally not recommended, because cats will respond negatively to negative interaction (i.e., punishment). That being said, when acquainting two cats, this is a necessary action. You want to foster good interactions between the cats, so that's what they associate with being together -- separating them during a nasty fight is the best idea. Instead of locking up the cat who started the fight, lock up the one who got attacked. The victim will, in that sense, be taken to safety. The attacker will not be "punished". A win-win for both cats.

Just as important - let yourself have a breather when the cats are apart. It's stressful for the human, too! Acquainting two cats can take anywhere from weeks to months. It can be extremely discouraging for you to watch them go from a good day to a bad day for seemly no reason at all. This is totally normal, so stay patient and positive, as best you can. Let the cats be together as much as they can be. Give them both lots of pets and treats and playtime when they're both in the same room - any positive encouragement helps.

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  • Thanks for taking the time to read through everything. Yes, i think they're making good-ish progress. Won't i be punishing the cat that got attacked by locking her up? Since the associated negativity, wouldn't that mean for them: getting hit -> getting locked up = better avoid the other cat? While i think this ultimately boils down to their individual characters, i really hope they can become friends and play together etc. Rahter than just co-existing and avoiding each other. I can only agree to taking a breather. Being constantly on alert to make sure they don't get hurt is tiring. – NewCatHome Oct 8 '20 at 14:49
  • So just to make sure: It's recommended to let them spend as much time together as possible? Meaning, unless they get into a serious fight, i shouldn't lock either of them up? Also, how do i recognize the moment i can let them alone when i go to work? Right now, i lock the new cat in a room when going out for work (which is NOT every day). In the 2 days i have had the doors open, the cats didn't really start a serious fight. Every now and then some hissing or a soft paw hit (i think it was soft), but aside from that, nothing serious. Is it too soon to let them be together unsupervised? – NewCatHome Oct 8 '20 at 14:53
  • I don't think removing the victim cat and locking them away will be a punishment, I think they will see it as being taken to safety. I wouldn't worry about that part too much. :) You've got this! – Gwendolyn Oct 8 '20 at 15:00
  • As far as how much you keep them together or apart, that's totally up to you. If it feels too stressful for you to let them be together, give it some more time. It sounds like it's okay to start letting them experience each other's company more often though. I would say keeping them apart while you're out of the house is a good idea, but maybe while you're home, let them hang out together. If they have a little hiss or soft paw, make some noise to draw the cat's attention to yourself, instead of each other. I've found that's a good method since cat's are easily distracted. – Gwendolyn Oct 8 '20 at 15:06
  • That's exactly what i'm doing. When they seem to hiss/fight, i just clap loudly and they'll usually just stop and watch me. Also, the new cat can roam freely whenever i'm home. Up to today i locked her in the room at night, but today i will try to leave it open and see what happens. I think (probably) nothing would happen even if i left them alone during the day when i'm at work. Both of the cats don't seem to be especially aggressive towards the other, it looks to me more like establishing boundaries = occasional hiss/paw slap. But then again, these are my first cats so i'm not sure Thanks – NewCatHome Oct 8 '20 at 19:07

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