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We currently have an issue following the adoption of our third cat. We can't find a way to introduce him to our two other cats.

Context

We have three cats:

  • Female A, 7 year old, adopted in May 2018: she is adorable with us, but really scared of unknown animals/humans.
  • Female B, 4 year old, adopted in November 2018: she also is adorable with us, she isn't scared by other humans, but she is not always comfortable when she sees another animal for the first time.
  • Male, 6 year old, adopted at the end of August this year: he is adorable with us too, but sometimes aggressive or territorial when he sees Female A or B. The volunteer from the shelter where we adopted him told us that he used to live with 2 other cats.

We had some difficulties to introduce Female B to Female A in 2018 because A was scared/aggressive at first, but now they can live in the same room/house without any issue. They don't play together, but they don't attack each other neither. They tend to ignore each other.

When we brought Male at home, we put him in a separate room (first floor) while A and B were allowed to use the ground floor, the corridor of the first floor and, sometimes, the second floor.

What we tried

We let them eat at the same time, A and B in the corridor of our first floor and Male in his room. They were on each side of the same door. A was not comfortable at first, but she finally managed to do it. B was fine.

When they were ready, we opened the door, but put a mosquito net between them so they were able to see the other cat(s). It was also hard at first because Male tried to remove the net to chase them, but we managed to stop him.

Then, we put Male and Female B in the same room: we played with Male and gave food to Female B (Female A was too scared). We did this two or three times without any issue, but Male finally chased and attacked Female B.

Now Female B is scared of Male so she runs away when she sees him: unfortunately, it encourages him to chase her so we have to stop him. Female A does the same thing when she sees Female B doing it...

We tried to put them in the same room again, but with Male on leash this time (it doesn't bother him to be on leash). Unfortunately, Female A and B stay under our sofa and growl when he tries to approach them. When it happens, he starts to act like a predator and we have to stop him or he tries to go under the sofa to chase or attack them...

He has been with us for 6 or 7 weeks now and we can't see any kind of progress...

What does not help is that Male does not bear to stay alone or in his room for too long and he sometimes pees next to a close door if it happens (sometimes, even if we are in the room. He just wants to explore the whole house).

We tried to use a Feliway diffuser, but it doesn't seem to work. We can't motivate Female A or B with food because they are too scared to eat when they see Male.

tl;dr

We adopted Male, our third adult cat, 6 weeks ago. He can be a bit rough while Female A and Female B are easily scared.

We tried to introduce them slowly, but Female A and B keep hiding or running away so Male tries to chase them.

If you can suggest another method or some tips to help us, we would love to know them!

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    Are all three cats fixed? – StephenS Oct 10 '20 at 18:55
  • Yes they are and they already were fixed when they met – Axelle_G Oct 10 '20 at 21:30
  • I wish I had a good answer for you, but you are already doing literally everything I would suggest. I hope someone else has more ideas. – StephenS Oct 12 '20 at 4:13
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Introducing cats takes a lot of time and patience. Six weeks might feel like a long time has passed with no progress, because it’s very stressful for the humans to work through this. But I think, ultimately, your cats just need more time. It sounds like you’re doing everything right.

It doesn’t sound like any extreme fighting has broken out, and that’s encouraging. You’re male cat doesn’t sound like an aggressive type, he just has a lot of energy. He needs time to settle down, and they all need time to figure out their relationships.

THIS article seems really applicable to your situation. It discussed this misidentification of an “alpha” or “dominant” cat, instead suggesting a cat displaying rough, needy, or dominant behaviors is in fact either not getting his needs met, or is being misunderstood. My bet is (given the peeing when locked up) yours is stressed at not having his needs fulfilled (no blame to you, this takes time during cat introductions).

If they’re all together, focus on playing with the male with toys to hold his attention, and let the females observe at their own pace. Give them treats together for any positive, non-chase/hiss interaction. Make sure the male has lots of play time. Maybe try wearing him out (15-20 minutes of play) in a separate room, before bringing them together.

Give yourself some breathing time, and give your cats lots of love. It can take months before cats accept each other. Keep doing what you’re doing. They’ll come around eventually.

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