Problems with a Foster Cat

by Heloisa
(Raleigh, NC)

My cat problems started when I took on a foster cat. I adopted my 2 years ago and she has been alone ever since, the queen of the castle!

I got a foster cat younger than her and male, she hisses at him and makes sounds and stands at a distance watching him.

Should I worry she may hurt or attack the other cat?

Reply from Liz (Editor): I understand how scary these cat problems can seem - your cat is hissing and acting aggressively, and you're naturally worried she may hurt the other cat. But this is actually pretty normal behavior when you bring a new cat into the house.

When two adult cats are introduced to each other, they have to work out who is the dominant one, and while this is taking place, the aggressive behavior occurs. The good news is that it's transient, and the vast majority of it is an act - in other words the cat will act aggressively, but will be very unlikely to launch an attack on the other one (unless it's two un-neutered male cats).

The cats may take the odd bite and swipe at each other, but unless they're really trying to beat each other up I'd just ignore it - they need to go through this adjustment period and trying to stop it won't really help - it may even delay them reaching an understanding between each other.

You can try using a Feliway diffuser and / or spray. This is available from good pet stores and is a cat pheromone substitute. Humans can't smell it, but it has a calming effect on many cats and may just help in your situation.

Good luck with this - time is likely all that's needed to improve the situation.

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