How can I get one cat to socialize with my other cats?

by Melissa Callahan

I have 4 cats, ages 3, 5, and two of them are about 8 years old. I'm not sure of the age of the cat I'm concerned about because she was a stray that showed up at my house. I'm having trouble getting the stray cat to socialize with the others.

I've tried everything I can think of and have read about but it doesn't seem to be working so I guess I'm looking for suggestions on what to do.

I brought the stray cat in when we were having below zero temperatures during the winter to save her life. She had been an outdoor cat for quite some time.

Every time one of the other cats walks by the bedroom she's in she will hiss at them and sometimes they will hiss at her. I have been trying to socialize them since February without much luck. She also has storm anxiety and that's the only time she comes out of the room.

I need some suggestions on what else I can try to make this happen for my cats and myself.

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Take a step back
by: Billy Rand

It sounds like it might be possible that your new former stray kitty has some anxiety. The other cats may pick up on this and suddenly, everyone is anxious. The hissing adds to the problem, but is probably more a symptom of the underlying tension.

I have some suggestions on how to ease her anxiety (other than drugs, although that is an option).

First, exercise the heck out of her with toys. Wear her out so she can burn off energy and get some deep rest.

Second, find out if she likes to be up high or hide down low or both. Buy/build her some perches and/or hiding spots.

Third, use catnip (on the toys, bed areas, perches, and hiding spots).

Fourth, hide some treats for her to find.

Fifth, if necessary, take a step back and sequester her away from the others and do a slow reintroduction as though the cats are meeting for the very first time.

Sixth, introduce her to one cat at a time, starting with the friendliest, most mellow cat.

None of the above is earth-shattering news, I'm sure, but in combination, these things may help. Good luck!

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