For a week now I have kept the two cats separated. They take turns in a dog kennel where they can see each other and in the rest of the house. One has the kennel, the other has a room when they need to be apart.
I have purchased Feliway, and noticed they are calmer. One was always skittish. We called her scaredy cat because she always hid and didn't like to be petted.
She tolerated me in small doses... now she is lying on my sofa, purring and demanding attention. The other was always friendly.
My question is, how long do you think I should wait before putting them back in the same room?
Editor's note: I'm sorry to hear that your cats are having this issue, but I'm glad to hear that you've got them separated, and the Feliway is working, if only a little.
Some cat lovers have had success with Bach's Rescue Remedy and others have used Jackson Galaxy's herbal products as well.
Now, down to business, but first off, my usual caveats:
Any change in behavior can be a warning sign that something else is wrong. Medical problems in cats have a strange way of showing up as a change in behavior.
I've seen situations where one cat in a house is sick, and the other cats start hissing and fighting with the sick cat. Tensions rise, and it's a mess.
It could, of course, be as simple as the cats were looking at each other and a car backfire scared one of the cats. It's difficult to know what happened.
Second, it's not so much a matter of "waiting" as it is a matter of doing slow introductions and taking baby steps along the way.
Waiting for them to get along again implies a passive approach, but you need to take specific steps in order to help your cats get along. It may not happen by itself, and it will go much more smoothly if you control the process.
While that situation is a bit different from yours, the same principles apply when doing a reintroduction of two cats that have been together for a while, but are fighting.
Jackson Galaxy explains the basic concept in his article on cat-to-cat introductions here and also goes into specific steps and tips in the video below:
That's pretty much a class on how to do reintroductions by smell first, then sight, and using happy experiences (food and play) to slowly bring the two cats together. I hope that helps and please keep us updated on their progress.
The content on cat-lovers-only.com is for education and information only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice about your cat, please see your veterinarian.