Did We Make a Mistake?

It has been more than three weeks since we adopted Frankie and while things are somewhat better now, there are still problems to overcome. This is new to us. We have had many cats over the years but never so many problems with fighting.

Our cats Frankie and Chris

At first it seemed like Chris was to blame. It surprised us because Chris did not act that way when we introduced Puck. He seemed happy to have someone to play with. The two of them “fought” all the time but it was mostly play. There was very little growling and hissing. I suppose it also helped that Puck learned to be subservient when necessary.

When Frankie and Chris are together, there is usually growling, hissing and, for lack of a better word, screaming. There is also fighting. Not play fighting but mortal combat. Yesterday I had to break up a fight when Chris pursued and then attacked Frankie. I held Chris down by the scruff of the neck (I learned that from what Chris does to Puck) and verbally scolded him. He didn’t like it and told me so. I finally let him go and he immediately went after Frankie again.

There has been some bright spots though. I sometimes see Chris and Frankie sniffing noses, or sometimes Chris will sniff Frankie’s butt without a fight starting. I also see Puck and Frankie close together without trouble. When that happens I have hope for the future which is quickly dashed by another fight.

Puck and Frankie getting along seems reasonable because Chris is our bad cat and Puck is our good cat. Puck never causes problems. At least that is what I thought, but I have seen plenty of fights between Frankie and Puck too. This morning the two of them were running around the house, apparently playing. This went on for a while but it suddenly turned into a major fight. I was in the kitchen and saw Puck pounce on Frankie as he tried to get out the cat door. A fight ensued which I foolishly tried to break up and got a paw full of Frankie’s claws in the back of my hand. A little later Rose also felt the wrath of Frankie’s claws.

I’m starting to think that maybe Frankie is not completely innocent in all this. Perhaps he is just one of those cats that needs to be in a household with no other pets. Most shelters will warn you about that, but since Frankie came from a government agency, they probably never took the time to figure that out. Also, we adopted Frankie from a Petsmart employee who probably didn’t know anything about him.

Well, we have him now and we don’t want to give up on him so we need to just continue to try to make things better. Perhaps this will just take months instead of weeks. Only time will tell.


25 thoughts on “Did We Make a Mistake?

  1. fozziemum

    Take heart as our girls..yes girls still after all these years have times when they go hell for leather on each other. A very loud clap of the hands does go some way to ceasing it .Perhaps try a Feliway plug in ..look them up they are pheromones and help reduce angst etc..they plug into a wall socket and release the pheromone through the house.Thing is the dynamic as changed and much like human they all are individual and take time to adjust..not just to the new cat but how they interact with their friend they already have.Imagine you and Rose are fine then someone moves in…Rose may dislike that person then react to them bit also take it out on you…kind of the same 🙂 time and patience maybe also mutual playtime a big dangly feather and tease it around near them all…I am sure it will be fine as they have had times of acceptance with each other which is good. hugs Fozziemum

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      We had problems with two female cats also. Princess and Abby didn’t like each other but they mostly just hissed at each other, there wasn’t too many fights. Feliway might be an option but it is expensive and I would like to find a more natural solution first. Clapping is a great idea. thanks for the advice. 🙂

      1. fozziemum

        Try online..i don’t know the price there I know here it isn’t that cheap but well worth it…even just ne months supply but do try clapping…kitties hate loud noises :0

  2. onespoiledcat

    Oh we so hope that things do work out….I know it’s disconcerting and you can’t help but second-guess the decision to bring Frankie into the house…..let’s hope that this is just a BIGGER adjustment for everyone than you thought it would be. We’ve got paws and fingers crossed!

    Pam and Sam

  3. twoblindcatsandcrew

    I would try using baby gate to separate new cat from others for awhile . While doing this feed them closer and closer to gate until they are eating on each side of gate. It works wonders for me . It will take about two weeks or more depending on kitty. Email me for any advise I willing to help.

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Thanks. We had Frankie in his own room for a week. Now they eat together okay and they also hang out in the same room without problems… sometimes. Other times there are problems.

  4. purrfectkitties

    So sorry to hear that they are not getting along with each other yet… but we’re sure that if you give it some time, things will work out! Don’t give up on them yet! Keeping our fingers, uh we mean paws, crossed!! 🙂 xoxo Roxy & Tigerlino ❤

  5. random felines

    sometimes too, no one may have known if he needed to live alone. if he was the only animal in a previous house and was never in a foster home, they wouldn’t have realized it. that being said, it may be an attitude thing. mom often say that she thinks Junior would stop “picking on” Ivy if she would just turn around and let him have it rather than being a drama queen and screaming and running. Cause he just thinks it is a game. (that being said, Junior is also lacking some serious social skills that he should have learned as a little kitten and that doesn’t help). So, more time, patience and wear them out! 🙂 We are sending you all purrs that it works out.

  6. Kitties Blue

    A lot depends on how you first introduced them, but some kitties bond with each other and some don’t. Lily and the other kitties have never made friends, and now there is a lot of terrorizing of Astrid (who is a screamer). Good luck. Our best suggestion is to give each of them lots of play time to tire them out so they don’t have the energy to fight. PURRS AND PAW-PATS, LILY OLIVIA, MAURICIO, MISTY MAY, GIULIETTA, FIONA, ASTRID, LISBETH AND CALISTA JO

  7. Cody-Cat Chat (@CatChatCaren)

    I know this is probably stupid and you know waaaay more about having multiple cats than I do (I have only had one at a time) but Jackson Galaxy has had episodes on his show addressing this issue, I bet you could find some of those episodes on YouTube or the Animal Planet. Maybe they would help? I am sure that eventually all will calm down, kudos to you for NOT giving up! xoxo

  8. The Island Cats

    It can take cats months to learn to live with one another. Every cat is different so that is why it’s important to take your time when introducing them to one another. Have you tried using feliway plugins? That might help ease the anxiety which may be causing them to fight. Like the Kitties Blue said, lots of play time and feeding them together will help as well.

    We hope it works out.

  9. hungryhungryhippo404

    Ugh that sucks. Hope things settle down in a bit, after they’ve all figured out who the “top dog” is…so to speak 😛

  10. The gang at Sometimes, Cats Herd You

    We’re sorry to read this. We didn’t know your blog last year when we went through this and ultimately ended up returning our adopted boy to foster. He was happy, but was making all of the resident cats miserable to the point that Ashton stopped coming out of hiding for meals. Not that we think you should give up! Instead, we wanted to use our experience to illustrate that even cats who are fostered in awesome, loving homes sometimes behave in unexpected ways when they go to a new home. His foster Dad never suspected that Beau was a cat who needed to go either as an only cat or with familiar cats he didn’t feel the need to dominate. We hope that things settle down for you with a little more time.

    (As a side-note, our Beau was re-adopted with his brother, which was really a best case scenario all around, so there’s a happy ending to our story. We’re sure you’ll find a happy ending, too, no matter what you decide.)

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      cats can sometimes be a challenge. I’m glad it worked out for your kitty. We are just going to grin and bear it and hope for the best. that’s what we did when Chris Arrived then we’re still hoping he will get better. 🙂

  11. Charles Huss Post author

    Reblogged this on Bad Cat Chris and commented:

    Since I wrote this post more than two and a half years ago, Frankie has integrated into our family pretty well, although there are still fights, I think that is normal in every multi-cat household.

  12. pilch92

    I am glad things worked out. It gives me hope with Brody and Sammy, they had quite a spat last night and both have scratches on them to prove it.


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