Introduction not going well


Post   » Fri Feb 07, 2003 7:44 pm

I just adopted a two year old sow a couple of weeks ago as a friend for my 6 month old, i wanted to get a younger one but they didn't have any. they met for the first time today, i did everything it said on cavy spirit, the neutral area, let them find themselves, etc. the first half hour things were fine, the normal dominant behavior, little bit of teeth chattering, nipping, butt dragging etc. but nothing serious. but the new girl (oreo) proceeded to attack cali when cali tried to eat some hay the first time and after that I had to seperate them three times at least, the thing is....cali totally backed down every time and oreo just kept attacking her, mouth wide open...ready to go. i have seperated them for now, i was going to try again on sunday...any advice? i mean these were full on attacks but only on oreo's part...and i was under the impression that after one backs down, then the dominant is established. i'm confused, cali was scared shitless, just staying in one corner, wouldn't go anywhere and oreo would just hover over her. any advice would be appreciated.

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Post   » Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:42 pm

How big is the cage? Do you hae two of everything? If you can make it a really large area with two hangout areas, maybe they can get to know each other on their own terms.


Post   » Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:03 pm

i never even put them in the was just on the floor...cali gets floor time every day so thats when i attempted to introduce the two...and the cage is a c&c cage...a 2x4 cage, thats all that will fit in my apartment right now (i'm moving in may) but they will have two dishes, two water bottles, two sleeping areas, the igloo and a hammock which oreo seems to really like in the cage she is in right now. i'm afraid to put them in the cage together and not be around if something happens


Post   » Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:28 pm

I agree, you shouldn't put them in a cage together until they learn to accept each other better. Have you tried the bath tub? No, I haven't lost my mind! Actually, it,s worked for many people. Put an old blanket in the bath tub and put them in there together. They'll get scared of the weird environment and might seek comfort in each other.

Sows can be real bitches, but keep trying different things until you find something that works. How about holding both on your lap?

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Post   » Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:54 pm

The above link is the story about my introductions of 4 females. It did take some time for them to get along, but eventually they settled in. Once you get to the link, scroll to the top to start at the beginning.


Post   » Sun Feb 09, 2003 7:45 pm

Well i got them in the bathtub today and it was interesting, oreo continually lunged at cali and cali continually backed down...the whole deal she was doing the chattering, the rumblestrutting and haunching...for no reason, cali would just be standing there and oreo would lunge at her....and considering this was supposed to be nuetral territory, she was pretty agressive. i'm wondering why she would lunge when there is no threat coming from the other cavy and when she sees us in the room oreo seeks out cali for comfort and hides behind her...but then when she thinks we're not there she's all about proving her dominance.

cali really has very sensitive skin...she's been through treatment for mites, fungus, all that stuff and she still just has sensitive skin and every time oreo goes to nip at her fur, cali jumps because it probably doesn't feel good.

i'm thinking about putting them into the big cage together and seeing what happens...while i keep an eye on them. is that a good idea?

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Post   » Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:18 pm

Nope. Bad idea. Keep the introductions in neutral territory until they calm down.

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Post   » Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:26 pm

Amy -- there are many other threads on this topic. See, for example,


Post   » Mon Feb 10, 2003 12:59 am

i put them in the cage before anybody posted and gave them their fresh veggies for the night and they actually did ok...bit of chasing each other and nipping, kicking cali out of her area, oreo was not about to let cali into her own igloo though! poor cali...kicked out of her house! i was not comfortable leaving them in together overnight so i put oreo's cage next to cali's and i'll put them back in the bathtub tomorrow...i'm thinking them doing ok in the cage was a good sign.


Post   » Mon Feb 10, 2003 9:48 am

Everyone has mentioned them staying outside the cage until they "work it out"...what exactly constitutes working it out? and how would i know if they have...after its been a few hours without any dominance like behavior? I think they were good in the cage for that short time because oreo was preoccupied with her new surroundings...glad i didn't leave them together in there very long.


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 3:30 pm

Well i put them in the bathtub again last night for about 4 or 5 hours and then decided to let them go into the cage as they seemed ok together. well when i woke up this morning, i noticed cali is now mounting oreo...and oreo is still nipping at cali, i'm wondering if something happened overnight or what, i have split them up for the day since i'm at work but i'm wondering if i should stick them back in the bathtub or just use the cage now since it has now been introduced....any suggestions?

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Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 3:39 pm

The bathtub is still a good idea. So are other strange environments, particularly ones with unfamiliar noises. Any environment that makes them uncomfortable will tend to make them to run to each other for safety and comfort.

Cage-based introductions are hard. A cage is:
- small,
- someone's established territory,
- full of scents.

Mounting is perfectly okay. Nipping is to be expected and will decrease. Blood, however, is bad.

Did you also try the forced side-by-side socialization described in the link I posted above? Anecdotally speaking, it helped me introduce two strangers to a stubborn alpha.


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 3:48 pm

they have been in the bathtub twice already and i don't think they are uncomfortable anymore, i will try holding them together tonight. mounting is ok even when cali was the submissive one and has been since they were introduced? i am really clueless on what constitutes working it


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 4:07 pm

just make sure there's no bloodshed.

i find myself amuzed when i finally figured out the right combo of cagemates for my boys... the 2 dominant ones became the best of buds!


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 4:13 pm

how do you know they are buds? what shows that the dominance thing isn't an issue anymore? i want to know when i can put them in the cage together for good.


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 4:18 pm

Hey Amy! Im an Amy too!

Ok, I had alot of trouble introducing Roxie and PIggie. They were always lunging on eac other and biting and so forth. Introduction did succeed eventually. I found this article very helpful:

Theres part of it telling you what is ok fighting and what is not.
Its really scary to watch them go at it but if you look closely, when they lung at each other, they jump apart within 3 seconds. THat pretty much told me that they dont have an intention to hurt each other, just trying to scare the opponent. To be honest, this whole process took a long time. It was about 5 hrs before they stop lunging at each other.
So pick an afternoon where you can give alot of time to supervise them. After 5 hrs, I did put them in a big cage. They still chattered and so forth but it pretty much died down by night time. The two original ones juts pretty much ignored Roxie, the new one.


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 4:20 pm

they eat together and lay right next to each other without a fuss... or else they just mind their own business. it's best to have 2 food bowls so they each can have their own but the big 5 inch bowl i got for them was enough.

they will of course have their diva days but it usually just a chatter and rumblestrut but nothing else.


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 4:23 pm

BTW, Im not totally sure if a bathtub is a good idea. No option to hide if thy wanted to. And a little small..
They DO pee sometimes so you may not want them on the carpet of the living room. I used the biggest bathroom in the house. They have a place to run away to if they wanted to.

Sorry, I took a closer read at your postings. I know I didnt do the most proper intro but when they stopped lunging and nibbling, I did put them into their cage (clean bedding, food dish, etc). They did chase each other and mount each other a little. It eventually died down.


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 4:33 pm

ok, so its maybe a good idea to keep them in the cage at this point because the chasing and mounting is going on and a bit of nipping but if i waited for that to would be forever before i could put them in the cage.

i have had them on the floor before (they both pee in the same area i have set up for them) and it just gave cali more a chance to run away and oreo would get pissed and eventually lunge at her because she wouldn't sit still for oreo to sniff her.


Post   » Wed Feb 12, 2003 4:57 pm

the bigger the cage the better. so they can each get their own personal area. also, give each their own hiding house/nest/cozy.

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