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Old 08-27-2010, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How to adapt a 15 year old cat to a new cat

Hi,

I have an old cat that is called Lilit, which is female and will be 15 years soon. She was ill for near 2 years and after changing of veterinary 6 times and spending 2500 euros on her health finally an excellent vet I found saved her.

Now she is in good health, but she is like bored most of the time, only wanting to sleep, and receive affection.

I recently found a cat that I feed, that lives in the streets but is very friendly and you can take him in your arms and has no fear. He looks like a fantastic cat, and I wonder if I can take him to my home with Lilit.

Lilit is my old cat, as I said soon she will be 15 years old. She is a tortoise cat, of small size, short legs. She is a female. She is a very well behaved cat but tends to be frightened easily. She is neutered.

This cat is 6 or 7 months old, an european cat, white with the head and the back with gray strips. He is more big, male, and has no fear of humans. He is not aggressive. He is not neutered but if I keep him I will neuter him.

I also have 2 cockatiels, that go out of the cage and are with us, and an aquarium.

Please tell me some advice... to decide if I should try to take this male cat home with my female 15 year old cat... also to know how to introduce him to her the best way so they may be friends soon.

I can't make a safe room for him, because of the way my home is configured and the other animals (can't isolate a room for the new cat).

I am afraid for my cockatiels and for my old cat, but that male cat looks so friendly and we established a good relationship and he may be safe here.

Please advice!
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The first thing you should do is have the cat checked by a vet. After he's neutered and gets his vaccines and is found to be in good health, he will need to be kept in a room where your cat cannot go. I used my bedroom, and was very careful going in and out!

A gradual introduction over a period of 12 to 14 days is best. I would use this as a guide:

1. No contact whatsoever for about 5 days. They will hear and smell each other, even though the door is closed.

2. Put a drop of vanilla behind each cat's neck. (They'll have similar odors, and that's important.

3. Prop the door open very slightly for several days.

4. Add an interactive toy that both can reach. Treats for being pleasant are in order!

5. When all is going well, put the new cat in a carrier, and put her in the same room with the other cat and you. Watch the interaction, of course, at each step. Treats for both cat will make it a pleasant experience. You want every step to be pleasant.

6. After 12 to 14 days total, release the new cat into the same room as your cat, and supervise! Treats and interactive toys again, of course.

Good luck. Try not to be too disappointed if the stray has feline leukemia. It's not unusual for a cat who has been running free to have the illness. A false positive is possible, so you might want to get another test in a month, if the result is positive.

I so hope all goes well. I'm sure you'll get some other hints. Let us know how things progress, please! I kept my birds in their very well secured cages. I would not trust a new cat. Perhaps you'll get some ideas about that if and when you adopt the cat.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you take in the male cat, you will need to find a way to isolate him from Lilit and your other pets, until he has been checked by a vet and found to be ok (or treated), and until Lilit and he are ready to be introduced. Do you not have a bathroom (or any other room) with a door where the new cat could live for a while? It typically takes at least a week or two for two cats to adjust to each other before you can put them together. In Lilitís case, it could easily take much longer, given her age, the fact that she has not lived with other cats for some time (Iím assuming thatís the case), and the fact that she frightens easily. Also, she is very quiet, whereas the male cat is still a kitten and will likely be much more active, wanting to chase and play, which could further frighten Lilit. Given those factors, it would not be unusual for it to take a month or longer before you are able to put Lilit together with the male cat. The fact that the male cat is friendly with you does not mean he will automatically take to Lilit. Also, you would have no guarantee that the male cat is healthy, and any health issues could be passed to Lilit, which could result in more serious problems, given her age. In any event, if you still want to try to bring the male cat home, I would suggest you find some way to re-configure things in your home, so that you are able to isolate him in a separate room or a separate area until he and Lilit are ready to co-exist.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The house is a loft. It's impossible to isolate them. And we only have a bath and is small.

I am asking for tricks I can use to try to get the best. For example I read to rub a towel with the new cat and with the old one and let each other smell it.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you plan on bringing this cat into your house hold and have no place to sequester him I would get a large wire dog kennel. That way you can keep him apart from your elderly cat and slowly intro him into the house. I would let him explore the apartment with your other cat closed in a bathroom and there is no contact.

Its imparative he gets a clean bill of health from your vet before you bring him home. Older cats immune systems arent always strong and you dont want him passing something to your existing cat companion. I would put feliway despensers in your home to calm the new cat your bringing in.

I would follow Littlebigcat.com cat to cat introductions from their library. Or get a clean bill of health for your new kitty. making sure he is neutered and vaccinated with no parasites and find him a great home with one of your friends.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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IMHO, I think this would be a difficult match up with a lively teenage kitten and a 15 y.o. senior tortie, who can be very opinionated and obstinate. She is not likely bored; older cats do sleep more. Even the scent of an unneutered male in the house will be upsetting for her. I fear that the disruption in her serene life will cause her too much stress and may lead to serious medical complications. Particularly because she was ill for two years and now is healthy, I would be extremely reluctant to jeopardize her health now. I would not take him in if I were in the same position. But you could get him neutered and find a good home for him?
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I brought my 10 month old stray into my two older cat (13 and 15) household, they did not welcome the young kitty very well. The stray constantly kept going after them, bullying, and wanting to play all the time when all they wanted to do was sleep! Just be very careful and watch them constantly. Your older kitty may not appreciate you bringing in a youngster who will most likely be hyper and very exploratory. Let us know how this goes. Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree that it might not be a great match. Sounds like your cat has a nice quiet life and has you all to herself, just the way she may like it.

You could try, though, following Jeanie's and Merry's tips, and then if it doesn't work out, then you find him a wonderful new home.
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