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Old 12-16-2012, 01:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Get ready- this is a bit long...
My great-aunt had a stroke so she is moving out of state to live with her daughter. Anyway, I am taking her two cats. I had only seen them once before so they don't know me. So, I took them home today and I wasn't sure how my cat Chester would be with that. I let him sniff them while they were in their carriers, and there was a lot of growling and some hissing from all three of them. I brought the two new cats back to my spare bed room and got them all set up. Of course they immediately ran under the bed as soon as they got out of the carriers. One of them was just continuously growling the whole time I was in the room. I set up their litter boxes and food and stuff and then I left the room. Chester was still being a little weird- tail puffing up and hissing at me. I fed him outside the room where the other cats are because I read you should do that to get them used to the other cats' scent while they're doing something they like (eating). He kept walking around in circles near his bowl but he wouldn't eat. I had to leave and I came back about 40 minutes later. Chester was totally fine and I was petting him and he followed me around as usual. He had also eaten half of his food. When I went into the bedroom to check on the new kitties, the one immediately started hissing and growling and they were both still under the bed. They hadn't eaten any of their food. When I came out Chester started hissing at me again. I had to go out again and I was gone for a few hours and when I came back Chester was ok. seemed normal and had finished his food. I went in to check on the other cats and it was exactly the same thing. Growling and hissing from one, and the other just sitting there looking nervous and neither of them coming out. I think One eventually came out because I heard a noise near the door and so did Chester because he's sitting in the hallway staring at the room right now. Anyway, I expected things to be shaky at best between Chester and the new cats, but I didn't expect them to be afraid of me too. How can I get them to not be afraid of me whenever I walk into the room? Also, I've read about cat introductions online but if anyone here has any tips from experience on tricks to help the introduction phase easier, I'd appreciate it! Thanks, everyone!


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Old 12-16-2012, 01:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome!

Completely separating the cats and taking it slowly introducing the cats to Chester is the best thing

Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat




Even though your other cats aren't your first, here are some good tips which might help

Base Camp — How to Prepare for your New Cat | Little Big Cat
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Cats are very territorial. They have been moved to foreign territory with another cats strange scent. Its is going to take awhile to start to feel comfortable and venture out with confidence. Try plugging in some Feliway plug in dispensers to help calm everyone and dont rush having them together in the same room. keep them separate. Slow baby steps in intros.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm definitely keeping them in separate rooms. But I'm surprised they are so afraid of me too and won't come out from under the bed.


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Old 12-16-2012, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista2882 View Post
Yeah, I'm definitely keeping them in separate rooms. But I'm surprised they are so afraid of me too and won't come out from under the bed.
Their behavior is totally normal. They will get used to you and their new surroundings over time. When I first adopted Abby, I put her in her safe room in her carrier and opened the door to the carrier. She wouldn't budge. She just hid in the back corner of the carrier (she was only 10 weeks old and tiny, so the carrier was much bigger than her), and she hissed at me whenever I came in the room. I went into her room every few hours, just sitting a few feet away, not attempting to approach her...just to let her get used to me. Within a few days, she came out and was crawling all over me, purring.

Your two might take a bit longer than a few days, since they're likely a fair bit older than Abby was. You just need to be patient with them. Don't force them out...let them come in their own time, and follow the other advice given by Marie and Mitts&Tess.

They can also smell Chester's scent on you (and vice versa). I found washing my hands before going into the room and after coming out helped a bit, so you might give that a shot.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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At this stage, this is pretty normal. I second the Feliway but time and gentle reassurance without pushing too hard (just like you seem to be doing) is the right thing.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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How are your new kitties doing? Update please.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This might be a dumb suggestion, but Ive found it works on the new kitties we end up with. When making eye contact with the cat, blink softly. Its a non-threatening gesture and appears to work to help relax your new cat. I did this with our newest acquisition, Bones MD. He was terrified of me and would not come out of his carrier at first. Just sitting with him and talking softly and doing the blinking thing worked wonders. The next day, he was way more accepting of me. Now, I cant get him out of my way lol.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista2882 View Post
Yeah, I'm definitely keeping them in separate rooms. But I'm surprised they are so afraid of me too and won't come out from under the bed.


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Don't worry they will. They are terrified and the older they are the more scared they will be and the longer it will take - especially if they were well bonded to their human. Think WEEKS or months, not days - just be patient. Keep them in the room for as long as possible, they have each other and that is a comfort to them. Spend time in there. I used to sit on the floor with a book, occasionally talking or singing softly and not make any sudden moves. They'll come around. Rarely have I had real reason to worry. I take in old throw-aways and each is different, but I've yet to lose one to grief or self-starvation.
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