Please help, need advice (21 year old cat, plus new cat)... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Please help, need advice (21 year old cat, plus new cat)...

Hello everyone. I'm new around here and I hope to find some advice from you all. This might be a bit long. please stay with me..
OK, where to start.....

My mother and I live together and we have a cat, Licorice, who is 21 years old. We got her when she was a few months old and I was 4, I'm now 25....She's takes Meds twice a day and has a bit of arthritis in her back legs, but she is still doing pretty good for her age.

About 3 months ago a stray cat started coming around the house. My mother and I started feeding her and she basically started living on our back porch (we got her a small dog house to sleep in.) We ended up finding where she had come from and the owner was not interested in taking her back, mainly because Tess (what we named the cat) is mostly an outdoor cat on this ladies farm, and about 3 or 4 months ago the cat left and never came back. Seams she was scared of a new dog they had gotten, so she left and found us. Point being.... if the lady took Tess with her, Tess most likely would just leave again and come back here.

Letting Tess live on the back porch would be fine if it wasn't for the on coming Ohio winter weather. She normally would just go inside her past owners house whenever it got cold, and that's where we have a problem.

Licorice will NOT put up with another cat, no way, no how. She has always been the only animal we have had (besides a beta fish and a bird). Tess doesn't seam to have a problem with Licorice but anytime Licorice sees Tess she hisses and swats and looks like shes about to have a heart attack, that's when Tess will attack back, and Licorice is way too old and scared to handle this.

Tess is a pretty big cat, very healthy and, according to the last owner is around the age of 7. She is VERY lovey and cuddly and is just a very good cat. I've brought her into the house and upstairs to my bedroom with food and a litter box and she used the litter box with no problem, but keeping her locked in my bedroom seams to be the only way both her and Licorice can be in the same house.

Now for my main question....
What should I do? Tonight is the first time Tess has been in my bedroom with me and I haven't put her back outside after a few hours. She seams to be doing fine so far. Cuddling up with me, laying with me, going to the litter box and eating, but as soon as I open the bedroom door she makes a dash for it.

Keep in mind I have a huge upstairs master bedroom / sitting area with a master bath, but I feel horrible keeping her lock in the room, especially after she's been a outdoor cat for so long. I don't think I would feel so bad if she could roam the entire house, but she just can't, not with Licorice around...

Am I wrong to do this? Should I just leave her outside until she sits at the door asking to be let in, and then bring her upstairs? There will be a point this winter where there will be up to 5 feet or more of snow covering my back porch, so there is no way she could even stay out there. Basically I want to know if anyone else thinks its "wrong" or a bad idea to keep her in my bedroom. I work from home and spend most of my time in my bedroom where my computer is, so she would have me around a lot. I just feel so bad, keeping her locked in here....but then again, I think I would feel worse seeing her in 5 feet of snow, freezing.

According to the last owner Tess has had all her shots, and has been "fixed". Also her front paws are de clawed.

Here is a picture of my baby Licorice who is 21 years old. The dot on her head is a wart that she's had on her head for the past 10 years or so. She just had it removed a few days ago. She's feeling a lot better about herself now. Hehehe...

Here's Tess
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 04:42 PM
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Wow...21 years old....That's amazing! Congrats on being such a good mother!

In my humble opinion, I think its better to keep Tess in your bedroom than outside in the freezing cold. Tess may not like it at first, but she may grow to get used to it. Having said that, I worry that Tess may "escape" from the bedroom and have an ugly confrontation with Licorice. And at Licorice's age, it's doubtful she will come around and come to accept Tess.....and I don't think it's worth trying. Stress can cause all kinds of behavioral (and possibly health) problems in cats.

Is your back porch screened off? I mean does it get covered with snow? I was going to suggest creating an opening for Tess to come in and out of the porch (or if there's a garage or some other similar place) where maybe you can keep a warm bed for her if she wants to go out or if the bedroom situation isn't working. I dunno....I'm sure other members will offer some opinions suggestions.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hello betsy. Thanks for the reply.

The back porch is, unfortunately not screened off. When it snows it come right up to the back door. We thought about the garage, maybe putting a cat door leading into the garage for her, so she can go in and out when ever she likes, but there are racoon's that roam around the area, and even another orange cat that Tess fights with on occasion, and I would hate for them to come into the garage as well.

Tess has been in my room since last night. She has gotten better at not running for the bedroom door every time I go in and out. Just now when I came into the bedroom she was laying on my bed, and when I opened the door she just looked at me, and didn't make any attempt at getting out.

My main problem is that just feel so bad for keeping her in one room. If she could have the whole house I think I would be fine, but Licorice just wont tolerate it. Like I said before though, it's a very big room, so that make me feel a bit better. I keep telling myself that it's just like a cat living in a nice size studio apartment.....
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 10:23 PM
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Your doing fine, just be sure Tess gets exersize and mabe trade off giving her run of the house for a while when Licorice is sleeping behind a closed door. Who knows, maybe the will eventually be able to tolerate each other. Mine still hiss at each other after 5 years together and I'm sure they have some real battles while I'm gone. Just think about them houses that have several cats, somehow they get along. I think the girls do seem to get along better somehow too.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 10:45 PM
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Neptune, your kitties are beautiful. You are such a caring mom...

I agree with Cat Daddy. I would switch them from time to time. Does Licorice like to stay with you in the bedroom? Would she mind being half day with you in the bedroom and half day in the rest of the house? By the way, switching them would also help to get to know each other 'smell'.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone. Thanks again for the replies.

Licorice hardly ever comes upstairs. I think it's too much work for her to climb the stairs. She sleeps with my mom in her bedroom on the first floor.

The other day we had let Tess come in from outside and roam the house while Licorice was asleep on my mom. Tess ended up falling asleep on a chair and my mom and I went into the kitchen with Licorice fallowing us. Next thing you know we hear hissing and screaming, I run to find Licorice half way up the stairs hissing and p*ssed off and Tess is sitting at the bottom of the stairs looking all innocent. I really hope this can all work out between the two of them one day, but Licorice is a bt of a Diva.

One time when Licorice was about 8 we brought home a kitten for a trail adoption. To make a long story short, Licorice ended up pushing the Kitten of the Stairs baloney...The kitten was alright, but she had to go...
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-27-2005, 12:35 PM
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I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping Tess confined to your bedroom. My first aparment was terribly small and Dusty & I lived there just fine!

I think it is especially important to keep Tess in if she is declawed and there are other animals, like coons, running around. She is defenseless!

You truely are a wonderful kitty-mom if you have a 21-year-old cat! I know what you mean about those 'older' cats being set in their ways. My mother's 15-year-old cat hates EVERYONE (including my mother! )

Good luck!

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