New 3rd cat and upcoming move - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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New 3rd cat and upcoming move

This is the big issue we have been dealing with lately. We recently took in a new cat and there have been all kinds of new and wonderful issues since we did, but this is the only one we can't live with. I have read most of the "new cat" posts and it seemed that since ours are already past the primary introduction, I would need a new take on our situation.

Tao is our oldest, a 7 year old Himi/Persian boy, and then there is Sophie, a 2 year old Tuxedo girl. She was raised with Tao since she was young, so they are very fond of each other. Both are fixed. Tao's pic is to the left, and I just learned how to post pics so I will post the others soon.

Anyway, we moved into this house last year from the apartments we lived in previously. Tao and Sophie were both raised there. It was a crappy little apartment but it was 2 stories with a tiny back patio/yard so they were mostly inside cats there, but they went out there once in a while. They were opened to a new world of "backyard" when we moved to this house, and have been loving it ever since. Sophie is very independant and adventurous so she jumps the fence and explores every night, but poor Tao can't jump high enough so he stays in the yard, but still loves it.

One night we started seeing this other cat poking around in the backyard, and then he started haning out in the front. He would post up in the bushes and just hang out all day. Our mailperson said she only started seeing him recently at our place, so we figured he was abandoned and Katrina started feeding him on the porch in the mornings. After a while, the weather started getting nasty and we decided to take him in.

He is a real sweet guy, and there were obvious signs that he was somebody's cat a while ago but it looked like he was either abused or abandoned for a long time. He knows all about the litter box, and he loves laps. We had no idea he was 7 until we took him to the vet for a check up, we thought we was 2 or 3! He had some tooth issues and some digestive issues, and we got those cleared right up.

Well, Sophie is definitely the dominant kitty in the house so she did not take well to George (we actually named him Georgous George from the movie Snatch - great movie!) but he and Tao get along fine. George keeps to himself and never challenges the other kitties unless its just to play.

It's been about a month since we got him, and Sophie still hasn't gotten over it. A little while back she decided to start PEEING ON THINGS! I don't know if this is an attention ploy or a marking instinct, we are baffled. She will back up and spray just like a male does, with the back feet marching in place and the tail up and twitching. I have never seen a female do this! Sometimes she will come in to our office and look up at us, meow, and then do it right on the **** couch! And now, we just caught George marking on one of her spots. We tried hard to clean the "danger zones" as much as possible, but after reading up on this on the forum, I realize we have to get something stronger like Nature's Miracle to clean up the scent.

We are just losing it because we don't know why she started this pee battle or what it means, and we are getting ready to move into a nicer place! The last thing on earth we want right now is this spray battle happening there! I did a bunch or reading on cats and new places on the forum too, so we have a plan in place for that. What on earth can I do to put a stop to this in the new house!?!?!

Sorry for all the typing, I tend to ramble...

Thank you for reading and for any advice you can offer!


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 06:13 PM
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I don't have any advice on the spraying issue, but I know other members have dealt with it so should be able to give you some advice.

I did want to observe that it's not uncommon for cats to accept the newly-introduced cat better after a move. In your current house, Sophie sees George as in intruder on her territory. The new house will be no one's territory at first, so the whole territory thing will need to be re-established and George may not be seen as an intruder anymore.

Or then again, she might still be upset after the move and keep spraying... with cats, who can tell? But I think the move is more likely to work for you than against you.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 08:06 PM
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A month is not a long time as far as cat intros go. Sometimes it can take 3-6 months to settle down completely. You definitely do need to get an enzymatic cleaner. George peeing over the spot that Sophie peed on is exactly the reason why it's needed.

Sophie is feeling threatened by George and is claiming her territory. You could try separating them for a while and doing a more formal introduction as it doesn't sound like that was done from the beginning. Google 'cat introductions' and you'll get a lot of good articles. I would also recommend a book called Cat vs. Cat by Pam Bennett Johnson. Lots of good advice about multi-cat households and the interactions between the cats.

You can also try Feliway diffusers in the house to help keep things calm. Feliway is synthetic cat pheromones that have a calming influence. I used it when I introduced Holly to the house and it helped...wasn't a miracle product, but I could see the difference when the diffuser was empty. I used them for about 6 months, till I noticed no difference in behavior when it ran out.

Bethany is correct in that a move could help your situation.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2008, 10:09 PM
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I agree wit all the above. I would just add that, to be on the safe side, I would get her checked for a urinary tract infection. Stress in a big factor there and, between the move and the new guy, it could have brought one on. Best to rule that out first.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the absence, I was out of town for work.

Thanks for the advice! I will look into Feliway for sure, and we are going to clean all of the furniture with Nature's Miracle before we move. I am hoping and praying that the new house will in fact be neutral territory for them all and this territory battle will just resolve itself. But, cats being cats, I want to do everything in our power to cover all the bases just in case they are still having issues.

We plan on keeping them in one room together for 2 weeks, then 2 more weeks of learning the house before they get access to the backyard. Any suggestions on which room would be best? Will they have issues adjusting to the litter box and food being moved after they are allowed out of the room? I am a little concerned how they will take to the new yard and neighborghood too, but we are going to be at the end of a cul-de-sac with almost no traffic so thats a good thing! Any advice on our new house intro plan would be appreciated!

On the behavioral side of things, does this seem like a spray/scent battle, or is Sophie just displaying her displeasure with George by peeing on things to get our attention? It seems like they are getting more used to each other, but I realize that if the scent is there, even if we cant smell it, they will continue to mark. Its just wierd to see a female display this behavior, I have never had one that has. Hopefully their increased tolerance will equate to less territory battle in the new place with the absence of scents to mark?

An update on George's acceptance - He has become a little more relaxed and is actually challenging the other cats to "play" from time to time. Tao is fine with this and they get frisky together. Sophie seems to see this as threatening, she hisses and runs away. So, Sophie now seems like the only one who won't let it go - will she ever? She is very willful and stubborn, when will she get that George is only playing? He never growls/hisses at her when playing, but she is convinced he is trying to attack her! Arrggghhh!

Thanks again, everyone!


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 04:56 PM
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Since Sophie isn't fond of George, I think I would keep them in separate rooms at the new house. Put Sophie in with Tao and, for the most part, George by himself with visits from Tao.

For our cats new to the house, we usually let them out for short period on the second day. I would probably let George and Tao out first - let their scent spread around, then let Sophie and Tao out later.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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So, you think I should only give them a couple of days for the re-introduction period, and I should keep George isolated? I certianly am not an expert on this, but won't keeping George seperated make Sophie confrontational with him when I let them out together? I got the 2 weeks idea from another post, and I kind of thought that was too long. I just want to do whatever I can to make the spraying battle stop! Does anyone else have any experience on this kind of situation? Thanks for the advice Mom!

Can anyone weigh in on the nature of the battle (spray or attention?) and on George's play advances being misinterpreted by Sophie (questions from last post)? I am just really curious about these 2 things too!

Thanks again everyone, this is very helpful!


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-17-2008, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Well, 3 more days till the move. Crunchtime. Anyone else have any advice? It would really help. Or is this thread officially dead?


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well, we are in the new place! We've set up a home base for the cats in our bedroom, with toys, litterboxes, food & water, and their citty condo. They seem to be doing well, Sophie is hiding under the blankets on the bed though lol! We got Nature's Miracle to hit the spots they got during their battle, a pheremone spray to mellow them out, and new toys. The plan seems to be working, and Sophie and George seem to have bonded a little during their ordeal. Yay! They seem to want out to check out the house, but we are going to keep them in the room for at least 3 days per advice. I will keep you all posted!

Thanks again for all the advice and help!


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-21-2008, 05:34 PM
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Sounds good! I'm glad it seems to be going well. No real advice at this time...just wanted to say, Yeah!
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