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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Question "fostering" a friend's cat

A friend of mine has asked me to take in their cat as they will be out of the country for about 3 months. What I'm most concerned about is making sure that their cat and my cats will get along, so obviously, a proper introduction will be extremely important. What are some tips to ensure that the introductory process goes smoothly? Will Feliway help?

They have an older, female cat that I believe is on the mellow side. I have one male and female. My female cat, Newt, is pretty easy-going, but the younger male Newton is very energetic and playful.

At some point during this time, there's also a chance I'll be going on vacation for a week and using a pet-sitter to take care of the cats in my absence.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 02:58 PM
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Well, all I can say is good luck. I hope they are paying you for boarding their cat. I would keep the new girl in a room by herself for a day or so then do the swap scent. Replace the new kid with the resident cats and let them smell each other that way. You could also use a towel to swap scents. Feliway might help but only if all windows and doors are shut. One only covers about 400sf so you might need several and that could get pricey.

Keep an eye on their reaction when each one passes by the door. that will be your clue as to whether you can open the door or just crack it. Personally I would just crack it a couple inches for several days.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, Marcia

They will be paying for ALL the costs associated with the boarding. I haven't committed 100% at this point - we're doing an 'exploratory' meeting this weekend. I'll ask them to bring some of their cat's items so we can get the scent swap started as soon as they arrive.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update... they brought their cat over, her name is Tigger. Newton ran and hid - not from the other cat, but he's wary of strangers. He did come out for short moments, stared and sniffed at Tigger while she was in her carrier, then went back to his hiding spot.

As for Newt... lots of hissing and growling when they were in the same room together. But they didn't get close to each other at all. Tigger explored the rest of the home. It was a new environment, so obviously, she was very cautious. But after about an hour, she was very relaxed. She lounged in some of Newt's favourite spots. Newt wasn't hiding, but she didn't come out of my bedroom.

2nd introduction will be next weekend. They'll be bringing a large dog enclosure for Tigger in case we need to keep the cats separated. We also exchanged cat blankets to get them more more familiarized with each others' scent.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 01:59 PM
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Plan to keep them separated!

Have a room set up for Tigger, and keep her in it for at least a week - maybe more like a month depending on how things go. It's WAY better to be cautious than to end up with vet bills AND no where for your friend's cat to stay!

TBH, if I wasn't sure how things would go I'd just set up a safe room for Tigger and have her stay there her whole visit. You know she isn't staying permanently, you can let her out periodically (nightly if you like) with your two put away...but since your cats are not used to foster I wouldn't rock the boat by expecting them to interact.
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