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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Unique Cat Introduction Situation

Hello everyone,

My lease is up, and I am moving in with my father for an indefinite period of time. The hope is that I will be moving in with my boyfriend soon and that this is just a short waiting period. Ballpark, I expect to be in my father's house anywhere from 3 months to 1 year.

I have a 7 yo cat -- female, indoor cat. I've had her for about 2 years. She is a pretty submissive kitty and also quite needy and talkative.

My father has two cats, 5 yo -- both females, sisters/litter mates, but they are outdoor/indoor. I would not describe them as feral by any means, but they do spend lots of time outdoors. One is clearly the alpha, the other is more submissive and a little daffy. They get along.

I just started the introduction yesterday. Munchkin's safe room has been set up. There has been some hissing and growling by the Resident cats under the door. Unfortunately, they did have a brief face-to-face encounter while I was moving Munchkin to the safe room. Both resident cats got quite aggressive (stalking, ears back, growling, hissing), but Munchkin didn't do much, just kinda looked at them. This meeting was accidental (I believed the resident cats to be outside). I gently picked up Munchkin and moved her into the safe room. They did not physically interact. Did I mess everything up with this???

I guess I'm most worried about screwing up my dad's cats! They are his cats, and this is their home, after all. I don't want to ruin the great friendship they already have (I've already witnessed some odd behavior between the two resident cats -- some minimal hissing, growling, etc.), and I don't want them to run away when they go outdoors. Unfortunately, I have no other options right now (no friends who will take my kitty in temporarily, etc.). I'm also concerned that this is a temporary living situation. I don't want to do further damage when I separate the kitties again months from now.

Also, my cat is very vocal and already wants to see what's outside of the safe room! Agh! She just yowls and yowls, which I'm worried will turn the other cats off her even more!

I think I underestimated how difficult this would be. I just feel drained. Support and advice appreciated!!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 10:54 PM
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You didn't "mess everything up" with the one slip, but try to make sure the cats don't accidentally meet again, until they're ready.

I have two cats, Muffs and Abby. A little over a year ago, my adult daughter stayed with me for about 4 months with her cat, Neko (he's the cat in my avatar). Because we knew it would be temporary, we decided not to introduce the cats. We kept Neko locked up in my daughter's bedroom for about a month, but then he learned to open the bedroom door (little monkey!)...and all of a sudden Neko appeared in our family room. At that point, the three cats were used to each other's scent, since they'd been in the house together for a month. So, they weren't too bad together...a bit of hissing, but not too much. Thereafter, we let Neko out a few hours a day, when we were home to supervise.

My two girls were a little "snippy" with each other from time to time while Neko was living here, but it never got out of hand. After he left, they were fine and they're still best friends.

I would let Munchkin out of the room when the other cats are outside (but make sure they're outside!). That way, she will get some time to explore, plus she will be "depositing" her scent throughout the house, which will help the other cats to accept her over time. When the other cats are inside, I would try to spend as much time as you can with Munchkin in her safe room (which I assume is your bedroom). If you're with her, hopefully she will be happier and less vocal. Good luck!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great response, Susan! This is helpful information. I like your suggestion about letting Muchkin out to explore while Fox and Frances (dad's cats) are outside. I'm hoping that we can work up to supervised play when everyone's ready.

Thanks again!!

PS -- Your kitties are beautiful! They both look so soft.
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