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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I had several questions but first let me give the background info. I have a female cat Stormy who is about a year and a half. I recently started going to work (instead of just being at school) and am gone more so I decided I wanted to get another cat so that she would have a companion. Well, I ended up getting a boy who is about the same age is her named Justin. I just picked him up today. He was rescued at 3 months of age and has spent ever since then living in a makeshift shelter. He was fairly laidback around the other cats at the shelter and is good natured. Right now he is in my bathroom and away from Stormy to give them both time to adjust. The woman I adoped him from told me it might take him awhile to come out of his carrier and explore the bathroom since this is a big change from him. So in the time being I have been going in every once in awhile, talking to him, petting him a bit and he still looks pretty scared. How long do you think it will take him to adjust? I am willing to be as patient as he needs me to be, I just hate that he is so scared and having to go through this. I keep telling myself it is much better for him though it because eventually I think he will be happy here. Is there anything else I can do for him?
Also with my cat Stormy I am giving her attention and love and TRYING to give her treats so that she will associate this with something positive (she knows someone is in the bathroom and has sniffed my hands that have touched him). However she won't eat the treats! I have not given her canned food in a long time (months) and other treats rarely. Is this just her being picky since she hasn't been exposed to this stuff in awhile? I am used to cats going wild over wet food!
So basically, any tips on integrating these cats and making the transition smoother? I am waiting 5-7 days before they will actually "meet" (one inside the carrier, the other outside) but is there anything I can do in the meantime? I have heard switching blankets with their smell on them can get them used to the other's smell. Anything else?
 

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I'm not positive but I'm sure once the cats are used to each other even if they hiss and dont get along at first, they will learn to like each other later. I think it will help if you put the other cats scent on you and let the other cat smell it. That way at least they will get used to the others scent. As far as the treat thing, my cats love certain treats, dont go crazy over it like dogs, and sometimes don't even want it! Good luck :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well guys, it's been a week since I've had Justin. He is doing really well and is much more confident than he was when I first got him.
Stormy, however, is still pretty upset. I introduced them today for the first time (although they have been able to see and smell each other under the door for some time) by putting him in his carrier and letting her go up to him. She alternately came up and hissed and growled at him and then backed off and stared. I finally took him back in the bathroom. Justin didn't really seem to care, but I guess this comes from having to live with about 25 other cats!
Stormy and Justin have both been getting a lot of love and attention (separately of course). I have switched out the towels they lay on so that they can get used to each other's scents. Justin often paws through the crack under the bathroom door but Stormy mostly just hisses at him or stares at him under the door. I also have to wash my hands after I touch Justin before I pet Stormy otherwise she hisses at me and doesn't want me to touch her.
The woman I adopted Justin from said this all sounds pretty normal so far. I just don't know how long it should take for Stormy to stop being so territorial and give Justin a chance. It breaks my heart that they don't get along even though I know I have to be patient. I mostly just don't want to do the wrong thing and make one of them end up hating the other. My hope is for them to become great friends who run, play and sleep together. Justin is so easy going that I thought he would be a good match for Stormy.
Is there anything else I can do? Should I just keep waiting for her to stop hissing or does there come a time when I should just put them together and hope for the best? How long has it taken other people to introduce cats to each other?
Any advice is great! I'm feeling a little discouraged right now. :(
 

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Hi Shlanon and congratulations on your new baby, Justin!
I have read in this forum, in threads similar to yours, that rubbing a little bit of vanilla on the back of both kitties' necks would make them (esp Stormy in this case) feel even more at ease with each other. After you rub vanilla on both of them, pet Stormy, then Justin and then go back and forth without washing your hands. This process may take a while ( I believe you should do it several times and after a while let them see each other again). Plus - continue switching the towels. I am sure the smell plays a big part so once she will get used to the it, Stormy will be more than happy to have a play partner. Afterall, she is curious about the new presence in the house. Don't be discouraged - you have the love and the patience and I am sure you will succeed :) !
 

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Shlannon, What I would do is to let them be together in your house. Let them hiss, and squabble. They will adjust to each other much faster. If they are not accustomed to each other in a few days, then you might brace yourself for a "long haul" in cat adjustment.

Generally, after a cat has passed my little exam at the shelter, I can turn a new cat loose in my menagerie, and they adjust in about 3 hours. I have had no adjustment period required on some of them.

...........wayne
 

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Have you thought of using a large wire pen or cage to introduce them? I've heard that many owners have been successful with these. Put Justin in the pen with everything he needs - bed, litter tray, food etc. and have the pen situated where Stormy can see him. This is supposed to accustom animals to one another. I have never tried doing this myself but as I said, I've heard that they work well. I'm not sure how much the pen would cost, but you may be able to borrow one from your vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just wanted to give an update since the kitties met for the first time today! Stormy came up and hissed at Justin a couple times, but mostly they just stared at each other from afar. She also acted like she kinda wanted to sniff his butt, but then backed off. Justin was calm throughout the whole thing...he really just wanted to check out the living room since he's never been in there before.
So far so good! No major freakouts, just some mild hissing from my little girl. I'll try them out again tomorrow night for a little longer time. :)
 

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I'm glad its sounding almost peaceful there. Hope everything goes smooth and dandy! Wishing you guys luck! :lol:
 

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I agree with Wayne--I vote for letting them work it out now. While you're home to supervise, just let him out and don't worry about it too much. Don't interfere unless something violent happens...in my experience females are much more territorial and aggressive when it comes to new cats, so I think this is all normal. She will come around, but it may take a few weeks for her to stop hissing. Heck, my oldest female started hissing at our boy kitten again (we've had him for months) after he came back from his hospital stay. So, normal. And try not to expect them to be the greatest of friends--as long as they get along ok, that's all that matters. After a while, you can start throwing some toys around with them. This will give them something else to do while together. Good luck! It sounds like you're doing great!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
New update....
Yesterday Stormy (my old cat) finally got over being pissed at Justin (my new cat)! She was trying to make friends and play with him. Unfortunately, he, I think, remembers that she had been hissing at him for a week and is a little frightened of her now. He was fine as long as she stayed a few feet away.
Today they have touched noses once and are now looking at each other from halfway across the room. I think things are progressing nicely! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Another update...the cats seem to be doing well. I let them out around each other all the time when I am home. They most just sit around in the same room but I have caught Stormy licking Justin a couple times. Awww... Only negative things are that Stormy chases Justin sometimes, although I think it is actually her trying to play with him and he doesn't seem to really mind it, but who knows. Also she swipes her paw at him (claws sheathed) almost like she is playing, but then he does it back and they end up hissing at each other and then walking away. I think maybe this is them working out who is the "top cat".
I do have a question...I will be out of town for about 4 days starting this upcoming Friday. I wanted to let the cats stay together with each other while I am gone and have my fiance come and check on them every day. But of course I will not be there to supervise them. Since nothing really bad has happened (no serious fights or anything) I guess this would be okay? I'm not sure when I should start letting them be alone together. My other options are to leave them here but shut them in separate rooms (which I don't want to do because they be both be lonely), take Stormy and Justin to my parent's house with me (don't want to do because it is a pain and Justin has never been there before) or take Stormy and leave Justin (don't really want to do because he will be lonely!) What do you guys think?
 

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I think it would be fine to leave them alone together now. It sounds like everything is going just fine. They are getting along better than a lot of cats that have know each other their whole lives. Just as a backup, though, you could get your fiance to check for signs of fighting (hair all over the place or bite marks) just to make sure. If they do fight he could just seperate them then.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I may have spoken too soon. :( Stormy just jumped on Justin when they were up close to each other then backed off and hissed. I don't think that she would have hurt him (there have been no real fights as of yet) but it makes me wary of leaving them alone together. Now I'm just really torn about what to do. I guess I don't have to decide just yet, but I wish the darn cats would make up their minds that they will get along so I can leave them alone together!
Still not sure if I should leave them alone together while I'm gone this weekend or even just leave them alone together while I am at work this week.
Any thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated.

Edit:
The same thing just happened again. I am at a loss for why things have taken a turn for the worse when they seemed to be doing pretty well for the past couple days. Possible reasons...?
#1 The shampoo scent I put on both of them has worn off and Stormy now smells his "true" scent. I put more of the scent on each of them just now.
#2 Having them be together all weekend and then separating while I was at work was a bad idea. Should have just left them together? Not sure on this, don't know what I should do for tomorrow when I leave for work.
#3 Stormy got jealous of the attention Justin was recieving. Doesn't seem likely since I gave them both attention when I got home and acted basically the same way I did all weekend, except Stormy did not get to see me all day like she did on the weekend.
#4 ????

Anyone have a guess? I wish I knew how to foster a good relationship between them. I want them to be good buddies and am worried now that they might never be.
I did try feeding them in the same room tonight and praising them as they ate...maybe they will associate each other positively if I keep doing that?

In summation...HELP!
 

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What you're describing doesn't sound that bad, really. In my experience, cats fight. It's normal, as long as they aren't really hurting each other. It's how they play and how they work things out. Unless you see signs of true potential injury---I wouldn't worry.
 

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I agree - they haven't known each other very long and are still working out who stands where. Stormy may still be wary of Justin, but that's understandable. I'd be wary of someone if they suddenly appeared in my home! :) But from what you've said, it sounds as if they are getting along ok. As long as they're not being actually hostile or violent to each other, they should be fine.
 
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