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We have two girls in our house, both neutered/spayed. One is a year old and the other just over two.

Recently I found a cat hanging around outside my window. My girls were fascinated and loved to watch him.

After seeing that he was very skinny and a little tatty, I realised he was lost or abandoned. I put out a little food for him and after about a week I had him in my house. Drove him up to the vets to get checked out.

No microchip, not neutered, had fleas, worms and earmites. So we established with the vet that he was owned once but that it had been such a long time, it would be impossible to find his original owners.

I had him neutered and treated for his various ails and brought him home.

Now we're looking for a new home. Or at least thats the possible long term plan. I was hoping if our girls accepted him then we could consider keeping him. But they wont.

When we brought Penny home as a loud hysterical kitten, Gypsy took to her immediately and within an hour they were curled up together grooming each other. So I assumed she would be at least a little accepting. She has faced other cats before and never bats an eyelid. Cool calm collected. Penny came from a refuge held in a woman's house with about 20 other cats so shes not new to meeting cats.

We have a largish cage which we can put a bed into and we kept them separate for a few days, then we allowed them to see each other for short times with the stray being in the cage or vice versa. They initially hissed, Gypsy came as a shock as this was almost completely unheard of in her, but that's settled down now. Now they're happy enough to sleep next to one another, albeit with one or the other being in the cage.

I've bought some Feliway to add a calming feel to the house but ... when I let him out of the cage and hold him steady so he doesnt get too close, they freak out. Penny squeeks and sqeals in fright and Gypsy will claw your face off to get away.

What else can I do? :?
 

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Ok, here's what I understand about introducing cats to each other. I recently did it myself, so I've done a lot of research. You should definitely hit up google - there are some great articles out there, but I'll try to give you the condensed version here :)

It's easier to introduce kittens into a cat household than full grown cats. The resident cats normally don't see little tiny babies as a threat to their territory, plus the resident cats will easily be able to assert their dominance over the little interlopers. Which is probably why you had no problem with introducing Penny and Gypsy. Introducing full grown cats is harder and takes more time, but it TOTALLY CAN be done! I introduced a full grown female cat to my own 14 year old female cat about 6 months ago (female and female introduction tend to be the hardest from what I understand, so at least you're in luck there).

Just to warn you, it's taken about this long for things to settle down between my cats. It's a very slow process to successfully introduce a new cat into your household, and you pretty much have to go at your cat's speed. It depends on the cats how quickly things will go, and how well they will eventually get along. Some cats may never be able to tolerate each other... but most can learn to live together. My own cats are not best friends, but the older girl is very tolerant of the new one now. They will not sleep together or groom each other, but they will sniff noses, eat nearby each other, and sit close together at the window with the best view.

First of all, it sounds like a few days wasn't a long enough separation for your cats. I'm also wondering why the new cat needs to be in a cage. It sounds like he was in a cage in a room with a door, since you kept the cats from seeing each other for the first few days? If you have a room with a door it would be best to put him in their with his own litterbox/bed/food so that he will have his own space. Then close the door and leave that set up for a while - a week or even longer. This way your girl cats can get used to the smell of the new cat, and vise versa.

Once all the cats involved seem to be fine with the smell of each other (in my case I knew it was time when my older cat stopped hissing at the closed door :p) then you can open the door a CRACK and let them sniff noses through the crack. You can also switch them - put your new cat in the main living area where the girl cats have been living, then put your girl cats into his room. And close the door. This way they can sniff each other out. They'll probably use each other's litter boxes, which is supposed to be good. Don't clean it right away. It mixes their scents, and once you switch them back they'll probably REuse their own boxes. It's kind of silly to us humans, but seems to be an important 'get to know you' step for cats to mark each others territory like this.

Since you also have a cage I would eventually put the new cat in the cage, and then just open the door to let your girl cats explore the room - but only if they want to. Here's the thing - you can't hold your cats and force them to make nice. They have to go about introductions in their own time. You certainly wouldn't want to make nice with someone if you were ever held and forced to interact with them, right? I know it's upsetting when your cats hiss at each other, but you just have to accept this process is going to involve hissing. It's not always a sign of hatred or anger - hissing is just a cat's way of saying "I'm not happy! I'm uncomfortable! Give me some room!"

Another thing you should be prepared for is chasing. My older cat spent about FOUR MONTHS chasing the new cat, occasionally 'treeing her' (making her jump up onto something high up to escape and then waiting at the bottom to keep her up there). This is also upsetting to us, but I wouldn't advise interfering in this either. Don't punish your cat. As far as I can tell this is just the way they assert dominance. My cat pretty much never does it now that the new cat approaches her with respect and backs off when she becomes uncomfortable.

The only time you should interfere is if they get into a fight, but it sounds like your cats are just going to spend time running away from each other. That's totally fine! Just prepare yourself - it's going to take time for your cats to work everything out. You just have to go slow and let them take it in their own time.
 

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Thank you so much for your reply.

At the moment he has his own room, and they live in the kitchen. We alterna
te who gets the connecting hallway. Its long and quite bare but it allows them to sniff one another out.

He has his own food and litter tray and toys and they have theirs. I have alternated their blankets and I think you're right about swapping rooms every now and again.

I was hoping it would all go smoothly but after a small altercation today that's definitely out of the question. They're all so scared they attack out of fright.

The cage is a very temporary thing, for to have them in the same and not for a long time. Just so they can get used to seeing one another. I think maybe I need to keep them more apart and allow their scents to mingle a little more before trying again.

I feel so torn between them, I don't want poor Leo ( we named him ) to be all alone all the time but I also want to be with my girls to reassure them everything is ok.
 

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Just take it slow... it's definitely not going to help them if you try to rush things out of guilt. Just remember that they're safe, warm, fed and loved - if they have to live separated and share their time with you that's still leaps and bounds better than living out on the street somewhere :patback

I do think the cage is a good idea - somehow I read your first post wrong and thought you were keeping him in the cage full time. My bad! Actually a lot of websites suggest putting the new cat in a cage/kennel and then letting everybody sniff each other out. Also, if you're worried about Leo being lonely, and if he tolerates being in the cage well, you could always bring him into the kitchen area with the other two and just leave him in the cage for short spells. I'd plan that for the future though, and I think you're right to keep them apart for a while longer. That way they'll all have time to calm down and get their confidence back.

Try not to feel too guilty! You're doing your best for all of them, that's all anyone can ask of you. I hope things calm down for you and the kitties soon.
 

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Oh boy, do I know what you're going through! :)

I took care of a stray outside for a year before he really trusted me. Then at that point I had decided he was "mine" and no cat of mine was going to spend another winter outside. So I brought him inside with me and my two other cats.

That was 8 months ago. He is still living in his own space upstairs. One of my other cats recently passed away, and I thought maybe it would be easier now to get the remaining two together, but I'm still hesitant. My main fear is because the new guy has claws and the other doesn't.

They have accidentally gotten into the same room before, and usually the old guy hides under the bed until I shoo the new one out. I'm just afraid of an actual fight where the old guy would get hurt. :( He has no defenses.

I hope it works out for you. For right now I'm still going with two different living spaces, but I hold out hope that I can still get them together at some point. I can't imagine being without either one of them. :)
 

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Help needed here too! :(

I brought Gatita home 12 days ago after I'd been taking care of her as a stray for over 6 months and held her on my lap for hours each day. She trusts me completely and would follow me to any place in the world without a doubt. She seems in bliss to have come live at my home, sleep with me all night and not have to wait for me hours in the street downstairs as she used to. Prince goes with me to the feeding station of the strays and first met me already holding Gatita on my lap, so I thought the introductions would be easy. They'd been sitting next to each other for hours every day for over 6 months.

Well, not so. I thought things had calmed down but just now when Prince tried to climb on the bed to sleep with me, Gatita made a huge hissing and screeching fuss. A little later, when I was outside the bedroom, Prince charged onto her, which he hadn't done in about a week!! Now the 3 of us are upset and I don't know what to do...

Gatita was placed in my bedroom the moment she arrived and doesn't want to get out because she's afraid of Prince. She spends days and nights on the bed and hasn't had any walking exercise in 12 days. She doesn't let Prince in the bedroom and if she can't scare him out, she hides under the bed for hours after that.

Twice in the last few days they surprised me when I woke up with each of them placidly and happily sleeping on either side of me.

I'm scared - worst-case scenario I'll have to put Gatita back in the street, and I just can't bear the thought!

Please help!
 

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When Prince attacks her, I don't wait, I interfere and place a stick between them as a deterrent. I just can't let them fight it off and figure it out alone between them. I haven't noticed any wounds on them, and when I look under the bed to see who's doing what to whom, they're not touching, just staring at each other from opposite sides of the bed, but screaming like the other is killing them. Once I saw them fight with their hands like small kids, each raising their right hand aggressively at each other but barely touching each other in the process, then suddenly each moves away.

They've been in peace in the bedroom a whole lot already, so I don't understand the inconsistency - sometimes the fight seems terrible, other times they're either too tired or too distracted with other matters to have time to fight... Yesterday Prince felt sick so he decided the best place to be sick in was my bedroom, he spent some time there, vomited, used Gatita's litter box comfortably, and all this time she was right there and didn't utter a sound against him.

They've also been alone in the house together when I forgot to close her door before going to the store, and everything was perfectly fine when I came back. When I leave the house, I always close her bedroom door so I don't fret while I'm away.

I just don't understand, when Prince is bored with nothing to do he goes inside the bedroom and approaches her and this scares her.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Strays mommy It feels like there may be some jealousy going on where they dont mind each other so much most of the time he may feel very put out by Gatita affection wise. Try putting her in his room and bringing him down to you for a time and making sure he knows he is still the Prince.


We have made a little progress and I have a harness and leash that I got for my girls ages ago and theyve refused to use. He however will sit with it on and wander around a little. With my youngest, Penny, she wont tolerate him at all so she goes in another room while I bring him to the kitchen to meet Gypsy. I have used treats a abribe so Gypsy associates him with treats and Ive managed to get them to come nose to nose without an attack. There was another case of hissing from her but he didnt budge, no attack so thats awesome.

Despite being bigger and stronger than she he seems totally submisive, on his back and giving her the blinkies. Shes been reluctantly giving him the blinky eyes too so if we persist then.... who knows.

Smokey taking it slow seems to be the method of choice and I know exactly why you're scared. I dont agree with declawing but it might help to trim the nails. Then theyre both on the same ground and cant hurt one another as much. If you can invest in a crate /cage then I would definately recommend it.
 

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I'm waiting for my friend to come over so she can trim Gatita's nails. My friend trimmed Prince's about a month ago, so because it's summer we may have to trim them again as well. Gatita's are very long, sharp and dirty from her life as a stray.

I try to show Prince that he's still the Prince, I'll make sure to do it more.
 
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