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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon everyone:

It has been A VERY long time since I last visited, I wanted to apologize, I recently separated and everything seems to be out of control so.. now I have another cat!

My friend Rhonda could no longer keep her and so I decided to adopt Lucie, she is a spayed female, 5 years of age. I brought her home last night and she has been confined into a "safe room" since last night, this am I checked on her gave her some love and came to work..
I have a screen door made with chicken wire to allow them to smell each other tonight and progresively get used to each other, tonight I plan on putting Tiger in "her" room to get used to her scent and let Lucie explore around the house, or is it too soon?
I worry cause Tiger isn't neutered and I am planning to but my question is should I keep them separated until Tiger is neutered? I know that it takes a while for the hormones to wear off.
I know I didn't think this thru but all I wanted is to provide a loving and safe home for Lucie, I didn't anticipate to have a new cat in the house!!
Any ideas? Thanks!!
 

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I think I'd let Lucie tell you when she is ready to explore the rest of the house. I would also closely monitor how she and Tiger interact before allowing them full access to each other.
Neuter the Tiger, ASAP to help prevent aggression issues, spraying to 'mark his territory' and allow him to be more accepting of *other* or *new* cats into "his" place.
Sorry about the recent turmoil. :patback Your kitties will help you get through it.
heidi
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Heidi n Q said:
I think I'd let Lucie tell you when she is ready to explore the rest of the house. I would also closely monitor how she and Tiger interact before allowing them full access to each other.
Neuter the Tiger, ASAP to help prevent aggression issues, spraying to 'mark his territory' and allow him to be more accepting of *other* or *new* cats into "his" place.
Sorry about the recent turmoil. :patback Your kitties will help you get through it.
heidi
So today I came home and pet her for a while, she hasn't eaten though which concerns me, she did come out of her hide out when her named was called.
We then placed the screen door made with chicken wire and the 2 ignored each other until Lucie got close to the door, she hissed, Tiger hissed, then his tail was waggling back and forth like swinging and his pupils were very dilated, Lucie then backed off and she flopped on the floor, so did Tiger, I think because neither were on sight.
The second time around Tiger watched Lucie approached the screen door he growled which freaked me out.
Tomorrow my plan is to expand the time behind the screen door, 2 hours?, the screen door is safe but I stay close just in case. How long should I do this for? I am not planning in allowing Tiger to get close to Lucie until the hissing stops on both sides right?
Should I feed her canned food maybe she'd like that better?
So If I get Tiger neutered won't that make things harder since he will feel "weak" how long until he is safe around Lucie? I mean after I neuter him? so absolutely NO direct contact until he is neutered right?

Thanks Heidi, I sure hope this works, I didn't have time to prepare cause it was all so sudden and I didn't want Lucie to not have a safe home!
And it will get better, it can only get better right?
 

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First, Tiger is not going to feel "weak" just because he is neutered. I am assuming you meant: I'm-not-a-manly-cat-now 'weak' and not: I've-just-had-surgery 'weak', right?
It will take at least 30 days before his testosterone level becomes regulated and remains steady at that lower level. I have noticed (in tomcats) an almost over-night decrease in their urine-odor strength. I imagine their testosterone experiences a dramatic drop, but it will still take several weeks before his system uses/removes residual testosterone from pre-neuter.

Overall, I am very encouraged by their initial encounters through the screen. There was hissing and growling, which is normal, but also...both were able to relax by flopping on the floor after the encounter. Tiger's aggression, the dilated pupils and swishy tail indicated he was prepared to attack. If he were neutered, it is highly likely that urge would not have been that strong. This is why I recommend neutering him ASAP.
I *love* your screen door for interaction. I think it is a GREAT idea.
I use the door by holding my hand around the door edge and holding it closed to the jamb, but using my hand/knuckles to keep the door cracked for nose-sniffs and footsie. When there is no more hissing/growling, and parties on each side of the door indicate more curiosity, *then* I will hold the door cracked a little larger so they can see each other, but still can't jump through the door to 'get' at each other. The best thing about your screen vs me holding the door, is it allows for *more* sensory interaction: sight, sound, smells and each cat has control over how much they can stand because they have the choice to retreat away from the screen.
Just watch them and their body language. They will let you know when they're ready to proceed and do not rush it on your timetable, because with cat-intro's, we really need to make sure all cats are comfortable with each other before they are granted full access. Good idea to do full-access on weekends when you can be home to monitor, too.

As for Lucie not eating...that is quite common for cats moved to new environments. They usually do eat by the 2nd or 3rd day. Any longer than the 3rd day and I would begin to be concerned; I'd try tempting them with all manner of foods, just to get them to eat. Last resort would be assisted-feeding and a vet visit, but most healthy cats will eat w/in a short time after having been moved to a new place.
Best of luck!
h
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So today Lucie ate quite a bit of the wet food and dry food I left for her, I hang out with her in the morning and evening, I let the door open so she could roam around if she wanted to but she didn't leave the bedroom. I didn't do the screen door trick this time cause I am alone and that freaks me out way too much.
Also Tiger is getting neutered on Thursday.
Heidi by weak I meant from the surgery, I am getting it done at our regular vet's office, it is $100.00 seems a little pricey but it is nearby, convenient and I want Tiger well taken care of, not be a number if that makes sense...

Here is a pic of Lucie:



isn't she adorable?
 

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Ooh! My bad! :oops: Thanks for explaining about the 'weak' thing. :oops: I don't think he should have any problems. If the vet does him first thing in the AM and he comes home that night, he may be a little 'groggy'. If he is done later in the afternoon or early evening, he'll be a bit more "out-of-it" and uncoordinated. Keep him somewhere soft (bedroom w/ carpet) and try not to let him jump higher than a bed matress. If he is kept overnight, then by the time he comes home, he'll be fine. He may be a little sore and tired from not feeling comfortable at the vet office to really rest, but he should be okay.

Lucie is *adorable*! I think I :luv her fluffy belly! I'm glad she ate...with her rolling on her back for photos, that looks like she is feeling very comfortable and trusting around you. Great job!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Heidi n Q said:
Ooh! My bad! :oops: Thanks for explaining about the 'weak' thing. :oops: I don't think he should have any problems. If the vet does him first thing in the AM and he comes home that night, he may be a little 'groggy'. If he is done later in the afternoon or early evening, he'll be a bit more "out-of-it" and uncoordinated. Keep him somewhere soft (bedroom w/ carpet) and try not to let him jump higher than a bed matress. If he is kept overnight, then by the time he comes home, he'll be fine. He may be a little sore and tired from not feeling comfortable at the vet office to really rest, but he should be okay.

Lucie is *adorable*! I think I :luv her fluffy belly! I'm glad she ate...with her rolling on her back for photos, that looks like she is feeling very comfortable and trusting around you. Great job!
I am dropping him off at 7:30 am, and the vet said he will call me when Tiger is ready to come home so I am taking Thursday noon and Friday off, hopefully he will be able to be by himself by Saturday; I have a concert to go to but knowing me I won't be having fun cause I worry about my sweet boy!, I have a back up plan: my neighbor said she will watch him but it's not the same!
Lucie is very sweet, she feels comfortable around me because I have known her since she was 2 years of age! she is my friend's kitty, we didn't spent a whole lot of time together, only when I crashed at her place after way too many drinks LOL. Lucie always laid on me and made me feel like the room wasn't spinning :p
She is so gorgeous! I long for the day Tiger and Lucie will be laying on the couch loving each other up!

Do you think neutering will help with excessive meowing? he has been very bad!!!
 

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Oh, I think he should be mostly fine by Friday, certainly by Friday night. Maybe a little *slow* to sit down...but he should be fine in all other areas; litterbox, eating, sleeping and playing. I think you'll be able to enjoy your concert.
As to the meowing...if his meowing is a result of him reacting to in-season female pheromones in the air, then yes, I think that type of meowing would decrease over time as the testosterone leaves his body. Does he meow just to meow, or does he seem to 'talk' to you when he meows?
 

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Just a note to say how nice it is to see you back again, the familiar avatar and familiar name :) !

Best of luck to you, Tiger and sweet Lucie, and welcome back to CF, Maria!

Fran
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fran said:
Just a note to say how nice it is to see you back again, the familiar avatar and familiar name :) !

Best of luck to you, Tiger and sweet Lucie, and welcome back to CF, Maria!

Fran
Aww how sweet!!! thank you so much that means a lot to me. I have missed you all!!!
 

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Heidi n Q said:
Oh, I think he should be mostly fine by Friday, certainly by Friday night. Maybe a little *slow* to sit down...but he should be fine in all other areas; litterbox, eating, sleeping and playing. I think you'll be able to enjoy your concert.
As to the meowing...if his meowing is a result of him reacting to in-season female pheromones in the air, then yes, I think that type of meowing would decrease over time as the testosterone leaves his body. Does he meow just to meow, or does he seem to 'talk' to you when he meows?
Hey Heidi, I have prepared to watch him for the next few days but I was wondering, thanks for clearing that up!
Will he need to pee in shredded newspaper for the first 2 days? I am taking him in in an hour and a half and I am freaking out, I know I shouldn't but I have been so stressed. I didn't do any screen door interaction yesterday because I want Tiger to be relaxed for his surgery, I did however take Lucie out of her room and let her explore the leaving room area, I cracked the downstairs window a bit and she layed by it of course she is a cat, when I took her upstairs I put her on the stairs and she found her safe room but when she went in she acted like she didn't know where she was at, she seems to be OK today though.

As for meowing, it depends, sometimes it sounds like he is begging for something and it gets pretty desperate, other times it seems like he is talking to me especially around feeding time.
It is worse in the summer I am sure of that but he has always been a vocal kitty, so I am not sure if it has to do with the fact that he wants to go out and do his male duty?

Thanks for your help, I am so tired, it is 5:48 am and I got NO sleep,this is going to be an interesting day.
 

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Oh! You sound so worried! I'm sure things will go fine. It is just after noon, here, so I'm wondering if you're already off work and have been able to pick him up? Call your vet office for an update whenever you need reassurance. They are *used* to worried owners and understand that these pets are often-times, people's "babies".

I hope his 'desperate' meowing *was* a sign of his tomcat-ness and hope that will decrease as his hormone levels go down. I've never changed litter after either spay or neuter, but ask your vet.

Let us know when you get home with him and get him settled..but most importantly...after you get *you* settled. You probably won't feel like doing anything until you know he is okay.
 

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Heidi n Q said:
Oh! You sound so worried! I'm sure things will go fine. It is just after noon, here, so I'm wondering if you're already off work and have been able to pick him up? Call your vet office for an update whenever you need reassurance. They are *used* to worried owners and understand that these pets are often-times, people's "babies".

I hope his 'desperate' meowing *was* a sign of his tomcat-ness and hope that will decrease as his hormone levels go down. I've never changed litter after either spay or neuter, but ask your vet.

Let us know when you get home with him and get him settled..but most importantly...after you get *you* settled. You probably won't feel like doing anything until you know he is okay.
Hey Heidi, I dropped him off at 7:30 am and at 10:23 am Dr called and he said Tiger was groggy but was doing good, he said Tiger is such a sweet boy, he always told me even when he was an intact male that he has never seen such a lovable tom cat! he said he was rubbing against him and wanted all sorts of attention, yeah that's my baby!
It is now 11:38.. I want to call at noon to see what he is doing, I just hate to be a pest but yeah I do worry Heidi, you know how that goes!
I can pick him up at 4:00 so still ways to go! and when we get home he is going to sleep on my chest all day and all night!!!!
I will DEFINITELY log in and keep you posted! you keep me sane and make me feel so much better!!!
Thank you Hon!
 

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You are so welcome. Having people to talk to helps, having a vet who understands is fabulous. I remember when I had to get Shasta spayed and my vet wanted to keep her overnight*...I almost had a breakdown. I was able to gather myself together and explain to my vet why I was feeling the way I was, and that if she allowed me to bring Sassa-Frazzle home I could keep her quiet and contained in our bedroom and she'd be much more relaxed than in a cage in the vet's office with no one there all night.

*...the last cat that had stayed overnight at the vet, never came home. She had a very serious problem with a growth in her throat that was blocking her esophogus and it was inoperable. Nothing they/we could do except release her from slowly starving to death.*
 

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Heidi n Q said:
You are so welcome. Having people to talk to helps, having a vet who understands is fabulous. I remember when I had to get Shasta spayed and my vet wanted to keep her overnight*...I almost had a breakdown. I was able to gather myself together and explain to my vet why I was feeling the way I was, and that if she allowed me to bring Sassa-Frazzle home I could keep her quiet and contained in our bedroom and she'd be much more relaxed than in a cage in the vet's office with no one there all night.

*...the last cat that had stayed overnight at the vet, never came home. She had a very serious problem with a growth in her throat that was blocking her esophogus and it was inoperable. Nothing they/we could do except release her from slowly starving to death.*
Aww I would freak out if the vet wanted to keep him overnight! no way! this office is very small in a little town, I love how they care for my furry babies!
I am very sorry one of your cats never came home that is heart breaking!!
Yeah no need to stay when u can provide a much more relaxed and comfortable environment for them! those are my vets words, I love him.
Will he be able to eat normal tonight?
He got a distemper and rabies shot, what yearly vaccines does an indoor only cat need??
It is kinda confusing!!
Thanks again!!!
 

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I'm not sure about the vaccines. Mine receive rabies and *I think* it is a 5-way vaccine? Maybe that was for the horse. The dog always got a solo-jec-7 from the feed store. Maybe the kitties got a 3-way vaccine? Since I've been letting the vet vaccinate my pets, I allow them to make the call, as they know this area of the country and which are the most risks th ecat needs protection from.
As far as feeding....I think I'd offer him a very small portion, like half-size or smaller, at dinnertime. If he does well, full portion tomorrow morning. If he doesn't seem enthusiastic about eating, maybe more half-portions until his appetite is back. Be aware, some vaccinated cats have a mild reaction to the shots (feels slightly like the flu) as they build the antibodies. The cat shouldn't appear *super ill*, but may appear more tired and prefer to sleep/rest for 2-4 days after vaccination. Nothing to really worry about unless the cat becomes grossly lethargic and/or shows other serious side-effect signs.
Your vet sounds great, and I don't expect any problems, but if you know what to *possibly* look for, it won't frighten you *if* it does show up...because you'll be informed and prepared instead of scared and surprised.
heidi
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hi everyone! sorry for not updating this thread for a few days, I have been focused on Tiger since he was neutered last Thursday, I can't believe it has been a week! We set up the screen door and Lucie and Tiger did acknowledge each other but they didn't really cared much, They didn't mind each other! what the heck! they won't get too close to the screen, no hissing no growling just not much of a reaction from them! so my question is, is this good? what should I do next? thanks!
 

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I think that *is* great progress. For me, my next steps would be to encourage both cats to be near the screen at the same time AND distracted by you with toys, attention and treats. Let them associate "good things" happening when they are visible to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thats what we have been doing, playing with toys, interchanging them and allowing them to smell it, i havent tried the treats though thats an excellent idea! how long should i do this for? thanks!
 

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hypertweeky said:
how long should i do this for?
Until they look bored and/or comfortable with each other. Begin to let them have some controlled and supervised access to each other, being on high-alert to seperate them immediately if trouble crops up.
 
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