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Bringing home a rescued kitten to two other cats
5 years ago
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I have a large 1.5 years old male domestic long haired and a 7 month old female domestic short haired. Last night we took in a 2 month old female kitten from a girl who needed to give it away, since she lives near a major road and last week one of hers was hit by a car on the road. The 7 month old was also a rescue, so we thought it would be a bit easier or perhaps almost the same process. We were WRONG. The eldest is PISSED OFF like you would not believe, so much so that he's even attacking our 7M resident. Is this normal for the older ones to behave like this? I'll keep you guys posted on how they all go, I'm just hoping they'll be normal again in a couple weeks..

My older rescue with younger rescue
5 years ago

My oldest male tabby (BooBoo) is now 9 years old. He was 3 when I brought home another rescue. Another male tabby kitten (Stanky). My friend, a veterinarian assistant, suggested that I leave them together and alone. I was petrified that the oldest, BooBoo, would attack the younger, Stanky. Well they didn't exactly get along, at first. Even now, at 9 and 6 respectfully, BooBoo jumps on Stanky faithfully. Stanky has scabs on his neck and butt from being bitten or scratched. My guess is it's the age difference. Likewise, BooBoo also grooms Stanky daily and they sleep close together. Go figure.

My bet is that you may have to monitor the oldest around the newbie. Maybe even give the oldest extra loving care and attention.

Bless your heart for taking in another rescue and good luck...

5 years ago

Cats are like people. You cannot predict who will and will not become friends. When I introduce a new cat I put them in their own room with a screen door separating them from the cats already in the house. This gives everyone an opportunity to sniff, hiss and generally get aquainted without any fur flying. Once the sights and smells have become familiar I open the door when I am at home but close it when I am gone. When I am sure of the situation I open the door and the new resident becomes a part of the general population.

However, there will always be some cats who get along better than others.

5 years ago

Hi Desire! I volunteer for a Maine Coon rescue group. Here is the info we send home with new kitty parents.

 

"Furnish" a room for the New Kitty to come home to. This is where he/she will spend 3-8 days getting to know YOU and your family.

Provide food, water, litter pan, a few toys, a scratching post and a "bed". The bed can be an old comforter folded to make a nice soft bed to snuggle in, an old sweatshirt or two, or a couple nice thick towels folded.

Give the New Kitty some toys: balls with bells, catnip-filled toys, & furry mice. Have a couple feather toys placed out of the New Kitty's reach too. These come in handy for if the New Kitty gets frightened and goes under a piece of furniture. They usually can't resist.

When you come home with the New Kitty, take him/her to "his/her room". Place the carrier near the litter pan - this is a reference point – he/she needs to know immediately, before anything else happens, where the litter pan is located. Open the door to the carrier - let him/her come out when he/she is comfortable. Some come out immediately, tail waving, head up - looking around to explore. Others will slink out, and go under something. This is ok - just talk softly to the kitty, put food in the dish, and leave him/her alone for a little while, to listen to the new noises and smell the different smells in your house.

Go in several times during the first day - the New Kitty may not run up and leap on your lap - so please don't be disappointed. He/she's very much out of his/her known territory. So what do you? Go into the New Kitty's room, sit down, and talk, watch TV or read a book, and talk to the New Kitty. The New Kitty may or may not come out. If he/she does, that's great, and shows he/she will probably not need the full 8 days in the room.

Second day & Third day, same routine. Go in before leaving for work, give fresh food / water, scoop the litter pan - the New Kitty should now have nibbled and used the pan. Some will wait about 24 hours; others have no qualms at all. When you arrive home from work, go visit the New Kitty. Get down on the floor and entice him/her to play. (This is where the feather toys come in handy.) On each trip to visit the kitty, notice if the balls or any other toys have been moved - or anything else in the room. If things have been disturbed, that means he/she has been exploring.

We cannot emphasize enough how much patience may be needed during the first couple weeks with a New Kitty. An older adult may require much more time and patience.

Fourth day - pick up the New Kitty, and open the door. Allow the Existing Resident Cat (ERC), if you have one, to come in, while you go out and close the door. Allow about an hour or so for the ERC to sniff and investigate where the New Kitty has been. During this time, take the New Kitty to where the ERC's litterbox is (again, a reference point) - and allow the New Kitty to explore at his/her own pace from there. Then, exchange the New Kitty and ERC again - New Kitty back to "his/her" room, ERC back into "his/her" house.

Do this 1-2 more days. The New Kitty should become increasingly comfortable, and this is the best way to prevent the ERC from taking great offense that another creature has moved in.

On the 6th or later day - when you arrive home, go in and spend a little time playing with the New Kitty. When you exit the room, leave the door open. For a few more days, leave the New Kitty's litterpan and dishes in the room - then remove them. The New Kitty should be using pans in both locations, and should not mind the removal of "his/her".

THE BENEFITS OF INTRODUCING A NEW KITTY IN THIS MANNER


1. The New Kitty gets used to new sounds, smells and people in a confined area, and this area is likely to be a comfort zone if for some odd reason later on in life, he/she gets frightened by something or must be confined.

2. It allows observation for both you and the New Kitty. You can see what the New Kitty likes in regards to toys, petting, and grooming, plus it gives you a chance to see how much he/she's eating, and using the litter pan for the first week and just generally observe his/her general behavior. The New Kitty is given a chance to get to know and bond with you, without interference from the ERC. Take your time, allow the New Kitty to progress at his/her own pace. Its well worth the time spent!

 

Hope this helps and bless you for taking in a new kitty.
 

5 years ago

Well, the residents have settled down a bit. They're all in my bedroom under my constant supervision but what I can't understand is why the oldest is beating up the 7month old. She's been here so many months and they've been friends for quite some time, they play fight, sleep together, and now, he's beating her up and hissing and growling at her. The newbie I can understand, but not one that's always been here.

5 years ago

That's called displaced aggression ~ it's where the cat takes out his aggression on a cat {or human} who is not the cause the of the problem. Try separating the new kitten as directed in my post above and see what happens. Or, if the younger two are getting along, you can separate your older cat for a few days.

5 years ago

This information couldn't have come at a better time. As I need to take my daughter's cat in for awhile as she needs to find another place to live. So I need to keep her cat and mine separated for awhile till they get use to each other. Having there own space and litter box, food and water dish. Now the problem is the family dog comes in at night, have play time with us in the living room where I will be having my daughter's cat stay. Then the dog gets put for the night in the kitchen area. I don't know how this is all going to work out. My cat has gotten use to the dog and vice versa but with another kitty. I'm going to have to see how this will work out.

Desire~ I agree with what Darla says, your older cat has lived there first and feels its territory has also been invaded. Having displaced aggression. Hope that does not happen here as well for me.

5 years ago

When Mouse came into the family, only Little Joe was a pain in the butt. Now he accepts him as long as Mouse doesn't get in his face. One thing, there is lots of room so it isn't hard for Mouse to keep away from him. It's working out and no one has been hurt, but close.

Sugar

5 years ago

boy do I need help with this!!! I took in a feral baby right before the hurricane. I wooed her for months. My cats knew her from the porch through the door, from her in and out ( at 2am for weeks) trying to decide what she wanted. When she first came in she stayed by the door-I left a bed in front of it so she didn't feel closed in-no problems with the others, now all hell is breaking loose. My big boy-he's about 6 yrs old and fat-is all over her. We had to put a liter right next to the couch for her so she can pee!!! He won't let her run to the basement. found this out the hard way (peed on couch,cat bed, dog bed) he is usually a big ol love bug. My other baby-our 12 yr old queen is usually mean anyway so no surpise she doesn't like her. I feel so bad this litttle cat is under the couch unless I'm home. It's been about 3 weeks. I'm afraid to move her to another room or change anything as since she was feral she's already made so much adjustment-she is so loveable-any advice???? The dog is the only one ok with everything!

5 years ago

Helen,

When I went to reply to your post yesterday it seemed care2 was not working. I am wondering since your big friendly boy all of a sudden, after being a love bug, decided to go after her, if maybe she is going into heat? The smell would set  them off.

5 years ago

everyone is neutered,spayed. She had to go straight to the clinic after the storm she had fleas,worms,mites the works...which she was nice enough to share.They are all clean and hopefully not sexy anymore. I know have her on holistic calming meds and him on rx calming meds but obviously do not want that to continue too long. When she lived on my porch with her boyfriend she was one tough little cookie,she chased everyone else away. As soon as I take them in they get fat and spoiled. I am trying to show him the same the love and affection so he doesn't feel replaced at all. I took all the toys out and catnip to play with them all at once too.

5 years ago

Helen, just continue doing what you're doing. You can also try the Feliway plug-in diffuser. It's a holistic thing that sprays into the room rather than you giving them meds though you might be able to do both. I just thought the diffuser might be easier to manage than the meds. It sometimes takes several weeks to months for a new cat to settle completely into her/his new home so all you can do is be very patient. You're right not to make things too different for her after 3 weeks of it being this way and playing with them together is smart too as it lets them relax around each other as well as to know they're each loved. Ultimately, your patience will pay off so hang in there.

5 years ago

Helen , the little girl probably got an attitude toward him, and that is when they take offense and decide the other one is not their friend. If I have a new kitty, and she comes in and greets the main kitty of the house, with a headbutt or high 5, Everything will run smoothly. It is when  the new one rejects or runs from another, that a problem will take place.

 

I remember when I brought a young male to my yard, and here comes the bully, running toward him. The new kitty ran up to meet him, and my bully stopped for a second, and then quick took off. I think he decided he was making a mistake by charging at him since he was not afraid, and there was no problems after that.

 

I remember back when I had 4 yards that I was using for outside cats. In the one yard were bullies. The one named Fred would not leave Big foot alone. He just kept picking on him, so I brought Fred into the main yard, and left Big with Freeloader and Lucy.

 

I gave Big foot 3 weeks to get brave, and establish some territory in there, and then I put Fred back in. Big finally stood up to Fred, and that was the end of the bullying in there.

 

Someone here mentioned something about ferals giving a house kitty a rough time? This is soooooo strange and unusual. I would guess the so called feral kitty is a stray. I have had ferals in my yard, and there are a few in my house. They NEVER bother any of the cats. They know how to get along with cat, it is humans they can't quite understand and trust. I had a feral in my yard for 9 years, and never once did he have a problem/  The ones in here know their place in here, and they are loveable to the other cats.

5 years ago

Sally, following is the document we give new kitty parents who have a dog. Hope this helps in some way.

 

The key to successful cat-dog introductions is to expose them to one another gradually under controlled conditions. You want to avoid creating situations where the cat runs away and the dog's prey-chase instinct is activated. If your dog has previously lived with a cat, and your new cat has previously had positive experiences with dogs, they may progress quickly to tolerating one another. However, if you have an adult dog who has never been socialized to cats, the introduction should be a very gradual process lasting up to 30 days. In either case, train your dog to sit and stay reliably before bringing your new cat home. This may give you somewhat greater control once the introductions have been made. Remember that these steps are progressive, so go on to the next step only when you feel your dog and cat have "mastered" the previous one.

1. On day 1, confine your new cat to his or her own room at first. After a few hours, confine the dog in a fenced-in yard or basement or separate room, and allow the cat to explore the rest of the house. Then put the cat back in his or her own room, so the dog has an opportunity to become familiar with the cat's scent. Put a baby gate up but leave the door closed.

2. On day 2, crack open the door to the cat's room a couple inches and allow the dog to sniff and see through the opening for 30 seconds. Reward the dog for appropriate behavior. Repeat this step a couple more times during the day. Continue to give the cat the opportunity to explore the house when the dog is securely confined out of sight.

3. On day 3 and subsequently, increase the "viewing intervals" by short increments until the dog can watch the cat quietly for a few minutes. Reward good behavior.

4. Allow the dog to view the cat with the door completely open, with the baby gate still in place, for a few minutes at a time. If the dog is tolerating the cat, go into another room. Call the dog to you and play a game with him or her. Then ignore both animals (but keep attuned to them!) and engage in some other activity. The dog will start to lose interest in the cat.

5. Eventually work up to leaving the door to the cat's room open, with the baby gate still up, whenever you are at home. Always close the door when you are not present! Some pet owners will always need to keep the dog and cat separated when they aren't around to supervise, but others will find that after a couple months' probation, the dog and cat are OK together by themselves. It's far better to err on the side of caution, however, to prevent tragedy. Even after your dog and cat are peacefully co-existing, make sure that the cat's food bowl and litter box are out of the dog's reach. Keep the cat from approaching the dog when the dog is eating or chewing on a bone.

5 years ago

first thank you all...and yes, the very first time she came in she let the big boy-his name is budrick love (yes really long story) lick her and love her. but she was kinda in and out then. it took a long time to get her all the way in. once she was in-she rejected him and yeppers that was when he decided he didn't like her anymore. but she rejected him out of fear and now he-being a man,feels all slighted. The poor dog thinks he's a cat and the queen -ginger hisses at everyone. ahhhh. I know it takes time. My little Rosie,bless her soul, took 2 years to come out from under that same sofa. I never get an easy and/or healthy rescue but I love them all like my kids.

5 years ago

Cats--especially females--establish a territory. When your little feral was in and outside her territory was outside and she felt she could retreat to it at any time. When that territory was no longer accessable she had no territory and the other cats became a threat. That is why the "new kid" should be given her own room at first. it allow safe transition and provides her iwth her onw territoy. In most cases the new cat will retreat to that room anytime she feels threatened.

5 years ago

It sounds alot like my household Desiree!  I have a six year old female that I got from a woman who was at her wit's end trying to find homes for her kittens.  After she'd been with us for 6 months, I brought home another kitten who I'd found outside in a parking lot in the next town.  She seemed about the same age as my first cat Savanna.  Well Savanna chased the new cat Roxy around and beat her up for about a day.  Then they became friends and they got along well for the next 5 years.  Last winter I found a kitten in a snowstorm in the woods.  It was tiny, about 5 or 6 weeks old and extremely starved.  I took her in and cared for her and nursed her back to health.  She is now almost a year old I figure.  Anyway, from the moment I brought this kitten I named Bandit into the house, Savanna has treated her like prey.  She chases her around constantly and traps her in tiny corners of the house.  The middle cat Roxy loves the new kitten and mothers her all the time.  Roxy also protects Bandit from Savanna and now Savanna and Roxy no longer get along very well.  They barely pass each other without hissing.  Alone, they are all really loving cats and I spend time with each of them throughout the day.  Bandit spends most of her time in my room or close to it and sleeps with me at niight.  I keep hoping for peace in my household amongst my cats....one day perhaps!    Sooner than later I hope!!

5 years ago

Karen,

That is how I usually do things. I mean with giving the newbie a room to herself to feel safe. Then after she feels safe I open the door a crack. At night she can peek around the corner, and when she feels threatened, she has her own place to run to. The safe territory is important.

 

However, it is not always a problem. I let in the huge cat we called Quala Momma, and HE was a gentle giant. He still is, and he is a neutered male. I was so worried about him getting pregnant, OR, getting hit in the road. We caught him walking along side of the road, and crossing it. That was enough to bring him in.

 

Angie, my cat 8ball was up on a cabinet for a LONG time, and now she is out here, but is not totally tame. She is a sweet cat though.

 

One thing we need to keep in mind when bringing a new female in. We are so worried about whether the new girl is spayed, that we forget she might have kittens somewhere. This will make a pretty wild cat. I  trapped a cat a couple of doors from my sisters, and after bringing her home I discovered she was MAD, and protective of invisible kittens.

 

She stayed under  a curio cabinet for a while, and when my cats passed her, she came out and chased all of them through the house. They were running for their life. Then Jimmy said we need to check to see if she was nursing. Sure enough ! So my neighbor and me and Jimmy went back with her to where we got her, and let her go. We watched as she uncovered some leaves, and 2 cute little kittens popped their heads up. Good thing we discovered this within a day. My friend took all 3 home.

5 years ago

When I brought home Gingersnap (part Maine Coon, part dilute calico) about a 1 1/2 yrs ago we kept her in a separate room. Whiskers (around 8 yrs old then, spayed long haired Persian mix) couldn;t stand her during their "introductions." A  normally gentle and sweet cat, he hissed and ran away from her every time. I was despondent because I thought they'd never get along. About 2 weeks later I started feeding them together but on opposite sides of a door with a crack underneath, so they could still sense each other. Eventually they tolerated each other and gingersnap atttached herself to Whiskers despite his protests, and would play and bathe him. Now they are best friends and play and bathe each other.

 Sometimes, you can't tell who will get along, but a gradual intro is a must to up the odds for that happening

Hugs,

Kristi

 

5 years ago

Well, update...I got that "fermone" difuser in desperation. I think its working on the kitten (Sox ) she is getting braver. She is out from the couch. She goes into the kitchen just a bit and up 3 steps towards the upstairs. Ginger and Budrick still don't like her, they still chase her, but I can't explain it, they are getting more tolerant. THey will sleep on the same couch after some hissing and adjusting. The funniest part is the dog. My sweet 55lb dog. She was never afraid of him. She gets her little paws and babs him around his neck when he walks past the couch and he lets her. He always loves his cats. He'll growl a little when he's had enough,but never will he hurt them and if they meow he runs to them. I feel terrible for budrick I think he feels replaced even though I keep trying to show him extra love. I know that's his issue. He just wants to love her. I keep telling him ladies are tough.

5 years ago

Helen, glad to hear the pheremone difuser is working and it sounds like it is. It just takes time for the cats to settle down with each other. I know it seems like a month is a long time but it's  really not. So just keep being patient, dispensing love to all, and using that difuser.

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