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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just got a 2ndcat. She's a 2-yr-old sort of tortoiseshell cat, brown and black and grey. She's really pretty, very friendly and outgoing. She has settled in really well, she is cuddling with us and loves to be brushed. She's used the litterbox, eaten food and had some water. We think we might call her Isabella Sofia, "Bella" for short. But, we're not sure yet


HOWEVER....
Our current cat, Tom, is not sure what to make of her. When we brought her in we took her straight to the 2nd bathroom where we have been keeping her. We take turns going in to visit with her. We've also been giving Tom lots of attention and petting, etc. Well, he hisses at the door to the bathroom, and he hisses at US if we pet her and don't wash hands before coming near Tomas. She got out of the bathroom once and Tom hissed and then when we got her back into the bathroom he went and hid under our bed (his "safe" place where he hides when he is scared). He has been there ever since (~3 hours).

We will keep Bella in the 2nd bathroom overnight and for as long as we need to, but as I said she has settled in very well and I really think she would be happy to just come out and be with us - no slow adjustment needed for her! She does not seem too bothered by Tom hissing at her and in fact at the shelter she was very agreeable with other cats so we do not anticipate problems on her end.

I know that it might not work out - some cats just don't like other cats around - but is there anything else we can do to smooth the transition for Tom, to give it the best chance of working out? Thanks!
 

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You might want to move her to another room and let Tom investigate the room she was occupying and get used to her smells first. I've taken a week or more to introduce cats and it usually works pretty well. Just keep taking the new cat into a new area while the other cat is outside or in another room so that her smells get all over everything. Then after her smell is everywhere, maybe a week, I put the new cat in a carrier and let your other cat sniff the carrier and let them get used to each other that way first. Do that for a couple hours everyday and then when Tom has settled down let them out together and see how they do. It's a slower process with cats thats for sure and you don't want to rush it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post
You might want to move her to another room and let Tom investigate the room she was occupying and get used to her smells first. I've taken a week or more to introduce cats and it usually works pretty well. Just keep taking the new cat into a new area while the other cat is outside or in another room so that her smells get all over everything. Then after her smell is everywhere, maybe a week, I put the new cat in a carrier and let your other cat sniff the carrier and let them get used to each other that way first. Do that for a couple hours everyday and then when Tom has settled down let them out together and see how they do. It's a slower process with cats thats for sure and you don't want to rush it.
Thanks, we are trying that now. No idea how we will get Tom out from under the bed (he hasn't come out since last night, except for 2 minutes to eat his special nightly treat).... I anticipated taking several days at least but I wasn't prepared for Tom to just stay under the bed (it's very hard to get him out from under there and we don't like to force him out because we want him to know he has a safe place).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Originally Posted by domesticzookeeper View Post
We went through this last year (introducing a cat to our three resident kitties). It requires a lot of patience, but if you do it right, it is SOOO worth it. Man Cat has added so much joy to our home and he just loves the other three


The Feliway Diffuser really seemed to help calm frayed nerves during the process: http://www.catfaeries.com/feliway.html
Thanks, I will look into that at the pet store this afternoon. We have to go to get stuff for the new kitty anyway.
 

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Patience is very important. Some things I've found helpful, powdering both cats so they smell alike (cornstarch baby powder), serving them wet food at the same time when they are separated.

When I introduced two kitties last year I found the mutual eating to be the key. My old girl was so freaked out, she would hide the whole time, but once I started putting the wet food down she would come out, eat and realize "oh, that new cat's not so bad...she comes with perks....
"

Now, I have recently introduced kittes last week, and it's gone very well. A little hissing when Chance got too close, but I consider that just being "kitty talk" while they're divving up territory.
 

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We just got 2 new kittens (Bo and Vinny) that we introduced to our 2 family cats (Mindy and Cacilie). Everyone (including DH and I and the puppy) spent a full day (except meals) in our bedroom (the biggest room in the house). Nobody was forced to be around anyone else, just hanging out in the same room, wherever they wanted. I know our situation wasn't typical, but Mindy and Cacilie have been very good with the new boys. There was one hissing episode when Bo decided Cacilie's favorite spot on our bed looked really comfy, and another when Vinny decided to join Mindy on the windowsill, but it's been about 48 hours and the girls were caught grooming the boys this morning, and everyone slept together on our bed last night, so it looks like it worked.

I can also say, though, that it's very likely that since Mindy and Cacilie are just over 1 year old and the boys are 5 mos, that had a lot to do with it. They seem very easily adaptable, and most likely it has a lot to do with their age and the fact that they all were shelter animals at some point (and are used to being around LOTS of strange smelling animals).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, things are slowly MAYBE improving. This is really long but I have some questions at the end so you can skip to the bold line if you like..

Yesterday around noon we took the new cat (Bella) with us to go to the pet store, she seemed like it would not bother her and it didn't - she loved the attention! We hoped it would give Tom a break at home without her around too, we left the doors all open so he could explore places she had been. We came home after about 45 minutes - we don't think he even came out from under the bed


Yesterday afternoon I took Bella into the office with me and she fell asleep. Tomás maybe thought she had gone and he came out from under the bed (boyfriend was in the bedroom with him). Boyfriend opened the bedroom door and let Tom out into the rest of the house (where Bella has been), Tom was hissing periodically at her scent but did go out into the living room. We brought Bella out in her box and let them sniff each other and that seemed to go ... okay? They spent a lot of time hissing at each other and doing that low throaty growling. I did close the door to our bedroom so Tom couldn't just hide under the bed - he didn't even try to go in that direction though.

After that we had to go do some grocery shopping so we put Bella in the 2nd bathroom and Tom in the master suite and then Tom went back under the bed.

Last night Tommy finally came out from under the bed on his own. Boyfriend's mum who Tom loves came over to meet the new kitty and see Tomás and we spent some time with all three of us sitting in the bedroom talking. Eventually he crept out and let us pet him a little bit. At one point he heard Bella meow and so he went back under the bed - slowly though, not running or anything.

Last night when we went to bed Bella went in the 2nd bathroom again and we closed the door to the master suite. Tommy at some point came out from under our bed and settled in his cat bed. At some point he came onto our bed (unusual for him!) and curled up and slept there for awhile, and he ate some food too when it came down (auto dispenser) at 6.30am. This morning, he was mostly his same self although not as energetic as usual - he meowed a little, watched us take our showers and brush teeth, etc. Bella got to play and run around in the front rooms while we were getting ready. When we left for work it was Bella back to the 2nd bathroom and Tom in the master suite. I went home on my lunch break and let Bella out for awhile, and sat with Tom- he was under the bed but came out when I was sitting with him to eat and have some pets. He still won't let me pick him up.

So: What next? When I get home I'd like to let Bella out in the front of the house and spend some time sitting with Tom in the master suite, encouraging him not to go under the bed when he hears her. Then I'd like them to meet face to face, I think... should I try to feed them together or is that likely to make things worse? Should I wait longer to bring them face to face? Any suggestions?
 

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One suggestion I've read (to piggyback on Christy's advice) is to feed them together, but on either side of a closed door. Put a towel down, then food on the towel (so they have to sit on the towel to eat). Each meal, switch the sides of the towel so their smells mix. You slowly start to leave the door open more and more. First a little crack, then a little bigger, etc. till you work up to a point where they can see eachother, but not get to eachother.

You can also try dabbing a little vanilla extact on the base of their tails. Supposedly it masks their scent. Not sure if it works though, never tried it.

Hopefully they'll get to accepting eachother. I've only had one cat that absolutly, no matter what, would not tolerate any other female cats (she loved our male cat).

~Julia
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by jlutgendorf View Post
One suggestion I've read (to piggyback on Christy's advice) is to feed them together, but on either side of a closed door. Put a towel down, then food on the towel (so they have to sit on the towel to eat). Each meal, switch the sides of the towel so their smells mix. You slowly start to leave the door open more and more. First a little crack, then a little bigger, etc. till you work up to a point where they can see eachother, but not get to eachother.

You can also try dabbing a little vanilla extact on the base of their tails. Supposedly it masks their scent. Not sure if it works though, never tried it.

Hopefully they'll get to accepting eachother. I've only had one cat that absolutly, no matter what, would not tolerate any other female cats (she loved our male cat).

~Julia
Thanks, that is an interesting idea! I will try that tonight.

I really hope Tom will adjust. He was at the shelter for a very short time before we got him so unfortunately they never tried him with any other cats. We're going on instinct here - I really do think he will be happy with another cat in the end. It's just very slow going to introduce them. It's frustrating because I want to go slowly but I've got friends saying "just put them together, Tom will get over it"... and I think that is a bad idea but they say it works for them... so am I doing the right thing??
 
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