Jan 19, 2004 at 12:00 #491544
So here’s my problem… I used to have two cats (brother and sister… both fixed :)), but one of them ran away about two months ago. Bear (the one that’s still here) is a total lovebug, but he’s not used to being an only child (him and his sister used to play all the time, and as siblings, there weren’t any dominance issues). So I decided I really needed to bring another cat in the house, so he’d have a playmate. I was originally planning on adopting a kitten that could grow up with him, but a friend knew of a two-year old that needed a new home… so I agreed to a trial adoption, to see how the two cats got along. Long story (somewhat) short, she was terrified of my cat for the first week (his body language is all off for a cat… he’s thinks he’s a dog – in fact, he twitches/wags his tail constantly, and the happier/more playful he is, the more it twitches… which in kitty language usually means "I’m pissed") but now that she realizes what a little pansy he is, she’s trying to start fights so that she can be the dominant cat… obviously, it isn’t working, and they’ll have to find her a different home :(. So here’s my problem… I really want him to have a buddy, but a kitten is a lifelong commitment. I’m worried now that if I adopt a kitten, it might not be compatible with Bear either… but I can’t just keep adopting and dumping cats till I find one that gets along with him! So what do I do? ???Jan 29, 2004 at 12:00 #491546
Hi Evil Wench! You mentioned that 1 of your cats ran away. I am so sorry to hear that. Did the female get adopted by 1 of the neighborhood families; did you go out looking for your cat, post photo’s, ads, call shelters, etc? The reason I am asking is that cats, dogs, gerbils, whatever pet. They are all part of the family. If your child (if you have any) ran away, wouldn’t you go out searching to bring your child home? I feel that pets are no different. Cats & dogs are like furry 4 yr old children, they depend on us humans to take care of them. I will tell you about 2 of my cats: Charlie & Mr. Sunshine a stray whom I adopted) , later in this post. Now about Bear – what a cute name 🙂 You might think this suggestion nuts, but it does work. Since cats & dogs are like furry 4 yr olds, & they do understand we humans. Have you tried explaining to Bear what happened to his sister? Did you also tell Bear, that you don’t want him to be alone & you want to bring in another cat to keep him company? Then when you brought the 2nd cat in, what I would have done is: have either a medium size dog crate available with cusy blanket, litter box, & a couple of Bear’ s toys inside. Or buy a cat palypen cage (however, the dog crate is alot less expensive). Then once the 2nd cat was brought in, put the new cat into the cage, with Bear’s scent on the blanket & toys. Then let Bear, in his own time, come & introduce himself to the new cat. He might not have come up to the new cat, until he knew you were asleep or in another room. Then after about 3 or 4 hours & cleaning the litter pan, switch the 2 cats. I would have put Bear into the cage & told him it is now "so & so’s" turn to explore the house. This way the other cat can explore the new home, smell Bear’s scent everywhere, get adjusted to the house activities. Then after 3 or 4 hours, switch again. But, when you go to sleep, the new cat stays in the cage for the night, with food, water, litter pan & cushy blanket or other cat bed. Then the next day, go thru the same process. I would have done this for a week. Then after that, take new cat out, & see how it goes from there, monitoring them. Just in case you need to pick up Bear or new cat in a hurry. I would also have a water squirt bottle in hand, in case either of the cats had to be corrected with a squirt & a NO! You had also mentioned that you are thinking of getting a kitten. I would go thru the same process, but mention to Bear that you are bringing home a baby kitten & he has to protect him or her. This is what I did with each new cat coming into the house, we have 6 kitties. Now for the story regarding Charlie & Mr. Sunshine. Charlie escaped out of the house in mid – August 2003. Silly boy ran after a mama cat. 🙂 I was called at work & told. Then, as soon as I came home from work I went out looking for him for a couple hours. We phoned the police stations of 2 towns, since we live on the border & they said they would mention it to the animal control officer. We posted ads in 4 local papers, & in every grocery store & drug store that would have our photo of Charlie & his description, etc. With the help of 1 cat shelter, they leant us 3 humane cat trap cages. Then after 3 months, Charlie finally went into 1 of the traps. The shelter came for the cage with Charlie inside, bathed him, fed him, etc. Then after their vet checked him out, we got him back. And we know it is him, because of his AVID chip. And with Mr. Sunshine, he was actually a stray with a collar. No one ever claimed him, so I fed him, played with him with pheasant feathers, he visited practically every day; but never wanted to be inside the house & he wouldn’t let me pick him up. I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to force him. I was trying to catch him & find him a good home. One day, as he was crossing the street & I saw him too late of running across, & he was hit by a car. I still miss him, he was such a sweet boy. This is why I am sad that your female cat never returned. And when anyone’s pet runs away,Jan 30, 2004 at 12:00 #491545
I Just went through this about 6 mo ago. ?My oldest cat "Red" is a 4yr old male, and my husband and I new that when we bought our new home, we would have to work more and not have as much time for him and wanted him to have a playmate. So we decided to adopt another cat. ?We ended up adopting a 5mo olf female "Sophie". ?There are a BUNCH of websites out there that tell you how to introduce two new cats so that they get along. ?This is what I did…We brought Sophie home (after having her FULLY checked and immunized by our vet, b/c Red is an inside only cat and we got her from the pound.) and put her in the office with the door CLOSED with her own food, water and litter. ?At this point she new there was another cat b/c she could smell him and Red new she was there b/c he could smell her. ?However, Red did not feel that his "territory" was threatened b/c she was not in his face. ?After about 4days we cracked the door just enough that they could see eachother and stick one paw through. ?Ofcourse we sat there through the whole process, to make sure they did not open the door more or hurt eachother. after awhile we shut the door again. ?Then after about 2 days of this, we moved their food on opposite sides of the crack and let them eat together (we propped the door so they could not open it more than the crack, but still could see eachother, and we stayed close by) This way they began associating a good thing (like eating) with the others scent. After they were comfortable with this, we began to let sophie roam the house for a couple hous, longer each day. Never leaving her out at night until they stopped hissing at each other. ?Fimally we began to leave her out all the time and they are the BEST of friends now. Cats are social animals and when you have two or more cats, there will always be a ?dominate cat. ?You may not see the classic TV strutting and beating ?:), but the roles are still there. ?Now I am not an expert or anything on these matters, I just know what worked for me. ?It would also seem to make sense that if you bring a "kitten" into the home, your other cat won’t feel as threatened, and be able to express his dominance easier and accept the new cat quicker. However if you bring an older cat into the picture it might be harder, b/c that cat is already going to be set in its role. ?But I would think the same method would work. I think the key in introducing a new cat is to make sure that the other cat does not feel like he is being replaced in your affection and that he is not losing his "territory" to an "intruder" I hope that this has helped you.
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