Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

2 new babies - HELP!!

whinnie-boo
December 20th, 2004, 09:30 AM
I'm looking for some advice on how to make the transition of moving 2 farm/barn cats into their new forever home in the city. I learned last friday of 2 beautiful sisters looking for a forever home where they do not have to be seperated. While trying to help look for a new home for them, Lucky posted pictures, and I feel in love. I spoke with their foster Mommy on the weekend, and told her about the home I could offer these girls, and she said wonderful.
I will be Jo-Jo & her sisters new mommy. My one baby, though I've never seen her picture yet, she has no ears, she lost them to frostbite, and Jo-Jo though shy, seems to be fine. These 2 girls used to have a wonderful home, and their Daddy died. His farm was sold and the new owners detest cats, and left them out to fend for themselves. While I'm working on finding a way to Transport them from Montreal to Brampton I'm trying to prepare for their arrival. I'll be the first to say "I'm not 100% knowledgeable on cats"
I need some advice on how to make this transition easiest for my 2 new babies, and my 2 babies already at home. :confused:
I own 2 pit's. Whinnie my oldest, has been raised around cats, she'll be fine. My baby Boo, has never seen a cat, and I worry a little about her. The cats I believe, have their claws, which they will be keeping for 2 reasons. 1 - I have to know they can defend themselves if anything were ever to happen, or they need to keep their new Doggy sisters in line. 2 - I do not approve of cutting off their little knuckles, just too cruel!!
I've read I should keep the girls in a room alone until they are comfortable, and then slowly allow them to explore their new world until they are fully comfortable. HELP???????? How can I make this easy on all 4 girls, they've been through so much???? Thanks guys!! :confused:

tenderfoot
December 20th, 2004, 10:37 AM
Giving the cats a room to themselves is a good idea and I would take it one step further and give them a room or closet where they know they are safe from the dogs and can get a break. We have one one called the cat room where the litter boxes, beds, toys, scratching posts, food and water are available. The cats can be with the family or get quiet time in their own room.
It would be good to have Boo on the leash when you first introduce everyone. Make sure her commands are tight and she knows and respects the words 'Leave it' and 'Easy'. The first direction will tell her to back away from the cats and the second will help teach her to be gentle so she can interact with the cats. But I would not trust them alone together until you see that the dogs are no longer fascinated by the cats. This can take quite a bit of time - depending on the dogs enthusiasm and the cats comfort levels.

whinnie-boo
December 20th, 2004, 10:59 AM
I've set up the closet in my room so that the door is wedged open only enough for a cat to get in or out, and so even if whin & boo sneak into their room, they will not be able to get near or into the closet. We have a raised bed, and dishes in there alreay, and the litter box set up right outside the closet door. The bedroom door will be closed while we are not home. I've also enlisted the help of my best friend to stay with them for a few days, and then I'll stay with them a few days & we'll use up whatever vacation time we have from work with them.
Should each of these new cats have their own litter boxes? What is the best kind of cat food on the market? I recently switched Whin & Boo off of Iams (saw the website) Other then what's good for my dogs, I have no idea what food is good. They've had a rough start and I want to make sure they're getting all the nutrition they need.
:confused:

Lucky Rescue
December 20th, 2004, 11:03 AM
I thought your friend was taking these cats.

You need to find out first how Boo will react! If she is predatory and wants to kill cats, there will be big problems! On top of that, these cats are special needs and very frightened.

I strongly advise you test Boo first around cats, if you know people who have some. Take Boo over and keep her on leash and see what she does.

If you take these two cats without doing this, what will you do if Boo wants to kill them? There is no place for them to go and they desperately need a stable and permanent home after what they have been through.

Please test Boo first. If her reactions are not too bad, I will tell you how to go about introducing them. An empty room is a necessity.

whinnie-boo
December 20th, 2004, 11:37 AM
We have a spare room already ready for them.
Erin was so excited to take these girls home with her, but as I explained to Joanne on Sunday, Amber has fluid built up around her heart & Lungs. The docotrs are 85% certain that surgery will help her. I was up at the farm with her all day Saturday to comfort her. Right now she has to put Amber first, and she has set up a payment plan with her Vet to get Amber the surgery. Quoted at around $1500-$2000 for surgery, after care, medication & check ups.
In the summer of 2005, we have decided that we are going to move our families back together and get a small farm. I'm sick of the city and I am more sick of what Whin & Boo are enduring recently, just for some excercise.
As for Boo, I know she may be a little interested in the cats, but I honestly don't think she would be out to kill them, she is very submissive, and very up to date on her commands. Both verbal and hand signals.
I was planning on sending Whinnie & Boo to my Mom's house for the night, and then it would be just me and the girls for the first night. I wasn't planning on letting Whin & Boo see them for a few days, I'm so afraid of scaring these cats more.
I was hoping that they could also go and stay on the farm, but from our end, its just not possible right now. But, just because they won't be on a farm, doesn't mean they won't be well taken care of. I'm hoping they will feel right at home by the time we are ready to move back to the country. I've told Erin I'd like to have the 2 cats at the house when these 2 arrive, and she said that was fine. We have a 7 Week old barn kitten Erin found last week, the vet guesses 7 weeks. We also have a DSH Russian Blue named "SALEM"
Erin is going to drop them off to me this week and they can stay as long as I need them. When we buy a house in the country all 4 will be together forever + the dogs, Hopefully Amber will still be around & healthy then too. It came down to me or no home for them. I explained my situation to Jo-anne & told her that I would obviously be keeping in touch with you, and she was more then welcome to contact me whenever she wanted + I'll keep her updated on thier Health & Check-ups. Plus gather & send you guys all I can to help out over there. I didn't want to turn them away. Now the only issue I have is transportation. Lucky, I gave you my number on Friday, please feel free to contact me if there is anything else you would like to know, or if you have any suggestions, much appreciated!!

Lucky Rescue
December 20th, 2004, 04:04 PM
I've set up the closet in my room

A closet? Are you saying these cats would spend time in a closet?

whinnie-boo
December 20th, 2004, 04:08 PM
NO

I've put thier bed in the closet with the door wedged shut so that is their space. They have the whole room to hide in the dogs will be sent away for 2 days to stay with Erin and her 2 cats. While the girls do their exploring with nothing to fear. I would never l;ock them up anywhere, just set up the closet as their bed, their space where they can be when they don't want to see anyone. If under the bed is more comfortable for them, I'm just saying I know they're going to need their time to hide & their space to do it.

whinnie-boo
December 20th, 2004, 04:14 PM
The girls will have my whole room to themselves as long as they need it. Whin & Boo will never go in there until the cats show me they are comfortable with their surroundings and ready to explore beyond the bedroom. As for how Boo does with the cats, I'll know on Wednesday when my girlfriend comes to pick them up & then Sunday the will be going to their Grandmas for 3 days so that the cats will have the whole house to themselves. They'll be able to explore & smell the dogs, without being terrifeid by 2 Pits trying to get at them. Boo-Boo used to do fine with our Guniea Pig & Whinnie used to live with Salem & Scrapper, My best friends cats at the time. I'm pretty sure they'll both be fine, but I don't want to take any chances. After the Cats have been given a few days to adjust and get used to the smells, Whin & Boo will be brought home and thats where I'm hoping you can help. I want to introduce them properly.

whinnie-boo
December 20th, 2004, 04:22 PM
Oh, still need also to know, what is the best food on the market for cats?

Lucky Rescue
December 20th, 2004, 04:27 PM
OH I see. Sorry, my ADD is acting up.:D

The other cat is not even caught yet. Just don't get cat food from the grocery store.

whinnie-boo
December 20th, 2004, 04:50 PM
I've called the vet & scheduled an appointment for the girls on Jan. 23 - roughly 1 month after they arrive. So, my doctor can meet them and I can get a feel for what I need to be watching with them. I'm hoping he'll be able to tell me how they're adapting. Since my vet comes to the house. So, maybe I'll just pass by tonight and see what he recommends based on the fact that I know they have to get some weight on, and have probably been suffering from malnourishment from having to fed for themselves. Now....wet or dry?????? Hopefully I have a feel for them by then. Speaking with Joanne, she says the Jo-Jo is already letting people pick her up and love her to pieces. I'm hoping the sister (does she have a name yet?) has the same kind of temperment
:thumbs up

chico2
December 20th, 2004, 05:09 PM
Whinnie-Boo...you sound like you have it all figured out :thumbs up but I also think you have your work cut out for you,I am praying the pitties will be ok with the cats,but how will the cats react to the dogs???I know my cats take hizzy-fits when my son brings my grand-doggie Kita,a Jack Russel,there is nooo way we could keep them together :crazy:
As for food,Nutro is excellent reasonably priced food,my cats love "Chicken-soup-for-the-cat-lovers-soul but it's not easy to find,Wellness is good but almost twice as expensive as Nutro and CSFTPLS.
Since the cats are undernourished I would also give them canned food,Nutro can is good,my cats eat Nutro canned(don't like it too much!!)and Fancy Feast(not too good,but they like it!).
My 3 cats split one small can twice a day,but if yours are skinny half a can each twice a day is good,
I also keep dry food and water available 24/7.
How old are these two darlings???
I am soooo hoping things will work out well,they've been through enough :sad:
Ps,Check the ingredients on any cat-food,don't buy anything with corn or cornmeal in it!

tenderfoot
December 20th, 2004, 05:15 PM
The ideal food is actually raw meat. There are several companies who make raw formulas so you don't have to think about missing any key ingredients. Cats require a diet of mostly protein (meat) and dry kibble is mostly carbs which taxes a cats liver and kidneys. If you are going to go with the dry kibble it would be nice to supplement with meat.

BMDLuver
December 20th, 2004, 06:11 PM
I think it's a huge risk to place two cats, that by now due to circumstances, sound somewhat semi feral and two pitts together. The cats will arrive in the house not knowing that two dogs live there as you are removing them, the two dogs come back and then the cats are in danger. It takes a very minimal bite from one of the pitts to do serious harm to a cat. Also, if these cats choose to defend by swatting with claws fully extended and spitting, what will the pitt do? I don't mean to rain on the parade, but I would tread with extreme caution on this one. :(

Lucky Rescue
December 20th, 2004, 07:50 PM
Don't make any vet appts! The other cat hasn't even been caught yet.

CyberKitten
December 20th, 2004, 07:53 PM
There are some good links to help adjust barn cats (are these ferals - lived in a barn for some time?) If so, you may have to socialize them.

The room sounds OK, not sure about the closet but that's just me. It is good for them to have a space they feel they can run to if necessary - a space that is theirs alone!

I feed Wellness to Yin Yin but also raw chicken hearts (I am not keen to give her liver (thinking about all the toxins that go through that- too many autopsies, sigh (and they are not as kewl as on TV!). She also likes Fancy Feast salmon which I fed her on a few occasions. She was on Hills Science Kitten diet when she arrived but it seems many cat specialists recommend Wellness. Today I heard a new brand (and cannot recall the name but it is at Costco) is almost (almost but not quite) as good as Wellness but half the price. It is a brand available only there. (This was a Floridian who told me that tho so I do not know if it's avialable in Canada- will check Moncton and Hfx Costco when I get home).

I also posted some home made recipes on this Board and I am assuming they are still here. Yin Yin liked the egg-chicken-rice one. (protein) Cats also need taurine which is found in chicken hearts. They are such carnivores!

You will have your work cut out for you as others have said. (Even alone but with other pets, it will be a challenge). I once rehomed a feral cat that was hanging around my gram's that needed vet care and oh my, it was a herculian effort - some days I would so pleased with myself only to discover the next day that the kitty had gone nack to hating humans again and hising under the bed.

Good luck!!!!

whinnie-boo
December 21st, 2004, 04:57 PM
:sad: No luck needed as my application was denied, I own a Pit-bull who has never been exposed to cats in her whole year of life...so, instead I get an E-mail stating my home is not ideal and they would not adopt me any animals. :sad:

Guys, this is the reason rescues get no help. You've got plenty of room for the cats & every excuse in the book not to adopt them out, just sit on here and cry about all the UNWANTED cats, but those who do want to help are turned away for the stupidest reasons. I agree to help and judgements start flying, and these 2 girls now have no home. And the reason given for my being denied, are I have a Pitbull who hasn't seen a cat & Children (which I don't have) Instead of a nice warm home with a visit from Santa, they have just a nice warm cage with a blanket and some food, seperated from eachother, days before Christmas, in an animal shelter, not even a foster home. Is that what they deserve??? Simply becuase I don't deserve a cat with a Pitbull who is still a puppy herself. Then you wonder why people get animals from byb's, mills & spca's.
It is 100% easier, and less stressful, and you are not judged for making the decision you did.

Lucky Rescue
December 21st, 2004, 06:54 PM
If you want to bring this here, I must respond.

This discussion was NEVER about you adopting these cats. You clearly stated your friend was interested in them. You said she had no computer, so I gave you a phone number of the person who has the cats to pass on to her. I did this ONLY on the understanding that the discussion was to be about HER adopting.

You didn't pass the number on OR tell us that Erin was now unable to adopt. Instead YOU called the person who has the cat(s) saying that you were adopting these cats. That was not the understanding, and I never learned of this until you posted here that you were getting the cats.

You were told repeatedly that the other cat had still not been trapped, and we had no idea when she would be, yet you arranged transport and a vet appt?? That puzzles me, since one cat is already at the vet and the other will be going there ASAP to be completely checked out, dewormed, etc and spayed.

And someone who has an intact adult female pit bull (particularly in Ontario) who is left outside while in heat is not our idea of a responsible home. Yes, I know it was your husband who left Boo outside, but why wasn't she spayed before she came into heat, and before she got a uterine infection that could have been fatal? There could have been another bunch of pit bull puppies born, and that would be a disaster.

You say Boo is being spayed on Saturday, yet you want two semi-feral and terrified cats in the house while you are caring for her post-op? You have said yourself that Boo has never SEEN a cat, and you have no idea of her reaction.We would not give a cat to ANYONE who has a dog that has not been around cats or tested with them. It's nothing personal.

Anyone who knows anything about dogs knows that even obedient, well-trained and people-loving dogs can be highly predatory, and this could be the case with Boo - who knows? What would happen to the cats then? Would you keep them locked in the room for the rest of their lives? Find them new homes? They need a quiet and permanent home to recuperate from their ordeal, and a person who has lots of time. I have one pit bull who needs quite a bit of attention and exercise. I cannot imagine having two of them on my own, yet having tons of time to spend working with these two cats AND training a dog to leave them alone.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree and leave it at this. We want only the best homes for our cats, who have certainly suffered enough, and until that home comes up, they aren't going anywhere. If you love animals (and I believe you truly do) you should understand that.

We do appreciate your offer, but it just isn't the right situation for these cats. Safeguarding our animals is our top priority, and we can't put them in possible danger to soothe anyone's feelings.

chico2
December 21st, 2004, 11:47 PM
Whinnie-Boo,I have to agree with Lucky,these are two cats with problems and I know just getting one cat with no problems used to a dog is a big challenge,now 2 cats with problems getting used to 2 dogs,would not be fair.
There are soo many cats in shelters here in Ontario,maybe when you know young Boo is ok with cats,you can try again.
We all know,you are trying to do the right thing and you love animals,as do I,but these cats probably are better off in a home with no dogs,so they can get all the love and attention they need all to themselves.
Any rescue want what is best for the animals,as I know you do too and they have to make sure their new home is a safe one,where the cats can rebuild the trust they have lost....I know my 3 cats,not being used to dogs would have an absolute hizzy-fit if I tried to introduce them to two dogs an experience I would not relish :D

CyberKitten
December 22nd, 2004, 12:14 AM
I too have to concur with Lucky. These decisions are never personal. I don't know if you read the article I posted written by the woman who was furious when Siamese rescue turned her down for a Siamese (she'd had 2 Siamese kitties already and assumed she was a shooin for a Siamese so to speak). Alas, she believed cats should be allowed outside and the shelter said NO! The cats had gone through way too much to be put in a situation like that. Then she discovered her beloved Siamese kitty Charlotte dead and she realized she had been mistaken about it. (She writes the article so much better than I have just summarized it!)

I know what it is like to socialize and rehome ferals and while I do not know the whole situation - how feral they are etc. - it does sound as tho these cats need much attention. In retrospect, I do not know how I did it with that ONE cat. Plus, it was summer and I had to move into my grandmother's house because we had a fox terrier who was really wonderful with our cats but we were unceretain as to how she'd react to being hissed at and possibly hurt. Fox terriers are very protective and she may have had the urge to lash out at the cats and I did not want to take the chance.

It worked out and possibly I could have handled two cats but one was quite demanding. Socializing ferals is not easy - and I really do not believe it can be done with even the most cat friendly of dogs and you yourself say Boo has never seen a cat - or you've never seen him interact with one.

I really do believe you are an animal lover. That comes through in your writing. Your heart is definitely in the right place and once Boo is neutered and has had some interaction with and gets used to kitties, I for one think you'd make a great Meowmy!!

I think you always have to look at it from the perspective of the cats. It is never about you - it is about what is best for the cats!! And these kitties have very special needs and it sounds like they need a quiet home with no dogs. (It is not at all uncommon for rescue groups to post a notice by a cat saying "No dogs" or "no children". )

One of the reasons I finally adopted Yin Yin from the people who helped her mama cat raise her was because the day I was there, they refused to adopt (and this was a $500 fee because they were "show" as opposed to "pet" cats (It is a whole sub culture, lol) Yin Yin's little blue point sister to a family with rambunctious toddlers, one of whom picked up that little girl and almost hurt her. I was able to see both the mama and kittens in their melieu and also to go and meet the other people who had the dad also a showcat much loved and spolied and with a wonderful temperment).

Rescue groups get to know their cats and not all cats do well with dogs, and this is especially true of ferals.

I am sure there will be a cat for you out there somewhere. As you noted, there are so many cats who need good homes!

twinmommy
December 22nd, 2004, 11:57 AM
Hi Whinnie,

For what it's worth,my 2 cents that is, I feel for you, and I know others who have been denied by rescues for what they interpreted to be "stupid" reasons. And to tell you the truth, sometimes they were stupid reasons. But try not to feel judged. The rescues are merely advocating for the poor animals who have "had enough" so to speak, and they have to make sure that the next home is the permanent one, and free of all dangers. I know you make a good argument comparing Christmas in a cage to Christmas at your house--which I'm sure would be great--but as an animal lover, please try to see that you already have a situation to respect with your present babies, and when that changes you will make a great forever home for a nice kitty.

Happy Holidays :love: