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re-integrating cats

October 20th, 2005, 05:12 AM
I'm hoping someone here Can help me.
So you understand the situation better I'll give you a brief account of the history of our cats.
We got Tiger about 2 years ago. Because we live near a main road we made the decision to keep him completely indoors. We had problem with him as we found him to be very aggressive with us. My husband works close to home and was able to drop in and out during the day but he was moved into the city for a couple of months so it meant tiger was alone all day. We had tiger about 9 months at this stage. Eventually we made the decision to get another kitten. We got Sly when he was 12 weeks old. And it worked a treat. The introduction only took a few days before the were running around together. And tiger was a completely different cat and became extremely affectionate.
The 3 months ago, due to some carelessness on my part Tiger got out of the house. My husband tried running after him but he was gone. Sly seemed happy enough at first on his own. We didnít want to give up hope of Tiger returning so wouldnít hear of getting another one. But Sly started getting very needy. When I say that I mean, he wined a lot when we got home. No matter now much you feed him he didnít seem happy, and would wake us up in the middle of the night looking to play. Eventually we took the heartbreaking decision to give up on Tiger and hope he found a good home. We got Milly. Shes a beautiful little thing, and we had them integrating under supervision within hours and without in a couple of days.
So at this stage we've had her about 4 weeks.
Well this is where the plot twists.
Guess who showed up this week.
Yes, Tiger. Now everyone keeps asking me "what are you going to do with the kitten?" when I say keep her I get " what are you going to do with Tiger?
" and of course keep him.
Tiger arrived home on Monday, We kept him in a separate room until we got him checked by the vets. Which was done on Tuesday and he got a complete clear bill of health. Monday night he seemed happy to be back and was full of cuddles.
Tuesday night, we let Sly and Tiger meet again. First we put Tiger into the carry box and let them have a look at each other. Let me just add here that before that the 2 of them had spent the days sniffing each other between the door. There was some hissing and other noises. We were surprised by this, as we thought they would remember each other. When they got to agitated we separated them. We did this a few times the other night. And eventually Sly was walking into Tigers room and right up to him. Though tailed and body bushed. Again we separated them for a little while. Anyway, by the end of the night they were staying close of each other. Still curious of each other but no aggression, a couple of times Tiger turned his head and curled up. Though I would still be cautious of leaving them alone. This morning when I went into Tiger he seemed very down, he hasnít tried to leave this room at all, We actually had to stop the other lad from getting in.
Last night we introduced Milly and Tiger. We put her in the carry case and gave her a treat and gave him one outside and there wasnt a problem., after a little while we let her out, she gave a little hiss and that was the end of it.
We let Sly in again and it was back to square one. Sly seems to be the only aggressive one. Tiger is settling in as if he never left. Curling up in all his favourite places. I know this takes alot of patience and its only been 3 days but its so hard to watch them go through this.
My husband is staying home today to work with them
Has anyone any advise where we could move from here.
Sorry it's a little long winded.


Lucky Rescue
October 20th, 2005, 08:40 AM
Unless I'm missing something, I don't see what the problem is? If it's the fact that Sly is fluffing his tail out or hissing, that's nothing. Do NOT try to force any of them to be together, either by caging one of them or putting them in the same room. IF you do this, you could cause trouble and not alleviate it.

As long as there is no actual fighting or blood being drawn, just let them work it out themselves. Cats recognize each other by scent, and no doubt Tiger smells different since he was gone.

Is everyone spayed/neutered? If not, do so now to avoid any possible problems down the road.

October 20th, 2005, 08:55 AM
I also have 3 cats. The oldest resident cat was not happy with our 2 new kitties from the rescue (all were outdoor cats).... It took quite a while for the hissing and growling behind baby gates to stop.

It took about 6 weeks for the resident cat to stop hissing at the new kitties and then about 6 months for him to join their fun. My resident cat is a nasty, unfriendly cat too. He has come around with the other cats and LOVES the dog but not the humans.

On the other hand, my dad adopted an feral cat from outside to join his indoor cat (both about 2 yrs. old). Even though I told my dad to isolate the stray in a bathroom for a few days, then use the baby gates I provided to ease the transition, then supervise their meetings, he didn't listen to a word I said and just let them be. The feral hid under the bed for a few days, then they both found their own space in the house all the while hissing and growling at eachother. My dad said " Let them work it out".

Though I'm too rigid to take his advice, he was right. They worked it out much quicker than my cats ever did. As long they are all neutered and they don't feel cornered, it'll work out.

DON'T FORCE ANY MEETINGS! They will watch eachother from a safe distance, slowly coming closer as they feel more comfortable. They will retreat when they feel threatened and they'll start over again until they all learn eachother's boundaries. Even if, in the end, they don't like each other, they will learn to tolerate eachother and they can still live together.

October 20th, 2005, 10:04 AM
Just to give you a quick update.,
Like I said my husband has been at home all day with them. he left the door open a crack do they could see eachother and not be worried. Tiger has spent the day in his bed not bothered. About 2 hours about he let sly out and althought the tail was bushed, there was no hissing, howling or yowling. He walked right up to tiger and sniffed around, he's keeping Tiger in his sights but theres no aggression from either.
Its a good achievement for today.

October 20th, 2005, 10:05 AM
Is everyone spayed/neutered? If not, do so now to avoid any possible problems down the road

The 2 lads are neutered, Milly will be done in about a month.
Thanks Kittie

October 20th, 2005, 10:51 AM
Good to hear that everyone is starting to get along! :thumbs up

I have three cats as well. All are adopted. I got two of them at the same time, when my husband and I first moved to our city 3+ years ago. The one is a senior and the other was a kitten at the time.

Last year we adopted a third furry. The eldest, Jess, doesn't care about any changes made to his environment - he is so easy going. He loves everyone and everything. The other little guy, Deli, has been very shy and reserved since day one. He is scared of people, aside from myself and my husband. He used to be really terrible and hide for as long as we had company. Now, he takes a day or two to adjust to new faces. This took 3 years! He is leary of other furries. We were afraid of how he would adjust to the new guy.

When we adopted Orly, we knew they were all healthy but kept him in our spare room for 1 day. Then we let him out and let them work it out themselves. The J sniffed him and walked away. D, hissed and spat - then hiss and spat some more. He hid for a few days and did not care for his space to be invaded. After about a week, they started romping around together. Now, D and O have their running competitions through our home every day! It seems that they run (no pun intended) on a schedule:)


October 21st, 2005, 01:57 AM
Thanks born a lion.
A couple of times last night we had to put Sly into the sin bin for cornering Tiger. What we dont understand is Tiger could easily put him in his place.
We still keep them separate at night, but this morning it seemed that Tiger was taking of the kid gloves and didnt let Sly intimidate him at all, He went so far as to start eating Sly's. Sly wasnt happy but he just sat and watched. Tiger is a very timid cat, but firm cat. if that makes any sense. We took this as his way of saying, Im back, and theres nothing you can do about it.

Anyway thanks for your help.
Will keep you posted. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll have my 3 kids curled up as if they were always together.


October 21st, 2005, 02:34 AM
I agree with the advice already provided. It actually sounds pretty good at the moment. I have integrated cats of varying breeds, gender, etc on several occasions without too many problems. Did you reread the various guidleines on introuding cats? Essentially, since Tiger smells completely different, Sly thinks he is a new cat and since Sly has become accustomed to being the alpha kitty in the home (not quite the same as canine alpha but often in one home with domestic cats, one is dominant) and he does not sound keen to give it up. Tiger, on the other hand, sounds like many rescued kitties who are just really happy to be in a safe place and have regular meals and is not ruffling any feathers. Have you tried the old towel or vanilla tricks. Rub all of the kitties with the same towel and place a little vanilla under their chins abd a couple other key places on the bodies. The towel will give them all a similar scent and the vanilla will neutralize it. (Actually, some recommend any scented products but vanilla is safer.)

It typically - as catsnatcher narrated about her dad's experience - takes time and patience. Last year, I introduced two foster Sphynxes to my resident Siamese Diva - three females, one intact, two not because they actively compete in cat shows - and giving two a room of their own for awhile and helping them gradually get to know each other and mega patience - and now they are all fast friends.

While the following article may not completely apply to your situation, - since other than a bit of hissing - there seems little aggression - it may help: pdfs/cats/aggressiontowardcats.pdf

And here are two other articles on other topics:

Keep in mind variations of the hissing will occur any time one cat is away for awhile whether it is to the vet (and sometimes especialy to the vet if the other kitties recall THAT smell - cats have wonderful recall and an excellent memory)or like Tiger, on an outdoor adventure.

Good luck!

And I am happy to hear the good outcome of Tiger's homecoming. He is fortunate to not have contracted any serious illnesses or injuries or worse. I cannot imagine anyone even thinking you would give one of them up - that's incredible!!!

October 21st, 2005, 04:25 AM
Thanks a mil for everyone replying. I was going crazy.
The first night when Sly got upset, I was devastated. The vet had told us to be patient, but of course I had visions of everyone being welcomed back into the fold with open arms. He's calming a little bit now. Like I said I think Tiger is making a statement now. This morning Sly tried to block him from walking into a room but Tiger was having none of it. I donít want any conflict between the 2 of them, but I know Tiger is well able to stand up for himself and glad to see he's finally done it.

I still can't believes he's back. When my husband rang me on Monday to say he'd seen him in the area. I wasnít sure cuz a couple of times we'd hopped out of the car after another cat that looked like him, I suppose I didnít want to be disappointed. He called me at lunch time to say he'd caught him. I asked if he was sure it was him. I was convinced he'd brought in a stray. Anyway when I got home that evening there was no doubt and I cried my eyes out. I always felt guilty about letting him out. I put my hand out and he put his head in my hand and fell asleep. All was forgiven :)
he got checked out by the vets on Tuesday and there wasnít a mark or a mite on him, except maybe a couple of scratches from fighting. He's always been very proud about his appearance and very clean cat. He was abit dirty on Monday when we got him. He's sparkling and so soft again.
He's an extremely friendly cat yet very tough, we never worried about him with other cats , knew he was well able to stand his ground. We were afraid of people. And with Halloween we were afraid of "pranks" some kids would play!!! I wanna cry thinking about it. I just keep reminding myself he's safe.
Theres no doubt he knows where he is. For example, he sleeps in his old bed. Which is up on a high press. We never moved it. He knows where the treats are and gets very vocal when either or us are near it. Also whenever I came out of the bathroom in the mornings he'd be outside the door lying on his back waiting for a cuddle. This morning was the first time he'd done it since he came home. Of course that started the waterworks again.
Well thanks for listening to me. I'm just so happy to have him back I wanna tell everyone how great he is doing.

October 28th, 2005, 10:19 PM
I think I may have made an error integrating two cats. I used to rent a house where the person who rented the other part of the house had 4 cats. To make a long story short, she ended up breaking up with her fiance and his cat. So, I took the cat and gave it to my Mom. My Mom had a Dohberman who ended up being allergic to cats. So, I get the cat back and gave it to my 88 year old neighbor and I would watch and take care of the cat as well (in my new apartment, I no longer rented from the first person) After almost 2 years, the 88 year old neighbor had to go in to a nursing home. Her cat Bandit has a heart murmur and she has always loved me, so I didn't feel like I could give her away again. In the meantime, I have my own baby Cat. He is a big spoiled boy Siberian. All I could do was put the two cats together. Well, I didn't separate them in different rooms. I didn't give them different food bowls or water bowls. I just plopped them together. Bandit went under the bed. She is now out and has taken over my bed, which my cat the Siberian used to sleep on. He now stays on top of the bookshelf in the living room.

There is hissing, but I have left them alone for a couple hours (an hour errand, came home, etc.) total and no blood, etc. But, my Siberian stays in the living room. I feel bad for him because he has now lost his freedom to roam and I don't know what I should do to get these cats to the point where they like each other and both can live freely. I will say Bandit had a fight with another male cat (when she was amongst the 4 cats) wanting to be the Alpha cat. I don't know if my cause is lost or if there is anything I can do at all. Bandit is about 9/10 years old and the Siberian almost 6. The Siberian is declawed. Bandit is not. I cut her nails way down and was going to put soft claws on her, but her nails were not sharp, so I let it go.

Any advice, I'd greatly appreciate. I hate this! I feel so bad for my one cat, but I don't see any other option right now.

Thanks in advance! V.