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Ideas, Tips and Help Rescuing an Abandoned Sweetheart...

Nighthawk
March 19th, 2006, 03:15 PM
I have already posted a message about this in the Photography section but I believe this story and request for help deserves its own thread here.

My wife and I recently purchased a home after getting our new baby sheltie. Unbeknownst to us there was a resident stray that, according to the previous owners, had adopted their patio as his home. On the day we took possession of the house a note was left stating that the previous owners tried to round the cat up but he was not around and that they would be back later in the day to try again. Their plan was to take him to the SPCA. My wife quickly called them and had asked them to forget about returning for him as we decided to try and adopt him. Step one of this process had now been complete. The following steps are going to prove to be much more difficult.

This cat is a full black male with big green eyes. He is an absolute sweetheart and was most likely abandoned, which pisses me off, as he is already an instant lap cat. He is not yet sterilized but we will be taking care of that this week as well as getting him vaccinated and fully checked up. He does have a few sores on his tale and back. I have no doubts that he will settle as an indoor/outdoor cat very easily. The major problem lies with our 8 year old female indoor/outdoor, Maggie, who has already showed signs that she wants nothing to do with this guy, hissing and crying when they have any contact. The same cannot be said the other way around as Jack, so named by my wife, seems to like Maggie and has vast patience with the puppy. I’m hoping that there is a difference after he is neutered as I can no longer bear his crying to come in at night when I lock up. I have this feeling that as soon as we bring him in and he finds the gas fireplace he is going to be in kitty heaven. For the time being I have created a makeshift shelter with a blanket on the patio and he is fed twice a day, though he generally sleeps on top of our patio chairs. He’s lucky that our idea of winter here on the west coast is rain and a week of wet snow. We gave him a collar and a tag as the complex behind our backyard has threatened to ‘humanely’ trap stray cats and send them to the SPCA. Of course he managed to lose it after a week.

Any ideas on how to help this guy get along with our female would be most welcomed. Chico, Badger and Lucky Rescue…thank you for the tips you have already provided. I felt that a new thread for this was necessary as CatSnatcher has good reasons to have that thread for his own kitty issues.

Here are a few pictures of Jack:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/nighthawk07/album2/jack01.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/nighthawk07/album2/Jack02.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/nighthawk07/album2/Jack05.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/nighthawk07/album2/Jack06.jpg

chico2
March 19th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Nighthawk,I think Lucky is the best one to help you out.
I,ve never introduced two grown cats to each other,only kittens to a grown cat,mind you,we had trouble with that too:(
My Chico will never like now 4yrs old Vinnie,but there is only hissing and such going on,something we have learned to live with,no cat-fights.
Chico gets along great with Rocky(10yr old male),but Vinnie is an intruder to him.

It will take time,but I am sure eventually when your female realizes Jack is there to stay,she will cooperate more.
He will be sooo happy to have a nice cozy home and people who love him:love:
Here's my Chico..an absolute love-bug,except for with Vinnie:D

Lucky Rescue
March 19th, 2006, 05:06 PM
I have integrated cats of all ages and both sexes and have never failed yet to have harmony.

The biggest mistake people make is to rush introductions. This can cause resentment that can last a lifetime. And what's the hurry?

Take this guy and get him neutered first. No use trying anything until that is done. Intact animals cause anxiety in spayed/neutered animals.

Set up a room for him with litterbox, bed and a window he can look out of. Bring him home and confine him to this room. Female cats can be MORE territorial than males!

He should stay in this room for at least a week or two, until his strong smell dies down. (I warn you he will be stinky after the neuter!)

After this time period, start swapping beds, towels etc between him and your female cat. Let her get a good sniff and get used to his smell way before she ever sees him.

Next, try giving treats to both cats on either side of the door, very close together. Your female will learn to associate his smell with good things.

After 1 - 2 weeks, then open the door to his room just a crack, enough for him to stick his nose out, so your female can see him. If she reacts very badly - tries to attack him - close the door and try again another day.

Some hissing, spitting and even swatting will be normal from your female. If that happens, try not to interfere. A mature male like this black cat will not hurt a female and will be submissive to her which will lessen the chance of her hurting him.

Just take your time. If you have to take one step forward and two back - as I said, there is no rush. A few weeks of this in exchange for 10 years of peace is a small price to pay.

They may not ever be buddies, but they should certainly learn to live in peace for the most part.

If your female was raised in isolation from other cats, it will be harder since she won't know how to relate to another cat, but it's still workable!:)

chico2
March 19th, 2006, 05:07 PM
Ooops,I screwed up,here he is...

cpietra16
March 19th, 2006, 05:11 PM
I had my strays in a room with the door closed. The cats hissed at each other for a while and when that slowed down I opened the door and it stayed open until the strays felt comfy enough to walk out. With patience they all will learn to live together. Like in any situation not everyone can get along, but they learn to avoid each other...good luck and don't worry take their lead and everything will go according to their own time.

Nighthawk
March 19th, 2006, 06:24 PM
Thanks for all the great advice.

Maggie was brought home as a kitten with two cats already living there. One passed away soon after but the other one remained for a year or so. (Still alive now at 21 but living with my mother-in-law for the last 6 years.) She always got along with these other two cats so I think she will get over this anger eventually. As long as they both get lots of love, everything should be okay.

Chico is cute. I'm new to the world of strays and rescues. Why is it that there are so many unwanted black cats?

Lucky Rescue
March 19th, 2006, 07:52 PM
Why is it that there are so many unwanted black cats?

Not just black. Every colour of the rainbow and even purebreds are dumped regularly.

The main problem is irresponsible people letting cats breed, then giving the kittens away for free to more irresponsible people who turn let THEM breed.

To a large number of these people, these free kittens are pretty worthless, after all there are more where they came from. So when the kittens mature and go into heat, or the males start spraying, owners just dump them - in droves!