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How long to give them

April 14th, 2004, 05:36 PM
In another thread here I shared about my kitty that I adopted a couple of weeks ago from a local shelter and how she had been rescued from a woman who had kept her caged (with many other cats) in her booth at a flea market (where the woman was living).

I've now had the kitten (she's 10 months old) for about 2 weeks and it seems like every time I make a breakthrough she just goes back into herself. The thing that I'm having the hardest time with is getting her and my other two cats to interact properly.

Initially the other two didn't want anything to do with her. Then over last weekend I finally got Tisha (the new cat ) to open up more to me. She hung out with me in the living room for most of the day on Saturday (as long as she was mostly covered by a blanket she seemed ok) and Saturday night she even jumped up on the bed with me for a while. However, when the other two cats would come near her the mood had shifted. Instead of them being the jerks she was now the one hissing at them.

Typically, I've been keeping Tisha in my bedroom at night with the door shut so the other two can't come in. Last night was the first time I tried leaving it open and before the night was out I had to kick the other two cats out and close the door again because they were harrassing Tisha and blocking her into a corner. If she tried to move from her spot under the chair they would chase her down.

Tisha is fine in the bedroom, where she's the only one. She will play normally and even come out and let me pet her occasionally. But when the other cats are present things are totally different.

I tend to feel like she needs to be in a home where she is the only cat. I hate the idea of having this cat that is relagated to just one room of the house, and hate even more the idea of having to "punish" the other two by keeping them out of that room where they normally spent quite a bit of their time.

Is it likely that if I continue to wait they will work it out amongst themselves? Or would I be better off to return her to the shelter so that they can find her a more appropriate home? I hate the idea of taking her back as I've grown quite attached already, and I realize that the shuffle of sending her back there may traumatize her even more. But if she's not going to be happy here then she should have the option of being happy somewhere.

April 14th, 2004, 06:56 PM
Please do not return her!

My boss went through the same crisis recently with a new foundling, a huge Ragdoll that was not so big when she brought him home. The other two, (quite settled in a routine) house cats with a fighting attitude to boot did not want another one invading their space. The Ragdoll, Simba was kept behind closed doors for over 3 months. The entire household was unnerved. She, (my boss) finally took out a wire crate and put Simba in the living room while she and her husband were home to supervise, there was some major hissy fits but after a short time the other two became indifferent to his presence. Then she turned Simba loose..there was a hiss and a swat every now and then and all are settled in ...he stays to himself and eats alone but the all have use of the house again. The other two cats are much older and Simba still acts like a kitten and plays like a Clydesdale, he now weighs 16 pounds. (He is not over weight, almost 2 years old now)
Patience......give them time please!

Lucky Rescue
April 14th, 2004, 07:11 PM
Any new cat brought into the house should be kept separate from the others, and introductions should be done gradually.

They can sniff each other under the door and you can take something each has lain on and exhange it back and forth.

You are expecting everything to run smoothly all at once and are rushing way too much. What's the hurry?

This poor cat has spent her life in a cage, and thinking she can just walk in your house like she has always lived there is unrealistic. Keep her in the bedroom all the time for now - both for her sake and the sake of your other cats.

Back up, start over and take it slowly. They will learn to get along (just as I told you the new cat would stop sleeping in the litterbox) but you have to stop rushing them.

April 14th, 2004, 07:22 PM
Backing up and taking it slow is basically what I've done. I really appreciate the supportive comments. It helps to know what others have been through in this regard to know that it's not abnormal.

The other two cats took to each other so easily that having this completely opposite experience is a bit perplexing.

My main concern is for the new cat. I don't want her to be stuck in a home where she is not going to be happy. I feel like that would be abuse. So it helps to know that maybe things aren't going as bad as they might seem to be at first glance.

April 14th, 2004, 07:42 PM
A year from now you will look back and laugh.

Give them time, you have a larger family in the makings...

Lucky Rescue
April 14th, 2004, 07:59 PM
You've had this cat what - 2 weeks?? This could take months. It probably won't if done right, but you must be patient.

I've had MANY cats, including WILD cats, and never had one that didn't learn to get along with the others. I have one here now I trapped last summer, who is still skittish and fearful of me. But so what? You cannot put a time limit of a couple weeks on this.

Cats must do things in their own time, only when THEY feel it's safe and they are comfortable. You cannot force them to interact.

Your own cats rightfully feel they have an intruder plunked down among them, and the new cat is naturally frightened and unsure.

Hissing is NORMAL and you have to expect some of that. This cat is only 10 months old and certainly can learn to get along with your other cats, if you give her a chance.

She has been through a great deal of trauma, and for now needs to stay in one room and learn to feel more confident before you start the introduction process again. Just being out of her cage is stressful and scary for her.

But if you feel you can't wait until she integrates with your other cats, then maybe it would be best to put her in another home. If you do, make sure the people know her background and will be understanding and patient and that the home will be permanent.

April 14th, 2004, 09:12 PM
You really do have to give this time. Transition times are very difficult. You think it's hard for you just imagine what the cat/s have and are going through.

If you have patience and love, it will all turn out...but you must not give up on this so soon. It can be frustrating but give it a chance.

Amuse them other ways...some cats love honeysuckle, so go buy some and make them all happy. (Mona's cat ofcourse could care less for it lol lmao) but many cats love it! ;)

April 14th, 2004, 09:21 PM
Thank you for being supportive. "Give it time it will all work out" is just what I need to hear right now.

I realize many of you have already been through this but try to remember what it was like the first time you were in my shoes.

I wish pets could talk.. it would make life so much easier.

Honeysuckle? Never heard that. Do they eat it?

April 14th, 2004, 09:24 PM
YW Julie :D

Honeysuckle they're supposed to go nuts over it, my brothers cats did..bonkers they were making love to it or something NOT KIDDING lol

Give it a try!! ;) But I would get each of them a piece

Or if you have a neighbour with a honeysuckle tree, ask for a clipping. Though the larger the branch width the more potent the affect is apparently.

April 14th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Julie,when I first got little Vinnie,I was many times saying to myself,I can't do this anymore....the constant hissing and growling by Rocky and Chico drove me bonkers.
I tearfully called my friends who found Vinnie to come and pick him up,I could not deal with the tension anymore.
But of course the next morning I called back and told them there was no way I was giving up on him.
It took a loong while before Rocky realized Vinnie was not a threat and slowly they become buddies,Chico still hates Vinnie but there are no confrontations,Chico has accepted that Vinnie is here to stay.
Also do everything you can not to make the others feel left out,feed the oldest first,make sure they get the love they always had or they might resent the"intruder"even more.
It's good that you are bonding with Tish,but if the others are used to sleeping in your bed-room IMO,you should let them and let Tish sleep in another room for now.
Believe me,they will accept each other one day and you'll all live happily ever after.
Being dumped into another cage at the shelter could very well be the end of her and I cannot see you doing that:(

April 14th, 2004, 10:22 PM
I also wanted to mention,I've never heard the cats liking Honeysuckle(I have a vine and I'll try it)but my cats have their own little cat-nip garden in which they roll themselves and get silly.
I would however not recommend that for cats who are already stressed,you might have a real cat-fight on your hands.

April 14th, 2004, 10:53 PM
Oh sure Luba,bring Casper into this...:( ..................LMAO.....:p

Julie,they sell it in the petstore.This one comes in the form like a wood chip.Ok it's not a chip,it's a circle...LOL

What I was told was to soak it in warm water for a bit.Then remove the bark around it.WELL,Sir Casper wanted nothing to do with it.Then Luba suggested I leave the bark on.He did lick it.ONCE.And wanted nothing to do with it.Little bugger....LOL

Oh,and he wants nothing to do with catnip either....Go figure...

BUT he LOVES to play with bags.Grocery bags or the plastic bags from the store.LOL...He is definately a strange kitten...


April 14th, 2004, 10:55 PM
Here is a link on Honeysuckle.

April 14th, 2004, 10:56 PM
LOL @ Mona

Casper probably pee'd on some Honeysuckle and now won't bother with it...he knows better hahha

April 14th, 2004, 11:27 PM
:eek: :eek:

Well if he could hear, I would tell him what you said....LOL.........:p

Hey,I can draw him pictures....LMAO........:D

April 15th, 2004, 07:18 AM
If he could u're baaaaaaaaaaad!

Casper read this:

"Mommie was supposed to give you honeysuckle but she licked it soft herself"

:eek: :eek: :eek:

April 15th, 2004, 07:38 AM

OK I can't stop laughing here....LMAO....

And that's not fair....I can't respond to that.:( :(

You know what I'm thinking though...............LMAO.........:D :p

April 15th, 2004, 07:55 AM
:D :D :D

April 15th, 2004, 08:11 AM

PMP BIG time.............:p

April 15th, 2004, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by mona_b
BUT he LOVES to play with bags.Grocery bags or the plastic bags from the store.LOL...He is definately a strange kitten...


My Sades LOVEs bags too, and boxes. Actually on the weekend we heard her playing in a bag, and went to see her, and she had the handle all tangled up around her neck!! Scary stuff. I don't think she would have been able to get out withoutr help. So now we are going to make sure we don't leave any lying around.

April 15th, 2004, 03:53 PM
TalonsMa,mine do the same and always manage to get the handle around their neck and they love boxes.I right now have a big box with a bunch of holes,that they all love,they stick their paws out through the hole and try to get whoever passes by.
I keep it in my small den and almost broke my neck trying to get around it,but anything for the sweet darlings,right!!:D

April 15th, 2004, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by chico2
TalonsMa,mine do the same and always manage to get the handle around their neck and they love boxes.I right now have a big box with a bunch of holes,that they all love,they stick their paws out through the hole and try to get whoever passes by.
I keep it in my small den and almost broke my neck trying to get around it,but anything for the sweet darlings,right!!:D

Oh that's cute!! And of course, anything for them :) We had a big box Talon used to sleep in, and Sades would sit in it, and if you lifted it up and moved it, she would run to wherever you moved it!! It was too funny :) But they got tired of it. So it's in the basement. But I also have another box from our sattelite dish that I put a ton of blankets and pillows and Sades loves it! They sleep in there's so cute. If we go grocery shopping, Sades comes running so she can get in the bag ASAP :D

April 15th, 2004, 09:09 PM
Well somehow the thread went to Honeysuckle branch width etc. I won't even follow that one. I think the cat needs time to adjust to one person and no cats and if that means you and she take over the bedroom I think it will work out fine. I had a cat for years that lived in our basement and only ventured out at night and would come into the bedroom and sleep wth us then go back in the basement during the day. She did not like the other cats and would ignore them but the basement was her territory. The basement isn't like being exiled since it is 1700 sq feet of basically open space and boxes where she can hide and sleep and mouse and ignore the rest of the cats. In her later years she finally came up more and more and finally took to living upstairs and died in her sleep on our bed one evening.
I would not think of taking that cat back to a shelter. Give her the time she needs and you will have a fast friend for life. And remember not everyone (or cats) like every other person (or cats). it's not a perfect world, but we can make it a lot nicer by adjusting to the abuses in the past of our furry friends.

April 15th, 2004, 09:20 PM
Hi again Woodbyter,good advice,although a little different from mine,nice to see you back,how's your foot?

April 15th, 2004, 09:23 PM
..even four legged ones have opinions and these should be allowed to be expressed. Granted, we must keep a close watch to insure peace with no injuries....but think about it....

..interaction has been going on for alot longer than we have been around and the system works for them....

You are the referree, and feeder and litter box cleaner and so on.

They will work it out.

April 15th, 2004, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by chico2
Hi again Woodbyter,good advice,although a little different from mine,nice to see you back,how's your foot?
Zee foote is better-Thank you. Graduated from a wheel chair and crutches to a walker today. Hopefully I will be chasing dogs again soon. As it is I sit in the shop and throw the ball and my G.S retrieves it and brings it back. He is just happy to have the old man back playing ball again.:D

April 15th, 2004, 09:56 PM
My son is going to Edmonton tomorrow to get his cast off...I don't know if they leave the screws and bolts in his ankle,we'll see.
He's been dogsitting a little poodle,going up and down three flights of stairs on crutches,that takes determination,he must have that from his mom:D
In the small hospital in Vermilion,they could not even set his broken ankle,that really surprised he had to be driven to Edmonton 2 hours away...oh well,he's on the mend:p as are you,right?

April 16th, 2004, 03:18 PM
Whats goin on with feet legs, ankles and knees

So we got a foot and an ankle, my mom with a knee replacement and a friend of mine with pins in the ankle from a fall..OYE

I hope ya'll heel quickly (pun pun pun)

Until then....just do this............

April 16th, 2004, 03:50 PM
Yeah Luba,it seemed like an epidemic for a while,a couple of our friends,have broken bones,ankle and a leg,my son in Vermillion and Woodbyter:D Kind of weird:confused:
But I am sure they're doing exactly what you suggest:D

April 17th, 2004, 07:31 PM
The new cat is slowly coming around. The last few nights she has ended up in bed with me and once there she will come to me and let me pet her if I ask her to, otherwise she lays at the foot of the bed. Then I wake up in the morning to her playing with the other cats under the door. Evidently she doesn't realize it's them.... cuz once I open the door she isn't interested in playing with them or having much of anything to do with them. At least they aren't hissing at each other as much as they were and she's not running away from them. They just kinda sit there and stare at each other from about 2 feet away, like WTF do you want?

She still won't leave my bedroom on her own, which is fine and I don't force her out either. She did run out quickly this morning when I opened the bedroom door but ran back in just as quickly. The last couple of days I've left the bedroom door open when i'm home so that if she decides to venture out she can. The other cats typically ignore her now, except for when I first open the door after it's been closed then they run in looking for her.

Typically if she knows that anyone is around she stays either behind the chair or under the bed and runs when she needs to move from one to the other. But when she thinks no one is looking she will move around the room and play, as well as jump up in the window and sit and watch the breeze blow by.

She really is a sweet kitty. I had a perfect shot for a picture the other night and wouldn't you know the battery on the camera was dead! Which reminds me I should go plug that in to charge so I don't miss my next chance.

April 17th, 2004, 09:12 PM
Sounds good,I am happy for her and you:D It will get a little better every day,she might never be best buds with the others but they'll learn to accept each others presence eventually:)

May 4th, 2004, 09:31 PM
Everyone is doing great now. This last weekend I finally moved Tisha's food and litter in with the other cats and she has made herself at home throughout the house.

She and Skitty (the other girl) get along for the most part... although half the time it's hard to tell if they are actually fighting or just playing... but there's a lot less hissing going on than there used to be.

Until I got up to get the phone a few minutes ago Tisha was laying here next to me and I finally managed to get a good picture of her and pics of the other two as well. The fat Tabby is D.O.G., and the tortiose is Skitty.

May 4th, 2004, 09:37 PM
Looks like things are improving, congraz and wonderful pix to boot

May 4th, 2004, 10:03 PM
That's great,I knew things would calm down eventually and D.O.G is one fat Tabby :D Great pictures!! Thank's for letting us know how things are going :)