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Adding a cat to the household

Kristin7
December 14th, 2007, 11:04 AM
I guess it's been awhile since I actually started a thread... anyway, just thought I'd update the pet situation. Any comments welcome as I'm not sure how well this is going to go! I have 2 cats - Micki and Annie - and 1 dog - Guinness. Guinness gets along well with Annie but the 2 cats have never gotten along. Micki is 12 and Annie is more like 4, they have completely different purrsonalities, so that's probably why. I did a nice slow introduction when Annie was adopted but it didn't seem to matter much. Annie basically took over the house and Micki hates her. Annie is friendly to other cats, but so far the other cats she's gotten along with are males. Micki also gets along with male cats (some of them - mostly the ones who leave her alone). The two cats have very different eating styles too, so they have to be fed in separate rooms.

Now, my boyfriend would like to bring over his cat... (he may be moving in in a few months). He spends a lot of time at my place, but has a cat of his own who needs her thyroid medicine 2x a day. I am totally willing to try this out, but am not sure how this will go. I am afraid Annie will be mean to his cat, who is an older female like Micki. My place isn't very large, though my current plan is to set up the newcomer in her own room for awhile, and do a slow intro to the other pets. She has never been around other animals... wish me luck w/ this and will update over the weekend, which is when she's probably coming over! :fingerscr

sugarcatmom
December 14th, 2007, 11:41 AM
You might want to try a Feliway diffuser (or 2) for a while as the cats get to know each other. It could help make everyone feel more a bit more at ease. If possible, put one in the new kitty's room and then another one somewhere that the other 2 hang out.

Good luck, I hope it all goes smoothly.

Kristin7
December 14th, 2007, 01:03 PM
oh, great idea! I actually have one of those, but since it wasn't working for Annie and Micki, I put it away. Maybe it is worth another shot...

Kristin7
December 18th, 2007, 07:40 AM
So things seem to be going ok with the new cat. We have her blocked off in her own room with a tall gate so they can all see each other. Unfortunately it is the gate I use to keep my dog in the kitchen during the day... I am now using a shorter baby gate, but expect him to go over it today. Hopefully he won't remember he knows how to do that!

The first night was a bit rough, Cleo (new girl cat) was meowing a lot and trying to get out of the room. At one point she must have pinched her paw or something, in the crack of the door and let out some screams. I thought one of the other cats had gotten in there but no, she had done something to herself as there was blood on the floor. However, we found no apparent injury and she seems fine now, several days later. We've been letting her out at night while we are both there to supervise and they all seem ok. My dog of course wants to chase her, but he will learn (he listens really well and can be called away from her no problem). Once she gets used to him and learns not to run away, they should be fine. Meanwhile, they'll all be closely supervised. Other than that, the 2 resident cats have been ok, of course some growling at the gate, but that is to be expected. Last night I swear Annie was inviting Cleo to play - she was rolling around in front of her (several feet, not too close!). I think they will all be ok together eventually... :fingerscr

oh, almost forgot, I couldn't find my Feliway diffuser thing, but did find at the pet store a similar product in spray form. We sprayed it all over the house periodically and it really seemed to help. I can't recall the name off-hand but can add it later when I'm at home. We also gave them all catnip (well, except the dog!).

Kristin7
December 29th, 2007, 07:29 AM
The spray was made by Nutri-vet, they also have a diffuser, which we also are using. I think it is helping some, the new cat and resident animals seem to be getting along ok. They aren't friends and may never be but the house is much more peaceful now. We do have one problem though... the new cat is peeing outside the litterbox. I may start a new thread in case no one reads this... I saw her do it once, she was standing with three legs in the box and one hanging over the side, and peed on the floor! With so many changes in her life it is hard for me to say what is going on. My boyfriend decided to change her immediately over to the litter I use, got her a new box and she is in a new home... we did switch her back to the old litter but it hasn't helped. Also moved the box a couple times thinking she didn't like the location and tried taking the cover off the box in case she was getting ambushed (which I haven't observed, so don't think that is the problem). I now suspect she doesn't like other cats going in her box and is trying not to step in it. Any ideas anyone? It will be difficult to keep the box clean for her as I have 2 other cats and although there are also 2 other boxes, they still will go in this one Cleo uses. Has anyone tried the boxes that clean automatically??

badger
December 29th, 2007, 08:24 AM
Three legs in the box may just be bad positioning - is it big enough? I recently bought a plastic storage box with higher sides (where such antics are impossible). I also put newspaper around my boxes, in case of accidents. Never had much luck with the covered ones. Even if she is not being ambushed, she's still the new kid and therefore vulnerable to being trapped in there. Scooping more often may help. Have you tried using the spray around their boxes?
I think you'll notice more changes (in the good sense). Cats take their time sorting things out.

14+kitties
December 29th, 2007, 09:07 AM
I know this might sound silly but maybe a fourth box? A community box if you will. Sometimes something that simple helps. Make it as big of a box as you can. If the others are using her box it's possible she just doesn't like stepping in it fully and a bigger box may help. Some of mine are very very picky about where they go. Others aren't so bad.

Kristin7
December 30th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Thanks for your suggestions! I was thinking a higher sided box might work - I'll look for something like that. We are going to try scooping out all the boxes more frequently too. I am going to have to move the box to the basement with the others - seems like there is litter tracking everywhere, ugh! Also, all the cats are using this one the most, likely due to its convenient location in the bathroom. That's fine but am thinking moving it will encourage them to 'spread the wealth' more between the other boxes, lol! Aside from this problem, fortunately things are going more smoothly than we thought they would.

chico2
December 30th, 2007, 07:39 AM
Kristin,I am glad things are going ok,it's not an easy task introducing mature cats to each other.
I only ever tried one covered box and I don't believe in them,the odors and dust gets trapped in there.
I too have 2 large Rubbermaid boxes for 3 cats and it's working out fine,although one cat likes to balance on the edges and do his thing he never misses the box:cat: