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New Fur Family Member

luvsmallfurries
April 25th, 2009, 06:37 PM
Well - I have suddenly, but not unexpectedly, acquired a new family member.

Reader's digest condensed version: My friend rescued a kitty from another friend who was ill and who was just not able to take care of kitty. My friend already had 3 cats and 2 dogs and rescued kitty is alpha having lived alone for 4 years. She didn't fit in well and for about 5 years has been very well cared for, but just not happy. Too many other alpha animals in the house for her taste, she doesn't get the attention she really wants, and as much as my friend loves her to death! she knows that Max needs a less stressful environment and way more attention than she can give.

My friend has been offering to let me take Max home for years now, but I just felt that with my three cats, one of whom was a strong alpha, that she wouldn't be any happier here. My alpha passed on last year and my youngest - Yeti - who followed her around like a little lost puppy - has been a bit depressed since.

Last week we were visiting and she offered Max to me again - so I said I'd take her home and see if I could integrate her. So, for the first time in about 8 years I'm doing the meet and greet dance in my house again. I've currently got Max in the living room with me and Sparks and Yeti are hanging out in the bedroom. I've left all the doors open for now - but if the other two decide to come out I'll have to put Max into another room with the door closed to avoid any trauma. She knows the other two are there - she's sitting in my lap growling and hissing quietly - but the tail is quiet and I think it's more for show at this point.

So, I know how this place works.......I'll drop a couple of photos in to the end here and I'm certain I'll show up in another topic soon! It's been a long while since I brought a new cat in and I'm going to need to go trolling for advice on how to make this a smooth integration!

Here she is! Maxine!

http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq98/luvsmallfurries/Max/100_2925.jpg

http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq98/luvsmallfurries/Max/100_2902.jpg

http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq98/luvsmallfurries/Max/100_2922.jpg

pbpatti
April 25th, 2009, 09:11 PM
What a pretty girl you have there. Thanks for the photos of her. I am sure that with a little time and patience she will fit into your household nicely. pbp

hazelrunpack
April 25th, 2009, 09:16 PM
She's beautiful! Good luck with the intros! :goodvibes:

hunnybunny
April 26th, 2009, 06:25 AM
What a lovely siamise puss cat, my gran used to have one years ago called sammy ,i remember he used to cry and wail like a baby does, lol very vocal:cat:
I.m sure they all will be best friends soon:goodvibes:

luvsmallfurries
April 26th, 2009, 09:38 AM
What a lovely siamise puss cat, my gran used to have one years ago called sammy ,i remember he used to cry and wail like a baby does, lol very vocal :cat:

Oy! yes! The sounds this cat makes! I knew that Siamese are very vocal. My Himalayan talks a lot too - not quite as much as Max though!! I've discovered she even chats while she's eating :laughing:! I mixed up a bit of her soft food my friend gave her with just a bit of the soft food I feed here for her this morning and it was hilarious! Bite, bite, growl... bite, bite, growl, growl, growl....it sounds almost like words! I'm hearing "yummy, yummy". I'll bet she had a bit of competition over food bowls at the other house and this is just a learned behaviour to defend her bowl!

So yesterday went fairly well. Kept Max in the living room with me most of the day and let the other two just hang out in the bedroom and hallway. I switched them out for a couple of hours last night; put Max behind closed doors in the bedroom and let the other two have the rest of the apartment for a bit. The other two are being a bit pissy with each other though; not unexpected I guess. No fighting just half hearted hissing on the way by.

Last night I gave Max the office, closed door - litter box - food and water, and let the other two have a roam for the night. This morning there was less drama; I brought Max out and both Sparks and Yeti stayed put while I carried here into the living room - some minor hissing and growling - which sent Yeti off to the bedroom. So I've got Max in the living room with me for now and the other two are down the hall. Yeti is hanging out on top of the gate and just keeping an eye on things - Sparks is laying in the hall doing what she does best; pretending no one else is in the room!

The plan is to just let them keep seeing each other from opposite ends of the apartment for a few days. I'll keep Max in the office for the night for now and when we're not home. There's still lots of growling and hissing when they see each other but not the outright ears back, tail up and bushy, poised for attack stances I was seeing. I'm prepared to give this about 4 weeks :fingerscr. If they are not willing to live together after that time then my friend is more than willing to take her back - so no worries about having to find her a home.

Max is a real doll - a huge love bug! Wants to just march around in front of you and get scritched all day! When you walk by her she immediately rolls over and give you the belly for a rub! She's also a shoulder cat - Siamese scarf anyone :D? She'll sit up there and whisper sweet nothings in your ear for a while.:lovestruck: Thank god she's on the petite side! That could get heavy after a while!

growler~GateKeeper
April 27th, 2009, 01:45 AM
Maxine is gorgeous :lovestruck: I adore meezers :lovestruck:

rainbow
April 27th, 2009, 02:01 AM
What a pretty girl Maxine is :lovestruck: and glad that the introductions are going well. :thumbs up

Would love to see pics of Yeti and Sparks too as well as Pepin and Jollip. :goodvibes:

luvsmallfurries
April 27th, 2009, 05:16 PM
What a pretty girl Maxine is :lovestruck: and glad that the introductions are going well. :thumbs up

Would love to see pics of Yeti and Sparks too as well as Pepin and Jollip. :goodvibes:

She is gorgeous - slightly crossed eyes and all :rolleyes:

I'm at work right now so can't get to my photo collection but I have the whole gang in my profile album. Next time I'm on at home I'll try and put up something recent.

Sunday evening went great at home: everyone hung out in the living room together (supervised visual contact) for a couple of hours - except the Rabbit. She's a bully and I don't need her interfering in this process quite yet. They all picked opposite ends of the room and just watched each other....

I'm trying to do a lot of scent swapping - letting Max lay on a shirt I don't wear anymore and then leaving it for Yeti and Sparks to lay on as well. Also, swapping around the food bowls and the litter boxes. Max is still a bit hyped up I think - she won't sit still for more than a few minutes and then she's off to explore, sniff, rub......the other two are a lot more sedate and I think the constant moving around agitates them a bit right now. The good news is that the hissing and growling is down to a minimum and seems to be limited to when they surprise each other coming around a corner.

I talked to the friend who let us take her and she said that it might help to let Max have some dried catnip while I have them out together - it mellows her right out. So I'm going to give that a try this evening. It's her growling and hissing that sets the other two off.......I just have to keep Yeti away from it - he turns into a swiper on cat nip :evil:

growler~GateKeeper
April 27th, 2009, 11:51 PM
She is gorgeous - slightly crossed eyes and all :rolleyes:

.......

Sunday evening went great at home: everyone hung out in the living room together (supervised visual contact) for a couple of hours - except the Rabbit. She's a bully and I don't need her interfering in this process quite yet. They all picked opposite ends of the room and just watched each other....

The crossed eyes just gives them little extra bit of purrsonality :D :cloud9:

Sounds like everything is going great :thumbs up :fingerscr for continued success :goodvibes:

Magicwildwolf69
April 28th, 2009, 12:02 AM
oh she is so pretty! glad everything is going ok. Isn't cat nip werid sometimes. my littlest cat when she went into heat the first time. (it snuck up on us before we got her fixed.) but it would calm her down and actually put her to sleep for a couple hours.

good luck with the rest of the weeks. hope everything keeps going well! :goodvibes:

luvsmallfurries
April 28th, 2009, 12:37 PM
LOL - yesterday was an accidental social experiment! When my husband and I left for work we were both certain we had contained Max in the bedroom with the other two having the run of the apartment. Turns out, Yeti snuck into the bedroom without either of us seeing him and he and Max spent the day together locked up :eek:

Fortunately it all went well. When my husband got home Yeti came shooting out of the bedroom (he doesn't like being contained) and Max wandered out and proceeded to tell him ALL about her day! :D Looks like they at least got along in there - no fur, no signs of fighting, litter box was appropriately used.....all good :cat:

So my husband decided to go for broke and left everyone, including the rabbit, out for the evening - no barriers, no doors. He gave Max some catnip and she just mellowed right out - let Sparks come over for a good sniff and head rub and Sparks basically marched off after a few minutes and seems to have decided "whatever!"

We left everyone out for the night - except the rabbit - and aside from a couple of mid-night tussles over who gets were on the bed it all seems to be good. I had planned on taking this a bit slower - but as long as the hissing and growling are done with I'm willing to let it go this way for now! Any signs of serious aggression however - and it's back to barriers and doors. I really want these guys to learn to live together peacefully! Max has totally enamored both of us and we'd hate to have to send her back to a household where she wasn't really happy....:pray:

ancientgirl
April 28th, 2009, 01:27 PM
Wow, she's lovely!

Sounds like things are progressing pretty well.

There is always going to be some hissing ans scuffles. I have two that have been together since they were a few months old and they often get into scuffles, with hissing. I've also got a stray that took me about 4-6 months to completely integrate into the household. She gets along well with the others and still hisses and swats now and then. But nothing major. I think you'll be okay.

Jim Hall
April 28th, 2009, 02:08 PM
a missser a himalayan and a parrot must be sooo peacefull :clown:

angeldogs
April 28th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Maxine is gorgeous.:lovestruck:
I do hope when they all finally meet al goes well.:lovestruck:

luvsmallfurries
April 28th, 2009, 06:15 PM
a missser a himalayan and a parrot must be sooo peacefull :clown:

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Oh, if I needed peace I would have gotten fish. With my luck.....I would have gotten the first fish on the planet that could talk!

I'm just waiting for the parrot to pick up Max's name. He can say "Yeti" and "Sparks" and he also says "here kitty, kitty" and "cut it out!" all things he's heard me say a couple hundred thousand times!

And before anyone says "oh, but rabbits are quiet" - not mine! She's a snorter - her favourite game is to chase your toes all over the place oinking and grunting all the way!

And, I wouldn't have it any other way :cloud9:

growler~GateKeeper
April 29th, 2009, 01:12 AM
Sounds like you're well on your way to a happy integration :highfive:

Magicwildwolf69
April 29th, 2009, 08:03 AM
yay for a being off to a good start! :highfive:

hope everything keeps going well :goodvibes:

luvsmallfurries
May 6th, 2009, 03:46 PM
Well - we got off to a good start - but things have disintegrated a bit in the last few days.

Here's my post in the general discussion forum - just to be sure I catch everyone's attention! ;)

Does anyone know if the cat calming products in the pet stores are effective?
I'm working on integrating a new cat into my household (see complete story at http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=62347). I have two other cats who have gotten along together just fine for years but with the new cat in the house there are some problems. So far I've been cycling between giving all of them supervised free access and isolating the new cat in the bedroom for a couple of hours every evening. There are still some serious tensions between the three of them - hissing, growling and at least one significant fight.

Most disturbing is that the relationship between my two resident cats has suffered. They are hissing and growling and basically upsetting each other. Also, my younger boy does not want to come out from under the bed. I can coax him out with a treat and he'll stay in the living room if I put him there but he's always been little mister friendly and I'm getting worried that the stress of having the new cat, and the aggression, will affect him permanently.

The pet store I frequent has a product, a plug in device like a room freshener, and the label says "contains felliway". My specific question is whether this is the felliway product that's been mentioned in several other threads or if there is something more appropriate that might be available only through the vet?

Other than that, I'm open to any suggestions about relieving some of the aggression and tension. I don't want to continue having to isolate everyone all the time - it's not fair to the two who have been with me for all these years. Fortunately, if I can't make this work - the newer cat's previous home is willing to take her back.....it's just not an ideal situation for her. She won't be abandoned at any rate!

chico2
May 6th, 2009, 04:08 PM
The plug-in you get at Pet-Value is not the same as Feli-Way,but might still work,I used Feli=Way because one of my males was spraying.
When I had only Rocky and Chico,they too were best buds,then Vinnie happened.
Chico to this day,it's been 7yrs still does not like Vinnie and if Vinnie gets too close Chico will hiss and growl,no fights Chico,just shows who's the boss.

Don't worry,so far you've done great,a little set back always happens,I am absolutely sure they'll learn to tolerate each other:cat:

luvsmallfurries
May 6th, 2009, 05:15 PM
The plug-in you get at Pet-Value is not the same as Feli-Way,but might still work,I used Feli=Way because one of my males was spraying.
When I had only Rocky and Chico,they too were best buds,then Vinnie happened.
Chico to this day,it's been 7yrs still does not like Vinnie and if Vinnie gets too close Chico will hiss and growl,no fights Chico,just shows who's the boss.

Don't worry,so far you've done great,a little set back always happens,I am absolutely sure they'll learn to tolerate each other:cat:

Thanks Chico;

I thought we were getting off a bit too scot free after only a few days......:frustrated:

I did get a call back from one of the vets in the neighbourhood where I work and they have the "real" Feliway (in the purple box, made by CEVA) in stock - atomizers and pump spray - so I'm off to talk to the vet about it! I know it's not a guaranteed solution, but I'm willing to try! I'd be happy if we could get to a point where it's all just posturing; even my husband and I get hissy with each other occasionally! ;)

Thanks for the encouragement.

ancientgirl
May 6th, 2009, 06:20 PM
I've had Vlad and Oksana since they were kittens, and Oksana always hisses at Vlad if he gets too close and she's not in the mood for him. Czari gets along with most of the others, but she only really plays with Maks. I figure, as long as they all tolerate each other and get along okay, then it's a success.

I'm sure things will begin to work itself out with them. Just take your time with the introductions.:D

chico2
May 7th, 2009, 08:20 AM
Before you go out and spend a small fortune on Feli-Way at the vet(waaay over-priced)my old vet charged $80 :yell:,i would just continue doing what you are doing.
I am not saying Feli-Way does not work,it did work on my Rockys spraying,but I have not heard many success-stories on introducing cats to each other.
I think patience and determination is the best method.
Max is beautiful,by the way,I'm certain it will work out:cat:

luvsmallfurries
May 8th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Chico;

I had a very long talk with the vet near where I work. He also said that Feliway is not as effective with calming multi-cat situations as it is with calming destructive behaviors such as clawing and peeing/spraying in inappropriate places. Having said that he also said if the hormones are effective on at least one of them - then using it in conjunction with other integration techniques would/should help smooth things out. So, I went ahead and got the Feliway and I'm going back to square 1 with the integration process - no visuals, scent only, for another week or so. Hopefully we get more steps forward than we do back.

This particular vet is great. His office is located in an area of the city where I work that is quite depressed and he focuses his practice on families that are low-income. His clinic rates are comparable to other vets but, he really encourages homeopathic remedies where appropriate, offers sliding scale and payment based charging on procedures, does occasional spay/neuter clinics that are 'pay what you can' and he keeps the cost of products he supplies pretty low......I got the Feliway atomizer and a good sized pump bottle of the spray for about $85 all together - I think he said the refills for the atomizer were $35. He doesn't sell any food and won't recommend any particular labels but advocates for grain-free, organic if possible and raw when he thinks it's appropriate. If it wasn't a 45 minute drive from home I'd bring them all there.........but my two have always assumed a trip in the carrier was a death march or something......:rolleyes: We've been in the same office now since they were both kittens - different vets depending on when you go but at least it's a full and complete medical record.

chico2
May 8th, 2009, 04:10 PM
WOW,he seems like a wonderful vet:thumbs up,not many like him around,although my new vet is wonderful too.
I bought my Feli-Way off E-Bay and I used them for a long time,I paid US $16,95 for the refills which was great.
I don't need them anymore though,but they really worked.
Good luck with your kitties:fingerscr

luvsmallfurries
May 16th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Well - after 4 full weeks of trying and trying we had to make the difficult decision to let Max go back to her previous home. :cry:

This was just not going to work out. Max settled in here with no issues for herself - found the food to her liking, improved litter box habits, no howling at the door despite being free roam at her previous home, etc. Unfortunately my other two, Yeti and Sparks, didn't have such an easy go of it. The more comfortable Max got being here, the more aggressive and dominant she got. The other two just did not defend their positions in the household and were consequently being terrorized by the end of last week. Max was getting pretty vicious with her attacks and there were some very minor injuries - scratches and bald patches - and some pretty serious psychological effects. Nothing I was able to do could distract her once she decided she wanted some action and we had a couple of sleepless nights - me in the bedroom with the originals and the husband on the couch with Max. Yeti and Sparks took to the underside of the bed and would not come out for love, money, extra special "I'll do magic tricks for them" treats - nothing. I worked pretty closely (daily) with the vet for the last week and nothing was going to persuade Max to let up on the aggression so he suggested two final options: anti-anxiety meds for all of them (possibly on a permanent basis :eek:) - or send Max home.

I'm not prepared to dose any animal with any medication unnecessarily so we made the call and Max was happily welcomed back. She basically marched back in like she'd never been away! My friend is reporting however that Max seems to be slightly better behaved having spent a month away! She's convinced Max has learned a lesson and knows she may have to go away again if she doesn't behave! She's still picking on the other pets there but they are being a bit more certain about their defence and Max is backing down. She's delighted with the change in litter box habits (Max was peeing on things and had really bad stinkies)! I recommended the litter I use and the food, and my friend is making those changes to keep Max happier.

Yeti and Sparks don't seem to have any lasting damage thank goodness. :cat: They have come out from under the bed - are eating and using their litter boxes normally and have 'remarked' every surface in the house (twice!) so no harm done and lesson learned. I think we'll stick with the two for now. :thumbs up

Thanks to all of you for all the great support, wishes and advice - I guess it was just not meant to be. Silver lining - I can go visit her anytime I want!

growler~GateKeeper
May 16th, 2009, 11:39 PM
I'm sorry it didn't work out with Max in your house :sad:

:fingerscr things work out for the best :goodvibes: