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Let me introduce myself....

PatX2Mom
July 17th, 2010, 10:50 AM
Hello everyone. I'm a newcomer to the forum...well, maybe not so much. I've been a "guest" over the past several weeks. I came across this forum when attempting to research my baby's illness. Needless to say, ths forum has been quite informative.

I'm hoping that I can get a bit of advice.

Unfortunately, Coco (my baby, male) was terribly ill (FIP) with his quality of life quickly deteriorating and now guards the gates of heaven (One of the HARDEST choices I have ever had to make).

Needless to say, my family (me and my remaining 3 fur babies), have had a difficult time adjusting. Especially Casper (male, 5 yrs), he typically runs from window to window to door crying for me if I am not in the house. He began peeing outside of the litter box (bedroom). Last night, he snuggled with my black tshirt (Coco was black).

Although I decided at the vet when putting Coco down "no more cats", the peeing in my bedroom immediately changed my mind. Today, I became the mama of a six week old Calico (Cuddles - most likely female).

Casper keeps hissing at Cuddles while the two other cats (Patches and Pat) tend to smell her (I keep calling Cuddles a her, so probably a little girl) and then ignore her.

Can anyone advise me how long it typically takes for cats and new family members to "get along"?

14+kitties
July 17th, 2010, 11:02 AM
Welcome Patx2. Let me say I am so sorry for your loss of Coco. There are so many of us who have recently had to say goodbye to an angel on this site. I agree. It is the most difficult thing we have to do. They can't tell us when they are ready. We can't let them suffer. You did the right thing. There is no cure for FIP. :( :grouphug:
:candle::rip: little Coco :candle: Find my Brownie and play. He loved playing. :cloud9:
Now - on to happier things. One of the biggest mistakes we can make when introducing cats is to think we can put them together right away and everything will be wonderful. It isn't. Especially when one of the gang is grieving. The introductions need to be done slowly and correctly in order to ensure a happy, healthy household. Btw - six weeks is a little young to be taken from momma cat. In order to be socialized properly by mom it should be at least 8 to 10 weeks. Optimally 12. Mom is busy till that time teaching her brood how to play nice, and fair. She is most likely still nursing as well. At the moment I have a mom and six kittens who are just over three months and are still nursing. I'm sure at this point it's more of a comfort thing because mom is almost dried up but still, they love it.
One of the best sites I have found is: http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management
It is very well written by a woman who walks the walk every day. You will enjoy reading it and learning. I know there will be other cat enthusiasts along soon with more info.
Again - welcome. :grouphug:

Frenchy
July 17th, 2010, 11:04 AM
Can anyone advise me how long it typically takes for cats and new family members to "get along"?

Welcome to pets.ca and sorry about the loss of Coco :(

I have a multi cats & dogs household. To introduce new cats , I always put the newbie cat in the guest bedroom for the first week. Then I'll let the newbie cat out and about in the house for a few minutes per day for another week , then I'll let the newbie loose in the house 24/7.

slowly but surely is my moddo. :)

PatX2Mom
July 17th, 2010, 11:33 AM
Thanks for the welcome 14+ and Frenchy.


Btw - six weeks is a little young to be taken from momma cat. In order to be socialized properly by mom it should be at least 8 to 10 weeks. Optimally 12. Mom is busy till that time teaching her brood how to play nice, and fair. She is most likely still nursing as well. At the moment I have a mom and six kittens who are just over three months and are still nursing. I'm sure at this point it's more of a comfort thing because mom is almost dried up but still, they love it.
One of the best sites I have found is: http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management

My neighbour's cat had the kittens, I hesitated to take Cuddles at 6 weeks old. I have never had a kitten so young (exept the one tossed out in a garbage bag, but that's another story and Tiger, the only survivor of the litter found, lived a long and happy life btw). I can take Cuddles back across the street for another 2-4 weeks (once my neighbour returns). We discussed the possibility of issues arising (I believe she sensed my hesitation).

The next question is, then, is another kitten the answer to Casper's behaviour?

14+kitties
July 17th, 2010, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the welcome 14+ and Frenchy.
My neighbour's cat had the kittens, I hesitated to take Cuddles at 6 weeks old. I have never had a kitten so young (exept the one tossed out in a garbage bag, but that's another story and Tiger, the only survivor of the litter found, lived a long and happy life btw). I can take Cuddles back across the street for another 2-4 weeks (once my neighbour returns). We discussed the possibility of issues arising (I believe she sensed my hesitation).

The next question is, then, is another kitten the answer to Casper's behaviour?

Well, we do encourage people to adopt cats by two. :D
Casper is grieving for his friend. He has to go through the process. If you have something around that Coco laid on or that she loved try giving it to him. He may feel a little closer to her and start to accept her physical body is no longer with him. Maybe reading through these sites may help.

http://www.for-the-love-of-cats.com/CatGrief.html
http://www.cat-world.com.au/grief-in-cats

As for the kitten. It is not too late to start the introduction process over again. If you have a spare room or bedroom where the kitten can be by itself for a while. The other cats know she's there. Let them accept her smell first. Then work through the other steps. Give the site previously mentioned a look through. It really does help you through. If there is another kitten from the same litter and you are willing to take on another one - go for it!! The more the merrier. :D
Good luck. Let us know how it's going.
Oh, and pics please. We loooovvveeee pics!!!! :thumbs up

hazelrunpack
July 17th, 2010, 02:07 PM
Welcome to the board, PatX2Mom! I'm so sorry for your loss of Coco :( :grouphug:

I've got so little kitty experience that I'll leave the advice to our experts and just say 'hi'! :o I hope you get everyone settled in soon! :goodvibes:

And I hope you have a camera, cuz we get very grumpy if we don't get pics of all the fuzzbutts! :o :D

PatX2Mom
July 17th, 2010, 03:45 PM
Thanks 14+. I"ve read the links.

As the day has progressed, I believe you are right. Cuddles is a little too young to have left her birth mama. Do you think she will be okay to return to my neighbours for a few more weeks after being here for the day? I don't think my neighbour will have a problem with her returning if I'm just waiting for her to get a little older. Will her cat mother accept her back though?

Here are a few pic's. I will upload some of cuddles when things get sorted out.

Pat in a chair
67555

Coco and Patches (he's the first kitten she allowed this close)
67556

Casper (yes, he has herpes - after 5 years, we have a diagnosis and he is on l-lysine thanks to this forum)
67557

PatX2Mom
July 17th, 2010, 03:54 PM
Nice to meet u Hazel. As you can see, I've uploaded some pic's. I have tonnes more, though. All part of being a mama. I thought I'd add my favourite of Coco, though, the little monster, lol!

67558

He had a need to climb and look into/climb into everything.

chico2
July 17th, 2010, 04:04 PM
So,CoCo was a black little boy,I am so sorry for your loss:(
It's a good thing you can bring the kitten back for a while longer,I am sure mom will accept her.
Hope the white kitty will be ok,I too have a white kitty,he's odd-eyed and 8 yrs old,I also have Rocky,brown tabby 14yrs old and black Chico 13yrs old.
Hope you find all the answers you need.:cat:

PatX2Mom
July 17th, 2010, 04:48 PM
Thanks Chico,

Everyone is very knowlegable and helpful. I've certainly learned that over the past several weeks.

My neighbour works long hours, so I will be waiting for a little while in order to return Cuddles to her birth mama.

I'm sure that Cass will be fine. Especially after reading the websites provided by 14+. He's heart is mending, but then so is mine.

Cass really is an affectionate boy. Maybe by the time Cuddles gets a little older and ready to come home, he'll have made room in his heart to love another (or two).

I'm not sure if you can tell from the pic, but Cass has two different coloured eyes, too. I was told when I brought him home, watch out for deafness or blindness. No signs to date. (Just herpes, I had to laugh when the new vet at the practice told me...I get cold sores...told the doc it runs in the family, lol!) Do you have either problem with Vinnie?

Love4himies
July 17th, 2010, 07:27 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Coco :cry: :grouphug: :candle:

Poor Capser, I have found that cats do grieve like humans. :grouphug: and like humans, you can't necessarily replace a lost loved one with another.
Just out of curiousity, have you had Casper checked out by a vet?

Yes, Cuddles is much too young to be taken from her momma and litter mates, I think you will find a much "better" Cuddles when you get her back at 12 weeks. She will be disciplined and more polite with your resident kitties, making the intro so much easier :thumbs up

PatX2Mom
July 17th, 2010, 07:51 PM
Thanks Love4 for your response and advice.

FYI

After Coco was put down, I took both Patches and Casper to the vet. I was paranoid.

After bloodwork to rule other items out, it turns out that Patches has asthma but is, as my vet says in excellent shape for a 13 year old.

Although no blood work was done for Casper, the vet did check him over. His colouring, his breathing and his fluid was good. With a quick look at his eye, the vet indicated that Casper has herpes which can sometimes manifest with sneezing especially if he was under stress due to a loss in his family.

I spoke with my vet regarding Pat as well. Since Pat's routine has not changed. He loves to go out on his leash in the wee hours of the morning (he drags me out of bed at 4 a.m.), eat grass and then occassionally vomit, my vet said a visit was unnecessary.

All of this was about three to four weeks ago. I haven't taken Casper to the vet since. He is still eating (perhaps a little less than usual - he used to share with Coco), and drinking as well as using the litter box. The changes in the past few weeks I believe are behaviourial.

I agree, IMO each cat is unique, irreplacable. My hope in getting a kitten was to give him someone else to love, to take care of, but never replace Coco. (On top of my own grief, crying, I am also grieving for Casper's loss).

I will be getting Cuddles back in a few weeks along with one of her litter mates. But this time, the reason will be because I fell in love with her within the few hours I had her.

So, I plan to continue to give all my babies, especially Cass, all the love and attention needed to get them and me through this time of grief. If Cass' behaviour changes for the worse or experiences weight loss (I am weighing my babies regulary) I will rush him to the vet. I will also speak with my vet when I book Cuddles and ? (I'm thinking Fluffy) for their shots.

Do you think I should take him over sooner?

Sorry for the long winded blurb.

Your advice is appreciated.

14+kitties
July 17th, 2010, 10:40 PM
I believe you are doing the right thing in returning the kitten for a few more weeks. It's wonderful news that you are taking another one as well!! :highfive: The mom will have no problem taking back her kitten. To ensure she doesn't you could rub her and the other kittens with a towel and then rub the towel over the kitten you have. That way everyone smells alike and there is less likelyhood of rejection.
This will give you time to read the first site I mentioned to you about introducing new members to the household. It really is beneficial to all to have the introductions done properly.
Your whole family is so beautiful. Coco :cloud9:. I love black cats. :cloud9: Heck, I just love cats!!!
Did you talk to your vet and ask about the spread of the herpes and vaccinating the kittens you will be getting in a while? Poor Casper. L-lysine is great to help keep it in check. :thumbs up

PatX2Mom
July 18th, 2010, 04:22 AM
Thanks for the advice 14+. Is the herpes vaccine not in the standard vaccination? I ask because Pat and Patches have never shown any signs of herpes. Until recently, I did not even know it existed in cats. Casper already had his eye condition when he came home as a kitten. He was subsequently vaccinated and then neutered.

I will definitely speak with the vet hospital about the herpes vaccine when I set up their appointments.

btw, I don't believe there was any problem with reintegrating Cuddles. When I spoke with my neighbour, she was going to let me know if problems arose. I have not heard anything yet! No news is good news, right?

My dad just shook his head when I said I was getting 2 more babies. But I know he'll continue to be in most weekdays to check on his grandbabies while I'm at work. He loves my fur babies just as much as I do, he just doesn't admit it. Actions speak louder than words though, lol!

Love4himies
July 18th, 2010, 06:34 AM
YAY for two littermates :cloud9::lovestruck::thumbs up:grouphug:. Your resident kitties will be so relieved that they occupy each other :laughing:.

Awww, I just feel so sad for Casper, no doubt he is missing his buddy :(.

14+kitties
July 18th, 2010, 07:27 AM
Thanks for the advice 14+. Is the herpes vaccine not in the standard vaccination? I ask because Pat and Patches have never shown any signs of herpes. Until recently, I did not even know it existed in cats. Casper already had his eye condition when he came home as a kitten. He was subsequently vaccinated and then neutered.

I will definitely speak with the vet hospital about the herpes vaccine when I set up their appointments.

btw, I don't believe there was any problem with reintegrating Cuddles. When I spoke with my neighbour, she was going to let me know if problems arose. I have not heard anything yet! No news is good news, right?

My dad just shook his head when I said I was getting 2 more babies. But I know he'll continue to be in most weekdays to check on his grandbabies while I'm at work. He loves my fur babies just as much as I do, he just doesn't admit it. Actions speak louder than words though, lol!

I guess that was my way of asking whether your kitten had it's vaccinations. :o Yes, it's included. Casper will be a carrier. My concern was him passing it on to the kitten who had not yet had it's shots.

LOL @ your dad. It's funny how after a while they just shake their heads. My hubby started doing that quite some time ago. :D:thumbs up

PatX2Mom
July 18th, 2010, 07:48 AM
Oh crap! I'm positive that Cuddles has not been vaccinated to date. That was my next step (to call vet and set up appointment). I hope that she did not catch it during her stay here yesterday. Can I start yesterday over and call a redo? What was I thinking?

btw, my babies are all vaccinated and spayed/neutured...IMO doing my part to keep their world a safer and healthier place.

hazelrunpack
July 18th, 2010, 11:51 AM
Love all the chair shots, PX2M!! :flirt: They're all cuties!

PatX2Mom
July 18th, 2010, 01:02 PM
Yep, my babies love the chairs and sofa. Sometimes when we're watching tv together, I get the stool, lol!

14+kitties
July 18th, 2010, 02:20 PM
Oh crap! I'm positive that Cuddles has not been vaccinated to date. That was my next step (to call vet and set up appointment). I hope that she did not catch it during her stay here yesterday. Can I start yesterday over and call a redo? What was I thinking?

btw, my babies are all vaccinated and spayed/neutured...IMO doing my part to keep their world a safer and healthier place.

You will feel better if you keep an eye on the little one for a few days. If she shows no sign of a cold you should be ok. Just be aware that the virus can sit dormat for quite time before showing itself.
When you bring your new kittens home it is vitally important you keep them separated for introductions and until they have their vaccinations. That is not a 100% guarantee they will not get herpes but may help.
It is wonderful that your kitties are all s/n. I am sure when you signed up on Pets you read the rules and noticed most of us are very pro s/n. :thumbs up Now if you could convince your neighbour to fix hers.........that would be wonderful!!

PatX2Mom
July 18th, 2010, 05:28 PM
Thanks for the advice 14+. Sending Cuddles back to her birth mother has given me a little more time to prepare for the important stuff and her return. This time I will get it right.

I really hope that she didn't catch the virus. Unfortunately, it seems I can not unring that bell.

Yes, I've read the forum rules and while I'm not as informed as other forum members on the subject, I am an advocate of s/n. I have been since a pre-teen and we rescued Tiger from a garbage bag and drowning with the rest of this litter mates. Some people are just :evil:

btw I had the s/n discussion with my neighbour yesterday.

Love4himies
July 18th, 2010, 06:33 PM
Thanks for the advice 14+. Sending Cuddles back to her birth mother has given me a little more time to prepare for the important stuff and her return. This time I will get it right.

I really hope that she didn't catch the virus. Unfortunately, it seems I can not unring that bell.

Yes, I've read the forum rules and while I'm not as informed as other forum members on the subject, I am an advocate of s/n. I have been since a pre-teen and we rescued Tiger from a garbage bag and drowning with the rest of this litter mates. Some people are just :evil:
Awwww, that makes you Tiger's :angel: :grouphug:


btw I had the s/n discussion with my neighbour yesterday. :thumbs up Good job, momma kitty doesn't want any more litters :D