Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Description of your first forum.

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by Brian Lin » Tue, 15 Feb 2005 17:12:02



Cast of characters:

1. Tiger, Maine-Coonish mutt rescued from an Indiana farm,
age 11, 9 lbs
2. Louis, 2-yr-old Bengal who Tiger adopted as a brother (8 lbs)
3. Henry, Maine-Coonish stray of unknown provenance, aged ~2 (18 lbs)

All neutered, all up-to-date with vaccinations.

I will NOT send Henry to a shelter. On his own, he's the ideal
lap-cat.. affectionate, devoted and loving. God, I love Henry...

My brother lost his wonderful boy-cat, aged 14, with multiple health
issues, last week. The remaining cat in the household is a 12-yr old
female with a painful hostility to strangers. I'd hoped he would want
Henry, but it's still too painful a loss to discuss with him.

With the expectation that Henry may not have a new home soon (and
frankly hesitant to give him up.. there's nothing more wonderful than
having a huge cat napping on your chest while you're typing), we've
decided to give an introduction another try.

Here's our daily regimen:

Overnight, Henry's in the ba***t.
During the day, Louis and Tiger are in the bedroom upstairs sleeping
(they're there already when I wake up, I just close the door), and
Henry has run of the house.
In the early evening, Henry goes into the bedroom. We "stage" him in a
separate room, remove Tiger and Louis from the bedroom and give them
treats, then move Henry, giving him treats.
At night, Henry goes back downstairs with a treat.

The plus side is that before, during the early evening transfer, Louis
would park himself outside threateningly, and has even charged Henry
during his transit (though Henry outweighs Louis 2-to-1... Louis is a
brave little kitty - god, Bengals are great cats) - but with the
addition of treats the transfer goes smoothly. Henry no longer cowers
in the bathroom, and Louis and Tiger seem to regard his egress with
detachment.

I'm now tipping toward wanting to spend a fair amount of time
integrating Henry (out of necessity it seems, since I'm not going to
dump him outside or drop him off at the Humane Society). He's a huge
cat, with a "Nerml" face, who simply adores human companionship.
Initially he seemed the aggressor, but now I see that it's Louis the
Bengal's territoriality that is proving the problem.

Complicating things, Louis has taken to marking our front door
incessantly. Feliway and No-Mark notwithstanding. Gaah.

This is more effort than I'm used to spending on a cat introduction.

Though there have been scraps between our adoptees before (counting
seven cats in the last 10 years) none have been this virulent. I might
not be so worried if Henry were not a HUGE cat, quite strong, and
Louis were not such an incredibly beautiful cat. The one fight I broke
up recently (which graced me with an angry infection and sent me on a
potent round of antibiotics) mauled me greaty, but the cats were
unmarked.

I'm not looking for advice here, I guess (though any would be
welcome), but just spilling my story among sympathetic ears, and for
folks who have followed my earlier posts.

Each cat in the household is wonderful, I love them all deeply.
Sometimes you wish you could just grab the cat and say "GET A
GRIP!!!". Louis and Henry would make great playmates.

bah. that's why forums like this exist, I guess.

And yes, I'll be calling Meghan tomorrow. =/

BLink

 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by Barb » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 01:33:11


So the cats got into a big bad fight but they didn't hurt each other?  Just
you?  I don't know you and I don't know your cats but I have always done
things differently than most of the posters here when it came to introducing
a new cat.  I just put them all out there together right away.  In a couple
days it all seems to work out.  Only this last time I did get Felliway.
During the adjustment period if no one is home the new one is separated.

Best of luck,
Barb
Of course I don't look busy,
I did it right the first time.

 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by Monique Y. Mudam » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 02:58:17


On 2005-02-14, Barb penned:

Quote:
> So the cats got into a big bad fight but they didn't hurt each other?  Just
> you?  I don't know you and I don't know your cats but I have always done
> things differently than most of the posters here when it came to introducing
> a new cat.  I just put them all out there together right away.  In a couple
> days it all seems to work out.  Only this last time I did get Felliway.
> During the adjustment period if no one is home the new one is separated.

Yeah, I tried that with Oscar and Eros.  Oscar retreated to the bedroom, where
she lived under the bed and was so terrified of Eros that she peed and pooped
in the bedroom rather than going to the litterbox.  Eros, not understanding
that Oscar needed space, was constantly stalking her.  His intentions were
friendly, but she wasn't about to believe it.  They got into a few squabbles
when Oscar got so frustrated that she charged, but while Eros was untouched,
Oscar ended up with cuts in both ears that will never heal fully.

I will never again just dump two cats into the house and imagine that they'll
somehow magically integrate.  With some cats, it's just not possible.  I don't
know what would have happened if I'd done the slow integration route, but it
certainly couldn't be worse than what happened.

--
monique, roommate of Oscar the (female) grouch
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Eros was adopted!  Eros has a home now!  *cheer!*

 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by Brian Lin » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 11:48:46


On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 10:33:11 -0600, "Barb"

Quote:

>So the cats got into a big bad fight but they didn't hurt each other?  Just
>you?  I don't know you and I don't know your cats but I have always done
>things differently than most of the posters here when it came to introducing
>a new cat.  I just put them all out there together right away.  In a couple
>days it all seems to work out.  Only this last time I did get Felliway.
>During the adjustment period if no one is home the new one is separated.

>Best of luck,
>Barb
>Of course I don't look busy,
>I did it right the first time.

Yeah, I've considered that. Somewhere else here I read that cats will
spar and seem to be ***ing each other, but in fact it's fairly
carefully managed sparring, so as not to maim. It's all about who's
stronger - the aim is not to kill the other cat, but to show it you're
the toughest one in the house.

Sorta like these deer fighting - a video I just came across today.
They have sharp antlers and could easily***each other, but instead
they choose to box - a non lethal competition (though I'm sure there
are a few hoof scars afterward).

http://www.moonsgarden.com/

On the other hand.. one fight had Louis squinting for a day. Tiger
sustained a corneal scratch in his youth, and it was a frightening,
painful thing. He recovered, and so did Louis, but ears and eyes are
delicate. A feral cat may endure scars and disfigurement, not death,
but these are our "companion animals", and I don't want to see
beautiful (and expensive) Louis go through life blind in one eye, or
with a withered ear because we let them just "sort it out".

I really think Louis' wild ancestry has made him overly-zealous in
asserting himself, despite his size disadvantage (though I do recall
from my wilder days that even in humans, little guys are usually the
most tenacious opponents.. don't ask..)

There is another path, but it requires huge patience. As I may have
shown in my overly-flowery other post about walking the cats in the
snow, I do love my cats. And I'm willing to take on the harder task.

BLink

 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by tracyr.. » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 12:24:16


"There is another path, but it requires huge patience. As I may have
shown in my overly-flowery other post about walking the cats in the
snow, I do love my cats. And I'm willing to take on the harder task."

Yeah. I hear you. My heart bleeds when the assertive cat bullies the
less assertive one - STILL - and it's been almost two years. I will
caution you, however, that there is an element of this that simply has
to be worked out between the cats and sometimes (and I'm not accusing
you of this - I'm simply posting it for your consideration as you go
through this process), too much human interference can really delay the
necessary kerfuffles and hard feelings can develop because they aren't
"settling things" between them. It should be supervised, so it doesn't
tilt over the edge, but I'm not sure it's completely avoidable.  Good
luck!

 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by Chery » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 12:41:52



rec.pets.cats.health+behav

Quote:
> I'm simply posting it for your consideration as you go
> through this process), too much human interference can really
> delay the necessary kerfuffles and hard feelings can develop
> because they aren't "settling things" between them. It should be
> supervised, so it doesn't tilt over the edge, but I'm not sure
> it's completely avoidable.  Good luck!

I think you are absolutely right. Between Shamrock and Bonnie is
something that started since Shadow died. They used to get along
great, but now Shamrock is relentless toward Bonnie, chasing her
and she is clearly stressed by this. It seems that the more I try
to interfere, the more he attacks. I've resorted to separation when
I'm not around just so that they can have a break, and the times
together are not so much so that they "get on each others nerves"
if that is the case. I also try to not let my emotions get in the
way of their problems with each other. They used to get along so
great. Now there are two littermate kittens that probably doesn't
help the dynamics. It's very hard not to interfere, or know when
you should.

--
Cheryl

 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by kitka » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 14:23:43


Quote:

>  kerfuffles <

best.word.ever!

is it real?
pam

 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by Mary » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 14:21:42



Quote:
> Sorta like these deer fighting - a video I just came across today.
> They have sharp antlers and could easily***each other, but instead
> they choose to box - a non lethal competition (though I'm sure there
> are a few hoof scars afterward).

> http://www.moonsgarden.com/

They are not boxing, they are slapping ... "you little
***! Stay away from Buck, he's mine!"
 
 
 

Late night update on my stupid situation (introducing new cats)

Post by Mary » Wed, 16 Feb 2005 15:31:45



Quote:
> Cast of characters:

> bah. that's why forums like this exist, I guess.

> And yes, I'll be calling Meghan tomorrow. =/

> BLink

Yes, please call Megan.  She is very knowledgeable about introducing cats --  
and can also help with the question you posted concerning the amount of food
that should be fed to your cat.  I know you made preliminary contact with
Megan some time ago.  I hope you will follow through this time and really
take the steps she recommends.  A lot of time has been wasted, and that only
makes the adjustment more difficult.

MaryL