CAT BEHAVIOR forum: Introductions

 
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Imagesunfarm
Apr 9, 2010 12:14 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
My daughter has a population problem at her vet clinic with too many cats being dropped off or brought in by well-meaning non-owners who want to help save injured animals. Though it has been only two weeks since we lost our beloved Mitts, there was one of the cats at the clinic who bonded with me immediately. They were calling him "Garfield" but he is far too regal for that name to suit. We think he is about two years old and has an injured front paw that doesn't seem to slow him down even with his foot tucked back.

Since we have one remaining cat, Beechfork, a neutered male now 9, I had planned to bring the new cat in and put him in the bathroom with the door closed so the two cats could adjust to each other gradually, sniffing under the door, etc. I knew Aslan (as I have named him) would not have any problem with a new housemate since he had shared the clinic with so many others, but I didn't want Beechy to get upset with an interloper. I had thought Beechy was upstairs when we brought Aslan in and let him explore. I showed the newbie the litter box on the back porch, and quickly found out that Beechy was behind the workbench on the porch. There were loud vocalizations from both sides, but no physical aggression. After about 45 minutes they got bored and Beechy went to his usual haunts upstairs. I have asked DH to bring home a refill for the Feliway device we haven't needed for six years, but that may not be necessary. Here's a picture of Aslan. I will keep posting to let everyone know how this accelerated introduction is going.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageZencat
Apr 9, 2010 1:22 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah
What a beautiful cat. Good luck with the intros. Also, sorry to hear about Mitts.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 9, 2010 2:43 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Thanks, Celia. Mitts died the afternoon I had my 3-months-post-chemo appointment with my oncologist. Vet/daughter thinks he held on until he knew I was going to be OK. He had been my big comforter through 2 surgeries and several months of chemotherapy last year.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageZencat
Apr 9, 2010 3:51 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah
I'm certain he did. (((((hug))))) My Monty is my comforter. Five foot surgeries and numerous sick days. The new fellow will certainly be a comfort to you.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 10, 2010 7:22 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Day two with Aslan in the household. Still no fur flying or blood shed, though occasional growls when checking each other out--though at closer range. Aslan is obviously stressed in adapting to his new digs, as can be seen in this picture. He is truly a mellow fellow.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 14, 2010 9:42 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Still checking each other out, though pretending to ignore each other.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagecoconut
Apr 24, 2010 6:24 PM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
Lucky you, I hope the two are still happy.

I have a black (ex) tom, from six weeks old, and a white rescue fixed female, and they HATE each other.

Any ideas how to wake them to the fact I love them both? He attacks her violently sometimes. Booooooo

Thumbnail by coconut

Melissa

[Last edited Apr 24, 2010 6:24 PM CST]
Quote | Post #193114 (7)
Imagesunfarm
Apr 25, 2010 7:17 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
I guess cats are such individuals and so varied in personality, we can't predict how well they will get along. Alsan and Beechfork are getting closer to each other without overt hostility, but Aslan is younger and friskier and wants to romp and play. Since he is twice Beechy's size, I am sure he is quite intimidating to the older cat when he comes barreling up to him.

We had quite a problem when I retired and we moved, as my two cats from the lab where I worked had to learn to live with my cat that I had at home for many years. They never did become buddies, but at least could tolerate each other, but for years could not even be in the same room with each other. As the older ones got more sedentary they could coexist more peacefully, When we had a power failure the two "geezer" cats, both about 18 at the time, shared the warmth of a portable heater for several days.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagesunfarm
Apr 25, 2010 7:31 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Perhaps you best hope is that they will work out their differences peaceably, whether or not they actually become buddies. Several times we had a "three cat night, " though there were still clear territories.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagecoconut
Apr 25, 2010 7:41 AM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
They've been sharing this house with me for more than a year, and last night was war, really bad. He kept chasing her and attacking, she'd be screaming at the top of her lungs, and he had big hunks of her fur in his teeth, horrors!

Maybe the vet can give me some estrogen for him...

Or maybe it's tail envy.

Thumbnail by coconut

Melissa

Imagesunfarm
Apr 25, 2010 3:23 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Have you tried Feliway? It is a pheromone that [supposedly] promotes feelings of peace and harmony. It isn't cheap, but worth trying, in my estimation to promote feline harmony in the household. It is in dispenser that plugs into the wall and vaporizes like an air freshener. It is available at most pet supply stores or maybe from a vet. If they are fighting outright maybe you need to take a step back and separate them until they can demonstrate ability to coexist without fur flying.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
Imagecoconut
Apr 25, 2010 3:32 PM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
It's only occasionally that they go all out. I'd been away from home that day for five or six hours(!). Maybe I should never leave the house, hahaha.
Melissa

ImageZencat
Apr 25, 2010 3:50 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah
We have 2 cats that acted that way for quite awhile. They finally calmed down after a year or so but in the meantime? You'd have thought someone was being murdered by the screams we were wakened to in the middle of the night! LOL Shesh!
Imagesunfarm
May 6, 2010 2:40 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
An update. Aslan just wants to romp and play, as he did with the cats at the vet clinic before he came here. Beechy is still scared of something twice his size coming at him and tends to run and cower when Aslan comes at him fast. This does not last as long and they can be around each other without any fur flying, though they are not yet touching each other or playing together. This is a bit ironic, as Beechy was the playful aggressor with TJ and would pester him when TJ was too old for such games.

I found that feeding them in sight of each other seemed to help their willingness to be near each other. Still, it has been less than a month since Aslan has lived here.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageZencat
May 6, 2010 6:42 AM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah
That sounds promising. How is his foot doing?
Imagesunfarm
May 6, 2010 11:48 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
He gets around just fine, walking on the top of it. I suspect the damage is permanent. I did not realize until talking with DD how badly injured and infected it was when he first arrived at the clinic last July. He weighed only 6 pounds [now at 16] and she thought the infection was bad enough to have to remove the leg to save his life. The nerve damage may be such that it is numb so it doesn't bother him and he has no need to straighten it to walk on the pads. He has some control of claws on that foot, but not much. I can't see bothering him with a splint at this point. He seems to be a shining example of living with a disability.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageZencat
May 6, 2010 12:39 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah
Good for Aslan. I'm glad to know he's doing okay and has found a wonderful home.
Imagesunfarm
May 23, 2010 7:43 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
This will probably be my final report on the introduction of Aslan to our household and Beechfork's acceptance of a new companion. This morning they are romping around, taking turns play-stalking each other good naturedly. This has taken about six weeks, but with no blood shed or fur flying. We hope they will have many happy years to come as playmates/housemates.

Thumbnail by sunfarm

Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageZencat
May 23, 2010 7:49 AM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah
Good to know. I wish our new addition was as easily adapted.
Imagesunfarm
May 23, 2010 3:57 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Celia, I have always thought neutered males get along best with each other. You didn't have that option with your new boarder.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.

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