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Positive cat introduction stories?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi all -- I am in need of a bit of moral support.

A few weeks ago we adopted/rescued Sofie -- I've mentioned her story in other parts of the board, but to quickly recap: she was a stray we found wandering around our neighborhood. Our vet thinks she could be between 12-14 years old. She had cancer in her front paw, and had to have her leg amputated. So, while she has been recovering, she has been confined to one room of our house.

We also have one other kitty, Ebony. She has been an 'only cat' for about seven years now (she is about 8 years old).

I've done quite a bit of reading on how to go about introducing cats to each other. The info on this website alone is amazing. I feel confident that we have a good 'game plan'. If Sofie continues to heal well, we will probably try to go ahead with the introduction at the end of this week.

I am finding it hard not to get a bit anxious, and despondent though as the time approaches for us to introduce Ebony to Sofie. When I have talked to people about the fact that we have rescued a new cat, pretty much everyone says that we will have a very long, hard road ahead of us...

Does anyone have any positive stories you can share with me about introducing new cats to the household?

I really want to believe that given a lot of time and patience, most cats will eventually learn to tolerate each other. Do you think this is true? Thanks for any insight!
post #2 of 21
I'm gonna be honest with my thoughts. You have 2 females - both older, both very set in their ways. You have a 50/50 chance of them getting along at this point.

It will take a lot of time and patience on your part. You should introduce them very slowly. Younger kittens/cats adjust a lot sooner then older ones.

I find that my females had a harder time accepting another female in the house (this was both younger and older females).

I wish you luck and hope they do adjust but it really will be a long tough road ahead. Hope you have the patience for it.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks GoldenKitty45 -- I really do appreciate your input. Our plan is definitely to introduce them very slowly. We had not planned on adopting another cat, but Sofie just sort of came into our lives in such a way that I honestly feel if we had not helped her, she would probably not be alive right now -- she was in really bad shape.

Ebony (resident cat) has adjusted to two dogs living in the house, but I know a cat is probably a totally different ballgame.

We are determined to do our very best to make this work. Worst case scenario, I suppose the cats could be completely separated long term, but of course that would not be ideal.
post #4 of 21
Best of luck to you! I'm actually about to start the introduction of a new cat into my house. However mine is a male that is about 2 years old and a female about 1 year. Hopefully I don't have too many problems but I know I probably have a long road ahead of me.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, xris! I just took a look at your thread -- your new kitty is gorgeous (as is your resident cat, if that is him in your signature pic!).

I hope you'll post some updates of how the introduction/integration goes. Good luck to you, too!
post #6 of 21
hi again, I am glad that Sofie is on the road to recovery, that all sounds real positive

I have 4 cats - my latest is only 4.5mths and we are in the middle of introducing him to my other 3 cats - ages etc as follows

Pepsi- female - 13.5 yrs
Dino - male - 14 yrs
Moofi - female -3 yrs

Anyway I would like to tell you about introducing Moofi to our clan Dino the boy wasnt too vexed about her, as long as he gets fed, nothing much does bother him. However it was still important to take things slow as Dino would still hiss at her if she was a little bit bouncy

Pepsi is more withdrawn and she didnt like the fact that this bouncy thing was whizzing around our house changing everything she knew, so again it was important to take things slow with her too.

They were kept seperate which you have already done. Then I swopped all their blankets around, so that they could all get used to each other scent. I started to feed Moofi near the others - she was in the dining room and they were in the kitchen. Over a few weeks the bowls got nearer and they didnt notice.

I montitored the times when they were in close-quarters with each other, I used a toy to distract Moofi if she was too heavy-pawed with Peps or Dino.

They are all great friends now and greet each other with whisker kisses I dont say they snuggle with each other, but they can all be on a two seater sofa (not touching) and be happy for hours.

Now as for our newbie........little Teddy - here in my signature, well we are starting all over again

Good luck and I am sure things will work out for you.

Keep us posted
post #7 of 21
Originally Posted by hyacinthbucket View Post
Thanks, xris! I just took a look at your thread -- your new kitty is gorgeous (as is your resident cat, if that is him in your signature pic!).

I hope you'll post some updates of how the introduction/integration goes. Good luck to you, too!
Thanks! Yes, that is my resident cat Evan in my signature.
post #8 of 21
Originally Posted by mooficat View Post
Now as for our newbie........little Teddy - here in my signature, well we are starting all over again
I'm confused - I thought that Teddy went back home to his owner? Did they bring him back to you???
post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I'm confused - I thought that Teddy went back home to his owner? Did they bring him back to you???
yep they did heres the thread about it
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mooficat View Post
They are all great friends now and greet each other with whisker kisses I dont say they snuggle with each other, but they can all be on a two seater sofa (not touching) and be happy for hours.

Now as for our newbie........little Teddy - here in my signature, well we are starting all over again

Good luck and I am sure things will work out for you.

Keep us posted
Oh, that's a great story! It definitely gives me some hope. I don't expect Sofie and Ebony to be best friends forever, either -- it will be nice if they can tolerate each others presence though.

ps Teddy is adorable! He looks like a mini version of my Ebony.
post #11 of 21
It really does depend on the individual cats. My cat temporarily lived with a male kitten (about 4-6 months old at the time) over a period of a couple of months... and though he's a giant alpha male, the two of them got along from the first day. They groomed each other, slept curled up together, played together... my cat let the kitten chew his tail, climb on him, etc. Of course, the kitten factor (bold, easily adaptable) helped, and your situation is different. So I don't know if it helps, but it is a positive story.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks emmylou -- that certainly does help! It's nice to hear a positive story!

I'm trying to go into this situation feeling confident and positive (but also, realistic) -- I'm worried that if the kitties sense I am overly anxious, that will probably only make things worse...
post #13 of 21
Ah yes! I definitely need these positive stories! Lol!
post #14 of 21
Oh here you are again, the new member with my favorite username.

On topic: I have a positive story to share with you. Penelope is my eldest cat, a very snooty female DSH that barely likes humans besides myself, my mother, and (just recently) my husband. She was intolerable of anyone else coming near her. She appeared annoyed when an animal would be outside. I was positive she hated all creatures except for me and my mother.

Then, came the time where I wanted to do more for the world than just my rescue of her little strayness. I also felt that my husband and I were not home enough to entertain her the way it had been when I was still at school, and briefly thereafter, unemployed. So, when Penelope was 3 1/2 years old, we brought home Maverick, a 6 month old male black kitten.

I too, like you Miss Bucket, did much research. I fretted. I turned down a Russian Blue kitten in fact because he seemed way too hyperactive for her (although so precious).

Then we saw Maverick at the pet store. He was a part of a foster program rescue that was showing their pets for the day. His mom was a black siamese, and his dad a known feral tomcat from the local area. He fell in love with my husband. And vice versa. So Maverick came home a few days later, me all freaked out.

We introduced them slowly. Maverick in a crate in the middle of the room. Us not paying him any mind, but showering attention and talking to Penelope. She hissed, crouched down, got all upset for an hour. Then we let him out. More hissing and crouching. She didn't sleep with us that night. Didn't eat breakfast the next day.

But after 2 days, she stopped hissing. Stopped crouching down at him. And started to enjoy him for the brother he was/is. Maverick from minute 1 just wanted to be her friend. And they are BEST FRIENDS now. I never thought Miss snooty pants Penelope would tolerate another cat, but she has opened up her home and heart to him.

So I am hoping something similiar will happen for you too! And everyone here will provide you with some support along the way. Good luck.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nellers -- what a great story!! Your Penelope sounds quite a lot like my Ebony in terms of personality.

ps I thought 'Hyacinth Bucket' would be a fairly obscure user name. Who knew Hyacinth had a fan base here! Very cool.
post #16 of 21
It seems to depend on the individual cats involved. Going slowly is the best way to go, especially with older cats. Hopefully it works out for you and your girls.

I'm still relatively new to having kitties and still learning.

Guess I have been lucky with introducing my cats to each other. I adopted two seniors from a local kill shelter - Kuce (our resident 14 year old female), and our RB cat Sphinx (he was 18 years old when he passes away) and both he and Kuce got along as well as one can hope (though they never snuggled). Then we adopted a stray cat - Luvbug (he was 4 years old). He got along pretty well with Kuce - no fights other then a few swats from Kuce to let him know who is in charge. The Lil' Jag came into the picture (also a stray but she was a 3.5 month old kitten). Kuce took to her right away but it took a couple of months for Luvbug to warm up to her and now they are almost inseparatable.

Our girls - especially Lil' Jag can be a pain to Kuce on occassion but so far no major problems. We just monitor them and if gets touchy we separate them.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
greycat2, that was a very heartening post. I definitely agree that the individual personalities of the cats are a big factor, too.

ps The pics of your kitties in your signature are gorgeous.
post #18 of 21
Thank you Hyacinth. They are sweet bunch. They can also be a handful, especially the younger two.

Good luck with your girls.

ps Love the name. I'm also a Fan of the show btw.
post #19 of 21
Your best bet is going to be their finding two distinct territories for themselves, depending on the time of day - my two males worked out that the older one sleeps in one room all a.m., the younger plays in the main part of the house, then in the afternoon/early eve. the older one gets to play and hang out there while the younger one sleeps, and both sleep with me at night. They've been really good friends, however, from the beginning. Our two female Coons were neutral from early on, but we had lots of up and down room, the younger one always kept herself to herself while the older (orig.) 'crazy' one was around more agitating for nonstop play with us, but they never fought, once in a long while would play a little with each other (apart from when they were with us) and respected each other. Two other young females long ago in a small apt. (before I was married) were quite close (thank goodness!). I've never found an answer, however, to what happens when males come in and proceed to terrorize the females, which seems to be macho rite of passage!
post #20 of 21
Introducing our rescued male, Porter, to our existing cat Mocha was no problem. We've had Mocha since finding her as a very small kitten last June. She has been the only cat on her turf since then, but did have the advantage of interaction with other cats when travelling. (Roughly once a month she comes with us to my GF's parents house for the weekend to visit with her two cats and three dogs.) We were a little worried about Porter, though. He is supposedly 1-2 years old and is intact until tomorrow. He had no track record at all with us and we were afraid he might be aggressive toward our little female.

Anyway, he spent the first day locked in the bathroom. At one point during that time they caught a glimpse of each other through the cracked door. Mocha freaked out and ran away, he started making a racket and seemed to want to go after her. It was unclear at that point if he was aggressive or just curious. The next day we gave them each a couple of drops of vanilla extract and watched closely while they interacted for the first time. Mocha just didn't know what to do with him, and seemed particularly surprised that there was another cat in her space. Porter remained curious but wasn't rude about it. He wandered right over to her, she hissed at him, and he took the hint. That was fighting, no scratching.

It's been a full 72 hours since then and both seem quite well adjusted. Porter sleeps a lot during the day so Mocha gets the run of the place for a few hours. Once he comes out neither of them puts up much of a fuss. Mocha will occasionally do the arched back, cocked head, sideways-hopping posture thing for a few minutes, but he just sits there and chills out. For the first time yesterday they both got up the courage to check each other out, and actually bumped noses while sniffing each other. Mission accomplished in my book. I didn't expect it to be nearly that easy. Mocha even seems happier now that she has a buddy to keep her busy. She's spent a lot more time purring and a lot less time playing "Pounce on the primates."
post #21 of 21
When my husband and I moved in together, we each had a cat. Much was 3 and Petunia was 5. We tried the introductions but that lasted 5 hours because we felt guilty about keeping them separated from us(really didn't know a lot about cats at the time). But somehow, these two females worked out a guarded truce. Much did try to play sometimes but got a hiss from Petunia. They usually stayed out of each other's way but there was some hissing when they crossed paths. The most interesting about these two is that they were fine if they didn't see each other. Much would settle in my lap and then Pet would jump up. If I held a magazine up between them until Pet settled down next to me, then they would lay there without incident, back-to-back. As they grew older, they decided that sunspots were neutral territory.

After we lost Petunia, Lucy came to us as a kitten. I wouldn't recommend it because Much was 10 at the time, but we did proper introductions and it went well. Much tolerates Lucy and Lucy adores Much.

We then got Carly. Again we did the introductions with Carly being separated from the others about a week. Much and Carly will sniff each other. Lucy tends to hiss and whack Carly when she gets too close but there isn't any fighting. They will stalk and chase one another.

So I lucked out that I ended up with four sweeties that didn't make life difficult for each other.
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