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Bringing a stray/feral in with an already housed cat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place...

I have/had two sibling cats (Runt, a spayed girl and Little Grey, a neutered boy) who were born outside, but have been living on our property since they were about 5 weeks old. They were born approximately June 5, 2006. Runt is/was very good hunter of birds, mice, and rabbits who would often give me "presents". Little Grey is a sweet homebody who loves attention and drools when I pet him. The already indoor cat is Rufus, an active, scratching, always crying to be played with 2 year old male. When Rufus saw them through the window, he'd hiss, but they didn't care since they regularly deal with other outdoor and stray cats.

Runt has been missing for 3 days now, and from what I overheard an elderly neighbor saying, she may have been run over 2 days ago! (Oh god! I just lost my nearly 19 year old cat June 25, the day before my birthday, and I'm still grieving over him. How can I manage to keep from breaking down when I'm already on antidepressants, which aren't working well, over Duncan's death?)

I had Runt and Little Grey inside (in the basement in large cages since Duncan and Rufus needed to be kept separate due to the age difference and his health. They were on opposite floors at all times. Runt and Little Grey managed to slip out of their cages once during that time, and they were terrified and hid in the basement til the other cried enough to cause them to walk back into their cage of their own free will.) for a month after they were spayed/neutered, but my sister's allergies meant that they had to go back outside.

How can I bring them/him in and not have them fight since Rufus can be aggressive and Little Grey is passive (If she's alive, Runt can fend for herself)? Can an outside only cat adjust to being an indoors only cat? They already are altered and have their needed shots, but is there any other health needs that need addressed before bringing a tamed feral in?
post #2 of 5
Take Runt to the vet and have a FeLV/FIV test run on her. Since she is spayed, the odds are in your favor that since she hasn't mated, she won't have the disease but it is better to be safe than sorry.

My entire household is made up of feral cats that I've brought inside and introduced to the others. Since Rufus has seen Runt all of this time, he at least recognizes her and your introductions probably will not be very traumatic. When my Lucky came inside for the first time at 18 months, I simply opened the door and he walked inside. The indoor cats (all 10 of them at the time) simply followed him around and sniffed him but I've never had any hissing from any of them. Lucky would often sit outside the window as the others sat inside watching him. They knew each other by the time he came into the house the first time.

It will probably be more traumatic for Runt than Rufus. Put her in a confined spot for a while and let her get used to those surroundings before you let her into your larger house. Give her one of your tshirts that smell strongly of you to get her more used to your scent. Play classical music softly for her. Go in the room, sit on the floor and read a book out loud to get her more used to your voice. She's already familiar with these, but not in an indoor environment. But most importantly is not to force yourself on her as she adjusts to the indoors. She'll adjust at her own pace and simply be patient with her.

Good luck!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
When Runt went to get spayed at the low cost clinc, they found out that she was 6 weeks pregnant and they wound up aborting them. I can't remember off-hand if they gave her a shot or not. But, it's looking very plausible that she was the grey cat that was hit and killed by a car 2 days ago. I won't know for sure til mom can talk to the property owner once he gets home.

Both Runt and Little Grey have tried getting into the house before, Little Grey actually made it in once (even made it through one room headed in my direction) while I was in the house taking care of Duncan in his final days (my attention was soley on Duncan, so Little Grey was depressed that I wasn't visiting him), but he saw my dad and run right back outside.

So should he/they be put in the basement or perhaps borrow those cages again until he/they are acclimated to it?

Before the decision was made to keep Duncan and Rufus separate, Rufus would attack him from behind, gnawing on Duncan's backside. >.< Since Rufus hisses at them through the window, I'm concerned that he'll attack. Especially since he goes after his humans on a fairly regular basis when he wants to play, but no one is free to play. (Any suggestions on how to stop that?) Rufus himself was brought in at 5 weeks since he was alone and crying in the middle of the street, and I had to handrear him. (Yet I'm the one who gets attacked the most. )

Runt and Little Grey have no problem with me. They've been with me since they were about 6 weeks old themselves, and usually come when I call. The rest of the family though scare the crap out of them. So, I guess they instead should be the ones with the stinky clothes and the talking to get them used to each other, or should I be the one doing it to calm them down?
post #4 of 5
Originally Posted by AlysBrangwin View Post

Before the decision was made to keep Duncan and Rufus separate, Rufus would attack him from behind, gnawing on Duncan's backside.
ah, so they DID met, with this reaction?

If I read it right, ie if you did describe it right, Rufus did not at all attacked Duncan, but did a dominance thing.
Ie he does accept Rufus, but wants impress on Rufus who is the Master Cat here, so Rufus will behave.

Im not surprised. Semiferals when taken in are usually submissive to the homecats already living there.*

So, I think you dont need to overwork the introduction.

Good luck!

(*One of the few exceptions are whole toms who arent shy. They try to take over the revire, thus often beat up the homecats (if the homecats arent docile and submissive).
But this is not the case here!)
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking there's a bit of confusion, so I'll try explaining again.

The cats

Duncan - (now deceased) Sweet, affectionate, loveable, light colored Seal Point Siamese male who loved sitting on laps and snuggling. Died 3 weeks before he turned 19.

Rufus - 2 year old male grey American Shorthair. Loves to play, but can get very rough during play. Attacks his humans almost daily (He usually attacks if the human is playing with him and he gets too wound up, or if he wants to play, but no one is playing with him, so he feels ignored.) He does not like being petted (unless the person petting him is dad). Usually hisses when he saw Runt and Little Grey through the window.

Runt - (likely deceased now) 1 year old, petite female grey American Shorthair. Loves hunting, leaving me "presents" and getting petted by me (no one else). Missing but it is VERY likely that she was hit by a car and killed. Little Grey's sister. Lives/lived outside currently. Got along well enough with the other cats that have come here for food.

Little Grey - 1 year solid gray cat. Very affectionate, loves getting petted (by only me). Runt's brother. Currently lives outside. Befriended nearly all the cats that came here for food.


Until Sept. 2005, we only had Duncan (17 at the time and diagnosed with CRF.)

Sept. 2005, (then) 5 week old Rufus came into the house. Mom found him alone and crying in the street. I had to handrear him. We kept Duncan and Rufus separate due to Rufus being a tiny kitten. Dad was VERY unhappy that we brought Rufus into the house.

A few months later, Rufus got bigger, and we tried introducing them to each other. Duncan at the time was 17 1/2 years old. Rufus was about 3 months old. Rufus would attack Duncan (who had cataracts) from behind, scratching and biting him. We would pull him off Duncan each time. After a point we decided they weren't going to get along, and would confine them to separate floors. On the rare instance when that failed, Rufus would try to attack Duncan, but Duncan would fend off Rufus' attacks until we could remove one of them. If one of us was carrying Duncan and Rufus was on the ground, Rufus would try to make leaping attacks at Duncan.

July 2006 we started taking care of Runt and Little Grey (orphaned feral kittens) on our backporch. We made them the feral shelters and everything. Dad wouldn't permit us to bring them (or the other strays and ferals we had at the time) inside.

March 2007 all but 2 of my strays/ferals had to have new homes found for them since a neighbor threatened to kill them. Runt and Little Grey stayed because I couldn't bear parting with all 11 of my outside cats. We got them their shots and spayed/neutered. We tried having them stay in cages in the basement so they would get used to living in the house (though dad didn't want them to stay, but we didn't care), but my sister's allergies meant they had to go back outside.

June 25, 2007 Duncan starts throwing up blood and has internal bleeding and has to be put to sleep. Rufus gets the whole house to himself. Dad refuses to let Runt and Little Grey in.

Sept. 26, 2007 I haven't seen Runt in a little while, and start to worry.

Sept. 28, 2007 Mom is talking to a neighbor who says she saw a grey cat killed on the side of a nearby street 2 days ago. We don't know who cleaned it up (someone got to it before Animal Control), so we don't know if it was Runt or not.
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