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Need help reuniting feral siblings.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Everyone has been so kind in answering my questions. I don't know much about cats and need advice.

I rescued three ferals several months ago and recently rescued two more from the same colony. One of the new rescues is a sibling to one of the old rescues. Will they remember each other? It's been maybe 3 months.

Yesterday I moved them (2 recent rescues) upstairs with the others. I put them in a bedroom (cat room) with the door closed so they have only a door separating them. I traded blankets and toys between the groups. The other rescues have had the whole upstairs to themselves, except the time I spend with them reading and watching TV. The new ones have been in bedroom for 24 hours and have not eaten.

I plan to let them out of the bedroom to share the upstairs with the others but I don't know when to open the doors. Should I wait until they start eating.

One of them is very comfortable with me and doesn't hide or move when I'm in the room. I had them in a large master bathroom for awhile before taking them to the upstairs so they are accustomed to being inside.

How do I reintroduce these cats that have not seen each other for several months?

Thank you for any advice.
post #2 of 6
Simply put I highly doubt they will remember each other as siblings, but honestly, you never know.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Maybe a better question would be how to reintroduce feral cats from the same colony that have not seen each other for several months. I was hoping that because some were siblings it might make it better.

I've traded toys and bedding between the old rescues and the new rescues to let them have the others scent. They are from same colony.

A bedroom door separates them now. Not sure how to, or when to let them intermingle.

Any tips?
post #4 of 6
Be very SLOW about it. some cats do well with new cats, others not so much. In my basement, I have a tarp where I put cats from the colony I trap for TNR for recovery.

2 of my home cats came from the colony. Tonight, I have a female who is recovering from a spay surgery. Long short, she's on the tarp that smells of her old colony mates ... I am SURE she knows their scent.

My 2 home cats checked her cage out. I would have thought they would
be happy to greet this cat, but they are very wary... the cage I suppose.
The other cat in the cage however, she remembers THEM, and is / seems reassured to see, smell and hear them...

When I got Laphrogie, I had already had Grey Goose fromt the colony for about 5 months - since Feb. and I got her in Sept. Laphrogie bonded to Goose, though i don't think Goose recognized her. But I feed the colony and they smell me, and therefore all my cats through me. So I think both sets of cats know each others scents indirectly.

Long short, Frogita and Goose play well now! He even went out in a rain storm to be with her, when she was scared to be out in the weather byherself but too afraid to come insdie to shelter (she had escaped outside after 7 days inside, and then lived in the gully behind my house for 2 wks as I slowly worked on getting her to my yard to come insdie. Eventually she
figured it out, followed Grey Goose and came home, and learned even to use the pet door.

I firmly believe Goose was the reason she stuck round and came back to us.
Goose and his scent were what kept her nearby so I could tempt her with food and then inside...

I would say to be careful and take at least 7 days to 14 days on the intros. If there is a door between the cats, you COULD try what I did with Baby the feral kitten... I put up doggie/baby gate at the door, to separate her from my babies while allowing them to see, smell and get used to eachother...

It worked really well... baby integrated easily...
post #5 of 6
At our shelter they recommend a long and slow introductory process.

I'm a barbarian, I open the door, pitch the new cat in and go to dinner. They'll work it out.

Probably the shelter's way is less traumatic, mine is quicker (but generally a LOT louder). They're grumpy for a week or two, then usually get over it.

Occasionally you get that rescue that absolutely cannot stand other cats. If I have spare space I'll set a cat like that up in her own room. Otherwise, they'll have to live with the pain until there's space at the adoption center. Usually they settle down to a kind of wary peace.

Edited to add:
The cats can be really noisy when they have a dispute. Once in awhile a little fur will fly, but I've never had a 'real' fight. No spurting arteries or guts hitting the wall.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for sharing your methods of introducing a feral family that has been separated for months.

My daughter is of the mind to just throw them together and let them work through things. She did that with a stray and her resident single cat and fur and claws were all over the efficiency apartment of hers. They did eventually work it out and now groom each other.

I on the other hand have ferals that months ago were a family and I want to be careful in reuniting.

I swapped toys first then swapped bedding. The new two are only eating a tiny bit. I want to give them time to adjust to the cat room and the new smells. All of this has rocked their little world so maybe slow will give them time to adjust in small amounts.

These 5 ferals will live upstairs only until my 2 orphan kittens recover from ringworm and everything is disinfected thoroughly. Then it will be round two of introductions. Whew!

Thanks again everyone! I am lost but feel more confident with your advice.
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