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Introductions - residents ready, new one isn't

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is a new one for me, and we've done this introductions thing a couple of times.

We've followed all the "rules". Annie was secluded for about a week and a half, first to ensure she's healthy (she is - FIV & FeLV negative, treated with Revolution & spayed), then to recover from the spay. Rescue Remedy is in the water for all cats, including Annie. Everyone started getting curious about the other side of the door, etc.

We've started putting up a screen door to Annie's room, and the other cats are curious but really have shown no aggression to her. Annie, on the other hand, is not sure at all about those other cats. She's scared to death of Trent, which is ironic because he's the last one she would have any issues with - he's such a calm and sweet guy!

Besides the basics of switching scents, associating them with food, etc. is there anything we can do to help Annie accept that there are other cats here that aren't a threat?
post #2 of 10
Well, that's a twist, isn't it!! I don't have any brilliant ideas, but lots of that Miss Annie will soon realize she can relax.
post #3 of 10
I'd say just go slower and keep Trent out of sight and out of mind. It may be the number of cats that are stressing her. One-on-ones might help her accomodate.
post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I'd say just go slower and keep Trent out of sight and out of mind. It may be the number of cats that are stressing her. One-on-ones might help her accomodate.
That's where my thoughts are. If you want them face to face without barriers, pick the one that threatens her the least and let her build an allie.

My Emily was the hardest one that I've ever acclimated. Once she became buddies with Sage and Dakota, she started roaming the house without being stressed out.
post #5 of 10
I guess the kitty you introduce her to first should be the one most bored of her? Someone like Mojo may want to run up to Annie and check her out which would probably scare her.

I wonder if she'd be ok with Trent one-on-one?
post #6 of 10
I wouldn't force that one on her - some female cats are just afraid of male cats and that's all there is to it, plus a LOT of male cats (however sweet they may seem to you now) think females are prey, at best play toys, and it might be interesting to see what happens in future.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
We've just been keeping the screen door up (instead of a closed door) for a few hours a day. Annie seems to be doing better but that is a relative term. If the other kitty (doesn't seem to matter who, now, including Trent) is just sitting or laying by the door she'll lay a few feet back and look back at them. If the other kitty makes a noise, then she hisses. Her body language has calmed down...she doesn't take an aggressive posture anymore.

I don't think that there's any of them that Annie feels comfortable with right now. Makes me wonder if she hasn't had any experiences with other cats (besides her littermates and mother), just other animals that she had to be on guard with...
post #8 of 10
Sounds like you're making progress. That's a good sign.
post #9 of 10
My intros were all 24 hour intros, and my tricks are Feliway and vanilla extract. The vanilla extract helped them to get to know each other the fastest, the feliway just helped keep them calmer than they might otherwise be.

Some folks say to put the vanilla on the kit's chins, I say DO NOT use it there - it is mostly alcohol, and that can burn a kitty's delicate nostrils, plus you don't want them actually ingesting it.

Instead, apply the vanilla (pure extract, not the fake stuff) liberally to the back of the neck, the same place you would put revolution, so it can't be licked off.

This makes all the kitties smell like cookies, and gives the start of a "house smell" that they can recognize. It is important that they all smell the same to each other - this will allow for faster integration, and will ease kitty fears of strange smelling cats.

Also, I made it a point to stroke each kitty, one after the other, including the newcomer, then went around and did it again, several times in succession. THis also builds the "house smell," a comingling of kitty scents. In a way, you are doing the same thing that cats do when they rub against each other - you are just speeding up the process.

Doing these two things will make your intros move along MUCH faster and more successfully, for with kitties, it's all about the scents.
post #10 of 10
I like that sequential stroking procedure.

I hadn't heard of that particular way of exchanging/blending scents before. I've done the vanilla thing, but didn't have much luck with it.
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