or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › How to integrate my stray into the home - PLEASE HELP
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to integrate my stray into the home - PLEASE HELP

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Over the last few days a small, half tabby cat has been patrolling the outside of my apt. building. I had been toying with the idea of getting another cat for a while but was never sure because I already have a gray tabby.

We have had our gray tabby, Linus, for a year now and he is about 1 1/2 yrs. old. I decided to take in the little half tabby cat as I couldn't bare to see him outside anymore. Took him to the vet and thankfully he tested negative for FeLV and FeAIDS.

Right now, Linus does nothing but hide under the futon and I am keeping the other cat (which we are thinking of naming Oliver) in a medium sized dog cage (w/ litter box, food, and water of course). The kitty is very friendly but I don't want to adversely effect Linus.

Some other facts - both cats are male (I am going to have the 2nd neutered ASAP). When I introduced Linus to the kitty he didn't hiss but he did go crazy and try to claw through my chest to get away. Does anybody have any advice as to how to make this process less stressful for Linus.

Thank you - Chris
post #2 of 6
How long have you had this stray in the house for? It can take, days, weeks and months for cats to get along, some never do get along, they just kind of co-exist with a fair amount of peace.

Do you know if this stray sprays at all?
I would personally wait for all the vacinations, dewormer and everything else to settle in, wait for him to get neutrued and healed before introducing them face to face.
I personally give my animals a room to stay in, it's the quarantined room, easy to clean, and I always know they are safe and sound away from my other animals. But if you have a big enough cage, you can do it too, and I'm talking a LARGE kennel with levels and toys for him to stay in. For full grown cats I don't like to keep them in there a lot, if at all. But I don't know what your home set up is.

Right now after the cat gets fixed, I would suggest just letting them sniff eachother through a closed door. Get used to their smells and sound, get used to smelling eachother on you, individual play times apart from one another. If you are getting him fixed soon, after that you should put your old cat away, and let the new cat out to explore your house and become comfortable, from there slowly let them meet face to face, have maybe one in that large kennel.

I don't have the joy of a large kennel, so I normally just let 1 old and 1 new animal out at first, to interact, see how they do, stand around and watch their motions etc.

They might not get along, they might have a few tiffs, but hopefully they will eventually get along better. Some cats have come in and everyone got along great. Others had a couple of fights to see who won, and then they left eachother alone after that and got along great! (Asim is the alpha of my house and always has to make sure any animal and human knows this) lolol.

IF your cats really get into a big tiff after a while, I'm talking a real fight, not just duking it out a little, you can keep an empty can of soda with a bunch of coins in it handy, and if they start going at it, you can throw it in their general direction (not at them!) to scare them apart, and then they will often settle for a moment, and you can take one and seperate them again and calm them down, try again at a later time.

If you plan on feeding them together after they meet, it's often a good idea to keep their food bowls far apart, incase one of them is food posessive. At least until you test the grounds and find out what kind of cat this stray is and his attitude towards all this.

There is more you can do, this is just a few simple things, and hopefully nothing more will be needed.

I just personally feel it would be best to wait for a full on face to face meet and greet until after he's been fully vetted and recovered from his neuter. Most cats don't take to well to meeting a new cat while you are holding one in your arms, they will often freak out, and you can get hurt in the process. I like to let them meet on the floor, with places to escape incase they feel threatened, so they can retreat safely, instead of being forced into a fight if they feel cornered (or in your arms.)

Good luck, I'm sure others will give you more suggestions!
post #3 of 6
Hi Rocky-

We have a lot of knowledgeable folks about strays and ferals on the Feral Forum so I am going to move you over there.

Thanks for caring for this stray!
post #4 of 6
Now that you are moved, I would say that if you can give this kitty his own room with a little bit of space, that would be best. Introducing them right away, is not a good idea, they need to get used to each other.

Here is an article about introducing two cats together, hopefully you can get some ideas from there.

Plus this forum has lots of threads about this subject, just go to our internal search engine and look up introductions and start reading.

post #5 of 6
I don't have any ideas, but I just wanted to wish you luck getting your new kitty!!!
post #6 of 6
Hi Chris! Thank you for being an angel and rescuing this kitty.

All of our pets are feral rescues. We started with one, and added two. The second one we brought home only took a few days before they became great friends, and they were both males. However, they were young kittens at the time. They were both about nine months or so when we introduced the third kitten, a female. We are very space constrained, and do not have a separate room. We used a large dog crate at first.

However, the female was spayed and the males were spayed. I agree - I think it is important that your new kitty be neutered first (assuming Linus is neutered. If not, it'll go much more smoothly if they are both neutered). It will reduce his aggressiveness and sense of territoriality.

I hope you've found other resources on this site and in this forum to help! It is something that simply takes time and patience on your part. Space helps, and overseeing their first interactions is important.

Once they're interacting, let them "fight" it out - but as soon as it gets "serious" (tails bushed out, ears flat back, hair on back in a sharp ridge) - be VERY careful. If they start fighting in such a way that one of them will get hurt, break it up. Otherwise, it's best just to let them figure out who's going to be alpha.

But again, slow introductions are best.

Feed them separately. Take two towels and rub each cat with one. Place the towel with which you rubbed Linus under or near the food bowl of new kitty and vice versa. This will help them become used to each other's smell, but with a good association. Letting them meet each other through a crate or screen door is best.

Here's a link to a thread with all the useful suggestions. Not everyone has the space, time and patience of this woman, but this is the ideal way to manage it! Lucky's Story (Socializing a Feral)

(This link is to a thread "stickied" at near the top of the feral forum).

Good Luck! We'd love updates!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › How to integrate my stray into the home - PLEASE HELP