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Multi Cat owners-what should I do next?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have posted several times about a stray I rescued in August and have gotten great advice about introducing him to my group of 4. He is the youngest, around 2. I have kept him separate and introduced him slowly, at first he chased my cats so they all avoid him. During the day he is out and about but at night I have still been keeping him isolated. This had been working well, but now he cries to come out of the bedroom he is in. I keep the radio on for him and he has 2 large doors to look out of, but he is no longer content in there, I can't blame him. I would love to leave him out with the others, my problem is when he is out, 2 of my 4 are hiding and seem very afraid of him. They were here first and I don't want them afraid to come out and eat or use the litter box because he is around. There is some hissing but no major outbursts, at least when I am around. Should I just give it a try and leave him out for a night or keep him isolated at night until they are more comfortable during the day hours? All advice is greatly appreciated!!
post #2 of 12
I would try to let him out and see what happens.
I have a new kitten coming Weds.
If he scares them you can always put him back in the other room.
post #3 of 12
Do the others sleep with you? It does have to happen eventually but I would try to have them all interact in a positive experience together. Playing with them, even if a couple aren't interested but not fearful, just watching in a relaxed state, this would be the ideal situation for all.
post #4 of 12
I would let him out. It's the next step. It looks like he is at ease with the other cats. Let's see how the others will react. Cats usually decide for themselves how they will interact with each other.
post #5 of 12
I agree with the others. I'd let him loose and see what happens. I'd just do it on a night where I didn't have to get up for work the next morning, just in case!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone!! I will let him spend the night out of his room tomorrow. I think it is time.

My cats unfortunately do not sleep with me, I have a rescued German Shepard who sleeps in my room and my cats do not like him. There are no problems, I just keep them separated. He is very gentle but also very large. They all slept with me when they were kittens, but they have plenty of warm, cozy places to sleep in other parts of the house.

I am trying to play with all of them at the same time, Tobey the new cat would love to, but my cats want no part of it. I will keep trying, that was great advice! I really don't expect to see them all curled up together, just comfortable enough to not feel they have to hide from the newcomer. Believe me, I am not complaining, there is no fighting, at least not now, we'll see what happens when Tobey is out all night!

Thanks again for all of the advice!!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, for the past two nights and all day long Tobey is out with everyone else. There is hissing and some growling but only 1 battle-no injuries,just alot of noise. My resident cats are totally avoiding him-they want no part of him, he wants to get close to them but they will not have it. They are pretty much hanging out together, excluding him. I have tried to feed them together, no luck. It is so easy to tell others to be patient and wait it out, but stressful when you are going through it. I am not giving up, he loves not being in the bedroom and I am really hoping things work out. I just feel so badly that my other cats seem unhappy and distant. Two days and nights probably isn't enough time, I am praying the next few days things will get better. Thanks everyone for encouragement and advice!!
post #8 of 12
It can take several months for everything to work out. And it's very complicated. Just as an example, when we got Sterling, our second cat, we assumed Punkin, the larger, older cat would be dominant. Not so.

Then we got Ella, an even smaller female who had spent almost her entire life in a cage (she was a Katrina rescue). We assumed she would be the middle or bottom of the list. Well, she dominates Truman (who WAS dominant), but she still yields to Punkin (who WAS least dominant). It's been several months now, and she is still settling in.

Your cats have to work out a whole new dominance list.
post #9 of 12
My four were all acquired at different times and from very different lifestyles, and I have to admit, my stress over their acclimation to one another was 100x times what theirs was. Priss was the worst; she licked her nose almost raw due to nerves over the week or so I kept her isolated in the bathroom, but she survived. Now, she's the biggest lover of them all.

It may sound corny, and I admit, I may have just been extremely lucky, but I'm a firm believer that if you give equal love to all of your cats, and everyone sees this and understands how the process works, it makes a big difference. Despite their individuality and stand-offishness at times, if they know they can come to you if they need you, even if it's in the middle of the night and it means a few head butts to get a scratch on the head, I think that sort of thing is key.

Long story short, if they're not killing each other, I'd let nature work its magic. Bayliss had many time-outs when he was younger (hey, everyone has their breaking point!), and yeah, he's still a brat, but he knows who the boss is. But he also knows who loves him more than anything, too.

Give 'em a chance to surprise you. It may take a while. Patience.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by KRZ View Post
There is hissing and some growling but only 1 battle-no injuries,just alot of noise.
Sounds like typical kitties! Also, it's a good sign. No one's going blindly and madly for anyone else. That probably means there aren't any issues that can't be worked out over time.

Kit still tries to kill Seti and he's been here since August a year ago but Kit is one tough nut to crack. I changed the type of litter boxes (same litter same place) and it took her three months to get over it. Thankfully, Seti is fast and isn't scared of her. He can stand up to her so usually we don't have any real issues. They're mostly just annoying. It doesn't sound from what you've described that any of your cats are like her!
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keycube View Post
It may sound corny, and I admit, I may have just been extremely lucky, but I'm a firm believer that if you give equal love to all of your cats, and everyone sees this and understands how the process works, it makes a big difference. Despite their individuality and stand-offishness at times, if they know they can come to you if they need you, even if it's in the middle of the night and it means a few head butts to get a scratch on the head, I think that sort of thing is key.
I agree with that. All in all it sounds like they are doing well. It will take them time to work out the order of things. Its okay. We have all been there. It is nice when things get into a nice routine and simmer down though.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone, I appreciate the kind words and advice. I do not know why this is soooo stressful for me, I am determined to make it work. Poor Tobey is like an outcast, they won't come near him, one of them has been hiding all day, she won't come out at all. And she was the one I thought would have the least trouble accepting another cat. The other three are all in the same room, probably pouting!! It's probably going to be an interesting weekend!!
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