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New to the site and I have a few stray questions (long)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi there..
Im new to the site and actually a at newbie with cats. I have two large friendly dogs but have never actually had a cat. We moved into this house about 6 months ago and are going to be moving to a bigger place. A few months ago I noticed that there were two cats that would come around whenever I came outside. They were super friendly and came over all the time to say "hi" it seemed. I always just assumed they belonged to someone around here but the past couple of weeks it has become apparent that they dont. I have asked the neighbors and one neighbor even told me that he thought they have been around for awhile and that maybe the previous tenants before us left them here?
Since its been getting colder and rainy we have been letting them in the back room with the door shut (dogs)
I have started to feed them little by little and its obvious that they are very hungry. At this point we are just going to adopt them and bring them into our family. There is no way that I could just leave them knowing that they are homeless. We also need to take them to a vet. Here is my concern though. We are going to be moving to a bigger place a half an hour away next month. I have heard stories about if you move a stray they will try and find their way back. Is this true? This frightens me. I dont want them to get hurt or lost.
Also any kind of advice on making this transition smooth all around would be appreciated. Like I said I am new to cats. They are just precious sweet girls btw..
Thank you!
post #2 of 9
You could try making them indoors only, that way you'll know they won't try to go back to the area they're used to.

Otherwise, just keep them inside for a month or more, after that they'll realize THIS is home, THIS is where my food is, I don't need to go anywhere else.

If they're not fixed, please get them done, especially if you're allowing them outside
post #3 of 9
A quick vet visit for both of them would be a good idea. Then, keeping them indoors as much as possible (all the time is best) will protect them, keep them clean, and protect both them and you from the diseases and parasites that infect outdoor cats. Remember to have at least 1 litter box per cat.
post #4 of 9
What a wonderful thing you're doing!

We didn't know the first thing about cats when they first turned up in our lives. That's the way stray cats are, really, they adopt you.

Sadly, too many people just don't think of them as family.

I agree with both Khayos and Mike. The best idea is to get them to a vet now - get their vaccinations, make sure they don't have any parasites (inside or out) - get them treated if they do. Being new to cats, you may not know that over-the-counter meds for fleas, ticks or worms are NOT safe or very effective. Anything that is safe for the cat and that works is only available through the vet - or via PetMeds (or something) with a prescription from the vet. We use Advantage for fleas and ticks. Round worm is common in outdoor kitties - that just depends upon what the vet recommends.

It really would be best for them to make them indoor only. With a little interactive play each day and places to sit so they can look out windows, cats - especially kitties used to being around people - are quite content inside, actually.

But Khayos is right - if you are set on them being indoor/outdoor when you've moved, the only way to do it really is to pick a room, confine them to it for a few weeks, make intros to the dogs slowly, and provide "free feeding" food for them and give them a meal of wet food at the same time every day. That gets the "schedule" set - and after a month or so, let them outside. That gives them time to adjust and it's a long enough time that they know your new home is where they will receive food, love and care.

Whether you're going to let them roam or not, it is best for them (both from a health standpoint and especially a behavior standpoint) to be spayed and/or neutered.

...and when you move, just make sure there's "vertical" space for them, and I'm sure they'll work it out with the dogs with some help on your part.

Just FYI, I grew up with a dog and never knew cats. It is TOTALLY different with cats. All the cute little sayings are so true:

"Dogs come when called, cats take a mesage and get back to you."
"Dogs have owners, cats have staff."

The most important thing to know in making this transition? Cats ARE territory-oriented. That's why you do hear the stories of cats returning to where they lived. That's why it's important to make your new home their territory before giving them any other choice. Cats do bond with people, definitely. But they stress pretty easily at change. When there's moving, renovating, stuff like that going on - they do better in a smaller territory. That's why you pick a room and get them set up in there. It may seem cruel to a dog lover, but it WILL make it easier on the kitties. Make sure they've got a hidey place, just in case they're scared at first. (Cats LOVE boxes - and boxes turned on their sides make great hidey places).

Don't take it personally if they're scared and hide at first. This is normal. A routine will really help them. Of course come and go from the room as you please to hang out with them or to just hang out there if they're still hiding. But having a set schedule for play time with an interactive wand toy or for lunch or dinner meals will REALLY help them get comfortable more quickly.

You can also consider purchasing Feliway. It comes as a spray or as a plug-in diffuser. It is a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" markers in cats cheeks. If you spray it (or plug it in) in their room, it helps lower the stress levels. Just make sure you do NOT spray it near the litter boxes.

Also, some cats respond real well to Flower Essences. Bach's Rescue Remedy may help - a few drops in their water every day. You can even dab a little behind their ears each day. See if it helps. (It either helps or doesn't do anthing, so if you can afford it, it's a good thing to try).

Both can probably be purchased more cheaply somewhere else, but they can be purchased at this site: http://www.catfaeries.com

Sorry for blathering on! We're here for questions!

Welcome to the wonderful world of cats!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thank you all so so much! I appreciate it all of the wonderful advice!

Originally Posted by LDG View Post
All the cute little sayings are so true:

"Dogs come when called, cats take a mesage and get back to you."
"Dogs have owners, cats have staff."

I love this!!

We are just ecstatic to have the girls with us! Im so glad they found us! We just love them!

Here are a couple of pics!

This is Bianca

And this is Isabelle
post #6 of 9
Gorgeous kitties. I hope you keep them in. Like others said it is best for them and they adapt. Good luck.
post #7 of 9
they are very pretty
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone! And yes they will definitely going to be indoor cats.
post #9 of 9
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
You can also consider purchasing Feliway. I
there is also something similiar for dogs, its called D.A.P. I believe (dont remember 100% sure.)

These strays wants in, it is why they are so friendly to you! They will for the same reason accept the dogs. They surely feel the scant of dogs, yet they want into your home....
They will almost for sure make almost anything to become friendly with the dogs too...
And they will succeed, as your dogs ARE friendly...

I have read on my swedish historical forum a forumist tell: "Im a dog person. I own dogs and I love dogs. Yet Im also a happy owner of four cats, ex strays.
How?? During the years, they simply turned in, one by one. And made it clear they wanted to live with us. I had no choice, I couldnt refuse! It was fascinating to see first thing they did was to work hard to become friends with the dogs.... After it was done, they become friends with us, and settled happily down..."

This witnessing did learned me a lot about the deep psychology and behaviour of cats.
The key how come cats are so easy to pet. It is simply in their behaviour pattern. Not only cats can naturally cuddle with other friendly cats. But many are also very good at making friends with potentially hostile cats, dogs - or humans. They do have a mechanism, a behaviour pattern for this... A surviving of the fittest, and many. many are very fitted at this...

It seems yours two new family members are also fit!

Good luck and thanks!
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