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Help! Tips for introducing new cat to multi-cat home?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My dear cat Taco (who had cancerous tumors) had to be put down early last week I'm still dealing with that.

Anyway, yesterday I felt compelled to adopt a new orange cat from the Humane Society (Taco was a big orange boy I'd had for nearly 16 yrs, nearly his whole life) so I adopted a 1 yr old neutered male (neutered 5 days ago). He is a very sociable cat with others, so much so that they had him in a large room there called "Mewtopia" where he was free to roam with about 4 other cats. Thought this was a good sign, half the battle lost as I have 4 spayed females so at least he'd be okay with other cats.

I've kept him my spare bedroom since yesterday afternoon (yes, he was health checked there at the HS plus I stopped by my own Vet on the way home; he's neg for FIV, FeLeuk, has been dewormed, has had both sets of vaccinations (2nd set was 5 days ago), had rabies shot yesterday and he's a very healthy cat so not worried about transmission of anything.

He's going nuts in that room by himself.

I took one of my most friendly females into his room last night, she hissed at him. I took my most aloof one in and she didn't care at all (how strange!? LOL).

Then around 11pm I decided to let him out to wander the house (closed doors to most rooms as he still had plenty of house to wander through). he was very curious as you can imagine. 2 of my cats were really not impressed, watching him like a hawk, sometimes getting ready to walk right up to him and hissing (I'd stand between them). I was giving treats to all while doing this.

My oldest, Tigger, she's the "Queen" (my first cat) at one point went heading for him and they both hissed and growled. Then the new cat (Hobee) went up onto the cat post in the front window and when I tried to pet him he growled at me (not like him at all, he's so affectionate), then I got a little antsy LOL

I eventually put him back into his room. Now this morning I awake to him begging to get out.

Obviously with several other cats I've introduced new ones before and it all worked out well but that was years ago when they were all a lot younger (and maybe I wasn't such a chicken LOL).

I don't know how I can keep this new one stuck in a room by himself all week while I'm at work (though I will if it's safest), afraid he'll get so stressed that he'll end up getting sick.

Should I just let him out and let them get used to each other despite the hissing and stuff, and just keep a good watch to ensure nobody's going at it?

Any suggestions?

PS - they didn't think he's ever sprayed while at the HS, and like i said, he got along good with the other cats he was in that room with but there's a part of me that's afraid he'll get an attitude with mine (the ones who aren't too friendly) and he'll start to spray? Could this happen?

post #2 of 3
It's been my experience (had 6 at one time) that male cats seem to spray only around male cats. I could be wrong though!

Since your other cats already know about him, and he knows about them, I would reintroduce them gently. Take an old towel and rub it around on your existing kitties and place it in the room with the new one and see how he reacts to it. Likewise for the 4 others. That way they'll get used to each other's smell.

He might hiss at other cats and at you - at first, because he's cats he knows (in the shelter) to cats he's never seen, and it can be stressful for everybody. Some cats want to keep their distance, some can't get enough of each other. Just watch your cats and see how they react.
post #3 of 3
1st, im very sorry about Taco sending my love your way.

In my experience i found that the best thing to do is set the carrier on the floor and let them have at it. They will duke it out for a week, maybe 2 weeks. Then after that everyone is friends! Everytime i brought a new cat in the house there was always hostility at 1st, except for when i brought Princess home, Nipper was very interested in her, no hissing no nothing, he would watch her, and would try to be friends with her, and she would hiss him away. Talk about funny, seeing a little kitty hissing at and scaring an 18 lb cat

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