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Request for advice: 2 cats and a dog

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
OK, I just got a 3 month old Ocicat, Morpheus. He is slowly but surely settling into my place, although his favorite resting place remains under the living room couch.

In 5 weeks, my girlfriend will be moving in with me. She has a 7 year old male domestic long hair cat and a 7 year old chihuaha. These animals will be flying across the country to move to my place.

Any suggestions? Should I quarantine the cat and dog in a small room just as I would for a new kitten in the house? Or does it make more sense to have Morpheus stay with my mom for a few days while the new cat and dog get used to the new digs?

I prefer the first option. My girlfriend prefers the second. Hence, my question to the forum.

Thanks for the help on this interesting dilemma!
post #2 of 9
I would be inclined to take them all with me all at once. They should be confined to a small portion of the house until they get used to the new sounds, smells, and vibrations. As you are moving in, once you are finished open up the house gradually for them to explore. If you leave one behind then there is another period of stress and adjustment after they just went through a major upheaval. That is my two-cents worth.....
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick reply...but Morpheus is already in my apartment. The challenge is for me to introduce a mature dog and cat to my apartment.
post #4 of 9
I would think the best thing would be to isolate the new animals for a couple reasons. First, the move will be stressfull and giving them a smaller area will add less stress to them (at least for the cat). The other thing is this will make the transition less traumatic for Morpheus. Changing environments is stressful, and adding new animals is stressful for the resident cat. Why double his amount of stress? It will also be easier for all of them if the new animals realize there is someone else there from the beginning, rather than stressing them twice as well with moving and then introducing a new animal. It could also cause territorial conflicts doing it the second way (taking Morpheus out of the house while the new animals get used to it). Plus, you will have to separate them all at some point, whether when they first move in or when you bring Morpheus back home after they've gotten settled in. Why not do it all at once? It isn't a punishment for the new animals at all, it will make them more secure to have a smaller area at first.
post #5 of 9
Here is some advice I gave to another member who was bringing a new cat into the home. It is the method I have used to add adult cats into my family. It has been very successful.

Introducing a New Cat

First, put the new kitty in her own room. She will need to stay there for a couple of weeks, so make sure it is comfortable for her with litter box, water, and food. This will allow your old cats to get used to the sounds and smells of a new cat without having their territory invaded.

After a couple of days, start trading scents between the cats. Rub the new cat (especially around the cheeks) with a slightly damp towel and then go rub the old cats with the same towel (and vice versa. This way they will associate the scent of the new cat with good things (being rubbed and getting attention). Do this several times daily.

After one week, lock up your old cats and let the new cat out for the night or for a few hours. Do not yet allow the new and old cats to be together. Do this for one week.

By the end of week two, your old cats are going to be really curious about what is going on with the cat behind the door. You can try bringing the new cat out with the old cats for brief visits. As soon as the new cat comes out, give them all some tuna or some other really yummy treat. This way they associate great things with the other cat. Put the new cat back in her room after a brief period of time. Make sure you keep any aggression from occurring (GENTLY toss a pillow at the aggressor).

Gradually increase the amount of time the cats are together. I recommend keeping new kitty in her room over night for at least a third week. When the cats are out together, make sure you give
lots of attention to the old cats so they know that they are the top kitties.

Expect lots of hissing and perhaps a swat here and there. But...this should keep any real aggression from occurring. The hissing will stop once they establish their hierarchy and get used to each other.

Most importantly....have lots of patience and take things sloooooowly!
post #6 of 9
Also...please click here to read an article on introducing cats written by our very own Hissy.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. It'll help me convince my girlfriend.

Of course, I still have to figure out what to do about the chihuaha!
post #8 of 9
No advice, i just wanted to say I have a kitty morphues and we call him MoeMoe we also have a kitty neo
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Cool. I considered the name Neo as well. But I didn't want to be reminded of Keanu Reeves.
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