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New cat in my dad's house

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have a question about a situation my dad is experiencing:

My dad has an approx. two-year-old spayed female domestic shorthair (he got her from the shelter in May 2008 and she was reported as a stray and aged at approximately 7-8 months at the time). She's fun and very spunky. My dad does let her go outside (pretty rural area, not that that decreases the risks, but just to paint the picture for you).

A couple weeks ago, my dad's girlfriend moved out of her apartment and into a place where she can't keep her cat. My dad has taken in his girlfriend's cat until they eventually move in together. I'm not positive on the new cat's age, but I'm pretty sure she is a little older than my dad's cat and a spayed female as well. She is an apartment cat and has never been allowed outside, which my dad is sticking to.

He's mentioned that the new cat has pretty much been hiding away all the time. It sounds pretty expected to me, but he is hoping to figure out something he can do to encourage her to socialize. She does come out more when my dad's girlfriend is over, which is a good sign. My dad's a little worried, and I know this is a huge transition for the new cat - new (much bigger) house, new primary caretaker (but with the old one still coming around), not to mention she's on another cat's turf! Plus I can only imagine it must be stressful for my dad's cat. Is there anything he can do to make it easier for both kitties?
post #2 of 2
This is natural behavior. People suggest a Feliway Plug In. It emits a calming pheremone to take the edge of a nervous cat. I have not used them but some people swear by them. This will take patience and time. You don't mention any aggression. That's a good thing. Sometimes trying to "do something" only makes it worse. My motto is to let nature take its course. Of course, playing with them together, food bowls near eachother, those type of things are going to help. I can imagine how hard it is for the new cat to acclimate. Your dad and his girlfriend need to pay extra attention to their own and eachothers cats to reassure them in this new environment. Time should do the trick. One day your dad will come home and they will be on the sofa sleeping together. Good luck to all.
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