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New old cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm seeking some advice about acquiring a new cat. I'm new here so my apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong forum. Behaviour seemed appropriate though since whilst this cat will be new to me it's actually nine years old. Unfortunately the owner of the cat recently passed away and now his family are seeking a new home for the cat.

I've been a part time cat owner before in that I used to live in the same house as some cats. This five year spell was my only direct experience with cats, as a kid I grew up with dogs. These cats were never mine though, I rented the house and was happy to take on the cats as well (the owner paid bills, etc but wasn't in a position to take them with him). There though it was I who was in the strange environment and not the cats. This time around the boot will be on the other paw.

Having moved recently with Spike and Butch remaining in the old house getting a new cat or cats has been a priority. I'm now fully moved in and settled myself and in a position to do it. I had planned on a kitten if possible but only because it seemed sensible, not because I simply had to have a kitten.

Obviously this is going to be an unnerving experience for any animal and if, as I intend, I do take the cat on I would expect a longer than usual time for settling in. Is there anything that suggests this would be a bad idea for either me or the cat? Has anybody been in this position themselves and can offer any special tips?

I didn't know the guy and so don't know the cat but from what I understand it is primarily Persian, doesn't leave the house and has a good temperament.
post #2 of 6
Hi and congrats to you for taking on an older cat. That is SO wonderful of you. I think you will be just fine. Cats are actually a hell of a lot easier to take care of than dogs! Just browse these forums, read around and you will soon learn everything you need to know.

Oh, and keep your kitty inside at all times. Much safer for them and healthier.
post #3 of 6
hi and welcome on board . I did adapt older cats before and agree they are much more easy to care for then kittens . Kittens go into everything and are up to a lot of things . Older ones may take a little longer to warm up and in your case the cat may greave the owner . But be sure you and him will be fine and you will give him a other change in life to live his /hers in grace out . Older ones are not quick adaptet if at all sometimes . Not only will you give him a great change in life but you also help a cat in a need of a good home .
post #4 of 6
I am so glad that you are considering adopting this cat. I have added several adult cats to my household of other cats, and have had great success. This is the process I followed to ensure a successful adoption:

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 #5 of 6
Also, please click here for an excellent article written by Mary Anne Miller on introducing a new cat.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
That's great guys, thanks very much. You've told me pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear. My sort of answers.

Sicycat, AFAIK the cat has always been kept in anyway. I'd certainly want to continue its behaviour there. Spike and Butch always had a free run and were able to come and go as they pleased. Again, they were adults when I came across them and this is what they were already doing.

lotsocats, thankfully I still get to see Spike and Butch nearly every week but they're with their real owner now. To be honest, they own that house and it's the humans who live there who come and go.

Thanks again everyone for your answers, it looks like I'm getting a new cat.
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