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Planning for a new cat

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I think Ive read all the recent threads and articles provided about introducing a new cat to your home so I have most of the basic info, but I still have a few questions specific to my situation with my house.

I dont have a new cat or kitten yet, but just want to be prepared for when I do. Anyway, so I plan to keep the new one apart from the 2 cats I have now, in its own room for a while. Im thinking the upstairs bathroom will be ideal for its seclusion because I can leave a litter pan in there and theres enough room for its food on the other side too. The thing is, the cat would be all alone most of the day, since it couldnt be with my 2 cats right away. Is that normal for the average pet owner doing this? Im not home all day to spend hours and hours with it. I got Morgan and Abby together so they wouldnt be alone. I would just feel bad locking the cat/kitten alone for very long like that.

Also, I would take turns with the new cat and my 2 now, in locking them up before they get used to eachother. And then what about at night? Morgan and Abby roam my house and usually sleep with me. Should I just lock them out of my room and sleep with my new cat for a while? Im not sure how to make this fair for all felines involved

I guess I just need more personal tips from those who have done this before. Thanks
post #2 of 7
How big is your place (how many rooms/etc) and do you live alone with your babies?

Here is my setup: I have a back porch (about 7 X 11) that I introduce new cats in. It's big enough for litter, food, a cat tree, and I have 3 windows with perches and plenty of toys in there for them. There is about a 3/4 inch space at the bottom of the door and the cats can get a good sniff thru the door with each other. My husband will pull out the blankets and sleep on the floor with the newbies and I get main house duty. I have never had to go longer than a week apart, unless the kittens were terribly young (unweaned). I start introductions with my most loving cat Bogart (he licks newcomers), then Stumpy the alpha male (he swats them then licks them). Once accepted by Stumpy, everyone else falls in line.

I would be concerned about boredom in your bathroom, particularly if it is small. If there are no windows and no place to romp and play in this room, do you have a bigger room as an option? If you live alone, you may want to consider alternating your nights between your kitten and adult cats. Or perhaps set the alarm in the middle of the night and sleep half the night in the bedroom with the kitten, and the other half of the night on the sofa.

Last thought (and this is why I'm "momofmany"), have you considered getting litter mate kittens? If they are left confined for a period of time, they can keep each other company before they are let out into the "big" world.
post #3 of 7
I always use a bedroom sized room for new arrivals. (my bathroom is a postage stamp). They have litter, food, water, toys, a window, scratching post, hiding places.......all the comforts of home, only smaller. They DO however have hours that they will be alone. But think of it this way, saingle-cat households ALWAYS only have one cat.....see? The time they are left alone is a good time for them to explore their new territory, especially if the new cat is a bit shy.

Then I only allow visits with the resident cats after I am SURE that the new cat has bonded with ME. I want to be able to have the newbie come to me for comforting during a stressful introduction. The first introductions are short and with only one new cat at a time (make sure it is the cat that you think will be the LEAST threatened or threatening to the newbie. And don't put yourself on a time table. Take as much time as is needed. Slow is the operative word here. Some cats will walk into a household and be part of the family by nightfall (rare) and some take MONTHS! to feel at home.

Good luck with your new additon.
post #4 of 7
I actually got really luck with my cats. When we got sebastion we just let him meet the guys right way. My vet had had him for over two weeks so we know he was healthy.
When we got home we put the carrier in the kitchen, sebastion jumped out moe and neo sniffed him and then hissed. He hid under the china closet. In the middle of the night he came out and started cuddling with us and moe and neo started cleaning him
I heard that vanillia extract under there chins, and on there tails helps, because they smell the same. I normally mist my hands with my perfume, let them air dry and then pet the cats. So far so good, there hasn't been problems.
We did the same thing with trinty, we kept her apart until her vet visit and then let her meet everyone. She hisses at them once in awhile but for the most part everyone is happy. Luckly I haven't had any fights.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have almost 2500 sq ft of space. 1 room Im trying to keep off limits to all cats, as a safe haven for allergic family members who come to visit My daughters room is almost as off limits, just because I want to keep some space between the cats and her, also though to try and keep her room free of cat hair. The basement is also a no-no, as it is a safety hazard. So that leaves the main floor of kitchen, dining room, living room, laundry room, den, bathroom and hallways.. then the upstairs there is a bathroom and my room. Thats the cat areas.

Now I did think after reading this that maybe any new cat would be better off in my den and bathroom downstairs. Its the room I got these cats used to first. Theres a lot of room and 2 windows, places to hide or rest comfortably. But the litter box is in here and so is the cat feeding area. So if I get a new cat in here, I would have to re-train Morgan and Abby to find their food and litter box somewhere else. Would that be ok? Ive always thought I should put another litter box upstairs in the bathroom up there (it is a large one, about 9 by 11 I think?) just so they have one if they are upstairs. That might work.. but Id have to figure out a new spot for them to eat.

Anyway, thanks for talking it out with me More to think about until I can get the next cat. But I think maybe it would be best to acclimate the new one in the den and bathroom downstairs like I did Morgan and Abby. Hmmmm.....
post #6 of 7
I introduce new ones all the time here. I have more luck in not keeping a solid closed door between them, makes for an easier transistion if they can smell each other. I used to use a baby gate (netted) and run it vertical in the doorway instead of horizontal and that worked well. Now hubby made a special door out of 2x4's and chicken wire, and that separates the new ones from the residents. I do keep them in a closed off room till they are vet checked though, once they are given the all clear, the door is opened.
post #7 of 7
If you get another baby, you will want an extra litter box anyway. Adding one upstairs now and getting them used to it is a great idea. Add food and water upstairs also - I have 3 feeding areas for my babies. It reduces any stress they might have in trying to get at food.

If I do use one of my regular litter/feed areas for a new cat, I usually move at least the food and water, if not litter box right outside the door. They are confused at first but seem to get the hang of it right away.

I like MA's idea about the mesh gate - I might try that with my foster Minky.
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