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New Cat to our house

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone! This is my first visit to your site which I've been reading and finding very helpful. Although I've found a lot of posts on introducting a new cat to the household, I still have some questions about out situation. I apologize in advance for the long, long post!!

Last night my husband brought his mother's kitten into our household. We have two cats already, about four or five years old (boths strays when we got them). They get along fine except for an occasional spat. We also have two large dogs who are very, very calm good-natured dogs who love the cats because they give them "baths" and clean their ears! Here's my question...is it possible to introduce a new cat to the old cats without much problem? Our old cats don't really seem bothered by the new one, a little curious, but not aggressive at all. Initially, one of the old cats did some growling and the new one did a lot of hissing but then everybody took a nap (not together but in very close proximity to each other). We separated them through the night since we couldn't supervise them. I'm wondering since the initial meeting went so well if you think we still have to keep them separated and do the gradual introducing thing which sounds like it can take a long, long time. I'm just thinking that it can't possibly be this easy to bring a new cat into an established "cat house"...lol! Our house is large (three floors) with four bedrooms and lots of places for cats to hide and claim as their own. The new cat is about five or six months old (guessing as he was a stray when my mother-in-law got him) and so far he seems to be the one showing the most aggression, but some of that I think is being nervous and in unfamiliar surroundings. Has anyone out there ever brought a new cat home without much of a problem? From reading the old posts, it sounds like with cats, there's always a problem introducing them to each other so maybe this is just the calm before the storm and I should continue to separate them. Any help and suggestions would be appreciated as I don't want any injuries or long-lasting hard feelings between the three. By the way, all three are males...our old cats are neutered, the new one isn't yet.
P.S. Our old cats both wear SoftPaws and the new one doesn't (yet) so he would kind of have an advantage in a fight...don't know what to do about that either.
post #2 of 14
Hi Lynda and welcome!

You're lucky to have such relaxed cats ! I think because the new guy seems nervous, it might be better to separate them at the beginning. Let him get adjusted to a smaller territory at first and only when he's comfortable, let him have access to the rest of the house and the other two cats.

Sounds like you're going to have an relatively easy integration!

Don't worry about the long post - we love reading about cats! Post often!

By the way, I'm moving this thread to the behavior forum.
post #3 of 14
May I ask what Softpaws are?
post #4 of 14
Soft paws are caps you put on the cats nails, it is an alternative to de clawing...Kudos to Lynda!!
As for seperation..my opinion is if for no other reason but health it is a good idea. Cats need time to adjust to a new enviroment. Putting them in a seperate room at first gives the resident cats time to sniff under the door and the new cat time to smell the new home. I seperate them just because you never know what the new kitty may pop up with. This last time we brought the Persian home, he was fine until 2 days later the ringworm popped up. Thank goodness he was in a seperate room. I really would suggest at least a week apart for them. Sounds like I need a house like yours!!!
post #5 of 14
Tell me more about these softpaws....does the vet have to do it? Or how on earth do you get them on? I have never heard of such a thing...but this may be what I am looking for! Where do you get them???
post #6 of 14
Debbie, theres a link to soft paws web site in the grooming forum. I have also seen the ads in the back of cat magazines. Lynda seems to be the only one so far that has used them, maybe she can give us her imput on them.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Everybody!
Sorry about the delay in responding to the questions about Softpaws...between the new kitty, work, and my kids being on the computer, I haven't had a chance to check back till this morning!!

Softpaws are wonderful!! I've been using them for about a year on my two older cats. They are soft plastic tips shaped just like a cat's claw. They fit over the end of the claw and are applied with a glue. For my cats, they were very, very easy to apply because my guys are used to me playing with their feet and clipping their nails. Sometimes they fall off naturally (or from the cat grooming their feet) and sometimes I have to cut them off. Their nails continue to grow with the caps on so you have to be sure to remove them before the nails get too long because they will grow around and under and into the pad of their foot.

The reasons I love them are because I would never declaw a cat, BUT, I don't want my furniture ruined either. My guys are both big-time scratchers and never liked scratching posts or any of the other hundreds of things I tried before the Softpaws. They want to scratch on the furniture all day long. Another reason is it doesn't interfere with the cats natural inclination to spread those toes and stretch up against the sofa or chair and look oh-so happy while he's doing it. With the Softpaws, the cats can still "scratch" and "knead" anything and everything, but because the nail is covered, they don't pull up any threads or cause tears in the fabric. I don't really think they realize they are wearing them. They only time they pay any attention to them is when I've just replaced one...then they bite at it for a few minutes and lick their paw to clean it up, and then off they go.

I checked Softpaws out as thoroughly as I could before I started using them. They were developed by a vet, the glue is safe (as far as them eating it), the nailcap is supposedly safe to pass through the digestive system if eaten, and my vet highly approves of them as an alternative to declawing. Because cats have a covering over their claws that they shed from time to time, it's safe to cover the tip of the nail for an indefinite period of time. If they don't work the cap off or you don't remove it to cut the nail, it will eventually fall off when they shed that covering.

From my own personal experience, I can't say enough good things about them. They have changed our life...literally...in that we bought new furniture after we saw how great these things worked which was something we had been putting off doing becasue we knew the cats would destroy it (as they have already proven they could do with the old furniture). In six months, I do not have one snag, tear, or rip in any piece of the new furniture.

I bought blue for one guy and pink for the other. That way when I see a cap laying on the carpet, I know who I have to find to replace a cap. I check them every time I pick up a cat to be sure all 10 are still attached and no nails are getting too long. They're very inexpensive - I think about $15-20 for a pack that lasts quite a while after your cat gets used to them. You have to change them more frequently in the beginning.

I would encourage anyone who has a "scratcher" to check out the website and read more about them. You can do it yourself...it really is very easy...really easier than trimming their nails...but you do have to be careful with the glue not to use too much or get it all over their fur. And you need to clip their nails just as often as you did before you applied the Softpaws.

As for the new kitty, it's going pretty good. We're separating at night and most of the day. Then we let them interact for a short while under our supervision and when we separate them agian, we switch who was in which room so they can pick up each other's scents. As for diseases, etc., the kitten has already been vet-checked and vaccinated as my mother-in-law had him for a few months before we got him so we got that covered. The older two don't seem bothered by the new guy, but the new guy definitely does not like the other two!! He's a spitfire, and I think the whole hierarchy of the household is about to change!

Here I go with another long post...sorry again!! Thanks for the support and suggestions on introducing the cats to each other.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
One more thing on the Softpaws...they can't be used on kitens under the age of six months. I don't know the reason for this, but that's what the manufacturer says.
post #9 of 14
Thanks for the detailed review Lynda! That was fascinating!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
One more thing on Softpaws...and I can't believe I forgot to mention this in my first post... They CANNOT be used on cats taht go outside. The reason being, they are pretty defenseless without their claws so they are for full-time indoor cats only.

Okay, now I'm done, I think!!...lol!
post #11 of 14
Thanks for the information,Lynda....Merlin is the only cat inside, and he isn't old enough for them yet...but if my husband agrees to let him stay inside full time, I will definately try the softpaws! What a great idea!!! Thanks for explaining them to me!!
post #12 of 14
Oh, boy!! Me, too.
Have my two "inside" cats, Lovecraft (female) and Giger (male), both "fixed". Just introduced new cat, Little Bit, into house (young female). She had been abandoned by former owners. I brought her into the house - no problem. She was in the house 2 weeks - no problem. Brought her to the vets to have her "fixed" - Lovey won't leave her alone now. She sneaks around, stalks her, then jumps her (little hollering, then off she goes - probably because someone in the house has shown up with the water squirter). The squirter is the only way I can keep Lovey away from her, and I really don't like to do it. Any other suggestions? (PS - I'm giving both Lovey and Giger MORE attention so they won't be jealous - not working with my Lovey!)
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm having sort of the same situation here with my three. Initially, the two older cats, Petunia and Mr. Whiskers, didn't seem bothered by the new one,Pumpkin, and Pumpkin was the only one showing any aggression. It's been a little over a week now and we have been separating and slowly introducing them to each other's scent and so on. Instead of them learning to tolerate each other, we are breaking up fights on minute-by-minute basis whenever all three are let loose to interact. All three have become very aggressive with each other. The new one, Pumpkin, is so bold and he will NOT tolerate being locked away in a room or a separate floor of the house. This cat is so loud and gets so worked up that he has ruined one of our bedroom doors already by scratching and then banging and throwing himself against the door while he screams to be let out. He will do this for hours on end. Going into the room only makes him worse when you leave. Once they figure out where the other is, they "fight" through the door, yelling and sticking their feet under the door, digging at the carpet trying to get to the other.

I feel guilty locking the older two cats up all the time as they're not used to that at all, and I'm sure they wish the "intruder" would just go away so life could go back to being peaceful again! I really don't want to get rid of Pumpkin, but I have to admit I'm getting pretty tired of this myself. None of mine are aggressive with people though and are all big "love-bugs" and great cuddlers. At this point, I've given up on them being friends and would settle for just tolerating each other, even for a just a few minutes.

To top it off, we have an appointment to get Pumpkin neutered, and from what you just wrote, I'm sure if any peace is established before, we'll be back to square one when I bring him home from the vets.

So, actually I don't have any suggestions for you, but just wanted to let you know I'm in the same boat as you. Its nice to have company though!!!
post #14 of 14
I'm a big softy with these cats, I'm not letting any of them go. I do feel really guilty about squirting Lovey, though. She DOES have seniority, after all.

But you could luck out with the male you're having fixed. I brought in Grey, one of my male "porch" cats (Live in enclosed, heated luxury I must say)to be fixed the same time I brought Little Bit. His "porch pals" (2 other fixed males) are tolerating him just fine. Matter of fact, they STILL show him the respect he seems to feel he deserves. (Grey was VERY agressive - fighting every day, outside.) They all get along just swell, and love Little Bit.

Don't get it. Well, yeah, I guess I do. We all know how jealousy feels.Wish they's stop though. Haven't managed more than 5 hours per nite sleep for the last month.

Let's just hope, OK? Maybe for Valentine's Day, all cats will love each other!!
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