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post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone! I am new to the site and need some input on a friendly TNR/semi-feral that I rescued. I have named her Neko.
I started feeding/caring for her about a month ago when she showed up in my backyard after a storm. Initially I was just providing the basics: food, water, and shelter. Then I started to bring her in the garage during heavy rains which led to bringing her in the garage every night. We live on a wildlife preserve and I was constantly worried for her safety especially at night. Long story short I started to get "attached" and decided to take her "in" for good. I've contacted several local/national rescues and had one potential rescue respond showing interest, but haven't heard back from them after the initial contact. Not sure if I'm keeping her, but will foster her until I can find her a loving forever home. She was given a clean bill of health from my vet, treated for minor parasites, up to date on vaccinations and is on Advantage Multi for cats.
Well, now that you know her history my dilemma is introducing her to my 2 year old cat, Milo. He is the only cat in our household and has grown up with our 5 year old dog, Luchini.
Neko is currently kept in the screened lanai during the day and in the garage at night. They have interacted throughout the month that I've been caring for her, but only through the screened lanai when she was outdoors during the day. Milo has never hissed or showed any negative reaction to her then. Even now that she's in the lanai in the day he watches her through the sliding door with no objections. However, today I thought I'd try to do a "meet and greet" with her in the crate. I tried it twice and Milo took a defensive posture and hissed at her both times. Neko on the other hand only responded the second time with some submissive meows. I'm not sure if I need to slow down the introductions more or continue on? My vet also advised to have a face to face meet and greet with both cats in harnesses and leases after I move her into her safe room in the house. I feel so bad for Neko as I really want to help her and for Milo because I don't want him to think he's being replaced. Hope this all made sense. Wanted to be sure I got everything in. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention that my vet confirmed that she is spayed and is about 1 year old.

Thanks again,
post #3 of 21
Hi, Karen. Welcome to TCS. Does the sliding door have a screen door? That might make it easier for the cats to smell one another and interact normally. Being in a crate, Neko may be at a disadvantage. The cats need to be on a level playing field, so to speak. You can also rub each of them with a towel (use one end for each cat). Then put the towel under the door between them with Neko's side under Milo and vice versa. Feed them treats on the towel and they learn to associate good things with the other cat's smell.

Good luck and thank you for helping her
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Ondine! I will try both of your suggestions. I know Milo eventually will start warming up to her. It's just a slooowww process, lol! On a brighter note my dog, Luchini already had his "meet and greet" with Neko both on/off leash and did excellent.
post #5 of 21
Dogs are such wonderful ambassadors! It will take time and patience but she'll soon be part of the family!
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, they are! My Luchini is just full of love.

I brought Neko into her "safe room" for the first time last night. It's a spare bedroom. She did just fine. No hiding or signs of fear at all. Which leads me to believe she may have been "taken in" at some point.

I did the whole scent swapping with the towel. Milo didn't react to it. A lot of sniffing, but nothing negative. I fed them both wet food on the towel. Milo had no problems with that. They did however "paw" under the door at each other. Neko seemed more curious than anything. All she did was reach out under the door. That's it. Milo on the other hand batted at her paws every chance he could get. At times I was afraid he was hurting her so I tried to divert his attention elsewhere and he'd hiss at the door.

Is the "batting" normal? And am I overreacting? Milo eventually left the door and either played in our bedroom which is across from the safe room or was downstairs. I did catch him laying on the towel a few times.

I appreciate all of your input.

post #7 of 21
Sounds normal to me. It is going to take a few sessions, so be patient. At a least they aren't howling at one another!
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you! They're at it again... Dueling under the door as I type this. Milo is easing up a bit. No hissing as of yet. Fingers crossed smile.gif
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Neko Update

A local rescue group is willing to have her at their pet adoption event this weekend. I'm still debating if I should bring her or not. I'm really starting to get attached to this little girl. She has the sweetest personality to match her beauty. Thankfully, Milo is easing up on her.

Isn't she a doll? wink.gif
post #10 of 21

she is beautiful! caticon.gif

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I have GOOD news! I finally did the face-to-face introductions between Neko and Milo today. It went off without a hitch. No hissing, no growling, nothing negative at all. They've been chasing and playing with each other for awhile now and I am so relieved.

Safe to say my slow and steady approach worked for everyone's benefit. Hopefully this positive interaction will continue as the days go along.

Here's a picture of them hanging out in the lanai earlier smile.gif

post #12 of 21

Splendid!  Beaming!  So you decided to adopt her yourself?  And did so!


 Good luck!

post #13 of 21
Hurray! Your patience has paid off. Glad to see she has a wonderful new home
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all! Sharing another photo of them on the cat tree. Milo is up top and Neko is below.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ondine View Post

Hurray! Your patience has paid off. Glad to see she has a wonderful new home


I want to personally thank you for all your advice. It really helped me out a lot and I am grateful. It was a journey and all the tedious work paid off. Neko and Milo sure seem happy to be interacting without the "safe door" anymore. They've been playing all day, it's really fun to see. Take care.
post #16 of 21
You are so welcome, Karen. One of the great things about TCS is all the support we get. But it is even nicer when people listen like you did. The results say it all!
post #17 of 21

What a wonderful outcome!  Thank you for rescuing Neko and giving her another chance at life.  Your story gives me hope and inspiration.

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi! I'm happy to hear that. It is a long process, but it's all worth it in the end. Good luck to you and your kitties!
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Neko and Milo Update

Thought I'd continue to share photos on Neko and Milo's progress... smile.gif

Thankfully meal times have been peaceful...

They love bird watching in the lanai. Although Milo gets a bit excited and scares them away most of the time, haha!

They recently started napping in the spare bedroom (Neko's safe room). I caught Neko trying to groom Milo, however he's not too keen on the idea just yet.

I'm still taking things day by day. They are not the best of friends, but they are getting along.

I'm still keeping Neko in the safe room when no one is home (rarely) and at night. When should I allow them to be together unsupervised? It'll be a week this Sunday since they've had their official meeting. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
post #20 of 21

Try the Eat Play Love thing to normalize their behavior around each other.  At routine points in the day, you and your husband each take a cat and, in the same room, play with your cats separately.  Once they've exercised, feed them as close to one another as you can.  Then, groom them with a brush they like, or rub them with a towel.  Trade the love items between the cats - the goal is to get the cats to associate all good things as happening when the other cat is around.  They need to connect the scent of the cat with play, food, and love.  Eventually, they will be good friends.


Good luck, and congratulations on the newest member of your household.  She's a lucky cat.  And you're a lucky cat guardian.

post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 

Neko (left) and Milo (right)

Hi, everyone! It's been awhile. Just wanted to share some pictures of Milo (left) and Neko (right). Neko has adjusted quite nicely to indoor life. Glad we decided to take her in. She's quite the character smile.gif
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