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Introducing a 2nd cat - in a 1br apt.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone.

I'd really like to adopt a new playmate for my kitter. He's lived his entire life with another cat and I get the feeling he might be a bit lonely while I'm at work (his previous buddy unfortunately died a few months back).

Everything I've read about introducing cats to one another says I should isolate the new kitter in her own room while she gets acclimated and gets her scent spread around a bit. My problem is that I have a 1 bedroom apartment! The only rooms I can close off are my bedroom (where my resident kitter sleeps) and my bathroom where my resident kitter is toilet trained (training, but he's almost there!)

Any ideas on how to proceed?
post #2 of 15
Are you sure your cat is lonely or are you just projecting this to your cat? Because of space limitations, I would think seriously before adopting another cat only because it may throw your resident cat into an upheaval. Especially if that cat is still grieving
post #3 of 15
To acclimate cats to each other quickly, take them both to a "neutral" location, do not have one at "home" and spring a stranger on him.

They will both be leery of the "strange" location, and will sort of "bond" in defense of the "common unknown", and then in a day or two, bring them both home and the "getting used to each other" will move much more swiftly than if you bring in a "stranger" in on the "resident" cat.

I think 2 is about the ideal number, for if you go beyond that, they will have their own "social order", but with two, they will interact more with you as the "third cat".

Lots of luck.

Cats are nice, aren't they ? ?

Leonard.
post #4 of 15
I am currently in the process of trying to adopt a sister for my kitten as well. She has been an only child for her 8 months of life thus far. I live in a 1 bedroom apartment with a second office room. I have been having the same dilema, but I think I have decided to close off my bedroom for the new cat (if our adoption goes through). Our litter box is in our bathroom/laundry room and I don't want to have to rearrange all that. I think our resident cat will be fine with sleeping in her cat tower or on the couch for the time being until she meets the 'new cat'.

I don't know how accustomed your cat is to sleeping in your bed, do you think they'd be royally upset if you cut off access to that room?

Hope it all works out for you.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips everyone.

My apartment has plenty of space...its just open space. I don't think they'll have trouble finding some personal space whenever its needed.

I adopted Winston (my resident cat) about 3 months after his big brother died and I've had him for about another 3 months. I think he's ready for a new friend...


I think I can probably keep Winston out of my bedroom for a while, but he gets real vocal when its bedtime and the door's closed. I also don't want him thinking that I am sleeping with the enemy .

I like the idea of introducing them to one another in a neutral spot. Thanks again for the tips
post #6 of 15
If you choose another spot to bring them together right at first, be prepared for a war. Have a heavy blanket that you can toss over them when they start fighting.

Your best bet would be to use your apartment and use baby gates or some sort of see- through barrier in once section. When you bring your new cat home (after the cat has been vetted) do not carry the cat into the house. Instead, put the carrier on the floor and slide it to the location. Height represents in the cat world, the alpha position, and if you carry a strange cat past your resident cat you inadvertently and automatically create a threat to the resident kitty.

You want your new cat not to be cut off scent wise. The sooner Winston can smell him, the easier the introductions will be. Make sure that wherever you put the newcomer that you allow him or her a good place to hide if it feels threatened-

Don't rush the intros- perhaps this article will help?

Introducing Cats
post #7 of 15
Generally you want at least 2-3 litterboxes for two cats. You might try adding a litterbox first so your current kitty gets used to it, and then you could adopt a new baby and put him/her in the bathroom.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotrock
Thanks for the tips everyone.

My apartment has plenty of space...its just open space. I don't think they'll have trouble finding some personal space whenever its needed.

I adopted Winston (my resident cat) about 3 months after his big brother died and I've had him for about another 3 months. I think he's ready for a new friend...


I think I can probably keep Winston out of my bedroom for a while, but he gets real vocal when its bedtime and the door's closed. I also don't want him thinking that I am sleeping with the enemy .

I like the idea of introducing them to one another in a neutral spot. Thanks again for the tips
OMG, my cat's name is Winston too! And we have a similar set-up; one bedroom with lots of space and only bedroom or bathroom to separate cats! I'm introducing Winston to another boy right now, and I must say, the signs are not good..hopefully it will work out in the end, but I don't know..anyway, my Winston always sleeps with me and last night he sat on the floor and stared under the door at the new cat all night! No one slept! And today they had an accidental encounter while I was at work and my BF was home and it did not go well! Live and learn, I guess. I asked Hissy what she thought and I'm waiting to hear back. Regardless, good luck!
post #9 of 15
I just answered you-
post #10 of 15
I lived in a studio apartment which consisted of one large "common" room, a seperate kitchen (where the cats aren't allowed) and a bathroom/walk in closet. When I got Bast, I blocked off the small foyer (sp?) to be seperate from the common room with two baby gates (one on top of the other - that girl had a huge vertical, even at "super tiny kitten" size, it's a good 6ft now...). I put a sheet over the baby gates, and a piece of cardboard over the baby gates, parallel to the floor to discourage the high jump contest. When I was home, I took the sheet off of the baby gates so Bast and Jameson could see eachother, but not get at eachother. They'd sit and stare at eachother for hours. I did my best to spend equal amounts of time with Bast and Jameson, but I always ended up with more Jameson time, because I sleep in the room he was in.

After about a week of that, I gave them some supervised play time. A few scuffles - no claws. After a few days of that, I had a day off, and took down the gate and let Bast run around the apartment. First thing she did was run under the bed to the blanket that Jameson slept on and layed down on it. I took her off of that, so that he wouldn't think she's trying to oust him from his "spot." They were pretty good, but I still kept them seperated when I wasn't home. After a week of that, I actually had two days off in a row, so I let them hang out the whole time. One scuffle, and I thought it was ok to let them be together while I was gone. (It was.)

I might have been a little too cautious, but it worked out well, and they're really good friends now.
post #11 of 15
I used to live in a one bedroom apartment where the bedroom was the only space with a door. I 'rescued' an outside cat in the middle of winter suffering from frostbite on his ears and paws. I had a pantry cupbarod that was curtained off, so I went to the hardward store, purchased an inexpensive 'screen door' frame, and some screening and double screened the door on both sides, then used hook and eyebolts to 'hang it' over the entrance to the pantry. The pantry then became the other cat's home while he recovered from his injuries. My cats were curious and friendly although I blocked off lower accesss with cardboard so they couldn't breathe or sneeze on eachother:-). The outdoor cat had a perch inside that he could sit on and my guys had the kitchen table they could sit on to see each other from a safe distance. I had no plans to incorporate this cat into my household as I already had 6 cats, but this method worked perfectly fine at keeping them separate yet allowing them to get used to each other. When the weather improved, I arranged for a farm home for the outside cat as he was quite feral in very many ways and I doubt would have been adoptable for any but a very dedicated cat person.

If you have a room without a door but a doorway sized space this is something you might be able to try as well.

Currently, we have to close our bedroom door on Lion and Bear if we have Tristan sleeping with us that night since I am still not comfortable leaving them alone together unaccompanied - and that means during sleep time as well. I play with them all before bedtime pretty actively, then give them treats and something to eat, cuddle them all and then put Lion and Bear on their cat tree in the Den and Tristan on the cat tree in the bedroom. (Abbie and Freija can sleep in either place and alternate). About 4 am Lion and Bear always want in and start meowing at the door (they actually want a playmate!) and I ignore them. They go off and play with each other then. If they get really strongly meowy and trying to dig through the door, I do get up (I know, sending them the wrong message), put down some food and go back to bed, play with them, or just sit up with them for about 5 minutes then go back to bed, and they are then fine until morning.

On the nights where Tristan is sleeping in the 'safe' room, Lion and Bear start the night with us, but generally when they start prowling the bedroom and trying to get me to get up and play with them, I put them both out and close the door. They are also fine then until morning.

I am still 're-introducing' Tristan to them each and every morning and that seems to work at forestalling any aggression during the day.

Good luck with the integration.

Kathryn
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Great ideas

I hate to keep asking so many questions, but I'm coming from a dog family into this strange new cat world. I'd like to be as educated as possible, but I don't mind making mistakes so long as I can learn from them.

I can probably separate the kitchen area from the dining area, but the counters are easily low enough for a cat to jump on. Winston doesn't usually jump up there unless he sees me going for some treats. Do you think it'd be wise to leave the new kitter in this area? I wouldn't assume either one would voluntarily put themselves in close proximity to a stranger, but what the heck do I know?

I suppose my only other option is weaning Winston off sleeping in my bedroom until everything's calmed down a bit. I hate to do this because its easily his favorite room and I can see him feeling betrayed.
post #13 of 15
I guess I was lucky then. I have a 1 bedroom apartment, the whole apartment itself is 800 sq. ft. I originally adopted 2 cats, but could only bring 1 home due to the other having a couple health problems. Once those cleared up, I brought the 2nd one home. I didn't get all creative with baby gates and what not. I more or less kept them in my living room together and just kept a close eye on them. There was some initial growling and hissing that first weekend, especially those first couple hours, but now they get along great. I don't know if I would do that, I may be one of the exceptions to the rule with 2 cats with excellent demeanors.
post #14 of 15
I'm just really glad I got littermates on the same day and was able to bring them home together. They have never been separated. They rule the roost in my studio apartment.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotrock
Great ideas

I hate to keep asking so many questions, but I'm coming from a dog family into this strange new cat world. I'd like to be as educated as possible, but I don't mind making mistakes so long as I can learn from them.

I can probably separate the kitchen area from the dining area, but the counters are easily low enough for a cat to jump on. Winston doesn't usually jump up there unless he sees me going for some treats. Do you think it'd be wise to leave the new kitter in this area? I wouldn't assume either one would voluntarily put themselves in close proximity to a stranger, but what the heck do I know?

I suppose my only other option is weaning Winston off sleeping in my bedroom until everything's calmed down a bit. I hate to do this because its easily his favorite room and I can see him feeling betrayed.
Questions are fine, and asking them and learning is better than not asking and courting disaster.

If you put your new kitty in the kitchen will that threated Winston because that is where you feed him? He is liable to jump on the counters, hopefully to only observe the new one, but it would also give him the advantage of remaining alpha and make him feel a bit more secure, but again, it leaves your new cat vulnerable to attack. I would put either some shelf paper- sticky side up on the counter, or some pans of water to discourage Winston from trying an ambush.

Try not and change Winston's routine to much. Feed him first, play with him before you interact with the new kitty and don't kick him out of rooms he believes to be his
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