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Advice Please about possible cat....

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have been handed the opportunity of taking on a cat. The thing is, she is not socialised at all with either cats or humans.

She has had a pretty troubled life - living in my friend's grandma's garage and coming into the house once in a while and finally being adopted by my friend's parents. They have two cats and a dog (Labrador) and the cat has really never felt comfortable. She has a tendency to wee on plugs and do her other business outside her tray. She is approximately 12 years old.

I really don't like to see her struggling so much. She is extrememely hissy and defensive, but I know that she has the potential be a wonderful kitty with a great personality!

She is neutered and essentially an outside cat - but she never leaves my friend's parent's house. I feel that she may be scared of something, but I am really not sure what....

Obviously, to introduce her to my household, I would have to take her to the vets for a full check and make sure that she's healthy, but I would like to know all of your opinions about:

Would it be possible to integrate her into my kitty family?

Would Tibby and Molly accept her, would she - in time - accept them?

Is it possible to help her and keep her as an indoor kitty?

What should I look out for with the Vet examination?

I am willing to train her on a lead - which I think from what I know of her she would enjoy (because of the company) - would this be possible?

Would it cause a lot of concern to Tibby and Molly - Molly is quite timid and Tibby can have his moments, in between his mean-ness

I know that she is safe and secure where she is, I am just concerned about her mental health, as I would love to give her the life she deserves!

I really need some advice and help with this, as I have never had to accommodate a kitty with such concerns and If I am to take her, I will need a LOT of help to work with her!

Please can you all help me to make this decision! Thank you all in advance for all you help and advice!
post #2 of 5
First off get her to the vet and get a senior panel done, it is possible something is wrong with her and that's why she urinates on things. Once that is taken care of, perhaps the other issues will go away in time? When cats don't feel good, they don't act normal. Realize that you may be just accepting a large vet bill to get her right again, but if you can handle it financially it sounds like she needs someone in her corner who understands her and wants her to get better. My guess is she has an low-grade bladder infection or other health issue that makes her so "hissy."
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Awww, poor baby!

Would it be very expensive? Should I speak to my vets and find out how much I would be looking at. I am not incredibly flush at the moment and I don't want to take her if I can't offer her the best medical care.

I can speak to my friend's parents and find out what the vet has said to them about her health and see if I can get more of an idea.

It could be possible that she's ill, as she will just sit in one room all the time - except when she's fed - and seems really nervous around people.

Thank you for your input MA!
post #4 of 5
Most of the time when cats urinate outside of the box it is because they are sick - often it is a bladder infection, sometimes it is another disease (such as diabetes). A vet check-up, blood panel and bladder infection test costs less than $100 out here, but you can always call your vet to ask, because I have no idea what comparable costs in England would be. But the first thing to do when a kitty urinates outside of the box is to get it to a vet in order to ensure kitty is OK.

If kitty is sick, as Hissy said, it might explain this behavior. But cats are territorial, and are often more attached to their territory than their people. Being moved is traumatic for them, and adjustment can take quite some time.

Indoor/outdoor kitties can become happy indoor kitties IF they have enough stimulation. They should be actively played with alone a minimum of 10 - 15 minutes a day, though more frequently is, of course, better.

As to whether or not this kitty should be relocated again to be with you and your kitty family - there's no way to know. Cats each have their own personality, and whether or not they'll take to another cat is anyone's guess. There are many things that can be done to help with the transition if that's what you decide to do. Some links that will give you some idea:


But bear in mind that sometimes litterbox problems are as simple as changing the location of the box, changing the type of litter used, etc. In a home with multiple cats, there should be one more litterbox than there are cats. And if this kitty used to live outside, she may not be used to the idea of the litterbox. Perhaps she needs to be introduced to the litter tray - perhaps "reintroduce" her to the home altogether. Confine her to one room, put her food and water on one side, make sure there are some comfy hiding places for her, and put her litterbox on the other side of the room. Cover the litter with a little potting soil (not actual dirt from outside because of the potential for parasites, etc.), and it will be more like what she was used to using. She'll come to understand the litter is like the dirt she used to use. Have your friend's mom or dad (or both) spend a little time in the room each day - just reading to her - or just being in there, ignoring her. Once she gets comfortable, then engage her in play with a wand-type toy, and gradually reintroduce her to the rest of the home. There are many threads in this forum about socializing ferals, and in the Behavior forum there are many threads about introducing cats to each other.

But start with the vet, then see where that takes you before making any further decisions.

Oh - here's a link about litterbox use: http://www.thecatsite.com/Cats/Cat_C..._Problems.html

Good luck! And this is a very lucky kitty to have such people care for her.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the advice, it has been really helpful!

I haven't had a chnce lately to get anything on the move, but I have now found out that she has had a full examination at the vets and is in good health! I am so pleased about this!

I forgot to add that she's always using her tray!

For now, as I'm trying to get some order in my life - finishing uni, moving house, starting a business - It has been decided that she will come and stay with me for a while - as her owners are going on holiday - so we can see how things go! I am not sure of the date that I will take her yet, but I am sure i'll be back with lots of questions!

I just hope that the move doesn't upset her!

I'm going to re-read the threads you navigated me towards, to check that i'll be on the right track!

Thanks again for your advice!
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