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Cat introduction drama... much advice needed

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My territorial 8yr old male cat; the New Guest, and the 4 month old calico. I'm a new member DESPERATE for advice!

Hello all and thanks in advance for welcoming me into your great community. Though I’ve read most of the posts and articles related to introducing cats, I still have a few concerns…I’d greatly appreciate any advice!

This might be long but…hopefully worth the read: For almost 8 years, my parents and I have lived with Fluffy, a neutered male cat who’s always been quite territorial. We’ve had him since he was only about 5 weeks.

Though I love him dearly, the “Fluff monster†is quite aggressive and frankly hates guests! He usually ends up scratching or biting them if they stick around for too long. He can even be a bit aggressive towards me and my mother for no apparent reason, but just adores my father, who actually isn’t much of a cat lover!?!

In a few months, my 5 yr old Godson will be living with us to go to school in our neighborhood (long story). We know how Fluffy gets so we’ve been having him over on the weekends so Fluff can get used to him being around. Though he’s been visiting since he was a baby, Fluffy won’t stop hissing and pawing at him. He’s scratched him a couple times and chases him around the house when he’s ready! Of course I’d never get rid of Fluff though…he’s a part of the fam and by taking him in as a kitty, we’re responsible for him….so we need some other option.

I’d appreciate any advice you could give me about getting Fluff to enjoy my Godson’s company more. We’ve tried treats, letting my Godson feed him, etc etc. to no avail.

OK, now 3 years ago, I moved away to attend college. I see Fluff during our occasional breaks and things haven’t changed much.

Around Valentine’s Day, my fiancé decided that I didn’t have enough cat drama and surprised me with Muffin, our now 4 month old unspayed female calico! I love her dearly as well and she’s really been a joy to have, bit I've been anxious (and fearful) about her meeting with Fluff and have my fingers crossed TIGHTLY!

I just returned home on Saturday with Muffin and immediately placed her into my room. I plan to keep them apart as long as possible but…here’s where I need some advice:

Won’t Fluffy resent me and the newcomer for keeping him locked out of the room? (It’s a 3 bedroom apt) Also, I’ll be working all summer starting next Monday and am wondering whether I should let them meet briefly a couple times this Saturday so that I can watch them interact before I leave them alone together all week. OR if I keep them apart a little longer since this is a big change for Fluff?

Every time I leave the room, Muffin cries, which causes Fluffy to come sniffing around the door. So far, he hasn’t expressed any more aggression than the usual though. He sits by the door but doesn’t growl, hiss, nor meow. Actually, As I'm sitting in my room typing this, Muffin is sitting in front the door sniffing while Fluff is outside lightly scratching. She seems surprisingly comfy lol.

Would it be wise, when I finally introduce them, to keep Muffin in her carrier for Fluff to sniff around her first? I’m afraid that he might try to swat her with his huge claws (he’s refused to let us cut them for the past 2 years!)

Also, as I mentioned above, she isn’t fixed…should I have that done before they meet?

Oh and…is it common for old cats to fight with kittens? How about gender issues…male/female?

I’ve read about Feliway but it’s a bit expensive. We can probably afford it for a few months… When it’s done, will Fluffy suddenly return to his aggressive ways? Might the two cats be unhappy without it?

If this all works out, I was thinking about leaving Muffin at home with my parents and Godson…I’m hoping Muffin will keep Fluff busy and happier so that he’d be less concerned with my Godson....what do you think?

Wow, if you’ve read this all, you’re amazing and I appreciate it! Thanks again- any tip or advice WILL help my journey with these 3.
post #2 of 12
i Know what you are going through. I have a 2 year old femal cat named Kitty and she's kinda the same. very effectionite but is moody. We just brought home a 6-8 week male kitten and the hissing and growling began. We put the kitten in our bedroom, made sure he had enough toys and a mat to play on, food and water, and a litter box. We kept Kitty in the rest of the apt. Plus we made sure we played with both of them... Now, what i've read from other posts and also from what local cat adoption people tell me, keep them seperated for a few days, have the kitten/new cat play on the mat or maybe a small blanket for a few days, then move it to where the old cat is, let the old cat find it sniff it and try to get use of the smell, leave it there for a few days, try and get the older cat to play on it as well, then after a day or so put it back into the room with the new cat. Let that one sniff it to get comfotable with the smell, then place it under the door where both ends are on either side of the door and maybe sprinkle some catnip to get both near the door to play/sniff each other through the room.. Then when you think its time, open the door. DO NOT force them to meet, let them find each other but WATCH THEM. have a towel or blanket ready, they may scuffle (thats fine, older cat is just showing newer cat who's boss) but if it gets bad, hurt meows, blood drawn, cover them fast and seperate them (best to have more then one person doing this) then close the door and wait a few more days.. That all you can do, take time.... I'm on day 2 right now... And that feline is worth every penny, I got that the other day and i've noticed a change in Kitty's mood, she's not growling or hissing at us really anymore since we brought the new kitty home so ya, it's worth it. Again, these are my opinions and if there is something i said that isnt accurate, someone correct me, i'm not a cat expert... Good luck and tell us your progress.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Day 3 and all is well

Thanks for your response...I wish you the best as well!

I let Muffin (the kitty) play on an old towel and even rubbed her face all over with it then put it in the living room to see what Fluffy's (old cat) response would be...

I was impressed! He sniffed...sniffed some more...and actually seemed to be quite content. I threw a mouse on the towel and he started to swat it around and eventually walked away calmly.

I'll leave the towel out there for another day then I'll bring it back inside for Muffin to see how she responds...then back to Fluff...then they can eat on it together on opposite sides of the door.

I'M SOOO EXCITED ABOUT THE INTRO! I now have a feeling that it'll go really well!
post #4 of 12
Just a quick note that I'm sure you've read on other threads...

When you introduce them, just open the door and let them engage each other. Don't pick one of them up & bring them into the other room. Height is a big part of cat hierarchy & dominance- if you're holding one, it will probably make the introduction more stressful.

Good luck- keep us posted!
post #5 of 12
please let us know how the intro goes Fluf. I've got all this to come shortly as my new kitten is coming home on saturday. I'm sure tabitha knows something is up because she's suddenly become very clingy and has taken a shine to the kitchen (the room the kitten will have) despite having barely set foot in it previously! I'm sure cats must be psychic.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Day 4: I'm tempted to let them meet now

Things are going so well! Fluffy has remained calm and doesn't respond negatively when he hears Muffin in the room!

I brought the towel (which now has both of their scents rubbed onto it) back into the room with Muffin and she just sniffed it, looked up at me, then started to roll around on it with her fav toy!

I made an aptmt for Fluffy to return to the vet next Tuesday. He hasn't gone in 2 years so it'll be good for him. They'll cut his nails and everything (relieving thought) and he'll be all set to meet Muffin.

Muffin will be getting spayed this Friday at the Humane Society in Manhattan if all goes as planned! I hope to finally introduce them on next Friday when I return home from work! Wish me luck...and keep the advice coming

Thanks for that helpful tip Curly!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's so interesting Yorkie! I do often wonder whether our little pals have a 6th sense or something!
post #8 of 12
oh my word this introducing cats is stressful stuff isn't it? clara is currently asleep in the kitchen whilst i give tab some attention. tab spent an hour scratching at the door furiously but now i'm back with her she's forgotten all about the new arrival. Clara is just beautiful! Of course the first thing she did when she got home was wee on the mat lol but she's had something to eat and played with her new ball.
btw she hasn't a clue what to do with the water bowl. She keeps putting her face in it then jumping away in surprise.

hope muffin is doing well.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Yorkie...I hope things are going well for you!

As you can see, lots of time has passed since my last post.... THEY'VE MET!

I'm at work so I'll go through all the details later but...it went MUCH better than I expected.

Unfortunately, however, Fluffy tested + for Coccidiosis He's on Albon now and I've had to keep the interaction between the two cats limited so that the infection isn't passed to Muffin.

Oddly, Fluff has not only showed symptoms of this infection but he hasn't been eating, stays in one spot in his fav room and seems to sulk all day My poor baby is really really sick so we took him to the vet yesterday and should be getting results tonight.

Do you think he's reacting to Muffin's presence? When they first met, things were fine and he hung around her, etc...but now he's been isolating himself. I'll continue to keep Muffin away until he's back to normal

Any advice or ideas you have would be appreciated!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Fluffy has Pancreatitis!

He's starting his antibiotics today but I have NO clue how we're going to give him both that and the Albon (for coccidia). He didn't want to take his Albon last night and hardly wants to eat or drink.

The vet expects us to be able to squirt 5mls into his mouth daily! He doesn't even want to be touched! How are we going to give BOTH of these meds now!? If he doesn't get his antibiotics, the pancreatitis will only get worse

What to do, what to do? Poor Muffin just wants Fluff to get better so she can pounce around the house with him lol
post #11 of 12
It sounds like your cat introductions are going great! Congratulations!!!!

On medicating Fluffy...... I have to medicate one of my cats now for another two weeks. After I called the vet in desparation while dripping blood all over (my blood, not the cat's), the vet told me to bring him in and they'd show me a better way to do it. It's been a lifesaver! Here's what they showed me:

Grab the cat by the scruff of the neck and life him until his front feet are off the floor. This opens his mouth a bit. It also makes it so he can't claw me! Shove a pill popper / dispenser for your liquid medications to the back of his mouth and squirt it down his throat. Don't be timid about it!

To catch the cat in the first place, I've started feeding him in the open crate. When it's medication time, I close the crate door while he's eating, then carry the crate with enclosed cat into the bathroom and medicate him behind the closed door.

I hope Fluffy feels better soon! I had a cat who had pancreatitis once. It was no fun!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
I appreciate your advice Deanne! I needed the encouragement, especially since we're planning to have Fluffy hospitalized tomorrow.

When we went to pick up Fluffy's antibiotics this morning, the vet suggested that we have Fluffy stay with them for a week since he isn't eating, drinking or stooling much at all.

If we bring him in, they'll have him on IV for a couple days to get his fluid and pain meds and then they'll just board him for another few days to make sure he gets all of his medicine and seems healthier. This seems to be the best option...he's not letting us give him the meds! Mind you Deanne...Fluffy is 20 pounds and VERY aggressive. I tried the scuff trick....no luck

We considered having someone come to the house twice a day to help us medicate him but no luck with that either. I'm sure it'd save us LOTs of $$$! This all has cost us about $350 already and the hospitalization + boarding would be another $700 for only 5 days...

Pray for us! I'll update again soon.
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