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Pre-adoption question (long post)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My furbaby Ginger is now 13 months old, and as she is a torbie with a bit of 'tude, I'm looking for a little orange boy to adopt to keep her company and play with her the way she needs to play the most - with another kitty.

I went to my local shelter last night, and explained our situation, and she agrees that an orange boy might make the best personality match with a torbie queen. At her suggestion, I took a clean towel, and rubbed it all over with kitten scent - this was REALLY fun, as I got to hold a bunch of little baby kitties on my lap, one after the other, as I petted them and rubbed them with the towel to get their smells on it. (The fact that I was able to tear myself away from them and leave without one was a good thing, LOL, because there were some REALLY cute babies there!)

I took the towel home with me, and put it on the floor for Ginger to smell and see how she reacted to it. The concern was, if she reacted negatively or agressively, then perhaps it is a better idea to have her be an only cat.

Ginger went nose to towel the moment she smelled something new in the house, and spent about 10-15 minutes sniffing every square inch of that kitten towel. Her tail mostly stayed upright showing interest, although it did droop down a little bit, but her ears barely went back and she didn't seem to show any bad signs, no hissing, no fear, just interest.

I'll be going back to the shelter to speak with the director again later after work, but wanted to hear if any of you have opinions about the kitten towel method and Ginger's reaction (or lack of?)

After thoroughly sniffing the towel, she lay down next to it and snuggled up against my leg for some scritches. I'm taking this as a good sign, that perhaps bringing a new furbaby home might be easier than I'd have expected.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 11
Here are my thoughts. Even if Ginger would have showed aggression toward the towel in reaction to the kittens' scent, this does not indicate that another kitten wouldn't be a good idea. Bringing a kitten home will present an adjustment period for Ginger...I've never introduced a new kitten or cat into my home, where there wasn't some level of aggression displayed by the resident kitties. However, if proper and gradual introductions are made, it almost always works...

I say, go find a friend for Ginger, and take things slow...limited interactions with the new kitten, if any at first, and go from there. Expect some tension, but also stay positive, because with time and patience, it will work out!
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the comments, I have read extensively the posts on the Cat Site on new introductions, so I am very aware that the intro NEEDS to be gradual to lower the stress on both kitties, and have been thinking about this for several months before even going into the shelter, so none of this is quick decision making, and obviously, I would expect Ginger to feel potentially threatened by any newcomer.

My apartment is VERY small, and I do not have a large enough bathroom to keep the kitten 100% isolated from Ginger (no room for a litter box and food/water dishes, therefore the bathroom won't work,) so I have to devise a slightly different method of keeping them separated at the beginning. There is no one room in my place that can be entirely closed off, which does present a problem.

I have a 4 foot long, metal-framed, screened cat tunnel, in which I can put a littler box at one end, food & water at the other, and a kitten bed in the middle, which will allow for some interaction without direct physical contact, giving the kitten some safety. This will go in my kitchen, which is where Ginger has her litter box, food and water fountain. I have a separate area in which the kitten's things will be placed, and this is where the tunnel will be put, so that the location stays the same as the kitten acclimates.

I've discussed this in depth with a close friend who is owned by 9 cats (she's made a few introductions in her time) and I plan to take a long weekend, adopting on a Thursday evening and spending 3-4 days at home with the kitties so that the intros can be done with 100% supervision and I can monitor all reactions and act appropriately.

It was after explaining all this to the shelter director that she suggested I start by bringing home the kitten smell to see what the reaction would be.
post #4 of 11
We recently adopted Pouncer and we were worried about how Cooper would react. He has been an only cat for 9 years. I fell in love with Pouncer and just HAD to have her, so we didn't bring the kitten smell home first. I took a towel with us to put in the carrier so she could get her scent on it on the way home. When we got home, I let Cooper smell it and he just walked all over it, sniffing it. He spent about 10 minutes smelling it, then just walked away. He heard her meowing and he seemed curious, but not upset. We decided to let them meet the next day (with one of us holding Pouncer and the other close to Cooper). There was hesitation and a couple of hisses, but that was all. A total of 2 days after adopting her and they were best friends. I was prepared for a couple of weeks of the introduction process, but they did really well! Now, they just love each other!

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ann, thank you for the post and the picture! This makes me even more certain that Ginger ought to fairly readily accept a new kitten in the household.

Now all I need to do is find an orange boy, LOL!
post #6 of 11
Too bad I'm in Minnesota! The shelter here has a dozen or so orange or orange/white boys!

Good luck with your kitten search!
post #7 of 11
We live in a small apartment also, and we found that one of those dog houses work really well as well.


It was like that! And we kept the kitten in there. They could see each other and smell each other, and the kitten was safe in there.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Dizzymslizzy,

Yes, that crate is very similar to the cat tunnel I ordered, although I only spent about $20 for the one I got - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it does the trick for me.

Thanks for the feedback!
post #9 of 11
One of my foster babies in a male orange tabby. He is the most wonderful kitten. I wish we lived closer!

Meet Riley!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh, now you're just teasing me!!!!
post #11 of 11
When I brought my Isaac home I was so nervous about introductions. I was especially nervous about Jordan since he has a very strong alpha personality. Well he took one look at Isaac & hissed at him. Then he sat & watch as Isaac played with a ball on the floor. In a matter of minuets he got this look on his face like, "Oh my gosh I can play with that little kitty". He got happy & they've been best buds ever since. Levi took about a month to really adjust he'd hiss, but never swatted at Isaac. Then one day after about a month. He got up walked over to Isaac licked him on the head twice & layed down with him. When I brought Maggie home Jordan hissed at her a couple times just to let her know who was in charge & then walked away. Levi looked at her like "Oh man, she brought home another one. Well the last one didn't leave so I guess this one won't either." Isaac however, spent about a month hissing at her & ignoring me. Then slowly adjusted to her presence & everyone gets along very well now. I think you kitty is young & will adjust given proper introductions & plenty of attention so she still knows she's queen.
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