firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
We have a new kitty! His name is Angus, he's a Tuxedo Cat, 4 years old,
and he is a bruiser at 18 pounds. We adopted him from the Peninsula
Humane Society. He seems quite confident and affectionate. We've let him
sniff noses through the door with our resident cat, Biscuit, but we're
keeping them separated for the next few days.

Before we adopted him, I snapped a photo of him in his digs at the
humane society:

Despite my having a lot of experience with cats, this is the first time I've tried introducing two unrelated cats. There's a fair amount of contradictory advice on the web. Any advice (to-dos and to-don'ts) from folks who've been there?

Date: 12 May 2005 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
that's quite a face. he looks like a boxer.

Date: 12 May 2005 08:20 pm (UTC)
eeyorerin: A Lego minifigure of a person wearing a penguin suit. (Default)
From: [personal profile] eeyorerin
Hello kitty!

Date: 12 May 2005 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have always put the two cats in separate rooms - typically I put the new cat in a room like a bathroom or a spare bedroom so as not to unnecessarily restrict the "current" cat's movements. I visit the new cat regularly and make sure it has food/water/litterbox/toys in there. The cats should sniff around the door and become aware of each others' presence quite easily; they will probably meow (or growl or hiss) at each other and reach their paws underneath. After 24-48 hours, I would put open the door and allow them to meet under your supervision. I would do only "supervised visitation" for a while until you are sure they are tolerating each other well.

Date: 12 May 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
AWW!!!! So cute!

All of our experiences seem to start with us having great intentions, separate bowls, separate litterboxes, separate them for a few days at least, possibly a week or two, let them smell each other's scents but not confront each other right away. This usually ends within 16 hours, because one of the cats escapes and encounters the other cat IMMEDIATELY and they go through whatever degree of hostility they're going to right off the bat, and continue to attempt escape at every opportunity.

After a while they adjust on their own.

Date: 12 May 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He's cute!!!

Date: 12 May 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What [ profile] queensheba said is almost exactly what I do. I add one "house visit" where the preexisting cats are corralled in a different room and the new cat gets to explore the digs by himself.

If there's much growling or hissing when they first see each other through the open door, I also add a baby gate phase where they can see, hear, and smell each other but can't effectively fight. (This phase is deeply annoying for the human as I need four baby gates to seal off a doorway and it's hard for ME to get through!) I've freecycled a lot of baby gates. :-)

We always start out with good intentions

Date: 12 May 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
and get lazy. Our 13 y/o female and 4 y/o male tux are still working on who is alpha cat after 3 years together. They mostly ignore each other, but there is some swatting, and some nose and butt sniffing. Sometimes they are both on the bed at the same time, but they are apart.

They do agree that the 12 y/o female tux is the omega animal.

Date: 12 May 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What a gorgeous guy!

All my attempts at introducing cats to each other have been dismal, long-term failures, so I won't offer advice on that count. But congratulations!


Date: 12 May 2005 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A new addition - Yeah! I'm (as you know) more of a dog person but all the advice about keeping them separate for a while and then some supervised visits sounds right to me. Is you're other kitty a lot smaller than Angus? That can be an issue with dogs cause of the increased damage one can do to the other if they get in a fight, but cats (domesticate at least) don't have quite the range in size as canines, so maybe it's not a problem. Good Luck!

Date: 12 May 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Congratulations! He's a very handsome fellow, & looks very much like our dear departed Clyde kitty.

As to introduction, my experience pretty much aligns with [ profile] epi_lj's. At one point they finally had fairly frightening fight with tufts of fur on the floor and everything, then after that were fine with each other. The main thing I think is to keep them separate when you're not around to supervise, and also keep an eye on behaviours that might indicate some temporary intervention in the way of calming meds might be needed.

That said, I have actually decided that I won't introduce unrelated cats again if they are over 8 y/o, because it was hard .

Date: 12 May 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Congratulations on the new household member and best wishes for a smooth transition.

Date: 12 May 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No advice to offer, since others with more experience have chimed in, but welcome to the new member of your household.

Your post, along with the post of another friend who knits cat beds for her local shelter, inspired me to call the Peninsula HS to see if they needed cat beds knitted. Answer: they're more worried than the other shelter is about the loops in knitting getting caught in cats' claws (but they're fine with fleece, which I find odd); however, they're open to several other types of donations that we can help them out with. So they'll be getting some old towels and rugs shortly.

Date: 12 May 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 12 May 2005 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Another awwwwwww! Enjoy your kitty!

Date: 12 May 2005 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have no advice; I just like the picture. Very fine cat.

Date: 12 May 2005 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He reminds me of our old cat Jack who died last year at the age of eighteen. We got Jack from a neighbor, and we got another cat Cleo, from Mike's allergic parents, at about the same time. They didn't have the luxury of a planned introduction but were thrown into the chaos of our household by accident. They hated each other until they both got old and just didn't have the energy to argue any more. They made a lot of noise, but never did each other serious harm.

Date: 12 May 2005 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have no advice to offer, but he is a fine looking beast.

Best of luck to all of you.

Date: 12 May 2005 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awwww. The Half-a-Moustache syndrome!

Very gradual introduction is the best way to go, as everybody has said. A lot of cats will, once introduced, establish territories on their own. They may divide up people between them, or divide spaces, or both. Or they may be permanently bristly. A separate food and water bowl for each plus extra, if you can manage this, will help reduce tension; the same with litter boxes.


Re: Announcement: New addition to our household

Date: 12 May 2005 11:09 pm (UTC)
ext_481: origami crane (Default)
From: [identity profile]
oh, i like him!

as to introductions, unless quarantine is advised because of health issues, i always try to first wing it, because if they don't like each other, it gets really cumbersome, and i am lazy and forever hopeful that they'll just get along. so, i will bring the new cat in, leave the carrier sitting in a clear area for a while, and let them each smell the newness. then i'll open the carrier and see what happens. i will talk with both if it seems useful; basically making soothing noises. i'm prepared for this to take a long time (hours), and i do not do anything upsetting in the meantime (no vacuuming, or other scary stuff). and i watch them like a hawk. if there seems to be outright hostility, i'll immediately grab the newbie and take zir to a separate room so they don't actually get to fight. i will have a harness on the new cat so i can do this very fast, and preferably without my own blood flowing. i'll also have the separate room ready, and at first the door stays closed so they can only sniff each other underneath the door. these days i don't have much space, and if i had to take in another cat i'd be caging zir if needed.

i've done this a lot, and for the most part cats have worked it out themselves without me having to get involved at all. bacchus and calliope have had the worst long-term enmity -- late neutering leaves toms with lots of surplus testosterone, i guess, and the habits of years of being top cat, but usually this hasn't taken anywhere as long as with those two. here's hoping you won't have to go to leashing and/or caging either; it's really rare in my experience. they are now doing reasonably fine together, and in another month i think i can get stop the nightly caging as well. and hey, leash training, and being used to carriers and cages is useful in any case.

Date: 13 May 2005 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
he's very beautiful - and regal looking

Introducing cats

Date: 13 May 2005 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
When we introduced Cat 5e (Steve) to LBK we didn't have any trouble at all. We kept them separate for a day, with Steve locked in a room, which LBK could hang around outside in the hall next to. They were able to get to know each others voices and smell first. Steve was a year old kitten, while LBK was over 2 years old, which supposedly helps quite a bit. Also, personality-wise, LBK is just a very friendly, relaxed cat, so he accepted Steve right away.

Steve was a lot more skittish, but we make sure there was no opportunity for contention with 5 litter boxes, 2 food bowls and more than 2 waterbowls available at all times.

It only took a couple of days before they settled right in to the new situation.

Black and white cats

Date: 13 May 2005 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
are the best!

Date: 13 May 2005 01:21 am (UTC)
ext_6279: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I adore tuxedo cats! He's a fine looking example.

I second what everyone else has said about taking it slowly, keeping them separated initially and slowly introducing them (over a period of days/weeks) with supervision. Also, don't expect 'em to be buddies immediately. I've introduced lots of cats to my household this way over the years, and I've found that generally it takes weeks to a couple of months for the cats to really start getting comfy with each other, by and large. If more than a few months have gone by and they're still fighting aggressively (other than the random thumps and hisses that are part of regular cat dominance negotiations or grumpiness) then you may have a compatibility problem; but I wouldn't worry too much until then. Good luck!


Date: 13 May 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
let's see: tuxedo cat, male, 18 lbs, previously declawed....

what the hell are you doing with a clone of *my* cat?!


Date: 13 May 2005 06:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Hiii new kitty!

Date: 13 May 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Neat! He could be my feral cats' brother, he looks just like them!


Date: 13 May 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is off-topic, but did you see those articles on the serval-domestic cat cross called the savannah? I had no idea that wild cats (other than the African wildcat and the European wildcat) could breed with domestic cats! Seems like the female offspring are fertile, but males are not.

Googling for cats, crossbreeding or hybrids, I saw this peculiar picture of a domestic tomcat attempting to mount a bobcat! I wonder if they succeeded in producing kittens.

Date: 14 May 2005 09:54 am (UTC)
ext_6381: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I've been so busy I've been behind on LJ, but congratulations on Angus, and hope the new quad works out well!

Date: 15 May 2005 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My, what a handsome boy! I wish you all well in getting to know each other.


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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