Author Topic: Integrating Cat Families  (Read 2501 times)

Offline Aronan

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Integrating Cat Families
« on: August 25, 2008, 10:03:59 AM »
HI There,

So my partner and I are talking about living together some where in the next few months  (just as soon as I convince him that JH is the only place to live:) ).

He has two young cats (under one year) a boy and a girl. Both declawed, VERY sweet, they love me and they are pretty much docile little darlings.

I have an older cat, Mr.Kitty, we think he's between 11 and 12 years old. By all accounts a great cat with a bit of an attitude. He has his claws and is not afraid to use them. A few years back he was an only cat until two other cats came to live with me. When the new cats showed up he pretty much ignored me and would hiss at me if I tried to pet him after petting the other boy. After asserting his dominance with the other cats though he did get comfortable with them around and I think missed them after they passed away. (They were leukemia kitty's, Mr.K has his leukemia shot and is totally fine).

So for the past four years he's been living alone with me and enjoying it. Except when I go to work, go out anywhere,go away for a  weekend, or even go down stairs to throw out the garbage. So I'm thinking that as much as he enjoys his time with me he might have a little less separation anxiety if there were a couple of furry friends and one more human around.

I was curious if anyone has any thoughts on strategies for merging the two cat families with a minimum of flying fur, hissing and mayhem.

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Offline Chuckster

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Re: Integrating Cat Families
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2008, 11:46:55 AM »
Aronan, first and foremost I hope you do convince your partner that Jackson Heights is the best place to live!   :)  I enjoy reading your posts and would like to see them continue here.

I think your cat issue is a tough one...especially because Mr. Kitty still has his claws and the other two more docile and younger cats don't.  The best way to introduce them would probably be a little at a time.  That would eliminate the initial shock factor.  How about trying short visiting periods whereby the visiting time is increased at small increments over time or until you notice that Mr. Kitty gets more comfortable with the other two cats?  Since he was able to adjust in the past by accepting new members to the family, it may just be that he would do the same the second time around.
The Chuckster has spoken!

Offline Miss Chatelaine

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Re: Integrating Cat Families
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2008, 02:13:23 PM »
You could try bringing over some things or toys that have the scent of your partners' cats on it so Mr. Kitty can start getting used to it, and vice versa.

Once they're all under the same roof, keep them in their carriers close to each other for an hour or so so they have a chance to start geting used to each other without threat.  Then when you let them out, keep them in different rooms, separated by a baby gate for at least a few days if at all possible. 

Do you know how your partner's cats mix with other cats?

In my family's experience, clawed vs. de-clawed cats isn't so much of an issue unless one of the cats is a determined warrior and then the claws are the least of the problems anyway.  But do make sure Mr. Kitty's claws on all four paws, and the back claws on the other guys, are all well-trimmed so nobody gets hurt by accident!

Last but not least, if things get very intense, you can try "Rescue Remedy," which you can buy in health food stores and some pet stores.  It's like giving them a shot of brandy to take the edge off and was very useful when I had two cats that fought a lot.  (It didn't help my nerves but it did calm the cats down.)

Offline dotley

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Re: Integrating Cat Families
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 02:52:12 PM »

I occasionally work with a rescuer who deals with this issue all the time.  The best way is to put the two kittens in a large wire cage complete with food, water and a litterbox and let your cat get used to them being around without putting the kittens in danger. This will also let the kittens get used to their new environment.  There will be a lot of hissing at first, but usually they work it out.  After a couple of days or so, you can let the kittens out into one room of the house and then gradually let the older cat "meet" them, supervised of course.  Good luck.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Integrating Cat Families
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2008, 02:52:12 PM »