Foster fail in progress.... that’s if I can get Sophie to approve...

huxleysmom

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I am fostering Lance aka LL and I am falling in love. I would actually like to try to keep him, but my cat Sophie is not super cat friendly. Today I moved him to a playpen in the middle of the studio. He was in the dressing room/ bathroom for a few days while we were dealing with some health issues and making sure he doesn’t have ring worm. Sophie has been introduced to his scent and had seen him before. Now he stays in the pen a little while at a time while he plays. Sophie has approached him a few times hissed and ran away or just watch. Once he approached her too close and stared at her, she growled. He was oblivious. After that, she went to her favorite spot, a table by the window, ate some dry food and is now watching pigeons go by. He is still on the room. Does this sound like a good first introduction? Can you give me some tips to make this work? I want to keep this little love, but Sophie comes first and she has to at least be able to peacefully live with him.
Thanks!
 

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huxleysmom

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Thank you! It’s good to hear that we are on the right track. At least for now. I forgot to say that she went in his room for a good sniff and was rather calm, though cautious when she came out. I had to step in between the two when she was growling because he was so oblivious to her, he kept on staring at her and I was afraid she was going to launch herself at the pen. He would have been fine, but I would like any exposure to each other to stay as positive as possible. I was please she then went away and ate and then just forgot about him altogether. Pigeons are her LIFE! Haha.
I guess I’ll continue doing that 2/3 times a day, leaving him a little longer each time. My question is, how do I know it’s safe to have him in the room with her without a pen?
I’d like to post videos, but I can’t figure out how to do it. Any idea?
f
...and I can absolutely see why - what a DOLL baby!!!


Actually, it does.

Maybe there's something here, if you haven't seen this one yet, that might help;
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide
 

Furballsmom

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My question is, how do I know it’s safe to have him in the room with her without a pen?
hmmm, that's a tough one to answer without being there - I think that you definitely want to have a person around to watch them interact for a while - in other words don't leave them alone yet. I think you'll know, though, but even so, every cat is different :)

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DreamerRose

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You can let her in the room with him when there is no sign of aggression from either one of them. It takes a while for them to get used to each other. He's adorable.
 
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huxleysmom

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Oh they won’t be unsupervised for a LONG time! Haha


Sophie looks so confused! Hahah poor thing.
hmmm, that's a tough one to answer without being there - I think that you definitely want to have a person around to watch them interact for a while - in other words don't leave them alone yet. I think you'll know, though, but even so, every cat is different :)

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huxleysmom

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This morning they are eating close-is to each other. Sophie is only annoyed when he gets super keen and goes towards her or stares. Otherwise, she happily ignores him the rest of the time. Oh and I found him like that this morning!
 

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huxleysmom

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Furballsmom Furballsmom just wanted to ask you for some advice. Poor Lance is getting very antsy in the bathroom. He cried a lot and often tries to dash out the door when I come in or out. He also hates being in the pen. He cried a lot and eventually tries to use his litter box to climb out and spills the whole thing. I have tried to use the pen to close off my entryway so he can have an opened space to play with. This works for a while, but he eventually climbs that too to try to escape and go see Sophie. She’s not doing too bad. She is ok with him in the room, as long as he is far away. She comes to the pen once in a while, but runs away or hisses if he gets too close. This morning I tried to get her to eat next to him, but he spooked her and she ran. I pushed the bowl further and eventually she came back to eat. She even played a little while he was there. I don’t know how long I can keep Lance in the bathroom, but I’m not sure she’s ready to have him free in the room. What should I do? Can you recommend a good pet gate? Maybe I can stack 2 and see if that can contain him. Or at least give me time to get to him before he climbs over!
 

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I'm not sure of cost comparisons, but here's a thread with different ways to block doorways (and I think you're right to be so aware of Sophie's perspective :hearthrob:) ...hang on, gotta find that thread...
 
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huxleysmom

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Thank you! Given Sophie’s reactions. I do think I have a shot at making this work. I just don’t want to rush her but I can also understand why that poor little dude is so lonely in there. Last night, I brought him out while she was sleeping and put him on top of her tree in the little cave. She woke up, stared at us For a while, so she knew he was there, but in the end, she decided it was ok (or at least not worth getting upset over it) and just went back to sleep. Overnight she also played with his play may that I left in the room for her to smell. She just needs more time. Besides, they can’t have access to each other’s litter boxes yet as we are trying to figure out what his poop problem is.
 

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My cats hissed and growled at Jacob, my current and very much un- planned foster - a week later and we saw all three adults sleep with the kitten at different times ... I kept Jacob in the bathroom for the first 3 days and let my cats explore the bathroom while I put the kitten elsewhere - and jacob got to go i to the cat room a few times without the cats- now - all 4 of them live together full time ... granted - my cats never lived as single cats but you cat sounds like she isn’t horribly opposed as long as the new addition is introduced slowly. We have a multi cat pheromone plug in and lots and lots of playtrees , hiding spots , food dishes - litter boxes for privacy - I think my cats are quite ok cause they get to share some yummy baby food as the kittens seems to want company for lunch lol
 

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but in the end, she decided it was ok (or at least not worth getting upset over it) and just went back to sleep. Overnight she also played with his play may that I left in the room for her to smell.
This is marvelous!!
Hang in there with the poop issues!
 
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huxleysmom

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Last night Sophie slept in two places where I had rubbed Lance’s blanket. I hope some smell had stayed on them. I brought him out of the bathroom to play in the pen in the living room this morning. Sprayed with Feliway before that. This time, Sophie went to poop really close to him (her box is in the main living space as he stays in the bathroom, but somehow I must have moved the playpen closer to the box when I was vacuuming). He was really close to her and she didn’t mind. Now I don’t know if this is a good sign, or if this is her literally saying: this is my territory, he’s my poop in your face to prove it! Lol. Then I gave her food maybe 2-3 feet from the pen and she ate it while Lance and I were playing. She was fine. He came to her a few times and even jumped on the mesh to play with her, but she seemed ok. He’ll have to learn not to do that once he is out in the room if he doesn’t want her to smack him! She did hiss at him a couple of times.
I also sat on the bed close to her with him in my arms. She didn’t move and blinked at me. Her tail was moving a little bit, but to be fair, it very often moves when it’s just me, especially if I try to give her attention when she doesn’t want it! Lol
He won’t stay in the pen for long though, it’s too small and too low so I went ahead and got a huge multi level cat crate, I figured it’ll be helpful for my next fosters and even I ever move to a place with an outdoor area, Sophie and hopefully Lance can use it as an outdoor lounge.
Sophie is still very reactive to his scent though. After I put Lance away in the bathroom? I went to give her a treat, she took it, but started growling when I tried to pet her. I backed away.

I hope I’m doing this right. It’s so hard when you’re getting emotionally involved but you have no idea what you’re doing. I know that the success of most introductions (especially with cats like Sophie) are mainly based on how it was done.... and here, it’s the blind leading the blind....
This is marvelous!!
Hang in there with the poop issues!
 
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Furballsmom

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I think you're doing a whole lot better than you think you are!

The one thing I'm thinking of, you might not want to hold him, as he gets bigger he could accidentally scratch you if he takes off abruptly.

She's being cranky about the treat, but overall I'm impressed with how she's behaving 😊
 
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huxleysmom

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I’m quite impressed too to be honest. I think she’s not doing bad considering it’s only been 3 days and she’s a cranky cat who used to start most of the neighborhood fights when she was indoor/outdoor! Lol I haven’t noticed any signs of stress such as going to the bathroom outside the box or not eating. So that’s good.
I carry him around on his blanket when we’re in the main living room. He likes it better and is less fidgety on there, so easier to carry and have a hold of. He enjoys cuddles while I show him to Sophie. It also helps me get his scent on multiple blankets that I can then rub against various areas of the room.
Sophie is just a very independent cat so if he can learn to respect that, and her sleep, this might actually work! I’ll play with him to tire him out. I’m hoping once Lance can be in the room with us all the time in his multi level crate, she’ll get used to him and his scent. We shall see. Hopefully it arrives on Wednesday. The poop however..... the poop situation might actually take longer to fix than the cat introduction itself!!! I just had to give him a foot and butt bath and clean my bathroom walls as he had walked in it and then shook it off his paw all over the place... 😳
I think you're doing a whole lot better than you think you are!

The one thing I'm thinking of, you might not want to hold him, as he gets bigger he could accidentally scratch you if he takes off abruptly.

She's being cranky about the treat, but overall I'm impressed with how she's behaving 😊
 
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