Help with rescued cat introduction to two resident cats

carrottopcurls

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Two weeks ago we adopted a beautiful tortie medium hair 3 yr old female cat from Petsmart. Her description indicated that she was good with people, children, dogs, and cats (umm, not so sure about this) which is great since we have two senior rag dolls cats (12 and 14 years old). New kitty was found as a stray on someone's property and then brought to a shelter where she was then transferred to the Humane Society and then to Petsmart to be adopted out. It was a month's time that she was in the shelter's hands. No idea how long she was a stray for. She did have an old ratty collar on. No one came to claim her.

We brought her home and have had her in our basement family room which is a nice area for her since it is where we go to watch TV at times and is nice and cozy for new kitty. There is also an attached bathroom that has her litter box, food, and water. Since our two resident cats have their litter boxes in the back utility area, at night we close new kitty in the bathroom. It also gives our resident cats time to have the whole house to themselves and easy access to their litter boxes. New kitty seems fine with it being in the bathroom. New kitty is very social and loving and when we do go down, she is so happy to see us. However, she isn't happy at all about the resident cats! When we are trying to introduce them with the door closed and food/treats, she growls and charges the door. We have also had to carry our resident cats down to the utility area for them to use the litter box (we do this very carefully and quickly so she doesn't see them), but on two occasions new kitty has ATTACKED US while coming down the steps. I guess she ultimately knows we are carrying a cat in our arms. Since our one kitty is very very old, we have let new kitty upstairs to get to explore the rest of the house and i have kept old kitty out since all she is doing is sleeping, and even with no movement of old kitty, new kitty growls at her. Good thing old kitty sleeps through it all.

My question is, should we move new kitty to a bedroom so we don't have the issue of resident cats needing special maneuvers to their litter boxes? We feel as though new kitty has become territorial of her basement and doesn't like any other kitty entering. We are just worried it will be too small and too isolating. She is really ready and loving exploring the house (although she is a bit jumpy and startles easily) so we hate leaving her locked up too much.

Are we doing this right? Is it normal for this to take weeks? She really scares us when she becomes so aggressive. Is Jackson Galaxy the best resource to follow?

In addition, we noticed that our one male ragdoll has started to sleep more than usual. He also isn't nearly as playful as he usually is. He just looks at his toys with blank stares. This is very concerning to me as he is my baby. He has had IBD in the past, but has been doing well. I'm really worried this is stressing him too much or is it unrelated and he is having some health issues return. He seems indifferent about the new kitty, although he has grumbled at her and then walked away.

We really don't want to give up on her, but we also don't like seeing her stressed and are worried about our one resident kitty. A vet visit is in order for our resident male but he is HORRIBLE at the vet and I don't want to stress him more for her to only say it is the new cat making him upset. Is this a common thing for resident cats to become lethargic and isolate themselves and less playful? As of now, they aren't really interacting at all, but my resident kitty knows new kitty is around I'm sure. When do you say something isn't working out before you take them back to the shelter? Ugh. Any HELP or GUIDANCE would be wonderful!

Just as a side note, the plan is that in 2 months I was going to fly with new kitty out to take her to my daughter in Denver where she will be an only cat. Can a kitty be kept for 2 months in a bedroom? With her being so social I hate to do that. Now at least she has the whole basement and even the TV to keep her company. And in the evenings we spend lots of time with her.

This is new kitty! You can see how gorgeous she is! She is truly a sweet girl, just not sure about how much she can tolerate other cats? Or is it just a time thing?
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ArtNJ

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Can you add more litter boxes upstairs and let the finished basement be for the new kitty? Trying to "sneak" your older cats in to use the litter boxes just seems like a recipe for problems of all sorts. Stress plus a likelihood of accidents...think you need to find another way.

Two months is kind of a borderline call whether to bother with the introductions, but I don't think I would. With the other two cats being seniors, there is probably a better than 50% chance they won't get to friendship within two months (if ever) and so net net, a lot of stress for nothing. Separate lives might be best.

If you really need too, living in a big bedroom would be ok. Cats live in studio apartments after all. However, it certainly wouldn't give as much room for a young cat to run around as a finished basement. But you do need to do something about the litter box situation, so some solution is better than no solution.
 
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carrottopcurls

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Okay, thank you for your quick response. I guess I was thinking it would stress the seniors to be moving their litter box around, hence why I was thinking of the bedroom. Maybe we consider putting her in our master bedroom which is large. Since she is a social cat, could I still let her out during the day to explore the rest of the house while the seniors are sleeping for hours at a time in closed off rooms?

Also, could my senior male be stressed even though he isn't really seeing new kitty? My senior and more feeble female could care less about the new kitty. She just wants food! Feliway seems to make her really hungry!
 

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Two weeks ago we adopted a beautiful tortie medium hair 3 yr old female cat from Petsmart. Her description indicated that she was good with people, children, dogs, and cats (umm, not so sure about this) which is great since we have two senior rag dolls cats (12 and 14 years old). New kitty was found as a stray on someone's property and then brought to a shelter where she was then transferred to the Humane Society and then to Petsmart to be adopted out. It was a month's time that she was in the shelter's hands. No idea how long she was a stray for. She did have an old ratty collar on. No one came to claim her.

We brought her home and have had her in our basement family room which is a nice area for her since it is where we go to watch TV at times and is nice and cozy for new kitty. There is also an attached bathroom that has her litter box, food, and water. Since our two resident cats have their litter boxes in the back utility area, at night we close new kitty in the bathroom. It also gives our resident cats time to have the whole house to themselves and easy access to their litter boxes. New kitty seems fine with it being in the bathroom. New kitty is very social and loving and when we do go down, she is so happy to see us. However, she isn't happy at all about the resident cats! When we are trying to introduce them with the door closed and food/treats, she growls and charges the door. We have also had to carry our resident cats down to the utility area for them to use the litter box (we do this very carefully and quickly so she doesn't see them), but on two occasions new kitty has ATTACKED US while coming down the steps. I guess she ultimately knows we are carrying a cat in our arms. Since our one kitty is very very old, we have let new kitty upstairs to get to explore the rest of the house and i have kept old kitty out since all she is doing is sleeping, and even with no movement of old kitty, new kitty growls at her. Good thing old kitty sleeps through it all.

My question is, should we move new kitty to a bedroom so we don't have the issue of resident cats needing special maneuvers to their litter boxes? We feel as though new kitty has become territorial of her basement and doesn't like any other kitty entering. We are just worried it will be too small and too isolating. She is really ready and loving exploring the house (although she is a bit jumpy and startles easily) so we hate leaving her locked up too much.

Are we doing this right? Is it normal for this to take weeks? She really scares us when she becomes so aggressive. Is Jackson Galaxy the best resource to follow?

In addition, we noticed that our one male ragdoll has started to sleep more than usual. He also isn't nearly as playful as he usually is. He just looks at his toys with blank stares. This is very concerning to me as he is my baby. He has had IBD in the past, but has been doing well. I'm really worried this is stressing him too much or is it unrelated and he is having some health issues return. He seems indifferent about the new kitty, although he has grumbled at her and then walked away.

We really don't want to give up on her, but we also don't like seeing her stressed and are worried about our one resident kitty. A vet visit is in order for our resident male but he is HORRIBLE at the vet and I don't want to stress him more for her to only say it is the new cat making him upset. Is this a common thing for resident cats to become lethargic and isolate themselves and less playful? As of now, they aren't really interacting at all, but my resident kitty knows new kitty is around I'm sure. When do you say something isn't working out before you take them back to the shelter? Ugh. Any HELP or GUIDANCE would be wonderful!

Just as a side note, the plan is that in 2 months I was going to fly with new kitty out to take her to my daughter in Denver where she will be an only cat. Can a kitty be kept for 2 months in a bedroom? With her being so social I hate to do that. Now at least she has the whole basement and even the TV to keep her company. And in the evenings we spend lots of time with her.

This is new kitty! You can see how gorgeous she is! She is truly a sweet girl, just not sure about how much she can tolerate other cats? Or is it just a time thing?
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Beautiful girl. I've got 2 torties. Yes move new kitty to a bedroom and invest in baby gates-you will need 3 and stack them. Don't buy the wood ones=get the ones on Amazon made out of plastic=they are much more sturdy when locked in place.

I have a new cat and it's been 6 weeks-the first 2 weeks NO EYE CONTACT with new/old kitty. This helps reduce the stress ALOT. Then after let's say 7 days to 14 days=try the baby gate or screw in a screen door to the doorway.

Let me read some more of your post=just wanted to give you some ideas that so far is where I am.

New cat is 7 to 9? years old-high energy dilute tortie=resident cat is 7? Calico long haired like yours-same white paws and chest etc. New cat is ballsy and chases my cat 24/7 if I let her. I had new kitty in the library which she HATED. I moved her into master bedroom with bathroom-moved a cat tree and toys/litter/food and she's so much happier in there...brb.
 

ArtNJ

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Yeah, even if he can't see the new kitty he can smell her, and that is enough to cause stress for some. You can definitely let the cat out while the seniors are sleeping in a room with a closed door. If you were going to do a full introduction process that could be part of it. Its called scent swapping, getting them used to the smell of each other.

Not sure foxxycat foxxycat noted that you aren't keeping the new cat and are giving it to your daughter in two months. You could certainly try and introduction process if you want, I just don't think its all that likely to be worth the stress. Lets say you do a 3 week process -- at the end, there may be stress they need to work out among themselves, with hissing and growling at each other. That would be pretty normal with 2 seniors in the mix. Could go better or worse obviously, but if things go exactly average (if there is such a thing) it wouldn't necessarily be worth doing.

If you want to try it, here is the guide:

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide
 
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carrottopcurls

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Thank you so much for the advice! After reading through it all, I think I'm NOT going doing the introductions since New Kitty will be leaving in 2 months. I also think I'm going to move her to either our master bedroom (big and has a lot of light and an attached bathroom) which is somewhat removed in the house and leave the senior's cat boxes where they are. I'm worried moving those would really throw them off even more. I'm just praying my male senior comes back around with new kitty moved further away...not unless he is truly sick with IBD returning or something else. Thanks again! I'm kicking myself for rescuing her but she is such a gem and sweet girl and I couldn't pass her up for my daughter to have as her first kitty! She can't wait!
 
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