Intro of a new not totally tame kitty

Meowmee

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I trapped/ neutered Zena one of my outdoor kitties and have been intro him slowly to Quinn. Merlin has no interest yet to meet in person but has been in the garage listening at times when I spend time with Zena etc. not as much lately. He is still in the drop trap recovering from giardia, hook worms and the neuter etc.

At first he was extremely stressed and also aggressive but now he has calmed down a lot with the help of gabapentin and spending time with him / caging/ hormones dropping etc. He purred for the first time waiting for his wet food yesterday which I consider a big milestone.

I hand feed him treats, and he meows and talks a lot. He is using the litter box 100% now, no wee pads. Poop is still sometimes between normal and goes mushy a bit, but yesterday was normal- yay! He takes his metro in salmon pill pockets, and the appetite stim and gaba in some fancy feast salmon( his fav flavor) petites and others. He loves churu and treats. He meowed today when I came in after he woke up a bit and he seems less scared overall.

I let Quinn in a few times to meet him through the cage so they can be introduced before he is loose in his room. When I did the same with Merlin, also in cage, Quinn growled and tried to scratch him etc. the first time and I was sure it would never work, but now they are bff. Quinn is still very dominant though and siamese high energy.

But this time Quinn keeps doing it, mostly growling/ hissing now. Zena runs into the carrier part sometimes now and 2-3 times he either hissed/ spit or swatted at Quinn because he felt attacked etc.

So I wonder will they get along out in the open or will it not work, will it just take more time? I don’t want anyone injured.
I still have a lot of work to do with Zena, trying to get him adjusted to being around me not through the cage and hopefully eventually touchable etc.

I don’t want Quinn’s aggression to derail it but I had hoped that hanging with the other cats would calm Zena more. He tries to meow at Quinn to talk to him so I think he wants to be friends. With Merlin after one growling event etc. Quinn calmed down and would sit on top of the cage with us all hanging out.

In addition when I tell Quinn it’s time to leave he has jumped on me, nipped me etc. although he didn’t do that today. He doesn’t actually hurt me, he is just upset and a bit jealous I think. I started giving them both churu together which may help. Any ideas how to get to the next stage here?

I am picking up more meds for him soon and will drop off stool for a second test to make sure Zena is clear of g and hook worm. He has had 2 x panacur and nearly 3x metro treatments.
 
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MindyStClairesMom

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I don't have a ton of experience, but I think it can take however long you think x 100. I found that I kept expecting things to go faster than they did.
 

Mamanyt1953

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First, you can never go faster than the most reluctant cat. SOME of our introductions here at TCS have taken months, a few have taken as much as a year, but with decent results, so DO NOT GIVE UP! Time and patience are your best friends right now. I'm going to link you to a couple of articles that will help walk you through the process.

 
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Meowmee

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First, you can never go faster than the most reluctant cat. SOME of our introductions here at TCS have taken months, a few have taken as much as a year, but with decent results, so DO NOT GIVE UP! Time and patience are your best friends right now. I'm going to link you to a couple of articles that will help walk you through the process.

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Thanks, I will read those. Who do you think is the reluctant one here? I think Quinn not accepting him yet I guess. That may be because the first time they met in person Zena was startled and hissed/ spit at him when Quinn growled at him. When he met Merlin and was aggressive, Merlin just sat there.

I am not giving up yet of course, just a bit worried because I don’t want Quinn stressed. It is all so exhausting. He was just at dvm due to a tummy upset, but he seems to be getting a bit better but I had to switch his fussie cat food to get him to eat it. Time to do the home cooked tomorrow.
 

Maurey

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With all due respect, why not just TNR/release once he’s recovered? Zena sounds semi feral at the very least, and may not be happy inside. Being restricted to as small a space as a drop trap can’t be helping the stress of the situation, either.
 
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Meowmee

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I don’t think he is really feral or even semi feral, he was a tame dumped house cat when he showed up, he was very frightened, and it took ages to trap him. I could tell from the condition of his fur and how super fluffy he was that he had probably just been dumped the night he showed up- he was crying for help.

He is doing much better now- caging is a very good way to help a cat adjust when they come in from outside. Earlier he looked so happy and relieved to be inside, he was laying in his carrier after eating, which is where he sleeps, he fell asleep with me sitting there. But he still got up to get some more treats and food. 😀
 
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Meowmee

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I don't have a ton of experience, but I think it can take however long you think x 100. I found that I kept expecting things to go faster than they did.
I guess because it went faster with Merlin I was hoping it would with Zena as well. But they are all different personalities with different experiences etc.
 

Mamanyt1953

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As to who is the most reluctant...that might switch back and forth from day to day (or minute to minute, because cat), but you'll know when BOTH of them seem fairly comfortable with where they are at the time. THEN take it a step forward!
 
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Meowmee

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As to who is the most reluctant...that might switch back and forth from day to day (or minute to minute, because cat), but you'll know when BOTH of them seem fairly comfortable with where they are at the time. THEN take it a step forward!
Well earlier Merlin came in for the first time… It went very well they sniffed each other etc. M was more interested in getting Zena’s food than worrying about Z being an new cat. It was like they already knew each other and we’re friends. I gave them both some treats, Z lifted his say hi to M and meowed at him, I was so happy.

I also had given Z a toy catnip mouse earlier and he was so happy when I came in to feed him he was purring and meowing at me- he was making really good progress I was late feeding him because I had to go out and do a lot of things. He looked at the toy sniffed it and then started playing with it!

But later after Merlin came in, Quinn came in as well and at first it was OK. I was giving them treats etc. , there was no real hissing etc Quinn was playing with a scratcher cat trak with a ball and things seem pretty calm.

But then he went and started sniffing around the cage, started growling and hissing, etc. and Xena was frightened, he was so frightened he stopped eating his treats and eventually ran into the carrier.

I calmed it down with some churu and reassuring Quinn but it was sad. The other thing is that Merlin and Xena seemed to have an instant happy bond and after Merlin saw Quinn growling at Z he decided maybe something was wrong so I hope that’s not gonna destroy their friendship.

Eventually I said it’s time to go and Quinn did his usual meowing at me to try to get him self allowed to stay. I figured out a way to get him out of there without him getting mad at me - took one of his feather wand toys in there and he and Merlin played with it and Z was looking very excited so I think Quinn was happy with that. I was able to lure him out of the room that way lol. He can never resist playing, well almost never.

I have only ever seen this type of thing with my Sybil and Wizard. The first time she saw wizard was through a crack in the studio door and she screeched a bloodcurdling scream- I thought a person was being murdered. I wish I had a recording of that!
I remember Angie hearing it as well and we both came running, then I realized all that had happened was she just saw Wizard through the door cracked, lol. Not long after that I introduced him into the house and she would follow him around and not let him move, she never really screamed at him again or anything like that, but he was terrified of her.

I was fostering a kitten named Ari then, a little ginger guy, he was so sweet and he and Wizard loved each other. Once Sybil had Wizard frozen under a coffee table and Ari went to sit with him and befriended him because he saw how upset he was. That helped Wizard so much and they became bff. Eventually in a few weeks maybe Sybil did stop terrorizing him and they got along very well, especially in their old age, when everyone else had passed away, they were best friends as well.
 
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Mamanyt1953

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It is almost impossible to get cats through an introduction without a bit of hissing and occasionally, even some light swatting. It may not even be a setback, just a heated discussion, which can happen even with best friends! You did exactly the right thing, distracted one of them without making it a big deal. Nice work!
 
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Meowmee

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Zena had his first day out starting last night. He’s making more progress- he was playing with a wand toy, he loves it! , flying around like a fc, he’s letting me pet him a little but he is still nervous. He marks me and head butts me a lot. He is still going back into the cage a lot and sleeps in his carrier part since that is his safe space. I set up a bed in a corner for him but he is not using it yet. He talks a lot too- about his food, using the litter pan, to the other cats etc. But sometimes he’s more silent.

He follows me to the door when I leave I guess to stop me from leaving and his claw got stuck in my sock- I’m not sure what to do about that because I’m certainly not gonna try to trim his claws at this point in time.

unfortunately his poop was more normal but went back to liquid and he is still on the medication but today when he came out he was being very fussy and would not take his pill pocket medication or even the medication in food so I just gave him a little bits and left it there, I hope he has eaten it. . He is absorbed by the fact that he’s coming out of the cage and getting used to that that he’s not as hungry as usual. I have done a PCR test. He had a neg regular stool test for giardia and hookworm.

I haven’t let Merlin or Quinn back in yet obviously, Quinn often waits right by the door and Zena hears him and wants to go out I guess.

His fur needs some attention but again I don’t think I can give him a bath or anything like- that I was thinking if he goes back to DVM for his boosters and he needs a mild sedation maybe they can do it- I don’t know. I’m wondering if I should try to brush him, he has some dandruff and he is not totally grooming yet.
I’m noticing now that his fur has a lot of lighter areas and looks very shimmery I think it’s just because he’s long hair I don’t think he’s black smoke- at first I thought it was because he was sleeping in the litter pan and he was getting dust on him but I think it’s actually his color now.

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Mamanyt1953

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MY GOODNESS, he's a handsome boy! I think my dear old departed Austin, my Old Man, must have looked very like him in Austin's youth. I did not get to know him until the last couple of years of his life.
 
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Meowmee

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MY GOODNESS, he's a handsome boy! I think my dear old departed Austin, my Old Man, must have looked very like him in Austin's youth. I did not get to know him until the last couple of years of his life.
Isn’t he😻 aww Austin sounds amazing, post a pic of him 😀 I often wonder what my kitties were like as babies if they were older when I adopted them. I noticed Zena’s skin is very white which I never noticed with Wizard, all black shorthair. Did you see that with Austin? I can’t get the color correctly on my cam but it is pure white like his white fur.

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Mamanyt1953

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Austin, bless him, was feral. An old feral tom. I never was able to really put my hands on him, just very gently stroke the top of his head. Had he lived a bit longer, I think I could have done it, but we got a very late start. He was SUCH a good cat, though. When the feral mamas began pushing their kittens away, preparing for the next litter, you could look out the back door over to the tree line, and see Austin prowling along with as many as seven kittens in tow, teaching them the finer points of catting.
 
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Meowmee

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Austin, bless him, was feral. An old feral tom. I never was able to really put my hands on him, just very gently stroke the top of his head. Had he lived a bit longer, I think I could have done it, but we got a very late start. He was SUCH a good cat, though. When the feral mamas began pushing their kittens away, preparing for the next litter, you could look out the back door over to the tree line, and see Austin prowling along with as many as seven kittens in tow, teaching them the finer points of catting.
Aww he sounds wonderful ❤ Too bad you didn't have more time with him 🤗
 

Mamanyt1953

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He was a wonder. I miss him so much. He passed away in the Secret Feral Shelter I maintain behind my apartment. A friend of mine took his poor little body to a lovely spot on a swamp and buried him where he will hear the birds sing every day. He is at peace.
 
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Meowmee

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He was a wonder. I miss him so much. He passed away in the Secret Feral Shelter I maintain behind my apartment. A friend of mine took his poor little body to a lovely spot on a swamp and buried him where he will hear the birds sing every day. He is at peace.
So sorry for your loss 😿 I know how you feel- I lost my Giorgio and Jezebel, two of my outdoor kitties last year and it was so painful. I tried to save both of them and take them in but it was too late. I remember Giorgio headbutting me at the DVM when I took him there to let him go. I know he knew he was loved at the end. That’s beautiful that your friend buried him there ❤ I miss them so much as well.
 
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