Introducing a new cat.

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Hi guys, I have been on this site a while ago but now I need some advice about introducing a new cat to our home. For background we live in Kiev Ukraine and have a 120m2 apartment with 2 bedrooms and glazed balconies front and back. We started with Belle, a Scottish fold we adopted about 5 1/2 years ago, a year later we adopted a homeless black cat from our local vet and the introduction went very well so now Aza and Belle have been living together happily for over 4 years. Fast forward to a month ago and we now have brought home a young female cat we found on the street. Cora is extremely affectionate with us although a bit bitey when excited but she has twice accidentally encountered the other 2 cats, one time was very shocking and I got quite scratched seperating them and again today Cora got past my wife and stood in the the hall screeching at Belle. There was no physical contact and all 3 cats now seem relaxed.

My plan is to keep Cora separate from Aza and Belle for a minimum of a week, feeding either side of a closed door, site swapping on a daily basis and massaging all cats with the same cloth to spread the scent around. The next step would be to cover the window and glazed door to the balcony and then feed them either side of the tilted door for about a week before trying one on one introductions on leads and with treats.

How does this sound to you guys?, am I missing any tricks? I have told my wife Alina that ABC is enough and we are not going to complete the English alphabet and certainly not the Russian alphabet which has a bunch of extra letters

Thanks
Paul
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
LOL. Didn't notice you were naming your cats in English alphabet order, till you pointed it out. Very cute, though. And only 23 more to go to have a full set. :catman:

Seriously, thanks for bringing Cora in off the streets, and giving her a loving home. :petcat:

About the introductions, has Cora been to the vet for a checkup yet? To ensure her shots are up to date, and that she doesn't have any illness that your other cats could catch. Also, has she been spayed yet?

Your introduction plan sounds good, though keep in mind all cats are different, and so all introductions go at different rates of speed. Even though you may get impatient, it's better to go slowly and get it right, that have to keep restarting again. However, setbacks are are common, and TCS even has an article specially on the topic.

Here's the 2 TCS articles on cat introductions, in case you haven't seen them.
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction | TheCatSite

Do keep an eye on any bites or scratches that break the sign, as infection can set in quickly.
Ouch! More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Cat Bites – TheCatSite Articles

Also, one tip to protect your hands from bites and/or scratches if you need to separate cats, is to have a large piece of corrugated cardboard handy.

Good luck with the introductions. Hope your cats will eventually be a bonded little feline family. :catlove:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Thanks for your reply, I will take a look at these links. Cora was sterilised free of charge by an extremely good veterinary surgeon who works one of the main Govt operated Vet clinics in Kiev, I understand they donate their time and materials for all the stray cat and dog rescue workers on weekends. Our local vet has given her a check up and the first vaccine plus rabies, the second dose is due in about 4 days so all good.
 

Attachments

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
That's good that's Cora's been vet checked. Now just take it slow and hopefully Aza and Belle will welcome her to the family.

Beautiful pics. :redheartpump:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Sorry guys I am back again looking for information and advice.

We have been doing the site swapping and feeding either side of closed doors and things seem to have been going ok so today we moved to the next stage, familiarization through sight. We have two bedrooms which both open onto a glazed and enclosed balcony with picture windows and glazed doors so I set up screens on one bedroom window and door and the cats eat a meal either side of the tilted door, they could see each other only a little bit, this worked and seemed ok but the screens collapsed and now I have our nearly 6 year old Scottish fold seeming to be starting trouble with the new girl. So I need advice
1. should I screen off the windows again for a week or so while they get used to being closer?
2. Should I only allow the 2 existing girls into the bedroom at mealtimes?
3. Should I just step back and put in earplugs and let them shout it out?

or 4 Should I do something else? what do you suggest

We are commtted to Cora and rehoming her is not an option but we are aware that this might be a process that takes months - just hoping to get them united before Grandfather Frost comes calling again.

Thanks again
Paul and Alina, Aza, Belle and Cora

Kiev
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
What exactly do you mean by "starting trouble with the new girl"?
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
13,443
Purraise
16,902
Location
Nebraska, USA
Growls, hisses, and swats are perfectly normal, blood being drawn through deep bites and scratches are not. An occasional small scratch may occur too, which is normal.
Females can be quite territorial, they are the manners teachers, the limit setters, and are often hard to teach to share their home. Cora looks young, which will help, cats are programmed to not want to hurt the young. It is now time to get them used to seeing Cora and how she moves. A screen would be wonderful because cats rely heavily on scent too. you might exchange sleeping blankets and rub Cora's on your two resident cats to get them used to her smell. Keep feeding them closer and closer together, letting them see each other. Eating is pleasurable and fosters good feelings towards each other. There's sure to be some fights, putting Cora in a large dog wired pen/crate and letting the two check her out and get used to her is a good idea, maybe even exchanging cats so Cora is not the one always penned up. Provide a small box to hide in so they don't feel trapped. They now need to get used to each other's movements, presence, and smell. The two resident cats could turn on each other if they get scared, redirected aggression, so be prepared for that too. Always keep a stiff piece of cardboard around to stick between two cats that are fighting, it saves the scratches!
These things take time and lots of it. They WILL learn to live together in time and become a family. Cats absolutely HATE change and you have brought home a big one......
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Thanks again, today was a step back day feeding either side of a closed wooden door, tomorrow I will try again feeding either side of the screen however Belle and Aza will only have access to the bedroom during meal times to keep the exposure positive. We have finally found a treat that all the cats will eat - Belle is nearly 6 and has refused all the treats we have offered in that time so this is big news. I hope to have positive new tomorrow :happycat:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Belle is being our problem child, she is camping outside the bedroom door and yesterday evening started scratching and when Cora did the same from the other side Belle started hissing. Very unlike her. 2 meals now either side of a tilted balcony door. The screen allows about 2 inches of visibility between the rooms. Meals have been OK but I am reluctant to let Belle and Aza sit in that room for a long time. Am I being silly?
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
I wouldn't say silly, but cautious. Hissing isn't too bad, btw.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Time for a progress report. We are still making slow progress. The cats are eating on either side of a glass door but if left together afterwards the aggressive activity is seen, hissing swiping at the window and so on. Belle, the senior cat is getting the blame mostly I think because we see her while Cora is on the other side of the barrier. We have had 2 on lead meetings. Cora-Belle was v tense and there was hissing but today Cora-Aza got them within a metre of each other before the hissing started. We are persevering and hope for positive news. Prayers are always welcome as is advice Paul, Alina and the kids
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
Hissing isn't something to be too concerned about. It's fur flying or bloodshed, that's really worrisome.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Latest update in the saga of ABC, we have progressed to the point of having all 3 kitties in the hall with Cora on a harness. As long as they are munching of Felix party mix treats all is well and they can even get quite close. This is a surprise as the speed Cora eats at makes me think she may be protective of her food. When we are at rest I can sit in my bedroom with Belle and Aza while Cora is on the balcony and as long as I am ready to distract them all is good. Our next step is the big one and that is Cora off the lead with one of the other girls at a time but since Alina and I are both under the weather I guess that may wait a few days more.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
Good luck. I don't have any advice right now, but I'm following.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
We have introduced Cora and Aza with, we think some success. The girls eat their treats without aggression even very close together but we haven't taken Cora off lead yet.Today all 3 girls were together and we had a negative incident when Cora charged at Belle - no contact thanks to the lead but not promising.

When the girls can see each other there is aggression through the window - hissing and scratching at the glass, should I be allowing this to continue in the hope they get bored or should I be keeping them apart? We need to settle the girls together before winter arrives as the balconies are unheated and it gets cold here in Ukraine.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
I'm not really sure how you should proceed. Maybe you can scan this thread that has a new cat that wants to charge the resident cat, in case there's some tips that might work for you. Help/Advice for introductions
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
We had a good meeting today with Belle and Cora, we have decided that we cannot introduce 3 cats together as we simply cannot monitor all 3. This evenings meeting didn't go well as Cora managed to get out of her harness so we turned this into a site swap session, Alina is getting impatient with the rate of progress and is asking what if we just open the door but I am against that until we see a bit more progress.

We are just going to twice daily introductions using treats and toys to try and make progress but we are definitely committed to being a 3 kitty family even if it takes a long time

Paul
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

Paul9856

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
56
Purraise
21
Location
Kiev, Ukraine
Major negative today, we tried feeding all 3 cats in the hall, it's a big room with exits to lthe living room, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom so plenty of space. The meal went OK then Cora (on lead) took herself into the living room. Aza is very nervous around Cora and brought her food back up, we then separated Aza and Belle and carried on with the introduction between Belle and Cora. Everything seemed OK Cora was playing in the living room with a feathered stick and Belle was minding her own business in the hall then when Cora was in the tunnel Belle came into the room. She seemed to cross some boundary even though she was over 2 metres away. Cora let out a terrifying scream like I have never heard before and launched herself at Belle at mach 2, luckily I had her lead and was able to prevent WW3 but we are very shaken and desperate for advice. I feel that wewenttoofar too fast even after 2 months and plan to go back to feeding either side of a glass door and 5 minutes introductions between Belle and Cora only for 5 minutes at a time. Sorry about the long message but I am out of ideas, my teeth hurt and I am almost in tears
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
19,013
Purraise
41,985
Location
Canada
Sorry things aren't going well. It does seem like a big step backwards is needed. Wonder if you should go as far as not even using the glass door at first. Not really sure, though.
 
Top