Oops I did it again... Adding a third cat to the mix?

noani

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Hi everyone,

I've got two resident cats, one which I've had since he was abandoned by momma at 4 weeks old and the other which was just over a year when I introduced him (resident was 1 and a half/almost two by then).

Now the boys are fine, they have little squabbles and play very rough (bordering on aggressive from number 1) but it doesn't escalate and they sleep together after.

Now last week we found a female cat outside school where I work. She's smaller, and she was meowing desperately. I'm pretty sure she was recently abandoned as she is very trusting of people and an absolute mad cuddlebug. All she wants to do is climb into your lap and make biscuits and purr.

I took her home on Tuesday because there was a storm coming and we tend to get flashfloods here, and there was nowhere for her to go in that courtyard. And it's gotten cold.. anyways. She's in my bathroom now. She's not complaining much, and she eats fine and is calming down a bit (the transfer was stressful for her). I've had her seen by my vet and spayed. She is recovering nicely and we're waiting for her fiv and felv results. She's got some earmites and worms and will be treated as soon as she's done with the post spay antibiotic

I thought she was about 6 months ish, although one of the vets at the office I take mine to said she may be 2 years old. her colleague immediately disagreed and said she is under 1 year for absolute sure, he estimated 7-9 months.

Now my conundrum: I've gotten super attached (and nobody seems to want her although she is the best behaved cat I have ever met, super sweet and just so easy!) And I'm back wondering if it's possibile / if I should even try to introduce them and see if my boys will accept her. The boys are now 3 1/2 and almost 4.

I've got a 44sqm flat but very high ceilings so there is some vertical space for them too.

I'm worried adding a female may mess up their not too stable equilibrium .. although everyone is now spayed and neutered (the boys have been for years).

Any thoughts on this?

Here's the previous thread about the other two and their introduction: Need guidance on cat introductions

Edit to say: I followed all the Jackson galaxy guides and what I found on catsite as well as people's help on this forum for the first introduction between the boys and it worked out well, I'm asking more about the added stress a third might bring to the mix and if it's something I should attempt or if everyone might be better of if I keep trying to find a good home for her.

I really want to keep her with me now after caring for her but I'm not sure if it's unfair on the boys in a small environment and with their relationship being what it is... Drama queen rough play /disagreements interspersed with sleeping together sometimes.
 

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Furballsmom

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Hi, -- I think that if you utilize the methods described in the TCS article (I'm linking it below for anyone else who might want to read through it) and Jackson Galaxy again, you'll find that things will work out. Also, there's this trick that can be useful;

either with vanilla or raw coconut (which still has fragrance) ;
From valanhb valanhb
You put a dab of vanilla extract under the chins, at the base of their neck (by the spine) and at the base of the tail (again, on the spine not the underside of the tail!) of all of the cats to make them smell the same. Cats recognize each other by scent, so if that kitty smells the same as "me", then he must be a friend. Kitty logic at it's finest.
This trick works when introducing cats into the household as well, or during a reintroduction after a redirected aggression event.

Also, it's possible that low volume Cat Music can help them too.

How To Successfully Introduce Cats [The Ultimate Guide] - TheCatSite
 
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noani

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Thank you for the reply!
I've edited the original post to add I've used the Jackson galaxy and cat site guide before, when I was introducing the two boys to each other and it worked but I'm not sure what the best choice here is - try it and risk the equilibrium the boys have achieved or keep trying to find her a home with someone else.. although ofc I'd really love to keep her but I don't want to be selfish and potentially put the cats through undue stress because I don't want to let her go (besides not having an alternative right now)
 

Furballsmom

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Cat Music - there's classical harp music, harp music specifically for cats, and also other sources such as RelaxMyCat, MusicForCats et al can be helpful.

That vanilla trick can be useful too.

How does she react to you? Is she bonding to you, or is she one of those cats who loves nearly everybody? I have to admit, even if she seems like she'd bond to anyone, I'd hate to put her through another abandonment. I tend to think she'll blend in with your little furry crew. As long as the boys don't look at her as a toy to play rough with, things should be ok.

Can you take the boys on walks to work off some of the energy, or even rides in a pet buggy? I know your place isn't big but would they use a cat wheel if you can find on for sale on Letgo, craigslist or Nextdoor?
 
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noani

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She's getting used to me and just wants constant cuddles, but she is very affectionate to most people I've seen her interact with (a few coworkers, my boyfriend and one of my best friends).

I'm not sure how they would respond to her - Charly(first Cat) doesn't care that much about the second cat most of the time and prefers to be left alone by him quite a bit, but tolerates closeness when calm. He gets overstimulated when the second cat insists on chasing him or trying to play when he doesn't want it, which is when he gets rough with Yoda (second cat). Charly is very bonded to me, and Yoda is sweet to everyone but only really relaxed around me and my partner, and he generally takes longer to warm up and can be a bit of a scaredy cat. She's lovey dovey within minutes to people I've seen her interact with, but I haven't seen her with cats.

When I introduced them Charly was hissy and scared of Yoda but he'd never been with any cats since he was 4 weeks old. Yoda lived outside in a feline colony and he's truly mastered the art of diplomacy - I think their spats never escalate to full fights because Yoda never retaliates when Charly gets mean (when he's annoyed Yoda is bothering him).

I'm probably delusional but I've got this hope that maybe Yoda and the little one could get on well (he was bonded to another cat in the colony who the little one reminds me of a lot) and actually, maybe, it would be nice if they could become like friendly and Charly would sort of get a bit of a break from being designated play buddy all the time.

Taking them out is not an option, I live right in the city center in the south of Italy (Sicily) and I don't mean to be dramatic but people get run over when crossing the street at the traffic lights (when they've got a green light) sometimes. It's also very dirty with trash lining the sidewalks and even a buggy isn't doable as cars are usually parked on the sidewalk (my friends who have babies don't even take their strollers anymore, they just carry their kids). Plus in the absence of any programmes or anything being done, the city is full of strays, cats and dogs, and the dogs that come in packs can be quite scary.

I do have a small balcony which is completely covered with cat net from top to bottom and they go out there quite a bit to watch the neighbourhood (and neighbours) from above. Never a dull day here at least ;)

My windows also have cat nets so they can sit on the windowsills and watch the pigeons my neighbour insists on feeding on the roof below my window. Free cat TV I guess.. just pigeons really creep me out, don't know why. 😂
 
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noani

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She tested positive for FIP antibodies. I will not be introducing her to the other two and trying to find her a new home. Breaks my heart.
 

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Edit to erase my response as I think you posted while I was writing.

I'm so sorry 😔
 
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noani

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Taking mine in for testing tomorrow - they were never tested and vet says actually chances are they may have already been exposed anyway. Let's see what happens
 

Alldara

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Taking mine in for testing tomorrow - they were never tested and vet says actually chances are they may have already been exposed anyway. Let's see what happens
Good idea. Actually on that note I did look up the VCA panflit on the disease for you and did note that there is a vaccine for it.

Also the vaccine causes a false positive test.

But, we can't know so we must assume she has it. You could discuss with your vet having the boys' vaccinated (assuming they are negative and can be vaccinated for it) and the risks of both the vaccine and the exposure post-vaccine.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) | VCA Animal Hospital | VCA Animal Hospitals
 
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noani

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Thank you for looking that up! She tested positive for feline coronavirus though, which could lead to FIP. She is luckily negative for fiv and felv and her bloodwork is good so it is unlikely she actually has FIP despite having antibodies to the coronavirus.
 

Alldara

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Thank you for looking that up! She tested positive for feline coronavirus though, which could lead to FIP. She is luckily negative for fiv and felv and her bloodwork is good so it is unlikely she actually has FIP despite having antibodies to the coronavirus.
Oh I've read that wrong! Thanks for graciously correcting me. A much harder decision to make for sure.

Here's the proper panflit for you: Feline Infectious Peritonitis | VCA Animal Hospitals
 
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noani

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Thank you! I'm not able to sleep, she's just the sweetest cat and it would break my heart to not be able to try and keep her. I've started doing research but it's all a bit overwhelming. For now she is still in the bathroom, isolated, while we do more tests and see also if mine already are in the same situation anyways.
 
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