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Thread: New cat and behavior question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    4,244

    New cat and behavior question

    While visiting family in Iowa we went to the local shelter because my daughter loves to visit with all the cats there. My husband fell in love with a cat there and decided to adopt him (which is a little crazy because we live nearly 800 miles away, plus he's allergic to cats!). He lost his special pet a year and a half ago (our dog Adele passed away in September 2012), so I thought I should go with it. Eric named the cat Tyrion, but I've been calling him Tyri.

    He is quite a tiny little cat. The shelter estimated he is about 2 years old. Here are a few pics:

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    This was when we just got to my mom's. Amazingly, he was instantly at ease there.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This was at the hotel on the way home (Lyra spread her special blanket over him, and he was licking her).

    We had our dogs with us, and when we took him to my mom's house, he instantly liked the dogs. He was a great traveler and took over the hotel room on the way home.

    However, when we finally got to our house, he decided he does not like our other cats. It's kind of interesting because he was in a "colony" at the shelter and they said he never had any issues with other cats. Also, my cats (we have 3 others) are friendly with other cats. Pippin was trying SO HARD to befriend the new little guy, but to no avail. Tyrion has his own room set up in the house, so I'm hoping with time he'll warm up and stop growling and hissing when he gets used to it here (we just got home Sunday).

    There haven't been any issues other than growling or hissing luckily but I'm wondering if anyone has advice on how to ease his transition. He's very cheerful in his room and when the other cats are outside and I let him explore the house (they have an outdoor enclosure), but growls and hisses if one of the other cats is in the same room as him. Desmond and Kiki have taken to mostly ignoring him but Pippin still really wants to be friends and tries to get close.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,877
    Congrats on the new family member!

    Cats can easily take 3 weeks to adjust to a new living situation, with other felines. Since you have only been there 4 days (generous, not sure what time you got home Sunday) I'd say it early days yet, don't worry.

    Keep the cats separated. Do a traditional cat introduction. This means first Tyri is in a room, a safe place, with food, water, litter. Make sure family members visit with him. Then have the other cats in a room (food, water, litter), and let Tyri have access to the house for a few hours. He needs to learn the surroundings, the places he can climb / jump, it is all new to him. Sights, sounds, smells. Sure he's been with you humans but he is suddenly presented with other felines! OH NO they could be predators or territorial! Quick, hiss, growl, fluff up your coat to make you look HUGE.

    Have all the cats sleeping on small blankets, throws, towels. After 2 or 3 days, swap the towels, so now Tyri has 3 towels, each with the smell of the other cats. Let them sniff one another beneath the door.

    After a few days / a week, depends how everyone is going, open the door and let him come out on his own when he is ready. Watch, perhaps even keep a water squirt bottle handy. If a fight should develop, you want to be ready to break it up.

    All you can do is set the stage -- the cats will have to sort things out themselves.
    I've been BOO'd!!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,839
    Awww, bless you, he looks like a little sweetheart. As Sandie said, it will take time. Moving things that smell like him out to where the other cats are and vice versa will help them get accustomed to each other more, as Sandie mentioned. Glad Lyra likes him already and vice versa!
    I've Been Frosted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    39,819
    This will take time as the little Cat may think of the Bigger Cats as potential enemies if he has had past bad experiences with larger Cat.
    Keep them seperate until they get used to each other , and be patient.
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