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Thread: New cat intro not going well! Help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Northern Ohio

    New cat intro not going well! Help!

    Hello everyone,

    I am appealing to all of the dual kitty households out there who have had experience with introducing additional kitties in a household. Here's a little backstory: My DH and I recently had to put our Emma to sleep three months ago due to kidney failure. She was a one cat only cat, to my dismay. I've always wanted to have more than one but didn't want to stress out Emma. Fast forward two months later, and we adopt Abby, a four month old kitten. We had also adopted another kitty, Nina, when we adopted Abby. Unfortunately, Nina was sick and passed away after only four days with us.

    So five weeks later, we adopt a beautiful dilluted tortie, Suki, to keep Abby company. I've kept them separate, but the first time we tried to introduce Abby to Suki, Abby went and left a big steaming pile of [email protected] on the carpet. Now my husband loves cats, but he simply CANNOT tolerate cats who pee and poop on the carpet. Shortly after Nina passed away, he found some poop messes in an upstairs bedroom. He got mad, ripped out the entire carpet and put wood flooring in. Needless to say, Abby pooping on the carpet did not go well. This morning after I went and petted Suki, I caught Abby peeing on the piece of the carpet that she soiled last night. I went home for lunch to check on them and while I was secluded and visiting Suki, she left another stinky pile. (I haven't told my DH this yet)

    If this continues, I am afraid that my DH will tell me to get rid of the cats. He enjoys them, but will not tolerate the house becoming a big litter box. While I get upset, it doesn't bother me as much; I just clean up the mess and go on. I just plain love cats and enjoy having them around.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to stop this behaviour as quickly as possible? I do NOT want to take Suki back to the humane society after a week. The two cats are separated during the day, and we let them spend a few minutes together at night and then separate them. If Abby even gets wind that we are in the same room as Suki, she gets jealous. Right now, Abby is 4.5 months, Suki is 3 months. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I do not want to lose my kitties. They are two of the most adorable kittens; it's simply that the alpha female cannot tolerate the new female. I thought introducing kitties was easier than older cats; most of the cat books suggest getting them a playmate when kittens.

    Sorry about the length; thanks for taking the time to read this.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Alberta, Canada
    Take the peeing and pooping kitty to the vet! She could be sick.

    Rule out illness causes before you do anything else.

    If you are sure it is a jealousy thing, people have done things like dab a bit of vanilla on each cat's forehead so they smell alike. That can help.

    At least call your vet, ok?
    "To begin, begin." ~William Wordsworth

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    So sorry to hear about Emma and little Nina. What a difficult time.

    Yup, check with the vet first to rule out any health issues. Is either one spayed? If not, discuss that with the vet, too. And get the vet's ideas on how to handle this situation.

    I have a routine I go through when I bring in a new kitty. EVERYONE gets a bath. I make sure nails are trimmed BEFORE I give the baths, to save "MY" skin! It is the same reasoning Catty1 gave with the vanilla. They all have the similar scent. It won't change their scent, but they all have the "we are one household" scent. I never tried the vanilla, but I bet that is easier!

    They need separate litter boxes until THEY decide to use the same one. Don't change type of litter because you are now a multiple cat household. This is NOT the time to make those types of changes.

    Finding the poop in the upstairs bedroom after Nina passed makes this complex. Did Abby do this because she was jealous of Nina too? Or is this a behavior or illness issue unrelated to the presence of another cat? Make sure you discuss this with the vet, too.

    Good luck!

    Feed them separately. Put food down for Abby first, then for Suki. Always treat Abby first - talk to her first, say her name first, treats to her first. Brush her first.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    hmmmm....tough one.

    The first step should be a vet visit.

    Since I do not know how old these cats are, or their background before you adopted them, or even if they are spayed, my ideas are general.

    #1- Two females will often NOT get along together. It could be as simple as that.
    #2- Abby may just need to be an "only cat". Which might mean that you would need to return her in hopes of adopting a more social, cat-friendly cat.
    #3- If one or both are not spayed these types of problems are often exaggerated. Spaying can cure a lot of it.
    #4- Products (like feliway) or medication (like amitripylin) could help ease stress and tension and allow bonding between the two of them.

    Normally I would reassure you that all will settle down withtime, but with the inappripriate peeing and pooping, the strategy might be different.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Northern Ohio

    I had to take Abby to the vet

    I checked to see if she had actually used her litter box since I had cleaned it last night, and there was nothing in there. I prompted her to use it, and she had very runny diarrhea, so I immediately called the vet and got her in. She also wasn't eating her dry cat food (the canned food she scarfs down). She has a viral infection and the vet said it's a good thing it was caught early since young kittens are so susceptible to this type of virus.

    So she has some medicine for her diarrhea and antibiotics, plus some wormer medicine just in case. She also recieved a sub-q as she was getting hydrated. He said to keep them segregated until Abby is feeling better and we'd touch base on Saturday when I take Suki in for a checkup and shots.

    They are both spayed; Abby is 4.5 months, Suki is 3 months. Both were adopted from our area Humane Society. I dearly hope that Abby's actions were caused from her illness; when Nina was alive, Abby was clearly the dominant cat but she did get along with Nina, so I'm not sure if she is a "one person" cat.

    Thanks all for your advice. I'll keep you posted as to our progres. Please think happy thoughts for us!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    It is encouraging for you to have found that Abby has a probable medical reason for her inappropriate elimination; not nice for her, of course, but at least you have gained some insight into what could possibly be causing her problem. I hope that when she has recovered, her bathroom habits will fall in line and that the two kitties will eventually co-exist in harmony. Best of luck and good wishes for your household.

    I have 5 cats in my house proper, and Debra has always displayed urinary issues. After 5 years and kidney stone surgery (hoping that was her problem all along and she would improve but she did not) I have finally attributed her strange peeing habits to the fact that she is simply stressed by the other cats. I have begun to seclude her in the basement with her own, personal litter box and have noticed a remarkable change . . . she uses the box like a lady, AND covers her pee, which she never did upstairs. Upstairs she either sprayed down the sides of the covered boxes, peed on our new carpet in front of her Daddy (probably because she felt safe with him, and no other cats were in that room at the time) or peed on the plastic grates that I have to catch the litter as the cats exit litter boxes. I truly think she is much happier downstairs, and when her Daddy comes home each evening he goes down and brings her up for her special time with him. This arrangement also allows me to keep an eye on her urine specifically, in case she shows any signs (several, tiny pee balls) of more UTI problems.

    I don't know if any of the above will help, as your cat was defacating improperly, but I am wishing that you arrive at a resolution for your problems soon.

    Avatar courtesy of Kimlovescats . . . many thanks!
    EvErY LiFe ShOuLd HaVe NiNe CaTs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Midwest USA
    Glad you took Abby to the vet and she's on meds now. Hopefully that will take care of the inappropriate elimination problem so your DH won't be so mad.

    BTW it's always a good idea to keep new pets separated until they've been checked out by the vet and given their shots first. You never know what things the new one might be incubating that you don't see signs of yet.

    Good Luck with the introductions.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  8. #8
    I had five cats, all the same litter and their Mother, so they are very close. Early last August my Husband and I stopped by the Animal Shelter to drop off some donations. The place was loaded with cats and kittens. Well, to back it up, a couple of months before my Son's cat had died. My Husband felt very bad about this. Well anyway, that day in the shelter he happened to spot a kitten ( about 4 months ) that looked very much like the cat that had died. He was all alone, and had been in the little shelter cage for about 2 or 3 weeks. My Husband took him out of his little shelter cage, and he was so thrilled to be held. Well, we adopted him. We could not get him until Monday and it was Saturday. The shelter had to nuter him, and give him a last check up, and the Vet was gone until Monday. So that was a good thing. It gave us time to get ready. What I did was to keep Todd ( the new kitty ) in a cat crate while so the other cats could see him, and he could see them. I kept him in there for two days when the other cats were around, and only took him out when he had the room to himself. Then I slowly intoduced him to the cats and little at a time. Once he was accepted by one of the cats, and the Mother cat, the worst was over. He still get a hiss once in awhile, but they don't hurt him. He is a kitten and he can be a little over the top sometimes. It took a good month for him to settle in, and to become excepted. It worked out so well in the end. I was really worried at first wondering if I did the right thing. Later, in September, a terrible cat distemper hit our shelter and almost all the cats had to be put down. That was about a month after I brought Todd home. We have a no kill shelter, but that is the only way they felt they could control it, as it was killing many pets that were already living in homes where the adopted pet had gone. I am so glad I got Todd when I did. I am so glad I was at the shelter that day. It is not a place I usually go, and it is not at all like my Husband to want to adopt a pet. So I think it was ment to be. I hope you situtation works out as well, just hang in there. Lois

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