Wednesday, April 04, 2007

An addition to the family--maybe

No. Not THAT kind of addition. The nursery coordinator at our church has a cat who just had four adorable kittens. My kids desperately want one. I'm not opposed to being a two-cat household, but I'm concerned that our current cat, who has been solo cat around here for all of her seven years with us, might react violently to any kind of threat to her vast empire.

Advice on adding a new cat to a currently one cat household?


Teri said...

I introduced a 7 month old cat to my solo 4 year old cat and it was...interesting. I've also done a 2 year old to a 13 year All the things I've read (and tried) say things like: keep the new cat in one room for several days (or even weeks). Let them sniff each other under the door, etc. Try rubbing each cat with a towel after a couple of days, then giving the towel to the other cat to smell and get used to. Then you can do short-period-supervised intros...preferably in the room you've kept the new cat in. Then lock old cat in one room (not the same one!) and let new kitty out to explore for an hour or two. After another day (or week, depending who you ask), let them out into the whole house each day for longer periods together, until they are spending the days loving on each other, grooming one another, etc. :-) Make sure to really love on your old cat so he/she doesn't feel abandoned for a new kitten. (that's really true...)

Good luck!

Katherine said...

I think after the initial cat fights and feline suspicion patrols, cats end up being happiest when they have one or two other cats for company.

I want one of those kittens, too!!

We're going to the Good Friday Reqiuem at the First Christian Church of Where I Did My Internship, though I prolly couldn't convince my husband - or the church members we'll be carpooling with - to travel back to the SB with a mewling kitten!

Rev Dave said...

Gees, we used to just throw 'em together and let 'em figure it out on their own. (Of course, with 20+ cats running around the barn at any given time, who has time to gently introduce new ones to the herd?) After the kitten gets a few good lumps from the older kitty, he/she usually figures out that the older kitty is not a chew toy or another kitten.

I know, not helpful advice.

Purechristianithink said...

Katherine--the kittens were just born on Saturday, so they are way too little to go home with anyone yet. If you're going to be in the neighborhood around, say, Memorial Day, they'll probably be ready for encounters with the wider world around then.

Kathryn said...

We've found it relatively easy to introduce a kitten - adult cats are another matter, though even that worked OK in the end..used more or less Teri's formula and no blood shed.
I should go for it, really I would! Kittens are such a joy :-)

SpookyRach said...

Having done this before: If your cat is female, get a male. NOT another female. Life will be easier.

PPB said...

spooky rach and teri speak truth. This fall I added a 10 week old to the house with a bereaved 12.5 year old. No bloodshed. He adores her. She thinks he's dumb. But she is not in the least stressed out--no dietary distress, shedding or hiding. She just hisses at him, because he jumps on her head. I don't really blame her.I gave her lots and lots of extra lovins when he came home, so she feels (I think) secure---she just wonders when the little one is going back where he came from.

I agree with the add a boy to a girl, not a girl. Girls are territorial in catworld.

Serena said...

Just found your blog. I am sometimes called "the cat whisperer" My experience has been is that it's best to have someone who does not live at your house bring the new kitten in in a box, set box in the middle of the room, and ignore it ... letting curiosity get the better of the cat. Then, as others have said, be sure to let older cat remain "king" or "queen"(and I have found boys to be more territorial, but agree that opposite gender is a very good idea)