new cat - have I messed up?

Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2003 02:10 pm
We recently very sadly lost our 3 year old female cat who was adorable and ruled the roost! She was run over by a car. Her brother Custard has always been very quiet and not confrontational in any way. As he is still so young the vet said it may be a good idea to get him a companion, and we have adopted a seven month old female from a rescue centre. She looks like she has had an awful life so far so at least we feel like something positive has come out of Morgan's death. The lady at the shelter said that as he was so laid back, just let them get on with it and be quiet around them... and of course keep them both in for a couple of weeks at least.
He has done quite a lot of hissing, she seems very unbothered and just carries on lying down. He certainly has his nose put out of joint, but is eating and generally doing the things he does usually, just with the odd hiss if she goes too near. But should we have introduced them more slowly? Never having done this before, I don't know if actually they are getting on as well as can be expected for 36 hours? I might put her in one room tomorrow when I go to work just to make sure she is ok and then let them be together in the evening when I am around.
Any advice???
Many thanks
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Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2003 02:17 pm
Hi, Arwen, and welcome to A2K!

If he's only hissing, and not doing anything else, it doesn't sound too bad, but..........

He'll get over it. Watch for anti-social behaviour, like peeing in the house, etc.

Lots of cat lovers here - you should get some good advice.
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Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2003 02:21 pm
Hi Arwen, and welcome to A2K!

Sounds like Custard just needs some time to get used to her and let her know that he rules the roost. It takes a while, usually, but they'll come to terms with each other. The last time I introduced a new cat to an older one, it took a few weeks for the hissing and posturing to stop, but they ended up being quite fond of each other. This was a male and female, too, btw. And, no physical injury resulted from it.

It might be wise to put the baby in another room while you're gone if you think that Custard might hurt her.

Good luck!
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Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2003 03:57 pm
Irma, our younger cat who was brought in to keep Dilly company has tried to make overtures over the past two years to get Dilly to play. Dilly would just hiss at her. Now they will roam around the kitchen waiting to be fed and are very comfortable with each other. It just takes time.
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Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2003 04:31 pm
Wow - thought I would just check to see if I had any answers before I went to bed but thought it was unlikely as it was so late! Now of course realise it isn't late if you live in the US! She's just had a mental 5 minutes running up and down the stairs, Custard is hiding under the bed in the spare room but ate some treats I just gave him so he can't be too upset. The new one is suddenly getting a new lease of life and is exploring everywhere. If they have a fight tonight I should wake up, will see how they seem tomorrow morning and make my mind up whether to shut her in a room for tomorrow while I am at work.
Thanks everyone! Will keep you posted!
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Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2003 06:07 pm
I've tried about four different ways of introducing a new kitty to the older(s). Your way seems best - just dump the new one in the litter pan so she knows where to go and leave them alone. My senior cat is not as affectionate towards people since the introduction of his little companion, but the now get along great together. They are slightly standoffish towards the third addition, but he's more a people cat anyway.

The worst plan seems to leave the new arrival in the carrier in hopes they will become familiar with one another. I tried this when I was doing an at home cat sitting job. Don't even consider it.
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Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2003 08:44 pm
It's not late if you live in Australia, either, Arwen - rather, it's early. (your first post was just after 6am)

Where are you - somewhere in Europe? Reports?
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Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2003 02:33 pm

have the cats taken over?
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Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2003 01:28 pm
I'm in Nottingham, England!!!
Well..... hissing appears to have stopped, but Custard has now started weeing in places other than the litter tray - well he has done it twice. I think this is in protest but he seems happier in himself. I have put another tray down to giuve him even more options and got the rubber gloves out... this new cat thing is not as easy as it sounded at first!! I know it will be worth it once they have sorted themselves out - and I can't wait until they can go back outside when they want, I think it is the cat flap being shut that is annoying custard more than his new playmate (who at 7 months old has suddenly realised that kitten behaviour is quite fun and is racing like lightening round the house!) Laughing
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