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New cat and old cats

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Rhea, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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    Last week a co-worker told me that her daughter no longer wanted her five year old cat and that if I didn't take it, she would take it to the SPCA where it would be gassed in 30 days because nobody wants a five year old cat.

    So Rusty moves in on Friday. He's an orange tabby.

    My question is, do any of the HTF cat experts think there will be any problems between Rusty and our other three cats (ages 13, 10 and 7)? Our current three all get along very well -- sometimes we even discover one of them laying on top of another, licking each other in a very disturbing yet touching tableaux. They're usually pretty sedate, with intermittent friskiness.

    Rusty is supposed to be very even tempered (although I'm not sure I trust this woman completely). But I know our oldest two hate change -- when we have to take them to the vet, they are (literally) scared shitless to be taken out of the house.

    Anybody have any experience adding a new cat to a long-standing assemblege of cats? Should I introduce him slowly, maybe keep him in one room and introduce the other cats one at a time or something? Or just add him in and hope for the best?
     
  2. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Tom,

    Kudos to you!!! I had one sister that used to run through dogs like components. She always wanted to upgrade to something better and less troublesome, but it was never the dog's faults, it was the operators.

    I once ended up with a fish named 'Whiskers' for 6 years because my second-grader came in the door crying, "Miss Willingham has to flush the fish down the toilet if no one takes it for the summer!"

    Whenever I've introduced a new member of the household to existing ones. I bring them in and leave them in a quiet bedroom separated from everyone else till they settle down.
    I handle the introductions according to personalities, usually I have the newcomer in my lap and let whomever come check them out. Usually it's the newcomer who is most intimidated. When I brought a kitten in with my 1 yr old dog, I did it this way for a day. (Kitten only in lap, because the dog was far too interested). Then slowly put the kitten on the floor in some cubby area, the dog would hang out for hours with the kitten not coming out, but we slowly got past all this. For two weeks I never left the kitten accessible to the dog if I was not home, he just had a tendency to get 'over-excited' and animals will 'use' their mouths to 'stop' something they want to look at, which can easily turn into something deadly.
    I once went through (count them) 4 litters of a feral cat, catching, taming and adopting them out. My sole cat at the time was extremely furious and offended. He slowly got to the toleration level but I had to chase him down and let him know that whomping on kittens would not be allowed.
     
  3. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  4. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Addendum,

    You mentioned your own cats loosing it when taken out of familiar territory.

    You probably have a cat carrier? A grown cat feeling like he's in enemy territory could do a lot of damage trying to get 'out' of your lap and under something in a hurry.

    After time in the quiet bedroom bring him into your living area in a cat carrier. The old and new can meet through the bars for awhile and get past initial nerves this way.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I used to have just one cat, but after 6-7 years all by himself, I introduced him to another kitty, and while it wasn't all peaches and cream, they seem to get used to one another after about a week or two. I do find it funny when one of them will go up to the other one and just pop him with their paw in a playful manner, and then they start chasing after each other. They don't do much of that as they've gotten older though.
    I took some photo's of when they first met one another. Here's the first photo.
    This is still my favorite shot of them because they are rarely this friendly with each other nowadays. They only curl up when it's really cold.
     
  6. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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    Thanks for the responses.

    We do indeed have a cat carrier and that is an excellent idea. We also have a bedroom the current 3 don't go into (for some weird cat reason none of us understand) -- maybe that could be Rusty's home for a little while.

    I'm also hoping the fact that they're all neutered means that they can bond over this horror they share (although I'm not counting on it meaning that the new cat really is sedate -- it didn't slow our youngest one down a bit -- not even the day we brought him home -- pretty painful to watch).

    Patrick -- your cats look great together. That first shot with the light reflecting from the white cat's eyes made it look like a still from some feline John Carpenter movie -- I loved it!
     
  7. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    Tom, let me just take this time to say "Poopie!" to your co-worker for being so callous about the cat. And on the same note, kudos to you for having a heart.

    I really can't add any better advice than what everyone else has already said.
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Tom, if you think that's scary, look at this! (Another pic of Fred, the white kitty. In retrospect, I should have named him Casper, but he was already named when I adopted him). Fred has bluish eyes, but the flash lights up the retinas, causing the spooky red eyes from hell.
     
  9. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    What John Spencer said.

    I find it odious that an adult and a child could so callously consign a living, breathing being to almost certain death simply because the child "doesn't want the cat anymore."

    How subhuman.

    Thank you, Tom, for having saved that little orange tabby's life.
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  12. Tom Rhea

    Tom Rhea Second Unit

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  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Still not good, though. Worse, in fact. She knew it meant almost certain death for the cat.
     
  14. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Good for you, Tom. [​IMG]
    I can't say for sure how the kitties will get along, but it's always been my experience that when you introduce new kitties into the home, they spat with the other kitties for a few days and then either become good friends or just start avoiding each other.
    Good luck!
     
  15. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to John Spencer. His rated G answer pulled me back from my rated R answer... [​IMG]
    Tom, thanks for opening your house and heart to one more... [​IMG]
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Group hug, everybody! A cat has been saved. [​IMG]
     
  17. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    For those who like to ponder on the activities of their cats.
    If you have previously not run into this most well-known passage of "Jubilate Agno"
    Sub-passage "My Cat Jeoffry"
    (Written by a madman when contemplating his only companion during his confinement.)
    http://www.dnai.com/~jandp/Jeoffry.html
     
  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  19. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

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    I'm firmly convinced that Akira, my male cat, thinks his name is pronounced exactly like the sound a bag of Meow Mix makes when moved. Tebryn, my gorgeous little tortie, seems to think her name is "OUCH!" She loves, loves, loves to knead, and even for a cat, her tongue is like a cheese grater.

    People who have the capacity to own a pet, only to later decide that it's worn out its welcome are just piss poor human beings. I don't even have a problem with animals being used for labor. I have many friends and relatives who did/do just that, and their animals live very full lives. Their animals never want for anything, including affection from their humans. I also have an aunt who married into money and decided to start a Paso Fino horse ranch. I don't talk to her family anymore since I tested out their "breaking methods" on her husband.

    My cats completely run my house. They just allow me to stay there and pay all the expenses. They run around maniacally for no reason. They sometimes mistake humans for their scratching post. They bring me presents of almost-live vermin from time to time. They assume I bend to their every whim of hunger. They require lap and love whenever they damn well feel like it, and vice versa. They interrupt phone converstations with loud mewing and purring into the mouthpiece. They couldn't give a shit less whether I'm into what's on the TV. And I wouldn't trade them for all the money in the world.
     
  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Attila the Cat has pretty much similar control over my life, too. We worked our system out long, long ago, when he was still a kitten: I'm in charge of quarters and rations, and he's in charge of everything else.
     

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