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Unread 06-29-2009   #1 (permalink)
wgbennett83
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Default Problems Bringing a New Cat Home

Hello,

My grandmother recently died, and I have always promised her that I would take care of her cat, Toki. Toki is a male, about four years old, and was rescued from the pound when he was around one. He's always been kind of timid, but very nice. Because he was so timid at times, my grandmother thought he may have been abused. I don't know if that is a sign or not.

Now I have another cat, Mildred, already at home. Mildred is a 12 year old female. When I brought Toki home this morning, Mildred ran up to him and started growling. Eventually, she attacked him. Toki really wasn't fighting back, just hissing and staying back. Like I said, he is very timid. During the ordeal, Toki had an accident, so I had to give him a bath. While giving him a bath, he growled violently at me and kept biting me. He is not a mean cat, but just very afraid.

After the bath, he has been hiding in the bathroom for going on four hours now. When anyone walks in the bathroom, he immediately starts growling and hissing.

Does anyone know what I can do to comfort him; to get him out of this scared state he's in? Also, what can I do to make the cats “friends”? Is there anything? Could Mildred be antisocial and always be mean to him?

Thanks for any replies!

Regards,
Will Bennett
 
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Unread 06-29-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgbennett83 View Post
Hello,

My grandmother recently died, and I have always promised her that I would take care of her cat, Toki. Toki is a male, about four years old, and was rescued from the pound when he was around one. He's always been kind of timid, but very nice. Because he was so timid at times, my grandmother thought he may have been abused. I don't know if that is a sign or not.

Now I have another cat, Mildred, already at home. Mildred is a 12 year old female. When I brought Toki home this morning, Mildred ran up to him and started growling. Eventually, she attacked him. Toki really wasn't fighting back, just hissing and staying back. Like I said, he is very timid. During the ordeal, Toki had an accident, so I had to give him a bath. While giving him a bath, he growled violently at me and kept biting me. He is not a mean cat, but just very afraid.

After the bath, he has been hiding in the bathroom for going on four hours now. When anyone walks in the bathroom, he immediately starts growling and hissing.

Does anyone know what I can do to comfort him; to get him out of this scared state he's in? Also, what can I do to make the cats “friends”? Is there anything? Could Mildred be antisocial and always be mean to him?

Thanks for any replies!

Regards,
Will Bennett
Hi Will Bennet, warmest welcome to you, Mildred and Toki. Sorry that you lost your beloved grandmother. However, I'm glad that you took in your grandmother's cat. What a poor cat. I don't know what will happen to him if you didn't take him in. He'd probably sent to a shelter, and they will usually put him to sleep ! Your grandmother was right, he'd probably had a rough past.
The way you describe him, I can imagine he's almost like my Lady. My Lady Fergie is also very timid, and quite a hisser and will hide when she feels unsafe or uncomfortable. First of all I should say what Mildred did was normal, coz cats are territorial. You need to deal with this social aggression (dispute) between cats sharing a house delicately and carefully. The fearful cat is too afraid to leave the hiding place. It is very important to provide the victim with a safe haven in the house to protect it from injury and stress. So I think you need to re-introduce them step by step, make it slow but steady.
Here is an article about how you can do it step by step. And hope Toki will once again find trust restored.

Re-Directed Aggression Towards Other Cats
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Unread 06-29-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Do you have a private bedroom (or office) that you can make a temporary space for Toki? Provide him with his own environment for a while, give him blankets and pillows to lie upon. Once he does, take these out of the room and lie them near Mildred and vice versa. This wil get them used to each others scent. Do this for a week, then place a baby gate in the doorway of Toki's room, and introduce the cats through the gate. If there is any hissing/growling, separate the cats and try again in a little while. Keep doing this, and they will become used to each other soon! Good luck to you, I do hope it works out!
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Unread 06-29-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Introducing Toki to your home

Hi,

I'm sorry about your grandmother's passing. As a cat rescuer, I want to thank you very much for adopting Toki.

The above comments about introducing Toki to Mildred are right. You need to do it in stages. In addition to switching bedding so they can get used to each other's scents, you can try to rub a cat friendly lotion on your hands and rub your hands down each of their backs so they smell the same.

You have two problems on your hands really - introducing the two cats and making Toki feel safe. Cats are sensitive and he feels confused and lost and sad because your grandmother (his primary caregiver) is no where to be found. You will need to work with him so that he learns to trust you. One technique we use with our rescue cats is to let them lick chicken or turkey baby food from our fingers. Then we pet them. Baby food & pets together = positive reinforcement that you're a nice human. The more you work with him, the more trusting he'll become.

Be careful of the space you put him in. Try to close off any potential hiding spots where he may go into and not come out for a long time and where you can't reach him. I'm not sure of your situation - we put up one of those 8 X 6 dog pens in the living room with a litter box, beds, food & water and toys. This keeps the new cat separated from the other cat(s), but they can see and smell each other. It also lets the new cat see us and get used to our normal routine. A small enclosure actually makes the cat feel more secure. And it gives the cat and us a space where we can go in and visit with him and pet & brush him.

You should also make sure you spend some extra time with Mildred. She feels threatened by the addition of a new cat.

Good luck and post updates so we all can see how it is going.
 
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Unread 06-30-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Will & gang, welcome!

Don't worry too much, I know this story very well. Don't forget cats are territorial & Mildred IS the one who always lived in your house. For her, Toki is an intruder
Now, you need to be patient & they will get along for sure. Maybe it will take 2 or 3 weeks, maybe more than a month, it depends on the cats. In the meanwhile you must separate them & introduce each one to the other gradually. Good luck!

My condolences for your Granma's passing & well done you take care of her Toki, concats!!
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