PDA

View Full Version : need advice...blending an older adopted cat into the household


jinjabean
February 14th 08, 09:30 PM
I recently adopted a three year old cat to add to our "pet family".
I currently have a 6 year-old cat and a small well behaved (doesn't bark
or chase) dog who gets along well with cats.
After bringing the new kitty "Lizzy" home, I set her food and dedicated
liter box down in the family room/laundry area of my house. I thought that
it would give her enough seperation to settle in and limit her stress from
a change of residence.
I had hoped that she would settle in, and then come upstairs to mingle
with me and my other animals. But it's been over a month and she still
will not come up on her own.
I carry her upstairs to cuddle on the couch, or (try) to play with her,
but she only lasts a little while before hissing and growling and running
back downstairs. The other cat and the dog display no agressive or
threatening behavior towards her.
When I go downstairs to the family room to play with her she is very
affectionate and playful. She responds to her name and purrs and is not
shy of me or any other human. Her previous household had both other cats
and dogs. She has been very good using her liter box and has not missed a
meal.

In the past I have always introduced a kitten into the household, and have
had little problems blending everyone together. It normally took less than
two weeks befor everyone was co-existing. But this is my first time with
an older cat. Does it take that much longer than with a kitten, or is it
just this cats personality.

Is this normal behavior? Should I ignore her until she comes upstairs?
Should I stop feeding her downstairs? Or should I keep doing what I'm
doing and give her more time to settle in? Any advice or experience would
be welcome.

--
Message posted using http://www.talkaboutpets.com/group/rec.pets.cats.health+behav/
More information at http://www.talkaboutpets.com/faq.html

Gail[_2_]
February 14th 08, 11:13 PM
It takes less time with a kitten and more time with an adult cat.
Personality is also an issue, especially for an adult cat. I would continue
to do what you are doing. Bring her upstairs and stay with her for awhile
before allowing her to run downstairs again. Downstairs is her safety and
she needs to be allowed to do that. While she is upstairs with you, I would
give her a food treat so that she associates upstairs with something
pleasant. Be patient, and in time she should integrate.
Gail



all"jinjabean" > wrote in message
lkaboutpets.com...
>I recently adopted a three year old cat to add to our "pet family".
> I currently have a 6 year-old cat and a small well behaved (doesn't bark
> or chase) dog who gets along well with cats.
> After bringing the new kitty "Lizzy" home, I set her food and dedicated
> liter box down in the family room/laundry area of my house. I thought that
> it would give her enough seperation to settle in and limit her stress from
> a change of residence.
> I had hoped that she would settle in, and then come upstairs to mingle
> with me and my other animals. But it's been over a month and she still
> will not come up on her own.
> I carry her upstairs to cuddle on the couch, or (try) to play with her,
> but she only lasts a little while before hissing and growling and running
> back downstairs. The other cat and the dog display no agressive or
> threatening behavior towards her.
> When I go downstairs to the family room to play with her she is very
> affectionate and playful. She responds to her name and purrs and is not
> shy of me or any other human. Her previous household had both other cats
> and dogs. She has been very good using her liter box and has not missed a
> meal.
>
> In the past I have always introduced a kitten into the household, and have
> had little problems blending everyone together. It normally took less than
> two weeks befor everyone was co-existing. But this is my first time with
> an older cat. Does it take that much longer than with a kitten, or is it
> just this cats personality.
>
> Is this normal behavior? Should I ignore her until she comes upstairs?
> Should I stop feeding her downstairs? Or should I keep doing what I'm
> doing and give her more time to settle in? Any advice or experience would
> be welcome.
>
> --
> Message posted using
> http://www.talkaboutpets.com/group/rec.pets.cats.health+behav/
> More information at http://www.talkaboutpets.com/faq.html
>

mc
February 15th 08, 01:03 AM
I totally agree with Gail. There is a comfort zone that is very
important here for your cat. But I also think it might be worth it at
least to experiment with the food issue. You MIGHT be able to
encourage her to be just a wee bit more social by trying to feed her
upstairs, even if it happens to be in a spot not too close to the
others. You could try it at least... just move that food dish a little
closer each day... or even on a weekly basis.

All the while, you will want to keep an eye on how the cat responds.

You will have to be very careful with this... you don't want the cat
to go hungry by any means. I am not advocating that at all.

Truthfully, I have always adopted older cats... I have not had very
many kittens in my house. And older cats do take longer to adjust...
but....

Normally they should be eating with everyone else, in the same area,
within a week or two of their introduction to your home.

I have certainly noticed, though, with the adoption of older cats...
there are subtle ways that they adjust differently. Sometimes it takes
them six months to a year to fully adjust to their new surroundings.
Not by way of where they stay in the house mind you... but in more
subtle ways... like where they choose to sleep for the night, or how
they approach the other creatures living in the house... subtle
differences...

That has just been my experience.

Just a thought, nothing more than something to consider :-)

I don't think some experimentation hurts as long as the basic needs
(including that your cat feels SECURE) of the cat are met. You don't
want to FORCE the issue.

But you absolutely want to encourage the cat to integrate in your
household successfully.

With that said, I am sure there are people far more experienced than
I... just thought I would add my own personal experience.

Thanks ;-)

Good luck :-)




However you do it. It is hard for me to tell though because

mc
February 15th 08, 01:10 AM
The thing that triggers my response here is that you stated your cat
comes from a household that has had other cats and dogs... AND that
your cat and dog display no aggression towards her at all. I mean, for
me... that tells me something else is going on here.

If I were you, and you are not me, I would experiment a bit. No harm
done if you keep an eye on the situation and if the cat does not go
hungry.

That is just my opinion.

Thanks,
Melissa

jinjabean
February 15th 08, 03:07 PM
thank you both,
I think I will try feeding her at upstairs (at least her wet food).
She does love her food (a bit overweight), and I think that I can use
that.
In her previous home I think that she did not get much human
attention, and that the dog(s) were much bigger (mines 7 lbs)and that the
cats stayed secluded. She may not be used to the "whole house" idea.
But I will leave her the comfort of her downstairs (as soon as spring
breaks we will all be down there anyway because it opens to the backyard)
But I will start giving her her wet food upstairs and at least get her to
come up on her own for that.
Thanks again,

--
Message posted using http://www.talkaboutpets.com/group/rec.pets.cats.health+behav/
More information at http://www.talkaboutpets.com/faq.html

Phil P.
February 15th 08, 06:12 PM
"jinjabean" > wrote in message
lkaboutpets.com...
> I recently adopted a three year old cat to add to our "pet family".
> I currently have a 6 year-old cat and a small well behaved (doesn't bark
> or chase) dog who gets along well with cats.
> After bringing the new kitty "Lizzy" home, I set her food and dedicated
> liter box down in the family room/laundry area of my house. I thought that
> it would give her enough seperation to settle in and limit her stress from
> a change of residence.
> I had hoped that she would settle in, and then come upstairs to mingle
> with me and my other animals. But it's been over a month and she still
> will not come up on her own.
> I carry her upstairs to cuddle on the couch, or (try) to play with her,
> but she only lasts a little while before hissing and growling and running
> back downstairs. The other cat and the dog display no agressive or
> threatening behavior towards her.
> When I go downstairs to the family room to play with her she is very
> affectionate and playful. She responds to her name and purrs and is not
> shy of me or any other human. Her previous household had both other cats
> and dogs. She has been very good using her liter box and has not missed a
> meal.
>
> In the past I have always introduced a kitten into the household, and have
> had little problems blending everyone together. It normally took less than
> two weeks befor everyone was co-existing. But this is my first time with
> an older cat. Does it take that much longer than with a kitten, or is it
> just this cats personality.
>
> Is this normal behavior? Should I ignore her until she comes upstairs?
> Should I stop feeding her downstairs? Or should I keep doing what I'm
> doing and give her more time to settle in? Any advice or experience would
> be welcome.

Read this: http://maxshouse.com/introducing_cats.htm it might give you some
ideas.

Phil