Introducing a New Cat

Awhile back, we had to put our much beloved Seth to sleep.

We still have our Mimi, however, and Mimi needed a friend.

So we went to the shelter on Saturday (just to look, of course), and found Marley - who we do not yet have a picture of, but who looks like a mini Maine Coon. He looks very much like the cat in the picture except for his white feet & face spots, but he’s only about 10 lbs at 3 years old, so he didn’t get Maine Coon size.

My actual question: I’ve never had to introduce cats before - we got Seth & Mimi at the same time, so there were no territory issues and we just took them home and let them roam.

With Marley, I want to introduce him slowly. Mimi likes other cats, but I don’t want to freak her out too much. So far, he’s been mostly living in the guest room with his food & litter box. However, most of the stuff I’ve read says to keep him in the room for a week, since he’s supposed to want to hide and be scared - except he’s not. He wants to come out and be with us, and he ran out yesterday, so he and Mimi have met. Is the week-long solitary confinement really necessary? We’re still planning on leaving him in there when we’re not home, and at night if necessary.

Mimi has hissed at him, but she’s also intensely curious about him - she chased him yesterday, but she also likes to follow him around to see what he’s doing. Her body language isn’t aggressive, her ears are up, not flattened (unlike on Saturday, when we brought his carrier in), and she’s not puffing up, just hissing a bit when he gets too close. They also like to sit a few feet apart and stare at each other.

He’s already neutered, is FIV & Feline leukemia negative, and we got him his rabies shot and a check-up yesterday - he’s very healthy. He’s also a hugger - if he’s in your lap, he’s liable to put his arms around your neck, hug you, and rub his face on you and purr.

Any cat advice?

Sorry about Seth.

My last kitten spent oh, maybe a day in solitary. He wanted no part of being by himself. He came from a no-kill shelter that kept the kittens in community rooms, so he had never been completely alone before. Since he was also vet checked and vaccinated for cat diseases, I let him join the fray (3 other cats and a dog). It went off without a hitch and he made himself at home quickly.

Personally, if Mimi is OK with it, I’d let him out. Pics soon, OK?

The one-week confinement isn’t always necessary. Glad you had such an easy time of it. Do watch Mimi though, she’s the one most likely to resent a new cat.

BTW, those are all beautiful cats, I love tortoiseshell kitties. And Maine Coons. And orange tabbies. :slight_smile:

Sorry about your loss of Seth, he was lucky to have found people who would make him much-beloved.

I’m going to try to do pics tonight, and maybe post them tomorrow!

:smiley: We’re watching Mimi, she’s a tiny thing, but she’s defnitely the dominant one, I think. Seth was easily twice her size, but he was mellow and always let her “win”. I think Marley will be similar. When he first got out, he walked right by her without being afraid, just like Seth did when we first got them. Mimi needs more time, but apparently this morning they mostly ignored each other after I left for work (my husband is working at home today), and then went to sleep in different rooms.

Seth had an interesting life, that’s for sure. We only had him for about 4 years. He was diabetic when we adopted him, but only about a year old. His diabetes was never much of an issue, until he a got a brain tumor that was making his blood sugar spike really high, and eventually he lost his site (from the tumor, pressing on his occular nerve). We had him for about another year after the tumor was diagnosed.

Who are all these crazy people telling you about some mandatory seven day waiting period? Nonsense. Unless you are adopting a special needs kitty with physical concerns or with oversize fears due to past bad experiences, a week is almost certainly longer than anyone wants to wait, espcially the new guy (or girl). When we introduced our latest rescue to the household, it was only two days after the vet had given her the green light to come inside. By day two the other cats seemed downright troubled, not by the fact that she was in the house but by the fact that we were keeping her locked up. And she quickly grew bored and tired of being in a room all by herself. Once set free, she spent a day or two growling and occasionally swatting as she gradually figured out that all these strange cats meant her no harm, and that there would indeed be food enough for everyone every single day, then all was well and she joined the pile sleeping on the bed. You did the right thing by allowing a day or so of acclimation, and keeping an eye on them once they did meet, but given the circumstances you describe, there was no reason to keep them separated any longer, and in fact doing so probably would have just added to their frustration. If you have a timid kitty who needs a whole week to adjust, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I believe that would be the exception more than the rule. Generally speaking, cats are excellent at working things out for themselves.

Congratulations, and much furry happiness to all!

Thanks, TheLineBeginsToBlur!

Those “crazy people” are websites about acclimating pets to each other. I think 7 days might be OK if, as you said, we had an especially timid cat, but it just seemed to be a bit too much when both cats were so interested in each other, and Marley wasn’t too keen on being locked in - he followed me around the house last night, I don’t think he’s a solitary-loving cat. Plus, I think the fact that Marley was locked in a room made Mimi think he was gone (she’s not the brightest), which wasn’t helping.

Yeah, the nutty cat ladies at the shelter told me that I should expect to keep Tusk and Vinegar separated for up to a month.

“Yyyyyeahhhh… sure thing,” I said.

Total separation time: the ten seconds it took me to put the cat carrier down to let Vinegar out.

Thinks were a little tense for a couple of hours, but they quickly came to an understanding. That pic was taken less than four days after I brought Vinegar home.

PICTURES!

First, one of Mimi, because it’s funny. She looks completely evil, but all she was doing at was meowing at me sweetly. She’s adorable, but about the most unphotogenic cat on the planet.

Marley, however, is just as pretty in pictures as he is in person.

Just hanging out, here and here.

being shy - actually sniffing my coat, he’s spent a lot of time inspecting the house

I told you he likes to give [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/badbadrubberpiggy/4168049616/]hugs. He will “ask” to be picked up by stretching up as far as he can go and putting his front paws on you, until you pick him up. Then he wraps his arms around your neck, rubs his face all over you, and purrs.

That last picture is priceless. What a sweetheart of a cat! I really did go “Awwww”

[ol]
[li]Rub each cat with a clean towel, to get their smell on the towel.[/li][li]Switch towels.[/li][li]Now rub each cat using the other’s towel.[/li][/ol]
Someone here recommended a dash of vanilla extract on their butts helps as well.

Make sure each has their own undivided attention with you.

Marley’s awesome!

I had always heard to keep them separated because of URI’s (common in shelter cats), but I feel that if they’re not sick or afraid, let 'em go. I do keep mine (new kittens/cats) away from my dog(s) until I know things are going to be cool, too.

Oh, what lovely cats!

Not all cats, even singletons, want to hide when they first come home. When I brought Sapphire home (A year ago Saturday! Ack, where’d the time go?), I expected I wouldn’t see much of her for at least a day or two. Imagine my surprise when about two hours later she jumped up on the couch next to me, lay down, and started purring and demanding attention. I’ve never had a cat acclimate so fast, but she had made her intentions pretty clear at the shelter, so I guess she didn’t feel like wasting time.

some kittykittykitty dere. :smiley:

Sorry about that crappy coding in my pic post, I posted and ran, and didn’t notice it until this morning!

They’re getting better with each other. Marley is definitely becoming my cat, he followed me around while I was getting ready for work, and if my husband is petting him when I’m not in the room, he’ll immediately run to me when I come in.

Mimi is still keeping her distance, but she doesn’t seem upset anymore, just wary. If one of us is holding or petting Marley, she’ll get closer than if he’s just walking around.