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 Post subject: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Location: Calgary, AB
I am going out tomorrow to adopt a new kitty, something that I have thought long and hard about and I cannot wait! However, I am not sure how to go about mixing new kitty and Maynard, the resident kitty aka my child with a severe only child complex. I am gone most every day Monday-Friday (I'm a grad student) and a lot during the weekends, and Maynard is still pretty young (2-3 years-ish). He is super playful and quite needy, and I think once he gets used to a new kitty in his house he will love it, possibly more than he loves me. Maynard, however, is quite a large male (although neutered) so I am thinking it would be best to bring home a kitten to a young cat (max 1 year?), preferably female (although I don't know how much this would matter if new kitty is only 2-3 months old??).

I know that I have to keep them separated for the first little while, and I have a spare room that I will make a 'safe' room for the new kitty until he/she and Maynard are the best of friends. Maynard's litter box is currently in the spare room though, so I am going to have to move it for the time being - how much might this disturb Maynard? Also, if I end up with a kitten instead of a 1 year old, how should I manage feeding time as they would be on different food? Is there anyhting else that I should know/consider?

Thanks for the advice ppk and sorry for such a long post!


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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:13 am 
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Location: Butler PA
They should adjust pretty quickly. Is it possible to bring the kitten home Friday so you can be with them for the first 2 days? I have never had it take much more than 2-3 days.
I wouldn't do any thing different with Maynard-he needs to feel undisturbed. Especially don't move his box! If he has free roam of the house/apartment keep it that way as much as possible.
Can the kitten be kept in a bathroom when your not there? A bathroom is plenty of space you just need to box every thing so all your shampoo and make up isn't on the floor when you get home.
If you are getting the kitten from a shelter and not bringing her home right away rub a towel on her and let Maynard smell it.
For the feeding-my cats all insist on their own dish. It's not a huge deal for them to eat each others food when your not home, as long as Maynard isn't on prescription food. I don't really believe there is a huge difference in the food.
Expect to have 2 litter boxes-you may not need 2 but don't find out the hard way!

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Last edited by Puma on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:22 am
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I counsel people about this all of the time and I have found that in my experience for every "rule" you will hear about what type of cat gets along best with what other type of cat – there are always exceptions and in the end it comes down to the personalities of the cats involved.

The best advice I can give you is to try and find a cat that gets along with other cats – but to some extent it’s always a bit of a crepe shoot, though I have found that 99% of the time things eventually work out if you hang in there. But be prepared for a bit of a rough period in the beginning.

When I got a third cat- my big mean-aggressive –attention-hogging male took all of 20 minutes to get used to the idea of a newcomer. He has pretty much ignored her ever since (though I do sometimes catch them sleeping together when they don’t think I’m looking).

My other cat who I had thought loved all other cats was a hissy pain in the asparagus for six long months. Today the two (both girls) are BFF’s.

One thing that I do sometimes recommend in addition to temporarily keeping the cats separate and slowly introducing them; is a scent exchange. While they are separated from each give senior kitty a towel new kitty has slept on and visa-versa. Scent is a big deal to cats and helps them get to know each other.

Each kitty also needs his/her own food bowls, litter box, and toys even if they eventfully wind up sharing. Some people swear by Feliway; others like flower essences. Neither has worked for me.

What you really need is patience-sometimes a lot of it (and I know I have said this before) but it also helps to remember we are talking about cats. Rules, logic and experience mean nothing to them- they are simply going to do what they are going to do.

Good luck and please post pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:47 am 
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Location: Land of Maple and Beavers
Congrats on the (possible) new addition!

Back in May, I added a baby cat to the mix...I had one cat who is a total mama's boy and doesn't like sharing my attention. I was a bit worried that he would hate the kitty. I got a blanket from the rescue group that the kitten had slept on, and brought it home to my cat for him to check out, long before I brought the baby home. When he did come home, I kept them separated - like you, my big cat's litter box was in the room that the baby cat needed to be in, so I moved his litter box right outside the door. Before long, he knew that there was a baby cat in there, and he kept guard. One morning I went to go check on the kitten and when I opened the door, he BOLTED out and ran right into my big cat! '

After that, there was some figuring out of roles, etc, but they are BEST FRIENDS now.

Good luck! It takes some figuring out but it's worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Thanks everyone! I will post some pics later today, but here's what has happened so far:
I brought home a ~2 year old brown and white female Tabby - her name is Olivia :) The poor thing at the shelter was so stressed out, but she seems to be doing much better. She is hanging out in the spare room quite happily and Maynard has been keeping guard on the door pretty much since I brought her home last night. I did notice that she had some diarrhea in her litter box this morning, but her medical check-up before she came home gave no indication of this and there was no previous mention of it, so I think it might have just been the stress - I'll keep and eye on her either way. She is eating fine though and drinking lots of water. I have the next 4 full days (including today) home with them before I have to get back to school. I moved Maynard's litter box to my room, which hasn't seemed to bother him in the least.
Since Olivia is an adult, I am going to slowly switch her over to the same food as Maynard, but they each have their own dishes and I will also keep the second litter box (but hopefully not in my bedroom forever!).


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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Pictures! I need to see my new niece...

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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:16 pm
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Location: Calgary, AB
teapot wrote:
Pictures! I need to see my new niece...


You changed your name - I was so confused until I seen Calgary!


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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:24 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:16 pm
Posts: 687
Location: Calgary, AB
Here are some pics as promised!

Olivia:

Kitty toes!!! A little dry and cracked, I'm guessing from being out before she was rescued, but still adorable!
Image
IMG_3115 by Robynn709, on Flickr

Image
IMG_3109 by Robynn709, on Flickr

Listening to Maynard on guard outside the door
Image
IMG_3104 by Robynn709, on Flickr

Image
IMG_3099 by Robynn709, on Flickr

Image
IMG_3098 by Robynn709, on Flickr

Image
IMG_3118 by Robynn709, on Flickr

And one of Maynard so he doesn't get jealous:

Image
IMG_2989 by Robynn709, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: New kitty advice
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:50 am 
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Location: The Latham Compound
Yay new kitty! She's adorable, congratulations!

Our three are all boys and are madly in love with one another. Monchichi and Atticus were in love right off the bat. Munch was pushing 2 and Att was bitty. It took Munch about a week to decide that Sir Didymus really REALLY needed his head licked, and they've been fine ever since. Atticus took a few MONTHS before he tolerated Sir Didymus, and still is easily irritated with him, and yet will snuggle and sleep with him no problem. (Atticus is just sort of an impatient jerk though)

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