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What have I done?

(14 Posts)
claretandcheese Sat 18-Jun-11 02:29:01

We have three cats who all get along well, two laid back characters and a Burmese who tends to be highly strung but great fun. Three days ago my daughter, who does voluntary work with local vet pleaded to take home a lovely young cat who was abandoned there by someone.

All the shelters were full and the alternative was not good. What could I say? Well the two others are already able to tolerate being near him without hissing etc but my poor old burmese boy is going around hissing and growling even although he we are not letting him close to the newcomer.

He is even growling at the two others. He is so unhappy and I feel awful about it. How long should we give it before we say it's not working. I should not have looked at internet which talks about behavioural problems, spraying etc.

I am now worrying that we did the wrong thing and what will become of the new cat who is really gorgeous if we have to give him back.

KilledBill Sat 18-Jun-11 23:59:03

I would give it a while yet, they can settle if they have to. Problem is those breeds, burmese, bengals, siamese etc, are all like you say highly strung and tend to be very territorial - they also have a reputation for spraying.

This may never happen especially if they are neutered. You could act like a "foster carer" for now and see how things go, then perhaps try and rehome yourself? I'd give it at least 2 weeks unless there is a major issue / drama before then.

claretandcheese Sun 19-Jun-11 23:05:27

Thanks for the reply, KilledBill, it's probably worth waiting to see what happens. At first I misread "try and rehome yourself" as rehome me! Actually that might not be a bad idea!

I do think of us as being foster carers, the only down side being getting attached to the newcomer. But if it doesn't work out then we could pursue this option. Fingers crossed that my burmese boy settles down. They are all neutered.

KilledBill Sun 19-Jun-11 23:33:45

Ha ha at "rehome yourself" grin

Yes you can move out and then there wont be a problem!!

Well do come back and update, hope they all settle.

claretandcheese Wed 22-Jun-11 15:58:12

Oh dear, the update is that things seemed to be going quite well, all three resident cats sitting around at a distance apparently ok with just a little growl now and then.

I was letting the new cat get out a bit more from his room. Today, though, the burmese peed in the shower upstairs, I think he was too worried to use his litter tray ( which is downstairs, the new guy has his own ). He is back to being confined again for now.

I am now worried that he is going to start spraying. In the shower is sort of ok ( easy to clean ) but not elsewhere obviously. Does anyone know if this is likely to be a temporary set back or a sign of things getting worse? I don't like him being so upset.

How long should I give it before admitting defeat?

claretandcheese Wed 22-Jun-11 15:58:54

It's the new cat being confined, not the burmese.

KilledBill Wed 22-Jun-11 16:11:42

Well he may start or it may be a one off. You do know you need a seperate litter tray for each cat especially if they dont get on too well? Else one or the other will end up dominant and the others will not use it.

Get extra trays, in different places. Nip it in the bud quick, because otherwise even after you rehome the new cat he might continue to spray anyway (I have rehomed a compulsive sprayer).

tabulahrasa Wed 22-Jun-11 17:51:25

My cats are 7 years and 11 months - it took about 2 weeks before the older one would stay in the room with the kitten, another couple of weeks before she wouldn't just randomly hiss at the kitten because she suddenly noticed she was there and a couple of months of her very actively tolerating the kitten, she was almost sighing and rolling her eyes, lol.

The kitten adores the older cat, has done from very early on, runs up to het all chirrupy and rubs against her if she hasn't seen her in the last twenty minutes, follows her round tryiing to play with her and see what it is she's doing. The cat accepts this as her rightful adoration and worship, lol, occasionally deigns to play with the kitten and tells her off when she's irritating.

They don't cuddle up together to sleep or anything, but there's no stress from the older cat about the kitten being here now and they definitely work as a team when it comes to hassling for food and chasing other cats out of the garden.

But it took much longer for the cat to accept the incomer than I thought it would

I posted that the other day to someone else, the older one is a Siamese

claretandcheese Wed 22-Jun-11 23:48:50

Thanks for your replies. I do have a separate box, but maybe I could get another. It's reassuring to hear it can take a while for them to settle.
No more out-of-box peeing since lunchtime so that's good. Fingers crossed!

claretandcheese Wed 22-Jun-11 23:55:12

KilledBill, the three originals all happily used one large (frequently cleaned ) litter tray. I planned to have two. I don't think I could manage four, but maybe I should?

KilledBill Thu 23-Jun-11 00:08:04

Ideally, yes you should, but its understandable that you dont want to. The other three will have happily done that because they all get along, its not "territory".

Now one or more think their territory is threatened they wont be so keen. try 2 or 3 to start with, once they settle you can always reduce the amount.

oldwomaninashoe Thu 23-Jun-11 16:37:01

I have been reading a lot of books about Cat psychology/behaviour recently (as we have a rescue cat who has obviously been mistreated and has "issues") The guidelines on litter trays for a multicat household is at least one per cat + another if possible!

The books are fascinating and although DH and 2 of my sons rolled their eyes at me initially when I opened my parcel from Amazon, they have been reading them too and said they were really interesting!

claretandcheese Thu 23-Jun-11 21:19:00

No idea where I'd put six litter trays! They are continuing to settle a bit more with no creative peeing episodes so far.

KilledBill Thu 23-Jun-11 22:33:52

See! hopefully it will all pan out. they take time to adjust, and even if you got 3 litter trays, you could reduce it to two when they are settled.

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