New rescue cats - advice?(4 Posts)
I adopted two beautiful and very friendly two year old cats last Tuesday. I was told they were being rehomed because their previous owners had not been able to give them access outdoors, and that that had caused them to urinate inappropriately. I was told there had been no toileting issues with them in the shelter. When I got them home I kept them initially to the kitchen and utility room and there were no issues whatsoever about tray use – totally perfect. I started letting them explore other rooms on Saturday evening – again, initially no problems. Tuesday and Wednesday one of the cats repeatedly urinated on carpet. The other doesn’t appear to have any issues with peeing at all. For completeness of information the cat who pees on the carpet has three legs – has always had only three, but had a vestigial paw removed by surgery during time in shelter.
I have experience of looking after cats in that I have been a cat owner since 1999, but because I was very lucky and the two I adopted back then had very long lives, I have not had experience of a large number of cats. Any advice would be welcome. Am I right in suspecting I may just have gone too fast with them in terms of exposing them to what must seem to them a fairly large house. I have again confined them to the area they were in initially, and, touch wood, no issues since I have done so.
I need to get them vaccinated, and I had also wanted to have them in the house for a reasonable number of weeks before letting them out. Obviously I will be giving them outside access as early as I reasonably can, given what I was told about their history.
We are due to go on holiday at the end of July, which I had thought would not be unreasonable in terms of timing – nearly three months when adopting adult cats. I have always taken my cats to my mum’s for care during holidays, but I am wondering whether I can really do that if one of them may toilet inappropriately. She does not let cats out (which is reasonable given both her age and the fact that they would be going out somewhere they weren’t at all familiar with). I used cat sitters with my old boys for shorter breaks like long weekends – have never used for a two week holiday, and am worried about the timing of the holiday in a way I wouldn’t be if I was confident about taking them to my mum. Reactions to another poster on the thread about the kitten and holidays have also made me worry that I have misjudged the timing.
A two week holiday three months after adopting adult cats wouldn't worry me at all. I would likely monitor their behaviour in terms of the urinating once they were let outside and see if that resolved it. If indeed that is the case, I would probably not be overly keen to send them to another house for the two weeks you're away knowing they'd be confined and likely to wee everywhere.
You mention you need to get them vaccinated - was this not done at the shelter? Has the one who's weeing been checked out by a vet to rule out anything medical like a UTI? Some cats respond horribly to stress, perhaps the stress of being kept indoors initially, and now the move to yours is all a bit much? Have you got a Feliway plugin? Perhaps confine to kitchen and take it slowly?
Shelter give a voucher for their partner vet to vaccinate. He has been checked by a vet since adoption but not specifically regarding peeing. Will ask for specific check when I take him for vaccination.
I would, if just to rule it out. Then if you can pinpoint that it is stress related keep stress to a minimum - taking the cats to your mum's would be quite a stressful event.
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