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Older cat adoption advice please

(25 Posts)
Penfold007 Sat 20-May-17 09:44:33

A couple of years ago we took on a neutered female cat, she was eight years old. She was one of a pair cats owned by a elderly lady. Cat had soiled in the house and her owner didn't want to deal with the mess etc.
The lady is now in her mid 80s and has been in hospital for a month and the outlook is bleak. We've been asked if we will take on the other cat. He is her litter mate and neutered, they coexisted happily previously.
Any advice on reintroducing the litter mates now they are senior cats? Will it work or be a disaster?

BrexitSucks Sat 20-May-17 10:18:21

they will probably hate each other at start but will get over it. there is info online about introducing them by smell only (out of sight) for a few weeks, until the new cat has established in his mind that this home is his territory, too.

How did you get the 1st cat to stop soiling in house? Well done you.

Penfold007 Sat 20-May-17 10:31:07

That sounds encouraging. Oddly Pengirl only soiled in the house once on the first night we had her and her chosen spot was the bath so easily cleaned. She happily uses a covered litter tray. Apparently she was also food thief but we've never had that problem either. She decided DH was her personal slave and settled into her new life.

werekitty Sat 20-May-17 10:49:05

I think it sounds like she is happy being a single cat and that to try and reintroduce her to her litter mate could be a mistake and she could revert back to the soiling.

Polter Sat 20-May-17 10:54:26

I wouldn't risk it, its possible the previous soiling was a stress response to sharing space.

BrexitSucks Sat 20-May-17 15:18:19

or maybe a response to something else about previous house that still doesn't apply.

If the new cat leads to problems with old cat...then new cat goes to a shelter? What are alternatives for new cat?

Penfold007 Sat 20-May-17 19:01:18

Thank you for all comments. We've had to take a chance and bring the boy cat home. He was locked in the house and very thin. Left him in the cat carrier for a couple of hours and Pengirl sat by the carrier. Eventually let him out, he is very nervous but Pengirl seems quite accepting. I've put his litter tray out well away from hers so we will just have to see how it goes.
Pengirl comes first so if it doesn't work out we will contact a cat shelter. We think her stress was caused by her previous owner forgetting to feed her and locking her out for days at a time and her scavenging for food. Fingers crossed it all works out.

Want2beme Sat 20-May-17 19:57:55

Good luck. It's a lovely thing you've done.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 20-May-17 20:01:16

Wishing you all the best of luck OP.

Hopefully both cats will be perfectly happy with the arrangement.

TimeIhadaNameChange Sat 20-May-17 21:04:16

How wonderful! Fingers and claws crossed here that it all remains positive.

Penfold007 Thu 25-May-17 19:45:08

Bumping my own thread for some more advice. Our newly fostered Penboy is still struggling and we really don't want to give up. He has ignored the offered bed and chosen a couple of quiet locations of his own which is fine. He has his own food, water and private litter tray. He's eating and drinking a tiny bit and has used the litter tray. He is hiding under a desk and we are mostly ignoring him, if we sit quietly by his secret place he is happy to be stroked and purrs loudly. We have a Feliway plug, should we be doing anything else?

dun1urkin Thu 25-May-17 19:55:41

Keep mostly ignoring him with occasional quiet words and strokes.
One of our old cats took AGES to come round, he was super cuddly and affectionate once he lost his fear. (It was years before he didn't run away when anyone other than me and DH were in the house)

dun1urkin Thu 25-May-17 19:56:37

He famously spent his first three days on top of the kitchen cabinets. Three whole days.

Penfold007 Thu 25-May-17 20:40:24

Thank you dun1urkin we carry on ignoring him. It's so hard we've all fallen head over heels in love with him.

Penfold007 Thu 15-Jun-17 13:10:04

Bumping my own post for more advice. We had the cat for almost a month and he's still hiding. He's eating and drinking at night, wees in his tray but poos elsewhere sad. We've got a feliway plug. Have we made a mistake? I so don't want to stress him out.

yellowplumpreserves Thu 15-Jun-17 13:30:09

Sorry he's struggling. Does he perhaps need a separate tray for poo? Maybe initially in the place where he is choosing to pop?

Want2beme Thu 15-Jun-17 14:23:21

2 of my cats refuse to poo in their trays. I've just resigned myself to this now. Luckily most of my floors are easy clean. He may just be one of those cats who prefers to hide away most of the time. I've got one of those.

Toddlerteaplease Thu 15-Jun-17 16:48:15

Try a pet remedy diffuser. I found it much more effective my pair than feliway. Although it does smell a bit.

chemenger Thu 15-Jun-17 16:58:02

I would keep up with the feliway or similar but also put out a few more litter trays. Also consider changing his food, I had an older cat who could not eat cat food with jelly, it made her lose control of her bowels. She was fine on gravy, so it might be worth changing his food and seeing if it helps. Otherwise just keep being kind and he will come round in the end. My first foster sounded similar, we could reach in to his secret hideaways and stroke him, he would purr and lean in, but he only came out at night and ran when he saw us. Then one day (Christmas Day to be precise) he came out and started sitting on knees and generally being a proper pet, so it can change very quickly if you let him go at his own pace.

Penfold007 Thu 15-Jun-17 17:29:35

Thank you. We will keep trying.

sunshinesupermum Thu 15-Jun-17 17:42:03

Please keep trying - our Malfoy was 14 years old when brought back from Battersea - his brother had had to be put down and his family moved away. He too quite a few weeks to become accustomed to us (adult daughter and me). You're doing a lovely thing - just give him time.

PS Malfoy still runs and hides when there is unfamilar noise or new people arrive that he doesn't know but most fo the time he is very happy and settled.

stressystressy Thu 15-Jun-17 18:50:31

Pooing outside the tray can signify arthritis as it hurts them to squat and strain and they associate the pain with the tray. Has he been vet checked?

Jonsnowsghost Thu 15-Jun-17 18:59:37

A month still isn't that long, a good idea if he's nervous of you is sit in the room with him or near him and read whilst ignoring him or to read quietly out loud to him then he just gets used to your presence.
Have you tried multiple trays? If you have loads out then he can choose a favourite spot and then you can gradually remove some trays. He'll come out of his shell eventually, if must've been very stressful for him if he was abandoned/locked in and skinny. It's brilliant that you've taken him on smile

Penfold007 Fri 16-Jun-17 09:46:30

Not been to the vet but will make an appointment. Glad lots of you are saying a month isn't long, we are happy to persevere. Yesterday I sat quietly by where he was hiding and he allowed me to stroke and even brush him, he slowly started to purr. Tiny step but I'm hopeful. I've ordered the pet remedy.

TheCatOfAthenry Fri 16-Jun-17 12:56:47

Also bear in mind feliway doesn't seem to suit some cats. My Cookie seems to think there are more cats around and she gets overexcited.

A less sociable/newer cat might think there are more around and feel threatened.

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