Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Introducing New Cat to Existing Cat

A few days ago I decided to introduce my cat to a new young female cat that was infected with same disease; FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus.. I thought it would be good for both cats to have company and to share their lives, taking care of each others grooming needs, playing and sleeping together. My idea was good BUT I needed to take it slow when introducing the new cat because I did not want either of them to get stressed out.

I let them get used to each others scent, they played with their paws from under the safe room door for five days. Then I put the new kitty in a cat cage and allowed my cat Frankie to get to know her.  Followed by the introduction with supervision.  The face to face introduction went better  than I had anticipated.

The new little kitty was territorial and I intervened, by grabbing both cats by their scruff, the way a mother cat would do. Then I petted both cats while speaking to them  softly, followed by click from my clicker and a Temptations cat treat.

Cat treats help because both cats were more interested in how to get another treat from me and did not think about getting to know each other.  Food is your friend when introducing new cat to existing cats.

The first afternoon for introductions was uneventful, the new female followed my male cat and my male cat followed the new female.  Now things did get a little testy when the both  tried to get on the cat tree at the same time.  It was a territorial thing and I modified that by spraying the  entire tree with catnip.

At night the female cat spent the night in a cat cage and during the day somebody was always with the cats to supervise.  A week after this slow introduction process we let the cat be on their own, and that is when the claws came out and the fur did fly.

We broke it up, and thought maybe our introduction was not slow enough so new female cat went back into the cat cage. That is when my cat Frankie climbed up on the side to give her a kiss.  So we let her  out and it has been love ever since.

One cat roll and tumble and they were done. Now both cats seem to be getting along.

Friday, September 11, 2015

When Feral Cat Cannot be Socialized

A few years ago I rescued a kitten that was abandoned by the feral queen cat because neighbor deemed her a nuisance and Animal control took the nursing mother cat away and did not care about her kitten. I was lucky that the den was close by and could hear the kittens distress meow.

So husband and I went out into the woods to find the kitten and when I got her I brought her home. My husband I took care of this young kittens needs, We bottle fed her then weaned to KMR kitten formula mixed with blue buffalo kitten food.

We assumed that this kitten would accept being socialized to live with humans because we rescued her at such a young age but she resisted and to this day (3 years later) she is still feral..

Some feral kittens adjust to being tamed, not Notti. Well that is not entirely true, this feral cat will allow us to pet her when she wants to be petted, when it is time to stop the cat will bite us gently on our hand or tap us with their paw. If we continue to pet we will get hissed at.

This feral kitten let us into their life, but only on her terms.

Brushing this adult cat is out of the question. However this cat will not groom themselves. Grooming to Notti is pulling her hair out. I took Notti to the veterinarian and they gave me three choices, medicated her with kitty Prozac, feed her Royal Canin calm cat food or release the stressed out cat back into the wild. Releasing was not an option.

The feral cat was fed the calm cat food for 40 days and in that time she refused to allow the other cats to groom her. Back to the veterinarian feral cat did go. This time her long lustrous coat was shaved because her backside was matted.

While at the veterinarians I was told that releasing Notti to outdoor cat colony was not recommended. According to our veterinarian we should continue to feed Notti the calm cat food, and also continue using the feliway behavior modifier. In addition she will need to be professionally groomed every 3 to 4 months.

I was told that some feral kittens / cats can never be trained to live with humans.. I think never is too strong of a word, sometimes it takes longer. will keep working with her and hoping for the best.

Here are some photographs of Notti when she was a kitten. 

Notti on top she is playing with other kitten
Notti outdoors with her feral mother, a week before mother cat trapped