Introducing cats to a new home

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12 years 8 months ago #20273 by Prim
I'd appreciate some advice, please.

Yesterday we bought home two next cats - he is nearly 5, she is just turned 4. Both neutered. They get on well. They have come from a no-child, ex-breeding home.

They haven't been here 24 hours yet, but they're very firmly still ensconced in ONE cat carrier (!). They have hardly eaten (I bought biscuits they're used too; well, the brand (there was only one choice of flavour)), they don't seem to have drunk any water (fresh out when they arrived), they've used the litter tray (but perhaps only one has pooped) and ... well ... what else can I do? :o

I know just the sound of kidlettes around is probably spooking them. And it's a new house, etc, etc. I presume they won't starve themselves too much (I have some stewing steak thawing for them!). I had them in the laundry, closed off, yesterday and last night. This morning I've opened the door. No movement.

Should I keep the laundry door shut? Should I leave it open? Should I pick them up out of the carrier and carry them around, pat them, etc? Should I just totally leave them? Should I leave the door open and then go into town for an hour or two? Should I leave the door shut and then go into town for an hour or two? Argh!!!

They're very cool, just oh-so-totally freaked :( Poor cats!

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12 years 8 months ago #299062 by Birman Babe
It is hard when you have 2 coz they cling to each other & it seems to take longer to break down the barrier. Shut them in for a couple of day with their litter tray, food/water. They will come out in the quietness of the night to eat. Go in every now & then & talk to them...be patient, dont force them. They will warm up to you.
Were they kept in a cattery at their other home or inside the breeders house? This does make a huge difference .... what breed are they ???

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12 years 8 months ago #299071 by Prim
Replied by Prim on topic Introducing cats to a new home
I think he was in a cattery situation whilst she was inside - but they must have associated together because they got on there ... hm, unsure.

Birmese :D

When we got home yesterday she came out of her carrier and had a smooch around the laundry - I thought cool! She will be fine. However she found him instead and now are still firmly ensconced together. Bugger!

I'll shut the laundry door.

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12 years 8 months ago #299090 by Country Girl
I think we all go through some angst when new cats arrive but keep doing what your doing and they will soon thaw and before long will be treating you as the staff :D as does mine. We took on a Birman adult female well!! what can I say - She rules the roost and soon bonded with the other feline of the house - after clouting him 10 or 12 times - poor Harry [^] Like some adds it won't happen overnight but it will happen :D :D

A pessimist is never disappointed

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12 years 8 months ago #299092 by beedee
Make out that you dont want them out of the laundry and they will come out.. cats do the opposite. and Id be very surprised if they allow themselves to starve..when those small humans have been locked up for the night Id give them house freedom.. just my 2c worth

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12 years 8 months ago #299095 by Birman Babe
Nah, Burmese will never starve.
Just take it slowly, they will come right.

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12 years 8 months ago #299117 by Pumpkingirl
I think too that cats, if given space and time, make a far easier adjustment than those who are under pressure. I think you're doing the right thing by them, in a few days they'll be everywhere :) and telling you about no doubt :D

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12 years 8 months ago #299127 by jen
Replied by jen on topic Introducing cats to a new home
I like to sit with new cats when I bring them home. The last 2 we adopted hide under a couch in the bedroom. I let them be for the first day, the next day I went in and closed the door behind me and I sat where they could see me and just spoke to them a bit so they could get used to me. I find they really dont mind being 'locked' in a room for as long as it takes. Let them get used to the sounds and smells. Helps them feel safe. The meat could be a winner! Also a nice long piece of string can be good 'tool' for coaxing them out... string is so irresistable to cats :)

jen (returned to townie life)
community.webshots.com/user/j_nepton

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12 years 8 months ago #299140 by Dream Weaver
I have heard from a very good vet, that you get a rag and rub the cats necks etc with it, thus putting their smell on the rag. Then you go around furniture etc and rub the rag on the furniture thus putting the cats smell on things making the cats in turn feel more at home.
Also i might suggest a Bach flower remedy eg rescue remedy, Aspen for known fears, and mimulus for unknown fears. it may help to settle them

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12 years 8 months ago #299280 by Prim
Replied by Prim on topic Introducing cats to a new home
Ok, so the girl is out and about, although a tad nervous ... sitting on window sills and I think wanting outside!

He came out last night, had a look around, but very firmly back in there by the time we went to bed. Still in there this morning. He has lots of purrrrrrs if you pat him, but often turns around when you do reach in to pat him. I think it will take time with him. Oops, spoke too soon - eldest child just said he is down sitting on youngest child's bed!

So yes, I guess it will just take time! I was starting to think they'd never come out, so it's nice to know that they will :) Smilie, I have Rescue Remedy and popped just two drops of that in their drinking water. They didn't touch it. I wondered if they didn't like the smell of the alcohol carrier. I might get, to have on hand (because I think they could be valuable) both Aspen and Mimulus - thanks for that!

Beedee - that's right! I didn't want them exploring the place ;) Jen, the meat was a fizzer. Never mind ... I'll try again.

Thank you all!

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12 years 8 months ago #299313 by Dream Weaver
Prim, The vet who specialises in the Bach Flower remedies amongst other stuff always says 4 drops 4x a day for around 4 weeks depending on how fast the remedy works. You can also put the drops on the head between the ears, even on the paws it doesnt really matter.
A brilliant book written by this ver may be of great value, I have it and refer (with my vets blessing) to it often.
Its Called "The healthy Animal Handbook" written by Viv Harris.

I got mine on TM, brilliant and most helpful.

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12 years 8 months ago #299423 by celt
Replied by celt on topic Introducing cats to a new home
I got a SPCA cat about 6 months ago and went through a similar situation and I had the added problem of a dog to contend with. As everyone else has said don't force things, just spend a little bit of time with them and let them explore at their own pace. Just be very very careful about letting them into bedrooms as they often like to spray to leave their sent to mark new territory and obviously human smell is very strong in bedrooms. Cat pee is not the nicest thing to have on your sheets and duvet!

1 kiwi husband, 14 year old boy girl twins. Gave up my beautiful 16 acres north of auckland for 1000m2 in central christchurch! Yikes. Plan to get as much produce out of that 1000m2 as possible.

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