Combining households

Jennifer ColbertJennifer Colbert JasperMember Posts: 21 ✭✭
edited 5 February, 2009 in Behavior & Training
Meow! Alright, I've tried to write this from my Kitty's point of view, but I just can't.. it gets too confusing :) Here's the gist of it. My cat had 4 kittens. we kept 3, and gave one to my mother-in-law and grandfather-in-law. hey share a house on the same property as us. I tried to encourage my MIL to bring the kitten back up now and then to socialize with her siblings, but she didn't bring her up for a good month or two. When she did come and visit, the kitten was intimidated and scared by the other cats and kept hissing, growling and swatting at anycat who came near. The other kittens were confused at first, but eventually started getting hostile back. My MIL stopped bringing the kitten up here (finally) because she realized that the problem wasn't going to fix it'self after a few minutes. Right now, She comes up about once a month jut to get her nails trimmed--she's held the whole time and the other cats are encouraged to keep their distance. This is a problem.... because my husband and I will soon be moving in with her. His grandfather is quite ill and needs nursing home care... but we can't afford that, two houses worth of bills and a mortgage. So, we're going to move in together, and rent to a friend of ours. So... We have 5 fixed cats. 4 of which are going to be moved into the other cat's "domain". I know that this going sweetly and smoothly is going to be impossible, but suggestions and ideas for things to help ease the pain are greatly appreciated. to note: we have two seperate houses we can use... And each house has several rooms which CAN be used as 'kitty isolation wards' we've considered exchanging households of cats for a few weeks to get every cat used to the scents of the others without ever having to actually FACE the other cats.. and.. feliway.. and.. well.. the problem is that this is a big, rather complicated feeling endevour.. and I want all of our cats to get along at least reasonably well... halp?


  • Jennifer ColbertJennifer Colbert JasperMember Posts: 21 ✭✭
    edited 23 January, 2009
    No one has any advice for me? :( the time table getting moved up, bit by bit, as things develop...
  • Robin PinkhamRobin Pinkham BangorMember Posts: 1,601
    edited 23 January, 2009
    I\'d suggest doing it in a similar way to how you would introduce a new kitten. It may take a few days or even a few weeks before they all get along, but they should. Before you move to the new home, can you swap either kitty bed(s) or blankets to swap the cat smells? Once you move in, keep your cats in a separate room from your MIL\'s cat, then swap rooms to get them used to each other. Do expect some hissing as they all adjust. Feliway does help Maggie and Loki are litter mates, but we got Loki a month before Maggie. It took about 24 hours with them before they readjusted to one another... it was pretty quick. I hope its the same for your kitties. Heck , if we take one cat to the vet , the others hiss when we return home. Just be patient and good luck=;
  • Jennifer ColbertJennifer Colbert JasperMember Posts: 21 ✭✭
    edited 4 February, 2009
    Pretty sure that fate doesn't want this to go easily... *sighs* let's see... My husband's grandfather passed away very suddenly and his mother is not handling it well. We're working to move in with her ASAP so she won't have to be alone at night anymore. She's stayed up with us on several occasions and couldn't be persuaded to leave her cat down at her house (we didn't persuade very hard... she DID just lose her Daddy, after all..)... from this, I have learned: 1) My mother in law doens't understand the importance of keeping the cats seperated, and has let one cat or another slip in or out of the room. 2) Her cat gets hissy the moment anykitty comes near. 3) My cats got hissy and swatty at each other after sitting on the blanket that my mother in law's cat had nested on while she was up here. ... but they calmed down after a while. 4) When the blanket was pulled off of our bed and broughtdown for my mother in law's cat to investigate, she expressed her vocal dislike of the blanket. We're working on more blanket exchanges, but to be blunt, my MIL isn't helping... I love her, and I know she's going through a rough time--we all are--but... she'll be all gung-ho one minute.. and then not care the next, and be discarding the idea. I don't know if she realizes that I can't just flip a switch and make the cats all get along... and that her attitude-filled kitty will not suddenly become loving and accepting of everyone else if she gets "put in her place"once... *sighs* I'm not really looking for any extra advice... Just bumping my own topic, thanking Loki for his reply, and offering an update, I guess. I'm thinking about taking 'room exchange' to an extreme, though, and swapping houses. ake my 4 down there and take her one up to our place for a while.. ... think I"ll suggest that in the next day or two. Oh, and our cats are pretty good abuot coming home from the vet... the ONLY time we've had problems with that waas after they got spayed/neutered... and we think that was because of the drugs, the pain, and the disinfectant smell... Basically "HSSSS! Who are you, cat-who-looks-like-my-brother-but-smells-of-sterility-and-blood? Leave me alone! My belly aches! And I, too, smell of blood!" we kept them all seperated for a few days but for short periods until they seemed 'cool' and stopped snarling at each other. :)
  • Cecilia CretaroloCecilia Cretarolo PortlandMember Posts: 267
    edited 5 February, 2009
    Since your mother in law has already slipped up, I suggest just letting them mingle and figure things out on their own. It's highly doubtful that things will get too nasty if they haven't already. At least you have a house that's big enough for everyone to have their own space. When I brought Hermes home, he insisted on being able to have free run of the apartment so I just forced him on the other cats. They didn't like him very much for the first few weeks but now all 4 cats get along as well as they ever will. While keeping them apart to let them adjust to each other is great in theory, in reality it tends to create anti social cats who hardly ever interact with each other.
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