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Socializing semi-wild cat with previously semi-wild cat

Skull ManSkull Man Registered User regular
edited October 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
A few months ago, we trapped/adopted a little kitty who we'd seen hanging around a dumpster behind Sonic. We've had her de-wormed, gotten all her first-year shots, and had her spayed (she had the stitches out last week and has made a full recovery).

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Last night, a little kitty of very similar size strolled up to our place while I was taking out the trash and was mewling loudly. She seems well-fed enough, but has obvious fleas. She was shivering in the cold, and made several attempts to get inside our house, and when placed outside (I didn't want to shut her in if she was inside by accident) she scratched at the door and mewed to be let back in. She ate hungrily, and has continued to do so. Based on this I'm taking her for an abandoned outside cat or recently-weaned member of a local cat colony.

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We're taking her to the vet tomorrow morning. In the meantime we've kept the kitties in separate rooms, with separate food and litter boxes. We've resigned ourselves to the fact that we're going to have to de-flea our first kitty again, but I'm worried about the parasites she might pick up from sharing a litter box with a stray who probably still has a whole host of them.

I was wondering if anybody had any advice on how to socialize two female cats of approximately the same age/weight? I've read some here and there at it ranges from the exotic ("Spray them both with the same perfume, this will make them think they're related!") to the useless/depressing ("The cats will never socialize successfully and will likely attempt to kill each other at first opportunity"). Also, am I being too cautious in not letting them near each other before the vet visit tomorrow?

Posts

  • ToxTox I kill threads Registered User regular
    I don't think you're being too cautious. You're practically dealing with strays, and it pays to be extra careful.

    I would say after the vet visit, once they both have a clean bill of health, maintain separate sleeping areas for them both (with food and water), but during whatever parts of the day where there are people around, let them wander about. They'll likely socialize themselves in time. We've had good success with two females simply by one of us sitting in the middle of the couch and encouraging each to sit on an opposite side.

    The honest answer is that it depends on the cat. Cats have pretty varying ranges of personalities (as you probably know), so you just have to roll the dice and treat them as two adopted members of your family unit. Try not to show favoritism. Don't punish either of them if you catch them fighting, just separate them, put them in their rooms, and leave them both in there for a while, then open the doors and let them do what they want again.

    Also wrt: fleas, we've had phenomenal success with Sol-U-Mel. Just spray the cats (it's completely safe), and give your carpets and furniture a light misting every day for about two weeks, and you should be good to go. With the cats, just give them a spray on either side from the neck aiming toward the rump, and rub it into their fur. Should have no problems, and I've found it to be way more effective for cats than the stuff in the little vials/tubes you squeeze onto the back of their necks. Flea collars also can be helpful.

    Good luck!

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  • Nerf ICBMNerf ICBM Registered User
    It's certainly a good idea to keep them separate until the vet can check her out, but after that just see how they go with each other.

    There was a bit of friction between the newcomer and our two older cats, but they got along fairly well. At night we'd keep them separated but during the day if we were there they'd have access to their respective areas of the house and could mingle. It took a few weeks before there wasn't any hissing or growling occasionally, but they're one happy family now.

    The best thing you can do is just see how they get along with each other, they might be perfectly fine. It depends on the cats, though. They're all individuals.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    the biggest issue is FIV unless your guy is positive make sure the new guy is negative.

    all health issues aside if th two cats are both pretty young, you can just drop them in th same room with supervision and they will sort it out. best way is to put the new guy in a carrier, and introduce, see if its a positive reaction, then open up the carrier

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  • Aurora BorealisAurora Borealis Registered User regular
    You are doing everything right. And the kitties are both adorable. They are also both young, they may be at loggerheads for a bit at first, but your chances of eventually socializing them to each other are really excellent, especially since they are the same gender.
    Yes, get them both a clean bill of health before you let them share any bedding or a litterbox.

  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Lots of good advice given in this thread so far.

    Clean everything separately- nothing from the new cat's room goes anywhere near the first cat until you get the assurance that they're clear and healthy. Use separate litter boxes for both cats and keep the newcomer penned up in a room until they get a clear bill of health. Fleas may be a pain to deal with, but that's better than getting something nastier. You don't want the first cat to catch anything the second cat already has.

    And good on you for rescuing a couple of strays.

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    One thing you might want to do at first is keep one in a room while the other can explore the house. the switch. What you're aiming for is the "sniff under the door" thing so they realize there's someone else around but there's no risk of immediate fracas.

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