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506791 tn?1439842983

Have adopted older cat, have 3 others

G'day all;

My wife and I have taken in a 10 year old kitty (Teah) whose people have lost their house due to foreclosure.  We got her yesterday (6/2/09) afternoon and she is currently hiding in the corner of our master bath, behind the stool.

We know its a scary thing for her; losing the only family she's known and having been a lone kitty.

We have 3 other cats, Kessie (9), Hildie (8) and Chessie (7), who are curious, but not forceful in confronting new kitty.

How long before we should be concerned that she may not be eating or drinking?

I know that less than a full day isn't do long, but we're softies for kitties ,-)

Thanks in advance!
43 Responses
228686 tn?1211554707
Heh heh... let her be Cat in charge of the bathroom for now. I'd suggest putting food and water in with her (nearby) and locking the others out for an hour so she can relax and eat. a litter box may be a good idea as well.

See how it goes oer the next day or two; if she still won't come out, come on back and we'll think of something else to try.
587315 tn?1333552783
Hi, to answer your question-don't let the cat go more than 2 days w/ out food.  She's probably nervous and stressed right now, and will hopefully start eating again soon.  Beyond the 2 day point, I would start force feeding her.  There's a serious medical condition that cats get if they don't eat for days-it's called feline hepatic lipidosis.  It's a condition like fatty liver disease in humans and can be very dangerous.

Good luck, and please come back with an update.  Bless you for being so kind to take the cat in!!!  =D
506791 tn?1439842983
Queen of the Bathroom is what she is ,-)

Only one of the other three has actually gone in to investigate (Hildie), and there was no confrontation.

Thea did growl and hiss a little earlier this afternoon, which was a change from her silent, look at the wall, ignore him, he'll go away treatment of me.

I did put food and water near her and there are two litter boxes nearby.

My wife and I know it'll take a bit of time for her to become comfortable here, just worried about the first few days.

Taking her in was no burden, she seems like she'll be a sweetie.  I'll add her picture to my album when she's settled, and will post an update.

My wife is a Veteran (as am I) and heard about kitty's plight from a member of her woman's group. Thea was the family cat of one of her fellow Vet's sisters.  No way on earth I could turn her away.

Thanks for the information!

587315 tn?1333552783
No problem at all!!  I love kitties!  =D

Let us know how she's doing later!
242912 tn?1402543492
Hi and congrats on your new addition!  Reading your post, I had a thought.  Is Thea using the litter boxes because if not, she may need a fresh one of her own which would be free of the odors your other cats leave behind.  

Will be waiting to see Thea's picture :)
506791 tn?1439842983
Hey y'all;

Thea seems to be eating a little, a few mouthfuls perhaps.

She does also appear to be drinking, as she did use the clean litter box we put in the room with her.

Still bunkered down: behind the door, behind the stool, or in her carrier with her pink blankie; so she's got energy to move around.

She does let us pet her, leaning into your fingers a bit, but does hiss when she's had enough.

Her eyes were a little gunky yesterday, but look good and clear today.  Nose leather is moist, fur seems in good condition, is well aware of surroundings, ears flick at noises. . .hissed when Kessie came to visit.

Here's to crossed fingers for a good outcome.

Thanks for the kind words and thoughts - Steven
506791 tn?1439842983
Hey all;

My wife talked to Teia's (a diminutive of Theresa) former "mom" today.

Apparently Teia was a feral kitten who came in from the cold. She dens up during the day and patrols at night when everyone else is asleep; including eating and using the litter box (which she is doing).

She is very shy around people, including the people she trusts, and doesn't really like other cats, which should be okay as the other girls do not seem interested in confronting her.

She's also healthy, last checkup was recent and everything was fine.

We may be able to get her a little more friendly, as we have no children like her previous home (all of whom are sub-teen).

We talked to our vet about her, he said she probably is eating at night, just put a small portion out and monitor it in the morning.  Previous vet is forwarding her records to ours.

My wife found out that getting Teia back into a carrier will be a two-person job.  Luckily she chose to wear leather gloves when trying to get kitty in her carrier; the bite still left a nice bruise on the side of her hand.

Ah well, never thought it wold be real easy 8-)

Thanks again - Steven
587315 tn?1333552783
I am so glad to hear that she's starting to eat and drink!!!  I Hope that her good progress continues!

My fingers are crossed too!  =D
506791 tn?1439842983
When I checked this morning, there was a definite empty spot in the middle of the food bowl and my wife said she refilled Teia's water bowl.  Prior guardian said kitty only seems to like dry food, and sometimes, popcorn.  We'll gradually try new food items.

I left the bathroom door open Thursday night and Teia has now taken up residence under the bed in our guestroom.  She has her own food, water and litter box in there, which did need a little scooping this morning.  So she's in a bit more comfortable surroundings than the bathroom.

Now, to work on building trust.

Blessings of the day - Steven
587315 tn?1333552783
Well, that is great news that she's eating and drinking!!!  =D

I think that she will be fine with a little more time.  It'll take a while for her to get used to your other cats and both you and your wife.  It'll take lots of patience!

I am wishing all of you well!
506791 tn?1439842983
Good evening;

I have uploaded a photo I took of Teia, feeling secure in her under bed apartment.  Her previous people said the pink blankie is her favorite, so they sent it with her.

Thanks again!

587315 tn?1333552783
I will check out the pic!  =D  I hope that she's eating and drinking more now!  Is she?

I think that it's great that the owners sent her w/ her favorite blankie.  That'll ease up her transition into your home.  It's also a good idea to leave something from home with them if they have to stay over night at the vets.  That's what I do!  It gives them security.

Hope things continue to improve over the next couple of weeks!

Thanks for the update!
506791 tn?1439842983
Thanks for the well wishes.

Teia is now eating a steady 3 - 4 ounces of food a day, plus about 1/2 cup of water.  She does not (yet) like wet food.  What we did to check and see if she was eating; fill the bowl, weigh it in the evening (she's most active at night) and weigh again in the morning.  There's a little left in the bowl, so we seem to have hit on her daily need.

Previous people did have her on a feeding schedule, as she had been badly overweight.

So, progress!

Blessings of the day - Steven
587315 tn?1333552783
It really sounds like she's coming out of her shell.  That's wonderful to hear!!!!  I wonder what her deal is with the soft food???  It's a lot healthier for kitties to eat soft food along with the hard food.  She must be quite the picky thing!    

Wishing you continued success!  =]
506791 tn?1439842983
I've tried several different flavors of wet food. . .looks like she takes a nibble, but hasn't really eaten any yet.  Didn't even respond to regular "people tuna."  I'll keep trying.

Her other "mom" said she was a picky eater, liking only dry food. Perhaps I'm just more persistent.

As with finding that she is playful and affectionate, when you approach her slowly, I think I'll find some wet food she does like, eventually.
587315 tn?1333552783
If she won't respond to human tuna, now that's got me worried.  I have, honestly,  never seen a cat pass that up.  Seriously.......never.  I don't know, but, are you sure that Teia is a cat??????????  You could try some chicken gizzards(human) or some other raw meat.  You've got me very curious to see if Teia will eat some fish!  I'd get some fish from the store and test her.  If she keeps turning her nose up at fish, we will have to consider that she really isn't a cat!  LOL  I know that you will eventually find something that she'll like!!
242912 tn?1402543492
Hi Steven...I just took a look at Teia and she is such a cutie with her pink blankie!
506791 tn?1439842983
Yes, she is ;-)

The last couple of nights, I've been sleeping on a pad on the floor of the guest room to try and help Teia get used to us better.  My wife does that, too, during the day.

She does come out and lets us pet her for a bit; really likes getting her head rubbed, rolls on the floor, makes contented little mrrp noises...just have to let her come to you.

She is showing a playful side and this morning was sitting on the window sill with her nose in the breeze. (I left the window open a little, we do have good screens 8–)

I think life will be good for Teia.
242912 tn?1402543492
Aww...what a lucky girl Teia is to have you both.  With your loving patience, look how far she's come in only 11days.  This is so good to hear.  

Please continue with the updates :)

btw...your other cats are beautiful, also.  Teia will be part of the group before you know it.  
Avatar universal
It is always recommended that when introducing a new pet to the home that the new pet be 'confined yet accessible' to the other pets.  Seems as though she decided to do this on her own, which is good.  

It allows her to have 'safe place' and the other to become curious and wanting to explore.  this is how cats generally get to know each other.

Don't worry about the hissing, the hissing is a defense mechanism that tells another that they don't want to be bothered, or if they are bothered (violently) they will fight back.   This is normal.

As long as she is eating and drinking and you have the door open for the other cats to come in and explore.. then just be patient.  

I am assuming all your cats are spade and neutered, if not, they need to be. With multiple cats  'spraying' will occur.  And this will cause more problems.

I think you,  your wife, and the cats that own you will be just fine.  just keep doing what you are doing....

BTW.... if you really want to know how they are getting along, try to get them on camera at night...  most of the behavior will be seen then

506791 tn?1439842983
As long as I can remember (I'm 52), it has been the practice of our family that the cats (and dogs) we keep should be spayed or neutered.  Too many unwanted animals, living shabby lives at best, out there.

Cerridwen (in my picture album) did start spraying one time, but we found it was a UTI causing the behavior.  Otherwise, Kessie will leave an "editorial comment" in the dirty clothes or on the bath mat if we forget a day too long to scoop the litter boxes.

As for contact; looks like Kessie, Hildie and Chessie are aware that Teia isn't into the community thing ,-)  Kessie visited once when Teia was in the bathroom, but retreated swiftly at the first hiss.  Chessie has looked, but not gotten close enough for a hiss.  But Hildie does keep going to the open door, looking to make eye contact with Teia, despite several hisses.  All three do respect her space, it seems, as they do not try and get close to her.

A rather more peaceful introduction than I thought, as they usually get pretty protective of the house if another kitty comes up to the window or patio door.  Might be because we actually brought Teia all the way in?

I do have one of those baby monitor cameras, hmmm, plus a working VCR and plenty of VHS tape...I'll hook it up and see what we can see.  Thanks for the idea!
506791 tn?1439842983
Hey all;

Miss Teia Honey has been spending more time out in the open; got a couple of photos and posted them to my album.

Definitely likes getting her head rubbed; purred for me today and licked my fingers!  She does seem sensitive around the hips, though; didn't like me touching her there.

Hildie decided to visit Teia about 3 AM today; I heard a hiss and growl...no cat fight sounds, though.  (I am usually up by 4 - 4:30 anyway)

Thanks again for the encouragement!
587315 tn?1333552783
Sounds like everything is getting better and better!  That's great!!  I hope it continues and all of your fur kids become buddies!!  =D
Avatar universal
It sounds like she is finally starting to trust you.  That is the first step, especially if she was a feral cat or one that had been abused.  Either way your patience is what is needed, and it seems you have a lot of that!

Petting the head and neck is good.  If you notice how a mama cat calms down her babies to rest, they lick the head and neck.  It is a safety zone type of touch. As for the hips, that is the attack area...  If a cat fight does happen, cats go for the base of the tail and around the hip area.  Give her time to build up some trust in you and she will allow you to pet her there, it will come to a point wear scratching her just above the beginning of the tail will cause her to relax so much she will just "fall over.'

I am happy to hear that Hildie is taking an interest in Teia.  Hildie might be the one to break Teia's shell completely, especially if Teia has been out on her own or has been abused.  

Keep us posted, I am very interested in hearing about her progress, even the problems.
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