Please help with my worrying!!
Someone dumped a young 6 month old female kitten (too common where we live) who showed up starved. We already have an 18 year old house cat, 3 barn cats and two dogs, but it broke our hearts to not feed her so we did. We managed to trap her (I do not believe she had been feral because even though very shy and timid, she does not act like a feral) and took her 2 days ago to be spayed, vaccinated, and dewormed. Right now, because of her surgery we have her in the house, in a small laundry room. She's into a large crate at night because the dogs also sleep there at night. Maybe not ideal, but the best we can do under the circumstances with a very small house.
Here is my problem. Can NOT find a good home for her (more cats available than homes in our area) and can't keep her in the house, so my only choice is to put her in the barn with the other cats. Our 3 barn cats are all rescues in the past: 2 neutered males 6 years old and one spayed female 4 years old. We feed them well every day and they are very well cared for. I open the barn door for them in the AM, they pretty much hang around the barn not going very far, and then I make sure they are closed in the barn at night after their evening meal so no predators can get them. I am so worried about introducing this little 5 lb. 6 month old female and worried those bigger three will gang up and give her a hard time. The barn/workshop is not that big nor have separate rooms---just a downstairs and upstairs hay loft where their food, litter box, toys and beds are. I hate to just put her in there, close the door and just hope they eventually accept her without hurting her. I also don't know if I should put her in the hay loft in the large crate so they can "get used to her" without being able to "get" to her? I will have to decide what to do in a few days. Please don't suggest she live in the house----it is impossible as the 18 year old house cat has had major "psychological" problems in the past when I attempted to introduce a new cat to the household (he literally pulled all his fur out resulting in a trip to the vet and medication. He is already getting a little upset and she is closed in the small laundry room away from him). I hate to just let this little cat back out to fend for herself, but I just don't know if this will work? Any suggestions?