bringing our 2 cats to a home with 2 other cats.

pearsamlAugust 16, 2011

So my girlfriend and I recently had to make a short notice move due to our previous apartment being deemed uninhabitable and breaking housing codes. We found a temporary place renting a room from some friends-- but this has involved Our 2 cats entering into the territory of our friends' 2 cats.

On the first day, we attempted to keep them in separate rooms, but one of our cats slipped out of the room and ran to kitchen as though he already knew exactly where the food was. One of the resident cats (a young cat about 6 months old) came running along to play, and my cat freaked out and started hissing and batted his arm at the other cat, and ran off and hid under the bed.

Our other cat seems to be handling it a lot better-- she is hiding a lot, at times seems mildly curious but mostly she hides. She's seen the other cats and watches them from afar but doesn't freak out. She even came out of their hiding spot all night and slept in the bed with us. I've heard a little growling come from her, but nothing too prolonged or concerning.

The cat that originally got out and ran for the food only to encounter the unexpected kitten, has been hiding out ever since. He came out briefly to eat-- but didn't eat nearly as much as he usually does, before he ran back to his hiding spot. He still enjoys being petted, and purrs when I give him attention, but I have had to really lure him out. We are currently in a room with windowed doors that have kind of sheer curtains, so everyone can kind of see that something is moving about on the other side.

He hasn't used the litter box since he got here last night (about 15 hours ago). About 8 months ago he had a problem with a urethral blockage and has been on urinary tract food ever since. I'm worried that the stress might lead to another problem.

The 2 cats are going to be making ANOTHER transition this weekend, because we are going to be out of town for 10 days, and the cats are going to my girlfriend's parents. They don't have other cats so I'm hopeful that this transition won't be too jarring-- but then the cats will be coming back HERE, until we find our permanent apartment.

If anyone has gone through this kind of thing with their cats before and has any good tips, we would really appreciate any advice.

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At the moment, I'd keep them strictly in your bedroom with food, water and litter box in the same room. I assume you're feeding canned food since your male has had a urinary tract problems?
If your cats are now kept only in the bedroom, I would be surprised if they're not eating and using the litter box at least at night when everything is quiet.

For the stay at the parents house.....if there are NO other pets, including dogs, then your 2 cats should do fine there. The parents may want to keep them in a bedroom for a few days so they can acclimate to the new sounds of their home. If they're pet people, any chance the cats can stay at the parents house until you find housing?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:17PM
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How long do you think it's going to take to get a new apartment? I'd put them right back into the room at the friends when they got back from the parents if it's not going to be an extended stay. There's no need for any kind of interaction with the other pets - that's just overload. (It would be much better if they could just stay at the parents with no other pets like was said above). That's a lot of change for them. I never used it but they have a product, Feliway, that helps with stress. Maybe plug that into the bedroom. Also when they go to the parents, try bringing your bed blanket or belongings that has your scent on it. You can put it into their new bedroom while you are away from them. The parents can monitor them to see how they are doing. They might prefer to start investigating the house after a couple of days in one room. Leaving them enclosed in one room at first is a good idea, it helps them adjust and feel safe without being overwhelmed by an entire house.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:42PM
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Appetite is back and they are using the litter box regularly so I'm happy about that. They are both coming out of their hiding spots a lot more. We are going to see how the stay with the parents goes and hope that they will be interested in keeping them on for a little while longer. There is a dog in the house, but it's our dog that is staying at the parents because of the housing situation, and the cats had been living happily with that dog for 2 years until the past week. Hopefully they remember that.

The cats are a pain in the butt to feed-- in our old apt, we fed them separately because one of them is on royal canin urinary tract canned food and the other cat isn't. we also have to heat up the boy's food before we feed it to him, or else he throws up. Nobody likes to microwave cat food, so we were hoping to keep the burden on her parents to a minimum. hopefully her parents fall in love with the cats by the end of 10 days and don't mind holding on to them a little longer. They are really very charming and friendly when they aren't afraid for their lives.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:54AM
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