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One of my Aunts passed away about a month ago from pancreatic cancer.... She had this cat she doted on.... About 5 years old. It has spent that time being an indoor/outdoor cat and an only pet. Now my Uncle plans to travel to Europe, Africa, etc and has a second home in another state. He is not going to be around to keep the cat. In the month since my Aunts passing, the cat has been tried at three different homes. None have worked.... My cousin tried to take him..... But he scratched her young son, does not like her cat and dog, and cries all night to go out......

My wife and I are considering taking him. We have three dogs, two cats, and a old neurotic parrot.

I know it will not happen overnight..... But over time do you think he will settle in here? With some sound management and plenty of time...
Think he will adjust to living with other cats and dogs? Being a full time inside cat?
 

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Yes, but lock him in a room with a litter box for 2 weeks, going in and giving him attention regularly. Don't just turn him loose in the house and expect him to be ok. Having him in another room will allow your dogs and cats to sniff him under the door and get familiar with him. But he will cry.
 

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Honestly, it depends on the cat. Is he more indoor or more outdoor? Most cats will adapt, but we had one when I was younger who I really think would have stopped eating if he couldn't go out (even keeping him in on Halloween was an ordeal). In that case maybe he could be a farm cat.
 

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If it was anybody else-NO! But I have a feeling you will make it work. In 2 months you will post pics of this cat doing a perfect down stay. :clap2: In 4 months with distractions.

If it is a really distressed kitty, you could try a product called Feliway for cats. Buy the plug-in and put it in the same room you keep the cat. This could help during the transition period. Here is their website: http://www.feliway.com/us
 

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Currently, he spends all day inside and all night out. He is back at my uncles. He did not go after the other animals at the homes that have tried him. But he hissed and was generally nasty if they approached him.

Here he would have to be an indoor only cat. First because I am strongly opposed to outside cats and the damage they do to native wildlife.... And also because I live near a busy road and we have coyotes... One or the other will get him.

He can have plenty of time and management..... But sooner or later....I just want to think it will work out.....

I do not neccessarily want another cat. In fact if it was any other situation..... I would say no....But... I know my Aunt doted on the cat and figure he is going to have trouble fitting in. I would prefer he not go to a shelter...
 

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luv mi pets mentioned feliway, which is a great idea, but you might also want to consider the calming collars, I think feliway and makes them and Sentry, they're calming pheromones just like Feliway. The great thing about them is it travels with the cat instead of just in one room. Did wonders for our older cat Ollie that is prone to UTIs from stress.

I agree with keeping him in a single room for the first while (at least several days, it'll depend on the cat really). My cat Hemi was absolutely terrified of everything after she was found as a feral kitten under the hood of a pickup truck (Dodge Hemi;) ) but like with a dog, gaining trust is very important, the whole sitting on the floor, giving treats, etc. I'm sure you can do it! Once the cat trusts you, a little later other introductions can come (perhaps introduce to new rooms and escape routes before introducing to other pets). I would highly suggest keeping him in the bedroom. That's how I knew Hemi was starting to trust me...she finally hopped up on the bed and approached me while I was "sleeping" and curled up sleepy and purring (and I was obviously not making any fast scary movements). If your dogs have been in the room the cat will be in I might also suggest thoroughly cleaning the room before the cat comes home, it'll still stink of dog to the cat, but perhaps a little less. If you can get something that still has your aunt's smell on it that might help too, like a soft blanket the cat can knead on. A kitty crate or good dark corner (under a bed) is a good place to let the cat hang for a bit too.

One other thing you might find at least interesting, and maybe helpful during the process....cats don't just purr when they are happy, they also purr when they are stressed. My DH's cat would purr at odd times, like at the vet or when he was hurt. Cats also stress-shed....if the cat likes brushing, doing some might help the adjustment and keep the hair down.

Everything I've read of cats behaviours are that they are VERY habitual creatures, so it'll probably take a while to adjust and more time than that to trust....good luck and please tell us how it goes! (pics are a must!).
 

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Like others said, just keep him in ISO for a while. I would say at least two weeks. The longer you wait, the better the chances that he will be okay once he meets the other animals and is loose in the house. Before making that transition, you could also try having him out in the house in a covered dog crate for an hour or two at a time. That way they can see and sniff each other, but he'll feel safe. A successful introduction is so important, especially with the other cats, that you really don't want to rush it.

I completely believe that outdoor cats can adapt to being indoor cats. One of my guys was an outside cat. He spent his first two years with me being a door-dasher. Sometimes he would hang around the door and cry. But I knew it was best for him to stay inside, so I stuck it out. And he eventually settled down, and now he doesn't try to go outside ever (it's been about 8 years now).

I would say to be really cautious around the door. Each time he successfully sneaks out (if it happens) will just prolong the time it takes for him to adapt. Early on, whenever my cat managed to get out, he would always spend WEEKS afterwards glued to the door trying to make it happen again.

I think it's great that you're doing this. I'm sure your aunt would be so grateful.

One other tip is that bonding over food is really helpful. With socializing feral kittens, it's all about the food. Obviously this isn't a feral cat, but I think the same underlying principles apply. If you sit on the floor with him while he eats and pet him a bit, it'll build trust. You can also do food games like you would with a dog. You can hide food around the room, or build one of these with a cardboard box and put some kibble in it. Foraging games reduce stress. Plus catnip! Great stress buster.
 

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Like others said, just keep him in ISO for a while. I would say at least two weeks. The longer you wait, the better the chances that he will be okay once he meets the other animals and is loose in the house. Before making that transition, you could also try having him out in the house in a covered dog crate for an hour or two at a time. That way they can see and sniff each other, but he'll feel safe. A successful introduction is so important, especially with the other cats, that you really don't want to rush it.

I completely believe that outdoor cats can adapt to being indoor cats. One of my guys was an outside cat. He spent his first two years with me being a door-dasher. Sometimes he would hang around the door and cry. But I knew it was best for him to stay inside, so I stuck it out. And he eventually settled down, and now he doesn't try to go outside ever (it's been about 8 years now).

I would say to be really cautious around the door. Each time he successfully sneaks out (if it happens) will just prolong the time it takes for him to adapt. Early on, whenever my cat managed to get out, he would always spend WEEKS afterwards glued to the door trying to make it happen again.

I think it's great that you're doing this. I'm sure your aunt would be so grateful.

One other tip is that bonding over food is really helpful. With socializing feral kittens, it's all about the food. Obviously this isn't a feral cat, but I think the same underlying principles apply. If you sit on the floor with him while he eats and pet him a bit, it'll build trust. You can also do food games like you would with a dog. You can hide food around the room, or build one of these with a cardboard box and put some kibble in it. Foraging games reduce stress. Plus catnip! Great stress buster.
We have not done it yet.... But are leaning that way.... I am all about management. So getting out is not going to be a problem. We can dedicate an entire bedroom to this cat as long as it needs it. Heck we already have a cat room. Has climbing toys, etc. And a big window with a bird feeder and a fish pond that all sorts of critters come to during the day. Keeps the cats occupied.
 

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I never had cats.... Well we used to have barn cats. And I had two around my barn when I had rabbits and goats as a teenager. But we were dog people. Then I met my wife. Her family is all cat people.......She came with two cats. The two we have now. One is 14 and the other is 16. Both in great shape. This cat is much younger but I do not see that as a problem.
 

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A large age difference can be a problem. . .the younger cat bullying the older cat(s). There's rarely any harm involved so maybe it's really a problem with the older cat being a drama queen :p. At any rate it can be very frustrating. But it's mostly seen when a kitten/young adult is added into a home with an older cat. At age 5 hopefully he'll be past that stage. And if you're able to provide separate areas for the cats that can prevent a lot of trouble.

I hope it works out the best for him. The cat I mentioned was a real pain if we tried to keep him in. He would pee on something if refused access to outdoors. . .his previous owners threw him outside every time he peed in the house (they didn't have a litterbox) so he thought that was a fine way to get to go outside. I suspect he would have chewed through the drywall or thrown himself through the window glass to get out if he felt he had to, but my dad doesn't think cats should be kept inside against their will (and wasn't willing to put up with the whizzing) so it never really came up. He did bust through his previous owners' window screens a lot. Some cats are just plain determined.
 

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I took in a stray at one point last year that started coming around frequently and taking to me to the point that she'd be waiting for me when I got home from work. Already having a cat (didn't have a dog yet at the time) I took her in. She did a lot of crying for the first 2-3 weeks. She'd lay down beside the door often and cry. I also had to keep the cats separated while gone to work, as she was a bit smaller than my current cat who was too playful for the new one, so she'd be locked upstairs. She adjusted, it just took a little time and a little work.
 

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I had a lot of different roommates when I was in my early twenties. Almost all of them came with cats. I actually counted and my 2 cats have lived with 12 other cats at some point. We never had more than 4 in the house at once. I always found that cats not used to strange cats would take a couple of weeks to settle down. There would be lots of hissing but since my cats ignored them, the new comers would eventually realize they were safe. After a couple of weeks I would find a big pile of cuddling cats. Don’t let the hissing worry you unless both cats start trying to attach each other. As long as it’s defensive and a warning, everything should be fine in the long run.
 

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Depending on how much yard you've got and how far in you want to go with this, you could construct an outside area for the cat that's fenced in and over. That might be a compromise on outdoor/indoor time that would help the transition. Either way it sounds like it will be a challenge for the cat to adapt, but not impossible.
 

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Well, I had a cat who peed in the house if he was not allowed outside. I don't like indoor/outdoor cats either and prefer them to be 100% indoors, but for him that was just not an option. I'm not sure if he'd ever have gotten over it, but he would try to sneak out if he wasn't allowed out and if we caught him he'd eventually start peeing in the house. (He was neutered too.)
 

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Yes. The initial change may be hard for him, but cats are very adaptable creatures. Give him time alone to himself in a room with his litterbox and allow him to acclimate and get use to the sounds and smells while giving him lots of attention. Then after a couple weeks, open the door... He's going to be a jerk towards the other animals in the beginning when they approach, and there's a chance your cats may be jerks right back. When they approach, they'll both probably hiss and growl a bit at one another. This is normal for cats when meeting strangers, and so long as no actual fighting happens (blood drawn, on the floor ripping into each other) there's no need to worry. He may never be 100% as at ease as he was with your aunt, but he'll eventually accept things and chill out.

I'm really sorry for your loss.
 

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Well I shot my cousin an email.... I told her we are good either way. If they want to look around for a bit and find him a home similar to what he is used to, we are fine with that. Or it they want to go ahead and bring him to us (or have me pick up) we are fine with that as well.

It is about six weeks before my uncle goes on his first trip. So there is time. But either way, he has a home with us if he needs it...
 

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I have also heard that you can bring something that the cat has been in contact with, a blanket or toy or something, to YOUR house, so your animals can get used to the new cat's scent, and also take things from your home that smell like your animals to where the cat is currently staying, so the cat will get to know your animals' scents, all before he comes to live with you.
 

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I have had to do this MANY times with new cats coming in and I find the bathroom with a gate works well. In my experience the new cat will be too nervous to come out and the resident house cats don't push their limits by going in. I found that this way the cat can see and hear lots of stuff and get used to it. The cats will actually smell each other through the gate and even paw each other as they feel more comfortable and secure. I have had feral cats that the collar worked on also. I have five cats and three dogs and every cat has spent at least a week in the bathroom. Will there be hissing-yes, maybe even some swatting. You just want to avoid stress that can make a cat start peeing out of the litterbox, because that can become a really bad behavioral issue. As for outside, I don't believe in cats being outside, to many dangers(at least where I live) and I have made 3 feral cats complete indoor cats in the last 3 years...lots of patience and work:) I would also make sure he's fixed and tested negative for any feline diseases, since you have cats that are indoors I'm sure you don't want them to catch anything that this cat might have gotten while outdoors.
 
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