Should I take my cat on an overnight trip in order to introduce him to his new kitty roommate?
I am planning to move in May to a house about three hours away. The girl I am living with already has a cat. She wants to introduce our cats. She suggested I drive my cat into town (a three 1/2 hour drive) and leave him with her over the weekend. I could visit whenever I like but I would not be staying. I'm afraid my cat will freak out and hate me if I do this to him. Do you think he will be ok? Have you ever done something similar with your cats?
on Apr 2nd 2012
in Car Travel
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I wouldn't leave your cat there. He doesn't know your future roommate or her cat yet, and it will be more stressful for him without you. Introducing adult cats can be challenging and usually takes some patience. Keep your cat in a room by himself for a couple days to adjust and get his bearings. Then without letting the cats see each other (cover them in a blanket or use carriers) switch them. Put your roommate's cat in the room your cat was in, and let you cat explore the rest of the home. This allows them to get used to each others scent without direct confrontation. After a couple "room switches" try letting them meet. Do not be surprised if there is some hissing and growling. Be sure to supervise them and break up any fights. It could take up to a month before before they completely adjust and accept each other.
Linus (Dreamboat #72a) answered on 4/2/12. Helpful? / 0
Linus is right. To take your cat to an unfamiliar place, leave with with not only an unfamiliar human but an unfamiliar cat who will not want him there is not the way to introduce them. When you move in with her permanently, take your cat and do what Linus says. Keep your cat in a separate room until the cats are playing "paw under the door" and the hissing at the closed door has abated somewhat. Make sure both cats are netuered and up to date on their vetting before you try any introductions. I would caution you not to try to break up any fights, but to remove your cat before a fight breaks out and put him back into "his" room. You'll see the signs, and if you don't and a fight does break out, don't stick your hand in between them. Cat bites/claws are nasty things and you'll wind up in the emergency room. (Been there!)
Izadore (Izzie) answered on 4/3/12. Helpful? / 0