Added 6 Year Old Cat To House: Need General Cat Advice Please!

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


I'm awesome? I- know! ^w^
Purred: Sun Dec 16, '12 12:13am PST 
Let me just start by saying I'm a new cat mom. I've only owned a cat for roughly 8 months and have now added a second to my home. I did have a kitten from 7 weeks old to 4 months, I had to re-home him though as he was too rambunctious with my 13 year old dog and I was worried he would bite the dog and get bitten/killed. I had gotten my Hunter-cat as the companion for my kitten, Hunter and my dog got along great so I kept him. Currently living in my house are myself, my two dogs, Kye and Carbon and my first cat Hunter. I have 2 room mates (A couple) and their Labrador, Leroy.

I got my second cat Simon 4 days ago from a friend of a friend who had left her previous boyfriend to move in with her new boyfriend, who didn't like him. She was going to have him put to sleep because the SPCA is too full at the moment and cannot accept any more owner surrenders. They recently adopted a 'no-kill' policy so space is tight and they take in only strays or animals in need when at maximum capacity.

She had Simon (previously called Smokey) for 6 years and he lived as an indoor and outdoor kitty. I want him to be strictly indoor as I have a busy road behind my house but an open bushy area in front where predators are often seen. I don't feel safe letting him outside but I'm worried he will start developing behavioral issues by being confined in the house. Is this a legit worry or am I just being a worry wart? And if it is a possibility are there any preventative measures I can take to avoid this before it starts?

Another thing is when Simon is laying on the back of the couch near my head I can hear him wheezing. I can't hear it all the time but when I do it seems like he's been smoking for years, its the same short of breath raspy sound chain smokers get. I have a vet appointment scheduled in 2 days. I asked people who knew Simon before I got him and they have told me he's been wheezing for a long time. I don't think its Upper Respiratory because there is no discharge and he isn't coughing or sneezing. A friend at work suggested it might be a hairball but I don't think so, he seems to be working really hard to breath. The same person who told me that he's wheezed for a long time told me that the girl who owned him and her current boyfriend smoked in the house all the time so maybe he is suffering from lung deterioration. I hope it's just a chest infections and anti-biotics make him feel better!

As his previous owner was shoving him into the carrier I brought to pick him up she mentioned that he had had a UTI so bad he got very sick a while ago, but she was 'pretty sure' it's gone right now (I'll ask the vet about that one too) I read on catster here that cats prone to UTI should eat ONLY canned/wet food, I immediately went out and stocked up on cans. He hates it, my other kitty Hunter was in cat heaven but Simon wouldn't touch it! I know cats have a low thirst drive but Simon seems to drink a fair amount of water. Not like he's desperately thirsty, just like he's really enjoying a long drink of cool fresh water lol.

I'm not great at reading body language in cats and it seems to me that he wags his tail more than normal, do some cats just have a very wavy tail or is he unhappy? His ears are usually relaxed and his tail is up and wags at the tip or if he's on the couch he'll toss it to one side and then back to the other.

If I knew I was adding another cat I would have done all of this research in advance. I got lucky though because my first kitty Hunter is such a prince. He loves everyone (cat, dog, rabbit, stuffed animal... doesn't matter) and absolutely ADORED Simon right away. Simon is a pretty mellow fellow too, he had a harder time accepting Hunter though then my room mates Lab (who is still young and chases him relentlessly because he's bored) Hunter and Simon played together for the first time last night, granted it was possibly the laziest game of "swat your paws" I've ever witnessed it was still play. I had to pause my movie so I could watch them, it was so cute! His introduction was quick and smooth, now on day 4 only he's just one of the kids.

So I don't know if there is any specific question in here but I'd love to hear any helpful cat-mom tips anyone has or anything that I should be noticing that could signal an unhappy or ill cat.
Thanks in advance you guys!
hamster dance