So officially but unofficially, we now have two kitties. We first had Gifty for about a year now; she just started coming to us to get fed and have a place to nap and I guess decided to stick around more often because now she never leaves. She of course goes crying by the door if she wants to go out to use the little girls room and shortly after will be back crying to get in the house again to continue napping or eating.
About two weeks ago now, we temporarily took in Marley. Marley was a wee stray cat that stayed around my parents house and farm. She’s only a small wee thing but has popped out quite a few litter of kittens. With her only having one eye we all took a soft spot for her and tried to get her well fed and keep her around. Unfortunately though, with her being quite young herself and becoming pregnant so often the kittens she had didn’t seem to make it very long – we’re not sure if it was maybe her not being able to care for them properly or possibly other wild animals on the farm taking them. Because of this happening too often; we decided it would be best to get her spayed. If I could have caught the Tom Cat floating about I would have got him done too; but he doesn’t come too close to the house that Marley would have.
I took her back to mine and got her spayed with my local veterinary group. I felt so bad taking her to get this done but it was for her own good; she’s such a small wee pet and isn’t fair on the wee kittens. So before and after the surgery she stayed at ours; I kept her mostly confined to the kitchen to ease her into the new surroundings gradually. I only intended on keeping her until she recovered from the operation but she’s such a wee cutie, she only has the one eye and she was so tiny – we decided to keep her. We just had to break the news to Gifty…
Gifty is also known as Princess Gifty – because she is such a spoilt wee madam. She did not take to Marley very well to begin with. It’s only now after being together in the house for two weeks they are able to be within two metres of each other without Gifty hissing or growling at Marley – Marley is not phased what so ever – she just wants to be friends. I read up on a few articles on the best ways to introduce cats to each other. Apparently, you should start them off in short, closely monitored periods and if any of them show signs of aggression e.g. arched back, hissing, growling, etc. You are supposed to discipline with a boop on the nose or quick spray with water. We decided to boop. Anytime, Gifty would growl or hiss she would get a quick boop and if she wouldn’t stop she would have been put outside. You’re also supposed to keep their resources separate e.g. food bowls, toys, sleeping areas etc.
The growling and hissing from Gifty went on for a while – about a week or so. Now she just throws death stares. Any time she would have hissed she would have ran away afterwards. So even though, Gifty is being the territorial one here, she’s also a big scaredy cat and doesn’t know if she wants to be the dominant one or not, haha! I think Marley’s just used to having a dominant cat around and so doesn’t put up a fight. I think she’s just happy to be in a place where she gets fed regularly, has warmth and some company. Although, the last few nights she has been letting out a few wee cries at night to herself when everyone’s gone to bed; I do believe she is missing being outside and with over cats. But I can’t let her outside just yet; I’m afraid of her not coming back when I call and also she wouldn’t be used to the amount of vehicles here compared to my parent’s private farm and also there are quite a few other cats and dogs in this park and I would be afraid of her getting into a fight; she’s quite a friendly cat and at the start she did come straight over to Gifty to be friends but Gifty was having none of it.
She’s been very good with using the litter tray as well which I’m very surprised at.
It’ll just take a bit of time for them to get used to each other, for Marley to get used to her new home and all the smells and sounds that come along with it. She’s still quite a bit jumpy but these last few days we’ve definitely noticed her being a lot more comfortable with the house and us coming and going. The wee darling is asleep on the floor at the bedroom door at the moment behind me as I’m writing this and Gifty is sleeping on the bed in-between throwing death stares LOL.
If you have any pets of your own that took some time and effort to become friends please let me know if you have any tips/advice/recommendations for me. I’d love to hear how pet owners have got through a similar situation as this one. Or if you have any full time indoor cats I’d love to know how you keep them entertained from being inside all day. Sometimes Marley has a really sad expression on her face and I’d hate to think she was depressed from being cooped up inside all day (this sad expression could also be resulting from her surgery – so I will have to keep an eye on her) Looking forward to hearing from you!