Cat antics, Random musings

Making progress with cat introductions

I’ve had this post in my “drafts” folder for a couple weeks but haven’t found time to update it. I’m going to post it now, with hopes to post again in a few days. I didn’t realize how much time we’d be spending managing 2 cats and 2 kittens! Seems like every time I sit down to do something, some kitty wakes up and needs attention!

We’re slowly making progress introducing Wolfie, Tilly, Molly, and Pearl. We’ve moved past Tilly hissing & growling and needing to keep the kittens safe behind a screen door and we’re able to have everyone in the same space – for at least a short time, with constant supervision.

Wolfie is fairly tolerant of the kittens. He will watch them play and occasionally try to interact with them. He gives them a little swat if they get in his face, but I think that’s to be expected. He’s a very mellow kitty and they are rambunctious strangers.

Tilly is still deciding what to make of the kittens.

They can all be very close when food is involved. They are spaced out in the photo below for a canned food breakfast. But they can be within inches of each other when we’re working on keeping them all calm in the same room and using treats to keep everyone happy & distracted.

The other day, Tilly came into the bedroom while the kittens were sleeping. In the video you can see Pearl is on the bed with Tilly! Molly is in the tallest perch at the foot of the bed. Sorry for the sloppy top sheet – we put an extra sheet on the beds and launder them frequently to help keep the cat hair under control. Seeing it all wrinkly is driving me nuts!

Tilly woke from her nap and climbed to the top perch, only to discover Molly sleeping there. Tilly did not bother Molly, then slowly and calmly walked out of the room.

When the kittens are active, the chaos begins. The action and noise agitates Tilly, so we’re working on desensitizing her to that. We discourage the kittens from approaching Tilly too often and we encourage Tilly to remove herself from the room. Basically – self control from everyone!

In this video we see Molly approaching Tilly. Dad follows, able to intervene in case Tilly gets too smacky. It goes fairly well, with Molly quickly learning that Tilly is not ready to be best friends. You can also see a flying toy – we use that technique A LOT to help redirect the kittens away from the adult cats.

Making sure everyone gets attention and proper socialization has been a very time-consuming process, but it’s going well.

Cat antics

Introducing Molly and Pearl

On August 14, 2021 we adopted two young kittens that we named Molly and Pearl. They were fostered together by our neighbor, the same gal who fostered Wolfie and Tilly. The kittens are strongly bonded and are great playmates. The first photo in their new home is them snuggling together in the “sky lounge” – our tallest perch.

Kittens Molly and Pearl cuddled in a perch their first day in their new home.
Molly (left) and Pearl (right) cuddled in the tallest perch
Kitten Molly, a tortishell.
Molly – a cute little torti
Kitten Pearl, a light gray tabby.
Pearl – a spunky light gray tabby
Kittens Pearl and Molly cuddling in a perch.
Pearl and Molly – constant cuddle companions

Both kittens are very friendly and of course very playful. Molly is a bit more people oriented and Pearl is a bit spunkier.

Quarantine

The kittens were in quarantine until today because they were being treated for intestinal parasites (coccidia). It’s been an ordeal giving them daily medication, scooping the litter box as soon as possible, and making sure little bottoms and their living area stayed as clean as possible so that they didn’t re-infect themselves (or anyone else).

Wolfie & Tilly

Wolfie and Tilly are unsettled by the new additions. They’ve lost access to part of the house and they don’t get our full attention as we divide our time between them and the kittens. Wolfie is a laid-back cat and he’s been more curious about the kittens. Tilly is stressed by anything new and she’s uncertain about the newcomers.

Introductions

Introductions are going very slowly. During quarantine, everyone has been able to see each other through doors across our L-shaped patio. They can also catch glimpses of each other through the louvered doors that separate the living area from the bedrooms. That’s actually been a problem for Tilly because she seems bothered by not knowing what’s running back & forth on the other side of the doors.

To try to help Tilly adjust, a couple days ago we started supervising small periods of time where Wolfie and Tilly can watch the kittens play in a bedroom that we’ve secured with a screen door. Usually I’m in the bedroom with the kittens and the Dad is on the other side giving treats and canned food to Wolfie & Tilly.

Wolfie has been curious about the kittens so he met them and can be in the same room for a few minutes without any problems. Tilly is nowhere near ready for that! She wavers between being curious watching them play, then getting stressed & hissy if the kittens approach the screen too quickly.

Slow Progress

Our next step is to continue the screen door sessions. We’ll also let the kittens explore the main part of the house and get their scent spread around while Wolfie and Tilly enjoy some quite time in the bedrooms.

We’re hoping in another couple weeks they will be able to share space without anyone getting too upset or fighting. Paws crossed we continue to make progress (because keeping them separated is exhausting)!

Celebrations - Gotcha Days and Birthdays

Tilly turns 1 year old tomorrow

Tilly looking surprised

I’m 1 year old already?

We’re celebrating Tilly’s birthday as low-key as we did a couple weeks ago when we celebrated Wolfie’s. They both got some new toys on Wolfie’s birthday, and we’ll dip into last Christmas’ huge toy stash and give her something new to play with. There may be a couple pieces of treats given, but as you can see, she doesn’t really need those since she’s grown to be 11+ pounds. We’ve started playin chase-the-kibble at mealtime and she might be getting a puzzle feeder for her birthday!

Things have been a bit hectic here and I will post about that in a couple days. I’ll give you a hint: we’ve expanded our family but quarantine is involved because millions of uninvited guests (gastrointestinal parasites) joined the family too!