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for those of you who have taken in a stray cat

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How long did it take before the stray and your current pets got along? I think it's this stray cat's mission in life to kill my current cat and dog. :glare: Other than that, she's super sweet and wonderful with the kids. :lol:


Right now, she's in a bedroom that's near all the "action." I have a gate up that both she and her babies can get through, but it keeps the dog out. The dog is constantly sitting by the gate and the mama kitty is constantly hissing and trying to attack him through the gate. My poor dog is a trooper and keeps trying to be her friend, though, and sits by the gate hoping to win her over. :lol: The kittens love him, all 90lbs of him. And he's wonderful with them, too.


When my current cat walks by the room the mama cat comes busting through the gate looking for him, even though by this point he's hiding somewhere. She literally doesn't even care about the dog being near her and she searches the house. She literally looks like she's trying to find him to kill him! :glare:


She's been in the house now a few weeks and I would have thought she'd be fine by now, but she continues to just want to stay in the bedroom, attack the dog through the gate, and try and find my cat when she sees him walk by.


Any thoughts, suggestions?

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With some cats it can take a long time. I adopted a cat who had been abused and left in a locked garage for weeks. She almost died as a result. She was healthy by the time we brought her home, but it took her three months to decide to come out of the bathroom during the day on her own accord.


It might help if you'd occasionally crate your dog and other cat, or put them in a room for awhile, and give new kitty a chance to explore the house w/o them interacting.


You can try rubbing then all down with the same towel. Sometimes exchanging scents helps animals accept each other. You can also try sprinkling just a bit of vanilla flavoring on the towel and rubbing them all with it. Sometimes making them all smell alike helps.


I'd also consider getting some Feliway. It's a pheromone spray that really helps a lot of cats in stressful situations.


But unfortunately there are some cats who really need to live in homes w/o other pets.

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We've adopted two stray cats. I think a lot of it depends on your cat's personality, so you will probably just have to let her work it out on her own timeline. Some cats are very aggressive and territorial, and if she is like that I agree with the PP that you might need to find a one pet home for her. The cage idea is a good one, giving them some time to get used to each other. Thanks for taking care of her! I hope it all works out well for you all.

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I think it's different if you've got a momma cat with kittens.


We've adopted many, many strays, and most have gotten on after an adjustment period. One we had to give away to someone else because she was scared of our previous cat, who would bully her (but not kill her). She wasn't happy, and was much happier when she was the only cat - that family later adopted two kittens who she got along with well.


However, the one time it really didn't work was in a situation just like yours. The stray came pregnant, had her kittens. We had her in a large dog crate so she'd have a safe haven. Our previous cat initially thought he could bully her like the previous cat. But then would try to bat his paw in to get at the food in there - she saw this as a threat to her babies and decided he needed to die. She literally was out to kill him. It was like a switch flipped in her head.


Well, Mr. Bully, twice her size, changed his tune quick and RAN. We thought she'd get over this as her kittens grew and as it was obvious that he would run and hide at the sight of her (and if she caught up, fur would fly).


We ended up giving her to someone else, and keeping two of the kittens, who get along great with the previous cat.

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It has never taken any of our cats more than a week or so to get used to a new cat (stray or otherwise) and vice versa. We just took in a little stray ginger colored kitten, Apollo, and, while he loves ALL the animals, they aren't so fond of him just yet. Scout still runs away from him in terror (but she's the quintessential scaredy cat), Zooey just looks really offended every time he gets near her and will hiss if he isn't quick enough getting away from her, and Shakespeare hisses occasionally but is starting to warm up to him.


When we brought Zooey into the house we thought it was going to be a disaster. Scout was still traumatized from losing Riley so suddenly (congenital heart disease) and she was a MESS. We figured bringing in Zooey would throw her over the edge since Zooey is clearly alpha (part Bengal brat and likes to let EVERYBODY know it :tongue_smilie:). Oddly enough, the very first night she was home, Zooey and Scout were happily eating next to each other with zero carnage.


That said, give it time. You've got a mom with KITTENS, and that is a whole different ballgame. She's got babies to protect and a new environment to figure out, not to mention throwing in the dynamic between her and all the new animals, her and the people, AND her kittens and all of these animals and people. That's a lot for a mom to deal with. Give her some grace and a lot of time to work through her issues.


You could also try a little Rescue Remedy on the ears or in the food of momma cat. That could help mellow her out just a bit. It did WONDERS for my outdoor feral. After switching him to raw food and adding in a bit of the Rescue Remedy I actually got to the point of being able to pick him up and carry him around. Good luck!

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