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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10445
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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We have had a female cat for 13 years. Its what I call an indoor

Resolved Question:

We have had a female cat for 13 years. Its what I call an indoor cat rarely goes outside.
Happy being on its own when we are at work and very clingy when some one is home.
We have the opportunity to adopt an abandoned kitten. Would that be unfair on our regular cat ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I can understand your concern for your 13 year girl. I do have a few questions to ask first, if you don't mind:

1. How old is this abandoned kitten?
2. What kind of personality is she/he? Energetic, laid back?
3. Has your older girl previously been around other cats to you know if she likes them?

There may be a slight delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you. Thanks for your patience. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. About 8 weeks


2.The kitten was found in a shed very recently with a dead kitten :(.


Obviously its shy and nervous but seems in need of some love. Its at my daughters boyfriends house at the moment but they have 5 cats already.


It has just eaten a meal with no side effects.


3. The 13 yr old has never lived with another cat but seems fairly laid back when other cats come into the garden except for an older Tom cat.


 

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for the answers to my questions and the additional information.

I can understand why your heart has gone out to this little one; she/he certainly sounds like a kitten who needs a good home:)

My only reservations about suggesting or recommending that such a young kitten join the home of an older cat is the energy level of the kitten. Most older cats don't want to be bothered with a very playful kitten who might try to interact with them all the time. They just won't want to be harassed. But if this kitten is a calmer sort (although this may be hard to tell at first), then your girl may enjoy the company.

I've long thought that the "loner" reputation of cats is a misnomer; I believe most cats enjoy having a friend to share their days with but not all of them do of course. Some cats do prefer to be the only cat. Whether this will be the case with your girl is hard to say since you've never really observed her interactions face to face with another cat with whom she had to share her space. But the fact that she hasn't overreacted to the cats she sees outside bodes well for her accepting one in her home.

I do believe that it's worth a try, though, to see if it will work out. If you do decide to keep her, then I would suggest isolating her for at least two weeks (if not longer). There are numerous articles on the internet about introducing a new cat into the household of existing cats but the one thing they have in common is that time and patience is needed. This is a LINK that I like a lot which discusses the process at length.

Practically speaking, I would also keep this kitten isolated since you'll want to monitor for signs of disease such as an upper respiratory infection. I would also have the kitten tested for Feline Leukemia prior to exposure to your girl.

I hope this helps and that it works out. Deb


Dr. Deb and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My daughter pre empted me and has brought kitten home. The kitten seems happy. they both hissed at each other at first but I just think it was a


bit of posturing.No real hostility. The kitten is tired and has a segregated room while the older cat has gone to sleep in my bedroom as usual. I will be joining her shortly :).


We are going to take kitten to vets tomorrow for check over. I presume that would be the thing to do ?

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

I had a feeling that this kitten was going to find it's way into your home, given the circumstances under which you found him/her:)

Yes, I would have him/her checked out if you plan to keep him/her. At the very least, he/she should be tested for Leukemia as i mentioned and a stool sample checked.
He/she's old enough for first vaccines but I'm certain that your vet will let you know if this is a good idea now or if it's better to wait (if he/she appears unthrifty).

Please keep me posted, if you have a chance. I'd like to know how things progress. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Dr Deb


We have done as you have suggested and kept them seperated. Both seem quite happy. When the kitten (Dexter) does see the older cat (Nala) she just stares in bemusement while Nala just stares down her nose and carries on with her business.Kitten has been to vets and has been wormed.


One thing we did find was a largish abscess under kittens armpit. They have put her on Anti-Biotics (no side effects) which appears to have dampened down the abcess and it is drying out and scabbing over. I would presume that is a good thing ? Or would you suggest we push for further treatment ?


We are going back for a check up on Monday.


Otherwise Dexter is full of beans, playful,sleeps well, eats well and drinks loads of water as well as pooing and peeing regularly,


Thanks Phil and Hannah


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.
Phil and Hannah:
Thanks so much for taking the time to send me an update about Dexter. He sounds like a real character:) And, I'm so glad that Nala hasn't taken an instant dislike to him..feigned indifference is fine by me:)

If his abscess is healing and looks better every day (which it sounds like it is), then further treatment is probably not necessary. There are even some vets who don't prescribe antibiotics at all for abscesses if they've ruptured on their own or have been lanced and flushed.

It must be a lot of fun to have a kitten in the house again:) Deb
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Deb


Thanks for the reassurance.


Phil and Hannah

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.
You're more than welcome:)