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Question
I've had my Siamese for the last 3yrs, I rescued a solid grey tom cat from my job. I don't know how old he is but he appears to be grown. My first question, He won't use the litter box (maybe he needs more time# Only been here 5days. My house smells horrible. And the Siamese#female wants to fight him) he has not responded. What should I do.

Answer
Cassandra,

I have a few questions to ask so that I can get a better idea of the whole situation and offer more helpful advice:

1) Is your newly rescued boy confined to a small, easy to clean room (I usually use the bathroom for new arrivals)?

2) Have you seen a vet about neutering this boy?

3) How many litterboxes do you have?

4) How many types of litter have you tried? With kitties who are just learning about litterboxes I will tend to offer several kitten sized litterboxes each with different types of litter in them to see what they prefer... Once I know what a cat prefers I give them at least two litterboxes filled with their preferred litter.

5) Have you gone to the pet store and picked up a CO2 or enzyme based cleaner to effectively remove the odor of urine? Regular household cleaners will not work for this - some will make it worse!

Since we don't know what's led up to this grey tom's life with you (I'm assuming based on the few details that you provided that he was a stray?) you may have to be patient with him when it comes to the box. This boy kitty will obviously need vaccines prior to neutering, but neutering will make a HUGE difference in his desire to mark his territory using urine. The sooner your vet will neuter him the better!

I would not suggest having your newly rescued kitty interact with your resident cat for at least 2-3 weeks. You can start their new friendship by feeding the cats on either side of a closed door - this will allow them to associate each other's scent with something positive (FOOD!)... Once your veterinarian has given the new boy a clean bill of health you can get your resident kitty used to his scent by using an old bath towel as a bed for him, then switching it out with something your kitty has had ample opportunity to lay on (an old blanket, towel, etc)... This lets the cats gradually get to know each other through scent. Once your new boy has been neutered he will be far less likely to urine mark throughout your home - give him a few days to recover from his surgery and then gradually start face to face introductions with your resident kitty... Try to have something available for the cats to focus on such as two separate plates of an extra special treat (be sure that you put your siamese kitty's plate down first in full view of the tom, let her start eating, let him see her start eating THEN put his plate down - it will help to reassure her that she is still number one in your eyes). It's important that you make sure to give the cats a chance to see each other that first time, but I wouldn't suggest putting those plates down too close together... If you see that the cats have finished their treat and they seem interested in meeting supervise closely, a little hissing, some growling here and there and perhaps a tame swat or two are normal parts of two adult cats who don't know each other meeting... Anything more than that means you need to back off the amount of time that these cats are spending to where they were more comfortable and re-start your introductions with that. Introducing two cats who are adults (one who is from the sounds of things still a whole tom) takes time and patience, but the rewards are well worth it.

To sum up, confining your tom til he sees a vet is a MUST to protect your resident kitty... You don't know what this guy's health status is and you don't want to take risks with contagious viral infections like feline leukemia and FIV (Kitty AIDS). Confining your tom in a bathroom will make clean ups of urine marking MUCH easier for you to deal with! You should invest in a carbon dioxide based or enzyme based cleaner specifically meant for cleaning cat urine - you can find these types of cleaners in most pet supply stores. Household cleaners will not permanently remove the odor of urine from the cat's perspective or yours - if you don't clean it using enzyme or carbon dioxide based cleaners he may mark there in future simply because it smells like urine to him. Neutering this boy will make a huge dent in his urge to urine mark - the sooner that you can have this done the better! And lastly, slow, patient introductions are key with two adult cats who don't know each other, but this can only happen once he's been given the all clear healthwise by the vet.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,

Ali

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Ali

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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out catinfo.org which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.

Experience

I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

Education/Credentials
I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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