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Adopting a new cat and how to add her to a household with another cat

ChristineL

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@Dr. Jeff, @Dr. Christina and @Dr. Jean Hofve -

We rescued a four-week-old kitten about three months ago and we're considering adopting an 8-month-old cat mama from her rescuer. My question is, should I be concerned about parasites (or other transmittable?) when we bring the mama home? My friends who are cat lovers suggested that we get the mama cat vaccinated (which I oppose) and go through the deworming process. Is that necessary?

What is the best way to introduce them - the cat mama and the kitten?

Thanks for your guidance!
 

Dr. Jeff

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Fantastic Christine!

Your new baby should love a mama. And you are giving another kitty a wonderful forever home.
should I be concerned about parasites (or other transmittable?) when we bring the mama home?
Maybe have the mom's stool tested if it wasn't already done. I'd also wonder about the FIV and FeLV status of the new kitty.
My friends who are cat lovers suggested that we get the mama cat vaccinated (which I oppose) and go through the deworming process. Is that necessary?
It's up to you. Personally I prefer to avoid all vaccines except rabies as per the law.
What is the best way to introduce them - the cat mama and the kitten?
Even before the new cat arrives, joyously, lovingly and excitedly tell your kitten that she will soon have a new mama! 😻 💚

And then keep the new cat in a separate room for a few days. When the 2 cats start showing interest in meeting, you can gradually introduce them while feeding them eac special treats.

Anything to add Dr. Christina or Jean?
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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How wonderful to give this kitty a good home!

Here are the specific steps I recommend to introduce a new cat.

Base Camp -- How to Prepare for your New Cat | Little Big Cat - Dr. Jean Hofve

Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat - Dr. Jean Hofve

Mama cat should be spayed, tested for FeLV/FIV, and tested for worms/giardia (and any other diseases endemic to your area) and treated only if positive.

At her age (or any cat older than 16 weeks) a single modified-live feline panleukopenia vaccine is low risk and protects for life. In a cat with an unknown history, I would give it, but that's me; I've watched too many kittens suffer and die from such an easily prevented cause.
 

Dr. Christina

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Great for you to adopt another.

Anitra Frazier's book, The Natural Cat, offers great suggestions for new cats, in addition to Dr. Jean's site.

Even if she is positive for FELK/FIV there was rarely a problem in my practice when both cats were treated holistically. It is good to know, though.

At 8 months I would think she has developed a great natural immunity to Panleukopenia.

Dr. Christina
 

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