Three part question about a kitten adoption
November 6, 2014 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Part one: traveling with a kitten; Part two: your positive stories about introducing said kitten to adult cats; and Part three: does this kitten look like a Dennis or a Bud to you?

Part one: Traveling with a kitten. It has been yonks since I traveled with a kitten on an airplane. Kitten will be flying with me from Portland to Oakland. When I get to Oakland, should I allow Kitten to take a comfort break before getting on BART? Should I have some kind of littery boxy thing in the carrier? Water, I presume? I have read and listened to buttered cat info, and I have found the airline's requirements. Just trying to consider Kitten's needs here.

Part two: Your positive stories about introducing a kitten to adult cats In part from here and in part from the foster mom, I have lots of fantastic strategies to introduce Kitten to Cosgrove & Little Kiwi, who are sweet and who like each other and who were raised around other animals for the first 8 months of their lives. I'm anxious, though, even though I actually have a plan b in case they never get along. I would love to hear about your great experiences in introducing new cat to extant cat(s).

Part Three: Does this Benglish Tabby look to you more like a Dennis or more like a Bud? I might be open to other suggestions but I've thought about this a lot and there are reasons for these two choices.

Thanks mefites!
posted by janey47 to Pets & Animals (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
He looks like a Bud, with a dash of Stuart.

(You know what, Stuart? I like you. You're not like all the other cats here at the scratching post.)
posted by mochapickle at 11:19 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

In the first and third picture, he looks more like a Dennis (the menace). In the middle picture, he looks like a Bud (to that other cat).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:20 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

He looks like huge trouble. Dennis it is.

Don't let the cat out halfway through the trip. Nothing good can come of that.
posted by jeather at 11:36 AM on November 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

Bud. Possibly "Air Bud".
posted by amtho at 11:38 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by captaincrouton at 11:42 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by 724A at 11:53 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

He can only be a bud if you say it like Bud from The Cosby Show.
posted by Blitz at 12:05 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I know a cat named Dennis; he's a magnificent cat, and his name makes me giggle, so my vote is for Dennis.

(I'd like to do a write-in for Joey though. He looks like a Joey.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:09 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I recently found out a lot about traveling with cats. You don't need a litter box, I just got some pee pads that fit into the carrier, and went into a private baby-changing room to change them before and after the flight. My cat wasn't interested in water but it doesn't hurt to offer it anyway.
posted by bleep at 12:18 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Lucinda at 12:30 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

He could be both, like Larry "Bud" Melman: Dennis "Bud" Tabbycat
posted by briank at 12:36 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah that's true, most cats have several names. Name him "Dennis" but call him "Bud" when you feel like it.
posted by bleep at 12:40 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Well, it's either Dennis Savage or Bud E. (E for Esterhaus but you can call him Buddy for short).
posted by janey47 at 12:45 PM on November 6, 2014

The third picture made me think of Pauly Shore in Son in Law: Bud-EEE!

If you can get BART home then it's not so much farther. Plus, he's trouble and looks like a bolter...
posted by jrobin276 at 1:01 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Kitten introductions:

Five or so years ago a friend called me up to help her rescue a kitten. It took all night, plus calling in the professionals, to get said kitten out of the rotted tree she had run up, after someone had dumped her in a local cemetery. Because she could not stay with said friend, she ended up coming home with me. I was pretty worried. We had just finished surviving Cat Pee Wars (two older cats who hated each other and who took it out on the house in the form of pee). This only ended when one of the two passed away, leaving us with the older (and fairly cranky, and inclined to pee on things when angry) cat, and a extremely nervous middle cat who had spent the Cat Wars desperately trying to suck up to the two older cats.

We locked her in a bedroom to adjust for the first week, and then slooowly let her out. As slow as you can let a kitten out. This isn't very slow at all. She just went and never looked back.

The older cat was disgusted, but only because it was more change. He never got that upset about her, and grudgingly put up with her. There was no recurrence of the Pee Wars.

The middle cat was terrified, absolutely could not understand what the hell this thing was that we had brought into the house. We found this pretty amusing, since she looked like a shrunken version of him. She followed him everywhere. He ran away a lot.

And then, suddenly, about a week in, it occurred to him that 1) this was a small cat, and 2) we had brought this cat into the house for him. Finally, a cat who didn't just tolerate him. A cat who wanted to spend time with him, who would cuddle with him, after eight solid years of him doing the attempted sidling up to cats who couldn't care less about that sort of thing. So then he raised her. Head washes, cuddling, in later years, teaching her to hunt, and hunting in tandem with her. Now that he's older, he waits til she has warmed up a nice spot on the sofa, comes over to get his head washed, and then kicks her out of it and takes it. In fact, introducing this kitten was the first step in this particular cat changing from a nervous, yowly, scaredy cat who often hid in corners, to a self-confident, calm and put-together cat who is now the Top Cat in our household, and who thinks he is actually a King.

They basically adore each other.
posted by instead of three wishes at 1:12 PM on November 6, 2014 [8 favorites]

That cat is definitely a Dennis. No question.
posted by telepanda at 1:19 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I lately had a rather rakish-looking foster kitten. He came with a scratch across his nose and a fearless attitude. My friend said he looked like trouble (soooo cute), and we considered naming him Trouble, and a couple of other names that were reflective of a boisterous, mischievious personality.

A nice lady involved with the rescue organization told me that she avoided giving names like that because, well, the main relationship between people and kitties is love and nurturing, and she felt strongly that giving a kitten a "troublemaker" name would color humans' perceptions of and interactions with the kitten. Most kittens are both always into some kind of scrape and also very sweet and gentle; a name can affect which qualities you see most when you look at them.

I listened to her, and named him Woody. He was one of the sweetest, most loving kittens you'd ever meet. He had a strong desire to play, but he also listened to us very closely and *loved* doing kitten training. He also loved to snuggle up next to me when he was only little, and was the first one to rest his tiny chin on my leg.

I'm so glad I didn't name him after the way his face looked when I first met him. Cats really don't have very expressive faces, anyway.

His scratch healed (I wasn't sure it would -- it was there a long time), and his adopters love and notice his sweet nature. (I also have the comfort of knowing that they adopted him expecting him to be sweet, and not expecting to have to "discipline" him or scold him)
posted by amtho at 1:27 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

We successfully introduced our 2nd cat as a kitten to our first cat (around 3-4 years old at the time). This was a female to female introduction which is extra tricky what with female cats being more territorial.

Whatever you do... do not rush things!!! It took us almost 3 months to do this properly since the older cat is a little weird and tense.

At the time we lived in a longish apartment with living room/kitchen/balcony in one half and bedrooms and bathrooms in the other. The halves were connected by a hallway near the main entrance. I actually installed a temporary door in the hallway to split the apartment in two using chicken wire and aluminum strips. The kitten lived on the bedroom side, the older cat on the living room side where she also could get out via the balcony. We used Feliway diffusers during this time to help relax them.

We gave both of them pillows to sleep on which we would swap every day to introduce their smells to each other. We'd rub each with a towel, then rub the other one with the same towel for the same purpose. The older cat had her food bowl in the kitchen a good distance from the temp door and the kitten had its food bowl in the bathroom. Everyday we'd feed them at the same time and every day we'd migrate the bowls an inch or two closer to the temp door. A number of weeks in they were eating next to each other separated by the door to which I had bolted an opaque sheet so they could sniff/paw below the door frame but not see each other. The older one would still be somewhat puffed up and would growl and moan while stuffing her face. Kinda funny actually because she would not let this stop her from eating at all. A few weeks later the growls had basically stopped. At this point we removed the opaque sheet so they could see each other. Growling/moaning resumed for a short period of time but then went away for good. The next few weeks we would allow them direct contact for increasing periods of time. After about two weeks of that we removed the temp door. They never turned into cuddly buddies but that's unlikely with two females who didn't grow up together anyhow. But they sleep close to each other and get along well. Only at feeding time there's usually a bit of face swatting but it's just for show and without any hissing, screaming or puffing up.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:13 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dennis. Definitely a Dennis.
posted by kathrynm at 2:35 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

That kitten is a Dennis
posted by Kwine at 2:54 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:00 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Re: Traveling with kitten - you should resist the urge to take the kitten out during the trip - it's a short enough flight that a potty break shouldn't be necessary. You really don't want to deal with an escapee kitten in the Oakland airport! Pee pads are a great idea though, in case of an accident.

Re: Name - I like Bud better, but this is definitely a Dennis (or Stuart, as suggested above!)
posted by Toddles at 4:44 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I transport rescued cats and kittens every week.

DO NOT open the crate at any point during your trip. Dennis will be fine.

No water, no food. Dennis will be fine.

A pee pad with a t-shirt from your dirty laundry pile over it will be enough. Dennis will be fine.

Seriously, Dennis will be just fine in a crate for that long. If he's a scaredy-cat, he'll just sit in the back corner of the crate and glare at you. If he's not too high strung, he'll probably just sleep and watch the world go by, with only occasional glares.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:07 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Let me expand on my answer a bit:

Regardless of how friendly and approachable a cat is under normal circumstances, being carted around for several hours in a crate is not normal circumstances, and I've seen cats' responses range from mild annoyance to outright terror. DO NOT OPEN THE CRATE, EVEN JUST A LITTLE BIT. Any tiny opening will seem like The One Path to Freedom. You'll open it just a crack, to see how he's doing, or to reach in to scratch his ears, and suddenly the person next to you drops their suitcase, or your phone rings, or something else sudden and loud occurs, and kitty has made a break for it. Seriously, don't risk it.

Water makes pee (and a mess), and food makes poop or vomit (also a mess, but stinkier). Now your kitty is REALLY mad, and has a real reason to want to escape his crate as soon as he can possibly see an opening. Or, he will cry and carry on about how uncomfortable he is, and you think you'll comfort him a bit by opening the crate just a teensy bit to scratch his ears, and your seatmate sneezes right then, and BOOM, you're spending the next week checking the humane trap at the airport every couple of hours.

Good luck with Dennis. He'll be fine.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:21 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dennis. Well, Curtis, really, but that wasn't an option. (He is adorable!)
posted by chowflap at 2:19 PM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

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