Ask Max Monday: The Newby Addition

Ask Max Monday

How do you integrate a new cat into the household? We were adopted by a stray cat last weekend. Once we found out that none of the shelters would take in the stray, well, there was only one thing left to do, keep him. The vet thinks he is 5, and Knucks is 9 or 10 and been our only cat for 6 years. The new guy has some health issues so we’ve been keeping him in quarantine, but eventually he will have to come out. Is there a best way to do this?

I’m not sure there’s a “best” way. I know people who just toss new kitties into the mix and let them work it out—and it seems to work for them—and people who do long, slow introductions that take a couple weeks or more.

This is how I was introduced to Buddah (more pictures are here.) He had been in the Younger Human’s room for a week and I could smell him and I saw his tiny paws shoot out from under the door when he reached out to steal my favorite toy, but they didn’t let me see him. After a while they let me smell things from the room he was living in, and they gave him things that smelled like me, so we could get used to each other’s stink.

I might wait until the new kitty is healthy before doing that, though. Just in case he has something to pass along.

After the week was up and they thought he was over the cold he came with (he wasn’t. It nearly killed me) they put him in this little cage and let us meet face to face. It was only for a few minutes, then back into the room he went. Later, they brought him out in it again, and we stared at each other for a little bit longer. When they were sure I wasn;t going to eat him, they let him out of the cage and run around for an hour or so.

They really just built up the time we spent together a little bit at a time. And it would have worked if I hadn’t gotten so sick. I was fine with him trying to sleep with me (but not with him riding me down the hall like a pony) and even play with me, and was willing to share my space. The Woman thinks we would have been great friends if I hadn’t gotten as sick as I did (this is why I suggest making sure newby is healthy first. Because I really was sick enough to die if I’d gone much longer without eating.) But it was enough that we learned to share space for the most part, and here we are 12 years later and while we fight sometimes, for the most part we leave each other alone.


Eh…it’s not a lot of fun, but you’ll sleep through it so it won’t be awful. Your backside is gonna ache when it’s done and your fun bits will be gone, but honestly, the worst part is having to go to the stabby place.

I suggest that you spend your remaining time licking the bejeeuz out of your cojones while you can, because after the nootering, it won’t be nearly as much fun.

Max, I only get fed twice a day and I need more. How do I go about this? There has to be a way.

Do what I do, dood. Sit in front of your empty dish and howl. It helps if a person sees you try to lick the food that’s clearly not there, and if you meow in a way that sounds like ‘please?’ It’s undignified, but if you whine about it just the right way, and keep it up, you’ll get fed just to shut you up.

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Category: Ask Max Monday, Featured

About the Author ()

Max the Psycho Kitty is 14 pounds of sleek black and white glory. With an attitude ... and opinions ... on everything. He's a put-upon and under-appreciated domestic feline with an addiction to Kitty Crack and an appetite for Stinky Goodness. A pioneer in the Cat Blogosphere, he began his popular blog "The Psychokitty Speaks Out" in October of 2003. Max is the author of SIX blockbuster hit books, "The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Diary of a Mad Housecat,", its sequel "The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Something of Yours Will Meet a Toothy Death,", "The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats," "Bite Me," "There Once Was a Cat from Nantucket" (a book of poetry), and his new smash hit, "The Emperor of San Francisco [The Wick Chronicles]."

Comments (4)

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  1. Sterling says:

    Dear Mr. Max, I am Sterling and I am six months old. I got dopted from the shelter about a month ago by a nice lady. She gives me hugs and kisses (ick) and pets my cheeks just right. There is other cats here who are mostly OK one of them plays with me sometimes. The other two is his mama and one very old ladycat I stay away from her because the humans yell at me if I try to play with her. Why does the humans get all excited when I play with toy mousies? They say I am a good hunter and I killed the mousie. Don’t they know a real mousy from a toy mousy? I starting to think humans are not so smart. What do you think?

  2. Max, as usual, you’ve dispensed excellent advice!

  3. Janet says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Max. The new guy has a respiratory infection that may take some time to resolve, but we’ll start swapping smells.

  4. Gustav says:

    hey max, do those stoopid kittens ever stop stinking?


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