Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted May 25, 2015
I would assume that my cat Lucky is an American Shorthair. We rescued her from the banks of a river before being swept away by the high water. She was joining two other cats that we owned. She has always been snuggly and very friendly from the time of rescue. She adjusted to the other two cats, also shorthairs, as expected. She was a stranger in their home and Lucy and Felix hissed and avoided her like the plague. We introduced her slowly into the house by allowing her to stay in the bedroom alone to get used to the apartment, when my husband and I were at work. When we were at home we would integrate all three of them to meet one another and get acquainted. With time Lucy, Felix and Lucky became very close, closer than I have ever seen three cats ever be. I do think that it helped that each cat was only a year apart.
When we had children Lucky was extremely tolerant of the baby. She did like to sleep in the pack and play and wasn't fond of the baby crying but she never attacked the child or acted aggressive in any way. She did occasionally hiss especially when my daughter started crawling and walking, but it was only because Gabby grabbed her tail and Lucky was just trying to tell her to stop. I feel that new parents can be a little paranoid when it comes to their cats and new babies. My thought is that you need to treat it like you are introducing a new pet to the house, let the cat investigate, let the baby investigate and you are the mediator.
The only large problem I have ever had with Lucky is after we had her spayed (which was considerably later that normal) she started to become aggressive with my other male cat Felix. I researched, talked to vet's and the humane society and the only idea was that possible hormone changes could have contributed to her aggressive behavior towards Felix. Our solution, now that we moved from an urban area to a rural area we started letting them outside.
Letting the cats outside now brought some different issues that we rarely had to deal with indoor cats and that was hunting. Now that Lucky could go outside she began to hunt a lot more and would bring home more than just the occasional mouse found in the cupboard. She has brought home squirrels of just about any kind, mice, moles, snakes, birds and baby rabbits. I do enjoy having the live in mouse catcher but I don't enjoy having dead animals brought in my house. She has also brought in alive and half alive animals inside my house. From my experience with cats I do think that the females are the more aggressive hunters. If you look at their cousin the lion, the females hunt for the pride. I also feel that when they bring their catches home and leave it for you to see, they aren't trying to gross you out or be careless, they are trying to take care of their families.
Every cat is different. They each have there own unique personalities but just like children you can help form those personalities. I have read that by starting out with a kitten and holding it frequently it will be more of a lap cat when it gets older. If you give your kitten baths they become more accustomed to it when they get older and if you treat your cats with the same respect and understanding that you do any member of your family they will become apart of your family.