Introducing Franki to The Girls
Updated: Apr 12
So Franki has been determined to be a healthy cat. No liver or kidney issues. Negative for FIV and feline leukemia. He's also a very chunky boy. Still a "no-go" on being able to find his family, if he had one, which we suspect he did.
One thing that makes us feel he has been a stray for a while is that he "covers" (i.e. surrounds) his food with his litter as if he is "burying" or hiding his leftovers from other animals he is afraid will steal his food. It's both kind of sweet and sad to watch. We hope he can become more trusting and we will try to feed him around the girls so he knows he can eat without worry.
Now that we know he is not a health risk to the other cats and due to his adventure the other night, we are starting to do what we can to introduce these cats to each other and see if we can integrate them.
We've started out by letting the cats smell each others' areas. Franki was able to sniff around some of the girls' areas two nights ago. I've also had Blondie and Grizzabella come in his room when he's not there. Chappy is a little harder to wrangle but probably needs to be forwarned about Franki the most. However, I anticipate that no matter what we do, Chappy will likely dislike and be afraid of Franki.
Blondie, as predicted, was annoyed by him and tried to assert her authority, but we hope she will tolerate him eventually. It is my hope and wish that maybe Grizzabella and Franki will get along. Grizzy could certainly use a friend, and I think Franki could too.
One thing I have been doing is that when I pet Franki, I will let the other cats smell my hand so that they can get used to his scent. I also do the reverse so that he can get used to theirs. Grizzy loves his scent. She licks and nuzzles my hand. She's also curious about him and seems cautious but not too scared. I'm taking that as a good sign. Franki, on the other hand, only seems mildly curious but generally indifferent about her scent. Blondie has been curious but unimpressed, and Chappy also seems curious but not too invested.
The plan yesterday was to take Franki out while Blondie and Grizzy were out and about. We'll have to wait a bit with Chappy, I feel. However, unlike the day before, Franki did not seem interested in venturing out. Grizzabella did wander into the room and sniffed around. They saw each other, but neither growled or hissed. They just sort of looked at each other from afar, and then Grizzy left.
Isaias later took Franki out to be among the girls. He held him for a bit to let him know he was safe. He tried to feed Grizzy and Franki at the same time, but Grizzy left. Blondie was growling and agitated, and Franki ended up hiding under the couch. There wasn't much growling or hissing once he got there. Grizzy investigated, but Franki didn't growl or anything when she got in his space.
I think this will be a rough and gradual transition at first, but I am optimistic everybody will be able to successfully cohabitate. And the icing on the cake really would be if Grizz and Franki could get along—maybe even become friends.
We were going to take him out again today, but he doesn't seem in the mood, so we are trying to go at his pace. Baby steps. Wish us luck.