Crowded House and Angry Cats (really long) - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
Tom Cat
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 412
Crowded House and Angry Cats (really long)

I moved in with Kitty's Mom two weeks ago and things have been crazy. There are now 12 cats living in her two bedroom house. Due to lack of space it isn't possible to do a proper introduction between her three boys and my two girls. I don't know if a proper intro would have helped anyways, but things are not going well.

Kitty's Mom's sick cat Kitty permanently lives in her bedroom and the foster mom and kittens (with ringworm) take up the other bedroom. At night Kitty's Mom takes her boys into her room and my girls have the run of the house, but during the day they have to share. Whenever we aren't in the room supervising my girls have to be locked up in a small bathroom.

Four of the cats seem to get along okay and I would feel fine leaving them alone. The problem is between Tre, Gabby, and Lily. Most of the time Tre is fine and just sleeps or minds his own business, but sometimes he is just seems determined to get them.

Lily really wants to fit in and is fine most of the time, but she get scared easily and freaks out when Tre is focused on her. Sometimes all he has to do is walk by or glance and her and she loses it. She hisses, spits, and either crouches in the corner or flips on her back. Other times he will actually go after her, but it has never turned it to anything more that a lot of hissing, spitting, and hitting each other.

Gabby on the other hand, freaks out about 75% of the time. Unless she is a sleep or doesn't see him, she is growling. At first she seemed like she just wanted to assert her dominance, but ever since the first big fight she just seems terrified. Twice now, he has scared her so badly, that she has actually pooped!

We try to distract Tre whenever the girls seem to feel threatened by him, but if he is actually focused on them it is hard to get his attention. Kitty’s Mom has tried using treats, which seems to work pretty well, but obviously we can’t do that all the time. If he is actually going after one of them we use the water bottle to break it up. Tre hates to be alone, so when he does go after them, we put him in “time out”. He can be in timeout (the small bathroom) anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on what is going on.

Once the ringworm is gone, the kittens will be leaving, and the spare bedroom will be open. At that time we could do a proper re-introduction. However, the foster mom will be staying for a while. Sassy (the foster) could care less about anything and just seems to keep to herself. She should get along with all of them just fine. But I am not sure where we would put her in the mix.

We do have Feliway running all over.

So my questions are:
Is there anything we can do in the meantime to make things better?
Are any of the things we are doing wrong?
When we can, should we do a re-introduction?

The stress is getting to everyone. Kota started to have a FLUTD relapse (this was stopped when we put him back on his amitriptyline). Tre has been sick on and off, but has gone to the vet twice and is doing better. It is so hard to see the kitties unhappy. The stress and anxiety are making me a very crabby person.

Sorry that was so long. I just wanted to try and include all of the details and I really needed to rant.

Katie

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:34 PM
Cool Cat
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,145
Katie, the only thing I have to add is to try to relax. They do pick up on your anxiety and stress.

Maybe keep the girls in the bathroom most of the time until you can do a proper introduction? Even though it seems means to coop them up, the stress level would be much less and everyone would be happier. It would be temporary and I figure anyone can handle temporary.

Mom of
Skin kids - Jason, Kevin, Allison
Canine kids - Bennett & Bailey (always in our hearts), Riley, Banker, Rogue and Boz
Feline kids - Zoey, Talley and Abra
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Marsha
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 05:54 PM
Cat Addict
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,688
Do you guys think that they'll eventually work it out? Is there a way to get a bully to stop being a bully (sensitivity training maybe?)?

Somebody did "get" Tre. He has a scratch about 1/2 inch long right above his eye that is just starting to heal.

We've been keeping Tre's nails super-short to try to minimize the damage.

I'll be nice when the foster cats are gone...

It's hard to imagine locking the girls up when we're there to supervise. The bathroom is TINY, barely room for a litterbox in there...but it does have a window. Plus, we can go for hours with total peace. Everyone sleeping comfortably or watching birdies, etc...it's just that hours of peace are puntuated by minutes of torture. Tre vs. Any Girl
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