Very Serious - A Cat Cage?? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Very Serious - A Cat Cage??

I need your opinions on cat cages. You see, since my two cats have had problems with aggression, they have been in separate rooms. We tried re-introducing them, with a little success, but we are back to square one. My victim cat needs to be de-sensitized to the aggressor. So, I was thinking, instead of locking the aggressor up in my room for 12 hours each day, what if I were to purchase a cat cage to lock her in? Then I could still let the victim roam for her 12 hours and maybe she woul get used to the aggressor being around her. I know someone else here is using baby gates in between her kitties. For me that is not an option, since we have people constantly coming in and out to look at our house (we are in the process of selling it).

Does this sound like a good idea? I never thought of locking my cat in a cage before, is this barbaric??

Chris
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 03:22 PM
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It's not barbaric to lock a cat in a cat cage. But I don't think that will achieve your goal of separation. If the victim cat can see, smell, and hear the aggressor cat in her territory, it doesn't make any difference if the aggressor cat is in a cage or not.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 04:12 PM
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I kept Duchess in a large dog crate for over 2 months.
This was for Urine issues....
(a behavior mod program, which was unsuccessful )

Anyways.....I had everything she needed in there, including a hammock for her to sleep...She did get free times and would often remain in there
even when the door was left open.
She would also run to her crate if she became frightened.
So my answer is "NO" it is not cruel.

Or I dont think my cat would have reacted the way she did to it.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply Dawn.

Maybe I should also add that this would be a temporary measure. I only want to do this while trying to re-introduce the cats to each other. If the aggressor is in a cage, she will not be able to harm the victim. The same approach as using a harness, except the aggressor would tear me to bits if I tried to put a harness on her . Someone suggested I use my cat carrier just during their sessions together, that's how I came up with the idea of a cat cage. I figure the cat carrier might be too confining and cause the aggressor to become even angrier that she is in this little carrier.

I know that I am grasping at straws here, that's because we are at our last straw in my house. With no progress being made, I am looking for solutions everywhere I turn.

Christine
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 05:48 PM
 
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I don't think it is barbaric either. I used to foster kittens for a Humane Society in Kentucky, and while we were gone we used to always keep the kittens in a big cage. I made a hammock for them and they had a bed, food, water and litter box in there. They, of course, would rather play outside the cage, but if they got nervous they would go back in and they always went back there to sleep.

I think that you should maybe give it a try. Different things work for different people.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 07:15 PM
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I have never had a situation like yours with aggression....
But I would consider trading off days in which cat goes into the
"Kitty Condo" (lets call it that )
I think this will help them adjust to each others scent.
Any other opinions about this anyone?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 08:06 PM
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I just don't think it's enough separation. The cats need to be out of sight of each other. Just my opinion.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 08:34 PM
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I've heard of confining each cat to a cage on opposite ends of the room so visual contact is at a more comfortable distance, but I'm not sure that caging the bully and letting the victim roam will help, because it's still going to allow uncontrolled close visual contact (and set off the same kind of chain reaction that redirected aggression usually follows), and may also heighten the caged cat's territorial urges. Usually utter and complete separation followed by smell introduction, followed by paws and smelling under the door, followed by eating on opposite sides of the door, followed by brief and protected visual contact is the suggested course of action...but all this can take upwards of six months in extreme cases.

You might consider getting in touch with an animal behaviorist, as it sounds like the re-introduction process isn't going well for you. Your vet may be able to give you a recommendation.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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I haven't tried this type of introduction, but definitely don't think a temporary cage is cruel. I remember from another board that a few people did the same thing, and it was successful. I also remember Bob Walker mentions doing this in his book "The Cats' House". Really depends on the cats, which we can't advise you about.

Good luck! Whatever you do, you'll need to repeat consistently for a while, and patience, patience, patience.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2005, 12:29 AM
 
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I've never really had problems introducing new cats so I have no idea how it will work. I don't think caging a cat for a few hours at a time is cruel. I've caged foster kittens while I'm not at home. Also Cadbury loves to get in cages/carriers. It doesn't matter if the cage is for him, another cat, dogs, or other various creatures. If the door is open while the animal is out getting excercise Cadbury will take a nap in there.
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