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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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New cat in multiple cat house wants to hide

Hi;
I brought my 14 year old male (neutered) cat into my parents' house when I came there to live after being in my own apartment for 20 years. My cat has never been exposed to another cat before this.

He was fine when I kept him away from the other, keeping him in my bedroom with litter box and food/water. I would let him walk around upstairs, but controlled his access to downstairs so that the other two (one is 16yrs, other is 2yrs, both males, neutered) cats wouldn't bother him.

After some time (I have been living here for 5 months now), we started letting Rusty (that's my cat) downstairs, and he began to deal with the other two cats. Sometimes the younger one would attack him, causing him to act oddly for a while. Usually he would act very timid, and hide under something for a few hours.

Things had been working out OK, when we put the youngest cat in the basement alone for the night, and just Rusty and Elvis (the oldest cat) would spend the night downstairs. We have food/water and litter boxes in all areas where the cats spend a lot of time.

For the past few days, Rusty has been acting strangely; wanting only to hide under the comforter on my bed. I had not been allowing him to sleep with me because he keeps me awake, but I think now it appears that he has been spooked by the other cat (probably Elvis, the 16 year old he spends the night with). He is just lying under the comforter, and if I try to bring him out, he growls and hisses. This morning, he acted as though something was hurting him. He would not let me touch any part of him except his face/head.
But he is eating OK, and it does not appear that he is sick, so I think it is all something emotional. My cat is stressed!

Later this afternoon, I pulled up the comforter, and I thought he might come out, but his eyes got wide, and he backed deeper under the cover.

I have brought his litter box and food/water back up into my bedroom, and am going to allow him to sleep with me so that he is not "terrorized" by the other cats.

Another thing he does is that when he and I are not in my bedroom, he rubs against my legs constantly, follows me around the house, and cries at me. I get the idea that he is trying to maintain me as his territory when I am outside his "home" field, which is my bedroom.

Like I said, I am going to keep him separate, at least for a while until he calms down.
But if I cannot sleep with him in the bed, I am going to have to do something else.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

FW
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 06:15 PM
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Can you sleep on a couch for a few nights? Or put him in a closed bathroom where no one can bother him for the night? It certainly sounds like he feels your bed is his safe haven and you are 'his' person.
Just try to keep him in his comfort zone, as it sounds like he is stressed.

I hope everything gets worked out and the kitties can live comfortably together, or that you are able to get your own place again.
Heidi



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm just going to let him sleep with me. I think that in his current state, he needs me, and if I went to sleep on a couch, I would get less sleep than if I am with my cat.
I enjoy sleeping with Rusty, but as we all know, cats are nocturnal animals. Perhaps if I could get a night job and sleep during the day...

FW
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 09:51 PM
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I stopped letting the kitties sleep with us when they began doing Commando-raids and Wrestle-Mania over the top of us. When Malibu got sick last year, I kept her in the Master bedroom with us so I could keep an eye on her and force-feed her without the other kitties bothering us.
Since then, she is my constant sleep-companion. She sleeps through the night and I have gorwn used to her ramblings of potty-box or food bowl. Her use of them doesn't wake me up, or if it does, I am able to go right back to sleep.



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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-10-2007, 11:46 PM
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You don't think he's sick, do you? Kitty always hides when she doesn't feel well and gets very upset when I try to remove her from her hiding place.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Rusty is feeling a lot better this morning after having spent a night in bed with me. He is still lying under the comforter, but not so deep under as he was yesterday, and he comes out from time to time.
Last night, he was mostly under the covers, but twice came up to sleep with me near the pillow. He was purring, which I enjoyed hearing.

I am going to let him sleep with me from now on, and let him wander the house during the day (if he wants to). This way he doesn't get stressed being away from me, and having to deal with two bully cats all night.

I also believe I will get used to Rusty's ramblings at night. Since he's an old cat, he doesn't romp on the bed anymore.

A happy cat makes his master happy as well

FW
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2007, 01:24 PM
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*sigh* I love falling asleep to kitty-purrs in my ear.

One evening I woke up and shifted my position and Malibu, who was sleeping on my pillow, began to purr. Her ribcage was up against my ear and her purrs rumbled through my head and helped me drop of to sleep quickly, while thinking about what kittens hear (purring) when they are inside their mamma.
It was kinda nice to imagine I was a kitten...



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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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To add some info to this post:
Rusty sometimes has growling and hissing fits, when he does not want to be touched anywhere except his head. Usually what sets this off is my touching his paws, or maybe his tail.
It is almost as though he is hurting, yet he moves around and eats normally, so I do not believe he is in pain.

For some time now, he has not let me touch his paws. A couple of months ago when I tried to clip his claws (something he usually tolerated well), he began this growling and hissing.

It is very odd, since this cat was always so laid back. But that was when I lived alone with him in the apartment. He never had to deal with other cats.
All of this strange behavior began when I brought him here, where there are two other cats.

FW
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fw2007
...when I tried to clip his claws (something he usually tolerated well), he began this growling and hissing.
All of this strange behavior began when I brought him here, where there are two other cats.
It is normal behavior. He was comfortable in his old environment where he was the only kitty. In this new environment, he has to deal with many changes, which include other kitties, and he does not feel comfortable or secure.
Cats' tails and feet are crucial to them and they need to protect those areas in order to survive, it is an instinct. He is feeling vulnerable and does not want to give up the security of having his feet/tail (so he can balance and run) free of injury or out of his control. I would give him some more time, but be aware that if he never feels comfortable around these new cats, he probably won't feel comfortable with you handling his feet, which are his 'escape mechanism' in this living situation.



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