2 former friends don't see eye to eye anymore - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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2 former friends don't see eye to eye anymore

Hi everyone,
my story is quite complicated, but I hope some of you here might have some similar experiences and can help me. I’d be very helpful if you could give me some suggestions.
We moved to this new place where we live now and as soon as we did so, a neighbour cat became our friend. Her name is Sheilla and she used to stay with us every evening, I used to feed and pet her, even allow her in the house. We have a special bond and I value it even greater because she chose to hang out with us in the first place.
At the same time, a grey stray was venturing though our yards and we’ve noticed she was eating Sheilla’s food and was even resting on the neighbour’s deck with her. The neighbour couldn’t stand the stray and tried to chase her off a few times, but she kept coming back. She was shying away from people and seemed to like the company of the other cat better. After a while, another neighbour found 3 kittens in her shed and she set a trap to catch the mother of the kittens (no surprise, the grey cat was their mother. A day later I found the 4th kitten under some ferns in my yard and I took it to the SPCA to be reunited with his mother and brothers. When I visited the kitten I found, the mother seemed very friendly and immediately rubbed against me, so I thought she’d make a good pet. Because the kittens had better chances to be adopted, I thought even more so on adopting her. I took into consideration the fact that she was a young cat (about 1 year old) and aware of Sheilla with whom she shared the territory, so I thought this would go on if I adopted her. After she got spaded I visited her couple of times and she was the shyest cat there, always hiding under blankets, but she would come out if I interacted with her. And this is how she became my Modra.
Surprisingly she went over the first shock of being in a new house extremely quickly. She must have recognised her old territory and the next day she was already outside, playing and again to my surprise, she returned to the house and came to me to be stroked and sleep on the sofa as if she had this since forever. Sheilla was very curious about her; I could see she wanted to stay with her; she was always around her, although very confident and relaxed. By contrast Modra was very reserved and kept her distance. All went relatively well until Sheilla ate from Modra’s dish. I saw an immediate change in Modra. I took Sheilla away from her food and fed her separately. Sheilla started to rub against me and Modra became even more distressed. Then they started yowling and grinning and now Sheilla ran away. Modra seems to see part of Sheilla’s yard as her own as well and she even chases her there. Sheilla still visits during night, but it’s a true drama. Sheilla is twice Modra's size, but not as fast as Modra so there is a sort of power ballance between them and they are both afraid of each other. Modra is much calmer during Sheilla's visits if I am around too and I speak gently to both of them, but Sheilla is too scared to linger around for too long.
Is there anything I can do to make them friendlier with each other? Should I even intervene in their business? Your advice would be very appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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New thing just happened: a HUGE male (I was even afraid to approach him) came over today, right in front of the house and as expected Modra went nuts. She looked like a grey arrow dancing around the humongous beast! hahaha Anyway, after a bit of meowing and growling, I came between them and tried to shoo him, but he didn't seem to care much, he was just waiting there, looking at me, meowing. I made him follow me to the back of the yard and shooshed him over the fence. When Sheilla was around, she was always chasing off males, but nowadays, Modra alone can't cope, no matter how brave she is, the size does matter. I begin to worry Modra is in danger of losing her new territory and take refuge inside which is not exactly to much fun for her. I don't even understand what the big male wanted, first of all, she's nuted, secondly, her food is inside. Any ideas?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 01:19 PM
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Modra is spayed, right? What about Sheilla? If not, that could be why the big male is hanging around....waiting for her to come into heat. It could also be why Modra doesn't like Sheila now if she is not spayed. Sometimes, one incident is enough to trigger a change in relationship. So hard to tell if anything happened to spoil their previous friendship. If they're outdoor cats, they'll work out their own relationship.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sheilla is neuted too, she's about 7 or 8 years old, very strong and charming: a bit of a rascal as she's always creating naughty and hillarious situations. Yeah, both girls are outdoors type. Modra is so well behaved, she goes for a walk just before we go to bed and then she returns to sleep all night tucked in my blanket. Maybe she's still shy and feels more confortable home knowing us protectively around.
The big male hung around in vane for another day, then he left disappointed (all the girls in the neighbourhood are de-sexed.
A funny thing happened 2 nights ago. Sheilla was up the fence glancing into my kitchen when a possum went up to her and scratched her in the face (yeah, we have pretty big possums here in New Zealand, they're actually a local pest and very rude characters. The interesting thing is Modra jumping to her aid, beating up the possum (she even chased him into the neighbour's yard. That was a very brave thing to do since the possum was bigger than she was. The next day both girls tolerated eachother in front, while we were doing some gardening. Today Sheilla sniffed Modra's tail and for the first time Modra didn't turn growling. Even more so, Modra seemed interested in playing with Sheilla, but the old dummy hissed each time my baby went to close. They are jealous on each other, but progress is undeniable. Modra is intimidated by Sheilla and tries to compensate by displaying aggressivity and Sheilla is jealous on her, thinking she took her place and I'm harder to reach because of her being around. I've noticed if I plaid with Sheilla, she would calm down and be more tolerant of Modra. There is some jealousy from Modra's part, but not as much, she knows she's the princess in the house .
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 01:18 PM
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Sounds like there's still a friendship there, especially since Modra came to Sheilla's help to chase away the 'possum.

As far as the jealousy of your attention is concerned, I've had cats like that. I found the best way to deal with that is to give each one-on-one attention with lots of kisses, cuddles and loving, scrunches on their cheeks and chins, tummy rubs, whatever they really love out of sight and hearing of the other. Then each one thinks they're special---which they are! Hopefully they will be less jealous of each other. When they've good with each other, then when they're together if you pet and fuss over one, do the same as the other as well. Reward their good behavior with each other with treats as well.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
Sounds like there's still a friendship there, especially since Modra came to Sheilla's help to chase away the 'possum.

As far as the jealousy of your attention is concerned, I've had cats like that. I found the best way to deal with that is to give each one-on-one attention with lots of kisses, cuddles and loving, scrunches on their cheeks and chins, tummy rubs, whatever they really love out of sight and hearing of the other. Then each one thinks they're special---which they are! Hopefully they will be less jealous of each other. When they've good with each other, then when they're together if you pet and fuss over one, do the same as the other as well. Reward their good behavior with each other with treats as well.
I agree with you. When I play with Sheilla she is more relaxed and seems to tolerate Modra better. They'll get alon fine eventually.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I don't understand this one yet, any advice would be appreciated: Sheilla is always around again, which is nice. The girls seem to be around each other most of the time. Sheilla comes in front and plays with a ball I put there for her, she has a separate dish where I put treats for her and Modra seems fine with it generally. It just happens that sometimes when Sheilla is relaxed and sleepy, Modra would just hide behind a bush or something and suddently attack her, then run off (she doesn't fight Sheilla, just sorts of paws her one time as if it's entertaining to see Sheilla all puffed up. Sheilla doesn't leave the yard after such incidents, she is resuming her sleepy position and mood, in a better choosen place.

She went inside yesterday, Modra was sleeping on the armchair and she didn't do anything when she saw Sheilla walking in gracefully. My hubby however sent Sheilla out frightened Modra might eventually change her mind.

They are sometimes jealous on each other although I try to keep it minimal, I always give treats to both. Interestingly, Sheilla eats in front of Modra, but Modra always eats inside the house, not in front of Sheilla (so perhaps she doesn't trusts her.

Sheilla doesn't come on my lap anymore, each time she is playing with me a bit more, Modra develops the hunter urge and starts to jump up and down the trees, then she goes after her.

What is this about? Are they just playing or is it more to it? I reckon if it would be rather serious, Sheilla would stop visiting and she would not think of venturing inside. What do you think?
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