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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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I'm failing at integration

I'm going to write a book here, I'm sure, I apologize. I'd like to say "thanks" in advance to anyone willing to get through it.

Well, it's been almost two months with Kiki and I am sad to say I don't think I will be able to integrate her into the family.

We made a lot of progress (so I thought) but have had some pretty awful setbacks recently.

I had them eating within sight of each other, swapped areas, sock smells etc. Kiki was comfortable enough and so she decided she wanted out of her room. It's been about two weeks now and everything seemed to be going ok. We've had the typical issues with territory, as expected.

We live in a split-level ranch. The living areas are all on the second floor, the first floor has the utility room, which is where the cat boxes are located. When Kiki is out of her room she claims this area as hers. She will sleep on the couch down there and I hear her running around, playing with toys. (She is also clawing the carpet, I assume that is her asserting ownership of the area.) Kiki prefers to spend all of her time down there, if she is not in her room.

The big issue is when Lula and Milo go down there to use the boxes. Kiki will hide in the shadows and then stalk and attack them, fighting them all the way up the stairs. She will then go back downstairs and enjoy her victory. I've tried to be down there so that I can distract her while my other cats use the box, but this does not work. Lula will go after Kiki and they'll fight. Milo is not as brave, so he will get beat up all the way upstairs. This has only been getting worse now. Milo is avoiding the downstairs entirely and Lula has been pooping on the sofa that Kiki sleeps on. This has been a daily thing for the last few days. I am sure that Lula is fine and this is her way of trying to assert ownership over Kiki's newly claimed territory. (Kiki is still being locked up in her bedroom while I am at work.)

The past two evenings I have not been able to get Milo to come out from underneath the kitchen table. I have been carrying him downstairs to relieve himself (this is a cat that normally hates to be carried.) This evening, I noticed that he just seems depressed. He does not play with Da Bird - and sits staring down the hall towards Kiki's room, or at the stairs as if she is there. I carried him downstairs and he used the box right away and then Kiki came into the utility room. I picked Kiki up and Milo went to make his escape - Kiki jumped out of my arms and went full speed ahead after Milo. She had him on the stairs attacking him. (I could kill my fiance for not telling me he opened Kiki's door!) I intervened because she had a hold of Milo. I didn't yell - I just grabbed Kiki and took her to her room. She bit me pretty bad on the hand several times before I could get her in there. (I broke a cat-fight rule - so I only blame myself - boy did that hurt!)

I guess I am at the point where I feel defeated. Milo, my super friendly lover-boy, has changed into a big scaredy-cat. He doesn't greet me anymore, look for lovins', go to bed with us anymore, and has been waiting for me to take him down in order to use his box. My fiance absolutely does not want a litterbox upstairs - which was my first suggestion when he noticed Milo acting funny about going downstairs.

I have Kiki scheduled to get spayed in two weeks on my scheduled week-day off of work, but am going to switch things around to try for next week. In the meantime I'm going to have to keep Kiki in her room, as much as I hate the thought.

My fiance wants me to give her back to my brother, but is willing to wait until I get her spayed in order to do so. I feel so horrible about this situation. It just seems to me that she might be one of those "one cat" kind of kitties (she was ok at my brother's house with her son and his two dogs though.)
Not to mention, we are getting married in June and will be gone on the honeymoon for 10 days after. The way things look now - there's no way I can enjoy being away knowing that we could have major issues going on in the house.

I am heartbroken at the thought of giving up. My fiance is very upset - he doesn't think it is very fair to Milo for him to be so uncomfortable in the house that he used to love so much. (I forgot to mention, Milo started "spraying" too.)

I guess the big question I have is if she will calm down after her surgery. I am thinking the fear in Milo might be too far gone at this point that even if she is a "new cat" after healing - he might provoke more attacks by showing fear.

What a mess.

Last edited by marie73; 01-13-2015 at 11:03 PM.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 10:43 PM
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That sure does sound like a dilemma. As much as I don't like to give up either, sounds like things are not looking very good for everyone. May I ask why your brother gave Kiki to you?
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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I offered to take her because I knew he did not have the time, or money to get her fixed. He is a single dad with two boys.

He found her as a kitten and she lived with him for over a year. She was an indoor/outdoor cat and ended up pregnant. He found a home for her two other kittens but still has one left, a male. (I'm waiting on the certificate for a low cost neuter for the little guy.)
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 11:47 PM
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suzieqt, is there any way you can move one of the litter boxes to an area where Kiki doesn't spend much time? As unpleasant sounding as it is to keep litterboxes on the main living floor, it's probably less unpleasant than cleaning up after a cat sprays or poops - I've had both issues recently as well.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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I have pleaded with the fiance, and so far he is not budging. The only other place to have the cat boxes would be in the main living area - it's kind of an open floor plan so it's the kitchen, living room and dining room. He absolutely refuses to have a cat box where "he eats." Milo hasn't been going crazy spraying, thank goodness, he seems to only do it when he has been challenged by Kiki in some way.

Last week I had a bunch of crinkly packing paper on the floor that him and Lula were going bonkers in and when he and I came up from downstairs he promptly walked over to it and proceeded to "spray" all over it. I put that in quotes because it isn't the typical smelly spray that most people associate with male cats - it's not very smelly at all - just him squirting out urine I guess. He always was a "phantom sprayer" though. I have 2 gallons of Anti-Icky Poo left from when my Mow cat was in her final days of CRF so I've been able to clean it up without a problem. I have a thick blanket on the couch downstairs now too, with plastic underneath in the area Lula has been leaving her gifts for Kiki which is helping with the cleanup (and the fiance.)

I know it's important to accommodate Lula and Milo during this time, unfortunately my fiance was not raised with "animals inside the house" and it's been a challenge to try to get him to understand cat behavior to begin with. (He thinks I should just have thrown Kiki into the household and "let them all sort it out" from the get go." *sigh* My only other option is to keep them separated when I am not home, be conscientious of her whereabouts when I am home and hope that she calms down some after she gets spayed.

I really don't want to give her back to my brother, she's bonded with me a bit and is such a sweet girl when she is in her room, and when she doesn't see the other cats.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry to hear that you're having issues too, Spirite.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 11:00 AM
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You have to add two litterboxes upstairs. Even if it's just temporary. Tell your boyfriend to get over it. If you don't want to see them, put the litterbox in a cabinet where it won't be in full view (we use random free craigslist cabinets and cut holes in the side for the kitties to enter...buffet's, stereo cabinets, blanket chest...or put them under end tables with a tablecloth over the table). It doesn't have to be a living room, put it in the bedroom....but add them upstairs.

Once everyone is sharing space, Kiki might stop defending the valuable space downstairs...it will lose value. Regardless, hope you went to the Dr. for antibiotics for those bites. Cat bites are bad and can get infected quickly. My sister was in the hospital recently for a bite. Had to stay 4 days on IV antibiotics because the oral ones she got right away (same day as bite) weren't cutting it.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittys Mom View Post
You have to add two litterboxes upstairs. Even if it's just temporary. Tell your boyfriend to get over it. If you don't want to see them, put the litterbox in a cabinet where it won't be in full view (we use random free craigslist cabinets and cut holes in the side for the kitties to enter...buffet's, stereo cabinets, blanket chest...or put them under end tables with a tablecloth over the table). It doesn't have to be a living room, put it in
the bedroom....but add them upstairs.

Once everyone is sharing space, Kiki might stop defending the valuable space downstairs...it will lose value.
I am going to put the litterboxes in the other bedroom, it's right next to Kiki's room. Hopefully this will help with the issue. I know he won't go for a litterbox in the main area, but this should not be an issue. Frankly, if it is - too bad, that room is not utilized for anything else at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittys Mom View Post
Regardless, hope you went to the Dr. for antibiotics for those bites. Cat bites are bad and can get infected quickly. My sister was in the hospital recently for a bite. Had to stay 4 days on IV antibiotics because the oral ones she got right away (same day as bite) weren't cutting it.
I have my monthly appt. with my doctor tomorrow, thank goodness. She got me really good. My hand was throbbing all night, I had to get out of bed at 4 a.m. to take prescription strength ibuprofin. In the meantime I am applying neosporin. It's already swollen pretty bad. I was wondering if my doctor will report Kiki for the bite? I was worrying about this all night. I'm sure it's different with cats than it is with dogs.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 07:19 PM
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suzie, is the rabies vaccination required where you live? If you're not sure, it might be worth researching that before you see the doctor. If Kiki is up to date on her rabies shot, then I don't think you have anything to worry about. But if you have proof of vaccination, maybe you should bring it just in case.

That looks awfully painful, and I'm sure your doctor is going to put you on antibiotics. My cat bit me many years ago, at the vet, and although I had no swelling or anything, they still made me take antibiotics. I don't remember if they had to report it. I don't think so, because they knew she was up-to-date on her shots. But if it gets much worse tonight though, you might want to consider going to a hospital to be on the safe side. I don't want to scare you - it's not like I think there's anything going on, but better to be safe than sorry.

Hang in there!
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 08:14 PM
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Suzie,
RUN! Don't walk to your Doctor!
I had a bite I didn't think to much about...one little puncture, on each side of a knuckle, I was soaking it...
Two weeks later, that finger was getting opened up at the Doctors!
I was told I was lucky, that I'd keep my finger...
It doesn't bend now, but at least I have it!
Cat bites aren't something to fool around with!
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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