Hello and Help needed with introductions - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hello and Help needed with introductions

Hi there,

I am finding myself spending a lot of time on the internet since adopting a second cat.

Charlie has been with us since she was rescued as a kitten (now 9). Hope/Holly/Scragbag was found in horrible condition a few months ago and came home from vet about 6 weeks ago after she was diagnosed with megacolon so could not be adopted.

I found a Yahoo Group to help me with megacolon issue but the cat introductions still need work....................

Hoping you can help me.....
Elaine
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-19-2015, 05:44 PM
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Here's a couple of websites:

Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Jackson Galaxy

Living Together - Introducing a New Cat

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
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in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Hello from Australia

Hi All,

Hoping for some help here before my husband takes new cat to vet to be put down......................
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 03:24 AM
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Hi saeag,

Can you tell us a bit more in detail about your 2 kitties? Some background would help a lot. We need to know what how you're doing these introductions, so I'd expect a longer and much detailed post about your kitties temperaments, what you observe, how they react to the other, posturings, how bad they react with each other, etc, etc.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Cat introductions - desperate!

Help!
I rescued a 1/2 dead cat a few months back. After 2 month in vet it developed megacolon and could not be rehomed so my husband reluctantly agreed to give it a trial home, pending approval from resident cat.

I did all the usual introductions for first two months.

Neither cat ever cared about the smell of the other cat

Neither cat ever cared about the sight of the other cat (through glass).

Even first introductions were fairly OK with new cat unfased by anything resident cat did and resident cat just hissing, growling etc when new cat came too near.

As long as tuna was on offer both cats would even ear nearly head to head (with a growl and moving away after food was gone from resident cat - Charlie).

As time has gone on Charlie has been getting a little more agro. More hissing a bit more moving towards Little Cat and swiping.

Little cat never attacks but never backs away. Charlie attacks but then runs.

Last night hubby forgot to separate cats before bed. Something has gone amiss as Charlie hid somewhere in house till 10 this morning and is acting afraid all day, won't come in, hair up and really hissing at little cat but with tail down not up now.

Not good - Little Cats days are numbered if Charlie is afraid of her. I only have 3 more weeks before my husbands mum comes to stay. Cats have to sleep in main house together at that point and if they can't be left alone without Charlie getting scared Little Cat will have to go. As she is a biter and has megacolon she can't be re-homed so the option is being put down.

Do I need to give hem intensive time together with me supervising until they are OK together or do I have to keep them separated until Charlie no longer reacts to Little Cat.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 04:14 AM
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You need to keep them seperated physically until there is no bad vibes between them, actually. And use LOTS of positive reinforcements, like feeding them BOTH mealtimes together, each on opposite sides of a doorway (starting with a door) and scent swapping, then going to baby gates stacked over the other, and a long towel in between. Or some other type of partition...

Have you tried Feliway products in your home around your cats or a calming collar on both?

You need to understand..the introductions are always at the cat's pace, not yours, your husband's, or anyone else. It seems leaving both cats out without supervision has caused your resident cat to become fearful of the other...that means you're back to square one, I'm afraid. Remember, some cats integration takes a long time, like several months, or longer! You need to be patient and go at their pace!

Have you watched any of Jackson Galaxy's TV shows? It could help you get some ideas to actually SEE the interventions he does...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy AAAArg

I'm stuffed.

I understand the timeframes but time and tide waits for no mother-in law and she will be sleeping in Little Cat's room and my husband won't allow me to suggest she has the cat in there with her.

We have only 3 other bedrooms and an open plan living area. With two little kids who walk between rooms all night so we have nowhere to lock the cat.

Worse is that my husband is upset that Charlie is upset and is ready to pull up stumps as he says the situation is not improving.

The problem I have been having is that Charlies main issue is when approached by little cat. Unfortunately feeding the cats/entering the kitchen causes Little Cat to approach.

If Charlie plays with a mouse with me, little cat approaches.

If I rub Charlie Little Cat approaches.

We got rabbits a year ago and Charlie was terrified of them until they started ignoring her. Then she bullied them a bit (sat on their cage and hit them with soft paw as they entered and left). Rabbits had no idea they were being bullied and ignored her so she got bored and now they all hang in the garden unless a rabbit gets bored and sniffs her and then she growl's.

As little cat is generally uninterested in Charlie and does not start fights or initiate interactions (unless food or play is on offer) we hoped things would play out the same way.

I dont think Little Cat is bulling Charlie. She does sit close to doors sometimes but I think it is more to view a room or garden Charlie is in. She breaks stares, doesnt initiate conflict and looks relaxed in Charlies company and will lie down and turn her back.

Up till last night, Charlie would lie spread out on her side within a few feet from Little Cat. She would also turn her back and lick her bum while close by. If a tin of tuna was being served both cats acted like the other didn't exist and would even bump each other without noticing as they stuck their heads in the food.

I tried feliway but the living area where then interact is generally open to the outside so smell just disperses. Will look at smelly collars. Thinking of getting Little Cat a bell so Charlie can hear her coming. Don't know if Charlie will wear one as she has never had one since she was born.

Assuming I go back to start, and we progress as before, the smelling and seeing with no aggression will be very fast. Even the sitting in the same room asleep or awake as long as little cat does not approach is not an issue (Charlie is back in and Little Cat is in her area so hoping Charlie just got a fright seeing Little Cat in the morning. Small house so it can't have been a full on fight or we would have heard).

The problem is if I offer treats for them being close with no fighting, it causes Little Cat to approach and Charlie gets upset. I actually want to reward Little Cat for giving Charlie a wide Berth.

We are ignoring little cat when Charlie is around or making sure to fuss on Charlie first. Little Cats back legs don't work that well yet (muscle wastage and/or old age) so Charlie can get to higher ground than her.

At what point do I need to move back a step? When Charlie Growls/ When Charlie hisses?/ When Charlie swipes as she passes by? Do I move back to looking through a gate? Charlie could look at little cat through a gate all day with no bother. But as soon as Little Cat approaches her we get the growling. If I seperate them when this happens it makes Charlie happy so it is a reward. If I lock Charlie outside I am punishing her for being frightened and fear she will hate little cat more.

Problem seems to be that Charlie does not like Cats. We rescued her with another kitten. They were friends till 6mths and then I think the playing got too rough and they were frenemies for a few years till we had 2 kids and he moved into the neighbours house with her obese cat. Obviously more peace and quite than neurotic female cat and screaming kids.

Honestly, do I have any hope? When you say a long time I need something to work with to help convince my husband not to give up. They will never be friends but I need them to be comfortable enough in each others company that Charlie will come into a room that she is in and ignore her.

What are the chances of a feliway collar calming Charlie? Any other safe herbal or chemical options to take the edge off (need no side effects as not wiling to risk her health). I am worried that the stress will make her sick as it is.

Sorry for long winded mail. I have joined a megacolon group but unless we can sort out the living arrangements, the megacolon is the least of little cats worries.

I am running out of time and the stress of asking a 4 and 6 year and 42 year old not to leave doors open and keep cats separate is causing huge arguments, never mind I am getting tired of getting smacked around by the cats (transfer aggression from Charlie - soft paw, and Little Cats way of communicating - soft but snappy mouth)

I am so confused. I read so much and it was all chugging along according to the book. I will look up that video reference. Hope it is available as a download as I don't have time to wait for postage. Again sorry for going on but I am panicking.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Found Jackson Galaxy

Not mad about his name but I really like him so far. Have only found one You tube video so far but it has given me hope. We could really do this if
a) kids could understand how to keep cats seperate
b) husband would let me invest in child gate/bottle of feliway or anything else
c) Mother in law was not coming so soon.

I will go back to feeding cats at cracked door.
I will buy Charlie some nice wet food so it is a treat.
I will bath cats in feliway (only joking)
I will check this forum every 5 mins for advice.....
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 10:25 AM
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If you have a Walmart near you child gates are cheap! I got mine for ~12$. I use it to block off our kitchen or bathroom from Jasper when I'm mopping or cleaning


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-28-2015, 04:59 PM
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Maybe you could also watch Jackson's show together with your family? I think you can even download his shows from Amazon (full season episodes or single ones), but I'm not sure where you are. There are some older shows on YouTube, like Seasons 3 and 4, which you could watch for free. If you're in England or Canada, there is that other feline behavior TV show called "Psycho Kitty", too, by Pam Johnson-Bennett. Can't watch that here in the U.S., that I'm aware of.

I do think that having everyone on the same page regarding "how to do intros" for your cats would make things a lot easier and make it less of a burden to you exclusively. Hoping you get better results this time, and more people can provide with suggestions/hints for you, too.

All the best wishes to you and your kitties...

Last edited by TabbCatt; 01-28-2015 at 05:02 PM.
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