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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Integration progress and setbacks

Well it's been a few weeks since Kiki's spay and we've made some progress, but we are no where near where I had hopes to be.


First off. Kiki's incision healed up nicely! She took it upon herself to remove a second stitch on day 10, and I was able to safely remove the rest on day 14.

Kiki seems to be a bit calmer since her surgery, but there are still issues.

I am able to have Kiki out running around the house when I am home. She's not guarding the boxes downstairs anymore but she will follow Lula or Milo if they go down there to pick a fight. I put a box upstairs in the room next to Kiki's and she watches that one just as closely.

At this point, I have to take Milo downstairs and close the door so he will use the box. Kiki will always be sitting outside the door when I open it. She runs into the room and then figures out that I am carrying Milo upstairs, turns and has attacked my ankles when I am walking back up the stairs with Milo. (not in a super-aggressive way - more like a kid that gets mad when you take away somethin they are not supposed to be playing with.)

Milo will spend his time under the kitchen table, or on the couch with us when Kiki is out. Kiki has come up to him on the couch a few times, her pupils get really big, she moves very slowly, and when she is spotted - she backs away in slow motion. I am not sure if she is trying to get close to him to smell him, or if she has an interest in antagonizing him. She does this a lot.

Lula is a different story. Kiki seeks Lula out, she will sit in close proximity to Lula whining and staring. What is this? I guess I think she is trying to push the boundaries with Lula, but I am not sure. Lula will sit quietly and just stare at her while she does this. Eventually Lula will stop paying attention and Kiki will end up laying down right in the same spot. Is this progress? I don't know.

See what I mean? (Lula is on a chair under the table in this pic.)

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Saturday morning I woke up with Kiki sleeping on the bed next to me while Milo and Lula were sleeping in their spots on pillows at the head of the bed! It was a breakthrough moment for me. So two nights ago I decided to try leaving Kiki out when we went to bed. She had been doing so well during the day, I thought it was time to give it a try. Both Milo and Lula were already in bed when Kiki decided to get on the bed as well. Lula started growling, and Milo decided to jump down after a minute - when he did, Kiki attacked him and scratched the top eyelid on one of his eyes. I woke up the next morning to see poor Milo's eye was swollen shut. Luckily it was a very small scratch and the swelling went down by the time I came home from work so I did not take him to the vet.

Kiki gets to play with DaBird all by herself and gets worn down. Milo and Lula will not play with DaBird when Kiki is watching and none of them will eat any treats! I don't know how I can make positive associations when they are not interested in the rewards.

I guess I feel like we are on the brink, but obviously not all there. Part of me thinks that Kiki wants to be around Milo and Lula, but then she provokes an incident. I don't know how bad she is with Milo, he screams bloody murder which makes me think things are worse than they probably are. He is the one I worry about most, he does not have claws and he knows it, so he does not have the confidence to defend himself from being bullied. Yet, when Kiki is in her room, he sits outside her door and even sleeps there like he is waiting for his friend to come out.

I am so confused at what is happening.

Also - I am not reacting to any of this. When there is aggression I am pulling the aggressor out of the picture and giving everyone a time out. I am trying my hardest to not feel any apprehension, or excitement when there is any interaction - I don't want to influence anything with my concern. I am trying to be strong for all of them. LOL

We are going on 4 months of this and I just wonder if we'll ever get there. I have exactly 4 months to go before we leave town for a week and I am so nervous about what will happen when we are gone.

I am so sorry for all of my rambling, I hope what I am trying to convey is coming through. It's late and I barely had any time to pop on here and put this together.

Here are some more photos of Kiki in all of her glory.

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Last edited by suzieqt001; 02-12-2015 at 12:38 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 02:12 AM
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Suzie,
It doesn't sound bad at all!
It does take some cats longer to integrate! It sounds like there are little break throughs happening, and that's good!:p
I would keep Kiki's claws trimmed, so if a slap fest occurs, not much damage can be done!
Hang in there! I think you're on the right path!
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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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Sharon! I needed to hear that.

Progress is still progress no matter how small I guess.

I can't tell if Kiki is being aggressive, or maybe she just has bad manners?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 12:42 PM
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You're making good steps, so there's definitely hope.

When it comes to treats, I'd suggest upping your game a bit before writing them off entirely. Use AMAZING treats: cooked chicken breast bites, bits of hamburger, tiny pieces of cheese, dehydrated chicken treats, etc. Regular cat treats aren't going to do it with them all wound so tightly. Wet cat food might also be a good helper - assuming they don't get it often.

I'd also consider putting them on a feeding plan of meals, if you free feed. That way right before dinner they'll be hungry and you can offer a treat then. If they haven't eaten in hours they'll be hungry and might go for treats - worth a shot! (besides, feeding in meals is better for the kitties anyways )

As far as your trip goes - I would suggest having the pet sitter just keep them separate. Have Kiki in her own room, and tell the sitter not to let her out. It's way too risky to expect everything to go well while you're gone, and if anything negative does happen it could set you WAY back. Not worth the risk, IMO.

As far as he behavior goes we can't really say if she's being aggressive or just has no manners without actually seeing it - and the logistics of being able to videotape her while she's being difficult are not easy. My bet, personally, is a bit of both. She wants to play, but doesn't know how to ask - so she gets frustrated and aggressive. But, TBH, that's just a guess.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 12:54 PM
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Library chick as always has given great advice. I agree that I think her behaviour is not agressive but trying to play and getting frustrated. That's probably understood by Milo and why he sleeps outside her room. I know it feels forever but 4 months is not long for integration and cats just take their own pace. Kiki was a tiny kitten, Lulu a very nervous cat and it took 12 weeks before lulu didn't go running out of the room Kiki was in and stopped hissing at her when she got overwhelmed. At the time it felt like forever but now they get on great although they both like space to sleep so no cuddly kitties here.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
You're making good steps, so there's definitely hope.

When it comes to treats, I'd suggest upping your game a bit before writing them off entirely. Use AMAZING treats: cooked chicken breast bites, bits of hamburger, tiny pieces of cheese, dehydrated chicken treats, etc. Regular cat treats aren't going to do it with them all wound so tightly. Wet cat food might also be a good helper - assuming they don't get it often.
My cats are so finicky. None of them like people food. I've tried the cooked chicken breast several times when I've had it for recipes (no seasoning) and so far no takers. No cheese, nothing. I bought a bag of the Orijen Original treats two weeks ago, Mow and Lula ate two pieces each when I brought them home, and nothing since. Kiki seemed interested too, but she didn't even try one. I also bought a package of Cat-Man-Doo Bonito flakes (Lula and Milo used to love this stuff!) and again, nothing. Kiki seems interested for about a second, then walks away. Bonito flakes!

I've tried feeding them wet food and they won't eat any unless it's on their food dish in their eating areas. I'm baffled. I used to be able to get my Mow cat to eat food that she otherwise would pass up by moving her food dish to a new place in the house. This trick never failed with Mow. Milo, Lula and Kiki are not impressed.

I am going to give tuna a whirl. Lula loves tuna and I have a hunch Kiki might too, so I'm going to try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
I'd also consider putting them on a feeding plan of meals, if you free feed. That way right before dinner they'll be hungry and you can offer a treat then. If they haven't eaten in hours they'll be hungry and might go for treats - worth a shot! (besides, feeding in meals is better for the kitties anyways )
They are on scheduled feeds. I split a can between all of them in the morning, another when I get home from work, and I'll sometimes split another can before I go to bed, depending on how hungry they are. I do have dry food out, but they only seem to eat it when they don't like the can food I gave.

I tried treats before dinner tonight, and it was a no go. They were all hungry because none of the wet food was touched and they didn't eat much dry in it's place. (I feed them Orijen dry and high quality grain free wet.)



Quote:
Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
As far as your trip goes - I would suggest having the pet sitter just keep them separate. Have Kiki in her own room, and tell the sitter not to let her out. It's way too risky to expect everything to go well while you're gone, and if anything negative does happen it could set you WAY back. Not worth the risk, IMO.
I was afraid of this. I'm afraid you are right. I would not be able to enjoy our trip (honeymoon!) if I am worried about what's happening at home. Kiki is going to have a fit - she has already ripped up the carpet under the door in her room from scratching. (Thank goodness we're not keeping the carpet for much longer!) Oh well, I guess it is better than the alternative

Quote:
Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
As far as he behavior goes we can't really say if she's being aggressive or just has no manners without actually seeing it - and the logistics of being able to videotape her while she's being difficult are not easy. My bet, personally, is a bit of both. She wants to play, but doesn't know how to ask - so she gets frustrated and aggressive. But, TBH, that's just a guess.
This could be the case. She drew blood on Milo this morning attempting to get onto the table when Lula and Milo were under it. So far this evening everything has been quiet.
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