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Discussion Starter #1
I've posted a few 'new cat' questions in the past couple of days - thanks to you all for the helpful responses.

We got a 2-4 yr old female cat from the SPCA about 3 weeks ago, and have noticed some behavioral problems with her which may just be a part of her 'settling in' stage. She was very gentle and shy when we first got her. The day we got her, she hid for a few hours then came out and wanted to cuddle. Her behavior has worsened in the ensuing weeks. She *does* love to sit beside us, and sleep between us, and is very affectionate in that way. However, she bites and scratches when we try to pet her.

My gut feeling is that because we're not home for a good chunk of the day (w/my job and my partner's full time school) she is getting frustrated and/or bored, and thus is exhibiting aggression. We play with her a lot when we are home, and try to give her as much attention as we can. Though she does bite and scratch us, she seems to really *crave* our attention.

My question is: would it help if we got another cat, so they could keep each other company during the day while we're gone? My concerned is that she seems to be a fairly "freaky" cat who gets spooked quite easily (she was a stray) and she may not adjust to another kitty, and may get quite jealous b/c of how affectionate she is. Help! :shock:
 

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Kuruku, I think it's good to have more than 1 cat. We have 2 cats and they play together most of the time. This way we feel good because we know that when we are at work, they don't feel that alone.
 

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Hey Kuruku,

A few months ago we got a second kitty.
I will never regret that decision.
My Tinka totally changed from that day on. Of course the first few days she growled and hissed, but after a few days both played together and today they are so good friends. The are playing and cuddling together and no one is waiting at the front door anymore. I do not need to have a bad conscience any longer.

I would recommend to get another cat. But please, first you should let her settle down. It's only a few weeks that she came to your house. Everything is new and she hasn't already accustomed herself to you. She should first know that this is her home and then you could adopt a second one.
 

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We got our kittens in the same time and there was no problem. The truth is they were sisters so maybe Teffito is right.

I think you could get the second cat right away as long as you introduce them propery.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How does one introduce cats properly? Do they need separate litter boxes and food dishes? How do we prevent our current cat, Rusty, from getting jealous?

My fear is that they will never learn to get along, and we'll have with 2 unhappy cats who hate each other. One idea I had was to foster a cat from the SPCA in order to test out Rusty's compatibility w/her.
 

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I definately think that two cats are better than one. My two spend the majority of their time playing together or cuddling together. They are very happy kitties!
 

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Since your not home a lot your cat is defiitely craving the attention. So it may be a good idea to get another cat. Yet, there is a chance that they may not get along. In another post I had mentioned how to introduce them. So here it is again.

1.) Have the new cat in a carrier and put them in the same room.
2.) Don't force them together but just let them investigate on there own.
3.) Keep doing this until they seem calm around each other or a few days.
4.) Take the new cat out of the carrier and see what they do.
5.) Continually supervisor until your confident that they are getting along.

You will need to get a separate litter and food dish until they get along. Unless it's love at first sight :D .

If anyone has any suggestions or better ways of introducing cats please feel free to post it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess I'm a little concerned because we have a one-bedroom suite, with a large garage area and an enormous closet which our current cat has already claimed as her domain (she's frightened of the bathroom so we can't put her litter box in there). I guess I could put the new cat's litter in the bathroom instead.

A big concern we have is that our current cat will suffer from jealousy. She's a full grown female, not a kitten, so adjustment may be hard on her.
 

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The more cats the better! LoL! :lol:

I think the cats enjoy each other even if they fuss from time to time. Just give each one equal attention. Good luck.
 

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We have 5 cats (some rescue work) and dispite some inital grumpyness, our cats get along great. Cats are social animals and without that they can develop behavior problems. If you can do it, a 2ed cat is a great idea
:D
 

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Hi Kuruku,

You might try addressing the biting/scratching issues, as well. When you are playing, if kitty tries to bite or scratch, firmly say "no" and stop playing for a while. After a bit, if kitty seems to have settled down, try again. It may take a few days to reinforce what you are trying to teach, but kitty should start getting the message. If you have a successful play session with no scratching or biting, be sure to have some treats handy, so you can praise kitty. Tell her what a good girl she is. You might want to keep the inital play sessions short, too. That way she won't get too "wound up".

I know this doesn't speak to your question about introducing a new kitty into your home, but even if you do get a second kitty, this one needs to learn what is and is not acceptable at play times.

I hope this helps!

Peace,
Mike
 

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2 cats are better than one?

Hi Kuruku

The way you describe your cat's behavour is *very* similar to how Jimmy was when we first got him. He's 4 years old and had come from a loving home (his previous owner was elderley and had to go into a home), but I think he was just stressed and bewildered by his new surroundings.
He likes to cuddle up at night, but usually gets over excited when you pet him and tries to bite or swipe at you. But luckily he rarely puts his claws out and only bites gently :?
Anyway, we've had him over 4 months now and he has got a lot better. He's not at all scared and jumpy any more, in fact he's a pretty chilled cat.
He still doesn't like too much petting and fussing - but we don't force it on him. If his tail starts to twitch we just back off, so little by little he's getting better.
My partner doesn't mind being 'bitten', and watching them play together, it looks like Jimmy is treating partner like another cat - giving him soft little bites one minute, and grooming him the next (he licks and licks my partners arm :) ). This led me to think, like you , that Jimmy might like a playmate. But then again, he is a bit of a 'spoilt only child' and always had been. Plus the fact that we're in quite a small flat and there isn't much room.
So, at the end of the day, we're not going to get another one - although I can see how it would be a good idea if you had the room. But if you don't get another cat, I'm sure your kitty will gradually settle down, like Jimmy did. Either way, I'm sure your kitty will learn to love living in her new home.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Last night we kind of came to the conclusion that Rusty can only tolerate certain types of petting without getting riled up. When she strikes out, she doesn't use her claws - but she *does* bite quite ferociously (last night one of her bites drew blood, ouch! Hello peroxide :shock: ). It does feel like playing, and not outright attacking.

My feeling is that she has a lot of pent-up energy that cannot be released adequately - thus the overt friskiness. She gets 'freaky' several times a day; racing around the house, stopping abruptly to obsessively lick herself, then racing away to hide under the bed. I worry that we're doing something wrong, which is making her act so odd - but I can't fathom what it could be!
 

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Kuruku, I am concerned about the bites. If she breaks the skin, the person bitten could get an infection. A love bite doesn't break the skin. It is more like a mother cat picking up a kitten. Please take care of that bite!

If you decide to get her a playmate, make sure both cats smell the same. Exchange their bedding every night, and put a drop of vanilla on the back of each cat's neck. This might seem odd, but it works. Scent is very important to cats.

I am going to move this thread to Behavior now, since it really needs that kind of attention. I wish you the best!
 
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