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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya Folks,

I wonder what you think about this.

The reason I joined this forum was to pick the brains of my fellow cat lovers about a vexing problem in my house. It concerns Zammy, a 6-1/2-year-old tuxedo kitty we adopted from a shelter when he was about 4 or 5 months old. He had been brought into the shelter part of a little feral family group, his mother and sisters being too feral to even be in the shelter general population. But, he was pretty well adjusted socially and fit in well at the shelter.

Zammy is kind of wired, as I mentioned in the introduction, and he, or perhaps it's just his abundant energy, is off-putting to his feline adoptive sister, Autumn, who is much older than he is, was adopted into our hearts and home before he was, and has never cared very much for him.

So, not to make things too complicated, Autumn, Zammy and I lived with my son and now ex-husband (although still VERY good friend) up until I moved in with my now sweetheart, Art (a pseudonym). I moved here about 3 years ago, and the kitties stayed with my son and his dad until they came here, too, about a year and a half ago. Autumn made the move very well, fell head-over-paws in love with Art (and he with her), but Zammy (who had never had an address change prior to this, except when he was first adopted as a kitten) took longer to adjust.

Now, we're all in a pretty good rhythm, except (and this is a biggie), Zamm is utterly fearful of Art! It's VERY intense. Art cannot come into the room without Zammy reacting in some way, be it, jumping down from the chair he's sleeping on and hiding, jumping down from said chair and exiting the room as quickly as possible, jumping down from the chair and hiding under it and hissing. Sometimes there are several hisses involved (never growls, though). Sometimes, if Art just happens to be in the kitchen during feeding time, Zamm will not even eat!

It's *the* strangest thing. Now, if a stranger comes into the house, Zammy might be reserved, but does not exhibit this kind of fearful reaction. It's as though Art were a dog, which Zammy is quite afraid of (and understandably so). I have not seen Zammy react this way to anyone else, even the vet!

I have no idea what is going on in that sweet little head of his, and, of course, I couldn't expect YOU to, but I wonder if you have had this kind of experience and I wonder if you have any ideas how I can begin to help heal this relationship. Art really loves kitties, and it is hard for him to be hissed at all the time. (He joked that Zammy needs a "hiss-terectomy"!!) It's a good thing that Autumn adores him so!

Any and all ideas are welcome and very gratefully accepted!

Thanks also for taking the time to read this. I know I can be pretty wordy! :)

With kindest regards and gratitude,

Marji
 

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I love the wordiness! I am the same way!

I have actually dealt with something similar - so I just have to ask! Did Art have anything to do with Zammy's move? Was he the one who let him out of the carrier, or was he the first person Zammy saw when he got to the new place? Something like that?

My cat Francis was my BFF, attached at the hip. He was a kitten when we got him and I fit that "mother" role for him perfectly. We ate together, napped together, oh, napped and touched noses! Just the sweetest couple we were! My husband and I decided Francis was "my" cat. My boy! haha!

But in 2007 we moved out of state and I was the one who put Fran in his carrier, sat with him to comfort him in the backseat of the car, took him out of the crate when we got to the new digs.....

...and Fran hissed at me and never spoke to me again. That was 5 years ago. (he's just now starting to talk to me again - but he's rather ill and needs me, but that's off-topic! ha!)

After Fran decided he hated me (and I mean, he was doing the same things your Zammy is doing with your Art!) my husband bought me a new kitten. She became my new BFF, attached at the hip....

...and then I got pregnant and had a baby. She somehow "knew" I was the one responsible...and she never spoke to me again. That was over three years ago!

But my two kitties love my husband...love him to pieces. What we've done to try to get me back into the cats' good graces is to let me pet them while they're spending time with my hubs. I'm also the only one who does food duty - period. And toys...I only do the toys.

Well, the kitties don't love me like they used to, but at least they don't throw fits or run away when they see me anymore. They even let me pet them from time to time!

Does Zammy have a favorite blanket? Try having Art lie down with the blanket on him! Kitties can't resist the urge to lie on it (and him, by default!)

Its worth a shot! Let us know how it goes!

(p.s. We now have a third cat and he's my BFF now! I haven't done anything to tick him off, I guess! LOL!)
 

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Sorry, I just had another thought!

Art doesn't "smell," do you think? Smell like something maybe Zammy doesn't like? You'd think it would be gone by now, though. Maybe if Art spends more time with Autumn and really gets that familiar scent on him, Zammy won't be so skittish?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, Midgiepoo, for your post! Sounds very similar, indeed, to what's going on with young Zammuel. In fact, there was one time, shortly after Zamm came here, when Art was helping me trim nails. Needless to say, it didn't go very well, and I sometimes wonder if it was just that one thing that put Zammy off to Art. I don't think it really has much to do with Art's scent; he's an outdoorsman for the most part, and that's a scent Zammy, a full-time indoor kitty, loves.

Minikin, I don't know what a "Feliway" is, but I will do some research on it and see it that might be something to try! Thank you so much for telling me about it!!
 

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I bought one when I had the abandoned mother cat that I was trying to integrate with my bunch. It didn't work for her but had an amazing impact on my oldest cat who is a nervous semi-feral.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I bought one when I had the abandoned mother cat that I was trying to integrate with my bunch. It didn't work for her but had an amazing impact on my oldest cat who is a nervous semi-feral.
Very interesting! If I may ask, how did you use it, and what kind of an effect did you notice?

Thanks very much!!
 

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I have one that plugs into a wall socket in one of the Princess's favourite indoor spots. It doesn't ahve a instant impact but after she's been near it for a while, especially if she goes to sleep next to it, it makes her really mellow. After she's chilled she doesn't even try to run out if my sisters grandchildren go past her to get to the bathroom - we call it drug sniffing!
 

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I have one that plugs into a wall socket in one of the Princess's favourite indoor spots. It doesn't ahve a instant impact but after she's been near it for a while, especially if she goes to sleep next to it, it makes her really mellow. After she's chilled she doesn't even try to run out if my sisters grandchildren go past her to get to the bathroom - we call it drug sniffing!
My goodness! That sounds wonderful!! I will definitely give it a try. I don't want to get my hopes up, but it sounds like it just might even help Autumn with her dislike/intolerance of Zammy (and I sometimes wonder if her dislike for him kind of stresses him out ~ or something like that ~ enough that he cannot tolerate Art. Dunno if that makes sense or not, it's just a thought).

Anyway, it seems like it certainly couldn't hurt the situation and would definitely be worth a try! I'll pick it up next payday, and I'll let you know how things go!

Thanks again SO much for your help and suggestions!

♥♥♥
 
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