Cat Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I have been visiting the local SPCA every weekend the past few weeks. This SPCA is no-kill, and they have boys and girls rooms. Usually the same 2 or 3 girls are pacing around the very small room, while the rest are in their cages. We've gotten to know an overweight 2.5 year old cat who had been at the shelter since Jan. 2011. Her name is Lila.

She's always in her small cage, and we take her out. She stretches, and pretty much immediately starts playing with the other smaller cats. She romps with toys too. Her behavior with the other cats can get a bit rough, but it's always playful. She gets very wound up. I'm sure I would too if I was only out of a cage for 30 minutes a day.

Anyway, my wife and I decided to foster her for a 10 day trial. We have only one cat now, a very large and mellow Russian Blue boy, about 5 years old, named Buddy.

The introduction went well. No, we didn't do it by the book. Buddy has always been a perfect gentlemen to other cats, even strange ones. And this was no exception. They checked each other out from a respectable distance, and not so much as a spit.

Lila took to the house immediately after exploring. No hiding or anything. She is an incredibly confident cat. She was jumping on furniture and sitting with us like she'd been here a month already.

Buddy is interested in her, but politely. He sniffs the air and keeps his distance, sitting placidly.

Unfortunately, Lila's behavior towards him (as she gets even MORE confident) is becoming aggressive. She gets very wild-eyed if he's even in the same room, and she growls lowly. And when she's like this, she doesn't want us even coming near her. It's like a change comes over her.

I understand she's a in a strange place. But Buddy is presenting no threat to her, and she seems to have instantly recognized that and has decided to start pushing him. At one point I went in the bathroom for a few minutes, and when I came out, Buddy was under a bed and Lila was "guarding" it, growling.

Seeing how she played with the other cats and dominated them, I guess this is no big surprise. But I can't have Buddy bullied. He is a rescue, and lives for our time together with him. And he's not a "player".

A friend has advised us to just bring her back to the SPCA as soon as possible, for all our sakes. It's hard, because we want to give her a fair shake. But again, we can't have our own cat stalked or harassed, or even potentially hurt. The poor boy wouldn't even know how to fight back I don't think..

I know.. give it more time? We will try. But she will have to improve her attitude quickly..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,573 Posts
Since you've taken the decision to give this a try, I would say give this try your all and do it by the book. It doesn't guarantee the outcome will be positive, but at least you'll know you did your best. Why not keep them in separate rooms at the start?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,471 Posts
Since the intro has already been made, and she's decided she's going to be the boss of the house, I don't really think separating them and then re-introducing them is going to work, but that's just my opinion. As you said she's a very confident cat and I think she'll just continue to dominate (and likely harass him). Better to take her back early than let her get settled. And why is it you want another cat? Is it for yourselves or for Buddy? Buddy may just be one of those cats who is perfectly content having his owners all to himself. If he hasn't had a playmate now at 5 yrs. I doubt he's pining for one now. Had a Russian Blue/Manx mix and he was quite happy to be by himself....he never really played with the other cats or kittens when I was into breeding Manx, quite a self-sufficient cat, not like my Manx who like to hang together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Other than Buddy, we previously had two cats who succumbed to cancer in 2010 and 2012, so he's used to other cats in the house with him. Since his step-sister died in early March, he's been more vocal and seems kind of anxious. Tho he was never warm and fuzzy with either one of them, they taught him a lot, and I think he likes having another cat in the house.

And Lila needed to get out of the shelter. As I said, she'd been there a long time. She needed someone to give her a hand.

Today has been a better day. Definite positive progress. One time she smelled his tail a little longer than he would have liked :wink, and she's still eyeballing him when he walks by (and vice versa), but she's been a much nicer girl today. Everyone's calmer, including me..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,471 Posts
If you think it will work out, you could reinforce their bond by playing with them together with an interactive fishing pole type of toy such as "Da Bird" and flicking it from one to the other so they each gets a turn to catch the bird, and also mixing up their scents. If Lila gets in one of her moods where you think she's being too aggressive, it's time to get out the catnip and rub it on their toys and let them play with them in the same room but not too close to each other. Catnip initially get them excited, but if they eat a bit of it, it's really a mild sedative and calms them down.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,851 Posts
This cat is just a foster, right? Have you ever fostered before? Often a foster can be (and should be to start proper introductions) kept in a separate room. Even a small room is better than what she had before, right?

All cats are individuals and respond differently to every cat they meet. It's not really her "attitude" that's a problem, she's doing what most cats do when presented with another cat. My experience is that often older cats are not warm and accepting of other cats from the get-go and it takes a fair bit of work to get them to play nice - if it ever works out. A slow introduction is best. I've also found cats and dogs get along amazing better together than two cats will. Cats get territorial with their own species.

A cat at a shelter is in an unnaturally crowded environment, it's hard to get a picture of their real personality at times. They're overwhelmed by all the other cats at a shelter, but when there's just one other cat the fur flies. If you want the two cats to get along, you need to do a proper introduction, or you need to just keep her in a separate room permanently... otherwise, you might as well quit now if you're expecting her to just suddenly stop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Another day with excellent progress. They've touched noses several times, and she's not growling anymore. So much more relaxed.. she was eating this morning and Buddy came over and sat right next to her to watch. She looked up, gave him a wink, and went back to eating. So nice to see.

She's chased him up the long staircase a couple times during mutual play sessions (she gets hyper), but no harm done. That's even something that Buddy and his previous sister used to do with each other, so he's kind of used to it.

Here's a pic of Lila.. not flattering mid-blink, but I was more trying to get her big mitts.. too cute..

Thanks for the help.. :thumb

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
that sounds great. Usually when you have two cats that do get along with others before, odds are they will get along with each other eventually. When I introduced my alpha female last year into the house, the resident kitty had a hellish time getting along with the new boss in town, so we were also debating about how we keep the two. We also didn't do text book introduction which probably made it worst. It took 3 months of constant monitoring, intervening on occasion to stop the stalking and bullying, then one day it just seem that they clicked on..and now they seek each other for comfort, although a clear hierarchy was established which helped things. I think kitties generally need each other and tolerate each other to give them something to do rather than be bored by their lonesome. It takes time, and expect volatile periods during kitty relationship building. The last one we took in, we introduced her by the text book and it was smooth. And that is a gorgeous kitty pic, she looks like fun, looks like a real keeper to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
so glad Lila seems to be getting the hang of it

that's a gorgeous shot of Lila, by the way - mid-blink or not. in fact, the mid-blink probably makes it cuter. :crazy

what a relief buddy and lila are learning to get along, too. touching noses even! awesome. sounds like maybe they just needed a little more time to get a handle on things.

i think sometimes we humans worry too much about things like this because just a day with our kittiy FEELS like a year sometimes to me. that's because she makes me really live in the moment so i experience every second instead of just whizzing through the day without paying attention to anything going on around me. so, then with my kitty i get this impression that if something's been happening for like 2 days, it feels like an eternity to me and i panic. don't know if you've experienced this time warp sensation at times. I'm just happy Buddy and Lila are getting along better!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top