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Discussion Starter #1
My new cat lives closed in my bedroom because my resident cat attacks her. This could be for many months, I don't know, I'm hoping not. I'm worried, wondering if this is unhealthy for her? How long can I keep her closed like that???

(Notes: I can't rehome her because adult, former street cats are not adopted here. And I can't afford the cat behaviorist, because it's $250 each session. I'm completely betting on time to solve the problem.)
 

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Cats feel safe in thier own spaces. In a multi cat household every cat needs thier own space/ territory. Cats are territorial where as dogs are pack animals. That is why introductions with cats are different from dogs.

Try getting some of Pamela Bennett Johnson books. Think Like A Cat. Cat vs Cat. She explains how cats view and approach situations. I send her books home with my foster adoption families. Be sure and play with your kitty and spend time with it while its being sequestered in your room. Cats need companionship.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, Mitts. Your words did me a world of good, I had been with this rock in my stomach about it.

She has lots of companionship, because she and I sleep curled up together all night every night in bliss :) and I spend half my cat time with her and half with him. Apart from that, while I'm at work all day, Prince hangs on the other side of the door a lot and they smell each other (they keep each other company this way). What worries me is the restricted surroundings, the lack of walking and running space... Sometimes I grab her by force and take her out of the bedroom into the kitchen or the living room just for a change of air, usually when Prince is downstairs in the garden, but she doesn't really enjoy it because she's scared.
 

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Well cats can stay in one room, my stud cats did, but he did have companionship of some of the girls and older kittens at night. For more exercise I used to take him out for walks on our property. At the time we lived on the edge of two fields and he loved to wander about and squirt the perimeter of our property. If you have a tall cat tree with shelves, she will likely get adequate exercise climbing it and even running about her/your bedroom. Another way of giving her something different to look at is get a pet stroller and take her out in it for walks. She doesn't get exercise (you do!), but does get stimulated at looking at new and different things. Both my cats like "walkies" in the pet stroller.
 

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I am currently in the same boat as you. Althought my cats don't get along for different reasons. I currently keep the scardy cat in my bedroom which also has an attached bathroom and my dominant cat in the living kitchen area. I try to switch them out but they both like their spaces. How long have you had the new kitty?
I went and had a consultation with an animal behavorist and she gave some good recommendations. She told me that the reintroduction can take a long time (months) maybe even a year. Each day do a scent exchange(rub them both with a towel and exchange the scent). I would recommend switching them in and out of rooms even if it is for a little bit.

Make sure that every interaction that your cats have together are positive. They may only be able to be in the same room for a couple of minutes, but that is ok. As soon a the resident cat hisses or even get slightly agitated (I am sure you can tell) steer him towards the door. When doing this do not pick him up or discipline him. Sometimes when we give the agressive cat too much attention picking him up may be confused for a reward ( especially if he likes being picked up). Do your cat take well to cat nip or treats?
Make sure you are consistant and over time you will see improvement.
I may have to put them both on prozac to aid in the process but we are going to keep trying the behavorial stuff she another month.
I know it is discouraging when you feel like there is no process.
Let me know if you have any questions :)
 

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Lizaboot before you put your cats on Prozac please try Composure Liquid by Vetri Science. Ive had good results with that all natural product.

Prozac and anti depressants should always be a last resort. The book Cat vs Cat would be very helpful to you.

Straysmommy Im partial to wand toys with strings and feathers. Cats really love chasing the feather, jumping, excited stalking of it. If you dont feel she is getting enough exercise and stimulation, maybe a wand toy would help?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mitts, she won't do anything, she's afraid of toys, and she never climbed the ladder I put for her in my bedroom so she can look outside the window in a fun way and not only from the bed. When I try to play softly with her with a toy, she kills it in self-defense then hides from it under the bed. She hides in the closet all day even if the bedroom door is closed and Prince can't come in.

Just now I picked her up against her will and took her to the kitchen for a change after weeks, and Prince immediately chased her. Now she's hiding behind the fridge, gathering the courage to run to the bedroom closet again. :(

I've tried all the tricks in the books. The only way there can be peace is to keep them separated by the bedroom door, but I don't understand how that will magically cause one day, when I open the door, even a year from now, Prince to stop chasing her.

He doesn't injure her. He chases her and stops when he's right in front of her. I wish I knew what exactly he does to her, but it's always been under the bed and I couldn't see.
 

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Mitts & Tess,

Thanks for the recommendations, I am going to check it out. I have currently been trying Rescue Remedy but don't think it is really affective, have you tried it? I am just a little reluctant to try another herbal remedy for it not to work again.

Straysmommy,

My Bella was terrified as well. She would still play and stuff but would poop herself everytime she was near Lila. It takes time. Bella and lila are both happy cats in their own spaces but when in the same room it is a whole different situation. Have you taken her to a vet and ruled out anything medical? I know aggression can stem from other cats being sick. A good analogy that the behavorist told me was, "Imagine being in an elevator and a male walks in (you have no idea who he is) and starts treating you as if you were his girlfriend". Your resident cat is reacting to that your new cats anxiety. Everytime a cat is scared they release a hormone (I don't know what it is called) that the other cat can smell.

Although I do not want to go the medication rought it may be the path I will have to take.

Have you talked to your veterinarian?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, the vet gave her a clean bill of health, said she's in great shape. She brought a bad case of fungus from the streets but it's treated and gone now, thankfully. I know Prince would stop if she attacked him once, but she was always a very scaredy cat, that's a big part of the reason I took her off the streets. Prince likes to chase the small, sweet, scaredy females downstairs too. He's so big that no cat poses any challenge to him. And since he's had all the self-assurance of a most pampered prince, he has no competition.
 

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Ive combined Feliway plug ins (not the spray) with Composure Liquid. Rescue Remedy hasnt worked for me. A friend of mine has had goodresults with Spirit Essence products. They can be applied directly to the skin of a cat. She would apply it between the shoulder blades. Shes combined use of different ones together too.
 

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Consider the product Feliway. It is a "Feel good hormone" that plugs into the wall like a Glade air freshner. It worked to curb agressive behaviours with my cats and if you google the product, it gets a very good review. It is also economical to use and perhaps a better option to drugs if you can avoid expensive oral prescriptions. There are also herbal remedies such as Rescue Remedy, which are flower esscence that are either added to the waterbowl, sprayed or can be applied to the cat. These help to reduce stress in cats and I know of at least one reputable veterinarian that uses the product to make the cat feel more at ease when visiting the veterinarian office. All good options that you may wish to consider prior to resorting to perscription meds. Though if you do resort to prescription medication, investigate Clamicalm. I had a cat that for the last 11 years of its life was on a small daily dosage and it made a significant difference it its quality of life.

All I am saying is that if you need to use some sort of intervention, research your options first. There are lots out there!

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I may have to put them both on prozac to aid in the process but we are going to keep trying the behavorial stuff she another month.
....... Let me know if you have any questions :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Today when Prince was in the garden, Princess walked outside the bedroom and with a bit of cajoling from me walked around the whole apt. and in the hall between all the apts. on this floor. I'm elated. It was more walking in a few minutes than she did in 2 months. Then she fell asleep cuddling with me in the living room. Unfortunately, she's been hiding behind the desk since Prince came back.
 

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QUOTE]Consider the product Feliway. It is a "Feel good hormone" that plugs into the wall like a Glade air freshner. It worked to curb agressive behaviours with my cats and if you google the product, it gets a very good review. It is also economical to use and perhaps a better option to drugs if you can avoid expensive oral prescriptions. There are also herbal remedies such as Rescue Remedy, which are flower esscence that are either added to the waterbowl, sprayed or can be applied to the cat. These help to reduce stress in cats and I know of at least one reputable veterinarian that uses the product to make the cat feel more at ease when visiting the veterinarian office. All good options that you may wish to consider prior to resorting to perscription meds. Though if you do resort to prescription medication, investigate Clamicalm. I had a cat that for the last 11 years of its life was on a small daily dosage and it made a significant difference it its quality of life.
[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the input. They are good options but unfortunatley I tried feliway and Rescue Remedy both with no luck :(. Right now I am really focusing on behavior modification. I am doing all this with an animal behavourist. She suggested that in a month if nothing has changed that we try the medication approach obviously with the continued behavior modification. Trust me I do not want to go the medication approach so I am trying everything else I can first. I will check out the Clamicalm.
 

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It sounds like you guys are pulling out all of the stops to help make your cats cohabitation work out well.

I'm a big believer in bathing cats that are having to share space. Somehow even the most territorial of cats seems to find more room for a newcomer when all parties are freshly shampooed....it may very well be that they are merely coming together to plot my demise, but nonetheless it does seem to help them adjust more easily, a nice claw clipping session front & back is a good plan too.

BTW There are cats that spend weeks, months, years in a cage waiting to be adopted, a bedroom sounds like a pretty amazing gig next to that, especially if it means sleeping with you :)
 

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I would get her use to the house without Prince there. They should spend a month or two without eah other present. This is extreme but she sounds very timid and lacks of confidence. Some cats are that way. We have no idea what has happened in her past so it sounds like you need to take it nice and slow.

Everytime she sees Prince, it is going to set her back in her progress. When it comes to a point of seeing each other it should start out by you cracking to door and let them see each other till one of them gets agitated. You might want to switch rooms. Prince sequestered with door closed while she spends time out in the rest of your home with you for awhile each day.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Nora, you have no idea how much good your words have done me. Thank you so much.

Mitts, that was the idea indeed, but all went downhill the other day when Princess wouldn't go back into the bedroom (and I made the mistake of not picking her up by force) and I had to bring Prince back into the apt. because he'd been outside TOO long already.
 

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QUOTE]Consider the product Feliway. It is a "Feel good hormone" that plugs into the wall like a Glade air freshner. It worked to curb agressive behaviours with my cats and if you google the product, it gets a very good review. It is also economical to use and perhaps a better option to drugs if you can avoid expensive oral prescriptions. There are also herbal remedies such as Rescue Remedy, which are flower esscence that are either added to the waterbowl, sprayed or can be applied to the cat. These help to reduce stress in cats and I know of at least one reputable veterinarian that uses the product to make the cat feel more at ease when visiting the veterinarian office. All good options that you may wish to consider prior to resorting to perscription meds. Though if you do resort to prescription medication, investigate Clamicalm. I had a cat that for the last 11 years of its life was on a small daily dosage and it made a significant difference it its quality of life.
Thanks for the input. They are good options but unfortunatley I tried feliway and Rescue Remedy both with no luck :(. Right now I am really focusing on behavior modification. I am doing all this with an animal behavourist. She suggested that in a month if nothing has changed that we try the medication approach obviously with the continued behavior modification. Trust me I do not want to go the medication approach so I am trying everything else I can first. I will check out the Clamicalm.[/QUOTE]

I understand your reservations in using medication but I used Clamicalm with one cat for ten years! He was inappropriately eliminating himself in the house. I worked closely with a veterinarian to ensure there were no health issues causing the problem then tried a few different types of meds. We landed on Clamical and it worked! But every time I tried to take him off it he would resort back to the undesireable behaviour. So we kept him on a 1/4 tablet daily. He was a much more content kitty on the meds and the last ten years I believe he enjoyed the best. He didn't hide as much, became social with visitors, started enjoying going out on the lead (was agriphobic) and was shedding by far less. We chalked it up to anxiety issues and the meds levelled it out and allowed him to enjoy life better. Sometimes meds are not a bad thing!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Alpaca, all I can say is, if you're going to adopt an adult stray into a small, rented apartment where a much bigger adult stray lives and the new one is a scaredy cat and you have no spare room and you live in a very hot and humid climate most of the year in a country with no no-kill shelters as an option, think about it long and hard, then think about it long and hard again. Although she lives confined to a small room and in fear, she's still better off than in the streets, so I don't regret my decision to adopt her. I know someone whose newer cat lives in the bathroom, and it's still better than any of the other options that cat has in life.
 
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