GO!

Please help my kitty family!

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  


Member Since
03/19/2013
 
 
Purred: Tue Mar 19, '13 3:53am PST 
Hello my fellow cat lovers!

I have a HUGE problem in my family that I could really use some outside perspectives on. Before I get into it though, I want it to be very clear that getting rid of any one of our babies is out of the question. So please, if that is your only advise...I don't wanna hear it, I'll explain why but most of all we love our babies more than anything.

Ok, so it started when I got my first two kitties back almost three years ago, Cleo & Tiggy. I was newly single at the time so as you can imagine the bond between me and my girls is huge. Cleo is a hugely social cat, she loves attention from humans and cats alike and if you have treats she'll be your best friend. Tiggy on the other hand is very anti-social and only liked myself and Cleo and would hide whenever other people were over. Fast forward to about a year and a half ago. My high school sweetheart, myself and our two girls were all living together. Tiggy had finally warmed up to him and life was great. My hubby decided though that he wanted to have his own boy cat as he was feeling out numbered. I have had many cats in the past and knew that introducing a new kitty in can be difficult and stressful but that passes and then everything is fine. Enter Boogie (don't ask, he was originally Oliver but had many nicknames and now we just call him Boogie lol), Cleo reacted just as I thought curious and a little scared but not too bad. Tiggy, however, freaked out so bad. I felt terrible because she looked at me like I had betrayed her and she wouldn't even let me near her. I figured that she would come around in time and we should just leave her alone. I don't think I mentioned yet but at this time Cleo and Tiggy were both unspayed as we were hoping to get one of them pregnant. As Boogie got older and grew balls and became more hormonal, his and Tiggy's relationship went from general dislike to avid hatred. Boogie was so mean to her that if she tried to come down from the top of the fridge or the cubby hole in our living room, he would chase her under the couch. She was too scared to even go to the litter box and ended up using the area under the couch as a bathroom. It got so bad that we had to move Tiggy into our bedroom at night and let her outside during the day. One night , Tiggy escaped from our room because the door wasn't shut properly and her and Boogie got into a fight that could have ended very badly. Also, we started noticing very large, aggressive Tom cats outside that were also harassing Tiggy because she was in and out of heat. It was at this point that we decided our kitties HAD to get fixed because it was too much to handle. Oh ya, our fourth addition Wyatt also came this past winter. We found him out in a field behind our house, he was just a tiny baby frozen and nearly starving to death. As he reached sexual maturity as well, the hormone level in our house sky rocketed. Boogie became very angry and was attacking Cleo and Wyatt, which wasn't like him. So fast forward again to about a month and a half ago. All 4 kitties got fixed, we completely cleaned the house and hoped for a fresh start. We've been trying to slowly introduce Tiggy back out with all the other kitties but are scared that Boogie might still attack her. When we bring her out of our room she just hides in a wall cubby hole in our living room and doesn't leave because she is so scared. We want our house to finally have some peace and harmony. We don't need Tiggy & Boogie to be best friends, but to just co-exist would be perfect. Should we take away the cubby hole so it forces her to be with the other cats? Boogie seems to be so much better now that he's fixed and Tiggy isn't as high strung as she was before either. Should we just wait a bit for all the hormones to leave their bodies before trying to reintroduce them? We have many ideas but want to know what other people might think would work the best.

I know this was long winded but you need to have all the facts before you can make an opinion. Like I said, getting rid of any of them is not an option. Tiggy is so leary and untrusting of people that no one would want her and she's probably end up getting put down. We can't get rid of the boys because my hubby, and me for that matter, is so attached to them and would probably grow to resent Tiggy. We will find a way to make this work, any suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks in advance!
[notify]

Hunter

Is that a hair- elastic? ^w^
 
 
Purred: Fri Mar 22, '13 8:45pm PST 
I would highly suggest reading Cat Vs. Cat: Keeping Peace When You Have More Than One Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett ( http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Vs-Keeping-Peace-When/dp/0142004758 ) as it's a great in depth look into how cats interact and gives you some great clues into what they are thinking.
As time passes and the hormones leave their systems you should have an easier time reintroducing the cats. I would separate all 4 cats and reintroduce first the two you know get along best and slowly work my way back to the two that don't get along so well. While you have the cats in separate areas do a major overhaul clean of the main space. Deodorize and rearrange the room so the cats feel like they are entering a new (and neutral) territory.

Hope that helps a bit!
[notify]

Tigger

Knead softly &- carry a big purr
 
 
Purred: Mon Mar 25, '13 3:34pm PST 
Excellent points form Hunter. You need to keep in mind that being un-fixed for a while, can affect how their personality develops. I am NOT picking on you - just stating a fact. Boogie learned to be aggressive, as tom-cats are by nature - he was following his instincts. I think he should definitely be kept separate from the girls for a while. If he and Wyatt get along, by all means let the guys hang out together. Let your girls have the run until Tiggy starts to feel better. Then slowly introduce the boys. If you have a way to allow them to smell each other through a door or screen several times a day without seeing each other or interacting, that helps - so they get used to the smell of each other. The biggest thing here is patience. This may take a long while - don't push them. But as committed to your kitties happiness as you are, I know you can do this. Add some Feliway diffusers to the areas. I have had luck with Pet Nautrals calming treats. They have a vitamin that is in kitty-mom milk that helps the kitten relax, so it helps the cat to feel calm. I also have been using Bach's Rescue Remedy drops for my Felix. (he is a very scared & skittish little boy I rescued.) I do notice a difference using this 3 pronged approach, but it works alongside your other techniques. Speak softly, and calm when Tiggy is out. She needs to feel relaxed in her environment. I would not take her cubby away right now, as she feels safe there. When she is in it, sit on the floor & let her come to you - use a toy or a treat, but this needs to be on her terms. You need for her to feel good & confident before you move to the next step. Remember to her, she was there first & then much of her life changed, and she got picked on. You can use the treats & Remedy on any of them, as they are both safe. I would use it for sure on Boggie too since he was aggressive, it will help him relax too. I sure hope some of these ideas help you. I understand the frustration, but again, patience is key here. Best..hug
[notify]


Bo

1287440
 
 
Purred: Wed Mar 27, '13 6:38pm PST 
Have you tried putting Kitty Kaps on their claws so at least they can't hurt each other as badly?
[notify]