Wrecking Carpets When Leaving the Room (seperation anxiety?)

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liamb2001
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Wrecking Carpets When Leaving the Room (seperation anxiety?)

Post by liamb2001 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:48 am

Hi everyone,

Im new to the forum but have looked online and on some forums regrding a solution to a bit of a problem we are having with our new kitten.

A bit of background...

Hes a 15 week old Rag Doll and hes been absoltuley wonderful for the past couple of weeks stopping and sleeping in my sons room at nights and things were fine. In the last 6 days we have changed his routine a little bringing him downstairs into my office with me in the day and taking him back upstairs as well as letting him roam (under supervision) around the house before taking him back up to my sons bedroom at night.

We have a female older cat Jess who is very terrortorial and who we have slowly been trying to integrate together and although he (coal the rag doll) doesnt really seem remotley intimidated by her, we felt like she was slowly accepting him albeit she is still hissing if he gets too close, but have noticed when she thinks were not looking she runs at him intentionally to hiss and what looks like a way of intimidating him....almost like she might attack him. Because of this we are massivley reluctant to let him roam free around the house from fear the older female cat might attack him, or he falls off the landing etc.

So as of the last 2 days the kitten has started whining and scratching the carpet at the door like crazy whenever we leave the room, to make a cuppa, answer for a delivery etc and when wed open door he would shoot out and wed be left with a damaged carpet :(

To make matters worse my son wasnt back until late last night so we took Coal up as normal, really playing and trying to tire him out with a few games but when we left the room he started whining like crazy and ripped up my sons carpet at his door so bad and so quickly we struggled to open the door. When we finally got in i ended up having to sit with him and stroke him until he settled. Only to bring him down again today and him doing it again whenever i leave the room.

We have tried ignoring him (although obviously not so long due to wrecking the carpets) we have tried putting card and blankets down to protect the carpet but not sure its making any difference and we really dont know what to do. We are so scared of our other cat attacking him if we let him roam not to mention all the other dangers around the house, we cant let him sleep in our room because our older cat sleeps in there and dont feel its fair on her.

Are we being too soft, should we have made him get used to sleeping alone initially?

Any advice or help would be appreciated
Last edited by liamb2001 on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fjm
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Re: Wrecking Carpets When Leaving the Room (seperation anxiety?)

Post by fjm » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:31 pm

Carpet tape, run in strips under the door, may help protect your carpets while you get him through this phase. If you do decide to ignore him you must stick to it, otherwise you are simply teaching him to yowl and scratch for longer and longer in order to get his own way! If all else fails I would try a comfy bed, toys and a tray in a large dog crate; then set a bedtime routine and stick to it.

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Re: Wrecking Carpets When Leaving the Room (seperation anxiety?)

Post by Mollycat » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:11 pm

I don't think it's fair to label this as separation anxiety just yet though it could probably develop.

He's been taken away from his mother and litter mates, is getting more confident in his new home with his new people, exploring and having fun, and then being put back in one room with no company while he can probably hear his new family elsewhere in the house? Crying to be rescued and trying to dig out to join them seems a pretty normal response to me.

I'd be spending a maximum of time with him out of his room supervised but while you get on with whatever you need to get on with, keeping a close eye on the resident lady for any trouble. Hissing and even batting isn't necessarily an issue if he isn't intimidated. If he has the classic Raggie character he should be able to win her over in no time, with your support. As long as you're quick to intervene if she steps over the line - if she fluffs right up or the hissing and growling takes a nasty turn.

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Re: Wrecking Carpets When Leaving the Room (seperation anxiety?)

Post by Ruth B » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:23 pm

I have to agree with Mollycat, it seems more like a desire to be around people and see what is going on than separation anxiety yet.

As long as the worst she is doing is hissing at him and taking the occasional bat but doing no physical harm then I think it is just normal cat interactions and her letting him know his place in the pecking order. He knew his place with his Mother I assume, now your resident cat is having to tell him that she is taking that place, and kittens, like most children, will then try and see just where the boundaries are and what they can get away with. I will also say that while you do need to keep an eye on him around the house, he does need to learn his own lessons and that might mean a few falls and mis-jumps, better he learns as a kitten to judge what he can and can't do, than try something when he is older and not quite as 'bouncy', it really is an unlucky kitten that hurts himself in a tumble. He is also no doubt growing quickly and will need to learn how to use his muscles and balance sense. When one of mine was about 9 months old, he managed to push a window open and get out onto the window ledge, then promptly lost his balance and fell off, it was a first floor window, and a clear drop down to paving slabs below. I flew down the stairs and out the front door, only to find him wandering around the front lawn, with the attitude, of 'how did I get here?'

Finally I will add that Ragdolls are renown for needing companionship, they hate to be alone, whether it is a human or another cat doesn't seem to matter so much as long as someone is with them. Could you get some form of dog crate or kitten pen where he could be safe, but still able to see you and what you are doing, and where you don't need to worry about your other cat being able to get at him and hurt him.

We used to have a Ragdoll, we got him when he was about 3 years old from a rescue centre and we had him for 13 years before he succumbed to old age, he was always happiest when he knew where we were, if he came in and couldn't find us straight off, he would call until we answered him, he would then just come and settle near by. When we were both out at work he just used to curl up with our other cat (who fortunately also like company). They are naturally very friendly cats, although we did notice his body language had been influenced by humans and he seemed to approach every cat that he came into contact with, with the same head on approach, as if he believed they would all be his friend, which for many moggies came across as a very confident cat, the type that never lost a battle, so they all back down to him, it probably helped him that he was already bigger than most cats when we got him, and when he fluffed up, which he did occasionally, he was about three times their size. it could well be that what to you seems indifference in your kittens attitude to your resident cat, she sees as a young upstarts challenge to her position, and he thinks is just being open and friendly towards her.

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Re: Wrecking Carpets When Leaving the Room (seperation anxiety?)

Post by Mollycat » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:48 pm

Ruth B wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:23 pm
Finally I will add that Ragdolls are renown for needing companionship, they hate to be alone, whether it is a human or another cat doesn't seem to matter so much as long as someone is with them.
Oh tell me about that - my Raggie boy was an 8 year old retired stud so on top of that had been used to living in earshot and sight of many ladies even though he was in his own pen. Within a month of coming to me, barely used to me and the new flat, he was so desperate for company and so stressed that I could hardly go to take the bins out before he was crying desperately and his fur full of static. He would run to the window calling and calling any time he heard a cat outside. I had to get Molly, for him. And I couldn't separate them, she was safe under the bed where he couldn't reach and he just wanted to love her from the moment she arrived, coaxed her out, cared for her, calmed her down, it was really amazing to witness.

But I think had I not understood his need then real separation anxiety was already developing.

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Re: Wrecking Carpets When Leaving the Room (seperation anxiety?)

Post by lilynmitz » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:41 pm

I can completely relate to what you describe, we went through exactly the same when we brought Toby home, and Elsie decided to show him who was boss and teach him the house rules.in our case our normally sweet and gentle Elsie was actually attacking tiny friendly little Toby, so we were bewildered. When we started letting him explore the house, with Elsie out of the way, he went nuts when we shut him in his safe room at night. Basically he just wanted to join the rest of the family and enjoy the rest of the house, and was bored and lonely stuck in the bedroom.

In a state of desperation, we borrowed a large dog crate, put it in the living room with bed, food, water and toys and a blanket to sit on, popped Toby in, and let Elsie into the room. Toby was keen to make friends and was very patient with Elsie, who hissed if he so much as moved. But we kept reassuring her, let her see Toby playing with his toys, fed them near to each other etc, and gradually she calmed down. We did this a few times a day for about 45 mins a time, and after about 3 or 4 days we opened the crate while Elsie was in the room, and we’ve never looked back. I know of a few other people in multi-cat households who swear by this method when introducing new cats. Give it a try.

But try not to demonise either cat, they’re both pretty stressed right now, your new boy just wants to have fun and your girlie needs to let him know who’s boss, and keep her place in the hierarchy. Stay calm, reassure both, and keep trying.

Meanwhile the carpet protector trick under the door (held down with Velcro) may save your carpet, and feliway May help.

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