Lost as to where to go next!

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Karen+Ted
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Lost as to where to go next!

Post by Karen+Ted » Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:29 pm

I know that this topic is covered frequently but each cat/stage is different and I would appreciate some views or similar experiences. I posted previously about introducing new and 'old' cat. Taz being resident female 10 year old Bengal and Ted being new now 7 month old kittycat. He arrived at the end of January, went through the scent stage, the crate stage, and being in the same room stage and all going slowly but no major incidents. Even had a pic sent to me of them both sitting by the open fire back in February when the OH was home alone with them. That was the last time they shared air space without Taz attacking Ted. It first happened when they were together and I opened the front door obviously making a noise. This made Ted run towards the doorway to get into the hall to say hello, Taz then chased him in an aggressive rather than playful way. They were separated then for the evening and it has gone downhill since then. She attacked him again and drew a spot of blood where she had clawed his face. At that point we then kept them separate for a week and then re-introduced Ted to the crate. We have fed her in the same room as the crate and she will eat her food and then initially started to run at the cage hissing and growling and sticking her paw through the bars to get to him. We have tried to ignore her to see if she works out for herself that he is no threat as he just lies down. This seemed to have worked to some extent as she will now trot past the crate and not fly at him but will try and hide round the side so he can't see her (there is a blanket over the top to give him some security) and then jump at him hissing. She will also trot past quite quickly when going from one room to the other. Today they accidentally met and she totally ignored him so OH just let them mooch about. No incidents at all and she basically ignored Ted - until OH spoke and said 'good girl' to her. With that she flew at Ted chasing him halfway up the stairs until she caught up with him and for the first time he actually tried to defend himself by waving a paw at her. No blood and I think OH more upset than either cat. Ted seems very resilient and is quite keen to get back into the living room when he hears Taz making a noise. I really don't know where to go with this now. Is Taz anxious - is that why she displays this behaviour? We have a feliway plug in in the kitchen but nowhere else in the house and it is permanently plugged in. Should we only plug it in when about to introduce? She will eat in the same room and quite close when he is in the crate, she will tolerate him being carried around in the same room, its just when he is on the floor and/or if there are any loud noises. Is it just the waiting game still in the hope that she learns to tolerate him, or should we give in and try and re-home Ted so they can both have 'proper' cat lives? Ted gets plenty of play time as I spend my evenings upstairs with him playing, and he sleeps in the bedroom at night so lots of association and interaction - its just not how I imagined spending time with two cats!!! As I said - any advice, suggestions or experiences welcome - either that or a hankie as I love my Ted cat and really don't want to have to re-home him but just want him to have the best. Thanks again.

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lilynmitz
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Re: Lost as to where to go next!

Post by lilynmitz » Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:44 pm

Has Taz always been an only cat? If so, the introduction of such a young, and male, cat at this late stage in her life must seem like an awful intrusion into her safe place. It sounds like she's finding just his presence immensely stressful and is constantly on tenterhooks, so that any slight noise tips her over the edge. Tbh, from what you describe I don't see an easy answer to this one.

A few things you can think about. Is Ted neutered yet? If not, get him done straight away, although I do note that Taz is the one doing all the chasing. The Feliway needs to be on in the places where they meet, and not just for the few minutes they're together. Think about leaving it on all the time you're in the house during the day (I hesitate to suggest 24/7 because of fire risks with diffusers). Make sure there are plenty of high places they can get away from each other so that they can be I. The same room without feeling their personal space is threatened.

But at the end of the day, if they really can't get on, this isn't a happy situation for any one of you, and rehoming Ted may be the kindest option for all concerned.

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Crewella
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Re: Lost as to where to go next!

Post by Crewella » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:27 pm

I agree. It might be a good idea to find a week or so that you can be around and just leave them both free to sort things out between themselves, as long as you're around in case things do get nasty.

There are plenty of cats that don't much like each other but learn to live in the same house, but they do need to spend some time living together in order to set boundaries and settle their differences. Perhaps you could separate them at night for a while, but let them loose together all day?

Just a thought (I'm not saying that that's the case here, but it's worth thinking about), if you're stressed about the situation there's a chance that they can pick up on that and get stressed themselves, so it's worth taking a step back and just keeping an eye on them to make sure things don't turn really nasty. A bit of hissing and paw-waving is to be expected, and it does sound as though Taz is learning to stick up for himself.

If they really can't get on, then at least you'll know and will have to make some tough decisions. Good luck, I really hope they can learn to get along.

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Lyn from Australia
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Re: Lost as to where to go next!

Post by Lyn from Australia » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:13 am

I agree with Crewella when she says that plenty of cats live in the same home who don't particularly like each other - I myself have 13 cats in my small home at the moment, the majority of whom have rejected the usual "introductions" and have chosen to muck in with all the others straight away and sort things out themselves. I suppose I've been extremely lucky from everything I read. Anyway, I would just let them alone to sort things out, just making sure you are there at first. Taz's reaction to your OH's voice sounds like redirected aggression to me - she's uptight and Ted is the one she goes for when she's cranky, regardless of whether he's directly responsible or not. Honestly, I think they will be all right in time. Just deal with each cat as an individual and try not to give one more attention than the other, unless the extra attention is for the older resident - cats DO notice this - and lets the younger cat know who the top cat is. Sounds stupid, but this is how things seem to work at my place. If you aren't experiencing health or psychological issues I figure things are going quite well and will settle in time. I certainly don't think that your situation warrants the need to consider rehoming Ted - cat fights always sound worse than they really are!
Best of luck.

Karen+Ted
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Re: Lost as to where to go next!

Post by Karen+Ted » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:16 pm

Thank you everybody for your imput. I went out and purchased some Pet Remedy last week and plugged in two difusers, one in the room where the crate it and one in the living room where Taz spends most of her day when we are out. I also have a spray which I have used round the crate where Ted goes whilst I have my tea in the evening. There already seems to be less aggression. She started by being less confrontational to him whilst he is in there and is currently running at the crate but without hissing or growling and appears to be more play than anything else. Good old Ted just lies right back down again looking cute until she turns and walks away and then gets up again waiting for the next session. :-) Taz has been an only cat for the majority of her life, just the first two years of her life with the 'old man' we had before but as he was 21 then and she was a young boisterous kitten we ended up separating them for his sake. As everything has calmed down a bit I am going to give it another week and then possibly re-introduce in person and bite the bullet. The OH has been the one to let them meet as he is less stressed at the introductions, but more keen to intervene if it goes wrong. She now sits round the corner from the blanket that keeps the back of the crate covered (so he has somewhere to back off into out of sight and reach of paws), she doesn't actually do anything, just sits there. Bit odd - but I guess that is cats. I am sure that eventually they will tolerate each other and thats all I ask as I have more than enough space to keep them separate during the day when we are out.

Thank you again, any other suggestions always welcome.

K

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