progressing from bonding room to rest of house

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buckspiccy
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progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by buckspiccy » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:07 pm

Hi My first post! Advice please! We took on 2 older 10+13 rescue cats whose owner went into hospital before Christmas, so they were on their own for some time, a neighbour going in to feed them, they lived at the same address, but it turns out they are not bonded together!
We have a resident cat, who we have gradually introduced over the last few weeks. We have had the newcomers for 4 weeks now, but they rarely move from their bonding room our dining room. I have tried moving the beds, but they go straight back to the room. Casey is more like a hermit crab- we got her an igloo as she kept trying to hide UNDER the bed we bought for her, and she loves it, only coming out to use the litter tray, eat,( a little) and has explored a short distance. She had to have a dental -3 extractions scale and polish a week ago, which probably set her back a bit.Honey either sits on the table or on a chair under it but will sleep in her bed which is on the table-I know I shouldn't have done that but I do know they feel safer if up high. How am I going to get them to progress? They don't seem to know what toys are for either! The resident cat wanders in and out of the dining room-two doors-looks at them, no yowling now, but I am at a loss as to how to move on! They both like being groomed, and will prrp in answer to being talked to.They are both very wary and nervous, so think they were just ignored at their other home!

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Re: progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by Mollycat » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:55 am

Firstly well done you for taking these two on, so that they can go straight from their old home to their new home without the trauma of passing through shelters or fosters.
Firstly you say they don't seem to be bonded to each other. Sometimes cats don't really interact but may be more bonded than they seem. I have had 2 pairs like that in fact my current two don't interact at all but they are relaxed about sharing a home. Cats are by nature solitary even though they are adaptable enough that some tolerate, relax or even seek out each other's company. But it's fine as long as they are not stressed. Do these seem stressed about each other, or just not bothered about each other?
Secondly cat relationships can change when there is a change outside their relationship. They could have been very close before but in a new environment with new people and a new cat they might react very differently to each other.
You mention new beds. Did anything familiar from their old home come with them?
If they are happy in the dining room, I would let them be. By all means provide food and beds and toys around the house, but if that's where they feel comfortable there's no harm in them staying there as long as they want to. Obviously don't carry them out of the room to other rooms, let them explore as much as they want in thei own time. And never, never block off their access to their safe place. I'm sure you already know all this.
If they are not yet settled it's not surprising they don't respond to toys. Patience. Do they both wash in a relaxed way all over? There's a myth that if you move house you should put butter on the cat's paws so it can find its way home. It's nonesense but it has a grain of truth - a cat won't have a full paws face shoulders chest sides back legs bottom wash if it's uncomfortable. Of course a cat will always lick butter off its paws, so that creates the illusion of the cat being comfortable because it's licking its paws, but it's not real, just removing something making its fur dirty! If they don't yet do that, just be patient and give them plenty of time and attention.
There's a great saying about horses but it applies to any animal - if you act like you have 10 minutes it will take all day, if you act like you have all day it will take 10 minutes. If they are making progress at their own pace, let go of your ambitions for them and let them get to where they want to be in their own time. If they are very stressed, something like Feliway Friends or PetRemedy diffusers, plenty of attention which you're already giving them, catnip, open doors, dens and perches, should all help them settle.
If it's any comfort one of mine adopted at 6 years old took literally years to settle.

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Lilith
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Re: progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by Lilith » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:50 pm

Hi and welcome, and yes, time is the remedy.

Cats, especially cats of that age, get very set in their ways. Eighteen months ago, my Mouse went to a special centre for radio-iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism, at the age of 15. She was a very shy feral kitten when we (and the rest of her relatives, who also moved in, with kittens, but that's another story) first met, but with time she blossomed and by 2017 she was quite cheeky and forward (especially with the classic hyper thyroid appetite) and slept on my bed. Of course the RI treatment meant strict isolation, both at the centre and on her return home. When she was clear, and I could fuss and kiss her again, she wouldn't come out of her isolation room for days, despite the open door. When she did, she chose an igloo downstairs, and ever since then she's stayed downstairs, much to my sorrow. She still loves a kiss and a cuddle but I have to go to her ... after 18 months :o

I'm very thankful she's cured of the hyperthyroidism, but doesn't it go to show ...

Mollycat (ah I have a Molly! :D ) I can relate to your experience of it taking years to bond ... my own Molly has taken 7 years to permit her face being stroked.

So, well, in my experience anyway, time ... and to go at their own pace. As for toys, not every cat plays with toys. Mouse never did, apart from when I used to sit out on the pavement with a bunch of pigeon feathers from the park on a string, coaxing her to climb on my jeans and get used to a human presence. Her little brothers and sisters responded well to this too. But her cousin Emily, who brought me five kittens and moved in with them, was, later, a bit poorly after her spaying, and I bought her, impulsively, a toy mouse, thinking Em would be far too sophisticated (I'd received presents of rats :o ) to take much notice. Well, she loved that mouse. She batted it about until it was nearly bald and tailless!

They're all different lol.

All the best with your new arrivals, and please keep in touch :)

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Re: progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by Mollycat » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:10 am

Lilith wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:50 pm
I'm very thankful she's cured of the hyperthyroidism, but doesn't it go to show ...

Mollycat (ah I have a Molly! :D ) I can relate to your experience of it taking years to bond ... my own Molly has taken 7 years to permit her face being stroked.
How spooky ... that's exactly where my Molly is going today!!! :O

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Re: progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by Lilith » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:25 am

Mollycat, that's extraordinary! Is it the Wetherby Centre? I'm so glad I joined this forum because although I've had cats all my life I'm still learning, and the info I picked up here about hyperthyroid treatment was invaluable - I'd never heard of radio-iodine. Good luck to your Molly - it's awful parting from them for a while but incredible how they settle. I agonised over my nervous Mousey, but I needn't have.

Buckspiccy, in my previous post I only told half the story - I should have mentioned one of my other ferals, a middleaged ginger tom who was incredibly hostile ... till he had a bad winter, I think he'd moved on from these streets because his harem was spayed, but turned up again in Spring thin and hungry and very interested in a house where there were 'his' women, and food and ... he changed. From being fierce, he moved in, and he blossomed. I swore he was half golden labrador because he loved everyone. If there was a knock at the door he ran to greet whoever it was. The change in him was quite incredible; no doubt partly due to neutering but still ... I've never had a cat quite like him, and when he had to go for a dental the nurses could have spent all day cuddling him if he'd had his way; they were amazed, especially when they learned his background ... you can never quite tell with cats.

So I hope your two start to blossom out soon :)

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Re: progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by milesdavid » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:27 pm

I think time, affection, and also patience is what you need. For what you told us, it seems that they go along well with the new house.

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Re: progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by Mollycat » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:46 pm

Lilith wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:25 am
Mollycat, that's extraordinary! Is it the Wetherby Centre? I'm so glad I joined this forum because although I've had cats all my life I'm still learning, and the info I picked up here about hyperthyroid treatment was invaluable - I'd never heard of radio-iodine. Good luck to your Molly - it's awful parting from them for a while but incredible how they settle. I agonised over my nervous Mousey, but I needn't have.
She's at Langford, only an hour from home - university vet hospital. We could have had it cheaper but I trust them and after the tests they run, we know her inside out. I just know she thinks she's being abandoned for the third time!

I came here for diet advice because she's an odd one, has not lost weight and tends to be a fat pudding, so needs low calorie but high protein to rebuild muscle. Senior foods tend to go low calorie and low protein, all the prescription ones are high carb. At the moment we've compromised with Felix plus her reduced calorie dry and will supplement with fresh fish and meat when she comes home, and watch what the weight does and adjust as it develops. But there seems to be very little advice out there for cured hypers to rebuild muscle.

How did you manage Mouse's diet post treatment?

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Re: progressing from bonding room to rest of house

Post by Lilith » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:27 pm

Ah, that's the trouble - you can't explain to them :( Mousey did weather her visit very well though; I hope your Molly manages ok.

I didn't really bother about Mouse's diet after her isolation; she's not an athletic cat and she doesn't roam, and she's not a fussy feeder though of course she got specialled a bit, Gourmet, Encore and so on as well as ordinary stuff like Felix. During her illness the weight had dropped off her; after the treatment she began to gain steadily and now she's a nice big heavy pudding again, without being overweight, but she fitted the classic profile for the disease; it's trickier with your Molly. But there are members on here who'll know about a high protein diet; hopefully they'll be along soon :)

ps you might have seen this, but if not this is Mouse's story - viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6300&hilit=radioactive

Including all my mistakes (I was so thick, I thought there were several injections :oops: ) but also a diary of the nursing when she got home and all the precautions ... daunting, but amazing how you get used to it. Antonio, who contributed a lot to this, had to take his cat from Turin to Ghent :o for treatment - we're very lucky in the UK to have centres close to us.

Sorry, Buckspiccy for hijacking your thread - hope your guys are going on ok :)

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