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New Cat Has Disrupted Old Cat's Behavior

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum, so my question may have been answered previously.

I have a 10 year old Persian female named Puff. In March, my 8 year old Maine Coon mix female named Simba was diagnosed with renal failure and in April, I had to put her to sleep. These two cats had been together for eight years and while I wouldn't say they were best friends, they got along and I didn't have any behavior problems. They would sleep together (now curled up together, but at least side by side) and sometimes, Puff would even groom Simba. After Simba was put to sleep, Puff seemed to be very clingy. She wanted to be all over me and demanded constant attention. I thought she was lonely without Simba, because I know I missed Simba.

The first week in July, I found an adorable Burmese/Havana mix kitten at a feline rescue shelter and adopted her. She's the funniest kitten and is constantly playing. I don't think she ever sleeps. By the way, her name is Mocha. I've only had her a few weeks, but already love her to death. I kept Mocha and Puff separated for the first few days Mocha was with us and then only allowed them to interact with my supervision for the next few days. They seemed ok, no major conflicts, so they are both allowed free rein of the house during the day while I'm at work.

Puff is not openly hostile and is not aggressive towards the kitten. But, she is a totally different cat. Puff now wants nothing to do with me and if I try to sit down beside her or pick her up, she will move away and turn her back on me. Puff used to sleep on my bed with me, usually right beside my head and sometimes even laying on me. Now, she makes sure she is in the same room with Mocha and will just lay on the floor and watch Mocha like a hawk. She doesn't want to play, she just wants to make sure she knows what Mocha is doing. When Mocha approaches her to play (and even sometimes, jumps on her back), Puff will get up and move away. If Mocha is aggressive and jumps on her, Puff will growl a little bit and throw her off. They usually don't hiss or growl and they have had a few little wrestling matches, but no fights that made me think someone was going to be hurt. I haven't seen either cat try to scratch or bite the other one. Mocha would love to play with Puff and snuggle with her, but Puff won't have it.

My question is, is this just normal jealousy and will Puff settle back down and act "normal"? I hate thinking that I've made her life miserable. She used to love going outside on the enclosed balcony to watch the birds and squirrells, but now she seems to have not interest in that, either. Should I re-seperate the cats and spend more time with Puff? At first, I was really happy because while the two cats were not overly friendly, they were not overly hostile, either. Or, should I just be patient and let them work out their relationship in their own time? I've only had Mocha for three weeks, so I realize it hasn't been that long. Also, I do make sure I pet Puff first, feed her first, just generally put Puff ahead of Mocha.

Sorry this is so long. I look forward to hearing any advice that you all have.
post #2 of 15
Welcome aboard!

I think that you just need to give Puff some time. She is probably still grieving the loss of Simba and is now having to deal with a rowdy new kitten. Since she is able to tolerate the kitten without becoming aggressive, I think things will be fine.

Make sure that you spend extra time with Puff, always greet her and feed her before you talk to the kitten and "prove" to Puff that she is the queen of the household. Once she sees that the kitten will not replace her as head honcho and that you "love her more than the kitten" she will come around. But....fair warning....whenever you bring a new cat into a house, things do change, but that's okay!

I am sorry about the loss of Simba. I know how very much it hurts to have a cherished furry member of the family pass on.
post #3 of 15
Nice to have you at the Cat Site.

My Persian also reacted similarly 3 months ago when I adopted our resident stray, Ferdy.

Balie who is definitely king cat, spoilt rotten and like my own baby used to sleep on my bed EVERY night. Since Ferdy arrived HE has to sleep on the bed - even lying on me sometimes - and he's HEAVY!

Balie first of all was rather hostile - not spitting and hissing, but wary, and very, very unfriendly. Occasionally he'd make to hit Ferdy. All Ferdy wanted to do was rub noses and be mates.

HOWEVER, now Balie will venture back onto the bed and even sleep on the other side of my legs to Ferdy.

The upshot is, give it some time. Let then get used to each other. Show them both that you love them, but help Mocha understand very kindly that there is a pecking order and that Puff does have to have quality time too.

Good luck - keep us posted!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouraging words. I would feel horrible if I made Puff's life miserable by getting a new kitten.

Sadly, Puff is still not doing very well. I now think it's beyond depression and jealousy over the new kitten. I think she may be sick. The past few days she has refused to eat. Up until now, the new kitten did not interfer with her appetite. She's always been te sort of cat to demand her food first thing in the morning and then she would eat the other cat's food if there was any left over. I've tried to tempt her with tuna (a past favorite) and every variety of canned food available. I usually feed her Science Diet dry food, so canned cat food is a BIG treat for her. In the past, Puff would almost climb up my leg trying to get to the canned food as I was opening it and putting it into a dish for her. Now, she will come into the kitchen and meow as if she wants it, but when I give it to her, she sniffs it and then walks away. She is also very lethargic and has no interest in anything. I've been watching her the past few days and she seems to be sleepy all of the time. It seems like she is struggling to keep her eyes open. She has stopped grooming herself, which is way out of character. Puff used to be a fanatical grooming and would wash herself all of the time. There are really no specific symptoms other than lethargy and lack of appetite, so I'm not sure what it could be. I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow, so we'll see.
post #5 of 15
Jen. How is her litter tray behaviour? Is she going alright?

Good luck at the vets. Let us know how it goes.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I haven't had any problems with Puff and the litter box recently. In the past, she has urinated in places other than the litter box. But, she hasn't done that in a couple of years. I had to move the location of her box, take the top off and change litter, but since I did all of that, she's been ok.
post #7 of 15
Sorry to hear about Simba. I agree with Lotsocats and Yola. Just give it some time. Meanwhile, though, I hope that Puff feels better.
post #8 of 15
Boy Jen, you really have been dealing with a lot of kitty issues lately. I believe that lotsocats is right about the two kitts getting along - however, I am worried about Puff's health. Please let us know how you make out at the Vets. I hope that she is well!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Thanks for your concern about Puff.

We just got home from the vet. My vet isn't sure what is wrong with her, but thinks it may be a virus, possibly something the new kitten brought with her. Everything looked ok, except Puff has lost weight, about a pound and a half since mid June, when she had her shots. So, the vet gave Puff a fluid I.V., a shot of B-12 and penicillin and some antibotics to be given once a day. While we were there, they got Puff to eat a few spoonfuls of Alpo dog food!! Who would have thought that miss finicky would eat dog food, but as long as she eats anything that's progress. When we got home, Puff went right to the kitten's food bowl and started to eat Iams dry kitten food! Again, not what I want her to eat, but for now I'll be happy with that. If Puff isn't doing better by Monday, I'm to take her back to the vet for blood tests.

So, my fingers are crossed that further tests will not be necessary and this will get Puff back to her old self. I'll let you know how she does towards the first of the week.
post #10 of 15
That's encouraging news... hope Puff feels better soon!
post #11 of 15
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Puff continues to improve!
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's concern and good wishes. I need suggestions on how to get my stubborn Puff to take her pills. I read a thread about giving cats pills on health forum on this website and I must say I've tried most of those suggestions. If I put the pill in her food, she won't eat the food and since she's eating so little these days, I don't want to totally turn her off her food. It does not good to wrap her in a towel and try to force it down her mouth, she spits it out every time!! I tried crushing it and mixing it with a bit of water and wet food to make a paste. I then tried to squirt the paste in her mouth with a medicine dropper. This was a disaster. She ended up hacking and spitting most of that back up. She was foaming at the mouth by the end of that episode. By the way, Baytril is the medication that I'm trying to give her. I read on a veterinary website that that medication has a bitter taste, so it doesn't work to crush it up and mix with food due to the bad taste. So, any suggestions on how to get this pill down Puff's throat would be greatly appreciated.
post #13 of 15
I'm not sure whether this was mentioned on the other thread, but I have found that if I cover the pill with a good dallop of butter, it slides right down the throat and leaves a pleasant taste in the cat's mouth.

To give the pill I sit on my knees and hold the cat between my legs with my feet crossed so they can't scoot out backwards. I then tilt the head back with one hand (with fingers on each the side of the mouth) and then place the pill as far back in the mouth as possible, trying to avoid placing it on the tongue. Then I very gently hold the cat's mouth shut until she licks her tongue which shows that the pill has been swallowed. Then I praise and praise and pet and pet the cat as much as possible, telling her how good she was and how proud I am of her. For the cats who like treats, I also follow the pill with their favorite treat.
post #14 of 15
A friend of mine had to do meds recently. He asked for liquid instead of pills. Then he had a little syringe that squirted the meds right down the cat's throat. The one time I had to deal with pills, I put it in the back of the cats mouth, and then while holding it shut, massaged the throat to induce swallowing. I was as amazed as anyone when it actually worked.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Thanks for your suggestions about giving Puff her pills. Anyone that can actually get a pill down a cat's throat is my hero. I still haven't been able to cram a pill down Puff's throat. I've been trying to cut it up into small pieces and hide it in her food. I'm not sure how much she's actually getting down. Puff seems to be doing better. She's a bit more lively and is eating better. She's not back to her normal self, but she is improving (no thanks to me and me efforts to get her to take her medicine).
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