As some of you know, I recently took over my mother's cat, Cinders, as my mother at 93 can no longer care for her. Cinders is 8/9 years old and spayed, an inside cat who is not very active and has a clean bill of health. But we are having great problems integrating her into the household. I kept her completely separate for nearly a month, only exchanging litter boxes and blankets to mingle smells, none of which seemed to cause any problems. I also used vanilla on them to help the first sightings/sniffings. Then I began bringing her into the living room at night for a couple of hours, on my lap, where she remained quiet and most of the others ignored her or were gently curious. But Ellie is having none of it. Every time she sees Cinders she goes for her, claws and teeth and all. I have never actually seen a cat spit before, but there are no holds barred here. I and my daughter have been scratched trying to protect the newcomer. A couple of times a door has got left open and the cats have got into the other part of the house where we have been keeping Cinders, and while the others eat her food and sniff around, Ellie makes a beeline for the stairs and the bedroom and lets fly at her in her 'safe place'. Poor Cinders is retaliating by peeing everywhere - she has ruined a sofa and a chair, and I am trying to save a rug. I cannot blame her - she is stressed out and marking her territory. The vanilla trick did not work for these two - there is something about her that Ellie just cannot accept - I don't know what, she has always accepted newcomers before without all this behaviour, and Cinders is not aggressive towards her - she turns and runs and only growls or hisses once she is cornered. It is now seven weeks and we are at stage one again. Meanwhile the cats are kept out of half the house and are feeling cooped up. Life is getting difficult for all of us. I will try any suggestions anyone can offer. I feel such a failure on this one - all the others have assimilated so well over the years.
post #1 of 7
10/16/07 at 3:05pm