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Please help with cat issues

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm in a tough situation and I'm looking for some advice. Many of you know that I rescue and that last summer I added to my clan. I had a rescue that I just couldn't let go. I love her dearly. I tried really hard to find the perfect adopter for her, but I couldn't, so I kept her. LOL. The problem is that my original resident brother and sister will NOT leave her alone. It's getting worse. She now pretty much lives on my daughter's loft bed because she can get up there, and most of the time my first female can't and the male can't. I can't imagine that she's happy, and the only time she really has free reign of the house is when I lock the other two in the bathroom. That's no life. My house is not set up in a way that I can give her her own space with doors between her and the other two. My other male does just fine with her, and the resident siblings are fine with him. They've just decided that they hate this last addition. and it didn't used to be like that. I've tried feliway, time outs, water bottle, soft paws on the offending sister, even putting BOTH the male and the female in a pink tutu dress as humiliation. NOTHING is working. They are tormenting her. My selfish side says that I can make it work, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't consider putting her up for adoption after all. I can't see any change in the near future that would allow her to have her own space free of them, because three of the 4 of them will not tolerate closed doors and will dig holes in the carpet under the doors. Since I just had all the carpet upstairs replaced, that won't work, and there's no way to close the upstairs off from the downstairs, and no doors downstairs except a closet and a bathroom, neither of which she could live in. Short of putting her up for adoption, does anyone have suggestions for behavior modification on my offending brats?

That's my BOY in the bad kitty pink tutu dress.
post #2 of 4
Well, being as you're in rescue, you know how things go in the real world for cats, even in the Bay Area, which is much better than most. Personally, I would strongly suggest you keep her and just be patient with your longer-time buddies, giving them more loving attention and "ignoring" the newbie, which is what experts suggest when adopting a new family member. In time, the situation should even out some, though it may never be perfect. My youngest, Baby Su, came in swinging as a former feral kitten; now, she runs terrified from my Maryam, Rani, and Sishya, all of whom seem to want to reciprocate. They don't actually come to blows anymore, and there's absolutely no question of anyone going anywhere else -- we're a family, for better or worse. Fortunately, we have enough space for everyone to relax and have territory of their own, but it doesn't have to be a separate room for each. Cats are very adapable, actually; sanctuary cats, who live very high-density, make their own niches and in time, get along well enough with less-than-ideal circumstances. I sure hope you'll keep your newest little girl and that time will be a positive influence. (Oh, and btw, I would strongly advise against humiliation in any form, especially putting clothing on cats!!! This will only worsen the situation. You need to make your older cats feel as if they are still #1 and still best-loved. It's natural for them to feel jealous, left out, hurt, and so on when a new cat is suddenly brought in! But with time, they may even curl up together and form bonds. I hope so, anyway!)
post #3 of 4
Yes, I feel for you! Sometimes there is only so much space and just too many cats to share it. We have to find solutions that don't actually damage anyone. I have no other suggestions as I am going through a similar problem - not tried the fancy dress yet though!
post #4 of 4
I wish I could help! I'm going thru a similar situation w/ Geronimo & Gabriel. Geronimo is always "bullying" Gabriel, and it's gotten to the point where Gabriel just hates Geronimo (not that I blame him!). It doesn't help any that Gabriel won't defend himself against Geronimo. Geronimo bullies the other cats too to some extent, but not as badly, b/c they won't take his cr@p as much as Gabriel will. He usually doesn't bully the others too much during the day, b/c he knows that Meowmy's watching, but every night I get woken up by the two of them getting into it underneath the bed, where Gabriel will run to hide for protection. Geronimo just won't knock it off, the little demon!

I've tried everything: locking him in a room by himself till he behaves, squirting him w/ water...nothing seems to work. He's just determined to terrorize Gabriel..

I'd love to hear some suggestions myself!

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