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6 cat household. 2 cats hate each other.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ok, a little background. We have 6 cats, 5 of which were bottle fed because they were abandoned. All are barn cats from MIL's farm. We started out with Harley and Monster. My MIL found them about 3 weeks old and bottle fed them until they were old enough to eat kitten food. DH and I took them in them then. When they were about 8 months old, we took a kitten that I fell in love with from the barn. That is Little One. She got along great with the other two and everything was fine.

Then, we moved. We sold our house and moved into MIL's old house while waiting for our house to be built. The house was MUCH smaller, plus we had boxes piled around to the point that we only had pathways to the bathroom, bedroom etc. Little One was NOT happy about this but we couldn't help it, and it was only temporary. Harley and Monster adapted fine.

Then, two weeks after moving there, MIL found 3 kittens who's mom was killed by a dog. We took them in and bottle fed them. Everything was ok until they were old enough to crawl out of their box and start exploring. Harley was ok, Monster didn't care, but Little One HATED them. Especially Gizmo. He was the runt, and we didn't think he would survive so I spent extra time with him trying to get him to eat. As a result, he is now spoiled and the most annoying cat we have.

We have been in our new house for almost 2 years, and Little One and Gizmo still do not get along. It's gotten to the point that Little One spends most of the time in the basement (she has a cat tree, litter box and water). She only comes up to eat.

On top of that, we've also added 4 dogs to the mix. Little One doesn't seem bothered by the dogs, but she starts hissing and meowing if she even sees Gizmo. But, then again, Gizmo will follow her to attack her when she is in the main house, so I can't blame her.

I just feel bad because in order to spend time with Little One, we have to go into the basement because she doesn't like it upstairs. But, she seems to prefer it there. She does come up for the nightly treat of canned food (1 can split on 2 plates) and she will share he plate with anyone except Gizmo. And of course, he always has to go over to hers.

So, my question is....is the problem with Little One, or Gizmo? And, how do I get everyone to just get along? I miss having Little One upstairs, but I don't want to force her up here if she is miserable.

I know this is long, but I figured you would need the entire story to try to figure out how I can resolve this. Thank you in advance!
post #2 of 3
Oh goodness...
The problem is rooted in too many pets for the area. Is anyone spraying? In situations like you describe, it is not uncommon for at least one cat to either spray or not use their box...

After making sure that there is plenty of vertical territory, and plugging in a Comfort Zone or two or three, I would encourage the cats to smell alike. Take a couple of towels. First pet one cat with one towel then pet the other cat with another clean towel. Then pet each cat with the other's towel. You can also put a small dab of vanilla on the base of each of the cat's tails, but away from the anus. Do the towel exchange twice a day.

If this doesn help to improve the situation, then I would do other activities that I will go into later to promote positive feelings between the cats.
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
No cats are spraying, but we have had accidents outside the litter box lately, but I think that is because my back problems and the fact I can't clean them every day. That I can understand.

I've done the towel thing, and vanilla thing, and the plug-ins (I'm guessing thats what you mean by "comfort zone"?). We're now living in a house with 1600ft sq ft, and Little one has the run of the basement with the same area, so there should be plenty of room. There is a cat tree on the main floor and in the basement (for Little One), not to mention sofas, cabinets, shelves, etc that they can get on. So, I don't think that "room" is the issue.

It's just the fact that Gizmo tormented her when he was a kitten, and has continued that even now. Gizmo and Harley are the only 2 males and they are neutered. Monster and Little One are spade. The two little ones (Missy and Corky) aren't spayed yet, but we're saving up for that. Don't know if that makes a difference or not.

You said you had other suggestions....please share!
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