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Cat Bully

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Please Help!

I recently lost my dear cat to heart disease. A few weeks had passed and I thought it would be a good idea to liven up the house (and spread the love) with a couple new cats. I chose to adopt two adults as I realized that kittens in shelters would find a home faster than the more mature cats.

The two cats are Tootsie (appx. 4 years old) and Ed (appx. 2 years old). Tootsie came from a home where she was the only cat (indoor), and her owner had to move into a nursing home. She was alone in the house (only being fed) for almost 2 months. Upon coming to our house (only 2 days BEFORE Ed), she was a very loving kitty...adapted to us very quickly...cuddly and sleeping in our bed the very first night. She would purr incessantly and greet us everytime we came in the door. She was a darling. Two days later we got Ed from a shelter. He too was very loving and friendly, and was described as playful and getting along well with other cats.

Our initial introduction was to just let Ed out into the house...he hid behind the couch for a little while, and Tootsie found him, hissed and growled at him, and did all of the typical cat behaviors upon introduction. Ed sat quietly...never hissed or growled back...seemed very scared. So, we went on to put Ed in a quiet room where he had everything that he needed. I followed ALL suggestions on how to properly introduce and integrate him into the house...we did the swapping of scents, trying to play through doors, feeding, in close proximity, supervised face-to-face encounters...EVERYTHING! We then thought it best to try to let Ed out of the room and put Tootsie in the room for a while. He wanted to get out so bad, and seemed ready, but Tootsie was so hissy. So we did the switcharoo. Ed got out and about...seemed fine. Tootsie came out and did her thing too (avoiding Ed, of course). It took Tootsie a while (3 weeks) to be able to even walk by Ed without hissing and growling, but she started to come around (could actually sit in a room with him without staring/hissing at him the entire time)...still having occasional spats but there was progress.

Over the past couple of days we have noticed that Ed sneaks up on Tootsie, when she is not expecting it (washing herself, in the kitty box, looking the other way-out the window), and he will swat at her. He also positions himself in areas where he seems to be resting and calm, but she can't get by (i.e. top of the stairs so she can't access the bedrooms without passing him). We have noticed the sneaky acts of aggression, and these acts have caused Tootsie to regress back to her former anxious, scared, hissing self.

This morning, we woke up to the sound of a major cat brawl (in our bedroom)! I'm not sure how it started or what, but Tootsie was running away and Ed was right after her. We started to yell...he hid under the bed...Tootsie went into hiding (a spot where she has never hid before, but a spot where Ed has yet to go as well). We put Ed into the carrier...he continuously meowed. Tootsie continued to hide. As I walked around the house I noticed that there were several areas that had spots of urine on them. I don't know who did it, but I'm willing to bet that it was Ed marking his territory. It was on the rug in the bedroom, on the landing of the stairs, in the living room, and who knows where else! Needless to say, I've had it! I'm trying to do everything that I can do, but I feel like it isn't fair to either of them. Tootsie is living in total fear, and now Ed is just ruling the house and marking it with that unbearable cat pee stench! They are both fixed, so I don't know how he is managing to spray, but I cannot have this!

Does anyone have ANY suggestions? Should I continue to try to work on this, or is it going to be to no avail? I got two because I wanted them to be friends and to keep eachother company. Boy did I learn MY lesson! I think two can be a good idea given the right circumstances. This situation doesn't seem to be working, but I really love them both and want to see it work if possible. They are both so wonderful and friendly (especially loving!) when they are alone. Tootsie was that way at first, but now she is like a totally different cat. I haven't heard her purr in about 2 weeks and she rarely allows for any love at all. Ed just relishes it, and when we try to give Tootsie any attention to get her to come back out of her shell, he comes over and tries to get attention himself (which only causes her to hiss, back off, and be more distant). I hate to rehome one, but I can't keep doing this...it's not fair for them or for us. Please help!!!! I'm sorry this was so long, but I wanted to include all the details that I could so that maybe someone could offer some sound advice. We now have Ed back in his "safe room", and we are trying to coax Tootsie out of hiding. ~~sigh~~ I feel just terrible...totally tried to do a good thing...
post #2 of 3
ANY suggestions, you ask.

One suggestion is my "standard" advice. A Feliway diffuser.

I feel ridiculous to once again suggest this. Like I had a bonus for every Feliway sold...

But it cant hurt, but it can help.

Your male is bullying, one could perhaps understand this. Such is the way of some cats. (although he was cat-sociale earlier): But why is he marking?? One hypothesis may be he by some reason feels unsecure. Feels threatened by the female cat.

Thus, Feliway could help here too. Really.

Lets hope others have suggestions they too.

Good luck!
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestion. I went to buy the diffuser today, and Petco happened to be all out! I did buy the spray and spritzed all around the house. I also found out that the problem is not territorial spray/marking by the male, but more anxious reaction from the female when she is attacked! Today, the male ran up to her, they got into a scuffle, and she urinated all over herself and the floor!! I don't know how to handle this! I just brought her to the vet and they said everything is fine. It seems to be directly related to these fights. When we separate him, he seems to get more jealous of her. However, when we keep them both free to roam the house, she is hypervigilent, anxious, and at risk of a sneak attack. We got Ed a collar with a bell to try to alert Tootsie when he is near. We shall see. I don't know what to do!!! Feliway, Catnip, Toys, Plenty of Cat Beds, Litter Boxes, Food, Treats, TIME... I'm at a loss...
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