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Trapping for 2nd time? - Page 15

post #421 of 447
Oh look at them! The difference in her is AMAZING!

to you for being SO wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #422 of 447
Thread Starter 
Well, things are not perfect, so I am taking a step back and re-reading about cat intros and also play/dominance/fighting.

We did open the door on Friday night but I just couldn't bear to hear the fighting/dominance whatever that Batman keeps instigating. He can't go a minute without walking over to her and smacking her in the face or mounting her or starting to wrestle. And I'm having trouble determining whether he's just trying to play or trying to be dominant - probably both? She takes it pretty well but after a while, she does get ticked - wagging tail, her low growl (that you can hear from a floor below), and her ears will go back and she'll get in her defensive cat pose, basically all four paws out ready to bounce back at him. It's just hard to hear/watch. So Friday night after a couple hours, I decided to close the door.

Saturday we opened up the door again for a few hours at a few different times and basically same thing, and same with this morning. So I decided to close up the door and get back on the computer and re-read/re-think about this. I also need one of those heavy duty water dishes because it gets knocked over, so water on walls/floor from their wrestling.

So I'm stressed. She's so good and patient with him overall, but he just can't calm down. And her nails are pretty darn sharp - don't want anyone hurt.

Do I really need to just let them work out and close my ears to the growling and let them settle this? I don't want to make things worse by separating. (Holding grudges, etc.)

Is it ok if I distract when there's the stare-down/smacking with treats or something? Or is that just associating treats with smackdowns?

I don't think it's play because they don't take turns being the dominant one - it's always Batman in the same pose smacking Patches first.

But as I write this, Batman has been 'kicked out' for maybe 5 minutes and I can hear Patches running around playing with toys... She LOVES to play with her toys.. and she'll play with me and a wand toy.

New Feliway diffuser is in the room as of Friday evening.

Any advice is welcome! I'll keep you posted.

Edit: He will eat from her food bowl with her a few inches away and she does not chase him away from it. She really is being good about this. Maybe our little angel Batman is more of a dominant brat than we realized since he's been an only child for so long.

Edit: I've wondered if it's a jealousy thing (he's now sleeping on the table next to me) but I don't think that makes sense because my husband and Batman are BFF. Batman is not that affectionate with me actually - he's more of a daddy's boy. Batman will like to be around me, but will not cuddle with me like he will with my husband...

Edit: Vocalization wise, no screaming, so that is good.
post #423 of 447
Well, I don't know if this helps at all, but the way we handled Lazlo's aggression towards Billly, and when Shel was having a problem with Charlie, we handled it by a combo of positive reinforcement and "time outs."

Positive reinforcement - any time in the same room/area not being aggressive, praise aggressor to high heaven. Tell him how proud we are of him for ignoring so-and-so. If taking turns during play, again, praise to high heaven, and tell him how proud we are of him for playing so nicely with so-and-so. This gets them aware of what it is you want.

Then when aggressor would go after target, we'd pick up aggressor, explain on the way to the bathroom that he's being too aggressive, and he just needs to learn to ignore so-and-so, and we're putting him in the bathroom for a short time out to calm down. We always set the timer so it was exactly five minutes. Then we open the door without saying anything and walk away. The idea here is that aggressor learns that behavior we don't want gets him ignored.

It isn't an overnight solution, but over time it's worked.

We also break out the treats when they're being near each other and aggressor isn't being aggressive.

Sounds to me like to a certain extent Patches and Batman will have to work it out between themselves... but at the same time, perhaps this method will help Batman learn what it is you want and expect from him?

post #424 of 447
Hi there, I was alerted to this post and I am sorry but I don't have the time to wade through all the 36 comments- but I did just read your last post.

I assume that Batman is neutered? Is the girl fixed? Do you have places in your home where Batman and the new kitty can get up off the floor and away from each other?

It sounds pretty normal and harmless, no one has shed any blood over these encounters have they? Is there an all out chase between the two of them with both being low to the ground, ears flat, eyes narrowed, or are they circling each other and growling or just standing their ground and growling? Have they escalated the sound into high pitch moaning or screaming?

If they aren't chasing with intent, circling, moaning, screaming or drawing blood, then just relax- they are posturing. I do not recommend EVER picking up a cat in an aggressive mood and doing a time out- if you have to, keep a heavy dark towel on hand and either toss it over two fighting cats or two cats stressed out- and then use the towel as a sort of bullfighters cape and herd one cat into a room for some alone time. Push some food through the door and don't go in the room until the cat has eaten and groomed himself, then he is calm.

I would do a few things. I would open the door a crack and stand back in the shadows with a heavy towel or dark blanket at the ready. I would lower MY own stress level (the cats will pick up that you are anxious) and will come out spoiling for a fight. I would also put pure vanilla extract on both cats under their chins and on the base of their tail before opening the door so they smell the same. But I would just back out of the way and let the cats find their way with each other. Sometimes, us humans, we just get in the way when two cats get acquainted. I also wouldn't be bringing anymore cats into your home. Batman sounds dominant aggressive and if you aren't careful, he will start spraying to make his point that he is in charge.

Good luck-
post #425 of 447
Thread Starter 
Hi hissy! Thanks for your reply and guidance!!

Everyone is fixed and the vertical space is good. No extreme chasing and no moaning/screaming. The only chasing is if she walks a few feet away to get away from him and he jumps on her to stop her. Batman makes his curious talkative sounds and she will growl if he pushes her limits, but there is no yowling and no one has gotten hurt.

Basically all starts fine - he walks over to lick her (and I think she'll lick back sometimes), then he'll chew on her neck, then he'll kind of jump on her. Or he'll walk over to her, pat/smack her face, then try to grab her head with both paws then start wrestling with her. Kind of looks like he wants to play but she does not want to play back. (He is only 17 months old and she is 4 years old and lived outside her whole life until we took her in.) So she'll growl and smack him back. Then somewhere along the line they got get irritated. She never initiates. He will get on high piece of furniture above her to smack down at her, etc.

He can be really good and ignore her and focus on playing if I can distract him. Or he really gets worked up and will not un-focus on her. She will be on her side, ears back, growling, ready to smack back and he'll be sitting upright, eyes dilated, tail twitchy, then will smack at her after a bit of a staredown. He also is always trying to chew on her neck and mount her - for minutes straight. And he does try to mate with her I think but really has no idea what he's doing... (He got neutered at around 14 weeks.)

However, right now I am with them both and they are both falling asleep!! They're both on the floor about 3 feet away from each other nodding off as we listen to harp music. This hasn't happened before... but this is good. But Batman is definitely on better behavior when I'm here with them. I did feed Batman outside of her door today to see if that would help and he got a new catnip toy.

I have not tried to touch Patches but I can try the vanilla extract by putting it on a wand toy and petting her with it.

Of note too, they are mother and son, but we rescued him at 8 weeks and then they got reunited when he was about 10 months old. Patches and Batman do spend a lot of time outside on their side of the door to her room and bring each other toys. She also does cry for him at night sometimes and he races up to see her.

I think I am going to try to use all of the advice combined with also spending more time in here when I can supervised. This is amazing right now how they're both sleeping nicely in same room. I Just wish I knew why they were like this now and what made this happen tonight opposed to other days/nights.

Thank you!!


As soon as Batman woke up from his nap, he looked up at Patches then walked over to her. First he licked her and it's all super cute. She seemed happy too. Then he does start the smacking, she starts growling etc... He'll get on top of her, she'll growl... but I can distracts them and get them to both play with me nicely and everyone is happy. So I don't know, maybe it's not that bad. I just wish he'd leave her alone when she tells him to go away with a growl.
post #426 of 447
Thread Starter 
Two sleepy cats in the room about 4 feet away from each other. Batman is still being a dominant brat when he wants to but he does let Patches eat without always smacking her now. I have also caught him licking her paws and face still. I think there is subtle communication between them that goes on that I'm not quite picking up on. I think sometimes she can look at him in a way and he does just walk away and sit down near her. He is so playful though - he'll lay down and want to bat at her a little.

So it's going better. Not perfect, but going good. (Definitely better when I'm in room being policeman.)

Patches did start walking to the open door last night but she got stopped by Batman jumping on her.

Thanks all - I'll keep you posted!!

Edit: I've also noticed they mimic each other's body positions a lot. They are like mirror opposites at the screen door sleeping a lot and are basically in same position now. It's interesting.
post #427 of 447
I'm not an expert, but personally, I'd just let them work it out amongst themselves. I'm sure that Patches can fend for herself if Batman is really driving her crazy. My old cat Scarlett, and current cat Romeo was/is not playful at all, and Oscar often jumped on them, trying to play. Scarlett growled, hissed, and jumped up away from him. Romeo growls and runs away.

If Oscar was being particularly relentless, I would sometimes squirt him with a water bottle (though I wouldn't recommend that in your situation, it would probably scare Patches a lot) or just grab him and stick him in another room for awhile. But for the most part, they worked it out themselves and it wasn't a problem.

Now I have a kitten who wants to play even more than Oscar does, and he's the one looking irritated and exhausted, lol .
post #428 of 447
Thread Starter 
Oof! It's been a while!

Things haven't changed miraculously overnight, but they're slowly figuring each other out. It's interesting watching their relationship be figured out between the 2. When Batman gets her riled up, he gets kicked out of the room, but they can spent 10/15 minutes together sometimes before I have to do that.

My inlaws took care of them when I was out of town for about 5 days and a few interesting things happened because of that. 1, my father-in-law decided to touch Patches... "to see if she was alive" because she was hiding in the cube. She just ran away, scared. (I thought it was assumed to not touch her!) The other interesting thing is that the 5 day separation between Batman and Patches made her do something cool that I had never seen before. The first day we were back, I let him in the room to see her. He always runs over and starts licking her (then it turns into the chew/tumble). They were sitting in their spots, about 4 feet away from each other, when Patches got up, stretched her front legs out, then basically belly flopped near him looking at him. He got up and ran over to her. It was really cute! She's done this several times to him since and at first it's cute, then he gets rough on her and she gets growly, then they get smacky...

She is a very sensitive cat. Her favorite toy needs mended - the stuffing is coming out. I haven't gotten around to it yet and figured it's not a big deal since she has 10+ toys. Well, the first few days that toy was removed, she did not play at all with her other toys. Now she finally is playing again (about 7 toys were moved around when I was at work), but she seemed to be really upset her favorite was gone!

Batman is very very dominant. She doesn't question it, but he's always asserting it. For example, he was eating from her food dish for a while then he went away and sat down. She got up and went to it to eat. He was fine for a few seconds, then he went up and smacked her away... then he ate some more. Then she went back to eat, with her watching intently... When he was eating the first time, she was sniffing his tail and she licked/chewed it (which made him jump a few inches into that air

I think she's starting to understand the playing business with him... she's starting to look almost like she's crouching down ready for him to pounce at her when he looks like he's going to... It all starts cute and playful til he gets super dominant and mounts her or chews on her too much... but maybe they just need time to work it out. Some things are definitely getting better...

OH! The most important thing!!!!!!!!!

We have let Patches have a few explorations of the upstairs hallway when Batman is distracted in basement. Whenever I open the door, she does walk towards it - she really wants out to explore, but because whenever she is walking around, Batman jumps on her, we want her to explore alone so when she does finally have free roam, she knows where stuff is. She hasn't walked down the stairs yet to the first floor, but she does know there is more to her territory (eventually) than her room.

In a few weeks, it'll mark 1 year of Patches being inside. We have a long road ahead, but the road behind us has had many big milestones and I think she's doing great! We'll see what the next year brings.
post #429 of 447
I've been thinking about you, Patches & Batman intending to post, and you beat me to it and THANK YOU!

I think letting her explore without Batman around is GREAT! And overall, it sounds like she's one happy kitty.
post #430 of 447
Thread Starter 
Yikes, so sorry for another delay... My new job has me in the car an extra hour or so now and I'm still adjusting to the time loss!

Patches and I went to the vet on Saturday for her yearly check-up. Yep! It's been about 1 year since we got her inside!

Needless to say, getting her into the carrier sucked more than ever because she's not as scared anymore. While in the past all we had to do was hide all hiding spots except a carrier, she now isn't scared to run into one, since she will hang out with me in the room. Poor girl, it was rough getting her in there... but we managed. Ended up having to corner her and get furniture high enough so she couldn't jump, and had to gently push her with a broom.

She was a good girl at the vet. I go to a place where you get a random vet each time (I've had 4 different ones). The vet I had was fantastic. He really spent a lot of time with us. He listened carefully to her breathing - she has a wheeziness that I've noticed for a while. It's not her lungs - it's something sinus cavity related that wasn't a concern to him. He said her teeth and everything were great and that she was a healthy girl.

During her nail trim, we ran into some issues. One of her claws had grown all the way into her nailbed. She must not be using her scratching posts enough? He said it should heal fine on its own, but I'm thinking I need to get her in more routinely for a trim since I don't feel comfortable trying to handle her. Or figure out some better scratching posts for her that work better?

Once we got home, she didn't hide too long before coming to sit by the door. She went on her hunger strike for a day or so, but she's fine now. A little trust is gone definitely (she's not walking around with me in room quite yet anymore) but she'll be fine.

She and Batman are dealing with each other - there is affection (lots of licks from Batman) but he's still being very dominant/mounting her non-stop unless he is distracted by a toy or something... Working on it. Now that her nails are trimmed, I am much less nervous about some retaliation but he's the issue, not her. So she's still in her isolation room, but their relationship is getting better, not worse.

Will keep you all posted.
post #431 of 447
Yeah, unfortunately when they scratch it doesn't file it down like with dogs - it just sharpens the nail, and it keeps growing. Tuxie won't let us trim his nails - but he's at the vet every 6 months for blood work, so we get them to trim them (and he's fine when THEY do it!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I never accidentally clipped the quick, and he used to let me do it without complaining much, so I don't know what happened. ).

Sounds to me like you need to rescue another young male, so Batman's got someone else to bother with his dominance. (I am NOT being serious!).

And you are SO right - she'll forgive you.
post #432 of 447
Something just occured to me... do you have a cat tree in there? Something multi-level where she can run "up" and there aren't large platforms, particularly on top - so she can bop at him coming after her from a perch where he either has to displace her or he can't get at her because she's able to bop at him?

Might want to think about a Christmas present for them.....
post #433 of 447
Thread Starter 
Oh my!! Can't believe it's been 2.5 months! Patches is probably due for another trip to the vet soon to trim her nails - she's starting to snag on the area rug again when walking! Boy time flies by...

She does have decent vertical space, but not as cool of a cat climbing tower as Batman has. However she really doesn't jump up to avoid Batman. She just slinks away. Now when I was getting her to the vet, boy she was jumping everywhere and making mad leaps... so maybe she doesn't really dislike him that much, considering she could definitely get away if she wanted to.

The holidays put things on a stand still with getting them integrated fully. Been asking for more help with my husband and also for his 2 cents. We both agree Batman is a brat to her and feel bad for Patches. Still, whenever Patches gets up to walk somewhere, Batman feels the need to jump on her and pin her down, then bite her neck, kneed/make biscuits and attempt to mount her (and she growls and looks around bored, and waits for him to get distracted and she will walk away). Sometimes she will get ticked at smack him and they will be standoff-ish, but she's really patient and tolerating.

So I tried something new, thinking I just need to distract him and get her to walk around and not get tackled by him. Last time I had Da Bird in the room, she didn't understand toys and it terrified her. But this time when I brought Da Bird in... she was soooo into it!! So I was able to have both cats playing with it (including having her walking around to swat at it) and there was no noticing of the other cat. Just two cats having a ball. At one point, Batman did put a paw on her and give her a quick lick, then back to the playing. So Da Bird was a hit with both of them and it was SO NICE to play with two cats and not have dominance issues.

Batman is starting to leave the room and ignore her too at times, but as soon as she walks... he's just on top of her.... he's such a brat!

Things are getting better though.. and I realize I may be too protective of them both and making things way more prolonged than necessary...

I'll keep up with Da Bird sessions with the two of them together and see how things go!

I'll have to post some new pictures of them too. Patches is a very pretty girl. And she loooooooooves her toys!!!!! I think she's pretty content, happily sleeping in a sun spot on the carpet or in her little cube or playing like a crazy cat with her toys. She is not terrified of me anymore for sure. Suspicious, yes, but food and toys trump her mistrust of me now I think.
post #434 of 447

It sounds like she's very content. And that is GREAT news about the play session with da Bird!

We would love to see updated pictures.
post #435 of 447
WOW you have done such a great job with Patches Sounds like you are on your way to a great life with both Patches and Batman. As time goes on you will see that Batman will learn to love his new friend and those sessions with Da Bird are sure to bring them closer together in a fun way
post #436 of 447
Thread Starter 
Annnddddd here is a video of a Da Bird play session. About 2 minutes in, you'll see them both. Batman is very less dominant over her when they're distracted with Da Bird!


I think we're getting somewhere finally. What do you guys think?
post #437 of 447
OMG Patches is just the cutest thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Batman was always such a character (and also so darn cute!) - I love watching him play (even though we mostly get to see his legs, feet, and back ).

She looks totally tolerant of his dominance - and he really just sat on her this time!!!!! (Actually not having been through all you have first hand, it's really kind of cute and funny this version. ).

The depth perspective is a little difficult, and I rewound it a few times but it was just too difficult - in the beginning he keeps running off with the feathers - but somewhere around or after four minutes, it LOOKS like he brings the feather over to Patches and drops it there. ?????? ...then picks it up and runs off with it.

I think they're doing really well - these play sessions are great!

Quick question - did you know there's a rabbit tail end and a mouse end for da Bird? Two of our kitties are feather crazy, two a rabbit tail crazy, and four are mouse crazy. I'm thinking Patches might really go for the mouse. And you might want to practice two-handed wand toy playing. It's awkward at first for those of us that are not even close to ambidextrous, but definitely worth it! Something to think about....

I'm going to sum this all up with a You are SO incredibly patient - but LOOK how happy Patches is!
post #438 of 447
Thread Starter 
Akk! We are all still alive, promise!!!!!!!!

I am due with our little baby boy in exactly 4 weeks, so things have been a bit crazy!

Patches and my husband have gotten to know each other a lot better the past several months, since he's been on food and litter duty. She will eat with him in the room now. She actually doesn't care that much about noise/company anymore either. For example, when we used to have company over, she would hide in her box and not be visible. Last time, she would be out and about in the room, stretched out on the floor or visible in a cat cube - not hiding in her box. She's doing good. Just hoping the Batman dominance stuff simmers down.... he's such a brat.

I'll have to post some recent pictures sometime!

post #439 of 447
Thanks for stopping by! We think of you frequently.

CONGRATULATIONS and hope all goes well with your last month and delivery!!!!

I wonder if having a baby in the house will change the dynamic between Batman and Patches? You'll have to let us know.

You HAVE been playing the sounds of crying babies to Batman on Youtube to get him desensitized to it, yes? If not, it's a REALLY good idea. Also, have DH bring something home from the hospital that smells like baby as early as possible, and let Batman inspect it.

I always smile to hear how well Patches is doing. I don't know when it will be, but I just know that sometime you'll be writing to let us know she curled up on someone's lap to watch TV.... (of course, she'd have to be out of her room first, but she'll get there!)

post #440 of 447
Thread Starter 
My husband's wondered too if the dynamic is going to change when there's a little one in the house! I guess we'll have to see!

Thanks for the reminder about desensitizing Batman (and us ) to baby cries! We started doing that the other night. Batman stood up prairie dog style and stared at direction of computer for about 20 seconds, then he he stopped caring and did his own thing. We repeated it the next night and he again was prairie dog (up on hind legs staring) but that's all he did. We'll keep it up but I think he wasn't that bothered. We'll be sure both him and Patches get a baby blanket too.

Poor Patches had her annual vet visit today.. and they said she has really bad gingivitis! Enough where they may need to extract teeth. This makes me really sad because I would've thought it would've got caught earlier so we can do some preventative teeth cleanings and what not before it got to the point of extraction. (She's only 5, I think!) They said there's probably nothing we can do - that it's probably a genetics thing. So after baby is here, we'll get her appointment made for her cleaning/possible extractions. Otherwise, she's doing good.

Oh! This is funny. We somehow trained Batman to leave Patches room on command! All we have to do is one or a few of the following - "out!", the nod out the door, point out the door, or whatever. Pretty awesome he listens....

I'll have to get some new pictures and videos up of them!

post #441 of 447
Aw, I'm sorry about the gingivitis. Stuff like that does tend to be genetic, and it's a roll of the dice as far as I can tell. We have four siblings, three males and one female. The female has had problems with plaque and her teeth from her first dental, at age one, when she had to have a tooth extracted! Her brother started having issues with gingivitis last year (they're eight now) - but it's not a problem for her.

That's too cute about Batman! Such a good boy!

So when's the baby due?
post #442 of 447
Thread Starter 
Nov 6th!!!! Can't believe how fast everything's gone by.

We had Batman in Patches room without supervision for probably 90 minutes the other day. I think the worst thing that happened as far as I could tell was that Batman ate most of her food. But we must be getting somewhere with this!
post #443 of 447
That's great news!

And wow - baby's due SOON! So exciting! for a safe delivery!
post #444 of 447
Thread Starter 
Here's a glamor shot of Miss Patches:

We're wanting to get some framed pictures of our critters up on the walls before the baby comes.

She kind of smushes herself against the wall like that when Batman is being annoying or if she's a little scared (but not super scared and hiding - she doesn't really hide in her box anymore unless the cat carrier comes out). The other day, I got her to run over to me and the wand toy (and I was standing up!) about 4 feet to attack it and go crazy playing with it. She's such a playful girl!

I have some pictures of her on my phone of her lounging in her cat bed, as contest as can be. We'll get that door open fully sooner than later....!!!
post #445 of 447
She is a beautiful and very lucky kitty.

Many good wishes for you and the new baby!
post #446 of 447
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone! wavey.gifIt's been a while!!!!! We have a happy healthy 12 week old baby boy, Danny, so our lives have been a little more crazy than usual! Batman had to adjust to not being mommy and daddy's main focus but he is doing fine. He just had to figure out that I only have two hands and if one is holding a baby and the other is holding a bottle, he can't get pet even if he head butts me... but I figured out multi-tasking, like carrying Danny but using the laser pointer to get in some play time laughing02.gif


Patches really likes Batman....... She still is isolated in her room, but when we let Batman in there, she headbutts him, or rubs against him, or does something cute like that to greet him. What does Batman do? Pin her down and mount her, or something like that... Ugh! He just takes it too far. But they definitely like each other. He just goes overboard and I'll have to kick him out of the room when the vocalizations make me uncomfortable and it seems she's had enough. But even when I think she's had enough and I make him leave the room, she'll walk right back to the door as I am closing it... so maybe she isn't as bothered as I think she is.


I have a good feeling they'll be integrated though sooner than later, although I know it's been a couple years already... slow and steady wins the race though I suppose.


Patches had 3 teeth extracted a couple months ago when she had a dental.... she recovered well though. Eating a lot better now too! (Not that I thought she was eating bad before, but I did notice a change after the surgery for the better!)


So... all is well here!!!! Hopefully I'll be able to hop on here with updates more often!

post #447 of 447
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! babys1.gif

And woohoo.gif on Batman being such a good boy with his new baby brother! clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif I think you were a little worried, but I'm SO pleased!

And Patches sounds SO happy. My guess is she isn't as bothered by Batman's dominance as you are. She does stick up for herself at times, doesn't she?

Either way.... she's got a happy life, thanks to all your hard work! heartpump.gif
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