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This one's complicated

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My boyfriend and I have been discussing moving in together when our leases are up in the fall. We will be in a single family home or we aren't moving until we can. I have my 4 cats and he has 3. My two males and two females get along great and have all been together as a group for 5 years, my oldest is 10 and youngest is 5, they've been raised together from kittenhood. They are all DSH and one female is siamese. He has one male and two females, all DSH. The male is 5yrs old and has mental illness when it comes to separation anxiety and litterbox use. He also gets beat up by the two females and my siamese (he lived at my house for a few months as a fospice before my bf adopted him against my advice). The male lives in a cat condo when we are not home, he will actually go in there when we are getting ready to leave. MY BFs two females are not spayed and hate other cats, one is the others mother and they are 11 and 9 years old. We were thinking of giving my four cats run of the house with his two females which are used to sharing smaller spaces the bedroom and letting his male have his own space such as a screened in porch. This is such a temporary resolution though and I would prefer to have them all getting along, sans the mental male of course because thats not realistic. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll View Post

My boyfriend and I have been discussing moving in together when our leases are up in the fall. We will be in a single family home or we aren't moving until we can. I have my 4 cats and he has 3. My two males and two females get along great and have all been together as a group for 5 years, my oldest is 10 and youngest is 5, they've been raised together from kittenhood. They are all DSH and one female is siamese. He has one male and two females, all DSH. The male is 5yrs old and has mental illness when it comes to separation anxiety and litterbox use. He also gets beat up by the two females and my siamese (he lived at my house for a few months as a fospice before my bf adopted him against my advice). The male lives in a cat condo when we are not home, he will actually go in there when we are getting ready to leave. MY BFs two females are not spayed and hate other cats, one is the others mother and they are 11 and 9 years old. We were thinking of giving my four cats run of the house with his two females which are used to sharing smaller spaces the bedroom and letting his male have his own space such as a screened in porch. This is such a temporary resolution though and I would prefer to have them all getting along, sans the mental male of course because thats not realistic. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

Why are the females not fixed?
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
They're my boyfriend's cats, it was just an uneducated situation, now it's just saving up for two senior spays, the vet is charging more due to their age and we don't want to use our emergency vet funds for it..
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll View Post

They're my boyfriend's cats, it was just an uneducated situation, now it's just saving up for two senior spays, the vet is charging more due to their age and we don't want to use our emergency vet funds for it..

7 cats, 2 of whom are not spayed, is going to be tricky. The first priority is to have the 2 females spayed.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yes especially since none of mine have been around an in heat female
post #6 of 20
I would get them fixed as soon as possible so things calm down before the move and integration. Hopefully you can integrate your boyfriend's cats before the intro to yours.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkingpeanut View Post

I would get them fixed as soon as possible so things calm down before the move and integration. Hopefully you can integrate your boyfriend's cats before the intro to yours.

We are not going to integrate his male and two females as his male is going to be living in either a man-cave by itself or on a screened porch. The male would be PTS if my boyfriend hadn't learned that the cat loves to sit with him to watch football. The cat's personality is the only reason we haven't euthanized him due to the litterbox protests he has when we are at work for long hours or if he stays alone for a weekend.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll View Post

We are not going to integrate his male and two females as his male is going to be living in either a man-cave by itself or on a screened porch. The male would be PTS if my boyfriend hadn't learned that the cat loves to sit with him to watch football. The cat's personality is the only reason we haven't euthanized him due to the litterbox protests he has when we are at work for long hours or if he stays alone for a weekend.

But this could all improve if he feels comfortable in his home. He's being bullied all the time. The two females may not even let him get to the litter box.

I also hope he has seen a vet for possible medical issues. Have you tried anti anxiety medication?
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkingpeanut View Post

But this could all improve if he feels comfortable in his home. He's being bullied all the time. The two females may not even let him get to the litter box.

I also hope he has seen a vet for possible medical issues. Have you tried anti anxiety medication?

Multiple vet visits,medication doesn't fix the issue, the females still bully and he still doesn't use the box. This occurred months and months with every litter type, box type, giving him his own room, he has his own bowls, etc. Its pure simple separation anxiety due to his previous owner passing away and him being left alone for a month before anyone want to take him to the shelter. We've tried behavior modification provided by the shelter behavior team and still come home to ruined rugs and furniture. They concluded he has what people would consider PTSD form of separation anxiety and is mentally ill, lacking normal feline social skills. He will never be normal and we understand that we are his last home. We refuse to put him through shelter or rehoming again. He will have the hardest time adjusting of the 7. My boyfriend at one point had multiple boxes in each room of his home to find out if it was a preference or territorial issue. Basically the male is mental. Right now the male is happiest on our couch with us if we are home. If we are busy doing things things he's in the nearest window or goes into his condo and relaxes. If we aren't home he stays in his condo.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll View Post


Multiple vet visits,medication doesn't fix the issue, the females still bully and he still doesn't use the box. This occurred months and months with every litter type, box type, giving him his own room, he has his own bowls, etc. Its pure simple separation anxiety due to his previous owner passing away and him being left alone for a month before anyone want to take him to the shelter. We've tried behavior modification provided by the shelter behavior team and still come home to ruined rugs and furniture. They concluded he has what people would consider PTSD form of separation anxiety and is mentally ill, lacking normal feline social skills. He will never be normal and we understand that we are his last home. We refuse to put him through shelter or rehoming again. He will have the hardest time adjusting of the 7. My boyfriend at one point had multiple boxes in each room of his home to find out if it was a preference or territorial issue. Basically the male is mental. Right now the male is happiest on our couch with us if we are home. If we are busy doing things things he's in the nearest window or goes into his condo and relaxes. If we aren't home he stays in his condo.

I understand what you are saying, but he has never lived in a house with your boyfriend where he hasn't been bullied by the females.  A lot could change once he is allowed to develop some confidence.  By working on him, but never the females, the situation has not been fully addressed.

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yes, we have addressed this issue with professionals. My post was asking about moving in with 7 cats. Just forget it.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll View Post

Yes, we have addressed this issue with professionals. My post was asking about moving in with 7 cats. Just forget it.

What have the professionals said about the bullying? It seems like a huge part of the puzzle, directly related to moving in with 7 cats.
post #13 of 20

You definitely might ask the vet about Prozac, or some kind of antidepressant, he sound very stressed out an my heart goes out to him. I'll pray for him to find peace and acceptance,  he needs extra love and attention after the traumatic times he has lived through. Bless you for loving him and giving him a home.  

post #14 of 20
@ChinaDoll
Re-- 6 cats. I have several friends who permanently segregate parts of their cat families into separate places in their house. Keeping your bf's two cats in the bedroom sounds necessary, at least until they are spayed and you have time to get everyone settled in.

You might want to consider introducing your four cats to the new house in stages. Just thinking about making sure they know where the litterboxes are and where the food and water are..... I haven't moved for a long time, but I remember that our 2 cats at that time went in the basement (litter boxes) or in the powder room (works ok for 2 "bonded" cats) if there was chaos going on in the house. We had lots of work in the house initially, so the cats needed to be someplace they didn't get more stressed.

If your cats have their own "safe room", then you have the ability to try to introduce his cats slowly, but you would have time-out spots for your cats as well.

A new place could upset the balance with your four, so thinking about hiding places and safe zones in the main part of the house could be really helpful. When you introduce even one cat to a new home, many people will introduce only one space at a time. I think it reduces the stress and also "grounds" the cat to get to learn things more slowly

Your male-- Sure, it would be nice if he didn't have to live in his condo. You've tried lots of things, but he doesn't mind being in HIS spot. He's inside, he's safe, and he's much better off than if he were at a shelter or a roaming stray.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by talkingpeanut View Post

What have the professionals said about the bullying? It seems like a huge part of the puzzle, directly related to moving in with

"They are not social cats and only tolerate each other, they need to be spayed and given their own territory" we did give them their run of his house but they'll still find a way to get in to the male and even attack him theough the cage, he's very submissive and doesn't fight back (note: they've maybe had a total of five fights since September to give an idea of how infrequently they interact.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Di and Bob View Post

You definitely might ask the vet about Prozac, or some kind of antidepressant, he sound very stressed out an my heart goes out to him. I'll pray for him to find peace and acceptance,  he needs extra love and attention after the traumatic times he has lived through. Bless you for loving him and giving him a home.  
We had him on amitriptyline for two months and nothing changed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxden View Post

@ChinaDoll
Re-- 6 cats. I have several friends who permanently segregate parts of their cat families into separate places in their house. Keeping your bf's two cats in the bedroom sounds necessary, at least until they are spayed and you have time to get everyone settled in.

You might want to consider introducing your four cats to the new house in stages. Just thinking about making sure they know where the litterboxes are and where the food and water are..... I haven't moved for a long time, but I remember that our 2 cats at that time went in the basement (litter boxes) or in the powder room (works ok for 2 "bonded" cats) if there was chaos going on in the house. We had lots of work in the house initially, so the cats needed to be someplace they didn't get more stressed.

If your cats have their own "safe room", then you have the ability to try to introduce his cats slowly, but you would have time-out spots for your cats as well.

A new place could upset the balance with your four, so thinking about hiding places and safe zones in the main part of the house could be really helpful. When you introduce even one cat to a new home, many people will introduce only one space at a time. I think it reduces the stress and also "grounds" the cat to get to learn things more slowly

Your male-- Sure, it would be nice if he didn't have to live in his condo. You've tried lots of things, but he doesn't mind being in HIS spot. He's inside, he's safe, and he's much better off than if he were at a shelter or a roaming stray.

My four have moved together successfully to three houses in the past two years so I'm more worried about the transition of my agreeable group with his unbalanced one
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll View Post

The male would be PTS if my boyfriend hadn't learned that the cat loves to sit with him to watch football. The cat's personality is the only reason we haven't euthanized him due to the litterbox protests he has when we are at work for long hours or if he stays alone for a weekend.

Poor cat. You keep referring to him as mentally ill & it looks like he has narrowly escaped being euthanized. You may not know this, but a cat knows when people are unhappy with it.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Primula View Post

Poor cat. You keep referring to him as mentally ill & it looks like he has narrowly escaped being euthanized. You may not know this, but a cat knows when people are unhappy with it.

So what you're saying is we should let him get beat up regularly and allow him to piss and poop all over the house to show him that we care. We aren't unhappy with him. When we are there he is like velcro to us and he will cuddle and explore and play. We just have a healthy hold on reality in not allowing him to destroy our home or to allow him to be injured. So in comparison a soldier with PTSD is someone to be unhappy with instead of finding ways to work with their issues? Stop assuming you know what we are and aren't.
post #18 of 20

Have you tried anti-anxiety medication? We have had awesome success with Elavil, both with one of our own cats and several cats from the rescue I work with. It can take up to 2 months to build up in their system and the dose may need adjusting, but I'd highly recommend it if you haven't tried it :)

post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsandcritters View Post

Have you tried anti-anxiety medication? We have had awesome success with Elavil, both with one of our own cats and several cats from the rescue I work with. It can take up to 2 months to build up in their system and the dose may need adjusting, but I'd highly recommend it if you haven't tried it smile.gif
we tried amitriptyline and it didn't help much but the meds are only a band aid on the issue after all.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChinaDoll View Post


we tried amitriptyline and it didn't help much but the meds are only a band aid on the issue after all.

Awww poor guy. Yes, Elavil is amitriptyline so guess that's out. But there are other anxiety meds you could try. It's just like people - some drugs work great for some people and not at all for others. Like myself - one antidepressant I tried made me feel like a zombie but the one I'm on now makes me feel like myself again. I wouldn't say it's a bandaid - that's kind of like saying chemo is a bandaid for cancer - it's a treatment. Sorry your guy has issues :(  Poor baby.

 

Anyway, as to your original question, I don't see anything wrong with segregating the cats and doing slow introductions if you think that's what they need. I have 11 cats currently and all but a few we've just been able to bring home and let loose, but the others we had to take it really slow. Listen to your gut...if you think they need more time, give it to them. I would even try to include the anxious boy at some time - you never know - he might bond with one of yours and be less anxious. We took in a semi-feral 4 year old boy who was terrified of everything and wouldn't leave his room for 2 months, and then would only go as far as the hallway. We brought home 2 more young ones after him and no change. Then we brought home a 2 year old male and they hit it right off and the semi-feral now comes out and plays with not just his BFF but the other cats, sits on the couch with us, sleeps on the bed. He's a whole different cat because he just clicked with the 2 year old. You might have to take it really slow with him, but new friends might be just what he needs!

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