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Need advice...again.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Okay...here is the problem...Little Miss had 3 kittens about 3½ weeks ago. Everything had settled down, and was going fine. Samantha left them alone, Smudge was interested, and the only time she got close was when one of the kittens managed to escape the box and was rolling away. She ran to him, which got Missy's attention and then she realized she had a little escape artist.
I recently switched litterboxes, and gave Samantha the lower to the ground litterbox, and also changed her back to the fresh step litter as opposed to the arm and hammer multi cat litter. That seems to have solved the urinating on the carpet issue. I also moved the litterbox to a better position where she can see everything going on around her. Smudge has a terrible habit of ambushing in the litterbox. I placed the larger litterbox with the multi-cat litter in the other bathroom, where Smudge and Missy both like to go.
Apparently, Smudge really likes being Goddess of the Ambush. Saturday morning, my husband and I and my brother-in-law awoke to the sounds of a terrible fight. Jeremy got up to check on things and came back to bed, and I assumed everything was fine. Smudge was on the couch with my brother in law, tucked with him, and looking very satisfied. Missy was in the box with her babies...seeing as how the room was still dark, I didnt see the damage. When I got up, I realized that Smudge had not only ripped the tip of Missy's right ear, but she gashed her nose, and there was blood on Missy's head! I was horrified! I have seen Missy swat Smudge in the face for no reason, but for the most part, they are okay together. I called my vet, and they said that as long as it didnt look infected (the ear that is) that it would probably heal fine. And I know Smudge did it because Jeremy saw them dart in separate directions. And there was a huge amount of litter on the floor, indicating a cat had probably been tossed out of it by another cat.
I cleaned her ear and put some neosporin on it, I didnt know what else to do. Other than a few swats here and there, it has never gotten to the point of drawing blood. I am really bothered by this. Anyone else have these problems??? Any suggestions? When I first adopted Smudge the big litterbox was solely hers and now she has to share.But there is a third litterbox. Do you think its territorial? Or maybe it was Smudge playing...and it got out of control?? Her and Missy are both about the same age, and they are both petite. But she actually drew blood! I knew I should have named her Milificent. Or Jezebel.
post #2 of 4

I would be really concerned about Missy being ambushed coming out of the litter box by Smudge. Missy is a new mother and has kittens. She is possibly going to feel threatened by Smudge's behaviour as the kittens become more active and start to move around. You have already had one bout of aggression that has drawn blood. Missy may stop using the litter box altogether and chose an alternative location - which you will not like. She will not subject her kittens to Smudge's predations and you may have kittens also not using a litter box. I think you would be well advised to separate Missy and her kittens into a room where Smudge cannot go with her own private litter box near by - at least during the night and whenever you must leave the house. Smudge and Samantha will then have the rest of the house to themselves with the other two litter boxes. Your kittens are going to start needing a litter pan of their own soon too - without clumping litter - and the last thing you want is Smudge trying to ambush them. Guaranteed that would turn into a catfight between Missy and Smudge that could have very serious repercussions both injury wise and harmony wise - that may never be repaired.

post #3 of 4
If I had to guess, Smudge initiated something light-hearted but Missy wasn't in the mood for playing around anymore -- she is a new momma and her defense meter is set to Defcon 5. So Missy escalated and then Smudge's retaliation caused the damage.

What to do? Yeah, as Kathryn said, seperate rooms. The other adults cats need to leave Missy alone so she can take care of the kittens.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Little Miss seems to still be using the litterbox. And I am just assuming that that is what happened that there was an ambush. I am not sure though. And I tried the leaving her and the kittens in separate rooms, and Little Miss cried and cried and cried. The minute I opened the door, she settled down. I know Smudge is playful, and Samantha is older, so she mainly wants to be fed, adored, and left alone until its her idea to be pet. Maybe the reasoning that Smudge was playful and Little Miss wasnt in the mood is right. Smudge is ALWAYS looking to play. I hate the thought of having to lock one or the other up in a room. The kittens are so active and rambunctious that it wont be too much longer before they are in the thick of it.
Thanks for all of the good suggestions and ideas. I will definitely try separating them when I am not home to monitor the behavior. But sometimes I think Smudge knows I am looking and plays nice with her! Very calculating, huh? I have seen satan in that sly, yet adorable face!!! And I will be the first to say...cats are very intelligent. They play the game right. They arent trained, I AM!!!
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