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Should I Give This Cat Up?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My husband and I have 2 cats. We got Chloe about 4 months ago. One morning as I was leaving, she ran out of the house. My husband and I were frantic. We walked the neighborhood every night for a week calling for her. We put up flyers with her picture and puts ads on Craigslist asking for her return. After a month of being gone we assumed that she was not going to come home and we decided to adopt another cat. This is how we got Jules. Jules came from a shelter. She was completely miserable there. The staff said that some cats don't take to shelter life and Jules was one of those cats. She seemed sweet but was depressed. So, we took her home and almost immediately she perked up. We picked up Jules on a Saturday, that Monday when I got home from work, Chloe showed back up. She ran past me as I was going up the stairs. I have no idea where she was but she was pretty skinny and dirty. So, I brought her inside and immediately Jules bolted. That was about a month and a half ago, since then things have gotten worse. I understand that there is always a dominant cat but I'm afraid Chloe has gone beyond that. Our house is 2 levels. The bottom level is wide open, it has a paved area for our car and the rest is hardwood floor. Jules pretty much lives on this level under the car because Chloe won't let her come upstairs. Chloe does things like eats all her own food and then runs to Jules' food and eats it. If Jules tries to stand up to her Chloe hisses and goes into attack stance. If Jules still doesn't back down then Chloe will attack her. If Jules even attempts to come upstairs, Chloe immediately attacks her. I've tried to stay out of it because I figured they needed to figure out their hierarchy, but it's gotten to the point where I've started to step in. I've tried to treat Chloe as the dominant cat by doing things like feeding her first and giving her alone time first but it doesn't seem to help. We've even tried reintroducing them. As it stands we have had to put a litterbox/food downstairs for Jules because she won't come out from under the car. If the car is not there then Jules hides behind shelving. It's gotten so bad that Jules runs from both me and my husband and won't let either one of us get near her. If I offer Jules a treat she will snatch it out of my hand and run under the car to eat it. There have been a few times when Chloe was out of the house (at the vet) and Jules will come out and play and let you pet her. My husband and I both want to do right by Jules. Is there anything we can do about Chloe's behavior or should we just let Jules go? If we decide to let Jules go there is no way we would put her back into a shelter, she was just too miserable when she was in one, we would attempt to find her a home. This whole situation is making me really sad. Thanks for any advice you can give.
post #2 of 8
Have you thought that perhaps it is not Jules presence, but what Chloe went through while she was outside? Have you taken Chloe into the vet to be completely checked out healthwise? Cats that are outside, often come back to their owners completely changed. They can go through PTSD and other problems depending on what they endured while they were out. They get over-stimulated, scared, their chemicals change, they go without food and water for days on end. My suggestion to you is to get her to the vet to see if healthwise something is going haywire. Once that has been ruled out, then look at changing things up so the cats can coexist peacefully.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
We did take Chloe to the vet after she got home. She was pretty skinny and we were worried. The vet checked her out and said she's just fine. She has also regained the weight she lost after she got out. As long as Jules is not around Chloe is the same as she was. She's super loving and very vocal. We love both cats that's why this is so hard for us.
post #4 of 8
Ok well that is good to know. And although healthwise she is okay, she could be messed up a bit mentally. I would look at www.littlebigcat.com and see about ordering a special rescue remedy for Chloe. Is your home set up with different levels of height the cats can use to get off the floor? Cat posts, cat ramps, window perches? Do you feed them out of the same dish, do they use the same litter pans? Do they have separate water dishes? Do you interact with each one privately playing interactive games and doing what they love to do?

Have you tried making them all the same scent by using vanilla extract putting pure extract under their chins, on their shoulders and the base of their tails? Is there anyway you can construct a door made of chicken wire between the two places the cats are staying so they can see each other, but not get at each other? You can use PVC pipe, wire, cable ties and hinges to make a door that is easy for you to get through, but hard for them to get through. Your intent is to allow them to see each other, smell each other and play with each other without racking up huge vet bills in the process.
post #5 of 8
You can also try a Feliway dispenser or spray. I notice that it does make a big difference in behavior with my boys.
post #6 of 8
Your situation is so hard and I wish I had some good news or suggestions. Introducing two adult female cats to each other is the most difficult. You didn't mention their age but it sounds like they are both adult cats. I know you want to keep both of them and they are both wonderful happy kitties when sepparated.

You can try doing everything you can, switching rooms, toys, blankets to let them get used to each other's smell. But it sounds like they already dislike each other. You never know, they might change and become friends, it happens, but how long will it take? How long are you willing to wait untill the signs of hope show up? This can be very frustrating for you and cats. I've had to move in to a place once where my roommate had an adult female cat. She never got along with my female cat who was aggressive and mean to hers. So I had to move out after 3 month.

It's your desision in the end what you want to do, but keep in mind that it's cat's wellfare too. Sometimes you can't change how they feel about each other. You woudn't be too happy if you were made to live with someone you hated, what kind of life would that be? And it sounds like Jules already had a trauma in the shelter.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. Chi Chi is right, both cats are adults. Chloe is 2 and Jules is about 1, Chloe also outweighs Jules by about 2 pounds. We really don't want to get rid of Jules. I am just afraid that she's unhappy and not living a good life. I will take some of your suggestions. I have some rescue remedy at home that I can try on Chloe. We do have a window perch. We have a tree downstairs and one of those seats that attaches to the window seal upstairs, so Jules can climb if she needs to. As far as how long am I willing to stick with this, I'm willing to stick out for a bit. I realize it's only been a month and a half, but as I said before, I was worried that this experience will mentally scar Jules.
post #8 of 8
Gosh! I just want to say I'm sorry you're going through this. This all sounds so very mentally draining and exhausting! First you lose a kitty--how awful that must have been(!)--then you find a new kitty who was sad and you saved her; then your lost kitty finds her way home and you're in the middle of a kitty triangle! Wow.

I really hope things work out. If absolutely nothing you can do will make them get along, don't feel bad about finding Jules a new home. Chloe might need extra-special care since she was outside for so long, and Jules deserves to be in a home she's safe, happy, and comfortable in.

If I were you I would start looking for Jules a new home just in case because it will probably take a while to find a good one. That way, you can try this for a month or how ever long you're going to try it, and won't have to keep her there any longer if it doesn't work out.
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