or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › New Cat for "Problem Child"? 3 questions...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New Cat for "Problem Child"? 3 questions...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Our Bruno is a very active 18-month-old. A lot of play, a lot of ankle-biting, etc. We've been working to train him without much luck (although I think some of that has to do with consistency on our part). My first question is a result of a conversation I had a few nights ago with a behavioral specialist: she told me that all of the typical training methods, i.e. time out, loud noises, hissing, redirection, were only 5% of the training methods that we could use, and that by doing those things we were only being negative with him. She raved about more positive training that we could do with him -- and then tried to get me to pay $525 for her to help. So my first question is, was she just trying to get us to part with our money? Or are there really other, more positive methods for training a cat with strong play-aggressive and some dominant traits? If so, I would love to hear about them!

Second question: I've often been told that getting a second cat would help to solve the problem with Bruno. I'm trying to determine the 'best' kind of kitty to match up with him, and I'm thinking about getting another boy who's the same age & just slightly smaller than Bruno (in fact, they could almost be twins!). Does that sound about right? Or should I try to get one that's younger and won't challenge Bruno as much?

Third question: I've read all of the information on introducing new cats, and am considering which rooms to keep the two cats in during the introductory period. My first instinct is to put the new cat in our bedroom and let Bruno have the rest of the house; I don't think it would disrupt his schedule too much, as he's only in there when we're sleeping (and he often gets kicked out due to misbehaving). Do you think that could be ok, or do you think it could cause more serious jealousy problems? We don't have a whole lot in the way of options...one of them will probably be spending time in our bedroom, as we only have a 2 bedroom apartment with an office. I worry shutting Bruno up in the smaller space for that long period of time would just be atrocious, but I also don't want him to think that new kitty is getting our affection through the night!

Sorry this is so long, but THANK YOU so much for any help or advice you can offer!!! I've learned a lot by reading these forums!
post #2 of 5
I am a firm believer in positive training methods - think about the effect on a child if the only thing you told them was "no" when they misbehaved without showing what is right? Like telling a kid in school that 2 + 2 does not equal 5 but failing to tell them that it equals 4. What does the child learn?

Use positive redirection - when they do something that you don't want them to do, redirect them to things you would like them to do. Examples: for the cat that jumps on the counter, move them to a cat tree. For the cat that scratches the furniture, redirect them to the scratch post. For the cat that bites your ankles, give them a toy. Like a puppy going thru potty training, you have to be consistent, catch them in the act and redirect them immediately. The key is consistency. A light bulb goes off in their heads eventually, but you have to be very patient in the meantime.

For a second cat? I always recommend a younger cat that won't threaten him too much. To go further, I always recommend a pair of kittens, preferably littermates, to avoid threatening an older cat. 2 kittens together will play with each other and draw the older cat into the play on their own terms.

Whatever way to work the introduction, swap scents. Place a towel or bed in the rooms where the cats are and swap them out to get them familiar with each others scents. Giving the newcomers the smaller space makes sense - if that is a bedroom, the kittens have a chance to bond with you part of the day. You could also swap out their space - switch Bruno to the bedroom after a few days and let the kittens loose in the rest of the apartment.

Good luck!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thankfully, Bruno doesn't scratch the furniture (we've given him an old suitcase to scratch to his heart's content), and he's good about the counters. The hardest thing is when we try to redirect him to a toy, and he's not interested in that -- just us. I'm hoping that the new kitty will be able to play with him the way that he needs to play, and we can all settle down a bit!
post #4 of 5
Originally Posted by starcrossd03
She raved about more positive training that we could do with him -- and then tried to get me to pay $525 for her to help. So my first question is, was she just trying to get us to part with our money?
Most definitely!

IMO, if you're set in getting another cat, I would get a female. And please, let the reason for a second kitty be because YOU want another one to love and not because Bruno needs a new toy.
post #5 of 5
Two are better than one...while they "love" us they also can benifit from having someone of their own kind.
We have 2 males...only a week apart....but did`nt get the second one till they were about 6 mo old......the only thing I`d have done different would have been to have gotten them closer to the same time...if i had it to do over again.
Even though they are the same sex....they are as totally opposit as they could possibly be and yet be the same species....and it has worked out extreemly well for them and for us. (It`s true that opposits attract i guess)
I would certainly do the things that Momofmany suggests when you bring your newbie home....I can see how it would make the transition easier for everyone.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › New Cat for "Problem Child"? 3 questions...