or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Desperately Seeking Feline Harmony!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Desperately Seeking Feline Harmony!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi! I am new to the site and desperate for some "expert cat" advice. I have owned cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, fish, etc my whole life but I have a situation on my hands now that has me really stressed and worried for the happiness of my small cat colony. I have two cats (male and female) that are about 6.5 years old (Mick and Cleo). They have lived together since about 6 to 8 months of age and have both been altered. The female was previously a feral cat but was mostly just easily spooked and a little on the shy side. She and Mick got along great in the first year or so of their lives together (sleeping together, bathing each other, etc). As time went on we noticed Mick would sometimes "rough house" with Cleo. We always assumed it was simply playing even though Cleo made some hissing and gutterly meows. Cleo is a very vocal gal so we really never thought anything of it. They never seemed to have any issues being around each other. Earlier this year, we adopted a third cat. Husker, a neutered male, was about a year old at the time we adopted this laid back cat. He had previously been an only cat but he seemed to love the new companions. It took Mick and Cleo some time to adjust but they all seemed to be doing pretty well. Husker realized that Mick was the Alpha so he fell in line as the 3rd cat. [It is important to note that Mick is a sweet, loving, always appears to be happy and laid back kind of cat. He is very affectionate with my husband and me and has continued to get equal amounts of attention after the adoptions of all our cats. He is still very much the Alpha. Cleo has always been a little shy and intimidated by Mick. She would occasionally fight back when his "rough housing" became too much for her but she typically ran away from him to avoid the fighting. Cleo is exceptionally sweet, loving and a definite queen of the house.] Okay so Husker, Mick and Cleo were doing well and then I adopted a rescue kitten (approx 6 to 7 mos at time of adoption - Oct 2005), Roo, that had some special needs. He was kept separate from the others for quite a while as he is definitely different (wobbly legs and falls over a lot when he is walking). He has a very outgoing, social personality with people and is very friendly towards the other cats. Husker warmed up to him immediately and viewed him as a young companion/play mate. They would romp and play for hours after they were first introduced. Mick and Cleo took a little more time but seemed to be getting pretty used to the new guy, Roo. Everyone could sleep in the same room, same piece of furniture, etc. No fighting, occasionally a hiss if Roo or Husker invaded Mick or Cleo's space but overall no issues and definitely no fights. During this time Mick continued to "rough house" Cleo and they seemed okay overall. Apparently over our Christmas holiday there was some type of "disturbance" in the cat colony at our house. We are not certain what happened or who it involved except that Cleo became afraid of everything and began hiding. She ultimately wound up having to go to the vet for constipation - ick. Our vet said that she was fine and in good health so it was likely that one of our boys had frightened her at the litter box. Through the process of elimination we have determined that we believe it was Mick that was involved in the "disturbance." So now, Cleo wants to spend all her time locked away in a separate bedroom and hides mostly under the bed in that room. Roo, Husker, Cleo and Mick were all able to be around each other yesterday for a few hours in the same room but Cleo seems frightened when she sees the bedroom door open and one of the boys on the other side trying to get in. Husker is gently as is Roo and they simply wanted to be around Cleo or possibly love on her but she will not have anything to do with being out in the house. I have taken to sleeping in the same room with her so she does not get lonely and allowing her socialization time when my husband and I are there to watch them closely. She came out on Friday night and was actually walking around checking the house out like usual but Mick did something and off she was to hide. I have a whole new set up for Cleo with her own litter box, food bowls, everything.

What can I do to return peace to my household? I hate having to keep Cleo separate from the boys but she is pretty small in size (6.5-7.0 lbs) and the rest of the gang is at least 8.5 or more (up to 14 lbs). Should I try to slowly reintroduce Cleo and Mick and establish their cat hierarchy again or is there a better approach? I hate seeing her so scared and hiding all the time and definitely don't want her to have "tummy issues" again and require another vet trip so I am hoping a litter box with no top on it will help her feel safe again.

Desperately Seeking Harmony!
post #2 of 4
You might try pluging in a feliway diffuser (also known as comfort zone) to help calm things down. They are a bit expensive but I think they are worth the effort.

If she's starting to come out by herself, she might get over the fright by herself. You could also slowly (!) start moving her litter box out of "her" room and back to where the others are.

I wish I had more advice to give but I don't have much experience in this area.
Good luck!
post #3 of 4
place a dab of vanilla under all kitties noses that way they all smell alike and peace comes easier... Thank you Hissy that tip saved me alot of agony
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. I did use the Comfort Zone/Feliway product but that did not make a huge difference. It had just run out though when the situation arose at home. I will try it again but not sure if this will solve the problem long term. Thanks!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Desperately Seeking Feline Harmony!