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Lost our Bud - Now a mistake?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My oldest daughter, now 19, adopted Tiger when she was 6. Not to be outdone, her younger sister adopted Princess about 6 months later.

Tiger was always a quiet, somwhat reserved cat. She really never got close to anyone other than my daughter, and they were very close.

Princess was a wild child from the moment we got her. Loved attention from anyone, always on the go. The two of them never really played together a lot, and even when they did, Tiger would run off to the sanctuary of my daughters room after a very short bout of with Princess trying to wrestle with her. It was very much like Tiger was the serious older child, and Princess was the flighty youngster. But Princess never stopped being an active, playful, attention seeker.

About three months ago now, Tiger had to be put to euthanized after she developed some kind of liver problem that her vet was never able to positively diagonse. For the last month we had her, she was very sick. We had to force feed her and my daughter had to hydrate her by IV. She just couldn't make it through it and finally got very ill and her vet said she was in too much pain to let her go on. It was a very sad day for all of us, especially my daughter who was devastated. She kept Tiger's ashes, and has a little "memorial" set up in her room with her favorite pictures of Tiger for them.

While Tiger was sick, she didn't spend too much time outside of my daughter's bedroom. We had moved her food in there in hopes she would start eating again, and her litter box also. Princess had never gone into that room much, and for the most part, she left Tiger alone, but would occasionally go to the door, as if to check up on her.

At first, my daughter didn't want to get another cat. After about a month, she spotted a funny looking calico on the rescue website and said she was ready for a new kitty. When we went to pick up Alice (from Alice Cooper, because of the black eye make-up she has) we were also introduced to her sister, Olivia (from Olivia Newton-John, because she was so sweet). Well the rescue foster told my girls how great the two sisters got along, and how it would be good for them to have each other, and the girls begged me, and they were cute, and anyway - Akice and Olivia joined our family and are as happy as 2 kittens could be.

Princess however, doesn't appear to be so happy with the new kids. It's like all her playfulness is gone. She doesn;t hide, but she has gotten rather inactive (especially compared to her old self) and although she will let you scratch her and rub her belly, she doesn't really seek it out like she used to. She tolerates the kittens, but never plays with them, and hisses whenever they try to interact with her.

In hindsight, maybe the new kittens weren't a good idea. Especially 2 of them, but our intentions were good. Princess always seemed to be so happy go lucky we really thought she would like having new friends to play with! But now it's like she has taken on more of Tiger's old role, and just isn't her crazy old self.

We took several weeks of keeping them seperate with the new kids in our study, so that they could see each other through the french glass doors, and everyone has been giving Princess lots of affection, but she doesn't show much sign of getting back to being her old peppy self. Do you think this will pass? Is there anything else we can do? Or is this just a natural event and Princess may never be the same again?

Thanks. Sorry for the long winded story!
post #2 of 6
My sympathies to you and your daughter, glad to hear that she is moving on. That is a terrible thing to have to go through. As for the new kittens, I have the same problem. My parent's cats had a litter, and i would love to adopt one, but we brought her home for one night and my two older cats were none to happy about the idea. They acted as though we were letting them down. It was only a trial slumber party, and she doesn't have her shots yet (we're taking her and her brothers next week), but my boyfriend and i fell in love with her and would really like to add her to the family. One of my cats is so attached to me, she gets jealous rather easily. I'm sorry to say I don't have an answer for you, but i would love to assume that with enough TLC new members can live in harmony with the rest of the family. I'm really looking forward to hearing everyone's input to your dilemma.
Good luck!
post #3 of 6
It will definitely improve with time. I adopted a new male kitten when my older girl was 4.5 yrs old. She was none to happy about it either, but has adjusted well. She's never been very affectionate, anyway, so I haven't noticed any real changes in her behavior towards me.

I think it's pretty much like when people adopt kids or have a new baby. They always have little jealousy problems between siblings and it just takes time for everyone to adjust.
post #4 of 6
It will improve. I had Chynna 6 years before I adopted Abby. Abby was 4 months old when she came to live with us. Chynna's nose was really out of joint because Abby was very clingy with me from the get go. She missed her mom so much that she transfered that to me and has been my attached shadow ever since.

I just kept showing Chynna that I still loved her and still spent our quality time together, and eventually she came to tolerate Abby. They aren't buddies but they co-exist together.

The important thing is to make sure you still show your first kitty that she is loved and hasn't been replaced.
post #5 of 6
Oh how well I can relate! I have a 10 yo cat and we adopted a 6 mo kitty Thanksgiving weekend last year. It's taken 8 MONTHS for them to really play together. It took a good long 6 months for my older cat to really calm down enough to come out of her shell and be comfortable being around the new kitty. During that 6 months, our new kitty matured and wasn't quite as rambunctious, which was very upsetting to our old cat.

Time is probably the answer. Also, continue to reassure your older cat and continue to love on her. You may consider getting some Feliway plug ins to put throughout your house. I also used Rescue Remedy with my older cat and that helped tremendously.

post #6 of 6
Hi -- I remember those kitties! I live in metro Detroit and saw them many times on Petfinder when I was looking for a kitten. I think it is wonderful that you gave them a home because that site is so FULL of cats and kittens it breaks my heart.

Anyhow, I don't have any advice for you since I still only have one cat but I just wanted to say don't give up and it could be worse. At least your current cat has not shown much aggression towards them. I think that is a step in the right direction.
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