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New Cat Issue

December 7th, 2005, 07:06 PM
Yesterday my MIL went into a nursing home and her beloved cat Molly came to live at my home. Molly is a little spoiled by my MIL, she was the only pet and now has come into a household with a six month old kitten, two large dogs and a guinea pig, not to mention I live on a farm, all my animals come in and out with me, the kitten even comes along on walks with the dogs within the perimeters of the farm. Molly is on her second day here, she will not eat, is constantly hiding and she pooped in my kitchen sink through the night. I know it's her because so as not to try to get her to use a new litter box I brought hers here and it is set up next to Peppercorn's (my kitten's) Peppercorn thinks it's a party jumping from box to box. And with the size of my dogs, there's no way they could jump on the counter and perch on the sink to poop in it, that would be far too much work for them, they would just wake me up! Yesterday I put out a veritable cat feast for Molly, wet food, dry food, cream..........she won't touch it and I have to keep chasing Peppercorn out of the bedroom where Molly is hiding because she thinks it's her personal buffet.
I need this situation to work out, Molly already made the mistake of taking a swipe at my male dog, he is a pup and playful, but he didn't like her reaction and sort of attacked the crate, now I don't believe in declawing, however Molly is declawed. She has never been a loving cat, bit me yesterday when I was trying to give her a treat and bit my husband last night while he was petting her. She has always bit. She would never do well in a shelter situation and at five years old I hope I am not hanging onto false hope that she can be a normal cat or at least fit in in our household.
I work from home and right now both my dogs are sleeping on either side of my chair and Peppercorn is sleeping on the sofa in my office. Peppercorn was found, someone droped her off at the farm when she wasnt even 4 weeks old and the dogs were instantly her best friends.
I guess I'm looking for suggestions on how to make this transition easier for Molly.

December 7th, 2005, 08:46 PM

The first thing you will probably need to realize is that the time you've had Molly is still new, and if any of my past cat adjustment history is a clue, it's definitely going to take longer than just a day or two for her to settle in.

To make her more secure, however, perhaps trying moving her litterbox and food further away from Peppercorn's, particularly since the kitten is apparently not concerned about invading Molly's space, but Molly will be supremely concerned about protecting her space. The fact that she's hiding is an indication that she's not feeling secure just now. Not to mention that she's been used to living with your MIL (I guess that's mother-in-law) up until now and now she's in a house full of people she doesn't know too well as well as energetic animals. Give her some safe spaces that are just for her.

I don't know what to say about the biting thing, since you say she's done that before she moved in, so that might be up to someone else's advice.

Good luck with the transition! :)

December 7th, 2005, 10:28 PM
I would separate her from the other beasts completely, with her her own room, litterbox, toys, bed. A window to look out of would be good. Give her the same food she had before. She's overwhelmed! Spend time with her in her lair, talking, playing, let her set the pace. In a week or two, prop the door open so she can get out if she wants but the dogs can't follow her in, so she always has a safe place to go.
Declawed cats are frequently biters, it's their only defense.
I'm betting things will work out eventually. She may not follow you around the farm (in fact given her clawless condition she should definitely be an indoor cat) or be your dogs' best friend but she'll find her place in the pack. Thanks for taking her in!

December 8th, 2005, 12:04 AM
Tonight I went into the room where she is and she was out and sitting on the bed. I petted her a bit, although I did cover my hand with my sweater, she drew blood on my husband last night! Just a few pats so she didn't get upset. When I let the dogs in after a potty break she was sitting at the back door and just now I was in the kitchen and she was sitting there in my laundry room door, just off my kitchen. I still haven't seen where she has eaten, when I say she was spoiled, LOL I'm not joking! Her treats were cut into four equal pieces and set on a plate for her to dine on as she desired, my MIL spent all day checking the litterbox and scooping immediatly. I empty mine everyday I can't be bothered to scoop everytime Peppercorn goes! This cat came with sooo many toys, honestly there must be fifty stuffies and mice and catnip treats and she's one of the 20% of cats who doesn't respond at all to catnip. Today the dogs spent alot of time playing outside and while it was freezing I was with them for a good deal of it. She seems not to mind Peppercorn, of course Peppercorn may be too brave for her own good!
We'll see what tomorrow brings, she's in the living room right now, but back in a corner just watching, this is the best time of day for watching, all the big critters are sleeping and Peppercorn hasn't gotten her after midnight playful buzz going.