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Any hopes of my cat changing still?

May 30th, 2006, 07:15 AM
I got a cat from the shelter last fall. He's a beautiful silver shaded persian with HUGE emerald eyes--the cutest cat I've ever seen--but I have to admit I picked him up because of his looks and not his personality. Now it's 8 months after I got him and I'm wondering if some of his ways are set or is there still a chance he might change? I'm appealing to those of you who've gone through with adoping older cats. He was 4 when I adopted him.

One of his bad habits is spraying over the side of the litter. I know I am thankful he's not spraying anywhere else but it certainly does create more work for me. I always had open litters for my cats (no hood) because I thought the hood confined them. With this cat I had to discard those litters and go with a hooded litter to confine the mess. Even so I still clean up about 3 times a day, sometimes more when he sprays the inside of the litter. I can smell it as soon as I walk by the litter. There was a time during the cold winter months when he almost stopped doing it- he was doing it every other day or so. My hopes got up but then spring came and it seems the smells outside made the situation worse (although there are no strange cats on our back lawn).

The other thing I'm concerned about is there has been no connection with him and my older cat (She's 15 years old). Of course I didn't expect them to be buddies in the beginning but I was hoping after 5 months or so they would start to get a little closer. It just hasn't happened. He likes to play rough and she doesn't want any of that. She has made a few friendly but cautious moves to him but he just ignores her. He's even taken ages to bond with me and I'm not sure he's fully bonded yet. It seems he carries grudges for awhile too.

THen there's the constant wanting outside (Yes , he's neutered). He has to be watched like a hawk or he climbs over the fence. The times I've caught him he gets in a really bad mood.

Well, I love the little guy but I have days when I get fed up with his antics and dream of a day when he will settle down. Is it still possible he's still settling in and will change? It's certainly taken him a long time to bond so I have to wonder.

Lucky Rescue
May 30th, 2006, 09:28 AM
Could be that the spraying was the reason he was given up. Could be he was only neutered when you got him, and the spraying may be a deeply ingrained habit.

It's difficult to say if he will ever stop. Some cats are just incorrigible sprayers, and some will only stop spraying if there are no other cats in the house.

Persians are generally sweet, placid and quiet, but of course every cat is different.

I got nearly all my cats as adults, mostly strays, and all bonded very deeply with me. However if your cat lived his whole life in one home, it could be why he is having a hard time adjusting to a new home.

Thank you for taking this cat in and loving him in spite of his quirks.:thumbs up

May 30th, 2006, 09:44 AM
I wouldn't let him outside at all. Not a good candidate and reinforces you as the bad guy.
Distract him with play. I realize you got him as a companion for your old girl but there's no chemistry, not much you can do about it. Find some good toys or just balls of paper to chase, whatever works. Wear him out. You could also try playing with them together.
Try one of those big storage boxes you can get at Canadian Tire instead of a regular litter box. You can get them with high sides (10-12 inches). Maybe change the litter. Sounds like a form of marking, maybe he was neutered late or was hassled by a previous owner. Try two litter boxes, could be he doesn't like sharing.
Put him on Rescue Remedy (in his water or straight into his mouth - my guys won't touch it in their food). Available at health food stores, some grocery stores. It's perfectly safe. Might help to calm him down.
Some cats are just harder to connect with. Try ignoring him. The breakthrough for me is when they come looking for affection. Let him approach you, and when he does, shower him with attention, maybe some treats. Stop when he wants to stop.
I wouldn't add another cat at this point, you need to establish your alphas with him first.

May 30th, 2006, 10:32 AM
I have to agree with some of the points being said by the others, I adopted our girl 1.5 yrs ago when she was 6yrs. And to say the least it's been a trial and error thing with her. It is possible that your boy was used as a stud and neutered late and that is why he's slow on the bonding and spraying, and like LR said that is possibly the reason he was given up in the first place, not sure why some people think that others would be okay with that, but like you said you got him on looks. Our girl just started coming to us for pets but when SHE is done its done, and pls don't try to cuddle, not going to happen. We deceided to let her go out in the backyard supervised at first until she would stay only in our yard if not she pee's right by the back door, not the best of friends with our other cat and he wants to romp and play but when she doesn't want any part of that, alot of hissing and fur flying goes on. Get another litter box and if you don't mind him going outside, get him used to a harness inside and then let him out supervised/make sure he cannot get caught up on anything. Best of luck I have my :fingerscr for you

May 31st, 2006, 02:14 AM
my DSH (Nixi) likes to fling his litter about, as do his children. i think it's a breed thing, my calico tabby (patty Cake) doesn't do it. they also like to watch me change the little box and as son as i'm done will just DIG, like they're trying to get to china or something!:evil: it's insane! i was gonna start a thread about this, but apparently i'm not the only one w/ psycho litter flinging fur-bags. i've treid the hood and it scares the heck out of my babies so i keep lots of those small door mat carpets around and shake them out a lot, but i also live on hard wood which has its flaws, but cleaing up litter is MUCH easier!
PS- i've had both of my babies since they were about 3-4 months old

June 2nd, 2006, 08:23 AM
Thanks everyone for the replies. I had never considered that he was neutered late. Now that I think about it , it could be possible. When I got him from the shelter the previous owner had provided the paperwork backing up that he had been getting his shots every year along with the papers from the breeder. I had always thought it odd they didn't include the certificate showing he was neutered so I took him to my vet just to make sure he was. From his papers it shows he had two different owners yet the one who dropped him off claimed she was the one who got him from the breeder. Very strange.

As for the two litter boxes and Rescue Remedy, I've tried both. He marks both litter boxes which made double the work for me. Rescue Remedy seems to take away his aggression in the first few months I had him but I was a bit sporatic in using it. I would keep forgetting to put it in his water but he never stopped spraying when I was using it.

Just to let everyone know here--when I stated that I picked him up for his looks and not his personality, that doens't mean he's an extremely difficult cat. He just has a few annoying little things. He CAN be quite affectionate when he wants and he's got the cutest way of talking in all these expressive little meows. I think what bothers me the most is that there is no chemistry between him and my older cat. It would have been nice for her to have a close companion in her older years instead of feeling a bit threatened by him. I feel a bit guilty there but am glad he's got a forever home. I orginally thought that Persians got adopted right away in shelters but now I see sometimes people don't want them because of their high maintenance.

As for the bonding he HAS bonded but I mentioned I didn't think he had fully bonded. He seems to hold back a bit-- probably still remembering his old home.