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This cat is driving me crazy!! HELP!

LavenderRott
August 30th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Ok. After several months of seperation, my husband came home and brought a cat with him. :eek:

We all know that I have a very pet friendly household and when it comes to dog issues, if I don't know the answer I certainly know who to turn to - but this is a cat issue and I am lost.

The new cat doesn't much care for other animals. That is pretty much it in a nutshell. She has been here for going on two months and she is still hissing and growling if one of the dogs or the cat comes within 5' of her. This means that my walk-in closet has become her food and water station and also houses her catbox. My bedroom door is kept closed 90% of the time and my cat is ruining the carpet in the doorway with his scratching.

Personally - I think we ought to put her in the living room and shut all the doors and just make her deal with it. But somehow, I think that might be considered by some to be cruel.

So - is there a way to deal with this, or should I just save the money to replace the carpet when we move?

Jim Hall
August 30th, 2007, 10:57 AM
Have you tried any thing to calm her down a bit? rescue remedy or something like that maybe one of those plug ins called wellness to calm her

does she let you pet her and handle her?


getting cats to accept other animals can be a very long process

LavenderRott
August 30th, 2007, 11:04 AM
Nope - haven't tried anything like that.

She is not really affectionate, but she will allow you to handle her to a point and she lets DH love on her. Right now, she is asleep on his stomach, but she won't do that with anyone else yet.

krdahmer
August 30th, 2007, 11:07 AM
Cats are not quick to adapt to change. It could take 6 months to a year for her just to get used to sharing her space with other animals, and even then you may have a whole lot of hissing. My Smoke still hates all of her younger furry siblings.... and they all get hissed at or swatted when they invade her 4foot personal space. But she gets lots of loving from me, loves her safe hidey spots, comes out to play string and tolerates the others for the most part. And I've had even the youngest addition for over 2 years now, and I just don't think Smoke will ever adapt.... she just kinda lives with it.

You just have to give it time and make her as comfy as possible... don't force anything and maybe eventually she'll get curious.

LavenderRott
August 30th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Cats are not quick to adapt to change. It could take 6 months to a year for her just to get used to sharing her space with other animals, and even then you may have a whole lot of hissing. My Smoke still hates all of her younger furry siblings.... and they all get hissed at or swatted when they invade her 4foot personal space. But she gets lots of loving from me, loves her safe hidey spots, comes out to play string and tolerates the others for the most part. And I've had even the youngest addition for over 2 years now, and I just don't think Smoke will ever adapt.... she just kinda lives with it.

You just have to give it time and make her as comfy as possible... don't force anything and maybe eventually she'll get curious.

This would be why I am a dog person. :rolleyes:

breeze
August 30th, 2007, 11:19 AM
When I had my cat and I brought home my first dog, it was crazy to say the least. pebbles (that was her name) would not have anything to do with shadoe or me, would only go to my husband. She would hiss scratch, anything you can think off. I tryed to lure her with special treats, toys, you name it I tried it..... She just could not accept my dog or me.....
I put her litter box in the kitchen and taught the dog to not go in there, that was her heaven. pebbles came into the kitchen only to be feed for about 8 months then she would run away and hid, until mike came home. after 8 months or so she started to come out of her hiding spot to find out what this big long haired animal was, by that time shadoe could not be borthered with playing with her..... They learn to co-igest (sp?) eventually she came to like me and tolerate the dog but that took a long time....

Try and find a heaven for the cat and that the dogs can't get to, this way she will not ruin your carpet, and still have acess to littler box. even if that means to gate the kitchen for a while or a room with easy access for just the kitty.

LavenderRott
August 30th, 2007, 11:25 AM
Try and find a heaven for the cat and that the dogs can't get to, this way she will not ruin your carpet, and still have acess to littler box. even if that means to gate the kitchen for a while or a room with easy access for just the kitty.

There is a gate in my closet doorway that the dogs won't go into but MY cat can get in there. DH and I are fairly vigilante about keeping him out but I know he sneaks in there at night while we are sleeping and the other cat is outside. (We will be dealing with THAT issue when DH leaves for Iraq.)

She isn't destroying the carpet, MY cat is. He really wants to get in my room when she is in there. We have started putting the cat-scratching post on the spot where he scratches so that he can't get to the carpet.

Love4himies
August 30th, 2007, 11:25 AM
I am not one to fuss over introducing cats and I have done it many, many times. I keep seperate for only one day, then I allow supervised visits and I do not interfere unless there is physical, serious fighting (but I have never encountered this even with the semi feral male I had when I was a teenager who attacked every cat outside, and brought my cats over during holidays).

I think it doesn't matter how long you seperate them, there is always going to be a hierarchy struggle, I have never seen at least one cat hiss, growl and put a paw up to swipe.

The first visits are not for long periods as I think they need a break from each other and depending on how the first meeting goes I either allow them free for good or gradually increase their time together.

badger
August 30th, 2007, 11:34 AM
If it is as fraught as you say, I would put her in a crate and leave her in a busy area for, say, an hour at a time. She will be safe, but the others will be able to smell her thoroughly and she will be able to see and smell them. At some point, you may see that she is less agitated and even a bit curious. Then you could open the door and see what she does. Of course you need to be there too, so no-one gets hurt.
Do you know anything about her previous situation? Sounds like an only indoor child. How old? All of these things will weigh.
It can be a rather slow process. If the bedroom isn't convenient as her hidey-hole, I don't see any problem moving her somewhere else, as long as she is safe.
You could also leave the bedroom door open and see what happens. Same close supervision. Practise your 'leave it' bellow! Hissing and hiding are normal.
Good luck.

breeze
August 30th, 2007, 11:36 AM
I allow supervised visits and I do not interfere unless there is physical, serious fighting
I think it doesn't matter how long you seperate them, there is always going to be a hierarchy struggle, I have never seen at least one cat hiss, growl and put a paw up to swipe.

The first visits are not for long periods as I think they need a break from each other and depending on how the first meeting goes I either allow them free for good or gradually increase their time together.

Then I think you should try what love4himies said

Lukka'sma
August 30th, 2007, 11:40 AM
When I had my cats, may they:rip: the fights went on for the entire 18 years that both of them were alive:eek: . Never could one be within 5' of the other without the hissing and growling and several times over the years fights broke out. They just never came to accept each other I really hope you have more luck than I had with trying to get felines to co-exist

LavenderRott
August 30th, 2007, 11:41 AM
I am not one to fuss over introducing cats and I have done it many, many times. I keep seperate for only one day, then I allow supervised visits and I do not interfere unless there is physical, serious fighting (but I have never encountered this even with the semi feral male I had when I was a teenager who attacked every cat outside, and brought my cats over during holidays).

I think it doesn't matter how long you seperate them, there is always going to be a hierarchy struggle, I have never seen at least one cat hiss, growl and put a paw up to swipe.

The first visits are not for long periods as I think they need a break from each other and depending on how the first meeting goes I either allow them free for good or gradually increase their time together.

Thank You!!

I generally take that approach with the dogs. In 20 years, the only animal (besides this darn cat) that I have had any issues with was my Belgian. We broke out the muzzle and integrated the dogs on day 2.

LavenderRott
August 30th, 2007, 11:45 AM
If it is as fraught as you say, I would put her in a crate and leave her in a busy area for, say, an hour at a time. She will be safe, but the others will be able to smell her thoroughly and she will be able to see and smell them. At some point, you may see that she is less agitated and even a bit curious. Then you could open the door and see what she does. Of course you need to be there too, so no-one gets hurt.
Do you know anything about her previous situation? Sounds like an only indoor child. How old? All of these things will weigh.
It can be a rather slow process. If the bedroom isn't convenient as her hidey-hole, I don't see any problem moving her somewhere else, as long as she is safe.
You could also leave the bedroom door open and see what happens. Same close supervision. Practise your 'leave it' bellow! Hissing and hiding are normal.
Good luck.

She is an indoor/outdoor girl. (She will become completely an indoor girlie while DH is gone as I don't sleep so good at night when she is out.) She is fabulous at coming home in the morning, though. :rolleyes:

DH adopted her from the local shelter. I have read the files he was given and she came in as a stray. She is about 2.

CyberKitten
August 30th, 2007, 11:17 PM
Did you introduce the cat and dog the right way at the beginning - you know a lot about animals so I am assuming that is yes. The prob is sometimes, tiny mistakes - not due to anyone's fault per se, just some little thing gets in the way - and the animals do not get off to a new start. I would start from the beginning again - just to see if that works. Pretend these animals have never met each other and isolate the cat for awhile - allow her to have her own space, with her litter box ad toys and food and give her lots of love and attention. She is new here and she probably feels so overwhelmed.She had her territory and it has been taken from her and she is now is a new area. She HAS to fight for territory - she has no choice in her view. (Think like a cat and that is what she is thinking. She has to establish some dominance here God knows what may have happened to her in the past. Did your husband get her at a shelter? Do you know her history?)

Then go about it slowly following all the steps to the letter and introducing them all over again. I doubt she is unfriendly - my guess is she is terrified and has to show it by hissing - especially with so many animals already there. She could be an aloof cat and need attention and she may even sense that you are not thrilled to have her around, no I am actually certain she does sense it. Try to warm up to her and give her more attention. At the same time, let her explore - start with a small area and work outward. It is never good to simply bring in a cat and let them wonder - it is too much space. They need to be in a small space first which they can claim as their own and work out from that - as they meet other animals. She needs to feel secure and she seems to not feel that way - prob due to change (which cats hate) and being moved (another things that stresses cats immensely). So my "diagnosis" is that she is scared, insecure kitty who needs all the help you can give her!

Good luck!!

ancientgirl
August 31st, 2007, 09:09 AM
I don't have any advice for you but I can tell you my two have their moments too. For the most part they get along. They play, they chase each other and they groom each other, and now and then snuggle up next to each other. But at least a few times a day, Vlad will get rough and I hear Oksana screaming and hissing now and then. I'll usually have to make a loud noise or clap my hands to get them to stop long enough for Oksana to get away and for Vlad to move on to something else.

I don't think every pet household is ever at peace for very long. I guess I can't complain though. They are very protective of each other and don't have a problem sharing each other's food.