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HELP! Ethel and Alley are under the bed, and it's NOT GOOD

July 13th, 2008, 06:57 PM
The babies left so I had Jake, Alley and Ethel switch rooms for about two hours to get used to each other's smells... Then I decided they could have some supervised interaction. Well the moment I open the door, Ethel pounced on Alley and attacked her hard.. Then she chased her upstairs and they are both currently under my bed, growling at each other.. It's one of those beds that I can't even see under .. I have no idea how to get them out and I'm by myself.. Someone please help me!

July 13th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Do you have a spray bottle handy with water in it? That is the best thing to cool things down.

Can you talk Alley out from under the bed? or entice her out with treats?

If not all you can do is wait and have the spray bottle handy.

Don't try to seperate them, you could end up being torn up yourself.

July 13th, 2008, 07:03 PM
If you don't have a spray bottle, I was able to break up fights with Snowball and rival with a broom and use the broom to get one of them into a room.

July 13th, 2008, 07:04 PM

Are you able to move the bed yourself? have you got a cardboard box, heavy laundry basket handy you could trap one into by placing over top of them?

grab a pair of heavy gardening gloves if you have them...

If so put the basket/box on the bed, move on end of the bed & quickly put the basket/box over top of who ever you see first :fingerscr you can nab the other to get them outta the room. or just scoot the box/basket over to the door with the cat still under & open the door to remove them from the room

July 13th, 2008, 07:04 PM
good luck.:fingerscr

July 13th, 2008, 07:07 PM
I tried the treats, and then realized there's only one way out, and that's from the front of the bed.. Alley's at the back end.. One of them pooped themselves too - it smells awful.. I feel so terrible about this..

Oh, and we HAD a squirt bottle.. it just doesn't work any more for some reason.. So I'm going to use a sport's bottle.. :sad:

July 13th, 2008, 07:09 PM
with a broom

That what I would use :shrug:

July 13th, 2008, 07:09 PM
The bed is way too big and heavy for me to be able to move it by myself.. My fiance should be home in about half an hour..

Maybe I'll try moving the nightstands away from the headboard - behind the headboard is the only way they can get in or out..

July 13th, 2008, 07:10 PM
L4H good idea - Phoozles can you get a broom handle under there & nudge someone out? :goodvibes:

July 13th, 2008, 07:11 PM
Can you entice Ethel out with tuna or sardines so she will leave Alley alone.

July 13th, 2008, 07:12 PM
Phoozles, the broom always works for me when Peaches and Romeo get stand-off ish under the bed

Peaches is easiest to catch so I push him out and grab him

July 13th, 2008, 07:12 PM
I'd love to use a broom, but again, the opening is blocked.. They crawl in from behind the headboard - I can't get to it, so a broom wouldn't do anything but really freak them out more.. :sad:

I don't have any sardines.. or anything really smelly to get one of them to come out.. it's such an awkward space they are in..

July 13th, 2008, 07:14 PM
have you a Laser pointer? try to get someone to follow it out?

July 13th, 2008, 07:18 PM
Good news! I lured Ethel out with treats.. she's now in the bathroom - Alley's still growling at no one under the bed.. this is awful.. Did I just ruin the chance of them ever getting along?

July 13th, 2008, 07:27 PM
You never know with cats. I would keep them seperated for at least one week so they can forget their differences.

Next time you try an intro, you many want to try having Ethel wear a harness and leash and walk her around, that way if she goes to attack or chase you can immediately stop her and there will not be another incident.

Have Ethels fav treats in your pocket to give her when she is in sight of Alley, that way, she will have good feelings when she sees her.

Good luck!!

July 13th, 2008, 07:42 PM
OMG! What a time you've had tonight! Wow! But you handled it like a pro!!
Once your FH gets home are you going to put Ethel back in her room? Like L4H says, at least a week before introducing again. Can you trade items of theirs? A bed or something each has slept on to get their smells familiar to each other.
It's never a lost cause hon. You have to remember the Ethel is basically feral. So you treat her like a feral. That means a very long, long introduction to other house kitties. She has had to defend herself outside and obviously from what you described, her going at Ally, she was quite good at it. Isn't it ironic she left Jake, the male, alone? :rolleyes:
L4H is right about the reintro too. A harness will work well. Even a carrier so they can see/smell each other but can't hurt. Slow and steady. They may never be bestest buds but they should get to the point where they can tolerate each other.
Sending lots of :goodvibes::fingerscr for better luck next time.
Have you scheduled Ethel's surgery yet btw?

July 13th, 2008, 08:10 PM
Wow that's quite a night! I'm sure like L4H suggested, a little more separation and then a leashed intro might work better. And don't worry I'm sure they'll both be ok, and pooping when scared is very normal, Fagan did that under the bed when he had a spring stuck in his teeth.

:goodvibes: Hope that Ally calms down and that you have no more excitement tonight!

July 13th, 2008, 08:19 PM
It was awful - I'm still trembling.. Poor Alley has a little cut on her ear but it looks superficial.. both of them were covered in poop (Alley's) so I washed them both off as best I could - Ethel is now back in her room where she wanted to be all along..

Thanks for the help guys - I really appreciated it.. FH is back home now and helped me clean them and get the poop from under the bed..

I had tried trading items (they don't use beds, so I took some t-shirts and rubbed them against each of their chins and put their food dishes over them so they would associate the smell with something good) and I have been doing that for weeks now, hoping it would help..

I think my downfall was that I had them in their opposite rooms. Alley was growling in Ethel's room, and Ethel really wanted to go back in hers.. But I made the mistake of just opening Ethel's room to let them meet - when she saw Alley in there she lost it..

But you're right, she left Jake completely alone.. When they were both under the bed, Jake went under too, but he came out pretty quickly. Jake and Ethel don't seem to mind each other at all..

Haven't booked Ethel's spay yet, but I'm going to very soon.. Hopefully that calms her down.. :sad:

July 13th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Whew! I'm glad you got them both out from under the bed and there were no major injuries. :grouphug:

July 14th, 2008, 01:29 AM
Talk about adrenaline! You must have been exhausted.
I must say in those situations, I tend to wade right in, with my feet or a broom if necessary (never hands), to get them apart as quickly as possible.
Maybe next time you could introduce them in a common area, put the new one in a crate and let everyone sniff to their heart's content.
Just a small albeit smelly incident on the road to integration.

July 14th, 2008, 06:35 AM
But you're right, she left Jake completely alone.. When they were both under the bed, Jake went under too, but he came out pretty quickly. Jake and Ethel don't seem to mind each other at all..

Haven't booked Ethel's spay yet, but I'm going to very soon.. Hopefully that calms her down.. :sad:

Is by chance Ethel in heat? That could account for some of the hostility toward Alley. If I am not mistaken way back when you took the family in and she got out the first night she went after Jake then, right? I think you were worried because of his health issues? If Ethel is in heat Alley could be seen as her "competition". Grasping at straws. :shrug:

July 14th, 2008, 08:52 AM
Sweet Pea did was extremely moody just before she went into heat, during heat (except with Jasper :rolleyes:), and until 2 weeks after spaying. Very funny about males/females. Sweet Pea never had a problem with Jasper except if he went into the feeding pantry while her kittens were wanting to eat, then she laid into him pretty good.

Ethel probably doesn't realize her kittens are gone for good so she is probably still in "protective mode".

July 14th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Oh man, I just saw this. I'm so sorry you had such a rough time. What a scary thing to have them both under the bed and you not being able to get to them.

I've been putting rescue remedy in everyone's water in the morning. I figure, it can't hurt and if it helps keep things calm, all the better.

You have the same issue I do, except Ethel younger than Czarina. Still she's been having to defend herself for a long time.

I think having Ethel on a leash is a good idea. At least you'd be able to keep her from lunging at Alley.

July 14th, 2008, 10:19 AM
Man, I was so exhausted after that - spent the morning driving the kittens to their new home, and then the chaos .. I passed out at 11 PM - I missed Big Brother! :sad: :rolleyes:

The first night Ethel got out she was kind of growling at Jake.. she did have him cornered, but there was no fighting.. Can she tell that Alley is a female even though Alley's been fixed?

I think she is coming off of her heat - she's not as bad, but I don't think she's fully 'back to normal' .. I'll try and get her an appointment for this week, and then keep her to herself for at least another week.. I will try the harness as well as the carrier..

Here's the thing with the carrier - I tried to put Ethel in it before they met last night, but she strongly resisted and bit me.. So I left it alone (which was obviously a big mistake) .. The carrier I have is one of those 'soft' ones, a Sherpa bag.. I don't know if it would be suitable for another introduction .. ?

I was thinking of putting Alley in the carrier and a harness on Ethel - but do you think I should put Ethel in it instead? She really hates it.. :shrug:

July 14th, 2008, 10:28 AM
If it were me I would be putting Ethel in only because you have two cats besides her. Ethel didn't turn on Jake this time. It's hard to say what she might do the next time. Is there someone who has a "hard" carrier you can borrow? Maybe your sis? It would just make it so much easier to do the intro that way IMO. :shrug:

July 14th, 2008, 10:40 AM
I'd try to get a hard carrier too. I made the mistake and had a soft one and put Oksana in it when I introduced her and Vlad. Vlad kept jumping up on the carrier and scared the heck out of poor Oksana. I think this is part of the reason she battles him so much.

A hard carrier if they jump on it won't cave in and scare her any more than she's already scared.

July 14th, 2008, 10:51 AM
That's what I was thinking too - the soft carrier can be manipulated too easily.. I guess I'll just buy one - It makes sense to have more than one carrier anyway.. My sister does have a hard one, but she also lives three hours away ..

It was so scary, I'm kind of freaked out to try it again - but I'm just hoping that in a week or so, maybe things will calm down.. I was just hoping things would be back to normal (and I wouldn't have to use two entrances to get into the house to see each set of cats anymore), so I guess I rushed it..

Poor Alley was all freaked out last night - she was growling at Jake and wouldn't eat her last meal of the day (she's eaten since though).. She was filthy when I finally got her out from under the bed..

The good news (sort of) is that I had the carrier that Ethel has been in and which I just recently used to transport the kittens, in the living room with Jake and Alley. Jake's gone in it several times, sniffing around (I think he also smells that there used to be treats in it), and Alley finally went in this morning.. Maybe she'll get a good sense of Ethel's smell in there..

July 14th, 2008, 11:08 AM
WM has the hard ones for around $30. Cheaper than the gas to go to your sisters' place.
If you are planning on getting Ethel fixed soon why not wait to try the intro until after then and she is healed? I know it's more inconvenient to you but it may help. That will give Ethel time to realize her kittens aren't there for her to protect. It will also give them time to get used to each other's smells.
Don't forget the wonderful baby powder trick. It has helped so much around here.

July 14th, 2008, 11:51 AM
I agree with 14+kitties, if you can wait until after the spaying to reintroduce, it may be easier.

July 14th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Ditto. She's probably still feeling she needs to protect her kitties, and might not really realize they are gone:shrug:

July 14th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Thanks guys for the tips.. I agree - it'll be for the best..
It's so weird - years before I knew about the art to introduction, I used to just instantly have the cats I've had meet immediately.. They didn't necessarily like each other, but nothing like this has ever happened.. Of course I had never dealt with a stray mother cat before.. *sigh* .. I really hope things work out in a couple of weeks.

July 14th, 2008, 03:18 PM
I hear you phoozles. I have never had any issue with any cats in my house except Sweet Pea, a stray momma.

My parents would drop off their cat for us to babysit, my daughter drops off her cats for us to babysit. I would bring my cats home to my parents house when they had their vicious cat, bootsie, no issues what so ever.

July 14th, 2008, 03:53 PM
Phoozles,phew I am glad you got them out and don't feel bad for freaking out,cat-fights are horrible,mix in the poop and it's even worse.
Whenever any of mine get in to a fighting mood,I usually throw a pillow at them and they'll scatter:laughing:
I hope it works out in the end,you got some really good advice from everyone.
I am certain after her spay,things will be different:cat:

July 14th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Oh Chico, I wish I had a pillow handy before they raced up the stairs and under the bed.. I really should have been more prepared - I was just so tired - another reason why I probably shouldn't have allowed the meeting in the first place..

July 14th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Don't worry. Next time you'll know what not to do and you will be better equipped. I've quickly realized there is some trial and error in this and a lot of knowing how to read your gang. I know my 4 pretty well by now and I'm little by little figuring out Czarina.

Waiting until what happened blows over is a very good idea. You get Ethel spayed, give her time to recoup and then slowly let them see each other. :D

July 16th, 2008, 10:32 AM
We've got Ethel booked. Apparently they won't spay without proof of vaccination, so she's getting her shots tomorrow, and then her spay isn't until July 29th - so far from now! I figure it'll be at least a week after that before we can try to get the crew together again..

I'm getting a little worried about her.. It's hard to spend a lot of time with her because she is secluded in her other room.. But I've found that she's getting more.. aggressive I should say.. When I pet her, the same way I always did, she's now started to grab my hand, bite it, and rabbit kick me.. She never did that before.. :sad: I'm hoping that it's just a faze as she is coming off of her heat cycle.. :fingerscr My hands look like I've stuck them both in a garbage disposal..

July 16th, 2008, 10:37 AM
Oh yes, Sweet Pea was soooooooooooo moody as she was coming out of her heat, I couldn't believe it was the same kitty. It will take a couple of weeks after spaying for her moods to settle.

Jim Hall
July 16th, 2008, 10:58 AM
maybe she wants to play maybe a bit bored?

July 16th, 2008, 11:02 AM
That's good to hear, L4H, I was getting worried..

I make sure I play with her for at least 20 minutes every time I go in there - She lunges after the toys more like a wild animal than a house cat! :eek:
I'd love to give her more to do, but it's so hard because she's separated..

Any ideas on how to entertain an isolated kitty?

July 16th, 2008, 11:46 AM
I know what you are going through. It is hard to entertain the one in seclusion. I just give Czarina as many things to entertain her. I've got this little contraption in the kitchen with her. It's a sphere with a ball inside of it and another on top, and it has like a hole and a little mouse on a stick. I hear her playing with it often. But my one advantage is she's separated by a screen so now and then either Vlad or Oksana will go and sit outside the screen and they will just kind of look at each other.

Maybe look for some interactive toys for Ethel. I've seen some that are a square box with holes in it and inside there are balls and toys.

L4H is likely right about her being aggressive because she's getting over her heat. Czarina doesn't have that problem, but she does get swatty and hissy with me now and then. When she does that I get up and leave. I don't know if that's the right thing to do, but I figure maybe she will see it as unacceptable behavior and my leaving is a result of it. Perhaps it will keep her from doing it. But that's me thinking like a person, don't know if she will understand that.:shrug:

July 16th, 2008, 11:51 AM
It's tough, we shuffle Sweet Pea and Puddles between rooms, depending on how active they are. If one is sleeping and the other isn't, then the sleeping one gets locked up. We have settled on this schedule which seems to work:

Sweet Pea and Jasper free run of the house during sleeping hours (well for now Jasper is in our bedroom so he will eat). Puddles sleeps with us, litter box in the ensuite for her and her food brought into the bedroom. I play with Sweet Pea from about 7-8 PM to tire her out (her favourite game is to chase a string) and to give her some one on one time before I go to bed. Sweet Pea is very good at occupying herself with her favourite stuffies during the night.

July 16th, 2008, 11:54 AM
I think you need to give Ethel some free time to run the house while you are at home and awake, that is very important socialization time with her even if you are not giving her one on one time. I know it may seem fair to your resident cats, but they would rather be locked up and feeling safe, than to be out with you and scared Ethel may be aggressive.

July 16th, 2008, 11:56 AM
Jim could be right, she is playing and doesn't know how to play "nice".

Ancientgirl has a good suggestion, that you stop all play when she starts this, show her a toy, she will get the message.

Puddles likes to play this way with tennis balls and larger stuffies that have catnip in them.

July 16th, 2008, 01:01 PM
I have stopped all play when she gets aggressive, and have gotten up and walked away when she bites..

This morning I did lock up Jake and Alley so Ethel could walk in the house.. she was pretty scared, though - her tail was all puffed up.. I'll try and do it for a couple of hours each day, though, get her used to it, with the freedom to still go back in her room if she wants to..

She loves a stuffie that was Jake's and then Alley's, so I have that in there with her.. But I'll try to encourage her to come out a little bit more.. Thanks!

Jim Hall
July 16th, 2008, 01:08 PM
lol i lve it when a new cat slinks around all puffed up on tippytoes thats the idea little steps and always give her an escape back to her safe place