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Some Ethel Advice Please

phoozles
August 27th, 2008, 02:35 PM
As some of you know, I've taken in a stray mom cat, Ethel. Her kittens are thriving elsewhere, and now I'm facing the daunting task of integrating Ethel in with the others.

We've erected a pseudo screen door for Ethel to see the other two kitties, and for them to see her.

The good news:

There is LESS growling and hissing than there was.
When I get out the treat bag - Alley races to Ethel's door to get some, and the growling doesn't start until after all the treats are consumed :rolleyes:


The bad news:

Ethel really wants to get out of her 'cage' (which is really a large room) and cries day and night
Ethel constantly 'charges' the door when Alley (or, less often, Jake) comes near her door. (minor good (or maybe bad) news - for the most part, neither Alley or Jake will run away anymore when she does it)
When Jake growls and hisses at Ethel, his ears are fully back, leading me to think it's not just for show


I'm sort of torn on what my next step is going to be. I just don't trust Ethel with the other two - they would probably hiss but ignore her, but I get the feeling that she will try to shred them if she gets the chance.

Does she see her room as her territory? If so, maybe I've made up a new set of problems... :shrug:

We're toying with the idea of putting her in her carrier and bringing her into the living room, but I don't really see what difference that will make, considering they can see each other through the door as it is.

Anyone have any tips? We can't live like this forever - Ethel is unhappy, and FH is starting to go crazy because of her constant crying. We lock up the other two and let her roam around the living room for about an hour each day, but it doesn't seem to make a difference.

14+kitties
August 27th, 2008, 02:55 PM
What a problem! I was wondering how she was.
It could well be that she sees that as HER room because that is where she had her babies. Try bringing her out in her carrier and see what happens. The swatting and hissing is natural. Lunging and attacking is not. It isn't going to hurt anything to bring her out and may even shed some light on to whether or not you will ever be able to integrate her with your other two.
It's possible she won't just cry in that room. Once she gets used to roaming the house she may do the same thing. She could be crying because she wants out period! Like outside. You don't know how long she was an outdoor kitty. She could be missing it.
Have you tried the Feliway? Have you considered giving her Valium? It seems to be doing well for Czarina. I just don't know. :shrug:
Now that hard part....... would you be able to find her a home where someone will care for her as well as you have been? :grouphug: to you. It is hard work loving pets sometimes.

phoozles
August 27th, 2008, 03:17 PM
I have realized that she could just be a 'talker' .. But it doesn't seem like she wants to go outside - any time she's been near a door to the outside she never tries to get out. She wouldn't even try to go into the garage (which is attached to her room). :shrug:

I've tried the Feliway - nothing. Not even a remote change. Haven't tried valium yet.. I've only tried the sprays, but I'm kind of skeptical that the diffuser will make any difference. I still might try it - I can buy it at the vet.

I should correct by saying that Ethel doesn't charge the door EVERY time.. but she does do it fairly often. She also goes completely mental when I bring the treats over - she climbs the door almost to the top (we've nicknamed her 'monkey'), and she tries to grab our hands (with claws out - ouch!) to get at the treats. Because she's so hyper at this time, it kind of unnerves Jake and Alley, so I've started kind of throwing the treats into her instead of feeding them to her, which seems to have calmed her down some.

I will try the carrier because it can't hurt, but again, because she won't be free, I don't know how much of a difference it will make. I really don't want to bring her out without it, because of the signs I've been getting from her. I'm afraid of doing the leash thing because I feel that even if we pull her back from an attack, she'll attack us instead.

I don't know anyone who could take her in. If I can't keep her, she'd either have to go to shelter or back on the streets. :sad: I really wish I could just put her in with the others, but I'm afraid of another fight and another setback.

phoozles
August 27th, 2008, 06:59 PM
Well, tonight we tried the carrier, and .. nothing.. well, the same as what we've been getting - Alley growling, Ethel howling.. Jake leaving the room..

FH wants to try putting her on a leash tonight.. I think it might be too soon, but he said he'll take responsibility.. I'll keep you posted and wish us luck! *sigh*

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2008, 07:38 PM
I was going to ask you about Ethel.

What I'm giving Czarina is Prozac. She's been on it for going on 2 months and I've only seen a little bit of change.

I brought Czarina back in with us in June. It's now almost September and I've only just begun to feel somewhat confident leaving her out with others unsupervised for a few hours. But, I had her in solitary for 2 months almost 3.

In the evenings when I put her in the kitchen and the others get near the screen she hisses, and swats a lot. When they are all in the same room, Czarina seems to take pleasure in swatting and hissing and even lunging at Maks. Poor Maks just basically avoids her and runs the other way. I stop her and say NO.

Try talking to your vet about the Prozac. I can't say it's turned Czarina into a sweet snuggly kitten, but I think it has improved her mood a little. It will take 3 to 4 weeks for the medicine to get into her system fully, but if it helps then it's worth it.

I hate to repeat the same thing, but it's what everyone says, it takes time. This is the second time I have Czarina inside with us. The first time I had her inside back in December she was foaming at the mouth whenever she saw any of the others. LOL, she's gone from foaming to hissing so that's not bad.

Little by little I can see her just accepting there are other cats here. I think one thing Czarina doesn't do that Ethel does is meow. Czarina sort of coos, I rarely hear her meow. I think she's only done it a handful of times and when she has, it's super low.

Ethel and Czarina were outside for a while, and they were alone. This is a huge change for them. I've come to terms with the fact I may always have to let her out of the kitchen under supervision or can only leave her with the others for a couple of hours unsupervised. I may never truly feel comfortable leaving her out with the others all day, but I don't think she would mind.

And as for treats, OMG Czarina also goes nuts for them too! I know it's hard. So many times I just wondered what the hell was I doing. I didn't think it would work. But little by little everyone is getting used to the routine. I hope you don't give up on her, I know you can do it.

krdahmer
August 28th, 2008, 12:18 AM
Good luck with the leash! And I'd talk to the vet about the Prozac, it does seem to take the edge off (for cats and me! ;) - I took it for 2 years). And I've been using the feliway diffuser for Smoke, and can't believe the improvement, it wasn't immediate, but it's been a couple of months now and she is out and about more and more and hissing less and less! I have the spray too and use it on my bed, and where they like to sleep, the combo seems to be doing the trick.

Love4himies
August 28th, 2008, 06:40 AM
Follow your instincts, phoozle! Sounds like Ethel is just like Sweet Pea and the most important thing is not to have another physical incident. I would lock up your resident kitties and allow Ethel some freedom to roam the house. I would hold off doing the leash thing for a while. If Ethel goes into an aggressive stance, your kitties will see it and regard her as being aggressive and hissing from your resident cats could set Ethel off. This is the problem we have with Sweet Pea and Puddles. If Puddles didn't hiss, Sweet Pea wouldn't attack, if Sweet Pea wouldn't attack, Puddles wouldn't hiss :frustrated:.

14+kitties
August 28th, 2008, 06:49 AM
It could well be that you may have to do what ancient is doing. You can let Ethel out of her room when you are there to supervise. When you are not home you put her back in her room. Not ideal but it may be what works.
Like L4H says, she is still separating Puddles and Sweet Pea. Minimo still keeps herself mostly separated in the catuary.
I know it's nerve wracking. Try not to let her pick up on your uncertainess. Try to just act normally. If the kitties get close watch carefully for signs of aggression. If it looks like it's getting out of hand step in. A loud clap, drop something to startle them, any loud noise should do the trick. Don't try to separate them yourself unless you want to wear proof you have cats.

Love4himies
August 28th, 2008, 07:09 AM
We have a spray bottle with water handy at all times, I found that was the safest way to get Sweet Pea to back off.

phoozles
August 28th, 2008, 09:32 AM
Thanks guys for your input.. :grouphug:

Luckily FH came to his senses last night - he went in to put the leash on her and before he could she had charged the door after Alley twice, so he decided against it. I told him that she was overwhelmed, but he's very frustrated..

Every day we lock up Jake and Alley and let Ethel into the rest of the house for about an hour. She gets more and more hostile as that hour wraps up. She'll follow me upstairs, but she's very uncertain when she gets up there.

I know that there's a CHANCE that Ethel wouldn't pounce if I let her out with the other two, but I don't really buy it. The way that Ethel jumps on that door when she gets worked up, it's almost as if she forgets it's there. Alley is her antagonist - she'll go right up to the door and growl and hiss, and that gets Ethel all riled up. I agree with you L4H, it's a vicious cycle.

Right now I keep giving them treats at the door so that they will associate good things with being face to face. I will say it has gotten better, at least on Jake and Alley's side, but not so much with Ethel.

I've had Ethel in the house for just about as long as you ancient, perhaps that's why I'm getting so frustrated..

The vet has so far recommended the old standbys - get them to smell the same (didn't work) use the carrier (nothing) the treats (slow improvement), etc. She hadn't mentioned Prozac, probably because Ethel is super calm at the vets - she isn't hostile until she's put into what she thinks is a hostile situation. I might ask about it, though - we need to come up with another plan..

Maybe this weekend I'll head over and get some Feliway diffusers - maybe they'll work better than the spray alone did.

Thanks again for your support - it really helps to talk to others who've gone through this - everyone else just thinks I'm nutty..

phoozles
August 28th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Oh, and the water bottle DOES NOT WORK when it comes to Ethel - during her last scuffle with Jake, I had her completely soaked and she didn't back down for a second.. clapping didn't do anything either.. the only thing that stopped it was Jake hiding under the bed.. that's why I'm really hesitant - once she gets going, she's like a machine..

14+kitties
August 28th, 2008, 09:50 AM
There is no time limit. Nothing to say how long it will take. You had Ethel in the house as long as ancient has had Czari but with one big difference. Ethel had babies! So, subtract the time she had the babies with her, the surgery, and her recoup. Go from that time. I would be counting that as the time she actually started her intro to the others. Not the whole time she has been in.

On the off chance you may have to give her up do you know of any rescues that may be able to take her in? Maybe somebody could find her a home where she would be the one and only.

:grouphug: to you. This is not easy! You are an :angel: for even trying!!

Love4himies
August 28th, 2008, 10:00 AM
Phoozles, the difference between Ethel and Czarina is Ethel was a momma in your house and outside, she has learned to fight off some unwanted attention from toms and to protect her kittens and food, life outside when nobody is feeding you is a cruel world. I think Ethel and Sweet Pea have a lot in common. I don't know how 14+ does it, her cats seem to live is harmony with each other :shrug:

14+kitties
August 28th, 2008, 10:10 AM
I wouldn't say 100% harmony L4H. They have their little squabbles. But they are over it fast. It's been more since Minimo moved in. I expected that. But it's more a swat, hiss, ok I'll move thing. No major fights.
I also think the big thing with mine is that they grew up together. Makes a huge difference! If I have to move some of the new ones in too I expect there will be a few more sqabbles till everyone settles in.
It's far from perfect but it's the best I got.
I think the biggest problem now is that Ethel has turned into a talker and FH is slowly going crazy listening to her. :shrug: Too bad she can't live in the garage. Her own little heaven and far enough away to not hear her.

ancientgirl
August 28th, 2008, 10:13 AM
If your vet is understanding and takes suggestions, then they should have no issue giving her Prozac. Mine are all different when they go to the vet too. Czarina is as calm as a cucumber! She lets the vet pick her up, cuddle her rub her belly, no hissing, swatting nothing! I can't do that to her at home. The others are gentle cats, but take them to the vet and they start to hiss and growl! Go figure!

Be aware the Prozac takes time to work into her system, so you will need to do the other stuff in the meantime.

I'll tell you, Kiska, my Tiny Miss looks like the sweetest most innocent kitty there is. And she is, but get her next to Czarina, and OMG she starts to hiss and swat, which of course gets Czari going. I clap, say a loud NO or STOP IT and they will both turn away.

I give them all treats right near each other, the whole time, even though Czarina will be there she will be hissing and growling. For the most part I think the others are learning to just ignore her. I try very hard to keep her and Kiska from getting too close to each other. And really, the only one Czari actually takes a few steps towards to swat and hiss at is poor Maks. LOL, but the little guy is too fast for her.

It's a work in progress. This morning she got passed me again and I had to leave her with the others roaming. I asked the maintenance guy to check in on them, which he said he'd do. I get nervous when I leave her alone like that, but I had no time to chase after her.

It would be nice if we could just reason with them. I wonder, is there maybe a different room you could keep Ethel? If she sees that room as her territory and that's where she had the kittens with her, then perhaps putting her somewhere else would make things less stressful for her, since she won't associate it with her kittens.

I wish you always continued luck with her. I'm really pulling for her to get used to things. I'm afraid for her out in the world like she was before. Please talk to your vet about the Prozac.

phoozles
August 28th, 2008, 11:07 AM
I know that Ethel is different from Czarina, I just mentioned it because the length had been the same, and so I've been frustrated for about as long..

Ethel can be sweet as can be - which is why I wish they would all just get along.. If it was just a little hiss or a swat, I'd let it be.. But when Ethel gets pissed, she'll attack and keep it up until her prey disappears.

I thought about putting her in a different room.. We just don't know what room that would be.. And if she's upstairs and howls all night, FH will absolutely lose it.. Right now she's on the main floor so we can't hear her.

We'll just keep bringing her into the house - I think once she gets comfortable in the main part of the house it'll make a difference.. Actually, I sprayed her carrier with feliway before I put her in it last night, and she was a lot quieter after.. So maybe the diffuser is the answer..

L4H, you must be going nuts with the Sweet Pea, Puddles situation. :grouphug: If this is taking a toll on me, I can only imagine what you go through..

ancientgirl
August 28th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Have you tried keeping her in your bedroom? Maybe having your company will keep her quiet. :shrug: Do you have a place you can put a litter box? Or what about the kitchen?

Love4himies
August 28th, 2008, 11:39 AM
It is very stressful having Sweet Pea, I am not going to lie about it. I think if I found her another home that I trusted (and those would be very few and far between), I would give her up :sad:.

Sweet Pea is a extremely loving cat, just like Ethel, and her and Jasper absolutely love each other, that is probably another reason I have kept her so long. Seeing the two of them cuddling and kissing each other makes it all worth it. It was just that split second that one of Sweet Pea's kittens jumped on Puddles' chair and Puddles hissed at it, from then on Sweet Pea has been on the attack.

I would keep up the treat feeding when they are in each other's sight and that may show Ethel that your cats are not going to fight her for food or attack her. If you do decide to try the leash, do it when Ethel is full and have some of her fav treats in your hand ready to give to her when she is not being aggressive. That seems to take the edge off Sweet Pea.

phoozles
August 28th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Have you tried keeping her in your bedroom? Maybe having your company will keep her quiet. :shrug: Do you have a place you can put a litter box? Or what about the kitchen?

Unfortunately, neither my bedroom or the kitchen have doors, so I can't keep her in there.. I couldn't even put up a screen in the bedroom because it's kind of loft style - our room is at the top of the stairs, so there's plenty of ways for her to jump down and attack.

We have two other bedrooms, but they are kind of in use. But I'm not ruling it out - we might give it a shot.

It is very stressful having Sweet Pea, I am not going to lie about it. I think if I found her another home that I trusted (and those would be very few and far between), I would give her up :sad:.

Sweet Pea is a extremely loving cat, just like Ethel, and her and Jasper absolutely love each other, that is probably another reason I have kept her so long. Seeing the two of them cuddling and kissing each other makes it all worth it. It was just that split second that one of Sweet Pea's kittens jumped on Puddles' chair and Puddles hissed at it, from then on Sweet Pea has been on the attack.

I would keep up the treat feeding when they are in each other's sight and that may show Ethel that your cats are not going to fight her for food or attack her. If you do decide to try the leash, do it when Ethel is full and have some of her fav treats in your hand ready to give to her when she is not being aggressive. That seems to take the edge off Sweet Pea.

I do think that the treat giving is helping a bit.. I just wish she would focus on the task at hand, instead of going mental for the treats themselves. But I'm not going to stop. That's a good plan for the leash introduction - but I will hold off on it for at least another week - and I told my FH that it's his legs that are going to take the lashing if she freaks out!

phoozles
August 29th, 2008, 01:55 PM
Mini update:

Yesterday was a good day for the kitties at the phoozles household. When I got home Ethel was crying (as usual) so I sat next to the door and spoke soothingly to her. Alley came right up next to the door, and while I was speaking soothingly, neither of them showed any sign of aggression. :thumbs up Alley growled a tiny bit, but her heart wasn't in it, and she stopped pretty quickly.

FH said he fed them all treats at the door earlier in the day and not one of them made a growl or a hiss the entire time, even once the treats were gone.

It was quite a relief. It shows me that there might be an end in sight. Maybe in a couple of weeks they might be able to be introduced.. One day at a time..

Thanks for letting me vent from time to time - I need this place to let out my frustrations without someone looking at me like I was crazy to bring her in to begin with. So thanks again. :grouphug:

ancientgirl
August 29th, 2008, 02:21 PM
That's great news! At least it shows there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Baby steps pay off!:highfive:

phoozles
September 5th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Just here to vent some more..

Looks like one step forward, two steps back at my house *sigh*

Lately Alley has been working to purposely antagonize Ethel. She'll go up to her door and just lay there, growling - which drives Ethel nuts. I guess Alley finally figured out that Ethel can't get through the door. She'll also kind of swat at her from time to time. Ethel responds by screeching and banging the door. :sad:

I find this isn't helping matters, and I'm once again torn at what to do next. When I let Ethel roam the house after I lock the other two up, she remains on edge. She'll be okay for a bit, but she'll nip at me, and get twitchy - seeking out the other two and watching them under the doors of the rooms I've put them in.

I just don't feel like there's been much progress, and it's stressing me out, because I've been doing everything I'm supposed to do, and not much has come of it. I love Ethel to bits, and I don't want to have to give her away (plus I have no one to give her to), but I don't know if she'll ever be a part of our family. I feel so bad for her being locked up in her room, but I know for a fact she can't be in the rest of the house with the other two.

Right now the house we're renting is for sale. Our house is ridiculously ugly and needs a lot of work, and the landlords are asking a crazy amount of money for it, so surprise surprise, no one has come through yet, but there is still the situation that we will have to move eventually - and I have no idea what that would do to my current dynamics (as sad as they are).

Anyway, for now I have no answers, so I'm just going to keep truckin' and hope for a miracle, but I just had to get it off of my chest. *sigh*

Thanks for listening guys!

chico2
September 5th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Phoozles,I get Feliway diffusers mainly for Rocky(and the others i am not sure)spraying and it has worked wonders,also in calming him down.
However the vets are extreemly expensive,at least here,my old vet charged $80 and the $44 for refills:evil:
I get mine off E-Bay at 2 re-fills for $39US,I always use the same seller and always get the order within a week.
I cannot promise it would work on Ethel,but it sure works on Rocky.

Also,I would not put my self in a situation where I hold on to a leash of an aggressive cat,so please do not allow your hubby to do that,I have plenty of experience with serious cat-bites.
I can give you the info for the Feli-Way seller if you want.
Pet-Value sells something similar,a bit cheaper,I forgot what it's called,but it did not work as well.

phoozles
September 5th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Thanks Chico ..
I have used the Feliway spray, but it didn't seem to do anything :shrug:
My FH says that he thinks our vet sells the diffuser for only $30 - I'm not sure if that's true - and the only problem is the vet is closed when I get off of work :frustrated: Maybe I'll call them and see.. I just don't want to spend a ton of money because I have already and with the wedding and supporting my FH in school, I don't have a lot of spare change. The spray ended up costing me almost $50 after shipping and it took a long time to arrive. So if you know of someone with a good deal, I'm all ears!

Oh and don't worry about the leash thing - I think FH knows now that she's SO not ready for that.. :rolleyes:

14+kitties
September 5th, 2008, 05:58 PM
I think you have said in the past that you don't have any rescues near you. Are there any in the next town or close by? Now, I am not saying give Ethel to them. I am saying phone them and see if they can offer any more ideas. I am fresh out. :shrug: It sounds like Alley is now playing games with Ethel knowing what Ethel will do. With Ethel going after first Alley and then Jake it is really hard to know what to say.
If it comes down to it would you be willing to give Ethel to a rescue who could maybe place her in a home on her own?
I'm sorry I can't be more help. :grouphug:

TeriM
September 5th, 2008, 06:37 PM
No advice, just wanted to send you some hugs of support :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:.

ancientgirl
September 5th, 2008, 08:31 PM
I think Dr's Fosters and Smith (http://pet-supplies.drsfostersmith.com/search?p=Q&lbc=drsfostersmith&w=feliway&af=cat1:cats%20type:product&isort=score&method=and&ts=results&rt=template_switch_search) Sells them for a pretty good price. The Feliway, I mean.

I'd try the diffuser, as Chico suggested. It would serve to help calm all of them down. and maybe also you can talk to the vet about Prozac for Ethel.

It sucks I know. I had to spray Czari for chasing after Maks. I thought she might be playing, but then realized if she's hissing, she's not playing.:frustrated:

chico2
September 6th, 2008, 07:42 AM
Phoozles,If you can get the Feliway for only $30 that is a great deal,I have not asked my new vet how much he charges,maybe he's cheaper to,have to ask..

phoozles
September 6th, 2008, 10:10 AM
Well, I called my vet - turns out they sell the plug in for just over $50 (the vet did mention that they had gone down in price) - but they have to order them, so it won't be in until Wednesday. I ordered two (one for each set of cats).. I've been looking on ebay, but I think they will take a much longer time to come in, plus with all the shipping, etc., it seems like they will be about the same price - but I'll probably order some plug ins from there.

Ancient - it looks like Dr Fosters doesn't ship to Canada. :sad:

I haven't given up, but it's just so stressful sometimes.

I will give Ethel to a rescue if it comes down to the fact that I need to. I don't even know if they would take her if I let them know that she is aggressive towards other cats. :shrug: Right now it doesn't matter because we're going to do what we can to make it work. Once we start the diffusers, hopefully everybody calms down a bit. ( :laughing: I'm just picturing Alley EVER calming down :laughing:)

I'll keep doing some research to see if we can't fix this.. It's just so strange to me that it's taking this long!

On the brighter side, my sister's very aggressive (I still have a scar on my leg from three years ago after he went mental after I brought Jake over in a carrier) cat Lenny is now getting along quite well with Ethel's two kittens, Squiggy and Violet. :thumbs up There's still a little growling, but otherwise they are fine!

14+kitties
September 6th, 2008, 10:43 AM
Hang in there. Hopefully the diffusers will work for you. I still have tons of hope for her to fit in.:fingerscr
I can't stop thinking if she was in a large dog crate in the same room with the other cats that things would move along faster. I know I keep harping about something that may not work for you but I found for me crates worked great!
Minimo has done sooo well in the catuary with that method. There is still hissing, some growling, a little swatting, but she isn't full out attacking. I noticed yesterday she is even letting certain ones get close to her and she ISN'T hissing! I'm not saying it's ideal but it sure is a lot better than it was!

If you decide to give it a try you can probably pick up a used crate for next to nothing off kijiji or a free newspaper or something. :shrug:

chico2
September 6th, 2008, 03:52 PM
Phoozles the one lady I use,is in New York state,I usually pay $5.95 for shipping,it's delivered as regular mail and sometimes in less than a week.
I don't know if I am allowed to show it here,but here is her site.
www.WhiskersWagsAndMore.com

phoozles
September 8th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Hang in there. Hopefully the diffusers will work for you. I still have tons of hope for her to fit in.:fingerscr
I can't stop thinking if she was in a large dog crate in the same room with the other cats that things would move along faster. I know I keep harping about something that may not work for you but I found for me crates worked great!
Minimo has done sooo well in the catuary with that method. There is still hissing, some growling, a little swatting, but she isn't full out attacking. I noticed yesterday she is even letting certain ones get close to her and she ISN'T hissing! I'm not saying it's ideal but it sure is a lot better than it was!

If you decide to give it a try you can probably pick up a used crate for next to nothing off kijiji or a free newspaper or something. :shrug:

Hmm.. we tried a regular crate.. All it did was make Ethel really tense. Alley and Jake refused to come up to her, but on the odd time that they did, there was a lot of noise. Ethel kept flipping around in the crate - she didn't like it.. Maybe a bigger one would make a difference... :shrug:

We'll give the diffusers a chance first.. and then I'll try the bigger crate - I kind of see her room as a giant crate as it is, though.. but I'm definitely open to ideas! :thumbs up

Love4himies
September 8th, 2008, 10:15 AM
I can't stop thinking if she was in a large dog crate in the same room with the other cats that things would move along faster. I know I keep harping about something that may not work for you but I found for me crates worked great!


OMG, I was think of putting Sweet Pea in the large kitty condo cage I got from SOS Miow so Sweet Pea can watch Puddles walk around, but can't attack. Right now they are always seperated.


:sorry: for the hijack, phoozles.

phoozles
September 8th, 2008, 10:48 AM
No problem L4H!

I think you should definitely try it - they never get to see each other, so I think it would be a great next step! :thumbs up

14+kitties
September 8th, 2008, 01:18 PM
I don't know if it would work or not. Just saying it's worked so far for me with Minimo. She still does the swatting and hissing but not nearly as much and she is out with the others probably 85% of the time. She doesn't go after them. It's just if she feels too threatened by having the rest of them around her, normally when I come in to feed them or visit, she will hiss and sometimes swat. But that's normal.

Phoozles - it was a normal cat carrier you had Ethel in, wasn't it? Or am I thinking something else? I am talking the big wire crates for dogs. There is tons of room for her to lay in, eat, even have her litter box in if you want to keep her in it overnight. I will take a pic of how I have the one set up in the house for mine if you want. I know I couldn't be without mine.

14+kitties
September 8th, 2008, 01:48 PM
This is what I am talking about Phoozles. The blanket over top is there so they can have some quiet time. You wouldn't need it for getting the cats used to each other. The litter box is inside the cupboard to make it a little nicer to look at. The top shelf of the cupboard gives the kitties another place to lie but you don't need that either. I use mine a lot for recouping kitties and sleeping so it's always set up and ready to go.

ancientgirl
September 8th, 2008, 02:00 PM
That's a nice setup. Maybe something like that would help Ethel not be so protective of her space and help her be more comfortable around the others.

phoozles
September 8th, 2008, 02:32 PM
That is a nice set up - the picture helps.
The good(?) news is that Ethel doesn't seem to be just protective of her room. I had Jake and Alley locked up in rooms upstairs, and when I let Ethel out, eventually she went up and started harassing them under the door :rolleyes: . This shows me that it's not just her room that makes her hostile - it's the cats themselves. I'm seriously :fingerscr that the diffuser will work! (cuz I'm spending more money than I should be, once again)
I might look into the crate as a final step before full integration - right now I don't think it would do me much good - just because they are all on edge (yesterday was cat hell at my house - all three of them had bit me by the day's end - Jake's getting more and more upset about the strays that show up at our door.. *sigh*). But once the diffusers start to kick in, I think I will try it - it couldn't hurt, right?

ancientgirl
September 8th, 2008, 02:41 PM
Did you say before you have the feliway spray? Maybe use that on their bedding and in spots close to where they are, like furniture corners and such. At least maybe until the diffusers get there.

I need to buy more refills myself. Hoping to ease tensions over here a bit too. I just haven't had the extra cash.

phoozles
September 8th, 2008, 03:07 PM
I still have some of the spray left, but I've been using it sparingly because it doesn't really have much in it (guess it's not meant to spray large areas every day).. I will spray a bit tonight and tomorrow, and hopefully the diffusers will be in on Wednesday. I know it can take up to a month for them to take effect..

ancientgirl
September 8th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Yeah, I think since it's concentrated, it's just meant to be sprayed in areas that are small. Maybe that's why it hasn't worked for you. :shrug: Try just using it on their beds and stuff.

chico2
September 8th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Phoozles,I had a serious spraying problem with Rocky,he's destroyed(with his pee)quiet a few things in my house,the Feli-Way stopped that 99%:thumbs up
He still,if he sees a strange cat outside,will piddle a little though.
I also had problems with his "reversed"aggression and the scars to prove it,the Feli-Way definetly has helped with that.
Your problem with Ethel,is a little different,she is in defense-mode against any other cat,it might be very difficult with her,but I hope you get it all resolved:fingerscr

phoozles
September 8th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Thanks Chico, I hope so too! I'll definitely keep you posted!

krdahmer
September 8th, 2008, 05:23 PM
Oh and just an fyi, PetValu (and I think Petsmart has one too) carries another brand (can't remember the name) that is the same idea as feliway and also fits the feliway diffuser. I didn't really have much money to order the refills and found this one for just under $17... helpful when you don't have money for shipping/ multiple packages etc. Supposed to be similar ingredients and effect. My refills are on their way now from ebay, but that one worked for my brother's cats. I hope that made sense... I'm drinking too much coffee today and feeling a bit out of it.:shrug:

chico2
September 9th, 2008, 07:01 AM
Dahmer,I tried the Pet-Value one,with no effect on Rocky,but it also does not claim to stop a cat from spraying.
However it just might work on Ethels behavior,calm her down.

phoozles
September 10th, 2008, 02:22 PM
I've had a busy day today!
It involved heading over to the vet and picking up the two diffusers.. I have a lot on my plate today, and won't be home until after 10 PM, but I had some extra time at lunch so I figured it would be best if I could plug them in then instead of waiting until tonight..

When I got home at lunch time, I went straight into Ethel's room through our other entrance, and Alley was constantly harrassing her through the screen door :frustrated: Looks like I'm not starting it too soon!

:fingerscr that this works! I know it'll take a few weeks to kick in, but I'm definitely hoping that it will.

Oh, and my sister is coming to visit on Saturday - she always goes to garage sales with my mom on Saturday mornings, so I told her to keep her eyes peeled for a dog crate :cool:

chico2
September 10th, 2008, 03:36 PM
:fingerscrthat the diffusers will make a difference.
I just ordered 2 refills on E-Bay,from the same person I always buy from.

The refills are $16.95US each.so I paid $41Us for 2 including shipping,that's a darn good price.
I usually have them within 2 weeks,delivered by my mail-man.

poodletalk
September 12th, 2008, 10:08 PM
14+kitties, my kittens cage set up is almost like yours except I don't have the cupboard thing near the little box.

Personally, I find the cage did wonders for them, it gives them security when I introduced them to new stuff or when they need time to themselves.

This week has been a good week for the kittens, I'm able to pick them up, pet them and now they started purring. Last week, has extremly hard all the did was try to bite and hiss.

Good luck with your new cat phoozles, it takes time and patience but it will come around

14+kitties
September 12th, 2008, 10:17 PM
That's great poodletalk! I don't know what I would do without the crates. They have been a godsend! The litter box is actually inside the bottom cupboard. I cut a hole in the door so I could hide it. Makes it look a little nicer and holds the smell down a bit too. With 6 kitties in the house I need all the help I can get.

Phoozles has had Ethel in the house for quite some time. Ethel is being a stubborn little gal. But then she's got :evil: Alley too. :D I know the breakthrough is coming. :thumbs up

scol
September 12th, 2008, 11:25 PM
Hi Phoozles,

I'm kind of going through the same situation now. It's not perfect. I"ve been trying to integrate a young recently neutered male cat in with a male 6 year old and newish maybe 3 year old female. I haven't tried any sprays or diffusers, as I blew my budget on antibiotics and neuter but the very best thing was for the cats to smell each other around the same areas. I would lock the older male in with me as it was his routine to snuggle at night but every second night or so I"d lock in the new guy, who was really comforted by the attention. I did that for a couple of weeks. Now the two males hiss a little and the female is a little wary of the new one, but they all sleep in my room, the two guys on the same bed, and with only a little grumbling now and then, which is amazing progress. I think the new one is having difficulty as he's rather intense and is much younger so a bit stressful for the others, and a little odd actually, kind of clueless it seems, but it's so much better than the beginning, where they couldn't be in the same room. I would see them sniffing the areas where the other slept and then settling in, and I could see that it was key, as well as having them associate good things with the other around, such as treats when they're all together.

When he first came in it looked hopeless, and that's what I wanted to tell you. I took in the new male in the spring and now it's fall and I'm feeling more optimistic. It can sometimes take a fair while, and patience was and still is key. I really hope it works out for you as I also fell in love with the new guy that was supposed to be temporary and don't want to give him up, even though it was completely harmonious before his arrival, and so for now the balance is upset.

I'm sure this is a lot of redundant information as this board must have covered it all but I wanted to offer some encouragement as it sounds so familiar, and so I feel for you.

I really wish you the best of luck.

phoozles
September 15th, 2008, 11:53 AM
Thank you to everyone for their support :grouphug:
We're still truckin' - lately when Alley will go up to the door to mess with Ethel, it's a lot 'quieter' .. Less screaming at each other, so I'm hoping it's not just a fluke and that it's progress.. :fingerscr

ancientgirl
September 15th, 2008, 12:46 PM
We're keeping our fingers and paws crossed here. It sounds like some progress at least. How long have you had the diffusers?

phoozles
September 15th, 2008, 02:39 PM
Just since last Wednesday - probably not long enough to have made any kind of difference, but I'm trying to think positively :o :)

ancientgirl
September 15th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Well, thinking positive is half the battle. :D

phoozles
September 19th, 2008, 10:37 AM
I've had the diffusers plugged in for a week and a half now.

Last night I fed the kitties some treats at Ethel's door.. They seemed okay - Alley was growling, as usual, but I figured her heart wasn't really in it, so it seemed okay..

About 15 minutes later, Alley went back up to Ethel's door and swatted at her, causing Ethel to screech as per usual.. About two minutes after that, FH and I heard a trickling sound - I went around the bar in our living room, and saw Alley peeing next to the fridge :yell:

To give you an idea of the area, Ethel's door is about a foot away from the bar. Alley was probably two feet away from her door when she peed.

She's never done anything like this before. I thought the diffusers were supposed to stop peeing in bad areas?! There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with her, healthwise - she's used the litter box every other time except for this one..

*sigh*

14+kitties
September 19th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Oh Alley! She isn't making life easy lately is she? I don't know hon. I am fresh out of ideas. Is it possible she has an infection? Just on the off chance? :shrug:
I can't figure out why, after Ethel's been in the house for so long, Alley would decide to act out like this now. :confused: You would think she would have done it a lot earlier. Like, right after the attack.

phoozles
September 19th, 2008, 12:09 PM
I know - that's the weird thing.. Don't see how she can have an infection, but I suppose it is possible.. But where she peed isn't even remotely close to her litter box.. it's close to Ethel, though.. And why wait two minutes? :confused:
Gah - this is so frustrating..

chico2
September 19th, 2008, 03:59 PM
phoozles,IMO girl-kitties might be a little more difficult,I've only ever had one girl-kitty,but she was skittish and very temperamental at times,more territorial than the boys
I am sorry the Feli-Way does not seem to help,it has practically stopped the spraying in my house.
It probably will take a long time for Alley to accept Ethel as a permanent member of the family.
Alley is probably healthy,but reacts exactly the same way Rocky did if something stressed him.
Do you think if Alley was calmer,Ethel would not fight,is Alley the instigator??

phoozles
September 19th, 2008, 04:17 PM
Alley is instigating right now, but Ethel would fight no matter what Alley did.. She often lunges at the door if Alley comes slightly close.. the only time she doesn't is if I'm standing right by the door. The two of them are very stubborn and angry kitties in each other's presence.. :frustrated: I think Alley probably peed because her last skirmish with Ethel freaked her out - maybe Ethel swatted back :shrug: I just heard it, I didn't see it..

I'm starting to think that the only way these guys are going to get along is if we move. And I have no idea when that's going to happen..

krdahmer
September 19th, 2008, 05:56 PM
:grouphug: Sorry you're not getting much relief with the Feliway... but don't give up just yet... maybe it just takes longer to work on girls... I know I didn't notice a real difference in Smoke until the first diffuser was almost empty! Took more than a month. And I've had them plugged in here since the start of the summer, and I see slow but continual improvement. With a few Buddy induced back slides of course! :rolleyes:

Alley may have been startled if Ethel did swat back... maybe she just peed because she got scared? Delayed reaction maybe... or a warning for Ethel not to follow her? Is Ethels litter anywhere near the door?

Keeping our :fingerscr & sending more :goodvibes: that these girls start getting along soon! (or at least tolerating each other!)

rainbow
September 19th, 2008, 06:13 PM
phoozles, I have no advice to offer but just wanted to give you a :grouphug: and some :fingerscr :goodvibes: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

14+kitties
September 19th, 2008, 06:46 PM
Hey Phoozles! Maybe some new info? I don't think you have tried this one yet.

http://www.cuhumane.org/topics/catcat.html
'Cause I know you have nothing better to do than read. ;)

http://cats.about.com/cs/catmanagement101/a/introducecats.htm

I will keep looking.

ancientgirl
September 19th, 2008, 07:34 PM
Boy, those girls are going to drive you crazy. I keep hoping they will both settle down at some point.:fingerscr

phoozles
September 22nd, 2008, 10:08 AM
Thanks for giving me hope.. It's like a roller coaster at my house - some days I think we have progress, and then other days.. not so much..

There is a pretty good chance Alley was just scared.. Ethel's box isn't near the door either, but she might have just bitten off more than she could chew.. she's all talk, that little one..

Last night I was doing laundry (it's in Ethel's room), so I let Ethel roam the house.. she started to get more and more agitated, even though there are diffusers in both rooms.. I remember reading that Stacer was told by her vet to try soaking the collars in the spray Feliway, so I tried it with Ethel.. it kind of seemed to put her off more.. :frustrated: She seems freaked out by the spray - any time I spray it, she backs away.. so much for the calming effect :rolleyes: She then found the room that Alley and Jake were in and started charging at that door..

I'm going to stick with it, and get a couple more refills before I give up on the Feliway - it would be nice if there was a magical cure, though.. Just poof - happy kitties! Wouldn't that be nice? :rolleyes:

ancientgirl
September 22nd, 2008, 10:46 AM
I can't spray anything near my gang. And when I had the Feliway spray, they'd go nuts too. I think they see the spray as a hiss. Maybe try spraying her collar in another room, or putting a few drops of Rescue Remedy on it.:shrug:

phoozles
September 22nd, 2008, 11:07 AM
Well, I didn't spray the collar right in front of her, but I was in the same room.. when I went to put the collar back on her, she scrunched up her face and backed away.. I had to distract her with treats just to get it on her.. :shrug:

ancientgirl
September 22nd, 2008, 11:11 AM
Maybe the concentrated liquid of the spray was just too much pheromones for her:shrug:

chico2
September 22nd, 2008, 04:02 PM
Phoozles,I admire your patience and your love for these trouble-makers,not that I would not do the same,but some people would have given up a long time ago.
I am sure one day they will decide to tolerate each other and live happily ever after.
Not all cats cuddle up together,some like my Chico is ok with Vinnie around,but for sure,does not like him much,lot's of hissing going on,but Vinnie usually backs off and goes to bother Rocky instead:laughing:

phoozles
September 22nd, 2008, 04:30 PM
a lot of the time, patience isn't the word I'd use.. but I can't tell you the word I would use instead :censored: :o

I wish it was just a case of them not liking each other much, with some hissing or gentle swatting.. It's not ideal, but I would take that in a heartbeat.. Right now I'm pretty much positive that if I opened Ethel's door with Alley and Jake out in the open, there would be fur flying within seconds.. Just watching Ethel at the door that Jake and Alley were behind was proof enough for me..

Maybe I'll try Rescue Remedy.. something's got to work, right?

rainbow
September 22nd, 2008, 04:45 PM
It wouldn't hurt to try. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

rainbow
September 22nd, 2008, 04:50 PM
phoozles, have you tried giving her Prozac yet? Isn't that what AG used that worked for Czarina? Or was it something else? :confused:

ancientgirl
September 22nd, 2008, 06:16 PM
Yep, Prozac is what I've been using. It takes about 2-4 weeks for it to begin taking effect, but I think it certainly helped Czari. When I first brought her inside, she was foaming at the mouth she was so pissed. But little by little, once this meds started getting in her system I think she relaxed a bit.

It's not harmful to them to use it for a few months, and you can begin weening them off. I'm going to begin weening Czari off soon. My doctor prescribed 5mg daily, according to her weight.

It's at least something to think about.

rainbow
September 22nd, 2008, 07:17 PM
Yes, it could just be the answer for Ethel.

phoozles
September 23rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
Well, I'm holding off on the Prozac right now, somewhat because I can't really afford it.. Plus for the most part, she's not angry.. She is very friendly to us and loves getting lovin'.. she's just very territorial when it comes to the other cats.. She's never even come close to foaming at the mouth - even when she's tense and she nips, that's all it is is a nip.. She's never scratched or bitten us hard enough for us to be concerned about her anger.. :shrug: And when she has gone after the other cats, none of them were left with any marks, even though she has sharp claws that she won't let me clip :frustrated:

However, I think we've had another set back.. Last night FH was feeding her and she got by him and kind of tackled Jake a little bit.. FH broke it up and got her back in her room.. Jake wasn't worse for wear, which was good, and still hung out in the room near her door, so I guess it could have been worse..

I think I'll pick up some RR tonight. :fingerscr

14+kitties
September 30th, 2008, 10:37 PM
Update please. :D Has anything changed? Have you had any success in locating a crate? Inquiring minds need to know. :rolleyes:

phoozles
October 1st, 2008, 10:08 AM
I wish I had a good update.. :sad:
Nothing really has changed.. I got some herbal cat calming drops that we have been putting in their food, but it doesn't seem to have done anything.. I've been trying to get FH in the habit of feeding them all right by Ethel's door (he gets up before me and feeds them, and normally feeds them before I get home), but he hasn't really been consistant with it.. When we do it, they are fine eating near each other.. Ethel never has a problem with them near her as long as she's eating something.. But if they just come by for no reason, she charges the door. :wall:

Haven't found a crate yet.. Still stuck in limbo.. I did order two more refills for the Feliway - they haven't arrived yet, but the old ones haven't run out yet, so we'll be okay.. I'm willing to give the diffuser one more month before I give up on it..

We let Ethel out a couple of days ago (with the other two locked up), and she was a little more anxious than usual.. She bit FH and so he went to lead her in her room, and she wouldn't go .. when he picked her up to put her in she scratched and bit him pretty hard.. not sure why she was so worked up .. we never know with her..

ancientgirl
October 1st, 2008, 10:18 AM
I'm still confident things will get better. Of the last two times I've tried to pick Czarina up, she's bitten me once. Lucky for me my hand was in a position where she couldn't clamp down on me really well, but she still did damage. I've still got a mark on my hand from where she bit me. When I try to pick her up she tenses up immediately. I try not to pick her up.

Maybe Ethel will just take a little longer to be less aggressive around the others. Maybe she's feeding off of Alley, :shrug:

Chris21711
October 1st, 2008, 10:20 AM
Sorry to hear you are still not having much success with Ethel Phoozles, sorry I have no advice but I was thinking last night how it was going and hoping it was going better :sad:

14+kitties
October 1st, 2008, 11:46 AM
:grouphug: hon. I too am sorry it isn't going any better for you.

Have I sent this site to you?

http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management

If I did, have you had time to read it? You may be surprised to find in reading through it that she has cats she has had for quite some time who never see each other. She keeps them in separate rooms all the time! It cuts down on the stress level of all of them. Her home seems to run pretty smoothly. I can't find one thing that I would change from what she is doing. She has 11 cats in her home. Amazing!!!

Even if they never get along would it be possible for them to co-exist in the way they are? Has Ethel's crying subsided a little? Maybe she is bored. Check out those shelves on the cat walk site she gives you. How neat! Maybe something like that would make everyone a little happier. I am planning on doing something similar in the new cat house we are working on. I think they are really cool!

I think Jake, Alley, and Ethel may just be like Petie and never get along with each other. But it seems to work for her. You have still done a fantastic thing bringing her in and having her spayed! :highfive: :grouphug: You are a good :angel:

ancientgirl
October 1st, 2008, 12:26 PM
That's pretty amazing. I love the wall things. I wish I could do that where I live, but the two walls that are I have which have my neighbors on the other side are concrete and putting anything on that walls is a major pain.

phoozles
October 1st, 2008, 02:08 PM
I must say, I appreciate the support from you guys - some days it gets hard, especially with my FH getting frustrated, and I end up feeling like I'm trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, so again, I appreciate being able to talk to you guys about this.. :grouphug:

I did read that article a while back, but thanks for reposting it. It was one of the inspirations for the screen door we made for Ethel - which looks very similar to the one on the site! :thumbs up

She cries almost as much as before.. I don't think it's just boredom, though - she does it when we let her out of her room too. :shrug: She's just very talkative (which still drives FH nuts).

The set up we have now is pretty stressful at times. I can't see us sustaining it forever. While having certain cats separated permanently seems to work for the woman in the article, I personally can't live that way - I'll constantly be worried about Ethel being by herself and not getting enough attention. I see what she said about cats picking up the stressful feelings, and I've been trying to calm them down when I'm around Ethel. I just can't have Ethel isolated from the group (and us as well) for the rest of her life. Maybe I'm just not strong enough for it, but it seems equal to me to having her spend her life in a no kill shelter. :shrug: :sad:

14+kitties
October 1st, 2008, 02:24 PM
But in a no kill shelter she would still be in a cage, right? In your home she has a huge room to lay around in and call her own.
Maybe Ethel is feeling FH's frustration a little? Maybe he should take a look at the site too? If nothing else he will understand a little more what she is going through. :shrug: I'm not condemning him hon. Just trying to help.
If you could build shelves like on the walk wall it would be great. They could tucker themselves out chasing each other around all the time. :D I understand you can't because it's a rental.

:grouphug: to you for trying as long as you have. I wish I was closer. Then we could talk adoption and I could try to integrate her in with mine. :sad:

phoozles
October 1st, 2008, 02:51 PM
Sometimes it seems like her room is just a giant cage - she still doesn't have the freedom to go around the house and socialize with us - aside from climbing the door like a monkey and screaming.. Poor little Ethel ..

I keep trying to tell FH not to take out his frustrations on Ethel .. there are days when he'll be cooking something and in their own ways all three will do something annoying (:evil::cat::cat::cat:).. that's when he's the most frustrated, and thats when it seems that Ethel is on edge (but she can be even when he's not around, so I'm not blaming him completely)..

He did take it upon himself to look up cat behaviours, all by his lonesome! It was the first time he took initiative regarding the kitties, so it was nice to find out.

I keep hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel.. I try to stay positive. I hope that those pheremones will kick in soon.. I can't do anything else but hope right now, I think - I've done everything else that I think is right..

Those wall things ARE cool btw.. We might be able to put them up - even though we have a rental, because our house is :crazy: as it is, but I can't really afford them right now.. maybe I'll put them on Santa's list ;)

phoozles
October 1st, 2008, 02:54 PM
Oh, and I don't know that Ethel would be able to integrate in your place either - she's kind of a loner, cat wise..

14+kitties
October 1st, 2008, 03:01 PM
Oh, and I don't know that Ethel would be able to integrate in your place either - she's kind of a loner, cat wise..

That's true. She probably is.
I still have faith that she will turn around. :thumbs up

ancientgirl
October 1st, 2008, 05:51 PM
Phoozles, she's still better off where she is with you than being outside or in some small cage. I had Czarina in Solitary for 4 months before I felt comfortable enough to let her out. But, I did have the advantage of having her on Prozac and even though she was an outside cat, she was somewhat social towards certain people and certain cats outside.

I guess it just takes longer for some cats. When I first introduced Vlad and Oksana it took a couple of weeks before I felt I could leave them together, but they were both quite young still. Both Kiska and Maks only took a few days to become part of the gang. And well, you know about Czarina already. My first try with her back last December/January was a complete disaster.

I can't begin to tell you how much I cried and cried over that situation. At the time, I'd just didn't even prepare myself and Czarina suffered for it.

You are doing everything right. I know things will get better. Do you have lots of toys for Ethel to play with? Maybe you can also put in a radio in there for her or a small TV. I leave my TV on for my gang. I've read on a few sites that it sometimes helps them feel comfortable like they aren't alone. :grouphug:

ownedbycats
October 2nd, 2008, 07:55 AM
I read your earlier post, and you said you were giving them treats together. Have you tried actually feeding them together? When we first let Misty in the house she and Doctor Seuss were a bit wary of each other and we started feeding them at the same time but quite a distance apart then moved them closer until they were eating about six inches apart. (of course all our hard work was undone when Misty had the kittens. they are just starting to be comfortable eating together again) Your cats sound like they have a lot more trouble getting along together, but maybe doing this in addition to everything else will help.

Love4himies
October 2nd, 2008, 08:13 AM
I understand completely Phoozles :grouphug:, it has been a year with Puddles and Sweet Pea :sad: When the fosters are gone we will try again. DH is very frustrated with the whole situation too, making it even more stressful on me. I have given Sweet Pea and Puddles treats when they are very close together and that is the only time Sweet Pea ignores Puddles' hisses, so getting them to eat close together may work with Ethel.

phoozles
October 2nd, 2008, 10:54 AM
Yep, we've been feeding them close together..(I thought I mentioned that a few posts up :confused: Maybe not).. again, it's the only time Ethel ignores them - when she's eating - but Alley will still growl sometimes. Ethel only gets worked up when there is no food in the area. If she's eating, she completely ignores the other two.

We tried leaving the radio on for her, but it seemed to work her up even more :shrug: She's a strange one, that Ethel! We've found it better to keep the radio off in her case. She's got some toys (she really likes the one with the ball in the round tube - anyone know what I'm talking about?), and I can look into getting her some more.. She seems to get bored of them pretty quickly. :shrug:

Haven't given up - just wish there was a new solution to try.. Since my living situation is in limbo, I think it would be easier if we just moved and gave them all a fair shot.. But I have no idea what's going on with that, so until then, I guess I'll just have to be patient..

ancientgirl
October 2nd, 2008, 11:27 AM
I know what toy your talking about. My guys like that too.

I've been thinking of getting them this: Peekaboo toy (http://www.catsplay.com/espeekplay.php3)

And this looks neat too: Bunk bed and play (http://www.catsplay.com/esbunkbed.php3)

phoozles
October 2nd, 2008, 11:56 AM
I like those toys too :thumbs up
I think I'll get the peek a boo toy - I just need to wait a bit (I get a little overzealous with ordering things and then :eek: when I get the bill :o)

ancientgirl
October 2nd, 2008, 12:04 PM
Yeah, have a look at their other toys. They have stuff that looks like they give them a little more challenge, so that might help her too. Maybe part of her problem is she needs to have something to do and she's just got a lot of energy.

Love4himies
October 2nd, 2008, 12:40 PM
Yep, we've been feeding them close together..(I thought I mentioned that a few posts up :confused: Maybe not).. again, it's the only time Ethel ignores them - when she's eating - but Alley will still growl sometimes. Ethel only gets worked up when there is no food in the area. If she's eating, she completely ignores the other two.



That is exactly how Sweet Pea is, she seems to panic if there is no food and if she is hungry she will even fight Jasper.

I wonder if that is from being so hungry while nursing and being pregnant?

phoozles
October 2nd, 2008, 01:49 PM
Yeah, have a look at their other toys. They have stuff that looks like they give them a little more challenge, so that might help her too. Maybe part of her problem is she needs to have something to do and she's just got a lot of energy.

It could be part of the problem, but I think the biggest part of the problem is that she's kind of a jerk :D ;) :laughing: (just kidding Ethel!)


That is exactly how Sweet Pea is, she seems to panic if there is no food and if she is hungry she will even fight Jasper.

I wonder if that is from being so hungry while nursing and being pregnant?

Not sure - but it would make sense! She really likes to eat, and if she had it her way, she'd have food available 24 hours a day.. Maybe I should try leaving some dry out for her during the day and see if that calms her down.. ?

She is okay with the others for the most part - until one of them comes up to her door, and again, there isn't any food in front of her.. She'll charge the door even if Alley is just sitting near it .. I thought it was just because she sees the room as her 'den', but when she's let out and the other guys are locked up, she'll charge THAT door too - :frustrated:

phoozles
October 3rd, 2008, 12:11 PM
So here's something weird..

This morning I was doing my regular exercise routine, and I heard the bang of Ethel's door.. I thought it was odd for two reasons. One: because I knew that Alley was in the kitchen, and it's usually she who does the antagonizing. Two: The long drawn out Ethel yowl that usually accompanies the bang was missing.

Then I heard a crackly growl, and I realised it was Jake who was sitting at Ethel's door :eek: (He hasn't done that once since we put up the screen door, unless we had treats in our hands). He growled and hissed at Ethel a bit, and here's the weird thing: Ethel didn't do anything back. She just sat there and watched him. Then, she actually went further back in the room and started playing with her toys! :eek: Jake stayed exactly where he was - right in front of the door. At one point, Ethel went to come back to the door, saw Jake was still sitting there, and went back to playing again, not a peep coming out of her!

It was weird. Especially since I know that if I had opened the door, Ethel would have no qualms with tackling Jake. But it was like he was the cat whisperer today ..

Could this be a good sign? I don't know, but it would be nice! :fingerscr

Love4himies
October 3rd, 2008, 12:21 PM
Could it be because Jake is male? Maybe he is sending out different messages than Alley, in his posture, eye contact, etc.? Unless Sweet Pea is hungry she loves Jasper, but always hates Puddles :confused:

It does show that there is hope as Ethel is not an ALL CAT HATING kitty. :fingerscr

ancientgirl
October 3rd, 2008, 12:24 PM
Oh boy, I'm going to see that as a positive sign! :fingerscr

phoozles
October 3rd, 2008, 12:41 PM
Good I'll take it as a good sign too :thumbs up :laughing:

I had her out in the main part of the house again last night, and she was pretty good (didn't bite anyone :thumbs up :D). And she didn't charge the door downstairs, but that's because only Jake was in it (usually I lock up both Jake and Alley in the same room when Ethel comes out, but Alley was already upstairs so I asked FH to lock her up there instead). I think she's definitely less aggressive towards Jake - but, as I've seen firsthand, she'll take him down if he's the first cat she sees.. :shrug:

What a weirdo. :rolleyes:

I am hoping that since we've closed the windows (cuz it's COLD) that maybe the diffusers are staying mostly inside.. maybe they are actually starting to work :fingerscr :pray:

Love4himies
October 3rd, 2008, 12:43 PM
Does Jake react more calmly/submissive towards Ethel, maybe she doesn't feel he is a "threat" so she only needs to keep him "in line" once in a while?

ancientgirl
October 3rd, 2008, 12:55 PM
I am hoping that since we've closed the windows (cuz it's COLD) that maybe the diffusers are staying mostly inside.. maybe they are actually starting to work :fingerscr :pray:

I'm wondering now, do you leave the windows open often? Maybe some of the diffuser stuff is getting out and it might be why it's taking so long to work. Just a thought.

phoozles
October 3rd, 2008, 02:35 PM
Does Jake react more calmly/submissive towards Ethel, maybe she doesn't feel he is a "threat" so she only needs to keep him "in line" once in a while?

Hmm.. For the most part, but he still hisses at Ethel .. Just can't be bothered to walk up to her door and do it often. Alley's much more brazen and goes over there as much as she can.. :evil:

I'm wondering now, do you leave the windows open often? Maybe some of the diffuser stuff is getting out and it might be why it's taking so long to work. Just a thought.

We did have the windows open because we don't have an air conditioner, but we had two diffusers plugged in - the one in Ethel's room didn't have the window open, and the other one was sort of near a window, but not really :shrug: I was a little concerned about it going out the window, but it was too hot to close that one. The other ones stayed closed, so I didn't think it would affect it too much, but what do I know? :laughing:

chico2
October 3rd, 2008, 03:55 PM
Phoozles,I always unplugged my diffusers when the patio-door or windows were open,now when it's cool outside they stay plugged in.

phoozles
October 7th, 2008, 12:03 PM
The past couple of days have been pretty good. :fingerscr I bought a new activity toy for Ethel (which I don't think she's played with :frustrated: :D) and while I was setting it up, Alley came to her door. Alley HATES it when I'm in there with Ethel. So Alley was sitting there growling, and Ethel looked like she wanted to charge the door, as usual. I spoke calmly to Ethel, and she looked at me and stayed with me instead. :thumbs up Pretty big improvement from just a few weeks ago when I first installed her diffuser - she had charged the door about 10 times while I was in there that time :rolleyes:

Last night Alley went up to Ethel's door and just sat there. Ethel was sitting on her chair near the door. Neither did anything. :thumbs up Well, Alley growled a little bit, but lately it has seemed like she's doing it out of habit more than anything..

I'm still not going to open the door just yet, but I'm feeling a little bit better about things. We've been feeding all three in front of Ethel's door more consistantly and I think it's really helping.

Oh, and slightly :offtopic:: I went on my local freecycle site and asked for a dog crate. Someone wrote me back and said that they had one! So I got excited and went to go pick up ..... a cat carrier.. I suppose she thought of it as a dog crate because her dogs are smaller than my cats! It still worked out, we needed another cat carrier, but this one will need to be hosed down a bit - it stinks like mothballs - we had to move it into the trunk to take it home :laughing:

So I'm still on the hunt for a dog crate.. I'm keeping my eyes open for one.

ancientgirl
October 7th, 2008, 12:44 PM
Sounds like some good progress! I think the growling is now just a show and habit. Czarina does that still when any of the others go near her except Maks.

14+kitties
October 7th, 2008, 12:45 PM
:thumbs up Sounds like the diffusers are starting to kick in!! Good Job!!! :thumbs up

chico2
October 7th, 2008, 03:56 PM
Phoozles any little bit of improvement is encouraging:cat:
In my house when I had only Rocky and Chico,those 2 were best buds,even slept together all curled up.
When Vinnie arrived(I just had to take him!)things changed,Chico growls and hisses at Vinnie almost all the time and is no longer too chummy with Rocky either,but he is a real cuddle-bug with us.
They do cohabit quiet peacefully,no big fights or anything like that.

phoozles
October 8th, 2008, 11:26 AM
I have no problem with growling or hissing.. just not attacking :o

Things are still looking okay.. Ethel seems much less hostile lately.. I think (doing a lot of :fingerscr) that in a couple of weeks we might be able to try a short introduction. Wow, I can't even imagine having them all in the same room.. It would be like a holiday miracle :laughing: :fingerscr

Chris21711
October 8th, 2008, 11:30 AM
:pray: That all goes well Phoozles.

ancientgirl
October 8th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Keep thinking positively and doing what your doing. It may be the diffusers are beginning to work and with you feeding them in the same vicinity.

The gang and I our fingers and paws crossed for you!

Love4himies
October 8th, 2008, 11:31 AM
Sounds encouraging, Phoozles :highfive: Maybe Ethel has decided she can finally let down her guard after who knows how many years of trying to survive on the streets.

phoozles
October 20th, 2008, 03:34 PM
*sigh*

I should stop getting my hopes up. That would probably be the best thing.

Things WERE going well.. Not perfect, but a lot less growly and screechy.

I replaced their diffusers with the refills, and now it seems like everyone is on edge. Jake has started charging Ethel's door - he never did that before, and Ethel and Alley swat at each other through her door. If Ethel is in the main part of the house, she'll find out where Jake and Alley are and charge at the door they are behind as well.

We feed all three right in front of Ethel's door. None of them have any problem with this. Alley will even run right up to Ethel's door and wait for her dish to go down. Any other time, however, and they can't stand to be close to each other (well, Jake and Alley can, of course)..

We let Ethel into the main house to roam around a bit (Jake and Alley were locked up, of course), and we noticed that she's constantly on edge. Her tail twitches, and she won't relax enough to play with us. I'm starting to think that maybe Prozac is the way to go. My only hesitation is that while it might calm Ethel down, what about Alley? I don't really want to put her on it too..

So things are still not smooth over at the phoozles house. :shrug:

want4rain
October 20th, 2008, 06:45 PM
maybe this is a strange little ethical question.... but you know, if someone put ME on edge, id highly resent being put on meds to cope with them.

i know you really want to do the right thing for Ethel but maybe thats finding a single cat home for her. perhaps there is somethign wrong with her that other cats respond to. :(

-ashley

Chris21711
October 21st, 2008, 10:23 AM
Sorry to hear that things are not looking up Phoozles, I'm sorry I have no advice to give, just hope that things will turn around :pray:

phoozles
October 21st, 2008, 12:06 PM
maybe this is a strange little ethical question.... but you know, if someone put ME on edge, id highly resent being put on meds to cope with them.

i know you really want to do the right thing for Ethel but maybe thats finding a single cat home for her. perhaps there is somethign wrong with her that other cats respond to. :(

-ashley


I agree with you to an extent - I'm not too eager to put her on meds. I'm just worried about her chances anywhere else. The shelter is still overflowing with cats and I've run out of people to give cats to. :shrug: :sad: I don't want to put her back on the street.. *sigh*

Love4himies
October 21st, 2008, 12:22 PM
I feel your frustration, phoozles :grouphug:.

14+kitties
October 21st, 2008, 12:28 PM
:grouphug: Sorry hon, no more ideas. :grouphug:

phoozles
October 21st, 2008, 02:32 PM
:grouphug: back - thanks for the support. I appreciate it!
How are things with your crazy crew, L4H?

want4rain
October 21st, 2008, 06:02 PM
*sigh* yeah, i know... just had a day with someone i dont like.

Love4himies
October 22nd, 2008, 07:07 AM
:grouphug: back - thanks for the support. I appreciate it!
How are things with your crazy crew, L4H?

Pfft, everthing was going sooooooo well this weekend and I was actually thinking of somewhat unsupervised freedom for Puddles and Sweet Pea until Sunday. We were washing windows, Puddles was locked in the bedroom, Sweet Pea was helping me wash each window (she was actually trying to very carefully sneak out each one as the screens were previously taken off and stored away :frustrated:). Anyway, got to the bedroom, had my hands full with a wash basin full of water, windex, paper towels etc. Puddles, who is normally on her huge cat stand when she is in the bedroom, was right at the bedroom door when I opened it. Of course Sweet Pea was right at my feet, my hands were full so I couldn't grab Puddles, Puddles let out a huge hiss at Sweet Pea and the chase was on :frustrated: :yell: :mad:. They hate eachother again :sad:. So back to square one again.

I am seriously thinking of prozac for Sweet Pea.

ancientgirl
October 22nd, 2008, 08:32 AM
Oy, I'm sorry both of you! I'd hoped Ethel and Alley were doing better with the help of the diffusers.

L4H, I thought the same with Puddles and Sweet Pea.

I've just taken Czarina off of the Prozac. I think at this point she's gotten to know the others well enough to know they aren't going to hurt her, and she's comfy enough inside.

I'm not sorry I had her on medication. I think it helped our situation. While I can't say how things would have gone had I not had her on meds, I do think giving her the Prozac helped ease her stress enough so that she could feel comfortable and safe. Keeping them separated for a while helped, but I think the meds also helped too.

Love4himies
October 22nd, 2008, 08:36 AM
Oy, I'm sorry both of you! I'd hoped Ethel and Alley were doing better with the help of the diffusers.

L4H, I thought the same with Puddles and Sweet Pea.

I've just taken Czarina off of the Prozac. I think at this point she's gotten to know the others well enough to know they aren't going to hurt her, and she's comfy enough inside.

I'm not sorry I had her on medication. I think it helped our situation. While I can't say how things would have gone had I not had her on meds, I do think giving her the Prozac helped ease her stress enough so that she could feel comfortable and safe. Keeping them separated for a while helped, but I think the meds also helped too.

Thanks ancientgirl. Puddles hisses and growls but would never attack Sweet Pea, it is Sweet Pea attacking Puddles so I am hoping the prozac will take the edge off Sweet Pea's aggressiveness.

ancientgirl
October 22nd, 2008, 08:47 AM
Oh yes, it did take the edge off of the aggression. Just know that it will take 4-6 weeks to begin to work through her system.

krdahmer
October 22nd, 2008, 11:06 AM
I think AG said it well, the prozac is not ideal, no, but if you have to use it as a temporary bandaid in your two situations and it works like it did for AG, well then I think it would be worth a shot at least. I'm glad Fagan is off the prozac now, but was also glad he had it for all the stressful vet visits he was going through at the time. (heck I'm even glad that I took it for a year or so after I got fired, it really did help) It's not a permanent solution, but it certainly might help to smooth out the transitions for the kitties.

:goodvibes: that the fur stops flying soon for you both! :pray:

Love4himies
October 22nd, 2008, 11:24 AM
I think AG said it well, the prozac is not ideal, no, but if you have to use it as a temporary bandaid in your two situations and it works like it did for AG, well then I think it would be worth a shot at least. I'm glad Fagan is off the prozac now, but was also glad he had it for all the stressful vet visits he was going through at the time. (heck I'm even glad that I took it for a year or so after I got fired, it really did help) It's not a permanent solution, but it certainly might help to smooth out the transitions for the kitties.

:goodvibes: that the fur stops flying soon for you both! :pray:

I most certainly agree with you Krdahmer, prozac is not a long term solution, but I really think if Sweet Pea stops reacting to Puddles' hisses for a while, Puddles will settle down, which in turn will settle Sweet Pea down. Sweet Pea is not an anti social cat, she gets along with my foster kittens and Jasper and loves the interactions with them, otherwise I would consider rehoming her to a one cat home.

ancientgirl
October 22nd, 2008, 11:28 AM
I don't think anybody would tell you to do it long term. My vet told me to not keep her on it more than 8 months to a year.

Czari hisses at the others, Vlad hisses at her sometimes, but now they pretty much just know to stay away or back away from each other.

L4H, if you could at least get to the point where, yeah there's hissing but then they walk away, I think that's be great.

phoozles
October 22nd, 2008, 02:27 PM
I hope it works for Ethel. And I hope if Ethel is calmer, Alley will chill out. The problem is Alley has always been the instigator. EVERY TIME we go to feed the kitties, Alley puts Jake in a head lock (and she's about half his size) :rolleyes: When they are together she is constantly nipping at him - always looking to play or harrass :evil: This happened even before Ethel came into the picture. She does it to us too.. :rolleyes:
This won't stop if Ethel calms down. I'm wondering if Ethel will be able to deal with that.. any opinions on this?

ancientgirl
October 22nd, 2008, 02:35 PM
I can only say what I've observed from mine. Before, nobody could go near Czarina without her foaming at the mouth and spitting and hissing.

At least now, she can at least be approached. I'm hoping she's been on the medication long enough to have this be something like a learned behavior she will keep up.

Kiska will on any occasion when she's near Czarina thump her on the head. This happens most of the time when I'm giving them threats. Czarina will wind up next to Kiska and Kiska will look over and whack her. :rolleyes: Czarina will just hiss and that will be that.

Vlad will also meow and try thumping Czari on the head, but she, as anybody would, objects to the head thumps, so she'll hiss at him. Usually some swatting will occur and either Czari will walk away or the other perpetrator.

The one she mainly has a lot more friendly kind of interaction with is Maks. She will sometimes stand next to him and nip at his neck or back. Then he'll start wrestling with her and things will get heated and she'll hiss and back away and so will he. But eventually they'll start to chase each other.

Those have been my observations of Czarina. I've had her off her meds for only a few days, so I'll have to see how things go in the next week or two. Hopefully she'll still be okay, if not I may have to give her a pill here and there for a while longer.:shrug:

phoozles
October 29th, 2008, 11:46 AM
Well, Ethel's appointment is for tomorrow morning. We'll see if she's going to get meds..

I'm a little conflicted.. Lately when we've let her out, she'll wander around a bit, and then come and sit on our laps and lay there - she never did that before (too nervous). It makes me feel like she might come around, but eventually she will nip at us. And I find she excessively grooms when we have her in the rest of the house - a sign of stress and nervousness, I believe.

Also, she's very intolerant of the other guys when they come up near her door - unless it's meal time, of course.

I noticed Jake kind of lunge at her the other day.. Not sure if the other two will be nice to her if she is nice to them. :shrug:

Anyway, I'll let you know what the vet says tomorrow.

ancientgirl
October 29th, 2008, 12:11 PM
Perhaps the vet will be able to give you a little more insight. Hopefully he will. I'll keep my fingers crossed for some good news.

14+kitties
October 29th, 2008, 12:21 PM
:goodvibes::fingerscr for you tomorrow. Hopefully you will get some answers.

phoozles
October 30th, 2008, 10:39 AM
Well, Ethel went to the vet, and she's getting medicated. The vet said I was doing everything right, and this is the logical next step. :shrug:

The drug she is on is called "Clomicalm" .. Apparently it can take from a few days to several weeks to kick in, so the vet recommended that I wait a full month (which is the full supply she's given me) before attempting to introduce them. She also gave me a wackload of info - they spent almost 20 minutes photocopying a book for me :eek: So hopefully it's got some info I haven't come across..

I asked her to cut Ethel's nails.. So she goes to do it, and I tell her the reason why I don't is because Ethel bites.. The vet managed to get just the front paws done (Ethel almost bit her on the last one), so she's still sharp in the back. Oh well, at least it's not just me.

:fingerscr that this makes everything okay.

ancientgirl
October 30th, 2008, 10:46 AM
I just looked that and all the information that pops us is for dogs with separation anxiety. Did they say this could also be used for cats? Just want to make sure it's okay for her, although I'm sure they know what they're doing, but it never hurts to make sure.

Hopefully this will be good for her.

Chris21711
October 30th, 2008, 10:48 AM
Hope this works out for you and Ethel Phoozles. You sure are going the whole nine yards for her :thumbs up

phoozles
October 30th, 2008, 11:44 AM
Yeah, she said that there are two drugs that she tries for cat anxiety, and this is the first one that seems to work the best.. She said she doesn't like to use actual prozac :shrug:

Hopefully it will work.. She said we'll give it at least a month before we think about trying a different drug.

I had to race home to drop her off and then come to work. Then I got paranoid that I hadn't closed the pill container properly, so I raced home again (15 minutes away) just to double check :o It WAS closed, just rolled under the table, but I locked them away just in case.

Love4himies
October 30th, 2008, 11:45 AM
I hope this works, phoozles :goodvibes:.

ancientgirl
October 30th, 2008, 11:47 AM
As long as it works, that's great. I guess different vets like to use different things. I can tell you it took Czarina about a month to even begin to de-stress a bit.

I really hope this helps her.:pray:

phoozles
November 6th, 2008, 02:18 PM
Just wanted to give you an update..

Ethel's been on her meds for a week now. I didn't expect to see any changes by now, but we are seeing some. I'm just not sure they're ones I want to see.

We've noticed that she's been a LOT quieter over the past couple of days. Normally she'll say her peace almost all evening, but not a peep out of her. So last night I suggested that we lock up Jake and Alley and let Ethel into the main part of the house.

She's changed. Beforehand she was frantic, but she would come when you called her and couldn't get enough petting. Now she'll eventually come to you, but just sit there and stare off into space. She'll let you pet her, but it's not the same. Her pupils are still fully diliated, and her tail still twitches, so it's not even a matter of her being calmer - just spaced out.

It makes me sad. I feel like she's turning into a zombie cat. :sad:

She still yowls when the other two come up to her door if it's not meal time, so she's not ready to be out with them (which I didn't expect so soon, anyway).

So that's where we stand right now. :shrug:

Does this sound about right? Or should I talk to the doctor about changing her meds?

14+kitties
November 6th, 2008, 02:32 PM
Is the dosage maybe too much for her? :shrug: That is sad she is turning into a zombie. I know you don't want that for her.

ancientgirl
November 6th, 2008, 02:41 PM
When I had Czarina on hers, she'd spend most of her time sleeping in her little pyramid bed. After a few weeks, she began to come out more and interact with the others through the gate.

But, I do recall she didn't act spaced out though. And she still had some spunk to her. Maybe talk to the vet about her dosage as 14+ suggested. I was giving Czari 5mg of Prozac. I'd buy the 10mg and just use a pill splitter.

What dosage are you using for what you are giving her?

phoozles
November 6th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Can't remember the actual dosage off hand, but I know that it's a tiny pill that I split.
She's not a total zombie - I had her playing with the string on my FH's hoodie, which was a good thing (normally she's so anxious when she comes into the rest of the house that you can't get her to play at all).
And when it's feeding time, she's absolutely frantic, as usual. Screaming and clammering to get her food. This is why I'm so confused about it.
It could just be that she's calming down, and I'm taking it as zombie-like.. Maybe I'm just so used to her manic ways.
I suppose I'll give the vet a call and see what she thinks.

ancientgirl
November 6th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Ah okay, then. She may be adjusting to the medication and since she's calmer than before it might be zombie-like behavior because you aren't used to seeing her calm.

Czarina played and ate as usual, just was a little less angry.