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Cat Missing Her Sister...

Sangee1508
July 16th, 2009, 09:49 AM
Dear all:

Thanks again for all the love, and support for Tiger Lily. I STILL can't believe she's not going to come back. Her food, carrying cage, beds, toys are all here... except for her. :(

She was all of 7 years old, and was with me just 4 months. (But apparently made quite an impression!) Aughghgh!

Anyhow, I got her and her sister from another home. They've been together ever since they were born, played together, fought a lot etc. Jasper (the other cat) is definitely acting strange. She cries a whole lot more than usual, searches every room, constantly looks into the back door with her ears flared (Tiger loved her little 'outings' and would 'knock' on the door when she was ready to come back in), sniffs all of Tiger's things over and over etc...

I'm trying all that I can to make Jasp more comfortable. We've sleeping holding each other (she doesn't cry then) and each time she whines I go pet her a little, brush her hair, talk to her etc. But she still cries and looks lost during the day.

Anyhow, we're bringing Tiger home today and I was wondering if it'd be a good idea to show her to Jasper. Also, is there any other way that I can sort've ease Jasp a bit? I know we all grieve in our own way, but I thought I could get her some new toys, treats or food etc to kick in her 'fun part' again. Is that a good idea at all? Or am I pushing it?

As usual, any help, advice or suggestion is always, always appreciated! And special thanks to Growler, Sugarcatmom, and love4himies... You're very much appreciated over here in the South! :)

BenMax
July 16th, 2009, 10:10 AM
Sorry for your loss.

When introducing new cats, do not put them together immediately. Put the new cat in a room on his/her own with food and litter of course. The cats will smell each others presence first so the introduction when it comes time will be less tramatizing for both.

When I bring in new fosters I keep the foster in my daughters room and leave him/her alone for about 1 day. After this day, I will connect with the cat and provide any comfort such as talking, brushing, play to let them know they are secure.

The other cats are aware of a new presence. They will sit by the door as so the new addition. I will then move in one cat for a very short period of time - supervised. I then remove my own cat and will slowly intergrate them day by day but always supervised. Eventually - everything falls into place and normal day to day activities and free roam can commence.

There will be hissing at first so don't be surprised. This is a normal process.

Good luck to you and there are MAJOR cat people here that will also provide you great advice - heck - they helped me.:thumbs up

Jim Hall
July 16th, 2009, 10:31 AM
excellent benmax



my condolences sangee

Sangee1508
July 16th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Hi Benmax:

Thanks for the post... But I don't think I was very clear in my earlier thread.

When I said we're bringing Tiger home, I meant... er... that we're bringing her BODY home today. (I somehow keep referring to her as if she's still here, huh? I'm really sorry about that!)

And no, don't think I can afford to find another cat, not for sometime now. Both Jasp and I have to figure out what goes where and how our lives are going to look without Tiger. And then, if things turn out right, maybe we'll get Jasp a little playmate. But that is going to be some time coming.

Anyhow, what I wanted to know was do ya'll think I should show Jasper, Tiger's body when we bring her home? Or should I sort've keep her away from it till we've buried Tiger? There. THAT is what I was trying to say the first time! Sorry! :wall:

BenMax
July 16th, 2009, 10:50 AM
Do not bring the body home for Jasper to smell. They know the smell of death and the reaction could be negative.

Personally, I would not be bringing the body inside the home.

Sorry - I did not understand the post.

14+kitties
July 16th, 2009, 11:02 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. :candle: :rip: Tiger Lily. :candle:
You may only have had her for a few months but they tend to wrap their paws around our hearts very quickly. :grouphug:

IMO when you are ready it may be a good idea to introduce another cat to your home. Not a kitten. Jasper is too set in her ways. Maybe a very calm older kitty who has been around other cats. If you decide to do this please, and I can not stress this enough, please introduce them properly!

A good site to look at is.......
http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management
The lady who wrote this has had multiple cats over the years. She knows what she is talking about. I sometimes wish I would have seen this site before I started down my journey with cats.

Showing Jasper Tiger's body is not going to do any good for her. She knows hse is gone. Tiger won't smell like she did when she left. :sad: It will only confuse Jasper. Just love her as much as you can. She will slowly come around. I firmly believe cats have to grieve too. :grouphug:

Love4himies
July 16th, 2009, 11:07 AM
I agree, please don't show the body to Jasper, it will only upset her more.

When Snowball was put down in our home, Puddles, who grew up with him, was extremely stressed during the process and she is normally a very calm kitty.

It did take Puddles some time to get over Snowball being gone, so my best advice is lots of love to Jasper.

sugarcatmom
July 16th, 2009, 02:36 PM
I have to disagree with the others. I actually think it would be a good idea to show Jasper Tiger's body. If done lovingly, with your whole family present to give a little ritualized goodbye, it could give Jasper closure. Yes, animals in a shelter situation might react negatively and with fear when confronted with another animal's death, but that doesn't usually happen in the comfort of one's home. Surrounding death with love is the big difference here.

Flower essences might also be a good idea to help Jasper. I gotta run, but I'll go find some links for you to link into. Again, my condolences on Tiger Lily's death. My heart goes out to you.

sugarcatmom
July 16th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Okay, here is a link to some Spirit Essences (http://www.spiritessence.com/?action=product&act=view&id=28) that specifically address loss. If you do decide to bring Tiger's body inside, one thing that you should do is wipe down her body with one of her old blankets and then swaddle her in it before Jasper sees her. She's going to smell like the vet clinic and that is likely to be more upsetting to Jasper than anything else.

Sangee1508
July 16th, 2009, 11:46 PM
Thank you!!!!! I know I keep saying this... But you guys've no idea just HOW much I appreciate all your thoughts and ideas! I still haven't gotten over how Tiger was stolen (grrr) but I found this site and I'm grateful for that!

Thanks to everyone for all their thoughts. I'm going w/sugarcatmom (and er... instinct of course) and going to bring Tiger home tomorrow. I went to see her tonight, and she looked so peaceful. My baby!!! :cry:

Over the weekend, I'll log in an update and let ya'll know how it went. And oh, I went out and got some toys and treats for Jasper. The toys were a big hit (she was a little scared of the ones that made a whole not of noise, but went NUTS for them in a less than an hour.) But she didn't think highly of the (organic?) treats. Thank goodness for the Doberman in the house (Just-Us) who loves, loves cat food. :)

Thanks again for all the love and support.

Hugs,
Sangeetha

growler~GateKeeper
July 17th, 2009, 02:35 AM
I just wanted to mention when you do bring Tiger Lily back in the house, do it with only calm peaceful thoughts as cats pick up on our emotions/stress & it amplifies what they are feeling.

Sending some heart healing :goodvibes: for Jasper & you.

killmo
July 27th, 2009, 11:16 AM
I'm so sorry for the loss of Tiger Lily and I so acutely know the pain for both you and Jasper. Last November I lost Ms Scout to FIP. It was 3 weeks from diagnosis until death. No time to "prepare" for this. Her brother killmo really grieved for the loss of his sister. He would spend nights roaming the house yowling for Scout. LIke your two, Scout and Killmo had been together since birth and Scout was only ten when she passed.

With that said, I would allow Jasper to see Tiger Lily before you bury her. Cats sense the finality this way and seem to accept it. I did not have a chance to allow Killmo to see Scout and in retrospect I wish I had taken Killmo with us when I had to let Scout go so that he could have seen her after she passed. Unfortunately, I was too distraught myself and wasn't thinking at the time.

Killmo did grieve significantly after Scout's death. He became very clingy and needy and this went on for some time. I travel frequently and in January had to go to the SB as part of the stage crew for Springsteen's SB show. It was a 15 day committment and it was a huge concern as to how Killmo would do alone for the first time. He was extremely lonely even though I had someone come in everyday to feed him and play with him. All the reports I got were about how lonely he was. When I returned the clingyness and neediness really increased. By the end of February I decided it was time to adopt a new kitty.

I adopted Jezziebell on March 5th. I selected Jezzie because she seemed sweet and was of the age and gender of Scout. I first separated them and there was growling and hissing between the two even though they were separated by a door. I moved their food bowls close to each other on separate sides of the door so they could begin to associate "food" with the other cat. After a few days Jezziebell became quite the escape artist and I finally gave up on the separation about a week into this. The second week there were 3 "catfights" that occurred but not of the type where either cat was harmed. It was mostly hissing, spitting, chasing, cornering each other and posturing. The third week brought peace. They settled in with each other and now have become buddies. I have travelled at least 3x since April and neither has shown the neediness that Killmo did back in January. I will say Killmo is a much happier cat since Jezziebell entered our lives.

I do think that since Jasper has had a buddy her entire life that eventually, when it's right for you, it would be good for Jasper to have another cat in the house even if it's just to provide another interest (which was my goal). I do recommend bringing in a cat that is of similar age and the same gender as Tiger Lily. But, take your time. You will know when the time is right.

Once again, my heartfelt sympathies to you and Jasper on the loss of Tiger Lily.

catlover2
July 30th, 2009, 12:07 AM
A few years ago one of my cats died suddently at 15, probably a heart attack. I showed her body to her lifelong 16 y.o. friend. She just sniffed her and walked away as if she wasn't interested. She died at home, so it wasn't the smell of a vet office that put her off. It didn't seem to make much difference, as next day she roamed the house meowing and wanting me to open every closet door. She carried on doing this for about a month. She would sit where her catfriend sat, and sometimes she looked as it she was observing a cat walking by as she would follow with her eyes. I couldn't see anything, but this happened several times so perhaps she could see her friend's "spirit". She mourned her loss for quite a number of months and seemed depressed, so I bought a kitten. The kitten did perk her up somewhat, but she had been in declining health with kidney disease for quite some time. I got a half brother to the kitten so they could play with each other and not bug my old girl. The kittens bonded immediately and seemed to know they were kin. It gave my old girl some peace and quiet, and 6 mos. later she died at age 17.

killmo
July 31st, 2009, 02:24 PM
A few years ago one of my cats died suddently at 15, probably a heart attack. I showed her body to her lifelong 16 y.o. friend. She just sniffed her and walked away as if she wasn't interested. She died at home, so it wasn't the smell of a vet office that put her off. It didn't seem to make much difference, as next day she roamed the house meowing and wanting me to open every closet door. She carried on doing this for about a month. She would sit where her catfriend sat, and sometimes she looked as it she was observing a cat walking by as she would follow with her eyes. I couldn't see anything, but this happened several times so perhaps she could see her friend's "spirit". She mourned her loss for quite a number of months and seemed depressed, so I bought a kitten. The kitten did perk her up somewhat, but she had been in declining health with kidney disease for quite some time. I got a half brother to the kitten so they could play with each other and not bug my old girl. The kittens bonded immediately and seemed to know they were kin. It gave my old girl some peace and quiet, and 6 mos. later she died at age 17.

Funny how animals are. I've read lots of things about cats viewing their pal's body, sniffing it and understanding the finality of it yet your story seems to debunk that theory. Thanks for sharing. I suppose cats are as individual as humans are and can react differently.

While I recommended a cat of similar age and gender clearly kittens are always a good choice when bringing in a new cat. Cats seem to sense they are just babies and seem to accept them easily.

sugarcatmom
July 31st, 2009, 10:08 PM
..... clearly kittens are always a good choice when bringing in a new cat. Cats seem to sense they are just babies and seem to accept them easily.

Not necessarily. In fact, older cats that have never been around kittens often view them with suspicion and fear at best, outright hostility at worst. Because kittens have so much energy and tend to lack appropriate social graces, adult cats are often put off by their unrelenting exuberance. I would be very careful when bringing a kitten into the home of an adult. More info here: http://www.wvcats.com/integrating_kittens_with_cats.htm

killmo
August 1st, 2009, 11:16 AM
Not necessarily. In fact, older cats that have never been around kittens often view them with suspicion and fear at best, outright hostility at worst. Because kittens have so much energy and tend to lack appropriate social graces, adult cats are often put off by their unrelenting exuberance. I would be very careful when bringing a kitten into the home of an adult. More info here: http://www.wvcats.com/integrating_kittens_with_cats.htm

I did not realize that since I've never introduced a kitten to an adult. All the stories I've heard were that adults did well with the new kittens. Thanks for enlightening me! I guess I did the right thing by bringing in an adult cat of similar age. Of course, I always assumed that you had to intro a kitten just like you would intro a new adult cat via isolation and a gradual introduction. Thanks for the link!

catlover2
August 8th, 2009, 05:18 PM
I agree with Sugarcatmom's comments re intro of a kitten to an old cat. Yes, often if a cat has had no contact with kittens at all it would likely be very difficult.

By way of explanation as to why I brought in a kitten for my old 16 y.o. cat was that I knew she would be more accepting of it than an adult cat, and was most comfortable with cats around her, as she lived in a multi-cat household since she was a kitten. She had been one of my foundation breeders and had one or two litters a year until her 6th year when was spayed. When the kitten was introduced to her, of course she hissed at her a bit to establish her dominance, but in a couple of days accepted her and would allow her to sleep close to her, just not cuddled together. :cat: