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dollface November 27th, 2009 03:26 PM

Is it really soo hard for cats to share?!
Hey guys, please tell me if I'm being a PITA, or maybe I just shouldn't have pets, I can take it :sad:

Need to rant! :yell: :yell:

We have 2 [URL=""]purr pads[/URL] cuz we have 2 male cats. Therefore, one for each. They are both fixed. Gizzy was fixed at 8 or 9 months.

Last year, I had blankets to provide a comfy spot for them to sleep on the long couch that seats 3 ppl. After a few days, Gizzy sprayed them even after I washed them to keep Forest off. Now we have the purr pads instead. They were kept on the white loveseat. I keep my computer out on the couch cuz we only have one desk and only room for one computer there. The purr pads were always getting stuck in the couch from my weight, so I moved them. One to each (cloth!) recliner. By the way, no spraying happened when they were side by side on the white loveseat.

Now, a few days later, I smell urine. It's not wet therefore someone sprayed and I'm willing to bet that it was Gizzy since Forest tends to beat on Gizzy. There are times when Gizzy will be sitting on the chair and Forest jumps up, starts licking his head and then proceeds to "play"/fight until Gizzy runs therefore surrendering the spot and Forest makes himself comfortable. Especially when there is a free recliner next to the table not 3 feet away. :frustrated: Lately, I've moved Forest to the other chair before any bothering can start.

My bf is starting to get frustrated and is almost at the "get rid of them" stage. I suggested a crate to keep them in when we can't watch them 24/7. I was thinking of getting them proper beds but this would probably happen again so what's the point? We usually have the soft-sided carriers out and they use them as hideaways as well, but no spraying in there (:fingerscr yet!).

The purr pads are removed for now, although somehow they don't smell, I think Gizzy missed and got the recliner instead :frustrated:

So does anyone have any thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? At wits end!

catlover2 November 27th, 2009 04:56 PM

Cats can get along, though not always "share". Forest is dominant because he's older, came first, whatever. Cater to Forest's favourite place, by putting his purr pad there (whether it's the long couch or loveseat or whatever). Tell him "this is your spot" and make a fuss over him by giving him a head scratch/treat/"good boy!". Put Gizzy's purr pad on the loveseat or wherever he likes, but [I]not on same piece of furniture [/I]as Forest's spot. Tell Gizzy same thing, and if Gizzy goes on Forest's purr pad, pick up him, say "No" and carry him to his own spot. Say "this is your spot" and make a fuss over him/treat, etc.
The idea is to keep them separated and you and your bf happy. For this to work, you and bf [U]willl have to be consistent [/U]with this. Then Forest & Gizzy will know what is expected of them.

That's what I'd do, and no I don't think you're a Pain In the $$$. :)

dollface November 28th, 2009 01:00 AM

Thank you [B]catlover2[/B]!! That sounds like great advice and it's just soo simple! :lightbulb: but here I am to ask confusing questions about it :laughing:

During the first few days, at times when we can't watch them should we take the purr pads away and then replace when we are there to watch? But if that is recommended should I make sure they get the one they were "assigned" in the first place?

catlover2 November 28th, 2009 02:59 PM

Ask all the questions you like....I'm all for simple solutions----sometimes they work, sometimes not! I should have added that to get them [U]accustomed to know "their spot", always feed them their treats there[/U]. Say "go to your spot" and then give them a treat when they get on their purr pad. I would keep the purr pads in place, and always make sure they get [I]their own [/I]pad as it has their scent on it. When you're not there to watch them, I would keep them separated. Hope this works out for you---give us an update :fingerscr

dollface November 30th, 2009 08:47 PM

That sounds good!

I will post pix if this isn't making sense lol

The only problem I'm having with trying to start this process is the way our furniture is set up. The 3 seater couch has 2 spots, in the creases, covered with aluminum foil cuz of some accidents. I have tried spraying nature's miracle and then the water + peroxide + vinegar mixture, but I still smell pee. Right now Gizzy is curled up next to the arm of the couch only a foot and a half away from the aluminum foil. So I guess that means I can put his purr pad there? Or if not, I have an old empty subwoofer box that I had in an old car, that is kinda like a 2 floor condo for cats. He is currently using that as his sleeping area when he wants to be hidden. There are blankets in there, no accidents/spraying in there cuz Forest doesn't go in there. And not like he can kick Gizzy out of it if he wanted too. Gizzy scratches the outside of the box where the carpet is attached to it.

As for seperating them when we can't watch them, we live in an open concept condo apartment. Our bedroom can be closed off with a door and we have a 2 piece bath that can be closed off as well. I was thinking of leaving Gizzy with free reign to the living/kitchen area and letting Forest have the bedroom. Each would have their own litter box so no accidents. This sounds like a perfect arrangement but I can't think of any cons. Can you?

catlover2 December 1st, 2009 10:24 AM

A mixture that other people on this forum have found that gets rid of the cat pee smell is:
[I]1 cup water[/I], [I]1/4 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol[/I], [I]1/4 cup white vinegar [/I]in a spray bottle. Spray area that smells, mop up, and then spray again and let dry.

I would put the purr pad on the couch where Gizzy likes to lie. Usually cats have their favouite spot, and as long as Forest isn't objecting to his being in that spot. I do think you will have to cater to Forest's preferences since he's older and dominant. The old subwoofer box sounds like a great place for Gizzy so you can use that too if you think it will make him happier.
I can't see any cons to the arrangement to separate them when you're not at home. Try it for a while and see if this arrangement works out better for you, the bf and the cats. Hope it does. :cat:

dollface December 1st, 2009 04:17 PM

Thanks [B]catlover2[/B], I'm gonna try it for a day and see :) and yes I have that mixture but i still smell the pee/spray so maybe I did it wrong?

So last night I tried it without separating them, just to see what would happen. A few days ago I rubbed their purr pads on them to get their scent and locked them in each respective carrier that each sleeps in the most.

I put Gizzy's on the end of the couch that is next to a pee spot, can't really help it cuz it's in the crease between the 2 seats, and Forest's got the recliner. So I put Gizzy on his first and said "this is your spot" and gave him a treat. Then I put Forest on his, said "this is your spot" and gave him a treat. Gizzy jumped down from his spot when I gave Forest his treat, thinking it was for him too. So I walked over to Gizzy's spot with treats in hand, stood there for a few seconds, and he came running knowing what he was going to get. He is such a smarty pants!! :D Must be the bengal in him hehe!! So I went to bed with each on their own bed.

Forest, on the other hand, is your typical domestic and doesn't learn as quick. So today when I came out, Forest's bed was empty and he was on Gizzy's bed :frustrated: so I picked him up and put him on his bed on the recliner, and said "this is your spot" and gave him a treat. He ate it timidly. Thank gawd Gizzy was in his sub box PHEW! So I went to the box and gave him a treat in there too. Then he came out and followed me to his other bed and I gave him another treat. Now as I write this, Forest is still on his own bed sleeping and Gizzy is in his box.

I hope I did all this right! Please let me know if I made a mistake anywhere or where I can improve. Should I just make the sub box Gizzy's only place? Although, I'd like for him to have a place to sleep out in the open as well. Should I try a few more days without separating to see if Forest learns or should I separate and then watch him learn with my supervision? Sorry for all the questions :o

catlover2 December 1st, 2009 05:02 PM

Fortunately I've never had to use the alcohol/vinegar mixture as my two have good litter box habits. Apparently other people have had success with it...maybe it needs several applications to get rid of the smell.

Thanks for the update. You did it exactly right, fab! Good job! And yes Gizzy is the smarty pants for sure.
I would leave them be and leave their purr pads in place, but since Forest doesn't want the sub box anyway and Gizzy is the more active one, I would leave it out for him since he likes to go in it. Try for a few more days to see if they'll behave themselves. If they have a fight, I would separate them for a couple of days [U]when you aren't able to observe and supervise[/U]. Then try them together again. Hopefully they'll catch on if they fight they don't have each other's company, but if they behave they do. Always give them positive reinforcement for [I]good[/I] behaviour, it doesn't always have to be a treat when a head scratch and "good boy!" feels just as good. Good luck! :cat:

dollface December 1st, 2009 08:34 PM

Woohoo! I did it right :)

After they got fed at 7pm, Gizzy went to his spot and Forest was about to jump up to bug him but I picked him up and put him on his spot, said "good boy" and gave him a belly rub. Then he got down and tried again, but I just repeated the process. I hope that was ok. He has stayed there since.

Gizzy's spot got moved for half an hour while we ate dinner, we don't eat at a table cuz we don't have room, so I moved his bed to the floor just by my feet and he laid there til my bf moved out of his spot, but he's back now. :)

dollface December 1st, 2009 08:57 PM

Kind of off topic, but since you know a lot about cats, have you ever heard of a cat that bites these purr pads/thick bedding during a nightmare? About 99% of the time, Forest will meow from waking up but then bites the purr bad and start moaning, he'll open his eyes but then close them again so it seems like he's having a nightmare. And since the purr pads keep him warm, I'm wondering if the heat is creating the nightmare and that he needs to "kill" whatever is under him?

When I first joined and asked, no one had heard of this and I can't find anything on the internet so just wondering if this is normal or what?

catlover2 December 1st, 2009 10:48 PM

Can't say I've heard of that specific behaviour before, but nothing would surprise me. It's possible he feels too warm and becomes uncomfortable so maybe that triggers the biting. Does he move off the pad then?....if he did it may indicate he felt too warm. It does seem strange tho. Who knows what a cat's dreaming of when they twitch or make noises sleeping? :sleepy: I think it's all normal behaviour.

Maybe an animal communicator could say what's happening, but don't know if we have any on this forum. Helloooo, anyone out there? :cool:

dollface December 2nd, 2009 12:09 AM

No he'll stay there even after we wake him up to tell him there's nothing there to bite :confused:

An animal communicator would be a great idea! Wish I knew one near me!

dollface December 2nd, 2009 04:42 PM

Update: Came out today and Forest was on his own bed and Gizzy in his box!! Let's see how the rest of today goes and tomorrow lol

catlover2 December 2nd, 2009 05:27 PM

:thumbs up Good news! hope it continues.:cat:

dollface December 2nd, 2009 10:49 PM

When I wasn't looking, Forest fell asleep on Gizzy's spot. I moved him and pet him. Later, Gizzy was about to jump on Forest's bed, but I said "No, go to your spot" and he ran like the wind to his bed!

Almost want to keep them separated 24/7 :frustrated: :laughing:

catlover2 December 3rd, 2009 10:15 AM

Smart Gizzy!.... just think of the tricks you can teach this cat! Happy to hear things are better.

dollface December 3rd, 2009 06:33 PM

I bought some No Mark spray tonight just to cover all my bases. I hope it helps!

catlover2 December 4th, 2009 08:54 AM

Gizzy may not feel the need to spray now that Forest is not allowed to be so dominant to him. Spraying is often a frustration behaviour. Hope you won't need the spray, but good to have it on hand just in case. It sounds like you're well on the way to solving your "sharing" problems. Hope your bf no longer feels at the "get rid of them stage". Happy cats=happy people! :cat::cat:

dollface December 4th, 2009 11:55 PM

I did not realize that he could be doing it out of frustration, it makes sense though. What should I do if Gizzy swats at Forest when he walks by or when they are sitting near each other?

And my bf has chillaxed now :laughing:

catlover2 December 5th, 2009 09:20 AM

Cats swat each other---they like to do that & some more than others---sometimes it's just a "hey you!", a "wanna play?", a "jerk/dumbass" or whatever? With the big age diff between Gizzy & Forest, it's likely a "wanna play" gesture. If it's a few swats and then they ignore each other or start playing, I would just ignore it too and let them be. But sometimes a few swats escalate into a real fight. If the ears are back flat, heads erect, direct stares and it looks like it's going that way, just give a loud "PSSSST!" and a "No!", and then distract them with a toy or stamp your feet or something. Glad to her the BF is "chillaxed" (I like that expression!:))

dollface December 31st, 2009 05:09 PM

Ok so time for another update. Gizzy is basically trained to jump to his spot on the couch even if the purr pad is not there. And when my bf sits in his spot to play video games he goes to his sub box or the cardboard box my breadmaker came in for xmas. Forest, is another story. He just doesn't care, unless I catch him or snap my fingers. Forest wants to explore the new cardboard box but Gizzy claimed it first so it's only fair, right? Grrr.

Since Forest had an accidental peeing on his spot on the recliner he found a new spot to curl up in, one of the carriers by the wall and I put his red blanket over it to keep the heat in. Then I took off the red blanket and put it on his spot to remind him he has other spots to sleep and I put a heavier blanket partially over the carrier.

Then Christmas eve night comes around. We get home at 12am and Gizzy jumps up on Forest's red blanket and sprays right in front of my bf! He's not soo good at policing like I am and I wasn't in the room. Grr.

Then today when my bf was resetting the router (have to get close to the ground) he smells spray! I never thought he would spray the carpet where it's basically no man's land and it's where everyone walks!

But I just read that spraying could be a medical problem. What kind of problem would that be?? Should I take him to the vet to get checked out?

Now bf is all unchillaxed and says if Gizzy does it again he's gone! He just won't listen to me that we just have to keep them separated when we're not around to watch them and he won't hear of it. He refuses to asknowledge that Forest is part of the problem too. He also says that in the 6 cats he's had while growing up, they never introduced them and they never had a problem. And yes our mistake was not introducing them at all, I just had no idea, 1st time cat owner over here. I don't know what else to do to make him understand. I feel like my only options are to put diapers on them cuz I feel our already-busting-at-the-seams apartment is too small to separate them, or just separate them in each bathroom, but one is a half-bath and the other is a full-bath cuz I don't trust them to each have full run of the bedroom where our clothes are and the other to have full-run of the rest of the space where the furniture is. Soo confused and frustrated. :sad:

catlover2 December 31st, 2009 10:19 PM

Sounds like Forest was jealous that Gizzy got the new box and wanted to check it out. Cats find boxes fascinating, and I know if I put a box on the floor, both mine want to check it out immediately. You might get another box and put it near where Forest sleeps and just let him explore it (and Gizzy too), then when they tire of it, remove it. You could make a foil ball and put it in for them to play with. Find them some different toys (pingpong ball, plastic pull tab from frozen juice can, toy mice, teaser toy). Better to keep the boys busy; this gets their mind off other behaviours like peeing or swatting, tires them out and then they relax better.

The "accidental peeing" is worrisome to me. Did Forest do it just once, or maybe he also did it on the rug? Male cats especially can be prone to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and bladder problems, and first sign is usually peeing outside the litter box, or may be very frequent peeing or attempts. It can be a serious situation, so you should take Forest (and Gizzy) to be checked by a vet to see if there is any medical problem. Some senior cats may have some problems holding their urine, and Forest is 15 y.o., so that's another consideration. Are you feeding them dry food? Sometimes this can lead to urinary and bladder problems. Any good quality canned food is preferable to dry. Do any food changes [I]very gradually [/I]to prevent digestive upset.
Altho Gizzy peeing on Forest's blanket sounds like domination behavior, rather than a medical issue with him. Does Gizzy have a blanket for his box where he likes to sleep? Perhaps if he doesn't, it's his crazy way of saying he's wants a blanket too. At least a blanket is easy to wash!

In spite of these recent events, it does sound like their relationship is better than it was before, and hope your bf realizes that and can show some patience. It's hard to compare his experiences with the 6 cats and there were no problems, as the circumstances, space, sexes and temperaments were different, so it's like trying to compare apples and oranges. If keeping Forest & Gizzy separate while you're out was working, I'd continue with that.
Hope this has been helpful, and hope you'll give us an update on your vet's report. Relax! They will sense your anxiety and frustration. Now take a deeeep breath! :goodvibes:

dollface January 3rd, 2010 10:29 PM

I think I wrote that out of order lol.

Forest's accident was a couple weeks ago.

Gizzy peed/sprayed Christmas Eve night. We had to go to dinner in Ancaster that night so we left them at home alone. And I guess Gizzy was either glad we came home to show his frustration (if it was spray) or he was trying to tell us that the litter box was dirty and he couldn't wait 5 minutes for us to get to it! :frustrated:

I got my breadmaker Christmas Day, and opened it Boxing Day then the empty box was put in between the 2 carriers that act as tunnels/beds.

We haven't tried separating them, but maybe we should because I feel I have to keep a watchful eye on both of them and that makes me have a bad sleeping schedule. Go to bed at 5am wake up at 2pm. But that only really worked this past week and a half cuz my bf was on vacation, he is back to work tomorrow.

Last night, Forest got up from sleeping on his spot. I thought he was hungry. I got up to see if he was eating, nope not there. Sat back down, maybe he went to use the litter. Nope, he jumped up on Gizzy's spot where Gizzy was sleeping and if I wasn't there to pick Forest up and move him back to his spot under the blanket (that was washed) we would have woke up to more spray smell, cuz I'm pretty sure Forest just wanted to launch a sneak attack on Gizzy to steal his already warm bed! :frustrated: Off to kijiji to find a cheap large dog crate if one exists! :laughing: :fingerscr

[B]Edit:[/B] We feed a canned diet, albeit a cheap canned diet due to low funds still, Fancy Feast wheat gluten free.

catlover2 January 4th, 2010 06:41 AM

You mention "the litter box". Do you only have the one? It would be better if you had 2 boxes (clean out wastes am & pm every day).

You said: "I'm pretty sure Forest just wanted to launch a sneak attack on Gizzy to steal his already warm bed!"

How can you be sure of that? My take on it is that Forest just wanted a warm body to snuggle and sleep beside. I think I would have just let Forest stay there instead of moving him away. Gizzy was not objecting to Forest being in his bed as you found them [I]together[/I] and was enjoying Forest's snuggling and warm body. I would have just given them both a kiss on their heads, told them "Good boys!", left them like that and gone back to bed. If they're behaving well together there's no reason to separate them. Just my :2cents:
I realize you feel under pressure from bf, but try to relaaax, and go with the flow. :cat: :cat:

dollface January 4th, 2010 02:39 PM

We have 2 litter boxes :)

I am sure of it cuz I watch Forest all the time and know what his intentions are. He never wants to snuggle with Gizzy (the only time he wants to snuggle is on a person's lap, or under the covers with you), he just wants to be a bully and kick him out of Gizzy's own bed. He would never turn his nose up at an opportunity to dominate Gizzy, especially since I have stopped him from doing it lately. This is what this thread is based on. I was awake playing a video game from the couch across the room and saw him jump up to where Gizzy was sleeping/laying. Just like you have said you have observed cat's actions for so long, I have learned to watch Forest like a hawk during this whole situation. Also, since I am not working, watching them interact and learning their behaviors has taught me that they really can't be trusted together unless supervised. I only feel ok going to bed when Gizzy is tucked away in the sub box and Forest is tucked away under a blanket or in a carrier, and hopefully does not see or hear me going to bed. :laughing: success rate=1% of the time.

catlover2 January 4th, 2010 11:07 PM

For some reason or other, I thought you had gone to bed and then got up in the night and found them together. I'm sure you read the situation correctly then, as there is nothing like observation and as you say "watch Forest like a hawk" to figure out what's going on. For some reason or other I thought that they did cuddle together occasionally, but you say Forest "never wants to snuggle with Gizzy", so in that case he[I] was [/I]likely trying to dominate Gizzy. I think you've figured out their relationship very well and are able to keep a peaceful environment. You're doing a good job! :thumbs up Sometimes as years go by cats do become good buddies, but also some never do and just sort of tolerate each other, and then there's the other extreme where two hate each other and fight. I doubt things will change between Forest and Gizzy, mainly because of Forest's age and at 15 yrs. he's set in his ways.
As for the occasional inappropriate peeing, now that's a hard nut to crack, as it's often not apparent what specific thing triggers it. I do know that males, even tho they're neutered, are more prone to this sort of thing than females. For that very reason, when I retired from breeding and showing, I only kept 4 girls. They've passed on to kitty heaven some years ago, and I have a spay and neuter now, tho he's a [I]really [/I]good boy. Good luck! :fingerscr

dollface January 5th, 2010 12:18 AM

Thanks [B]catlover2[/B]! You are helping soo much it means the world to me! :) I really am trying! Sorry if there was any confusion :o my bad!

I doubt these two will ever become best buds but it would be nice lol maybe if I get more kitties they can bond :laughing: fat chance! The only time they tolerate each other is when they are getting food and even then Forest has one foot ready to leave then comes back to graze when Gizzy is nowhere in sight. :laughing:

Glad you have kitties that get along! I find that happens very rarely unless they grew up together.

If I were to get a crate for them if I really did need to separate them, how big would be big enough for a litter box, food and water bowls? Or should I just look for the normal cat playpen that has the 2 levels?

catlover2 January 5th, 2010 09:03 AM

It really depends on how long the cat has to stay in the crate. If for more than a day or days, I found a [I]large size [/I]dog crate is the best size, as you can get food, water & litter box in without it being too crowded. My hubby made a carpet-covered shelf to fit in it. A cat playpen would work as they take up less floor space since there's more vertical height and often have more than one shelf, but they don't give as much walking-around room as a dog crate. So your choice.

As far as adding more cats in your apt., "fat chance" is right! It would likely stimulate more frequent peeing.

Altho my cats are related (same dam, different sires), they didn't grow up together, tho they seemed to sense they were kin and by the second day they cuddled together.

I'm glad you feel I've helped......:) Take care.

dollface January 5th, 2010 02:48 PM

Ya I won't be adding anymore until we get a bigger place, like a house with a big backyard to create an enclosure and not roam free. But also actually introduce them properly and I'm sure I will be asking q's about that when the time comes :laughing:

They would only be in their own crate (blanket covered for darkness and safety) when we go out or go to bed. We wouldn't leave them for more than a day and if it was that long we would have to board them. I found these sizes on Kijiji, I don't know dog sizes so which one would be big enough?

L xW xH
19"x12x15 - TEA CUP DOGS
30"x19x21 - COCKAPOO, PUG
36"x23x25 - BULLDOG
42"x28x30 - LAB

catlover2 January 6th, 2010 08:09 AM

I have an [I]old [/I]crate and it measures L=34" x W=14" x H=24", so it would be close to the "Bulldog" size. Obviously the size of the cat matters too. A small cat wouldn't need one as big as a Maine Coon size cat--all my cats have been average size. I have another "large size" dog crate that measures L=36" x W=20 x H=29", so it seems measurements vary greatly!

Get the cats used to the crate as a safe and pleasant place by putting all their treats and meals in them. I think Forest will especially benefit from this feeling of security while eating as you say "has one foot ready to leave then comes back to graze when Gizzy is nowhere in sight." Let us know how things turn out. :fingerscr

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