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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:20 PM
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Advice needed to pass on

So "Edo", the tuxedo kitten who is currently living with the lady who brought her to me, is being a bit of a trouble maker with the older kitty in their household. Older kitty is 13. History on him is he does not like other cats on his property. If they take him out for a walk he will try to attack any cat on "his" grass. He has always been the one and only.

Enter Edo three weeks ago. She was segregated to a bathroom from what I can understand for only one full day and let out part way through the second so the cats could meet face to face. There was a little hissing but it went not bad. The times together have gotten progressively longer. There was the requisite swatting and hissing. Nothing too serious. When kitty gets too rambunctious she goes back to "her" room. When the mom is away at work or shopping Edo is in her room as well.

A few days ago Edo started attacking the older kitty face first. She comes at him and attacks. When corrected she stops for a minute and then slinks along toward him and goes at him again. Edo has just had her first (and only) heat. I am picking her up to be spayed on Sunday.

I do not think Edo was ever socialized well as she was "adopted" at a young age (six weeks approx) and when she was no longer a cute kitten was put outside to fend for herself. Probably around 3 months of age. She was put into a carrier between two houses at night and allowed to run the neighbourhood during the day. From the week I had her here I know she is very rough. She will be a normal kitty for about five minutes then she totally freaks and starts biting and growling. But she is still trying to play. The older kitty hisses when she does this but will not put her in her place. When she is being a calm kitten she is the sweetest thing going.

The older kitty has started hiding under the bed almost all day to get away from the kitten. I have told the new mom to take him in to her vet to be health checked. He hasn't been in for a few years. He has a diet of Royal Canin dry and some canned. I said he may not be hiding from the kitten. He may be hiding because he is sick or has crystals. I have asked her if it is possible to wean him off the dry food all together and switch to a better quality canned.

I have given "Mom" all the advice I can think of. Separating them when Edo is misbehaving, correcting her consistently, not letting them be alone together, watching behaviour, trying to anticipate when Edo is about to change from to , etc. She will be separated for a week following her spay as I have explained she needs to recover as quietly as possible. During that week the older kitty is going to the vets for a check up. If she does not settle down she will in all probability come back here.

Any ideas on how to correct her behaviour would be great. I told her I would ask for other opinions to see if they differ from mine or for something new I could pass on.
Sorry for the novel. Had to try to get as much info as possible in.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:26 PM
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I don't have too much advices other than to use spray water bottle whenever Edo is not a good kitty and to separate them to give her older cat a break.

Coco was not too fond of the other cats here , it took a while but after almost a year , she is now ok with them. It takes a while with cats ... I'M sure Edo will settle in , but it could take a few months.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I don't have too much advices other than to use spray water bottle whenever Edo is not a good kitty and to separate them to give her older cat a break.

Coco was not too fond of the other cats here , it took a while but after almost a year , she is now ok with them. It takes a while with cats ... I'M sure Edo will settle in , but it could take a few months.
Thanks Frenchy. I have told the mom that it is going to take a while for her to settle but she wants instant results it seems. She is worried about her older cat which is why I suggested a vet visit. She needs to rule out his being ill. Don't think she's tried the spray yet. She will have to reintroduce them after Edo's spay so that may be a good time to do that.

I am really second guessing myself with this one. If she comes back here it will be interesting. No where right now to put her except for the house. Right now there are seven in here. Wonder how hubby would handle one more?
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Edo's spay so that may be a good time to do that.


I'm thinking the same
I am really second guessing myself with this one. If she comes back here it will be interesting. No where right now to put her except for the house. Right now there are seven in here. Wonder how hubby would handle one more?
you think the lady will send her back ? :sad: there is no instant results with cats. First week Paddy was here , he would only spend 20 minutes per day outside of his room , Monsieur le chat would scream bloody murder everytime .... and then they became best friends Coco , is also coming around , and this after almost a year.

Main thing is for her to get her older cat "time off" , breaks
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:40 PM
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It is so hard when there is such a big age difference. :sad:

But I don't think the introductions were done slowly enough.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:43 PM
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Yes, she does give him breaks. Edo goes back to her room when she is misbehaving or has been out long enough to drive the other kitty batty.

And yes, she would send her back here. She had a lady who said she would take her but said she wanted her fixed first and was not willing to pay for it. I don't think so. You know the first thing that would happen is that Edo would be put outside again! The poor kitten has been passed around enough in her short little life. I would rather just try to fit her in here instead of having her go to a place she wouldn't be safe.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
It is so hard when there is such a big age difference. :sad:

But I don't think the introductions were done slowly enough.
Yep, I told her that. I gave her my favourite site to read before she took Edo plus tons of my personal experiences. She read the site and said she understood. Then she phoned me in a panic a few days later because the older cat was swatting at Edo. I asked why she tried to introduce them so soon. She said neither one was hissing at the door of Edo's room so she thought they would be ok.
The thing that gets me is that the older cat was fine with Edo until a few days ago. Now he's hiding under the bed. That is making me think he is not feeling well which is why I told her it would be a good idea to get him to the vet. Sometimes cats can sense when another one is not feeling well and will attack. I'm wondering if that is what Edo is doing.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:09 PM
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I agree with rainbow that the introductions were done too fast. Perhaps after the kitten is spayed, the lady can start over from step one and this time take several weeks of passing the 2 cat's scent back and forth without them seeing each other. Ensure only positive things are associated with the other cat's smell, like giving high value treats (vanilla ice cream is my cat's ultimate) on top of the other cat's bedding, playing, grooming etc when they swap rooms, stuff like that. Gradually move up to limited viewings (through the crack of a door), and only when there are no reactions to each other, allow them short supervised visits (again with lots of treats and positive rewards). Mucho patience required with this technique, obviously, but there is no better way.

I personally would not use any corrective behaviour in this situation. It can backfire and end up deepening the hostile feelings between the cats because they start to anticipate bad things happening when they're around each other. Simply separate them at the first sign of souring moods (put a pillow between them if there's a risk of getting hurt and "herd" them apart rather than pick one up). Go back a step in the introduction process and try again later.

ETA - I know you know all this 14+, I just think it needs to be reinforced to the lady.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Thanks SCM. Will pass that on. I explained to her that the intros should have taken a few weeks if not a month or two but she was anxious to see how the cats would react together.
It's frustrating to me when I have tried to give someone all the info I can on introducing cats and then they do the exact opposite. I am getting two or three calls a week asking me questions as to why they aren't getting along. I keep telling her they were introduced too fast and she should start over again.
When I bring Edo back from her spay on Sunday I am going to try one more time to explain to her that she needs to do the introductions properly this time. But I know if her older kitty gets a bad report from the vet I will probably be getting Edo back. :sad:

Thanks for the ideas gang. Keep them coming. I will pass them on.
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We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
The thing that gets me is that the older cat was fine with Edo until a few days ago. Now he's hiding under the bed. That is making me think he is not feeling well which is why I told her it would be a good idea to get him to the vet. Sometimes cats can sense when another one is not feeling well and will attack. I'm wondering if that is what Edo is doing.
Poor kitty :sad: ....she really does need to keep them separated completely for now.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:36 PM
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Maybe it's just that she's coming into maturity, and even though she doesn't appear to be in heat she might still be producing a lot of hormones.

I have the mother of my kittens in a room away from the other cats and I let her in here only supervised (1. She pees on stuff when unsupervised, not sure if marking or what 2. I don't want anyone accidentally letting her outside before she's fixed). Normally she gets along with everyone just fine, but right after she came out of her last heat she kept attacking my two fixed adult cats and I ended up having to put her back in her room. She'd fluff her fur up, hiss and growl aggressively and run at them, jumping on them with claws out trying to get a fight started. She was just acting completely psychotic with them. She didn't do this with the kittens, just the adults. About a week after this she was ok again, so I think it must've had something to do with hormones from being in heat.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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MBIE - I never really thought of that. She is getting fixed tomorrow and I have told the woman under no circumstances does she get let out of her room for at least a week. She needs to heal. And then she has to do the intros properly. I have a feeling this is going to be a long haul. :sad:
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Assumptions do nothing but make an ass out of u and me.

We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!

Last edited by 14+kitties; December 12th, 2009 at 07:27 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 07:58 AM
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Because it has only been recently that Edo has been more aggressive, it could be hormones. It could also be that Edo now knows that she can control the older kitty. She may have been unsure at first as this home was not her "territory" then. It could also be as you had suggested, the older kitty is not feeling well and Edo can smell this weakness.

I find even keeping cats separated for a time, unfortunately there is always those unpleasant memories that cats have from the first intros. To reverse that they have to replace the "unpleasant" memories to "pleasant" memories. While they cats are separated after the spay, perhaps your friend can feed the cats their favourite treats at the closed door, so they can smell each other while they are eating.

I still can't get Sweet Pea and Puddles to get along and it has been years :sad:, so you are right, it may be a long haul.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Sending good wishes for Edo ....I hope her spay goes well.

And, good luck for the re-introduction once she is healed.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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Sending good wishes for Edo ....I hope her spay goes well.

And, good luck for the re-introduction once she is healed.
Thanks! I am actually taking five tomorrow. Calysta and Kearn are going along with two that belong to a woman I work with. Should be fun taking five.
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We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old December 12th, 2009, 06:45 PM
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Five .....good luck.

And, I hope your vet realizes what a good customer you are.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Hopefully Edo will not be as aggressive after her spaying and a re-introduction as others have suggested. But IMHO as you say she was only six weeks old when adopted, and was much too young to leave Mom and littermates. Kittens at that age have not learned proper socialization skills or control of their bite. They learn that during crucial 7-12 wks. of wild rough housing with their littermates to control their bite and claws. Very difficult to learn that later especially since she went feral and had to fend for herself for a while. As a result she's developed a very spunky temperament and she may be happier in a home without other cats. Just my

Last edited by catlover2; December 14th, 2009 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts
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