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Author Topic: Another feline question  (Read 6698 times) Average Rating: 0
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Heorhij
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« on: January 29, 2009, 12:20:42 PM »

My wife and I adopted yet another cat (our third). It's a small black female, rather young (but not a kitten), slim, with short hair and very beautiful big dark-green eyes. The reason we took her is that she literally lived near our house for about a month, begging for food. We noticed that she was not wild - she was not afraid of us and behaved as if she wants to come inside. Finally, Lesya took her to the veterinary clinic, and they confirmed that she used to be a home cat (spayed), absolutely healthy, virus-free. So we let her in and she now lives with us. Her tentative name is Bagira (after R. Keepling's black panther, a hero of his "Jungle Book" - this one is really black and does look like a little panther, even though she is very tame and affectionate to us). For short, I call her "B-B" (bee-bee).

Now my question. What should we do when our other cat, Pipa - also a young female - attacks B-B? Pipa just can't stand the invasion of this other female feline. She does not let B-B even walk near - growls and hisses and even jumps on poor B-B, making her retreat with a loud pitiful cry. B-B is declawed, so she cannot defend herself, plus she seems like a very soft-natured, non-aggressive cat. Is there any way to "explain" to Pipa that B-B is not her enemy?

Thanks to all who could share any experience!
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 12:26:21 PM »

The only thing I've seen that works is keeping them mostly separated with supervised "together time."  Eventually Pipa will become more tolerant toward Bagira so that they won't fight as much, but don't expect them to be completely civil.  My two tomcats have been together for nearly two years and they do play together, eat together, and occasionally will share the couch for a nap but they also ambush each other daily.  We used to have to put one outside to run off the energy and keep the other inside, then switch them out. 

When you do have them together, make sure you pet each one equally so they know they're both welcome in your house and neither cat is "better" than the other.  Cats can be unbelievably jealous of one another, especially if they feel like one is paid more attention. 

Good luck!
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2009, 12:50:20 PM »

^^Thank you! Great idea about the "supervised time together." We'll do it over the coming weekend.
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 01:08:33 PM »

Wear long sleeves and gloves.  Wink  Seriously, though, if you have to break up a cat fight, you'll be glad you did.  If you have a couple of pet carriers, it wouldn't hurt to put each cat in one and have them sit face-to-face... that way they can't eat each other or you and they can't run away either.
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 03:02:09 PM »

Also, if you can put them in rooms with a door that closes between them they will get to know one another's scent in a non-combative way. Combined with the supervised time together that should help.

I adopted a second cat (a kitten) back in September, and my 3-year-old cat is just now warming up to the kitten. In fact, Haley gave Dylan a good bath last night--the first time I've ever seen her do more than a polite sniff and a lick. Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 03:21:05 PM »

Aw, that's sweet!  Occasionally my two will bathe each other, but it usually ends in a whirl of claws and teeth.
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2009, 04:49:10 PM »

Also, if you can put them in rooms with a door that closes between them they will get to know one another's scent in a non-combative way. Combined with the supervised time together that should help.

Thanks! We are already doing just that. B-B is kept, most of the time, in a spare room (used to be our daughter's room some time ago... ahhh, I'm getting old...), and we close the door to that room. She has her litter box and something to eat and drink there. But Pipa watches that closed door all the time, and if we open it just a little, it's enough for her to hiss. 

I adopted a second cat (a kitten) back in September, and my 3-year-old cat is just now warming up to the kitten. In fact, Haley gave Dylan a good bath last night--the first time I've ever seen her do more than a polite sniff and a lick. Cheesy

Our oldest cat (he is almost 15) licks Pipa all the time and loves it, and she does not mind (although sometimes she bites him, but not hard). He does not mind B-B either. Lesya says he must be a feline saint.  angel

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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2009, 06:45:14 PM »

Our oldest cat (he is almost 15) licks Pipa all the time and loves it, and she does not mind (although sometimes she bites him, but not hard). He does not mind B-B either. Lesya says he must be a feline saint.  angel

Sounds like he is!  Grin

Aw, that's sweet!  Occasionally my two will bathe each other, but it usually ends in a whirl of claws and teeth.
Yeah. . . Haley's definitely a pacifist at heart. Your boys definitely aren't, and neither is Dylan. He likes to bite Haley on the flank when he gets an opportunity. . . he thinks that will make her play with him.   Roll Eyes  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2009, 07:01:51 PM »

Cats are not social animals. Cat colonies exist, but they are matriarchal groups of related females. Cats will usually only socialize with litter mates, and will not naturally play with other cats which they haven't met in the first 2 months of their lives. When introducing a new adult cat, you have to think like a cat. Although as EofK suggests, you yourself should treat them equally, one of them is going to be the "boss", of the other so the task is to let her know she's in charge without having to assert herself too much. You will have to start with "supervised visitation" as EofK suggests, and to this I would add that you should reward their calm behaviour when together with a treat or a petting.
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2009, 07:21:20 PM »

Cats are not social animals. Cat colonies exist, but they are matriarchal groups of related females. Cats will usually only socialize with litter mates, and will not naturally play with other cats which they haven't met in the first 2 months of their lives. When introducing a new adult cat, you have to think like a cat. Although as EofK suggests, you yourself should treat them equally, one of them is going to be the "boss", of the other so the task is to let her know she's in charge without having to assert herself too much. You will have to start with "supervised visitation" as EofK suggests, and to this I would add that you should reward their calm behaviour when together with a treat or a petting.

Thanks, George, great ideas. Lesya and I think it's OK if Pipa is the boss, we are only concerned that she might physically harm poor little declawed B-B. We will keep rewarding good behavior, maybe it will bring us "fruit."
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2009, 07:32:15 PM »

Another trick which sometimes works is for you and your wife to sit in the same room with a cat on each of your laps and stroking it (say, while watching TV), and then the next day, each of you sit with the other cat on your lap, and keep alternating.

This will:
A) get them used to being in the same room and being calm.
B) get both of their pheromones on you, so they get used to one another's scent, and they have both marked you as their property.
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 06:00:52 PM »

Another trick which sometimes works is for you and your wife to sit in the same room with a cat on each of your laps and stroking it (say, while watching TV), and then the next day, each of you sit with the other cat on your lap, and keep alternating.

This will:
A) get them used to being in the same room and being calm.
B) get both of their pheromones on you, so they get used to one another's scent, and they have both marked you as their property.

Wonderful and easy to do! We will try tonight and over the weekend.

BTW, there is one funny new development. B-B understood that our daughter's former room is now HER territory and, when we open the door and let Pipa enter, she hisses at Pipa!  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2009, 11:58:11 AM »

Okay, since we're talking about cats . . . my wife and I adopted a kitten last year at 6 weeks old.  She's a good cat, a year old next month, part Maine Coon and part whatever.  She loves to play but when she does she bites & scratches.  My wife's arms and hands are all scratched up.  The cat also has a foot fetish.  She bites my wife's feet every chance she gets.  But with me, she licks my feet.  The other problem is that she refuses to cover her poop in her litter box.  She's an indoor cat and we really don't want to have her declawed.  I wouldn't want someone cutting my fingers or toes at the first knuckle.  Any advice?

PB
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2009, 12:10:10 PM »

These are just some guesses, Psalti Boy.  Have you tried different kinds of litter?  Some cats I've known prefer plain clay while other like something else.   Does your cat have a scratching post (I mean besides her humans and the couch?  Smiley )  With the play, does she like toys that she could "hunt" and jump like ones on a string or spring or that you could move back and forth like from a stick?  She's a young cat and might be in hunting play mode.


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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2009, 02:38:08 PM »

Mine finally picked up that she cannot bite or scratch humans even in "play mode". When she tries to do it she hides her claws and licks us instead of biting.
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2009, 05:17:21 PM »

Our cat used to cover his poop. I think he is just too lazy now. We use Feline Pine (or the generic equivalent) and we have used it since the day we brought him home 3 years ago. Which is a real pain the the rear now since my sense of smell is hyper sensitive right now. He also likes to steal the dogs food. We take the dogs out and fill their bowls so they are ready to eat when they come in. Gizmo tries to steal as much as he can while they are out. He is a little porker. He is also a maine coon. He used to play, now he just looks at us like "are you kidding me? why would I want to play with you?." Then if you leave your door open he comes in and licks and attacks you all night. I guess I'm not really a cat person because he drives me nuts. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2009, 05:35:45 PM »

Okay, since we're talking about cats . . . my wife and I adopted a kitten last year at 6 weeks old.  She's a good cat, a year old next month, part Maine Coon and part whatever.  She loves to play but when she does she bites & scratches.  My wife's arms and hands are all scratched up.  The cat also has a foot fetish.  She bites my wife's feet every chance she gets.  But with me, she licks my feet.  The other problem is that she refuses to cover her poop in her litter box.  She's an indoor cat and we really don't want to have her declawed.  I wouldn't want someone cutting my fingers or toes at the first knuckle.  Any advice?

PB

Ugh, my cats do this too.  As far as the biting and scratching goes, the second she begins this behavior you should tell her "NO" very firmly and cease playing.  Don't let her nibble you, either, or she'll be confused when it's ok to bite.  You might reinforce it by spraying her with a squirt bottle of water.  If that doesn't work (my crazy Siamese is obsessed with water and just licks it off if I spray him) you might put a handful of pennies in a tin can and give it a shake when she starts playing too roughly.  The sudden, loud noise will scare her away from biting.  You might get her a soft toy for her to chew on when she's feeling like playing rough.  My cats will gnaw your arms off until you give them a little toy mouse and later I find those decapitated.  Better it than me.

As far as not covering her poop, that's usually just a sign that she's confident in her environment.  She owns the place and she doesn't care who knows it.  It may not be something you can fix, but it wouldn't hurt after she's done to take the pooper scooper and show her how to cover it.  Sometimes they'll catch on and sometimes they congratulate themselves for conning you into covering their poop for them. 
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2009, 08:02:11 PM »

As far as the biting and scratching goes, the second she begins this behavior you should tell her "NO" very firmly and cease playing.  Don't let her nibble you, either, or she'll be confused when it's ok to bite. 

Also, play with the cat only with toys, never with bare hands. If you use your hands or fingers as the toy (waving them or moving them) it reinforces that it's okay to attack the hands/feet.

You might reinforce it by spraying her with a squirt bottle of water.  If that doesn't work (my crazy Siamese is obsessed with water and just licks it off if I spray him) you might put a handful of pennies in a tin can and give it a shake when she starts playing too roughly.  The sudden, loud noise will scare her away from biting.
The water trick works wonderfully on my older cat, but the younger one is so furry he doesn't notice. That, and he likes to get in the wet tub and drink the water that drips from the faucet.  Roll Eyes 

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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2009, 08:13:52 PM »

I have a cat who tries to cover her poop, but fails miserably.  We think she's cross-eyed; that may be why.

When our two cats first met, one had been with us for a couple of months already, and did not like the intrusion of the other.  We tried keeping them separate, but Merry just wouldn't warm up to Pippin and kept growling like a cougar.  Some friends came over one afternoon and told us to just let them be in the same room and fight it out.  So we did; we were all in the basement together, and kept an eye on them as the cats ran around the basement fighting.  We soon realized they weren't hurting each other; finally, they fell asleep on a chair together.  They do squabble occasionally, but normally they like each other just fine and even lick each other at times.
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2009, 10:02:39 PM »

I have a pretty good cat.  She's three now and only about 11.5 pounds.  She's declawed and Bob Barker approved neutered.  Her and my dog get are good friends.  They'll take naps together on the bed.  They also like to play too. 
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« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2009, 05:30:07 PM »

She's...neutered.
How'd you manage that?
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« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2009, 08:47:22 PM »

LOL
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2009, 09:24:35 PM »

Well, my 4.5 yr old male orange tabby (or should I say tubby) just got his annual check-up.  He's been fat for like 3 years now, but need to really clamp down now.  At his check-up last year he was 18 lbs.  This time it is 19.5.  The vet suggested either switching to canned food (which I hate dealing with) or certain low-carb dry brands.  I found two:  Innova Evo (what the vet suggested) and Taste of the Wild.  TotW is much cheaper, and from a first taste of both, he prefers the latter  Grin.  Since Science Diet Lite has obviously not been working, the rest of the present bag is the last he'll eat of that.
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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2009, 09:55:08 PM »

She's...neutered.
How'd you manage that?

Spayed, whatever LOL 
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