December 18, 2017 at 08:16 #52813
Jojo is being himself which means picking on other cats and even though they are sleeping on the same bed at different ends, the 14 y/o cat is being picked on and is afraid to eat. New mom is going to start feeding separately and she’s not giving up because she really likes Jojo but…please to pray that bad boy behaves. And any suggestions I can give her are so welcome. She says it will take time but……I’m worried he’s going to ruin his chance……Ask the egsperts I always say…..December 18, 2017 at 12:03 #52814
Feliway?December 18, 2017 at 12:59 #52815
Ah! An ai has teh koller uf kalmniss ai kan give hur fore him. thanks anni!December 18, 2017 at 19:59 #52816
Uh… other cats, and she immediately turned him loose in the general population? That was not the brightest move. (Yeah, we did it with Trick… but we ended up with problems that were only solved by my mom going one way with one problem cat and Jackie and I going another way with Trick.) Cats have complicated territorial and personal space and access to resources and dominance stuff. Since, at this point, first impressions are whatever they are…
Keep in mind how cats see the world. They are small animals that can be prey, so they must not show weakness and they need hiding places where they feel safe to sleep. They are also carnivores, and that’s a highly competitive role: competition for territory, mates, hideyholes, food, water, and for domestic ones, attention and stimulation. Long-time roommates can stop worrying about it if they always have enough of everything, but the odd squabble usually still turns up. Cats not familiar to each other, especially introduced as adults, especially introduced abruptly, especially if any of them have a history of being srsly deprived of any resources, can take a while, if ever.
Jojo was outside for a while. I doubt he takes resources for granted. But he has just been moved into a new territory already owned by other cats, and may be feeling rather defensive or unsure. To him, he may be feeling he has to be aggressive in order to make sure he gets basic resources. So, in no particular order:
1) Litter boxes. One per cat plus one, if there are tensions. Do not have them all in the same location. Clean frequently. Watch for who is doing what where. If someone isn’t burying and is maybe even displaying it on a hill, they’re trying to declare themself king.
2) Food and water in multiple locations. Food is a very srsly important resource, obviously. It should not be arranged in any way that makes it possible for anyone to shut out anyone else. This includes no bottlenecks, like all in one room but different sides, so one can be in the doorway. The sweetest cat can sometimes be a nasty little p****, especially if they perceive a competition.
3) Lots of scratchy things in (this sometimes matters) key places for marking territory boundaries, not hidden out of the way in corners. Srsly, Cory adores those foam pads for kneeling on to work and they’re a good size and they can get their claws in deep… makes a mess but oh well. Vertical scratchy stuff also good… scratching posts near doorways and near highly-desirable territory. Territory markings define space. Some households, cats will literally divide up zones. Jojo really should have been put in one room for a few days, alone, to establish that as his safe zone with all resources in it, but too late now.
4) Try to create more highly-desirable locations. Watch where they spend time and who gets it most often and whether others leave when that one shows up. Cory owns most of the desirable locations here, but Freya has one shelf in the living room in front of the window that she owns. Trick prefers owning a cardboard scratchy thing with upswept ends, or the crow’s nest of the living room kitty tree. My bed is neutral ground: everyone wants it, and it’s enough space that at most there’s a minor squabble. Highly-desirable locations vary a LOT. Figure out what they value and try to create more. (Some will fail, guaranteed. They’re cats.) This reduces competition and therefore stress.
5) Human interaction is another important resource. Make sure everyone gets lots, and try not to have another cat glaring while one gets loves or playtime. Jojo is a love-monster, he’s probably going to need a lot of this to reassure him, but the other cats need lots so they don’t feel displaced.
5b) Playtime. A 14-year-old might not play much, but if any younger cats do, try to get them playing at the same time as Jojo… long string snaked back and forth with one on each side grabbing for it, say. Try to change associations from “threat” to “cat present when I have fun” which can progress to “playmate” if you’re rly srsly lucky.
5c) Tire Jojo out playing as much as possible.
Outdoor and feral cats have spacial circles around them. Only close and trusted feline friends are allowed contact or within paw’s length. A larger circle is usually “my territory” which they may permit to overlap others at the edges, then a “my colony’s private no-intruders territory” that encompasses the space of the whole group, and then non-exclusive space beyond that shared with other colonies. Indoor cats manage to adapt that, sometimes rly rly well, but we don’t make it easy sometimes.
Basically, my advice is always the same: with cats, always always try to figure out what’s going on from their perspective. It gives you a much better chance of finding a solution that will genuinely resolve the issues and not just be a bandaid.December 18, 2017 at 20:15 #52819
Prysma, you are the queen of knowledge cat and other things. THANK YOU so much! I’ll pass this on to stressed mom. Oh-forgot to say-the 14 year old is the only other cat.
Now that I have solutions for that…..I just found out tonight THAT THERE ARE THREE FERAL CATS LIVING IN THE CELLAR.
they are some of the ferals let out from a chicken coop next door. the crazed neighbor was trying to “tame” them. Yeah, all in a coop. That’s the ticket.
So since Mr. C. is no help any more I have to get traps. With 3 cats I’m wondering how to do this. Any suggestions? One trap at a time? In the cellar? Outside? OMCC my cellar is going to be a GIANT LITTER BOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO NO, I’m not panicking….not me….
and I spent all last evening making an insulated cat box bed for the lean-to to give a cat a bed. Was planning on making more….December 18, 2017 at 20:42 #52820
Get help. I am not an expert on trapping ferals. Talk to someone local who has successful experience. Or talk online to any of the many cat rescue groups and orgs that are not local. Get opinions and suggestions but remember that cats are always situational and individual experience varies. At least in your cellar they aren’t dying in the cold. Which, btw, is a real risk with live traps outside in winter. You could put a litter box (or a not-deep storage bin of litter) down there and they might use it, since they’ll want to dig, if you keep it cleanish. Feed them and they’ll get used to food with your scent, which might get them in the traps better. Get specialist advice on this one. Are you in the big Cheezepeeps FB group? I don’t generally FB since Jackie’s stuff but there is a huge amount of experience there. If not, I’ll hop on and get someone to add you (secret closed group).
BTW… happy for Jojo, but 14 y/o and alone is too old for a new addition, unless he is very obviously pining for a lost companion, and even then it would be dicey. To him, he suddenly has a young and rather aggressive intruder in what was his safe quiet consistent solo territory.
Was just talking to Jackie. I would’ve put Jojo in a spare room with everything: bed, window, food, water, litter, toys, and lots of love at least a couple times a day. Let them sniff under the door for 2-3 days. Then sit in the open doorway with fave treats, on floor or chair but do not let them pass, and toss one treat to each cat, over and over. Other cat gets treats… but you get the same, and only when other cat is present, so other cat=treats. Do that for a few days or a week. Swap bedding (blankets or towels or cat beds) back and forth every day or two, so they get each other’s sniffs. Then limited time to be on the loose supervised, then freedom. At that point, that room is Jojo’s safe space, where he can always count on having his resources. But… way too late for that, so it’s a bit of playing catch-up and stabilizing things.December 19, 2017 at 15:17 #52821
Jojo…. Bee gud fore gudness sake!December 19, 2017 at 19:04 #52822
Well this sounds a little close to home, introducing a young cat to an unwilling older cat. I hope it’s not too late to sequester him into his own room for a while,
In the meantime, here’s hoping they work it out!December 20, 2017 at 06:52 #52823
Noodle-very timely and valuable!
TJP-oh rite-you’ve been there done that. Imagine Jojo as a New Kitty on speed….
So glad that Suzanne (new mama) like Jojo a LOT!December 20, 2017 at 12:24 #52824
teh tree feerel kittehs hoo has taekin upp resydense inn mai seller finelie egg splayns wai Bitsy been akting sew crazie, runnin frum wun end uf teh hause tew teh otter. Hur muss reel eyes ders inn trooders inn teh under-teh-flore ruum.December 23, 2017 at 17:28 #52843
Saw a truck in the driveway. JoJo’s “mom” came to the door. I smiled then remembered why she would be at my house. Her boyfriend had the small carrier and let him out. Then he noticed that the carrier was smelly. JoJo had pooped. After they left I realized he had a poopy tail and back leg. So now i’m wondering if they made him ride in the back??????? She gave me back the bag I packed for him. I had put instructions and his papers and an interactive toy and another toy and it was all like I had packed plus the towel I had given for him to have a smell of home. The interactive toy wasn’t even out of the packaging…..and all the catnip appeared to be there…..and now I feel terrible that he didn’t get a chance. They wisely said they wouldn’t get another cat now until their old cat died. Definitely a smart thing. I drove out to find the farm where Seamus might be in case Debbie called me after dark, good thing because it would have been hard to spot in the dark but she gave me good directions. She is going to take a picture of the cat and send to me. Still hoping…….but it is getting crowded here. Not to mention the ferals all over the place. Mr. C fixed (hopefully) the spot where the cats were getting in the cellar. Last night we noticed an odor that appeared to be coming up from the vent in his room. BTW in case I didn’t say, I told him he could stay if he wanted to but he said “No”.
In Cheezland, the time is 04:24.
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