We have two adult cats who do not get along. When they first came to us years ago, they were the best of friends but with the addition of a dog, one became very jealous and continually picks fights with the other. She will actually lay in wait outside of a room until the other cautiously steps out and then pounce on her. The last time she actually attacked her in their shared litter box. The nice cat spends each night with one of my daughters in her room but lately she's been acting strange. She wakes my daughter about every 30 minutes and has now begun pooping in her room too. We're assuming she's too frightened to visit the litter box. Sorry this is so long, but we are at a loss for what to do. Hopefully someone can help.
Add another litterbox in a room that the picked on cat feels safer in.
Cats can be weird when all is not well in their world and one of the most common ways it shows is when they start using the bathroom in places other than their litterbox.
Your cat probably doesn't feel safe or secure using her litterbox, and is associating it with those feelings.
Well, this isn't unusual although you would think that it would be but we have had animals (both dogs and cats) that were great friends until something disturbed their peace of mind and sense of safety. Obviously, something similar has happened here.... ????
Can't re-do what has happened in the past BUT you can shape things in a better direction for the future. First of all, sounds like you only have one litter box in the house? You need THREE, yes, THREE. Sounds over the top but it really won't be any more work than what you are already doing - two cats can only do their "thing" so often. Might be another box or two to scoop but it will go just as fast as there will be less to scoop in the boxes!
Now, the more difficult part. Do you have much time to spend with them in "re-training" what has apparently already happened? If so, put the dog outside for a while, invite both cats into the room and spend time with them. What you have described is basic insecurity so you need to find a way to make the "nice" cat feel secure once again.
Won't take long. Just put out the 3 boxes, make an effort to give equal time to both cats, and, yes, the dog comes back in too - it's just a matter of balance. Each one of them needs to know that THEY are loved by you and that they aren't in a competition for your attention, time or love ....
It will work if you devote the time to solving the problem before it gets out of hand. Good luck and keep us posted.
Hi Marciad, First of all...so sorry this is happening.
We got our cats about 3 days apart. They were both kittens. We had a rocky first few days but they finally became comfortable with one another and became best buddies.
Heck, I used to post pics of them here lounging together, sleeping and sunning together...even bird watching together!
Unfortunately, as they grew older (now 5+), they semi grew apart. I think it is mainly because they have two totally different personalities. One is very social, active, doesn't mind strangers, climbs to the top of everything in the house(Callie)! The other prefers hiding or curling up inside something or takes off to the front room to be alone and nap(Lola). They still ocassionally play but it usually doesn't last long.
And yes...cats do weird things a react differently in certain situations.
The litterbox is a very private place for any cat. I would say that getting attacked while "going" wasn't the best experience in the wide world. I would suggest (as Becky and Idaho have done) to add a litterbox in the bedroom where the more shy cat goes. My guess that that kitty "feels" safe in there for some reason. The pooping thing may be kitty's way of attempting to mark SOMETHING or some place that feels like his or hers. I realize this isn't ideal, but worth it to not have to clean a mess up every day in my mind.
I also have a question. Do you have any cat towers or cat condo's in the house? We have one cat tower and we've put stools or chairs in various parts of the house so the cats can look outside or can get away to be somewhere secure.
My thought here is...dogs can't climb the cat tower, so kitty has a place to escape to.
Now for the "wild child".LOL Just judging by our little instigator, maybe the dog actually scares this one as well?? Or maybe this cat doesn't feel as if it can play with the dog?? Therefore, it finds an alternative...who just happens to be shy cat??
Also, cats DO require attention and need to feel like they are equally loved (in my opinion). Maybe when the dog came in, the more dominant cat felt as if he or she lost the dominant factor to the dog?
Anyway, not sure that I helped solve any problems, but I'm thinking that something all three can do together with you or someone else is possibly something like a laser light?? If you can get the cats playing together...then maybe the dog and add one cat at a time during the play that maybe just maybe they might begin to become more comfortable with one another.
Just a thought~
"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"
I did add another litter box, so now each has their own place to go. Things have become more difficult for the cats because we have tons of snow piled up outside and it's very cold, so neither likes to go outside. If I understand what you've said, we need to add another litter box; then we need to place the angry cats together in the same room (supervised). Is there a time limit for this meeting? I'm assuming it could take many get-togethers before they're friends again, am I right? I do appreciate your suggestions and will try the supervised visit sometime this week. I'll let you know how things go.
marciad, Glad you added a second litter box - that will help but, it's more than having "a place for them to go where they feel safe." No pun intended ~ well, just a little...
Bottom line is that each cat needs time where they feel safe and, if that means putting the dog out for a while or locking up the dominant cat, well, that's what you need to do ~ just for a while....
Have to say that I disagree with the fact that the problem become more difficult with snow/cold so they can't go outside and work out their aggressions ~ nope, it is a problem that the two cats have decided that they don't like each other. Up to you to figure out WHY? Why have they developed such feelings since they used to be companions?
Could it be that you favor one over the over? And, no, just because it's been suggested to have both in the same room, I have to say you aren't ready for that ~ and, when the time comes, there are no time limits for it. If you think so, you have missed the point.
So, for the time being, keep the 2 litter boxes (wouldn't help to add that third one) and spend as much time as you can with each of them. Good Luck!
You're probably right, I have no clue about these two cats but there are some things that have never changed since we brought them home. Each cat seems to have their favorite person and they can count on receiving love and attention from that family member. Each cat spends the majority of their time in "their" person's area of the house. There have been fewer spats with the addition of the second litter box since each cat has a box in their own preferred area. Hissing and evil looks now only happen in common areas. The dog pretty much ignores both of them although he will hang out with the non-aggressive cat when she's in the mood. Perhaps this is all we can hope for.
Marciad~ I'm afraid something I mentioned may have been taken the wrong way. I didn't mean for you to put them in the same room together! That would likely not work well for anyone involved.
Gosh, I totally wish you could have seen some TV shows that I've "unfortunately or fortunately" gotten to see over the last 8 weeks or so). Been healing from surgery so lots of tv.
Anyway, there is this show on Animal Planet called "My Cat From H e l l". This guy is a musician at night and a cat behaviorist by day. I've literally watched this man meet and deal with some seriously unhappy cats! He always seems to know exactly what needs to be done. If you do not get cable, you can find some tips on Animal Planet website. Then look for the title of the show.
I will say that (so far) I've seen him deal with cats not getting along when one is introduced after the first one.
For the life of me I cannot wrap my head around why your two cats who once liked one another...do not now! I know that's about zero help.
Marciad, there's got to be something we are all missing here. I'm just not sure what it is??
Seriously though...please check out that show and see if you can relate to any of the tips offerred.
Do they eat together?
So you do not feel the dog has anything to do with the cats not getting along? I know you did mention that the dog hangs out with the one cat when in the mood.
Are both cats spayed/neutered?
OH! Something just came to me. I remember when Jackson (the guy in the show) had the family take and old towel (or something) and had them rub the "smell" of one cat and place it near the area where the other cat could smell it but not see the other cat. Jackson said that this would at least give the opposite cat a sense of what the other cat smelled like. You're supposed to do that with each cat.
Next, he would get one family member on one side of a door and another family member on the other side (each with a cat) and allow the cats to sniff one another...again w/o the stress of meeting. He would usually use food or a toy that could be passed underneath the door between the cats. I think the hope is that the cats "re-learn" to cohabitate with one another once the shyer cat gains confidence and the more dominant cat doesn't treat the shyer cat like prey.
He also uses play a LOT! He especially uses play (like with an interactive toy). His fav toy seems to be a feather/bird/mouse/etc on a string that the human can manipulate to encourage the cat to react to.
In most cases I've been able to observe that the more dominant cat seems to view the shyer cat as prey due to the need to hunt, therefore, needs more play introduced in order to give the dom cat something else to hunt/capture/etc instead of the shy cat.
Gosh, it's really hard to explain. It really helps to actually see this in action.
"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"
|Powered by Social Strata|