Cat introduction saga - entering month 3

saharahoshi

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I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond to my posts and I wanted to provide an update.

Quick recap:
We have had New Cat (NC - Jellybean) for about a month now. We had to restart the intro process a couple of weeks ago (about 2?) because NC made a jailbreak from cat Basecamp - TWICE. Fur flew we separated the two ASAP it was unfortunate both times, we have since fixed the situation. Ruthie did get nicked one time but we used Vetericyn and took her to our vet, she's ok.

New Cat: Jellybean, 1 year old (as of September) neutered male. He was in a room with two 7 year-old front paw declaws who postured for food and he backed off so it seemed like it would be a good fit.

Resident Cat - Ruthie, 9 year old, spayed female, she lost a buddy in Spring of this year, nothing seemed to work in terms of soothing her.

Since my last posts:
  1. We met with a behaviorist (who is also a veterinarian referred to us by our primary care vet) who thinks Jellybean had play aggression and that's what triggered the situation.
  2. At her recommendation after a Skype call we are also putting Ruthie on fluxotine for anxiety (this is after trying Feliway, Rescue Remedy, Jackson Galaxy solutions, etc. etc. for multiple months).
  3. We are going to start clicker training with Jellybean ASAP as soon as the kit comes in. We also bought him foraging food tools from Fundamentally Feline and are going to start small and hopefully work our way up to enrich his life/work on the aggression. We've also got Jackson Galaxy Bully Solution and Peacemaker going.
  4. I'm watching every video I can under the sun as well as reading tons of articles including the wonderful posts people referred me to on this site, Cat vs. Cat, and the handouts from the behaviorist.
  5. We've taken a step back and are still doing separation with a closed door since Ruthie is still hissing/growling from time to time, plus kitty prozac takes a month to kick in.
  6. We tried visuals but Jellybean was climbing it though the door was covered, luckily we were supervising the entire time (we made our own barrier out of wire hangers per posts here. We're probably going to grab a baby gate as an extra barrier to prohibit escapes, we might just say screw the apartment security deposit and do a screen door.
  7. Jellybean ate a piece of one of his toys, a piece broke off and fell behind a piece of furniture so a fun trip to the ER vet and next day follow-up appointment, plus an enema and a bath due to the enema at the ER vet and he's all better now. So time to look for solutions to kitty chewing - maybe those dental sticks/treats? Also looking at the Kong chew toys for kitties.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
This is just me, but in reading your post that is a lot of feedback and terminology.

I have a question, why are you putting her on that drug, plus prozac, after trying all those other products? Just because she's grieving, frustrated, and isn't interested in dealing with a young upstart/interloper?

If it were me, and I fully realize I'm not there, but I'd try to find cat music that works for her and obtain a heartbeat toy, a purr toy, and a marshmallow bed, and leave her be for a good while so she can find her own emotional balance, without drugs, other cats, or human expectations and pressure to perform and conform.

And I owe an apology to A ArtNJ , I didn't have a chance to read through your previous threads prior to this. ( 🕷 :) )

I'm also wondering, who was the instigator in the two interactions? You're saying it was bad, but I'm wondering if they just need to be allowed to work things out. If you let them together, if you could get a video of their interaction for us that would be helpful. Claw caps can be helpful at times at least for that end of things.

Oh, and if you need to separate them have a big piece of cardboard handy, you don't know if a cat might accidentally aim at you.

So, there's Spotify, RelaxMyCat, youtube and MusicForCats as sources.

You got a lot of information regarding gates here previously, try utilizing tension rods.
 
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saharahoshi

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Hi,
I appreciate your feedback. Fluoxetine is a generic name for Prozac so she is only being put on one medication.

The Prozac decision was made after consulting 2 separate veterinarians and a review of our cat's medical history which includes ideopathic feline cystitis. We adopted her in 2017 when she was 5 and living in a small room with her brother from another mother and a very very anxious third cat. We don't have much information on her before that period. We are only pursuing Prozac based on the vet recommendation

In terms of resources have the SnuggleKitty, a Bluetooth speaker set up for relaxing music and several videos saved of enticing nature videos, etc.

She also has access to 2 large cat towers each of which is near a window, 3 marshmallow beds, and nearly every cat toy known to man.

I am sorry if my responses or posts in these forums have been frustrating for people to read/respond. I just want to do right by both cats and view every avenue possible.
 
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Furballsmom

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I am sorry if my responses or posts in these forums have been frustrating for people to read/respond
Maybe it's been a failure on our part, and I apologise if that's been the case.

I missed it if you mentioned the FIC before. I'm not judging, but if you received that diagnosis before you got the new cat it should have given you pause. There's no going back now, I suppose.

In case this is helpful, and for other readers and lurkers this article talks about how large a role stress plays in this illness.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis – How To Improve Your Cat’s Quality Of Life – TheCatSite Articles

In reading your previous threads, it feels as though you're searching so much that choosing one path has become difficult, for example regarding a temporary doorway barrier. Several people have provided examples that don't involve damaging the doorway trim, or how to do a repair when the barrier is no longer needed, yet you're still talking about proceeding with some type of method that will cause you to lose your deposit.

Is the relaxing music just a classical radio station or is it actually MusicForCats? You don't want to have it on constantly, just for a couple of hours at a time, a timer can work well.

What are you doing for your own stress? I realize you lost your other cat months ago, but have you recovered from that? In the midst of the mess of 2020, you (we all do) need to work even harder to find ways and means of relaxing and becoming more calm.

Your cats are like little sponges for your emotions. If you are spinning your wheels trying to find solution after solution, this isn't conducive to a calm, peaceful (--as peaceful as possible with a new, 1-year old cat) environment.
 
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saharahoshi

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Thank you for taking the time to reply. I tried MusicForCat specifically last night and WOW, she loved it. I had no idea the role FIC and stress played together since putting her on a prescription diet recommended by our vet in 2018, she hadn't had any cystitis flair ups since then and when we talked to our vet about potentially getting a second cat, she didn't raise any concerns regarding that specific health issue more like, "You never know because it's cats."

Thanks for your thoughtfulness on the reply as well!
 

di and bob

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Anti-anxiety medications can take up to months to start working properly, so give them time for her body to get used to things. Keep in mind he is a 1 year old cat, still with kitten attitudes and is very annoying to your Ruthie, who is female and a limit/manners teacher by instinct. Females are usually not real receptive to advances, even ones made for play, and she would just as soon just ignore the little upstart, and have him ignore her. That won't happen. You might keep one and than the other in a large dog kennel so they can become more used to the other's movements. My little girl growls ferociously at the boys and they still have tussles with fur flying at times, and she is their mother!
It doesn't seem possible right now, but in time, and I mean many months, they will bond and become a family unit. Get a kickeroo for cats on Amazon and throw it towards Jellybean when he is focusing too intently on Ruthie. It is great for getting rid of excess energy and that would help. Put it in a plastic bag with cat nip to refresh it. this WILL happen it just takes time for Ruthie to get a change of attitude and for Jellybean to grow up enough to respect her.
 
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saharahoshi

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Maybe it's been a failure on our part, and I apologise if that's been the case.

I missed it if you mentioned the FIC before. I'm not judging, but if you received that diagnosis before you got the new cat it should have given you pause. There's no going back now, I suppose.

In case this is helpful, and for other readers and lurkers this article talks about how large a role stress plays in this illness.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis – How To Improve Your Cat’s Quality Of Life – TheCatSite Articles

In reading your previous threads, it feels as though you're searching so much that choosing one path has become difficult, for example regarding a temporary doorway barrier. Several people have provided examples that don't involve damaging the doorway trim, or how to do a repair when the barrier is no longer needed, yet you're still talking about proceeding with some type of method that will cause you to lose your deposit.

Is the relaxing music just a classical radio station or is it actually MusicForCats? You don't want to have it on constantly, just for a couple of hours at a time, a timer can work well.

What are you doing for your own stress? I realize you lost your other cat months ago, but have you recovered from that? In the midst of the mess of 2020, you (we all do) need to work even harder to find ways and means of relaxing and becoming more calm.

Your cats are like little sponges for your emotions. If you are spinning your wheels trying to find solution after solution, this isn't conducive to a calm, peaceful (--as peaceful as possible with a new, 1-year old cat) environment.
Thank you all for the advice! Musicforxats is amazing and we even have a jam lol
 
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