Cat Introduction Woes

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losna

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Well, it seems  to have largely gone alright. When I woke up, Bêlit was on my feet and Sinbad was no where to be found. Which is unusual so of note. But when I stood up for the start of breakfast preparations, he instantly appeared and both he and Bêlit trotted side by side proceeding me to the kitchen. And when I took my nap, I woke up with both of them on the bed with me.

But there is unusual behavior happening due to the cat in the garage as we try to find its owners. It took Sinbad longer thank his norm to come to bed last night, for example, as he had to make a show of hissing through the garage door to let that invading cat know what was what. So I'm not sure how to interpret any negative actions, and only taking anything positive as better than expected. 
 

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Knowing Sinbad's patrolling habits, I suspect he simply left you early to make sure the newcomer in the garage wasn't getting ideas above his station :soldier: :lol3:

So far, at least, things between him and Bêlit sound like they're back on track :cross: Long may it continue :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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losna

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Yeah, you're probably right! At least the cat had a happy ending and is now back with his family. Sinbad has already relaxed and is playing hide and seek with Bêlit. I just love watching her search the house for him. Is he here? No.. here? No... maybe here?! Just adorable. He is wrapped around my ankles under the blanket, and she doesn't seem to realize there is space underneath it. 


Reading everyone's comments here helped calm me down. I stopped worrying so much and just firmly started telling Bêlit no.  I mean, I was before, but I think the effect of it may have been lost when I was fretting so much? Of course, sitting in the living room with the feline favored fleece blanket for lengthy periods of time with them both is helping, too as they are both getting the snuggle time they want.

One thing that is also helping them out is she is finally seeming to realize that Sinbad's post http://www.thecatsite.com/t/284107/very-touching-reaction-to-a-kitty-post is off limits. She's started using the one downstairs and leaves his alone now, so he doesn't get worried/defensive when he sees her heading upstairs anymore. 

Now if only I could get her to stop eating/stealing his food and toys.
 
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losna

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I saw none of these updates, it is all observations from my husband:

Last night Bêlit was bullying Sinbad so badly he almost locked her in the bathroom. But he just shoved her away and cuddled and scritched Sinbad, and she seemed to understand she'd been doing something wrong because she settled down somewhere else.

This morning both Sinbad and Bêlit were one big snuggled pile of purring fur on top of me while I napped.

I was of course sleeping through both of these events. 
 

I wish he'd taken a picture. 
 

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Wow,  it's good hubby was aware of something going on and managed to intervene in such an effective way.   It's really interesting how Bêlit seems to select the time when she thinks no one will see.  
  Difficult.   Really hoping she gets the message that she is not 'top cat' and that she has to respect you and hubby even when you're not watching.  Ever thought of video surveylance to see if you can catch how things kick off, or do you already know that?

As for the shared snuggle time with you, and their sharing the chair, hide and seek etc, that's brilliant.  
  
      How cute are they all spooned up on that chair, and Sinbad's expression is priceless.  
 
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losna

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Every time either of us have caught it, it's about me. That chair in that pic above, for example, is highly desirable territory because it's right next to my computer desk. I put it there ages ago for Sinbad so he could spend time with me while I am playing video games. He can sit and lounge near me, and enjoy occasional pets and scritches. We actually went to a thrift store and bought it specifically for him. Bêlit has discovered this, and wants in on the chair time too. She''s learned not to mess with him there though, because he's only there when I am, and as you've observed, she has learned not to bully when we can see.

Sinbad sleeps on my feet; when hubby has seen the bullying start while I'm sleeping, it's because Bêlit wants my feet to snuggle, so tries to chase Sinbad away.

I don't know if it makes it better or worse to note that before bullying him, every time I'm aware of it, she starts by trying to cuddle him and share the space. Sometimes he lets her, as you can see the piccies I take. Sometimes he wants his space so doesn't, and that's when she starts the bullying to drive him away.

There could be more that we're not seeing, but I think the odds are fairly low that there's more to it than that. She is very, very, very social and wants to be near one of us at all times. That's also why I don't like locking her up, because she gets so desperate when she's all alone. We're going to have to replace the door and  the bathroom trim as well as part of the wall as she has clawed them all to hell trying to claw her way out of the bathroom. Unfortunately until she learns not to steal Sinbad's food, there is no other option during meal times. 

Although I am tempted to see if I can find a very large plastic bin. Drop it into the living room during meal times, put in her food dish and drop her inside. 
 That way she has her food, no opportunity to steal his food, and is still in proximity to us. 
 
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mservant

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Poor Bêlit:   bin time instead of dinner time!  
     I have read of other people actually crating cats for meal times when there's steeling going on.   
       What about a large box?  

Here's to no more foot battles.  
 

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What about getting a small dog crate for feeding times? That way she can see you, Sinbad can see her (and so will hopefully be less distracted himself and eat faster :cross: ), but nobody can steal anybody's food. It's not the same, but we used to crate Leah while she ate to protect Pixie's food...and to protect the cats' food too :rolleyes: So long as the crate always has a positive association (i.e. yummy food), Bêlit shouldn't get stressed out by it :cross:
 
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losna

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That's not a bad idea.. hadn't occurred to me as I'm not a dog person. I need to figure out something other than locking her away because Sinbad has figured out how to game the system.

At feeding times, I give him food, then lock her up with her food. When Sinbad is finished I let her out. However, he does not get his full meal in one sitting because if I put it all down, he inhales it so quickly he immediately vomits it back up. Then I wait until he indicates he's hungry for the rest, as he does not always want his full portion. It varies by how active he's been. When that happens I lock her back up, with a little treat because I know that it sucks for her to be all alone. 

The problem now is that he has figured out that if he pretends to want the rest of his food, she gets locked up...  so a dog crate may be what is needed because I really think it's unfair to have to keep locking her up in a room all alone. Even though I have to do it because she steals his food. 

Tempest is so much easier to deal with. She doesn't want any more food than what she needs, and never eats herself sick.
 

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when our punky was between 5 and about 8 months old, i crated her during meal times. i was told by her foster that punky was 'food aggressive', though she just wanted everyone else's food and never hissed/growled/attacked. we have an extra large dog sized crate. punky always just hopped into the crate and ate her food, then when deedee and our jaspurr had finished their meals too i'd open the crate and out little punky would come.

even now, with punky being 11 1/2 months old, i separate her from jaspurr and deedee at meal times. she's in the living room, and deedee and jaspurr are in the kitchen -- just a screen door between them. though, i've also fed all three cats together with not much problem. i just like to make sure each cat is able to peacefully enjoy their meal.
 
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losna

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Bêlit wants all the food all the time. We can't leave any food untended anywhere, because she will steal anything she can reach, even right out of Sinbad's mouth! Sinbad makes himself sick by eating too quickly, but she will literally eat until she vomits, and then start eating the vomit.

I still think something is wrong with her, whether or not it's diabetes I don't know... haven't heard anything yet from the rescue regarding their discussion with the vet though. :/ Sinbad did just have his fecal exam, so at least we'll have a roundabout way of seeing if it's worms or not that is causing her insane hunger.

Oh, I should post an update on their progress. :)

Things are progressing well again, now that I make sure to spend several hours in the afternoon cuddling with the both of them in ways that keep them separated/out of sight of each other.

Sinbad has started up his bum smacking again. :lol3:
 
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Well, it sounds like they get along well, and her bullying (since she is trying to sort of ask nicely first :)) is more of a bratty kid's insistence on getting what she wants regardless. :) But that should be manageable as she learns her boundaries. And i hope it all works out with the bin, and/or others' suggestions  :)
 
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Am I correct in the belief that even if they are squabbling, so long as they are still sniffing each other's bums and/or coming in to an inch or two to nose greet when they randomly meet things are progressing alright?
 

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Absolutely :nod: Asha and Shadow have mini scraps fairly often (usually started by her hitting at him :rolleyes: ), but it doesn't affect their relationship at all. You wouldn't expect people to never have a disagreement, so why should cats be any different?! ;) So long as neither of them is freaked out or upset by these spats, and they're still 'kissing', bum sniffing etc I really wouldn't worry. They're still sorting out the pecking order, after all :winkblue:
 
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Well Sinbad gets upset. Or seems so. Or something. He skirts around her like he's afraid of her, but then sneaks in for a bum sniff and little pat.

He is currently playing imperiled Princess in the basement, and will require rescuing shortly. I have no idea why he loves that game so much.
 
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losna

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Interesting little interaction just happened:

Sinbad moved in for a bum sniff, and Bêlit slapped at him, then challenged him. Direct stare, arched back, etc. When she approached for a direct physical challenge, he simply slammed her to the ground then sat there calmly watching her.

I read it as "I'm bigger than you, and this is MY house."

There was no hissing or anything of the sort, he just made a show of physical superiority and remained calm the whole time. Looks like he is slowly gaining the confidence to stand up for himself.
 

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Interesting little interaction just happened:

Sinbad moved in for a bum sniff, and Bêlit slapped at him, then challenged him. Direct stare, arched back, etc. When she approached for a direct physical challenge, he simply slammed her to the ground then sat there calmly watching her.

I read it as "I'm bigger than you, and this is MY house."

There was no hissing or anything of the sort, he just made a show of physical superiority and remained calm the whole time. Looks like he is slowly gaining the confidence to stand up for himself.
That is great news.  It seems to me like Sinbad is actually now trying to teach Belit some boundaries and manners.  Also the way Belit reacted to his actions is great.  One of my cats had to teach a young kitten I adopted boundaries and manners and that is exactly how he did it.  My baby Starbuck used to put up a fuss though when Tegato first did this to her.  The first time it happened she protested so much I separated them.  The next time I took a step back and just supervised.  I realized Tegato was not hurting Starbuck at all she was just mad because he was telling her who was the boss.  This was how Starbuck learned appropriate play manners. I am glad to see Sinbad is gaining confidence and trying to take some control over their relationship.
 
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losna

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Yeah, she just sort of edged away. I praised him a lot, because I could see that he was immediately uncertain. Now they are playing a kind of tag through the house that looks like it is 70% game and 30% dominance play. 

Hopefully he can help teach her boundaries/manners, because dealing with her is wearing me down and my health is going to be an issue soon.
 
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