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I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

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Buffster7

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Out of curiosity, is it possible to 'train' a cat? In spite of Finn's intelligence, I have a feeling he's going to be a challenge to 'train' and realize that I don't really know how. For example: I bring my laptop into his room when I sit with him. I feel like he's jealous of it; he'll position himself right between the laptop and me every time. Every time he walks on it or steps on it I say "No" and "off" and move him off of it, or move the computer, but he turns right back around and steps on it again. So...is it possible to 'train' a cat to not do something you don't want them to do?

Also, what are the rules on me handling Charlie in front of Finn? Earlier when Finn was out in his cage, I picked up Charlie and kissed him and Charlie did NOT like it. It was like my picking him up and loving on him in front of Finn emasculated him or something. Do I let each cat see me loving on the other, or does that create jealousy?
 

Feral Mom

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My vote, (and do not hesitate to put my vote in last place if others disagree) is, to allow both cats observe you love both cats.
Why i say that ? would take 5 paragraphs to explain, but i say, go for it, and love on both cats in front of the other.
Again, if the smarter ones come along and disagree? go with what they say.......
.......I suspect you may be anthropomorphizing to wonder if Charlie felt "emasculated" by being snuggled.;)

Who knows why Charlie was not up for snuggling ------at That precise moment? I can not claim to know, but maybe he was just way too fired up about his new brother to be restrained or even slightly contained?
idk.

but, i am generally "for" loving on animals who will let you.

No matter who is watching.:catrub:

one of my ferals who NEverrrrrrr let me touch her, never, in 2 years of daily feedings, still would NOt let me touch her,
but this feral DID observe me petting a stray cat?
and doncha know? The feral cat observed, "this is how we do it" and began,
on that day,
allowing me to pet HER, too.

so, i am "for" petting any cat who allows it.
:petcat:
re: training cats.
At the risk of bringing on the wrath of those who may disagree with my behavior,
every cat i ever had,
could do about 10 tricks or so.

(Including playing dead if i "shoot" my index finger at the cat)
Cats actually Enjoy figuring out a trick or a cue. Cats often get so little chance to use their minds, their food is handed to them,
but, learning how to do a trick? does check the box for some cats who enjoy mental stimulation.

.......but, Buffster, hearing some cats do like being trained to give high-fives,
does not help you wonder if/when your Finn will ever understand that you do Not want him on the keyboard.
:devilcat2:
I do not fully understand why almost all cats LOOOOOOve keyboards? ------ but my guess is,
that is where YOUR FOCUS is, so, Wa-laaa! that is where they will place themselves.

Our little cat Moki, is a Very smart cat,(he is learning his #8 trick)
and he does "seem to be" beginning to realize, i do not want him on the keyboard.
I can not claim 100% success,
but i do Not allow him on my keyboard. at all, not even for a moment. (cuz it breaks my computer)
and
Moki "seems to be" almost ready to accept this.

That might make a good thread,
"how to teach cat to not go onto keyboard?"
if such a thread has not already been created in the past.

For now,
I block or remove the cat, each and Every time he even puts one of his adorable paws onto it,
and Moki does seem to close to accepting he is just not allowed to touch the keyboard.
I do not scold him, i am just removing him, immediately, and consistently.

.....stay tuned, hahahaha:D
 
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Buffster7

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Hi! Thanks so much for your response - I love that you have taught your cat tricks, why would anyone be against that? It's stimulating interaction with you and a break from mundane routine and likely results in treats being given. sounds like a win-win to me! ;)
Who knows why Charlie was not up for snuggling ------at That precise moment?
Right? Normally I wouldn't think much of it except that Charlie almost never protests, and not that vehemently. And I noticed it because I remember him doing the same thing the last time I had Finn out and tried to love on him. Reminded me of trying to hug a teenager in front of his friends - and that's definitely anthropomorphizing - but it was such a similar reaction that it made me laugh. But both times the vehement protests were done in front of Finn, which made me wonder if I was violating some cat code of conduct for new introductions.

Also, I don't let Charlie in Finn's room, but sometimes I'm in the room with him and playing, Charlie will come watch at the gate, not particularly happy about it. My play with Finn is interspersed with lots of kisses and praise, and I'm not sure I particularly want Charlie seeing that in case it makes him more territorial of me during introductions. Yet I feel bad closing the door in his face. Not sure what proper protocol is during this introductory period. Am I overthinking?


I do not fully understand why almost all cats LOOOOOOve keyboards? ------ but my guess is,
that is where YOUR FOCUS is, so, Wa-laaa! that is where they will place themselves.
How long has it taken for Moki to almost-get-it? I remove Finn from the computer every time, and he turns around and walks right on it immediately. He's such a smart cat, and is usually so in-tune to my correction, that I have to think he knows what 'no' means. First, I want him to not break my computer, and second, if he would stay off my computer, I could spend more time with him in his room and attempt to do some of my work in there. I wonder if anyone had had any success in training cats to refrain from doing certain things, and if so, how! ;) Keep me posted on Moki, and I will continue to move Finn and my computer..
 

Feral Mom

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Oh, I lost the quote off my "clipboard" from you, Buffster, as you asked about Moki mostly going along with He can not be on keyboard...

Well, it is ongoing, but usually, if Moki does step on it?
One removal and Moki gives up.
However, Moki is a mature adult cat, and your little Finn is still full of boundless energy. Finn, with his bottomless need for attention at this time,
may actually view being picked up by you as a bonus...? Idk.

Two or 3 ideas to mull over:
#1) Post a separate thread somewhere asking advice on that exact topic, about keeping cats off keyboards. Surely someone has figured it out? See, here, in this long thread about taking in Finn, others may not spot your question, but a new thread specifically about keyboards? Might get you an answer ...?


#2) maybe try some double tape on keyboard? This might annoy YOU as well, but I am big fan of double tape as being very effective cat deterrent. You would have to keep replacing the tape for a prolonged period of time,
But hopefully, sooner or later, Finn would come to view the keyboard as creepy...

#3) and This idea might seem controversial, but, keeping a can of pennies nearby and shake can of pennies whenever Finn touches keyboard. This might be "too much" for Fin , being new to home and all, idk. But some folks report success with cans of pennies..

Good luck!!!:hellocomputer:
 
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Buffster7

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Quick question you guys! I have Finn in his cage in my home office with me while I work on schoolwork. I let Charlie go into Finn's room for scent swapping purposes.

Now I just heard scratching in litterbox; went into Finn's room and Charlie used his litter box! What to do - should I change out Finn's litter before letting him back in there? Or is mixing their scents good? Or was this a power move on Charlie's part? Jcatbird Jcatbird shadowsrescue shadowsrescue Feral Mom Feral Mom and anyone else who knows these things.
Feral Mom, will be back to read and respond to your post shortly. The boys are swatting at each other through the cage now
 
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Buffster7

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I think it's fine. Just watch to see how Finn reacts. At some point they will be using the same litter box. I always watch and see how the cats react. One of my cats cannot wait to use the newbies litter box.
Okay, PHEW! This is a relief - thank you so much for your response!
Edit: I had posted to main forum in case no one saw the post here. Sorry about that!
 

ArtNJ

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I think you might be reading too much into a cat using a litter box, cats that dont like each other will often use the same box even if you have multiple boxes, but you haven't told us how the introduction is going.
 
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Buffster7

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I think you might be reading too much into a cat using a litter box, cats that dont like each other will often use the same box even if you have multiple boxes, but you haven't told us how the introduction is going.
Thanks, ArtNJ! So far so good. Thanks to the fantastic advice I've received on this forum, we've been taking it slowly (trying). No major drama other than a couple thumps on the head by both parties and a few hisses by resident cat. So we reverted to carrier visits for a week and just yesterday started putting new cat in the large cage-on-wheels and letting him hang out in room with resident cat.

Resident cat has sprayed in the past he's smelled strange cats through open windows, and upon closer inspection I think this was a spray in the litter box because it was all up the side of the box rather than just a clump at the bottom. Better the litter box than the bed, as long as it stops there. I just returned new cat to his room and he was hyper aware of resident cat's scent, but not agitated. Phew.
 

ArtNJ

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That all sounds quite good. I'd honestly move a little faster given that the cage test went well. Remember, in all likelyhood no matter how long your process they are going to need to do some of the work themselves, and its fine if there is a bit of hissing or even a get away defensive thwack or two. Its when it seems that there is a risk of fighting that extending into the months may be needed since fighting = going backwards.
 

Jcatbird

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You’ve already gotten lots of good tips. If Charlie feels the need to establish himself, it might be helpful, especially since Finn didn’t seem to mind. Doing it in the litter box instead of elsewhere is a plus!
Letting them see love? If it doesn’t start an issue, do it. They will see that eventually. Charlie may not like being held in front of Finn yet just because he feels a bit like he has no control. As they adjust to each other that should improve.
Teaching? You can totally teach them tricks and other things. They may not respond 100% of the time but they do understand. Be consistent in you teaching. The words yes and no are understood as they become associated with things that are allowed or not allowed. Petting and praise are great rewards. Do that consistently too.
I usually say No, put them down and then encourage them to stay down with a quick chin scratch. They are likely to repeat for awhile but just stick to the rules.
I do agree with Feral Mom Feral Mom that kitties enjoy learning. The challenge of learning a trick, the attention given, the feeling of playing a game and the happy reaction of a human all play a part in the fun.
 
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Buffster7

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Ha! I was emboldened by "no matter how long your process they are going to need to do some of the work themselves, and its fine if there is a bit of hissing or even a get away defensive thwack or two" so of course I let Finn out.

It went well til the very end like usual. Initially I lost Finn - couldn't find him and then heard lip smacking and found him next to a chair eating vomit. I've never seen a cat do that before! I don't know if it was Finn's vomit or Charlie's, but Finn was chowing down.:barfgreen:

A bit later I heard a hiss and then Finn came running back to me in his room. He exited his room again and this is when I took the vid. So Charlie was obviously getting annoyed which you can see in the vid. Soon after, Finn approached Charlie and Charlie swatted him on the head, and Finn swatted Charlie back, and Charlie retreated under the table. What does this mean that my bully- Charlie - retreated? Does this look like Finn might try to take alpha position?
What would happen if I didn't intervene? Finn doesn't strike me as an aggressive cat; would he be more likely to leave Charlie alone once he retreated, or to continue to push the issue?

I didn't want to end on a bad note, so I got a treat and gave them treats one at a time starting with Charlie, then I put Finn back in his room, where I'm typing this. Charlie is now mewling outside the door. Opinions?
And after...he is such a cuddlebug:

And this is what I find when I come out. He doesn't look too traumatized.

I don't think he'll ever be "ready" to make room in the house for Finn. I think regardless of when it happens, he's going to be stalkerish and naughty. What concerns me is that he backs down when I say no, but Finn didn't back away from Charlie when I said no. And Finn has claws.
 
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ArtNJ

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This video seems to show a young kitten just passing by an older cat that isn't ready to be close, so gives a casual get away from me swat to which the kitten doesn't react. It doesn't concern me at all. However, you mention that there was some mutual swatting after the video? I'm still not concerned, but I haven't read this whole thread and might be missing some context.

How old is the kitten? The size difference looks big enough that you might still be protected by the biological hard wiring as well. Adult cats don't attack true kittens with intent to injure. They either defensively swat, or sometimes they will hold down a kitten to teach a "leave me alone lesson," but not aggression with intent to injure. I'm not sure at exactly what age that starts to change (and its probably more related to size than age), but given the size difference in the video, that struck me as another factor possibly favoring letting them try to work it out.
 
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Buffster7

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A ArtNJ -The young one is a stray I just took in a month ago. He was sequestered til he got over a URI. Vet estimates him between 1-2 years of age. Charlie is 8-9 years old and has a history of being a bully (swatting, stalking, chasing, blocking with my dog who is now deceased). Charlie was declawed before I got him. New cat Finn has claws and doesn't seem to back down when Charlie has swatted him. Twice now I've seen Charlie hiss and back away when Finn has retaliated the swat (I've never seen him back down to another animal before). But Charlie is 17.4 lbs and Finn is about 7 lbs.
 

ArtNJ

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Haha the massive size gap fooled me. Well back to being serious, those facts do change things for me a bit Buffster7 Buffster7 . Years ago I did have an older cat when I adopted two youngsters. As they grew into young adults, the older can got distrustful of the more active of the two and started hissing/swatting to keep him away. For some weird reason, that totally flipped a switch in the active younger cat and he went from being purely playful with no hostility in him to fighting for real. It is possible. I think its a super rare thing, but but it might be something you need to watch Finn for based on how you are describing things. I don't think the older cat is interesting in fighting for real at all, seems more like the typical defensive swatting, but if Finn has that streak in him that mine did it would be trouble.

Ultimately, I think you still need to see how they do and if they will fight or work it out. However, certainly only allow the interaction in short doses when you can watch to start.
 
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Buffster7

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Haha the massive size gap fooled me. Well back to being serious, those facts do change things for me a bit Buffster7 Buffster7 . Years ago I did have an older cat when I adopted two youngsters. As they grew into young adults, the older can got distrustful of the more active of the two and started hissing/swatting to keep him away. For some weird reason, that totally flipped a switch in the active younger cat and he went from being purely playful with no hostility in him to fighting for real. It is possible. I think its a super rare thing, but but it might be something you need to watch Finn for based on how you are describing things. I don't think the older cat is interesting in fighting for real at all, seems more like the typical defensive swatting, but if Finn has that streak in him that mine did it would be trouble.

Ultimately, I think you still need to see how they do and if they will fight or work it out. However, certainly only allow the interaction in short doses when you can watch to start.
Thanks so much for your input, ArtNJ! Yes, the general consensus has been to take it very slowly. A while back I texted a neighbor who lets his outside cats roam free and who was familiar with Finn when he was a stray. I wanted to know what he had seen as far as interactions with Finn and his cats. He responded that they did not get along, but that Finn was not the aggressor. So I'm hopeful he will stay that way, but it does concern me that he's generally pretty fearless and that one has claws and one does not. The ladies here have been so patient with advising me, and I just keep chomping at the bit to get these intros started. However, I can keep waiting. Really don't know when to start trying. Behind the gates and while in the cage, they are totally amicable. It's only when Finn enters Charlie's territory that Charlie gets weirded out.

May I ask what the outcome was with your older cat and the younger one who wanted to fight?
 

ArtNJ

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May I ask what the outcome was with your older cat and the younger one who wanted to fight?
I couldn't fix it, and they were fighting for real, so I went to separate lives with one in the furnished basement. But what happened with mine is super-rare I think. In almost all cases, if the older cat just wants to hiss and defensively swat, and the younger cat isn't stressed, it doesn't lead to any real problems.
 
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moxiewild

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Sorry, I haven't read everything so I apologize if I'm repeating or missing anything!

But in regards to training a cat, you absolutely can! I always train my fosters to do tricks to increase their confidence and visibility at adoption events.

I find clicker training works really well. It's basically the same as you would do for a dog. Although if the cat has a very lazy disposition, he may not be into it. But if he is alert and seeks stimulation OR is particularly food or affection motivated, then he's a great candidate (food motivated kitties are the easiest to train).

I once was in the process of adopting out a cat to a woman who did make up tutorials on youtube, and just generally made a big hobby out of make up. She was concerned about the cat knocking things over and also didn't want to shut him out of her (pretty impressive) "beauty room".

This wasn't a situation where something like air cans could work, so I told her to give me a week or so to work with him.

That was the first time I trained a cat to stay off of something like that, and I've done it quite a few times since with my own cats, as well as my fosters.

Another thing that really helps is to place a bed or cat tree that kitty really likes as close as possible to the thing you want him to stay off of. I did this with one of my old kitties, and in addition to a little training, he stayed off my keyboard so long as his bed was right next to it. Every once in a while he'd reach out his paw onto my keyboard (or hand) when he wanted attention, but that was it, and I honestly adored it.

Purebites and Orijen freeze dried treats have worked best for me in regards to training and keeping things healthy. But of course, cheaper treats like temptations will work just as well.
 
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