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tarasgirl06

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I'm dying right now, and partially because my left leg and toes have fallen asleep and I don't want to move.... haha. Despite Isabelle growling every now and then, she has not gotten up and left, despite Persia and her touching <3 She's been so cranky lately, but then this happened, and it feels like everything is right in the world.

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I know, I know! A catpile is pure BLISS! :cloud9::redheartpump::redheartpump::redheartpump::dizzycat::dizzycat::dizzycat::goldstar:
 
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WillowMarie

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I know, I know! A catpile is pure BLISS! :cloud9::redheartpump::redheartpump::redheartpump::dizzycat::dizzycat::dizzycat::goldstar:
It is! Is this what life is going to be like from now on?? I for sure will die happy, haha :wavey: That cat gif you use is super cute btw!
 

tarasgirl06

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It is! Is this what life is going to be like from now on?? I for sure will die happy, haha :wavey: That cat gif you use is super cute btw!
You'll have access to those once you post a certain number of posts. Aren't they great?
Yeah, especially in cold weather, the cats love to curl up close. If, that is, they tolerate each other. ;):cutecat::kneading::zzzcat:
 
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WillowMarie

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Things are going well still, and Isabelle still gets very cranky. Some days she can't stand walking past them and will lunge and growl at them if she thinks they are too close to her even if they are just sitting. I've been trying to feed her small amounts of her daily dry food allotment when feeding the kittens their dry every couple of hours because she seemed frustrated they were getting fed while she wasn't. We'll see if that helps with any of her moodiness, I just started it yesterday.

She also seems irritated when they are cuddling with me on the couch when she comes up and wants to. I have tried moving the kitties in the past and coaxing her up, but it she doesn't want to come up in those times because she is cranky, so I've stopped doing it. It's been a while since giving treats for being around the kittens, so that has started up again when she comes up while I'm on the couch with the kittens or she is already there and the kittens come up. Even if she is starting to growl, the treats help her calm down and be more accepting of them it seems.

Sometimes she jumps up on the couch and growls. It seems she wants the kitties to move, but they will just lay there and not move, LoL. Isabelle has smacked them a couple times in the past in these situations, but doesn't seem to be doing that recently. She seems like she doesn't like when they are up there, but doesn't have the heart to fully chase them off, so she gets moody and frustrated.

And then there was more sleeping with all three on the couch today. Persia likes to inch her way over, and had her paws on Isabelle again. Even Katrina got in on the action today and stretched a paw way out to just barely lay it on Isabelle. Issie growled, but didn't move and went back to sleep.

Also, I just had a faceboook memory of talking to the girl Isabelle came from. I never thought she had given me a reason she was rehoming her, but I guess it was because she did not get along with her other cats (I took her in when she was about 6 months). She said she got along better with her dog, LoL. (She did live with my families cat for most of her life until I moved for school.) I felt a little guilty because I know Isabelle LOVES calm dogs and spent 4-5 months contemplating getting a dog for her and watching the shelter for a smaller dog that may be a good fit. Even though it excited me, I always had the worry at the back of my mind if a dog would be too much energy for me right now. Finally, I decided against it because there are days it's hard to even take care of myself, so how would I have energy for a dog? Haha. So then I spent a few weeks deciding if I should get a cat, what age, and if I should get two more. I'm very happy to have gotten these two kittens and think their personalities are a great fit for Isabelle, but hoping she'll get more used to and relaxed around them.

Although, Isabelle has started pulling her fur out again, and I'm trying to test if the knots she has are bothering her, or if something else is going on. In the past the vets ruled her pulling to be stress related and could not find anything wrong, and it eliminated when I worked on stimulating her more. She had been pulling hair at the base of her tail then, and now it's more along her side nearer the back end, and she seemed to be pulling directly at the knots. I've been slowly working on shaving the knots out as it is a slow process since she is more growly than usual since being irritated with the kittens. I did just buy a comb/brush style that someone mentioned in a post on here about being great for long haired cats. It just arrived this week and has been working so great and she is tolerating it, so I may not need to shave anymore! Almost all her knots are out, so if she keeps pulling, I'm going to have the vet check her over. Last time, the vet mentioned I could try some hemp products, and see if that helps.

I have also been feeding different brands of food as FF had not been on sale, so I've been buying brands showing up in the cat food deals thread and rotating them. Hair pulling may be an allergy sign, I think, so I may also need to look into that, too.

Also, I'll need to decide what to do during winter break because I plan on finding a full-time job during that time. The kittens will not be able to get meals every 2 hours, and since Isabelle may get irritated if they can eat when she can't with a timed feeder or a feeder that recognizes their ID chips (especially because she has a very strong sense of smell and can smell food in containers), so I was thinking of keeping the kittens in the bedroom while at work so they can have access to their dry food. The kittens would be about 6.5 months by then. Isabelle is on a strict diet to maintain a healthy weight since she is on steroids for her asthma that increase her appetite. Thanks for reading my long update! :)

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rubysmama

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Sounds like things are going pretty well, except for the fur pulling. Hopefully it's not stress caused by the kittens. :(
 
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WillowMarie

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Hoping it's not stress from the kittens either... :(

Although this is happening right now, so cute! Isabelle's head was kinda on Persia's back right as I was pulling my camera out, but then she moved to this position. Does cuddling with other cats release feel good chemicals that reduce stress, like in humans? Maybe Persia knows and wants to cuddle Isabelle's stress away. Persia is so persistent with getting Isabelle to cuddle. She was laying a couple inches away and kept inching closer until they got to this position.

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rubysmama

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I don't know for sure, but they say cats might purr when they're not feeling well, as a way to try to feel better. So it would make sense that another cat's purring would help the stressed one. Precious picture. :catlove:
 
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WillowMarie

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I don't know for sure, but they say cats might purr when they're not feeling well, as a way to try to feel better. So it would make sense that another cat's purring would help the stressed one. Precious picture. :catlove:
How interesting! Didn't know that, thank you for sharing.
 
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WillowMarie

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I've been trying to give Isabelle more attention and giving treats when she comes to see me on the couch. The back of the couch is now cleaned, and it seems to make Isabelle more relaxed since she can also lay there to be close to me. I took a video today. Prior, Isabelle had climbed onto my lap despite Persia laying there already. Isabelle smacked Persia, who just layed still and Isabelle stayed on my lap. Since she stayed, I gave the kitties treats and she seemed calmer and stopped growling. Persia just laid there and stared at me, right in my eyes (she likes to observe and stare). Sometimes I wonder what she is thinking when she stares.

I started taking the video then. Then Katrina was climbing on the back of the couch and arm behind me, and onto my shoulders. I was surprised Isabelle did not growl yet, but when Katrina stepped down onto my lap, Isabelle lunged to warn her she was too close. Katrina flopped over and did not fight back, while Isabelle jumped down. Katrina started licking Persia, and they had a purring cuddly session. Isabelle surprisingly jumped onto the back of the couch a few minutes later and laid down closest to me. She seemed pretty calm and did not growl or try to bite me when I reached over to pet her.

There has only been one hair pulling incident in the last few days, and I've been trying to make sure Isabelle can still cuddle with me when she wants. Earlier today, even though she would not climb onto my lap because Persia was there, I picked her up and held her in my arms. She was calm and happy about that. I guess I'm worried about the kitties ignoring her whacking and warnings instead of moving away as Isabelle seems very frustrated with it. They do not fight back and are very chill kittens. The past few days, the treats have been helping Isabelle be more calm and accepting, so I'm going to keep that up. Anyways, wanted to make sure the video looked "normal/okay" behavior-wise. I've been trying not to instinctively put a hand out to block warnings like I have a few times in the past.

 

rubysmama

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I'm not too sure about that video, but if the kittens aren't scared, that's probably a good thing. But I understand you not wanting Isabelle to be frustrated. Her hanging out with them is good though, and it does sound like things are going pretty well. How old are the kittens now?

Edit: to change "are scared" to "aren't scared"
 
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WillowMarie

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I'm not too sure about that video, but if the kittens are scared, that's probably a good thing. But I understand you not wanting Isabelle to be frustrated. Her hanging out with them is good though, and it does sound like things are going pretty well. How old are the kittens now?
Okay, thanks! So it was a good thing if Persia seemed a bit apprehensive after Isabelle whacked her. The kittens are about 5.5 months now.
 

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Thats an interesting version of a growl. Sounded like a deep loud purr almost.

Anyways, sure, thats what big cats do to express displeasure. They hiss or growl, and maybe take a "back off" swat or two. She will get over it in time. To a degree. They may not become friends. Or they might. Seems like they are doing well and willing to be close at times, and its just once in a while that the big one has had enough.

Fine to give her some alone time now and then, but they all have to work it out. Since the kittens are around 5.5 months, its good to watch for behavior changes though. Sometimes the transition to adulthood can bring another round of issues.
 

rubysmama

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Okay, thanks! So it was a good thing if Persia seemed a bit apprehensive after Isabelle whacked her. The kittens are about 5.5 months now.
Sorry, just edited my earlier post. I meant to say "if the kittens aren't scared". Sorry for the confusion.

Can't remember if you've mentioned this before or not. Are the kittens spayed?
 
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WillowMarie

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Sorry, just edited my earlier post. I meant to say "if the kittens aren't scared". Sorry for the confusion.

Can't remember if you've mentioned this before or not. Are the kittens spayed?
Thanks for the correction. The kitties are cautious sometimes if Isabelle seems unhappy, but do not avoid her and still try to approach/interact with her sometimes.

Yes, the kittens were spayed about a month ago.

Thats an interesting version of a growl. Sounded like a deep loud purr almost.

Anyways, sure, thats what big cats do to express displeasure. They hiss or growl, and maybe take a "back off" swat or two. She will get over it in time. To a degree. They may not become friends. Or they might. Seems like they are doing well and willing to be close at times, and its just once in a while that the big one has had enough.

Fine to give her some alone time now and then, but they all have to work it out. Since the kittens are around 5.5 months, its good to watch for behavior changes though. Sometimes the transition to adulthood can bring another round of issues.
Interesting note on her growl. Thank you for confirming things are still normal. Are there any typical behavior changes that are normal for growing kittens their age?

Thank you both for your feedback!
 

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Are there any typical behavior changes that are normal for growing kittens their age?
Kittens may get growled at, but they neither initiate actual fighting nor get attacked with intent to injure. That goes away at some point. So if the kitten decides its an adult now and wants to be assertive, or the big cat decides the kitten is now a threat, that sort of thing. I don't think its super common, but I know you can have new problems at 6 months or so. I had an older cat that started growling at a former kitten turned young adult when it was trying to rough play, and all of sudden that made the young adult cat want to for-real fight.
 
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WillowMarie

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Kittens may get growled at, but they neither initiate actual fighting nor get attacked with intent to injure. That goes away at some point. So if the kitten decides its an adult now and wants to be assertive, or the big cat decides the kitten is now a threat, that sort of thing. I don't think its super common, but I know you can have new problems at 6 months or so. I had an older cat that started growling at a former kitten turned young adult when it was trying to rough play, and all of sudden that made the young adult cat want to for-real fight.
Something to look forward to :ohwell:... thanks for the heads up. Hope it continues to go well. Guess time will tell. Luckily, neither of the kittens try to play with Isabelle. They are more likely to try to cuddle or rub against her affectionately, haha.

Took another video today. Sorry about the crappy quality. Persia was on my lap when Isabelle came over for cuddles. Isabelle growled and appeared to lightly bite Persia a couple times, but ended up laying down right next to Persia. (My arm may have been in between them at first, but moved later and they were touching.) After a half hour or more, Isabelle shifted and started licking Persia. This is were the video starts. I swear it sounded like intermittent growling from Isabelle, but the way the sound recorded on the video sounds more like deep purring. Wondering if the sound distorted in the last video, too, as I really hear what ArtNJ may have heard in the other video that sounded like deep purring. Isabelle seemed relaxed enough as she got up and walked calmly off the couch at the end of the video.

Later, Persia was on my lap again and Isabelle came over. Isabelle maybe growled a tiny bit, but climbed on my lap more calmly and proceeded to sit her butt right on top of Persia. Isabelle seemed to be, oh well, don't care ft my butt is on Persia, momma's petting me and I'm happy. haha, it was cute and very unexpected. Persia decided she may not have wanted to be sat on and very, very carefully and slowly slide out from under Isabelle, slithering almost like a snake. No growling from Isabelle, although Persia was extremely careful, so either Isabelle was fine with it or barely felt it.

 
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WillowMarie

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Things are going well. More times of tolerating the kittens, and being okay for a while if a kitten slowly inches into Isabelle's space while she is napping (as you can see from the below pictures, Persia's main goal in life is to touch Isabelle while they are napping near each other, haha, she is very persistent). Isabelle is getting more bold, and will defend her space a bit more, like whack the kittens if they get too close to her on the couch, instead of Isabelle leaving and growling along the way. She chased one of the kittens off the bed when they jumped up, but another night all three were sleeping on me in bed and Isabelle was okay with it.

Despite Isabelle advocating for herself more, there are times the kittens get close/in her face and she tolerates if for a little. Katrina jumped up on the couch where Isabelle was napping and stuck her face in Isabelle's face to touch noses. Then Katrina jumped off the couch. Isabelle only huffed once when Katrina was turning to jump down, and there was no growling, and Isabelle went back to sleep.

It may be a good sign Isabelle is advocating more because she seems to be more confident.


I bought a chip feeder while it was on sale to try. Hoping it does not cause added aggression or stress in Isabelle since she will not be able to get to the food... She has an extremely strong sense of smell. She has gained weight since the kitties came, maybe the changes in food or because all kitties were free feeding their wet meals morning and night, so Isabelle may be eating a larger portion than before. On days when kittens get kitten specific instead of all life stages, I try to monitor that they are only eating from their proper plate. I've cut back Isabelle's dry food immensely. She went from about 90 pieces of dry a couple months ago to 30 this past week, but still maintained her weight from the week before, haha. She is normally kept at 10 lbs., but she is at 10 lbs. and 10 ounces right now.

It has been a struggle to get Katrina to eat her wet. She is the least interested. I've been trying freeze-dried treats crumbled on top and just bought some friskies chunky style to add to the pate rotation, since they seem to like chunks better. Unfortunately, all the chunk food I have is adult only, so I try to mix some with the kitten food or the all life stages, which is all pate. (Waiting for more sales to buy some more chunky varieties in all life stages). Sometimes when it is mixed Katrina is only partially interested, and when I put the chunky food on top of the pate, she only eats the top, haha. Before while feeding the adult chunky without mix ins, both kittens ate the food in one sitting, and still ate dry when I offered it right after they are done. So it's not that they are not hungry, they just do not like the pates I have as much right now.

At the end of the two hours that the wet food is left out, any leftover I push dry kitten food in until the kitties eat most of the wet food. Katrina gets very excited about this. Then they are offered unlimited dry. May need to start mixing the dry food together at the start of the wet food offering for Katrina. Katrina did not gain as much weight as she normally does this week, which is interesting since I've been off school since Wednesday and was able to offer the kittens their dry food every 2 hours on the dot. It might be because she has been eating less wet, and since the wet food is offered for 2 hours straight, this is extra time she is not eating as much since she just isn't as interested in it. The chip feeder should be coming in the next day or two, so if Katrina is still gaining less weight than she has the past couple of months after having free access to dry this week and after adding dry food to her portion of wet, I'll need to check in with my vet.


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