NEED HELP!

Llmillerlee

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Hey everyone! My boyfriend and I rescued 3 stray cats. The first two (Redbull and Jager) were rescued pretty close to the same time, then the third (Oberon) about a year after. We have had the cats about 5 years. RedBull and Jager are both female cats with Oberon being the one male and also the biggest cat(all are fixed). Redbull and Jager are pretty good behaviorally with one another with little playful disagreements every once in awhile. The biggest problem we are having is with the little grey cat Jager and the big orange tabby Oberon. They can not be in the same room with each other without Jager running and hiding in fear. They have been separated and reintroduced with each other by having screen doors in the house to separate them. We have tried feeding them farther away from the screen door and inching the bowls closer to each other. We have also tried to give them plenty of cat highways throughout the house. When we finally took away the screen door it didn’t take long for Jager to go back to hiding under the bed and being scared to death. Oberon does go after her and we do out very best to make sure he doesn’t. We have given him cat downers(advised by the vet) still did not help much so we stopped giving him the medicine. We have bought numerous infusers for the wall for cat behavior and they are constantly going. We just recently put a bell on Oberon so Jager could hear him coming. We have had the conversation as to if that is just making Jager hide more because he connects the bell with him and that induces the fear. We are at a stand still point on what to do because we feel if we take it off of him he will just sneak up on her. She has been hiding in our bedroom under the bed or up on a dresser in our room. He will lay on he bed and wait for her to move and chase her. Should we not let any of them hide in the bedroom? Redbull is kind of like the mediator of the situations if she hears Jager she will always run and she what’s going on but that’s all. Should we try to separate them again and try reintroduce them? We have also been trying to play with Oberon to get some of his energy out(Not as much time as we should be). Help guys we need advice!
 

Mamanyt1953

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I'd start by putting that screen door back up so that Jager feels safe. I know it is an inconvenience, but for now, it's necessary. Keep playing with Oberon, but ALSO play with Jager. A good wand toy, such as Da Bird, is the best thing for this. Make sure that Jager gets to catch and "kill" that bird several times in each session. This will actually build up her confidence so that she doesn't seem so much like prey to Oberon. And DO NOT RUSH THIS! It's going to take weeks, possibly months, for this to work.
 
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Llmillerlee

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Okay thank you much for the advice. Just to follow up on your advice, would we play with each cat individually or in front of the door so that they can see each other? Should we completely separate them in different rooms before putting up the screen door or just go straight to the screen door? Would it be wise to take the collar off of Oberon? Should we worry about territorial issues with one cat having a certain room? Should Jager be free to run most of the house(such as the living room) and Oberon being contained in one certain room? Where should i contain each cat? Should we rotate them? Thank you so much for your help!
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Not sure what has been going on since you first posted, but I think you should take a look at the TCS article about Introductions, as well as a few other ones that might be beneficial. This has been going on a long time from the sounds of it, and I think it is time to start working with Oberon so that he learns he cannot attack Jager all the time. And, to work with Jager so she is not in constant fear of him.

Location swapping - yes rotation - is part of the process - meaning that in the proper time, Jager should have time to spend in other parts of the house without the presence of Oberon. You need to work on building up Jager's confidence so that she is not cowering under a bed all the time. See if these articles can help - especially about behavior and timid cats - devise a plan, and then ask questions from there.
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat
Why Do Cats…? A Guide To Understanding Feline Behavior
Cat Behavior Problems [What to do and what not to do]
How To Set Healthy Boundaries For Your Cat

I am just curious - why after all these years are you now trying to resolve a long standing issue?
 

calicosrspecial

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Okay thank you much for the advice. Just to follow up on your advice, would we play with each cat individually or in front of the door so that they can see each other? Should we completely separate them in different rooms before putting up the screen door or just go straight to the screen door? Would it be wise to take the collar off of Oberon? Should we worry about territorial issues with one cat having a certain room? Should Jager be free to run most of the house(such as the living room) and Oberon being contained in one certain room? Where should i contain each cat? Should we rotate them? Thank you so much for your help!
Hi,

I have more time nowadays so I am happy to help.

I have a belief that I think are important.

Confidence - A confident cat is less likely to attack or be attacked. So I think we need to really work on Jager's confidence. We will do this through Play, Food, Height and Love and also making sure that the interactions (whether with a screen door (preferred) or another way) is as positive as possible.

If a cat is afraid and acts like prey the other cat will seize on that.

For Oberon, I am guessing it is probably driven by the behavior of Jager. But we'll get into more detail as I figure out the situation better.

At this point I would probably keep them separated and do the re-introduction and during this build both of their confidence and to make the situation for both of them as positive as possible. Feeding by the door and trying to make it as positive as possible is best and distract Oberon if you sense there might be some negativity. If we can avoid a negative encounter it is a positive and a confidence builder.

Now I wonder how Oberon will accept being in his "own" territory for a while but let's see how he does.

I do want to address the questions:

"Should we not let any of them hide in the bedroom?" - Well, it depends. IF we can have them totally separated and re-intro'd that will not be an issue. If Oberon will not accept that then we need to allow Jager to "hide" and then distract and encourage Oberon not to be near Jager (using a toy, food, etc) to get him away from Jager.

"We have also been trying to play with Oberon to get some of his energy out(Not as much time as we should be)." - Excellent idea. Helps build confidence, drain energy. AND if he chooses a toy over Jager it is really positive.

"would we play with each cat individually or in front of the door so that they can see each other?" - For now I would play with each separately. Build confidence. If you can use a toy to distract Oberon that would be a great sign.

"Should we completely separate them in different rooms before putting up the screen door or just go straight to the screen door?" - great question. It depends. How do you think Jager would do with the screen door only? Do you think they both would eat at the screen door and with distraction be able to keep it positive? If so, then I would use the screen at this point.If not well then we may have to have then visually separate them but I would like to avoid that at this point. I don;t want this to be negative for Oberon as taking away territory can be difficult for a cat. We'll see how they do.

"Would it be wise to take the collar off of Oberon?" - Does Oberon not like it? IF there is a sound and no negativity follows then it is actually a positive for Jager. But if Oberon doesn't like the bell then I would remove it.

"Should we worry about territorial issues with one cat having a certain room?" - We can deal with that with confidence building, scent swapping, eventually sight swapping, etc. I don't think this is an issue I would worry too much about right now.

"Should Jager be free to run most of the house(such as the living room) and Oberon being contained in one certain room?" - Yes if at all possible. Again, we will see how they do and adjust as needed but that is what I would suggest. And make sure Oberon views it as positive. So play with him, give treats after play, give him a cat tree, warm and comfy bedding, scratching post, his own litter boxes, things to own. And give him a lot of love (if you can safely) and attention. I am guessing he will get restless but again we'll have to deal with it.

"Where should i contain each cat?" - Wherever they feel most confident. I am guessing where Oberon has been most in the past and let Jager be in the rest of the territory as that is where she was before Oberon.

"Should we rotate them?" - At this point ideally no. But we will at some point in the future.

The resident/existing cats are usually the ones that have the most difficult transition as it is "their" territory being "invaded". So that is why we do the intro and make positive associations, maximize positive encounters, minimize negative encounters and build confidence.

I think we can figure this out. The fact Oberon hasn't really hurt Jager yet gives me a lot of confidence we can fix this. It will take some time and effort but I think we can get there.

Please share any details about their relationship you can and ask any questions about the above advice. We'll probably have to adjust the plan but we'll see what works, what doesn't and adjust as needed.
 

calicosrspecial

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Okay thank you much for the advice. Just to follow up on your advice, would we play with each cat individually or in front of the door so that they can see each other? Should we completely separate them in different rooms before putting up the screen door or just go straight to the screen door? Would it be wise to take the collar off of Oberon? Should we worry about territorial issues with one cat having a certain room? Should Jager be free to run most of the house(such as the living room) and Oberon being contained in one certain room? Where should i contain each cat? Should we rotate them? Thank you so much for your help!
Hi,

Just wanted to check in and see if any of the advice has been helpful.

Please let us know how we can help.
 

danteshuman

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This might be odd advice but can you adopt a male 6 month -same age old kitty With the same temperament as Oberon? After raising the kittens & watching them I’m even more convinced that sometimes boys just need to ‘beat each other up’/play with other boys. Jackie and Nick need to be with each other to wrestle/play fight or they become terrors! Whereas their sister just doesn’t want to play rough! They need it enough that Jackie takes a drive every weekend to spend a day or two at Nana’s house until I can get his brother declared a ESA (so Mick can move in.) They love to fight but they also love each other as you can see by the pictures.

That said I had a hyper bully cat (DAnte) & a calm male cat named Salem. Whenever Dante got bored he hunted his brother, pounced him & bit him right between the shoulder blades! Which caused poor Salem to seek safety near me. What worked was giving my punk outside time, giving Salem a safe place (by me) & building up the victim cat’s confidience with 1 on 1 play (I had to lick my toy hogging bully out to accomplish this.)

Matching the temperament is vital. My bully Dante was frenemies with Salem but buddies up to reformed feral Chester. Jackie my hyper punk adores his brother (who is calmer but loves to rough house with his brother) & he buddies up to the reformed feral ..... while being a jerk to the calm wussy senior cat Salem. ⭐Salem (the grumpy old man) is living out his retirement at my mom’s (he didn’t want to move!)

Good luck!
 

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