Screwed Up Cat Intro? Help! They Met after a day!

ArtNJ

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If he has never once hissed at her, I think that is the right call. Not saying its a great situation, but if she is still eating, using the litterbox and not constantly hiding then its a pretty common level of "this cat that scares me a little wants to play" stress.

So the remaining issue is whether there is a realistic way to try and bond with a shy to humans cat undergoing this level of stress. Some of our most knowledgeable and helpful folks chimed in earlier, but I don't know whether any of us have done a lot of work integrating true feral rescues. My one adult rescue, for example, was probably a stray rather than a feral and while she had similar problems adjusting to the resident cat, she took to us quickly. Having a full house to allow true isolation made that much easier. Jcatbird Jcatbird has done some work with feral cats if I recall right, perhaps he can shed more light on this or at least kick this question to the right folks. To summarize, the OP is having trouble bonding with his young rescue cat Luci, who won't allow him to touch her 4 months in. Luci is also having a fairly standard level of stress because Zuko, another young, but much better adjusted rescue, wants to play with her, and it scares her. Luci does not seem to be adjusting quickly to Zuko at all -- Zuko was adopted 2 1/2 months ago. Unfortunately, this is all happening in a studio, and OP didn't have a lot of success isolating using the bathroom (understandable of course). My question is whether for you is whether you have found it possible to bond with a feral rescue in this situation and whether there are any tips you can offer the OP? Or do you think this might just be a non-starter in a studio until the inter-cat relationship improves?
 

Jcatbird

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If he has never once hissed at her, I think that is the right call. Not saying its a great situation, but if she is still eating, using the litterbox and not constantly hiding then its a pretty common level of "this cat that scares me a little wants to play" stress.

So the remaining issue is whether there is a realistic way to try and bond with a shy to humans cat undergoing this level of stress. Some of our most knowledgeable and helpful folks chimed in earlier, but I don't know whether any of us have done a lot of work integrating true feral rescues. My one adult rescue, for example, was probably a stray rather than a feral and while she had similar problems adjusting to the resident cat, she took to us quickly. Having a full house to allow true isolation made that much easier. Jcatbird Jcatbird has done some work with feral cats if I recall right, perhaps he can shed more light on this or at least kick this question to the right folks. To summarize, the OP is having trouble bonding with his young rescue cat Luci, who won't allow him to touch her 4 months in. Luci is also having a fairly standard level of stress because Zuko, another young, but much better adjusted rescue, wants to play with her, and it scares her. Luci does not seem to be adjusting quickly to Zuko at all -- Zuko was adopted 2 1/2 months ago. Unfortunately, this is all happening in a studio, and OP didn't have a lot of success isolating using the bathroom (understandable of course). My question is whether for you is whether you have found it possible to bond with a feral rescue in this situation and whether there are any tips you can offer the OP? Or do you think this might just be a non-starter in a studio until the inter-cat relationship improves?
Wow! I’m so glad I got tagged to come read your thread. I missed it at first because I had to be involved in plumbing issues! So sorry I haven’t been here before. You’ve gotten lots of great help and your instincts are good. I just read your entire thread and I was thinking cage when I saw you got one. It’s a great tool! I hope I can help. It sounds like Zoku doesn’t understand why Luci doesn’t play like the dogs he knew. Luci is intimidated by his desire to play as he would have with a dog. I’ve seen this before. Maybe backing up a little and in a bit different direction might work. You’ve been giving Zuko the private room and the cage. Can you manage to get Luci hereded into the bathroom or cage without actually chasing her? You could shut Zuko up in the cage to try and get her in the bathroom. That would be my first choice. The idea is for you to spend some quiet, alone time with Luci. There are ways to get her to allow contact but it’s going to be hard with Zuko keeping her up high. If she will go in the cage or bathroom for a time you can still work to socialize her. The cage or someplace needs to be a safe haven for her long enough for you to become her rock. I think once she feels you are her protector then she will gain more confidence with Zuko. I don’t think they are going to be in a full fight but I do think the stress is hard on Luci. You are the Alpha in the house but Luci has not had a chance to totally bond with you yet. There is a process for doing that and I think it would really help with her interacting with Zuko. I’m not worried about Zuko. He’s a happy guy even if he needs time being shut away to give Luci some calm time. If you cover the cage and leave the door open, Luci may decide it’s similar to having her own room. She might go in voluntarily. Maybe try putting some cardboard boxes anywhere you can find a spot, including one in the cage. Open part of the box facing up or with an entrance and exit cut into each box. They want to have quick escape if any other creature comes in. Let’s see if we treat Luci like a feral and start fresh if it will help. I think it really could. If she has a stronger position in the household, she may feel she can instruct Zuko in how to treat another cat like a cat instead of a dog. As long as Zuko keeps chasing, she is going to run or swat. Zuko will end up owning all her spots. Calming things down and giving her some respite may leave Zuko wanting his playmate back. If he saw her locked in the bathroom or cage, I think he will do what most cats do, he’ll want you to stop holding her prisoner and have sympathy for her. He may paw to try and help her escape. The pursuit will become a rescue attempt. I think he would probably start to meow for her. Calling her is much different than chasing her to play. It becomes a bond between them everything shifts and in the meantime, there are ways you can be working to have her bond more with you. What do you think? Worth trying? Even if you can’t give her the private space, there are still ways to work on all of this. Just hang in there. You’ve really done very we by both kitties so don’t feel bad. I’ve seen much worse situations work out with kitties. If it would help, I can send you a couple of links to other threads on TCS where we have been supportive of others as they used their instincts and with some tips from us cat lovers here they now have a happy and calm home for everyone. I’ll check back with you.

BTW A ArtNJ You are correct. I do work with ferals. Thank you for tagging me. I hope I can help here.
 
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