SOS cat relationship problems!

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by nataly, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. calicosrspecial

    calicosrspecial TCS Member Super Cat

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    Mar 14, 2016
    I LOVE that the cats had their tails straight up!! CONFIDENCE!!

    Varda was being a cat. We play with a cat to replicate what they love to do in the wild. Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat. We use a toy then feed. Varda had her confidence and said "let's do what a cat loves to do". They can't resist. PLEASE try not to be too hard on Varda. She is just doing what is instinctive to her. She is a healthy and confident cat. That is a positive. Even though I know it is really gross. My ferals are always bringing me "gifts".

    I LOVE that Freiya went into Varda's territory (even cautiously) and that even Amie ventured into Varda's territory. And even better there was no threat!! Even a little time is helpful!! Anything that is positive is a positive. It is always on the cat's terms, their timing.

    It is ok that Varda saw Amie. I would stil like them not to see yet and only be introduced by scent but the result was Varda hissing then going away. I would say that was pretty positive. NO real aggression. A POSITIVE.

    I think you are making progress!! I am encouraged by what I have read here.

    I like that the cats went high in the world (shows more confidence). Then resumed normal behavior. PROGRESS!!

    We just have to keep taking it slow, associating the cats with good things. Try to limit sight for now. Let me know how they are acting. In time we will allow more sight while associating with positive things (like food and play).

    I think you are doing a great job!! Please keep up the great work, build upon the positives. Keep building their confidence through play, food, height and love. The more confident they are the more likely they will get along.

    I think you are doing a great job. Your cats went through a lot so it is normal that they need some time. Let's keep up the good work and please keep me up on how things are going and how they are acting.
     
  2. Nataly1

    Nataly1 TCS Member Kitten

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    May 17, 2017
    Huge Hello to you!
    Our accomplishments are not only humble but doubtful as well...Varda is peeking as much as possible...Freiya and Amie with inquiring expressions on their faces are also scanning the space on the other side of the openable door. As a result they once found themselves in front of each other when i wanted to feed them and...hissing came...from both sides. Freiya later leaked through thee slit of a non-tightly shut door (i'm walking there and back again from time to time) and ventured forth with a scouting action - Varda sniffed her - didnt show any agression, and Freiya sat out of agitation and..nothing happened. But amie - just to be sure - retreated back, upstairs, to the safe place, almost under the ceiling...Honestly, i am in difficulties... 5months have passed from december (with my mistakes) and the positions still remain unbalanced. I do not see an obvious and safe Amie's behaviour, and Varda is only interested in her. A groudhog day we got here...
    I am awaiting for your conclusions, evaluation and, of course your support...Outsider's reactions piss me off: "You better hand her over to someone." etc.
     
  3. calicosrspecial

    calicosrspecial TCS Member Super Cat

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    Mar 14, 2016
    Hi,

    Well, there are positives in here.

    Freiya and Varda were together and didn't get into a fight? Varda sniffed Freiya and didn't show any aggression? This is great!!

    Now I don't like Amie's hiding. Are you trying to build Amie's confidence? Playing as much as possible with her? Then feeding after?

    How is Amie acting generally? When separated from Varda? The more confident she is the more Varda will accept her. And vice versa.

    So I think we really need to work on Amie's confidence. Play with her as much as possible. Make the toy act like prey, a mouse or a bird. Get her to stalk it, pounce on it. Then repeat. After play feed treats or a meal. This should help her confidence. Also, keep feeding on each side of the door. We want to associate Varda with good things (food) and also vice versa.

    Also, let's get Amie's scent on an old shirt and have it where Varda is most comfortable and also where Varda eats. We want to associate Amie's scent with good things and security. We don't want to do the opposite with Amie just yet.

    Introductions can take a while sadly BUT I think you are making progress. There is no doubt in my mind they will get along in time. 5 months for introductions is really not long at all to be honest. They take from 1 month to a year. Varda and Freiya seem to be in good shape. Amie is the key now.

    If you do sense any negative focus try to distract with play or food. We want to make sure any interaction is as positive as possible. When a cat is distracted from focusing on another it builds the confidence of the cat that is being stared at.

    Please try to make every interaction as positive as possible whether through smell or sight. We want to limit any negative encounters (hissing, swatting, chasing etc).

    I think you are doing a great job, hang in there. Let's build Amie's confidence and continue building Varda's.

    Please let me know if you have any questions. This can be done and I know you can do it. keep up the great work.
     
  4. Nataly1

    Nataly1 TCS Member Kitten

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    May 17, 2017
    I am very grateful for your answer, because I am very anxious - the results are minimal. Freiya leaked through the door on her own, started hissing. Varda triend to slap her from behind. Amie, after I installed a partition(with wooden bars) into a doorway became unrest. Varda started hitting the partition. Amie is not making it downstairs even to eat. It is a bit better with Freiya - but it was that way before. Amie has a confused and and anxious look and I am sad about it. Amie was feeling well - she was liying on the carpet, bathed in sunlight, with a look full of interest when the door was closed, went to the door to eat. Varda is feeling confident, tries to break the wooden bars. I when you say, even more that than i do with the perspective of my cat's relationship, that it all gonna happen in this life. You are the only person that inspires me.
     
  5. calicosrspecial

    calicosrspecial TCS Member Super Cat

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    Mar 14, 2016
    Hi,

    Please don't worry, we will figure things out.

    If Amie is anxious we have to do a couple of things. We need to build her confidence up. A confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted. So, please really step up playing with Amie. Really good play, make the toy act like a bird or a mouse. When you play think of how a bird or a mouse would move. Get Amie to stalk it and then pounce on it. We want her to really Hunt, Capture, Kill the toy. Then after a good play session feed treats or a meal. This is the reward and completes the Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat way that cats do in the wild. Also, can you hang a blanket or a sheet over the partition so it will give Amie some peace and allow her to feel more confident. Then try to feed Amie and Freiya on one side of the partition with Varda on the other side. We want them to associate each other with something good (food).

    Also, please give Amie love, give her attention and food and a calm sense of being. We need her to feel confident and secure so she can project that confidence to Varda so Varda will be less confrontational.

    Please also play with Varda to build the confidence. A confident cat is less likely want to attack or be attacked. Cats attack or want to attack because they fear. The more confident they are the less afraid they will be. If they are less afraid they are less likely to attack.

    Also, if you sense a cat is going to be aggressive (hiss, jump into the partition etc) please try to distract with play (a toy) or anything (even a voice - calling the name but not yelling just firm, calm and confident calling of the name). Anytime we can distract and turn a potential negative encounter into a neutral encounter it can build confidence and a feeling of security.

    Also, please try to be as calm and confident around the cats as possible. I know it is hard but please try your best. Cats do take on our emotions so the more confident we are the more they are.

    We have to really work on Amie's confidence and then try to do a visual introduction with Varda again (with the partition in place).

    We really want them to not even think about the other cat or cats. So we want Varda to ignore Amie and Freiya and for Freiya and Amie to ignore Varda (because they know they are not a threat).

    Building confidence through play is incredibly important and I believe the key in getting them along. So please play as much as possible with them and after play feed treats or a meal. And please keep feeding on opposite side of the partition (but with a sheet or a blanket over it blocking the view).

    Hang in there, this does work. Just keep working on it and try to make sure everything you do is the most positive experience for them. So we want them to be as positive as possible when they are around the other cats. Whether it is eating or relaxing. We don't want to have them hissing or throwing themselves at the partition etc. If you do see negative behavior try to distract with play or calling their name. Anything to stop the negative behavior and turn it into something positive or neutral.

    Please ask any questions. I am confident you will get things to work out over time.
     
  6. Nataly1

    Nataly1 TCS Member Kitten

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    May 17, 2017
    Hello! Here's an update on our situation. I decided to take the cats for a walk in the park, all three of them. We didn't do it for about a year. As a result all three cats decided to wait in their bag shelters. When i insisted on taking a walk Freiya tried to climb a tree like her mother (Varda) taught her in her childhood. Amie out of fear charged to Varda's bag, mounted her back and Varda was ok with it (no negative reaction). I made a photo i'll post you later. That's the whole walk. At home everyone took their standard positions. Amie hisses at Varda, Varda hisses at Amie (through the net that divides their territories), Amie refuses to eat in front of Varda ("- Take it to the other room!"), Freiya sneaks into Varda's territory when i cast away the dividing net, lays on the floor in front of her when she has her hormone outbreak. Varda in her turn if she manages to sneak in goes to Amie's room - Amie immediately goes upstairs, Varda peers at her, and under my gaze retreats to her place. What should i do?
     
  7. calicosrspecial

    calicosrspecial TCS Member Super Cat

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    Mar 14, 2016
    We always want to try to make every encounter as positive as possible. So we want to avoid any staring, any stalking, any charging. So if we see one or both cats getting tense then we want to distract with anything that would be a positive. Such as play, or food. We want them to break the focus from the other cat. Then it reduces the tension and stress and builds trust. Are you able to distract them before they get into a negative situation?

    Keep trying to associate the others with good things. So we want to feed them with the other near. Now Amie refuses to eat so we want to then block off sight and see if Amie will eat without seeing Varda (but still being able to smell her). If you have to move the food further from Varda then move as far away to where Amie will eat. Then slowly move the food closer each day (inches).

    We really want to keep them separated if possible because if they are together and a negative encopunter happens it will set us back. We want to have as positive association as possible. Anytime they have an encounter (either by scent or by sight) and it is calm and non-threatening (even if for a short time) it is a positive and builds trust. We want them to trust each other and know that the other cat doesn't want to hurt them.

    It sounds like Freiya and Varda are doing pretty well together. Is that correct?

    And Freiya and Amie do well together. Correct?

    It seems like Amie and Varda are the more difficult. Correct?

    I am surprised that Varda was ok with Amie getting on her during the walk.

    Are they all spayed? Spaying can help in helping them get along.

    I really want to keep Amie and Varda totally separated and to try to distract before they hiss at each other. We want to continue to build their confidence so please keep playing with them and after a good play session feed. Replicate the Hunt, Capture, Kill, Eat instinct. Get an old shirt with Varda's scent on it and have it where Amie eats. And also where she feels more comfortable and confident. See how she reacts to the scent. If she reacts negatively then remove the shirt and let's talk about it. Give them places to go high (on a cat tree, dresser, etc). Also, get Amie's scent on an old shirt and place it where Varda eats and feel confident. We want to associate the other cat's scent with safety and good things and good feelings.

    Don't worry, please ask any questions if you do not understand and I will try to clarify. The main things are to try to build confidence in each cat, to make every encounter as positive as possible, and to associate the other cat (scent and actual cat) with good things and comfortable feelings.
     

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