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Territorial insecurity in multi cat households, and the show, "My Cat From Hell".

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by yoohoora, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. yoohoora

    yoohoora Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    112
    18
    Oct 16, 2014
    Canada
    I've been watching "My Cat From Hell" episodes, and the cat behaviorist on that show keeps talking about how creating vertical space for your cats can save a lot of dysfunctional cat relationships and create peace.  It seems that a lot of issues cats have revolve around territorial insecurity.  Cats need territory they can claim ownership of.  If they don't have that, they will act out. (Fights, inappropriate elimination, biting, scratching, etc.) 

    As some of you know, I have a very rambunctious 6 month old male kitten who is deaf, and a 14 year old female cat with hyperthyroidism.  They squabble a lot, which is stressful in a one bedroom apartment.  The kitten stalks the female all the time, and she runs and hides, which triggers his predatory response even more.  (I can just hear her saying, "I'm too old for this @$&%." hehe)

    I'm pretty sure my female has low self esteem. (At least she's not under the bed all the time now.)  I think both cats are territorially insecure. I need to create vertical space for them to both claim ownership of.  So, I'm going to put up cat shelves that they can lounge on and feel superior.  hehe.  I wish I could do a full cat superhighway, but i don't have the space. 

    I'm also trying to engage them both in play more.  I've been told this can divert aggression when you have cat fights.  Exhaust them and get the predatory response out with toys so they don't beat up each other.  It's a huge time commitment for me, but it's worth it. They have lots of toys, but they prefer direct interaction with me.  (The female's stopped playing actually, since the kitten arrived.)

    I did introduce them properly, and have lots of toys, two beds, two litterboxes in different rooms, scratching posts (vertical and horizontal), and food and water bowls in separate locations. I also invested in a cat condo and a cat tree. I have cat pheromone diffusers around the apartment, too.  Despite this, the kitten is relentless and my female is very harried and stressed out.  We do have moments of peace now, so, I'm hopeful that they will learn to tolerate each other.  I guess I need to create more escape routes for my female, and that means going up.

    I highly recommend the show, "My Cat From Hell".  You can watch episodes on Youtube if you don't have Animal Planet. 

    I'd like to hear any success stories from creating vertical space.  How have you dealt with territorial insecurity and low self esteem issues in multicat households?  And has anyone else watched, "My Cat From Hell?" 


     
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014

  2. yoohoora

    yoohoora Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

    112
    18
    Oct 16, 2014
    Canada
    I've spent so much money on the cat tree and condo and other tools to get these kitties to get along, that I don't have a lot of cash left over for shelves.  So, I'm going to do an Ikea hack on wall shelves and make them cat friendly.  I can't find a distributor for cat shelves in Ontario that's not ridiculously expensive.  And US distributors charge a lot in delivery fees up to Canada.  I think the Ikea hack is the best way to handle it.  Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014

  3. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

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    5,719
    Feb 13, 2003
    Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
    Ikea shelves should be fine if securely attached. Our shelter has open-sided wooden bookcases from Ikea (secured to the walls on both sides with screws) in the cat rooms, with blankets on each shelf. Most of the cats actually prefer them to the cat trees. A chair or low-to-medium-sized cat tree beside a bookcase allows easy access.
     
    yoohoora purraised this.

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