Young Cat Continually Pounces on Resident Cat

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TardisDance

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My husband and I have totally stopped with spray bottles now. We were actually finding it more difficult to give Kirby timeouts for pouncing on Sango, because when we would spray him, he’d just totally hide under the couch out of fear and by the time, he’d come out, he probably doesn’t even know why we’re timing him out. I did try to see what he would do if we let things play out - he pounced on Sango 6 times and just wouldn’t stop - she was super stressed out and every time she went some place, he‘d stalk her. Instead, if he tries to pounce her, I just quietly pick him up and put him in a timeout. I saw some sites suggesting that I give a word association, so I’ve been saying “leave it” when I pick him up. Whether it helps or not, I have no idea so far.

Over the past few days, we decided to relocate him to my husband’s home office and are in the process of ordering a larger litter box for him. We had him in one of our bathrooms and it’s been a stressor having 1 less bathroom, plus the space is far too small for him - it’s also close to the furnace and I think it was stressing him out and he wasn’t getting much sleep. He was always crying to be let out. He seems happier in the office so far.
 
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Mamanyt1953

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Keep timeouts short. Cats don't really understand what they are, but they can be useful for a cooling-down period.

Sounds like the office will be a good move!
 
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TardisDance

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Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 the timeouts are 10 minutes currently. Since he was pouncing out on Sango so much, I’ve been keeping the visits short as co-play sessions followed by treats. I really want them to have a good associations with each other before I increase their time together. He’s not really aggressive at all but his kitten energy is a bit much for her. She does seem to want more play time with me (she’s always been a playful cat), so I‘m hoping this will help with introductions. I do a ton of one on one play followed by co-play with both of them.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Ten minutes is great. Enough time for tempers to cool. It takes time. Sometimes LOTS of time, but it's unusual that it doesn't happen.
 
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TardisDance

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Interesting update. I had been doing the timeouts, but Kirby knows what’s coming and he runs under the couch to evade timeouts. My husband has started hissing at him and he will instantly hide after trying to pounce/swat/chase Sango. Today, he didn’t even need to hiss, my husband just gives him a look when Kirby gets his crazy eyes to pounce Sango and he will stop immediately. He even did a soft whine today as if to say, “dad, I didn’t mean it.” And don’t worry, he’s not actually afraid of my husband, Kirby follows him around and everything and loves being pet by him.

I am terrible at hissing, but if I give Kirby “the look” too he will stop.

Another interesting thing I’m seeing - Sango also did a couple play type pounces at Kirby . .she goes to pounce but then stops herself. I think that means she’s getting more comfortable? She’s been a little weird about play time if he’s out. If I play with her, she sometimes will play but then Kirby comes in the room and she gets too uncomfortable and stops. I think it’s because of all his what she perceives as “attacks” on her. I do separate play time when he’s in his room.

At this point, we try to let them out 2-4 hours at a time. It really depends on our work schedules since we both work from home and we can’t always closely supervise them.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Oh, EXCELLENT! There's nothing like a good hiss, is there? I can stop my sassy girl in her tracks with one. They come in the world knowing that a hiss means "STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!" LOL, I secretly think you also get a little street cred for knowing the language!

The semi-play-pounce sounds very encouraging! Seems like Our Girl is starting to feel more comfortable with her new brother!
 
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TardisDance

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Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 thanks for all the encouragement. I really need it! It's been such an emotional rollercoaster doing this cat introduction. I’ve had days wondering if it was never going to work out and questioned if getting Kirby was a mistake.

I‘m so proud of Sango today because she was super playful and just pounced Kirby for real and chased him into a wool cat cave in my office. I think he was shocked she got him and he hid for a good 5 minutes and he’s staying away from her for now. He got a little taste of his own medicine! Sango’s on my lap now resting as I type this.
 
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TardisDance

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And an even better update: Sango and Kirby actually played with each other tonight! They pounced and chased each other equally! It warms my heart so much! I hope it keeps up!
 

Mamanyt1953

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YES! If they have done it once, it will continue! There may be little setbacks along the way yet...they can happen. IF they do, remember that this is all just a part of it! BUT THEY ARE PLAYING!!!!

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TardisDance

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Since I haven’t updated in a while, things are getting much better. The main issue now is that whenever Kirby enters the living room, Sango continually pounces him over and over again. Since the cats aren’t allowed in the bedroom (Sango is only allowed on occasion, never at night, the door is closed), I think it could be territorial thing since that’s where most of our scent is. Or maybe it’s play? It doesn’t resemble an actual fight at all. She rarely swats him, just chases. Sometimes he does pounce her back but not much. He seems to back off when she does this and run under the couch or into another room. If he initiates the pouncing or gets too rough, I hiss to stop any possible bullying coming from him so we don’t have the problems we experienced before. She needs to feel confident.

On the flip side, when there’s food involved, they are super civil to one another. Kirby doesn’t even touch her food until she‘s finished (she mostly eats dry food and will only eat 1 ounce of wet at a time at most) and I have to bring it to his food tray in his room so he has “permission” to eat it. They can also walk around each other in other rooms just fine now. He rarely blocks hallways now by laying down in “attack position.”

Oh, and If she goes to the kitchen to eat dry food, Kirby sometimes follows but mainly to see what’s going on - he doesn’t interrupt her eating and leaves her alone mostly and she’ll continue to eat - just once did she pounce on him when he was on the lower level of the cat tree nearby. I was worried about this type of interaction because she’s weird about us being in the room when she eats her dry food; she leaves if anyone is in the room - she’ll only tolerate it if I get down low or stand far away from her in the hallway - I think it’s one her oddities from being from a hoarder cat background.

It will probably be at least another few months before I will even trust them unsupervised or alone together at night, but I think they are getting there. At least Sango sort of tolerates him.
 
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