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Cat stopped liking me?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Suzanh, Mar 3, 2017.


  1. Suzanh

    Suzanh PetForums Newbie

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    My cat is a female, 7 years old and from the very first day I got her when she was 4months old we bonded. She used to come to my bed every night and cuddle up and sleep with me, come say hello when I came home from school and have random bursts of affection. The thing to note here is that she has aggression problems and used to attack severely when she got over stimulated and always had general behavioral issues but over those 7 years I learnt the signs and always knew when to stop/clam her down etc. About 2 months ago we got a new kitten and she is pretty much used to it now although she is aggressive from time to time when it gets too close and bites it's neck/ claws at it etc, but she stops before it gets too severe. Ever since we got the kitten however, she has stopped liking me and never, absolutely never comes to me anymore,hisses and growls at me which she has NEVER done in her life before and gets irritated at the smallest things, such as petting her at the wrong time which causes her to lash out. Overall she and the kitten are used to each other, apart from the occasional bite from her however everyday she likes me less and less?? I don't know if it's a jealousy issue but I always make sure to feed her first/ larger portions, pet her first ( but she tends to lash out) and etc she has become more agressive and when I try to pick her up like before, she jumps from my hands as soon as she can, not wanting me to touch her? Why is she like this and how can I reverse our relationship?
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Suzanh -

    Hi and welcome. :)

    I am afraid the only certain way to reverse things would be to rehome your kitten, so your older cat goes back to being your only cat. You probably don't want to rehome your kitten so therefore you will have to accept the price for keeping the kitten is that your relationship with your older cat is changed as a result and you and she may never be as close again. It is very sad but that's the way things go sometimes when you bring in another cat or kitten.

    But it sounds as though you may have rushed the introduction of the new kitten to your older cat instead of taking plenty of time over it. Your older cat may appear to have accepted the kitten, but the fact is she is showing the signs of being stressed by the kitten's presence in her territory. You say she bites the kitten's neck and claws at it, which sounds like aggression, not like play. Thank goodness she has not harmed the little one! :(

    Your cat is angry with you for bringing a kitten into her territory. She has been an only cat for 7 years and evidently she liked things that way. Lots of cats are happy to live as single cats and do not want another cat in their territory. Cats are very protective of their resources and do not naturally share them with other cats (other than a mother cat with her kittens).

    What you should have done is keep the kitten separate in a safe room of her own and make very slow introductions going at a pace that suited your older cat. It may have taken weeks or even months but slow introductions were your best chance of getting your cat to accept the kitten. You could try going back to square one and starting all over again with the intros but I fear it is too late now as you have had the kitten for 2 months.

    The only thing you can do to try and make your older cat a bit happier is to give her time in her home without the kitten constantly in her space. By this I mean separate the two cats for periods of the day (especially if you are out), giving the kitten a room of her own with all her things, toys, food etc. You will then need to split your time between both cats so neither of them feels neglected. It will take a lot of your time keeping them both happy and entertained, and as I imagine you are busy studying for school you probably do not have a lot of spare time.

    The other thing is cats value their resources a lot so you must increase the resources you provide for the cats. You should provide at least 3 litter boxes, preferably 4. They should be spread around the home, not grouped together. If they are covered trays, please remove the door flaps, so the cats can see out when they use them. This matters.

    Never feed the cats near each other. They must have their own feeding stations in separate rooms, or at least 10 feet apart and at different heights (one on the floor, one on a worktop or table). Never allow them to eat from each others bowls.

    Provide several tall cat trees, so there is space up high for your older cat to be away from the kitten.

    3 or 4 bowls of water spread around the home.

    Lots of cat scratch posts and pads, several to every room. Different textures - sisal, cardboard, wood.

    Lots of cat beds, off the floor, so the cats can swap round where they sleep when they choose.

    If the older cat used to sleep on your bed at night you must respect this, and only older cat must be allowed on your bed. Your kitten must be settled in another room at night, with all she needs.

    Basically your older cat needs masses of reassurance that she is not losing her resources to the kitten. Try and understand how she feels, and why she is angry and upset. If a strange person moved into your house and started using all your things without even asking your permission you'd be pretty ticked off wouldn't you? So that's how your cat feels about the kitten. :(
     
    #2 chillminx, Mar 3, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  3. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    In addition to Chillminxs excellent advice cats have a very good sense of smell. It is likely that you have kittens scent on your hands and clothing which will be triggering a negative response from your older girl as she associated the scent with the kitten which she dislikes.

    It may he worth trying the introduction process again from scratch to see if a slower introduction helps.

    I lived for 15 years with two cats who hated the sight and smell of each other and had to be kept in separate parts of the house at all times. If I went to cuddle my girl cat after petting the boy then she would be very unhappy and hiss at me. Washing my hands and changing my top meant she was all cuddly and friendly again.
     
  4. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    In addition to the above, please take her to the vet. Stress can make cats sick. Especially causing urinary tract and bladder issues. Bring her in get a check up, have the vet do blood work and take a urine sample. Make sure she is not in any pain.

    We had a thread in here a year or so ago where the male cat hated the new kitten so much, after a few months they at first decided to rehome the kitten. While they were waiting to find a home for the kitten, suddenly things changed and the resident cat and the kitten became friends, and all was well. It took quite a long time I believe. Does anyone remember that thread?
     
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  5. Suzanh

    Suzanh PetForums Newbie

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    Rehoming the kitten absolutely isn't an option which has got me really worried that our relationship may never mend :/ I'm afraid I broke some cat rules as I didn't know and I let the younger kitten sleep on my bed in front of her; fed them right next to each other and punished my older cat if she tried to attack the kitten. Do you know any other tips on how to get my cat to forgive/ like me again?
     
  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    What do you mean by punished?

    Don't force yourself on her. Start doing things the way you have been advised, treat her only with kindess, and let her adapt in her own time.

    And take her to the vet, get her urine checked and bloodwork to make sure she isn't ill.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Suzanh - I am very sad indeed to hear you punished your older cat for what was perfectly normal and understandable behaviour. :( I am hoping you were not mean to her because that would be unforgiveable, and you sound like a good person.

    You must now put in the work to making things up to your older cat. Your cat has lost her trust in you, she feels let down, so you must ask her forgiveness and, with masses of patience and good will, set about gradually rebuilding your relationship with her.

    It may take time, but eventually I think she will forgive you, as cats, bless their hearts, have a huge capacity for generously forgiving humans.

    A good basis to start from is to always try and see things from your cat's point of view. Be patient with her, be kind, and make sure she has her special places in your home respected and protected from invasion by the kitten.

    I'd take her to the vet for a checkup as lorilu advised. All the stress your cat has been through in 2 months may have made her unwell.

    Please let us know how things go, OK? :)
     
    Paddypaws, Babyshoes and lorilu like this.
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