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socialising young cat

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by AnnC, Jun 4, 2017.


  1. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    As some of you will know I jumped in with both feet where angels fear to tread as such I got ripped off financially. But I have a beautiful you Domestic Long Hair cat who I've called Cali. She's evidently never socialised with other cats though possibly has had issues with dogs and turns into a spitting cobra going out on the offensive if she sees my dogs or two cats. Is there any simple ways to desensitise her a little?
     
  2. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    How old is she, how long have you had her and are you allowing them all to mingle or is she kept separate?
     
  3. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    okay answers in order. Had 1 week bought as Norwegian Forest cat straight on the rebound of having to have my British Blue boy Pt's the previous day. Let's just say I want thinking very clearly. Result she'd not as claimed she'd domestic long hair. Tried introductions to two other cats in house & in large cat house she goes on the offensive hissing spitting and generally ready to fight her corner with no provocation other than presence. Other two steer well clear. I put her out with others all day she stayed out in pen other two in sleeping cabin.
     
  4. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Agreed with @Charity lets have a few more details, gives us a clearer picture.

    As much about Cali as you know.
    As much about your own cats, sex age indoor outdoor etc
    Also your dogs breeds, temperament etc.

    I have a multi pet home, dogs cats arriving all different times and ages, it is possible where they can all learn to live together beit best friends or just to tolerate.
     
  5. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    okay dogs border collies I can totally understand her issues regarding dogs having been taken from an inner city local authority 1 bedroom 1 reception room 3rd floor flat with I believe two adult bull dogs plus two home bred bull dog puppies. The story I was told was that the dogs were attacked on their walk and they now had issues with all cats and as such it was extremely difficult to keep them all apart. Even the puppies were "nippy" with her. Thats why the lady needed her to move on asap. The pups were being kept in the kitchen which was very small. As far as I know she's not been socialised with other cats. My other two cats are a Tonkinese and a Domestic short hair. The Tonk is 11 the DSH is 2. If anybody was going to have a fit of the vapours it would have the Tonk. They didn't get the chance. The first day they met Cali came out onto the landing as they came upstairs on the offensive. The DSH reaction was to leg it back downstairs asap in and to hunch up hair bristling ready to fight. kitty the DSH was a rescue found abandoned at no more than 6 weeks. Both cats castrated and well socialised with each other. With regards to dogs she spits and swears at the sight of them.
     
    #5 AnnC, Jun 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  6. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    From what you have described of her previous home, I think its totally irresponsible of the previous owner to just rehome Cali to what is basically a similar environment, just to get rid. Don't take this the wrong way, all I mean is, with more dogs having already had bad experiences with them, plus with cats when she's not used to them, frankly what she actually needs is a home where she is the only pet so she can relax and not feel threatened. However, the situation is as it is so all you can do is try and make things as good as they can be for all your pets, however, that may never happen. I say that having had a cat myself who didn't get on with my other two resident cats and, after three months of trying hard to resolve things, we had to rehome her where she could be an only cat.

    Personally, I never agree to introducing animals from day one although I know some people do. Both Cali and the residents need time to get used to the fact there are other animals in their space, by smell more than anything else. Cali not only has a completely new environment and owner to get used to but also four other pets, which is very unsettling and traumatic for her at the moment.

    This may not be easy and it may not work at all but I think you need to go back to square one and put her in a room on her own for a week to allow her to settle, relax and be aware of the others but not having the challenge of meeting them and there being hostilities. I have always done this with new cats and, after a week I put up a trellis across the doorway so they can see and sniff each other but are safe from possibly attacking one another. After a few days they are allowed to mingle but not left totally alone until they feel comfortable together, and, fingers crossed, although they may hiss or avoid each other for a day or two, they learn to accept each other and live together quite happily.
     
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  7. bluecordelia

    bluecordelia Footy

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    I would let your new cat settle in alone in a closed room
    Your other 2 will know she is there and hopefully settle too. Maybe a wire screen on the door (I know this isn't easy) after a week so they can eye each other up. Try then bribery if feeding i.e. Dreamies at the screen so they associate good things with each other
     
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  8. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    I am in agreement with @Charity you have Cali now so only way is forward, you obviously want to help all your pets as I'm sure your house is very tense right now.

    Pop Cali in a room all to her self, where she can settle down be less on alert.

    Scent swapping is vital here, swap blankets between Cali the cats the dogs so everyone smells everyone, eventually everyone smells the same! I would purchase a calmer plug in for cats. Do as charity has said and allow introductions very slowly, it may seem irritating but if you get things right initially you may have a contented cat dog house hold.

    Concerning the dogs, how much control do you have? Not once are they allowed to stare or move towards Cali even if its in play, easier to train dogs than it is cats. The cat must not feel threatened once.


    My terrier wanted to kill my cat! It took one whole month with cat upstairs behind a baby gate, dog on lead down stairs, terrier on a lead was taken up stairs throughout the day to just look for a spilt second and away, viewing times extended as days passed and dog was calmer and rather bored by my cat in the end, we progressed to dog on a lead walking through the room. My cat knew we were in control of this lunatic dog so did not feel threatened.

    11 years on my cat Loulou can stare the terrier out!

    Put the effort in now, you won't regret it.


    Good luck and let's have a photo of Cali
     
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  9. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Agree with all of the posters above,Cali needs to be given her own "room" with intro's done very slowly.
    Poor girl has been to hell and back so will take a long time to feel safe in this new,strange environment with humans and animals she doesn't know.
    From what I remember from your earlier posts she wasn't spayed when you bought her,if this hasn't been done yet then I suggest before even thinking of introducing her to the rest of the household you need to have her neutered.
    Being an entire female her hormones will be all over the place which certainly wont help her to settle in with the rest of your animals and may possibly cause even more resentment from your animals towards her.
     
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  10. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    well as regards previous owners they were scammers and I fell into it so the chances of responsibility are probably similar to terrorist groups apologising for their attacks!! I've been discussing the situation with another cat owner on here who's involved in rescue and our thoughts are going down similar lines and the more I think about it the more I suspect greater issues. I'm planning on this week getting her sorted out with vacs spaying etc. She is advertised for rehoming as I have serious reservations about her being able to cope with other animals. I've stipulated no other cats and no dogs. I saw that it was to much for her and my other cats who are generally very chilled but who were just so shocked as was I on this cats level of aggression which I recognise as a reflection of her anxiety. They are being kept apart but being swapped between house and cat house in the garden so sharing toilet trays beds etc, lots of scent swapping going on. Lots of dog scent on me being transferred onto Cali and general surroundings.

    It's evident she's never experienced climbing on activity centre and moving around on different levels. At least she is getting some quality of life atm. I also suspect she's not had a lot of mental stimulation either as all she seemed to do was sleep in the house outside there's so much going on and food spread about the house to encourage climbing which will help her coordination, balance and muscle development as well as doing her a world of good being outside.

    When she's away from other animals she's a really sweet little cat who's just so gentle and loving. There is a part of me having now got through some of the stress from last weekend that would really like to keep her. But when you see her in fighting mode she's a totally different cat.
    We have some time to see how she develops and settles while I'm sorting her out health wise and if she improves and settles that'll be a bonus. But one thing is certain I cant go on for months and months with my home being a battle zone with a whirling dervish setting about every other animal in the place. Also there's only so long that its fair to put her through that. She is slightly calmer and more accepting of the dogs presence as she can see them moving around the garden but now realises they cant get to her. But I think with all she's gone through its unlikely she's ever going to like dogs. I also suspect that there are more revelations to come yet.
     
    #10 AnnC, Jun 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  11. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Think it's wonderful you have taken Cali on & got her out.

    I believe your right, I think it's best for her to be rehomed where she is the sole pet within a calm quiet home.
    Let's hope it's sooner rather than later, I think poor Cali has had enough disruption in her short life so far.
     
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  12. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    I agree and its sad that she has to go to another home. Im hoping I can rehome her directly to another home rather than rescue centre. If she was on a website for rehoming groups I dont think she would be around long as shes so pretty and affectionate on her own. Now she's had a bath her colours are so bright and her coats in good condition.
     

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  13. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    She's lovely, its such a shame when you meant well by adopting her.
     
  14. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    Well life only comes with two written guarantee's birth and death.
    For everything else you have to rely on luck and good fortune and they're fickle friends.
     
  15. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    Well I think we have made some progress this weekend. Firstly the other two cats have been in for 48 hours as they'd been out whilst Cali settled Given that she was literally having a hissy fit if she so much as saw the dogs, that seems to be resolved. This morning went up to cat house to feed before going out to vets [I know not the brightest idea ever, it'll come out one end or the other] any way she was sat on the shelf eating her breakfast watching with detached interest whilst one of my dogs was in front of the wire. Even when he stood on hind legs to look in she didn't raise any objections at all. If you didn't know better you'd have thought this always happened. When she was in the open mesh wire cat carrier I brought the other two and whilst they were understandably wary and she growled a little it was nothing like as bad as it would have been. She obviously felt secure in the basket and the other two felt secure enough to be in the same place with her. Giant leaps for cat kind I think!! If my guts didnt feel like somebody was dancing the fandango on them [tummy bug] I would say this called for Champagne but right now squash seems a little challenging.
     
  16. Franlow

    Franlow Guest

    I lost a 12 year old outdoor cat to cancer early August last year, she was an ex farm cat & terrified of everyone. Having had her for 12 years, she still licked her nose when inside the house. Whilst she was in the vets, I noticed the most stunning tabby & white DLH in another cage. She was the same age as my cat - 12 & her owners had taken her & her sister to the vets & asked for them to be euthanized - B*******.
    My vet refused, but was finding it hard to rehome her because of her age. Anyway poor Ditto went to the rainbow bridge & a few days later I had to take another cat in for blood tests. I asked about Poppy again & was absolutely horrified, she had been in a cage waiting for a home for 4 months. I decided there & then to take her home. The vet was worried because they said she didn't like other cats. Well, I got her home & her language put my Burmese's to shame & that is a hard thing to do!
    She decided she lived upstairs on the landing & there was no shifting her. It caused some problems as Lithium & Argentium use the toilet & still do even though Poppy has a litter tray. I spent weeks carrying Lith to & from the loo, past grumbling Pops. I had the feliway etc, nothing made much difference. By November I was almost thinking of giving up, but decided to put her out. I was told she was an outdoor cat. I thought it might calm her down, she was absolutely terrified & spent 5 minutes screaming & scratching the front door - I live above shops, so, only have one door :), she came back in so terrified she had wet herself - Poppy clearly was NOT an outdoor cat!
    She eventually decided to come downstairs & decided the sofa was her territory. She wouldn't go out of the living room even at night, so, the litter tray moved in. I finally decided to tackle the mats to her fur & took her to a sympathetic groomer, she was fine whilst there, even with the dogs & came home looking beautiful. On 4th January whilst coming her, she hissed at me. I hissed right back & was absolutely horrified when she attacked my face with her claws missing my eye by a whisker - I still have a scar in my eyebrow. I assumed it was the hissing, but, has noticed before she didn't like having her bum scratched, stroked etc & her tail was rarely if ever up even when happy. I could kick myself now for waiting so long, but, the next day I took her to the vets & explained what had happened. I asked the vet to do some blood tests etc to find out if there was a medical problem. She also did an xray to find she had the worst arthritis in the base of her sine / tail, she had ever seen. Entirely consistent with being kicked. I was so upset that I hadn't spotted it earlier, she really wasn't a stroppy Poppy, but an old lady in pain. She now has Metacam every morning & is a totally different animal. I know it will shorten her life, but, to my mind, rather 1 year in no pain, than 10 years in agony.
    She has settled stunningly. She curls up with Argentium, & whilst her & Lithium will never be best buddies, they just ignore each other.
    I guess what this long winded effort is saying is, get your vet to check there is no medical reason for the aggression whilst she is being spayed.
     
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  17. Franlow

    Franlow Guest

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  18. AnnC

    AnnC PetForums Member

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    Poppy is stunning and what a positive end. Its easy to beat ourselves up for our short comings but you didnt have x-ray vision or mind reading skills[though they'd be seriously useful if we did. Theres a definite change going on, the last few days being out in the cat house has done her the world of good. The resident cats had to come in tonight and came in before Id got Calis side of the door sorted. She met Apollo my Tonk [who incidentally has Burmese in his breeding announced to the world he'd arrived Cali went out and they met face to face but there was no issue at all. Tonight by mistake or intention she again initiated contact and just one little token gesture of a hiss which went unresponded to and she hung around looking like she wanted to join us all on the bed, but not quite ready for it. I've seen enough positives to think with time she is going to make the adjustment and settle so she's now an official resident. She even coped sitting in the vets staring out at strange dogs without a murmur.
     
    #18 AnnC, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
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