An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Low Petting Tolerance; Distorted Gait from Declawing: Two Cats Adjust to a New Home

Dear Greyce,

I am an eight-year old female who along with my companion, Spook, have recently been adopted by a new family.

We have been taking it easy getting used to our new home. We are confined to the upstairs for now but have enjoyed some time out on the deck (which is completely enclosed for our safety). There is a Feliway diffuser in the bedroom and in the living room. And Herself sprays a bottle with Rescue Remedy, Walnut and Star of Bethlehem around the house. Spook will let her rub this into his fur but she doesn't dare try it with me.

All is going quite well, though I do have some questions:

1. Is there anything else I should encourage my new purrsons to do, to help us adapt to our new surroundings?

2. How can I learn to tolerate being petted a bit more?

3. What can be done for Spook's gait?

Let me give you the background.

I am very aggressive with strangers because I was traumatized as a kitten by someone associated with my previous home who flicked a BBQ lighter in my face. As a results, strangers and I do NOT mix. Because of this, I was declawed when I was three years old. Still I am wary and will growl if approached by someone I don't know; I have been known to bit. I also don't like people trying to pet me (unless I ask for it) or getting too close.

At my new home the people are very kind. They extend a hand to me when they would like me to approach. For the most part, they don't initiate interaction unless I appear willing; and they stop as soon as I seem the least bit uncomfortable. They also don't make eye contact with me.

Knowing my propensity to growl, they behave in ways that keep me calm. For example, I feel it is a bit too close if I am sitting on the back of the couch and they want to sit down on it. So they slink into their spot and sit quietly, rather than making any fuss.

I am now freely jumping into their laps, especially if invited to do so. But I still don't like being petting much and just prefer being allowed to site. I don't like having my back stroked much and can go ballistic if they pet my face a lot. For me it is best to have limited pets, restricted to my face and between my ears.

Our purrsons have even bough us a toy called Da Bird and I understand we may get more things to play with. This is a BIG deal for us as we did not come to our new home with toys.

Spook has settled in well and has been quite affectionate. He did get noisy at night (coming into the bedroom and jumping around); but they now keep us out at night and he has settled down.
Like me, Spook is declawed. However he has a funny gait, almost a limp. He is a bit chubby, too. Can you suggest anything to help him?


Friday, May 6, 2011

Re-integration After Disaster: Old and Young Cats

Dear Greyce,
I am recovering quite nicely now (see Newcomer Hampers Sick Cat's Recovery 4/4/11) although I have become a picky eater. Themselves have been most kind - keeping that so-called companion (a.k.a.The Pest), Gracie, sequestered. I have my basement retreat all to myself. However rumour has it that Herself has bonded to Gracie and wants to keep her around. And I'm far from impressed. I've taken to hissing when I pass the bedroom door (when she is inside) or at Herself after she has spent time with her. What should I do?
Ready to be distressed again!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Moving Food Bowls & Litter Boxes to Different Locations

Dear Greyce,

Now that we are back to being friends, (see Cat Companions are Back to Being Friends  4/27/11) we need more help. Precisely, how do we return to using our regular food bowls and regular litter boxes, now that we no longer have to time-share space? For some reason, Themselves are not pleased with the thought of permanent installations in the master bedroom.

In the olden days, we used two litter boxes: 1) upstairs in the hallway bathroom and 2) in the main floor bathroom. The first box was moved to the bathroom in the master bedroom when we were time-sharing (since we both needed toilet access at all times). Our litter box on the main floor never moved.

In case you need to know, we have a spare box which is use in rotation, so Themselves have the chance to clean one of our soiled boxes and let it dry without disturbing us too much.
Let us know what you think.

Yoshi and Taro