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.

Monday, December 31, 2012

And Now We Are 3: Getting Used to Another Cat

Dear Greyce,

When you last advised me, I was having a heck of a time adjusting to Gracie, the interloper, and I became seriously ill. (See previous entries, Newcomer Hampers Sick Cat's Recovery - April 4, 2011; then Re-integration After Disaster - May 6, 2011).

I'm happy to say that's all behind us now and having another feline in the house has become quite fine.

And then . . . .

IT HAPPENED AGAIN! There is yet another interloper seeing refuge. His name is Spike and he is a stray.

Herself is being more careful in this matter, especially since my health was so impacted the last time. And yet her heart goes to Spike who is used to being outdoors, very much wants shelter and for whom there is no room elsewhere.

He started out in a safe room in our home but disrupted everything by wanting to get out. He meowed and cried non-stop day and night and I found this really upsetting. Herself would play with him but it was never enough! So much for Plan A.

As a compromise, Herself gave him the use of a workshop attached to the garage. He has his own area there and it is heated, furnished with toys and the necessities of life. That was fine with me.

Now he goes outside but for a short while (he's a great hunter) and will either come back when called or when he is hungry. So I guess he knows he has a safe place to stay.

To start getting us used to the idea, Herself has brought a blanket he lies on inside the house for us to smell. We sniff it a lot and then walk away.

About two weeks ago, Spike took a walk outside and stared at us through the front door. Gracie reacted like a lovesick teenager, chirping and flirting. Me, not so much. Just looked.

I have seen Spike a few times through the front door when he is outside. I hissed once when we were almost nose-to-nose through the glass (guess it was a bit too close for my liking). Gracie still behaves like a brazen hussy.

Spike has made it known that he would like to come inside the house. Now when he goes outside, he plays for a short while and then comes to the front door to stare at us. He also looks in the back window (into the kitchen) and cries.

What should we do?

Hoping for an answer,

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cat Fights in the Family: For Buddy the Pressure is TOO Much

Dear Greyce,

I'm afraid our holiday season is not a happy one and we are asking for your help. Simply put, our family has fallen apart!

Let me start at the beginning.

About four years ago we settled into a household as a family, that family being Patches (a charming female) who was already an adult and moi, Buddy, just nine weeks old; we live with Herself. Patches is the relaxed and friendly one and I am the more nervous (but friendly) one. And we bonded well.

Three months ago things changed, with the arrival of a new kitten called Max. He started off in a spare room and then was gradually introduced to us. We put up with him.

And then . . . all hell broke loose.

Patches went to the vet to get her teeth cleaned. Upon her return she smelled different. Herself kept Patches in a separate room to adjust to being home. We had a little scuffle. I should mention that on two other occasions many years ago, when Patches came home smelling different I had the same reaction. But after we were separated for a day or so, things got back to normal. Not so this time.

I was sent to the basement (my favourite hang out).  About 10 days after the scuffle, I howled to be let up
but as soon as I saw Patches I attacked her. Back to the basement for me. Another two weeks, another incident (even worse, but I'll spare you the details).

We have been eating on either side of a door that is open a tiny bit. We are fine until we finish our meals. Then I get an angry look on my face and Herself has to close the door.

So all in all, I see my former best friend as my enemy. I think the pressure of the new guy, Max, plus Patches dentistry-at-the-vet smell has been too much for me to bear.

I have been examined by the vet and pronounced healthy. I'm on a food supplement to relax me; it is called Zylcene and is made from a milk protein. And there are four Feliway diffusers at different locations in the house. We have three cats trees and lots of toys. Herself believes she has everything dealt with, in terms of anxiety-reduction measures.

So here is the current situation: Patches and Max are now a tight twosome. They get one area and I get another and then we swap daily  on a time-share basis. I'm okay with Max as well although he makes me a little nervous (being an energetic kitten).

Herself thinks she has broken up our happy family and is beside herself with guilt.

How to we get to be a real family again?

Anxious and anxiously awaiting your reply,