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View Full Version : New cat and old cat don't get along ... URGENT HELP NEEDED!


Gregory Bailey
September 16th 05, 06:18 AM
I posted a while back about losing our 14-year-old orange tabby Bartholemew
to cancer. That left us with another 14-year-old cat, Moses, a black
shorthair, who we nearly lost to inflammatory bowel disease earlier this
year but is now doing OK.

Our original plan was not to get another cat until Moses passed. However,
the house seemed empty without a second cat, plus Moses was showing signs of
missing his "brother" and of not liking being alone for the first time in
his life when we were away. So we went to the local humane society and
adopted another cat, a cream colored longhair with some tabby markings who
we named Seymour. They weren't sure but estimated his age at 10 months, so
he's not exactly an adult cat but he's not a kitten either, sort of "in
between." He had already been in a household, had been front declawed and
neutered and had a vet record, but they did not give us any indication as to
why he'd been given up to the humane society.

Seymour is a sweet cat, a little willful and headstrong, but has the makings
of a good pet.

Here is the problem. To say that he and Moses have not gotten along from the
first day they encountered each other is the understatement of the century.

Moses would basically sit there and growl every time Seymour got near him.
Seymour would make some moves toward him that were giving off vibes of "hey,
let's be friends," I don't think there was any aggressiveness or meanness on
his part at first, but when Moses wouldn't really engage him in anything,
just sat there and growled at him, it seemed to make Seymour mad and he'd
start hissing and would jump at Moses and there would be a little tussle and
Moses would run hide.

My wife and I have tried slowly introducing them to each other, like having
them both on the bed at opposite ends and just sitting there petting each of
them and talking to them and trying to "introduce" them, or sitting with
them at opposite ends of the room and trying to do the same thing. There has
been very little progress, though. Again, it seems like Seymour wants to
introduce himself, but Moses' hostile growling makes Seymour mad and then
it's 'round and 'round again.

There has also been a complicating factor. A couple of weeks after we got
Seymour, he developed an upper respiratory infection. That has apparently
been a problem at the humane society, they've lost a lot of cats because of
it. We did a round of amoxycillin and got him over that, he's fine now.
However, despite our best efforts at keeping them apart, about a week after
Seymour got sick, Moses got sick with the same kind of infection. He has
another complicating factor there in that he is on Prednisone every day for
his IBD, which of course lowers his immune system. Moses got way sicker than
Seymour did with the upper respiratory infection. We did one round of
amoxycillin and it wasn't enough, but we're into our second round and it
seems to be making progress, he's much better.

The thing is, while he's been sick, Seymour has been pressing the issue
about trying to get Moses to notice him. And Moses is having nothing of it.
In fact, he basically refuses to engage Seymour, refuses even to look at
him, he's basically just going off and hiding in the tightest places and
staying there all day unless we go in and bring him out, which we're trying
to do. He sits there curled up in a ball, just not even looking at anything.

What's making things worse is that he will not even come out to go to the
litter box, he's defecating and urinating wherever he happens to be and is
literally staying there in it. He won't even come out to eat, it's not that
he won't eat, I'm taking food to him and he's gobbling it down, and as I
said he's showing signs that he is pretty much getting over the upper
respiratory infection although he may very well still not feel well. He just
refuses to come out and risk facing Seymour. It's almost like the cat is
literally petrified with fear. One other thing I need to add that you need
to understand, Moses is a very skittish cat, almost to the point of being
neurotic and paranoid, and he has been since he was a kitten. In other
words, we're not dealing with a normal cat here in a lot of ways, it's been
a lot of work to deal with him for 14 years but it's been worthwhile.

I've figured he's afraid of Seymour, my wife says she thinks he's afraid
we're going to take him off, that he's never gotten over having his
"brother" disappear all of a sudden and a stranger come in a few weeks later
to take his place.

My wife ... and it takes some doing for her to say this, because she's very
soft-hearted when it comes to our cats, she grieved tremendously for
Bartholemew and has really bonded with Seymour ... is ready to take Seymour
back to the humane society, because Moses is basically pooing and peeing
wherever he happens to be hiding (he ruined our two kids' bed pillows
tonight) and is ruining stuff and she says she can't take it anymore, even
though she feels that it won't change anything with Moses because he's so
spooked and paranoid right now. I have strongly disagreed ... I'll level
with you, it's caused a raging argument that is ongoing ... because I'm not
prepared to give up just yet, plus we have a lot invested emotionally and
financially in Seymour. And if the point ever comes where we do need to give
up, my inclination would be to try to find Seymour another home rather than
to take him back to the humane society, which would pretty much be a death
sentence for him and I don't want that on my conscience and I feel certain
that her relationship with Moses would never be the same again. So that
would really not solve a freaking thing.

But I agree with her, we cannot go on with this situation with Moses
urinating and defecating all over the place and not going to his box (we
have two, BTW, and they are near each other; we've discussed separating
them). I've tried to cut him some slack because he's been sick, but he's
getting better now and it's not changing. We can sit there in the same room
with the two cats, my wife holding Seymour and me holding Moses (Moses is
"my" cat, he bonded with me long ago), and Moses won't even look at Seymour,
he tries to curl into a ball and hide in my arms.

Quite frankly, I never expected things to turn out like this. I've never had
a situation where it didn't take an old and a new cat more than a few days
or so, a couple of weeks tops, to at least reach an "understanding,"
although my experiences might be the exception rather than the rule. We
specifically looked for an older cat, thinking that Moses might adjust
better to that than a kitten, but again it has not worked.

Can anybody out there PLEASE give us some ideas at how to proceed here at
trying to find some way to help these two cats co-exist. We're at the point
now where I could care less if they end up being bosom buddies, I just want
them to co-exist peacefully. And specifically, could someone give me some
ideas as to what to do with Moses in this situation, to get him to come out
and at least engage Seymour and not be so paranoid and frightened that he's
willing to wallow in his own feces rather than come out of hiding. I've
seriously wondered about calling the vet to see if there's some nerve tonic
or kitty Valium or something to try to chill him out.

We have fought the idea of completely segregating them, like locking one of
them in a room with a litter box and a food bowl, because our thought has
been that if we do that they're never going to reach an accomodation. Maybe
our thought process is wrong there, I really don't know and we're at the end
of our rope.

We are open to all suggestions, and I'm sort of throwing myself on the mercy
of the newsgroup and begging for help, because this situation is at a
boiling point and we have got to do something ASAP. And a million thanks in
advance for any help that anyone can provide. :)

Charlie Wilkes
September 16th 05, 08:59 AM
On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 05:18:25 GMT, "Gregory Bailey"
> wrote:
>
>We are open to all suggestions, and I'm sort of throwing myself on the mercy
>of the newsgroup and begging for help, because this situation is at a
>boiling point and we have got to do something ASAP. And a million thanks in
>advance for any help that anyone can provide. :)
>
What part of the country are you in? Last time someone took a cat
back to the humane society and announced it in this group, all hell
broke loose. I would say, let's help you find a new home for Seymour
if you have to do that.

It's just very harsh to take a cat who has been living with a family,
and dump him back in the caged institutional environment. He sounds
like a nice cat with no particularly bad habits.

Someone here will volunteer to take him.

Charlie

September 16th 05, 09:05 AM
Gregory Bailey wrote:
> financially in Seymour. And if the point ever comes where we do need to give
> up, my inclination would be to try to find Seymour another home rather than
> to take him back to the humane society, which would pretty much be a death
> sentence for him and I don't want that on my conscience and I feel certain
> that her relationship with Moses would never be the same again. So that
> would really not solve a freaking thing.
>
> But I agree with her, we cannot go on with this situation with Moses
> urinating and defecating all over the place and not going to his box (we
> have two, BTW, and they are near each other; we've discussed separating
> them). I've tried to cut him some slack because he's been sick, but he's
> getting better now and it's not changing. We can sit there in the same room
> with the two cats, my wife holding Seymour and me holding Moses (Moses is
> "my" cat, he bonded with me long ago), and Moses won't even look at Seymour,
> he tries to curl into a ball and hide in my arms.
>
> Quite frankly, I never expected things to turn out like this. I've never had
> a situation where it didn't take an old and a new cat more than a few days
> or so, a couple of weeks tops, to at least reach an "understanding,"
> although my experiences might be the exception rather than the rule. We
> specifically looked for an older cat, thinking that Moses might adjust
> better to that than a kitten, but again it has not worked.

I don't follow your logic here that finding another home for Seymour
won't solve anything regarding your wife. The problem is your older cat
is not happy. Your wife may not be overjoyed that things are not as in
the movies but she will be okay. Peaceful co-existence is what it's
about and I'm sure she will be mature about matters.

In the future, if you're dealing with a sick and high-maintenance cat,
you might want give this all a little more opportunity and thought. For
example, bringing the older cat to help decide which cat he might
possibly get along with. From what we learned here, just any cat won't
do. Maybe no cat would ever do and because he's grieving does not mean
he wants a younger cat around. In fact, his behavior indicates that he
is extremely unhappy and upset with what you are doing. Try to help him
out. Find another home for the young cat.

Wendy
September 16th 05, 11:56 AM
"Gregory Bailey" > wrote in message
link.net...
>I posted a while back about losing our 14-year-old orange tabby Bartholemew
> to cancer. That left us with another 14-year-old cat, Moses, a black
> shorthair, who we nearly lost to inflammatory bowel disease earlier this
> year but is now doing OK.
>
> Our original plan was not to get another cat until Moses passed. However,
> the house seemed empty without a second cat, plus Moses was showing signs
> of
> missing his "brother" and of not liking being alone for the first time in
> his life when we were away. So we went to the local humane society and
> adopted another cat, a cream colored longhair with some tabby markings who
> we named Seymour. They weren't sure but estimated his age at 10 months, so
> he's not exactly an adult cat but he's not a kitten either, sort of "in
> between." He had already been in a household, had been front declawed and
> neutered and had a vet record, but they did not give us any indication as
> to
> why he'd been given up to the humane society.
>
> Seymour is a sweet cat, a little willful and headstrong, but has the
> makings
> of a good pet.
>
> Here is the problem. To say that he and Moses have not gotten along from
> the
> first day they encountered each other is the understatement of the
> century.
>
> Moses would basically sit there and growl every time Seymour got near him.
> Seymour would make some moves toward him that were giving off vibes of
> "hey,
> let's be friends," I don't think there was any aggressiveness or meanness
> on
> his part at first, but when Moses wouldn't really engage him in anything,
> just sat there and growled at him, it seemed to make Seymour mad and he'd
> start hissing and would jump at Moses and there would be a little tussle
> and
> Moses would run hide.
>
> My wife and I have tried slowly introducing them to each other, like
> having
> them both on the bed at opposite ends and just sitting there petting each
> of
> them and talking to them and trying to "introduce" them, or sitting with
> them at opposite ends of the room and trying to do the same thing. There
> has
> been very little progress, though. Again, it seems like Seymour wants to
> introduce himself, but Moses' hostile growling makes Seymour mad and then
> it's 'round and 'round again.
>
> There has also been a complicating factor. A couple of weeks after we got
> Seymour, he developed an upper respiratory infection. That has apparently
> been a problem at the humane society, they've lost a lot of cats because
> of
> it. We did a round of amoxycillin and got him over that, he's fine now.
> However, despite our best efforts at keeping them apart, about a week
> after
> Seymour got sick, Moses got sick with the same kind of infection. He has
> another complicating factor there in that he is on Prednisone every day
> for
> his IBD, which of course lowers his immune system. Moses got way sicker
> than
> Seymour did with the upper respiratory infection. We did one round of
> amoxycillin and it wasn't enough, but we're into our second round and it
> seems to be making progress, he's much better.
>
> The thing is, while he's been sick, Seymour has been pressing the issue
> about trying to get Moses to notice him. And Moses is having nothing of
> it.
> In fact, he basically refuses to engage Seymour, refuses even to look at
> him, he's basically just going off and hiding in the tightest places and
> staying there all day unless we go in and bring him out, which we're
> trying
> to do. He sits there curled up in a ball, just not even looking at
> anything.
>
> What's making things worse is that he will not even come out to go to the
> litter box, he's defecating and urinating wherever he happens to be and is
> literally staying there in it. He won't even come out to eat, it's not
> that
> he won't eat, I'm taking food to him and he's gobbling it down, and as I
> said he's showing signs that he is pretty much getting over the upper
> respiratory infection although he may very well still not feel well. He
> just
> refuses to come out and risk facing Seymour. It's almost like the cat is
> literally petrified with fear. One other thing I need to add that you need
> to understand, Moses is a very skittish cat, almost to the point of being
> neurotic and paranoid, and he has been since he was a kitten. In other
> words, we're not dealing with a normal cat here in a lot of ways, it's
> been
> a lot of work to deal with him for 14 years but it's been worthwhile.
>
> I've figured he's afraid of Seymour, my wife says she thinks he's afraid
> we're going to take him off, that he's never gotten over having his
> "brother" disappear all of a sudden and a stranger come in a few weeks
> later
> to take his place.
>
> My wife ... and it takes some doing for her to say this, because she's
> very
> soft-hearted when it comes to our cats, she grieved tremendously for
> Bartholemew and has really bonded with Seymour ... is ready to take
> Seymour
> back to the humane society, because Moses is basically pooing and peeing
> wherever he happens to be hiding (he ruined our two kids' bed pillows
> tonight) and is ruining stuff and she says she can't take it anymore, even
> though she feels that it won't change anything with Moses because he's so
> spooked and paranoid right now. I have strongly disagreed ... I'll level
> with you, it's caused a raging argument that is ongoing ... because I'm
> not
> prepared to give up just yet, plus we have a lot invested emotionally and
> financially in Seymour. And if the point ever comes where we do need to
> give
> up, my inclination would be to try to find Seymour another home rather
> than
> to take him back to the humane society, which would pretty much be a death
> sentence for him and I don't want that on my conscience and I feel certain
> that her relationship with Moses would never be the same again. So that
> would really not solve a freaking thing.
>
> But I agree with her, we cannot go on with this situation with Moses
> urinating and defecating all over the place and not going to his box (we
> have two, BTW, and they are near each other; we've discussed separating
> them). I've tried to cut him some slack because he's been sick, but he's
> getting better now and it's not changing. We can sit there in the same
> room
> with the two cats, my wife holding Seymour and me holding Moses (Moses is
> "my" cat, he bonded with me long ago), and Moses won't even look at
> Seymour,
> he tries to curl into a ball and hide in my arms.
>
> Quite frankly, I never expected things to turn out like this. I've never
> had
> a situation where it didn't take an old and a new cat more than a few days
> or so, a couple of weeks tops, to at least reach an "understanding,"
> although my experiences might be the exception rather than the rule. We
> specifically looked for an older cat, thinking that Moses might adjust
> better to that than a kitten, but again it has not worked.
>
> Can anybody out there PLEASE give us some ideas at how to proceed here at
> trying to find some way to help these two cats co-exist. We're at the
> point
> now where I could care less if they end up being bosom buddies, I just
> want
> them to co-exist peacefully. And specifically, could someone give me some
> ideas as to what to do with Moses in this situation, to get him to come
> out
> and at least engage Seymour and not be so paranoid and frightened that
> he's
> willing to wallow in his own feces rather than come out of hiding. I've
> seriously wondered about calling the vet to see if there's some nerve
> tonic
> or kitty Valium or something to try to chill him out.
>
> We have fought the idea of completely segregating them, like locking one
> of
> them in a room with a litter box and a food bowl, because our thought has
> been that if we do that they're never going to reach an accomodation.
> Maybe
> our thought process is wrong there, I really don't know and we're at the
> end
> of our rope.
>
> We are open to all suggestions, and I'm sort of throwing myself on the
> mercy
> of the newsgroup and begging for help, because this situation is at a
> boiling point and we have got to do something ASAP. And a million thanks
> in
> advance for any help that anyone can provide. :)
>
>
>

At this point you need to totally separate the cats and try to get Moses
calmed down before you try reintroducing them again very slowly.

But first you have to get Moses calmed down and using his box again. Check
with your vet to see if the antibiotics he's been on would also clear up any
urinary tract infection.

Make sure you've used an enzyme cleaner to get any urine smell out of areas
he's used or he could go right back to the spot again. You might want to
pick up a Feliway diffuser and use it in the area where Moses will be to see
if that helps him chill out. The diffuser mimics the facial pheromes a cat
uses to mark a 'safe' area. My inclination would be to confine him in a
limited space with food water and his box until he seems more himself and is
back to using his box. Just make sure you visit with him a lot and give him
plenty of loving. Once he seems more confident, let him out of his room so
he can see the other cat isn't around out there. Once he can have the run of
the house (except where you're keeping Seymour) and acts himself then you
can start the introduction over from scratch.

I'm hoping MaryL will see this as she's done an introduction with a
difficult cat successfully and she can give you much better advice with this
than I can.

W

5cats
September 16th 05, 02:41 PM
Gregory Bailey wrote:


> We have fought the idea of completely segregating them, like locking
> one of them in a room with a litter box and a food bowl, because our
> thought has been that if we do that they're never going to reach an
> accomodation. Maybe our thought process is wrong there, I really don't
> know and we're at the end of our rope.

I really feel that separating them is your best bet at getting the
situation stabilized.

Keep them 100% totaly separated until both are free of infections and
using their litter boxes properly.

Then you can give the introductions another try. There are quite a web
sites that describe the process, it looks like Phil has a really good
one: http://maxshouse.com/introducing_cats.htm

Go slowly, don't hold the cats during the introductions, let them
determine the pace.

Good Luck!

Gregory Bailey
September 16th 05, 03:03 PM
They are now segregated. Hopefully Moses will get calmed down ... holding
him right now is like holding a cat made of iron he's so stiff and scared
.... and we can try again. I have printed out Phil's guide, we'll definitely
look at trying some of those things, because I know from some dialogue we've
had in the past that he's a wise man when it comes to felines.


"5cats" > wrote in message
...
> Gregory Bailey wrote:
>
>
> > We have fought the idea of completely segregating them, like locking
> > one of them in a room with a litter box and a food bowl, because our
> > thought has been that if we do that they're never going to reach an
> > accomodation. Maybe our thought process is wrong there, I really don't
> > know and we're at the end of our rope.
>
> I really feel that separating them is your best bet at getting the
> situation stabilized.
>
> Keep them 100% totaly separated until both are free of infections and
> using their litter boxes properly.
>
> Then you can give the introductions another try. There are quite a web
> sites that describe the process, it looks like Phil has a really good
> one: http://maxshouse.com/introducing_cats.htm
>
> Go slowly, don't hold the cats during the introductions, let them
> determine the pace.
>
> Good Luck!
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>