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Adopted stray cat problems (continued)



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 11th 03, 05:00 AM
Calvin Rice
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Adopted stray cat problems (continued)

This is an update on the stray cat saga told here over a month ago.

I've been living with three cats who are free to go in and out of the
house at will, for nearly three years now. The older two were once
confined, but the youngest one, nearly age two, has never been
confined.

To recap, a stray unneutered male created a big disruption by coming
in the house at night, all through the winter. I shooed him away
many times, but he became bolder, and I became less willing to deny
him food and warmth. But then, not having done it for the first
few months of sneaking in, he started 'marking his territory' this
spring, and that caused two cats to stop coming in the house at all,
and the youngest one to jump around from one piece of furniture to
another, to avoid the marked places. He too started staying outside
most of the time.

So I decided to take the stray cat across the river and leave him to
find a way to survive, hopefully. I did that, but went back and got
him after an hour because I was overcome with guilt and remorse. The
cat was where I had left him with food and milk, just sleeping.

Not willing to take him to an animal shelter, where he would be killed
eventually, I decided to have him neutered and hope that he would stop
marking territory, though that result is not assured for an adult.
So he was neutered and had a rabies shot and I gave him an Advantage
flea treatment. For the next two weeks or so I was able to make him
content by feeding him downstairs, and he did not come upstairs. He
knew just to come in for food and sleep downstairs.

But that didn't last. Luckily he -did- stop marking his territory, but
he started acting like a kitten and following me everywhere, always
wanting to be petted and wanting to snuggle up to me wherever I was.
That was pretty much OK, except that the other cats kept their distance
from him. It was difficult to arrange to have time with the other
cats, but the situation gradually got better.

Then the big trouble started. Though the other cats were gradually
getting used to him, he started being aggressive toward the younger
male, chasing him away. The older male never would get close enough
to him to have a confrontation, and the older female is dominant over
the stray, so there's no problem with her. Interestingly, if she is
present when the stray and the younger male have a confrontation,
she will intervene effectively. At other times I try to intervene,
but not very effectively. I can stop the stray's aggression by yelling
and clapping my hands, but I scare the other cat too, so he runs away.
In any case the aggression by the stray toward the younger male
continues to flare up. It's intolerable and horrible, and I don't
seem to have any hope of stopping it. The stray cat is very docile
with me, making me think he was not originally a stray. But he is not
docile with the other male cats.

As I write this, the younger cat was last seen running out into the
rain after I made a situation worse by trying to prevent a confrontation.
The stray is locked up in a bedroom with food, milk, and a litterbox
and he will stay there until I am able to feel good about the other
cats being dry and fed.

Other than perpetually keeping the stray cat locked up, I see no way of
solving this problem. I thought the primary flaw in my plan was that
the neutering might not stop the cat from marking territory. I was
very lucky on that account, but the aggression of the stray toward my
youngest makes the overall problem worse now than ever.

I suppose some will say that I have shown why it is not a good idea to
allow cats to go in and out of the house at will. They may be right,
but I'm still not willing to confine my three adopted cats. I'm only
willing to confine the stray cat, if that is the only way to solvc the
problem, but it's not a good permanent solution.

Calvin Rice
  #2  
Old July 11th 03, 05:32 AM
L. Kelly
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Calvin Rice" wrote in message
m...
| This is an update on the stray cat saga told here over a month ago.
|
| In any case the aggression by the stray toward the younger male
| continues to flare up. It's intolerable and horrible, and I don't
| seem to have any hope of stopping it. The stray cat is very docile
| with me, making me think he was not originally a stray. But he is not
| docile with the other male cats.
|
| Calvin Rice

Hi Calvin,

I have no personal experience with Feliway, but have heard many other rave about its
magic when dealing with aggressive behaviours in cats. It almost sounds as though your
new stray has "adopted" you as his own and does not wish to share your time or attentions
with the other cats. This is not uncommon, but I'm at a loss other than to suggest trying
Feliway. Hopefully others here will have more ideas for you.
--
Hugs,
Lynn


*strip CLOTHES to reply*
Homepage:
http://members.shaw.ca/sewfinefashions/
See my boys: http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/papavince_29/



  #3  
Old July 11th 03, 05:32 AM
L. Kelly
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Calvin Rice" wrote in message
m...
| This is an update on the stray cat saga told here over a month ago.
|
| In any case the aggression by the stray toward the younger male
| continues to flare up. It's intolerable and horrible, and I don't
| seem to have any hope of stopping it. The stray cat is very docile
| with me, making me think he was not originally a stray. But he is not
| docile with the other male cats.
|
| Calvin Rice

Hi Calvin,

I have no personal experience with Feliway, but have heard many other rave about its
magic when dealing with aggressive behaviours in cats. It almost sounds as though your
new stray has "adopted" you as his own and does not wish to share your time or attentions
with the other cats. This is not uncommon, but I'm at a loss other than to suggest trying
Feliway. Hopefully others here will have more ideas for you.
--
Hugs,
Lynn


*strip CLOTHES to reply*
Homepage:
http://members.shaw.ca/sewfinefashions/
See my boys: http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/papavince_29/



  #4  
Old July 11th 03, 06:01 AM
Karen Chuplis
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

in article , L. Kelly at
wrote on 7/10/03 11:32 PM:


"Calvin Rice" wrote in message
m...
| This is an update on the stray cat saga told here over a month ago.
|
| In any case the aggression by the stray toward the younger male
| continues to flare up. It's intolerable and horrible, and I don't
| seem to have any hope of stopping it. The stray cat is very docile
| with me, making me think he was not originally a stray. But he is not
| docile with the other male cats.
|
| Calvin Rice

Hi Calvin,

I have no personal experience with Feliway, but have heard many other rave
about its
magic when dealing with aggressive behaviours in cats. It almost sounds as
though your
new stray has "adopted" you as his own and does not wish to share your time or
attentions
with the other cats. This is not uncommon, but I'm at a loss other than to
suggest trying
Feliway. Hopefully others here will have more ideas for you.
--
Hugs,
Lynn

I think Feliway could be useful. I also suggest that maybe you actively
campaign to find this cat a nice home of his own. He is a nice, neutered,
vetted cat. I would certainly consider it at this point. Of course, he never
really had a slow intro to your cats, and at this point I don't know if it
would work, but it might also establish a pecking order. Give him a room
that he is confined in part of the time. If he can be out with the others
and behave unagressively fine, but when ever agression presents, put him in
the room for a half hour or so. I would do this in combination with Feliway.
A difficult situation but there are some options.

Karen

  #5  
Old July 11th 03, 06:01 AM
Karen Chuplis
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

in article , L. Kelly at
wrote on 7/10/03 11:32 PM:


"Calvin Rice" wrote in message
m...
| This is an update on the stray cat saga told here over a month ago.
|
| In any case the aggression by the stray toward the younger male
| continues to flare up. It's intolerable and horrible, and I don't
| seem to have any hope of stopping it. The stray cat is very docile
| with me, making me think he was not originally a stray. But he is not
| docile with the other male cats.
|
| Calvin Rice

Hi Calvin,

I have no personal experience with Feliway, but have heard many other rave
about its
magic when dealing with aggressive behaviours in cats. It almost sounds as
though your
new stray has "adopted" you as his own and does not wish to share your time or
attentions
with the other cats. This is not uncommon, but I'm at a loss other than to
suggest trying
Feliway. Hopefully others here will have more ideas for you.
--
Hugs,
Lynn

I think Feliway could be useful. I also suggest that maybe you actively
campaign to find this cat a nice home of his own. He is a nice, neutered,
vetted cat. I would certainly consider it at this point. Of course, he never
really had a slow intro to your cats, and at this point I don't know if it
would work, but it might also establish a pecking order. Give him a room
that he is confined in part of the time. If he can be out with the others
and behave unagressively fine, but when ever agression presents, put him in
the room for a half hour or so. I would do this in combination with Feliway.
A difficult situation but there are some options.

Karen

  #6  
Old July 11th 03, 02:05 PM
piggypot
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Karen Chuplis wrote in message ...
in article , L. Kelly at
wrote on 7/10/03 11:32 PM:


"Calvin Rice" wrote in message
m...
| This is an update on the stray cat saga told here over a month ago.
|
| In any case the aggression by the stray toward the younger male
| continues to flare up. It's intolerable and horrible, and I don't
| seem to have any hope of stopping it. The stray cat is very docile
| with me, making me think he was not originally a stray. But he is not
| docile with the other male cats.
|
| Calvin Rice

Hi Calvin,

I have no personal experience with Feliway, but have heard many other rave
about its
magic when dealing with aggressive behaviours in cats. It almost sounds as
though your
new stray has "adopted" you as his own and does not wish to share your time or
attentions
with the other cats. This is not uncommon, but I'm at a loss other than to
suggest trying
Feliway. Hopefully others here will have more ideas for you.
--
Hugs,
Lynn

I think Feliway could be useful. I also suggest that maybe you actively
campaign to find this cat a nice home of his own. He is a nice, neutered,
vetted cat. I would certainly consider it at this point. Of course, he never
really had a slow intro to your cats, and at this point I don't know if it
would work, but it might also establish a pecking order. Give him a room
that he is confined in part of the time. If he can be out with the others
and behave unagressively fine, but when ever agression presents, put him in
the room for a half hour or so. I would do this in combination with Feliway.
A difficult situation but there are some options.

Karen



Calvin,
Karen's suggestion about establishing a "pecking order" might help
you. When you do have the stray out with you and your other cats,
make a point (if possible) of petting the other cats before you pet
him. Or hand out treats to everyone, feeding the stray last.
Whenever the opportunity arises, acknowledge your existing cats before
the stray.

Unfortunately, some cats just aren't cut out for multi-cat households,
want to be alone with their people and won't tolerate any others.
Your new guy may be one of those. If your situation continues, I
would definitely look for an opportunity to adopt him out to a house
where he would be the only pet.

I have also heard good things about Feliway - a spray for "marked"
places and now a diffuser to help spread the calming scent around?

Good luck!
  #7  
Old July 11th 03, 02:05 PM
piggypot
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Karen Chuplis wrote in message ...
in article , L. Kelly at
wrote on 7/10/03 11:32 PM:


"Calvin Rice" wrote in message
m...
| This is an update on the stray cat saga told here over a month ago.
|
| In any case the aggression by the stray toward the younger male
| continues to flare up. It's intolerable and horrible, and I don't
| seem to have any hope of stopping it. The stray cat is very docile
| with me, making me think he was not originally a stray. But he is not
| docile with the other male cats.
|
| Calvin Rice

Hi Calvin,

I have no personal experience with Feliway, but have heard many other rave
about its
magic when dealing with aggressive behaviours in cats. It almost sounds as
though your
new stray has "adopted" you as his own and does not wish to share your time or
attentions
with the other cats. This is not uncommon, but I'm at a loss other than to
suggest trying
Feliway. Hopefully others here will have more ideas for you.
--
Hugs,
Lynn

I think Feliway could be useful. I also suggest that maybe you actively
campaign to find this cat a nice home of his own. He is a nice, neutered,
vetted cat. I would certainly consider it at this point. Of course, he never
really had a slow intro to your cats, and at this point I don't know if it
would work, but it might also establish a pecking order. Give him a room
that he is confined in part of the time. If he can be out with the others
and behave unagressively fine, but when ever agression presents, put him in
the room for a half hour or so. I would do this in combination with Feliway.
A difficult situation but there are some options.

Karen



Calvin,
Karen's suggestion about establishing a "pecking order" might help
you. When you do have the stray out with you and your other cats,
make a point (if possible) of petting the other cats before you pet
him. Or hand out treats to everyone, feeding the stray last.
Whenever the opportunity arises, acknowledge your existing cats before
the stray.

Unfortunately, some cats just aren't cut out for multi-cat households,
want to be alone with their people and won't tolerate any others.
Your new guy may be one of those. If your situation continues, I
would definitely look for an opportunity to adopt him out to a house
where he would be the only pet.

I have also heard good things about Feliway - a spray for "marked"
places and now a diffuser to help spread the calming scent around?

Good luck!
  #8  
Old July 12th 03, 01:21 AM
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Calvin wrote:
I can stop the stray's aggression by
yelling and clapping my hands, but I scare
the other cat too, so he runs away.


And this is where the problem lies. You are using negative reinforcement
which does NOT work. When you yell the stray associates that with the
presence of the other cat and becomes resentful thinking that the other
cat is to blame for the yelling and loud noise, and this only makes him
more intent on being aggressive to the other cat. It becomes a vicious
circle.

The way to handle this is to use distraction and praise. You want the
stray to associate only good things with the presence of the other cats.
Anytime you see something happening or starting to happen, do not yell
or do anything negative. Instead get the stray's attention using a calm,
happy voice and then pet and praise him in the presence of the other
cats, even if he has just been aggressive. Make a point of giving the
stray positive attention or treats at other times when he is in the
presence of the other cats. You must be consistent doing this and you
will start to see the problems lessen to a point where they are
eliminated altogether or minimized to a tolerable level. I have use this
method *many* times in a house of 25 and it works. It wouldn't hurt to
get a Feliway diffuser and some spray to help things along, either.

Megan



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray


  #9  
Old July 12th 03, 01:21 AM
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Calvin wrote:
I can stop the stray's aggression by
yelling and clapping my hands, but I scare
the other cat too, so he runs away.


And this is where the problem lies. You are using negative reinforcement
which does NOT work. When you yell the stray associates that with the
presence of the other cat and becomes resentful thinking that the other
cat is to blame for the yelling and loud noise, and this only makes him
more intent on being aggressive to the other cat. It becomes a vicious
circle.

The way to handle this is to use distraction and praise. You want the
stray to associate only good things with the presence of the other cats.
Anytime you see something happening or starting to happen, do not yell
or do anything negative. Instead get the stray's attention using a calm,
happy voice and then pet and praise him in the presence of the other
cats, even if he has just been aggressive. Make a point of giving the
stray positive attention or treats at other times when he is in the
presence of the other cats. You must be consistent doing this and you
will start to see the problems lessen to a point where they are
eliminated altogether or minimized to a tolerable level. I have use this
method *many* times in a house of 25 and it works. It wouldn't hurt to
get a Feliway diffuser and some spray to help things along, either.

Megan



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray


  #10  
Old July 12th 03, 04:03 AM
MaryL
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
...
Calvin wrote:
I can stop the stray's aggression by
yelling and clapping my hands, but I scare
the other cat too, so he runs away.


And this is where the problem lies. You are using negative reinforcement
which does NOT work. When you yell the stray associates that with the
presence of the other cat and becomes resentful thinking that the other
cat is to blame for the yelling and loud noise, and this only makes him
more intent on being aggressive to the other cat. It becomes a vicious
circle.

The way to handle this is to use distraction and praise. You want the
stray to associate only good things with the presence of the other cats.
It wouldn't hurt to
get a Feliway diffuser and some spray to help things along, either.

Megan


Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22



I agree! Positive reinforcement can bring great results. I adopted Duffy and
needed to introduce him to Holly, who had always shown such a dislike for
other cats that we called her the "black tornado." The two cats were
introduced in a very slow, gradual process. I made sure that Holly got lots
and lots of love and attention through all of this. After they were
introduced, I watched carefully for any signs of aggression. At any time
that the two seemed distressed, I would distract them and would give Holly
lavish amounts of praise. For some extra distraction, I kept toy mice and
interactive toys readily available (a favorite is a wand with strips of
rawhide to dangle in front of their noses - even my blind cat Duffy plays
with that). I never scolded the cats or yelled at them. This worked very
well. The two cats now get along very well and are usually in the same
general area. Holly will still come running any time she hears me talking to
Duffy, but she is not upset - she just wants to make sure that she gets her
full share of love and attention.

Please let me re-emphasize another point: take it very slow, and don't try
to rush things. Whenever you think it's time to move to the next stage in
bringing your cats together, you should probably stop and wait it out for
awhile. I "thought" I going slow when I tried to introduce Holly to my
sister's cats some time ago (we took about two weeks), but that was a
disaster and led to the "black tornado" references. This time, I took about
6 weeks before I left Holly and Duffy together at all times, and the
difference has been remarkable. Friends who knew how Holly had reacted in
the past really can hardly believe it.

If you don't have a Feliway diffuser, it would be money well spent to buy a
couple of them. Feliway is used for behavior modification and can be very
useful in reducing stress. I bought some from ValleyVet (www.valleyvet.com).
They have free shipping, which saves significantly on the cost. Do not get
the one that says "with D.A.P." because that formulation is for dogs.

To sum up: (1) Use positive reinforcement with lots of praise and attention;
(2) Take it slow and easy.

MaryL

Photos of Duffy and Holly (pictorial history -- Holly and Duffy):
Duffy, Part I: The Introduction -- http://tinyurl.com/8y54
Duffy, Part II: Life at Home -- http://tinyurl.com/8y56




 




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