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Unread 07-12-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Help - my new cat makes everyone miserable!

I already had a 9 year old neutered male cat and a 7 year old dog when I adopted a new 5 year old spayed and declawed female cat. Life in my apartment has been turned upside down ever since. It's been 8 weeks now.

Coco - the new cat HATES George, my original cat. She intimidates and chases him. George is only allowed to be in the cat tree or on my table while Coco gets the whole apartment. (Her rules, not mine.)

She trapped him in my bedroom once where there is no litter box and he peed on my bed. I did everything to get the smell out including steam cleaning the mattress and the carpets. Now, Coco will sneak into the bedroom and pee on the bed whenever she gets the chance. I keep the door closed, but last night left it open for just a minute when I went to the bathroom myself and came back I caught her running out of the room and a new wet patch on the bed. She only had a minute to get in there! She's also peed on clothes on the floor a couple of times.

She is very sweet to me and other people. She loves laps and being petted. She's ok with the dog because the dog isn't really afraid of her. I'm worried about her ruining George's "retirement." He is miserable with her in the house. I'm also not at all happy with the pee. I'm using Feliway, but it doesn't seem to have any effect.

I am pretty much ready to take Coco the the SPCA. Any other suggestions?

Last edited by lahull; 07-12-2010 at 11:58 AM. Reason: clarity
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Unread 07-12-2010   #2 (permalink)
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I hope you enjoy lemon smell, there might be
some hope, I am no expert, but it is possible
that putting lemon juice or lemon oil on
the mattress may discourage Coco from eliminating
on your place of sleep.

I would use juice or oil for foodstuffs, not that
stuff that goes on furniture.

Some cats, will just not get on well, so some separating
might just be what is needed.

I hope you do Not have to give up your Coco,
and that there will one day be peace or something
close enough to such.
__________________
May The Power Of Mew
be with you always.

Last edited by Tiggerpaws; 07-12-2010 at 05:52 PM.
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Unread 07-12-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Hopefully I can help. First, do you know Coco's history? Aside from the declawing of course which most likely has everything to do with her aggression to George.

What kind of method did you use for introductions?

George will need a check up, because stress can cause illnesses in cats, and he has been under a lot of stress.

The only way to remove cat urine odor so a cat doesn't smell it is by using a special enzymatic cleaner. People have different favorites, I have seen Nature's Miracle, Nok-out and stink-b-gone recommended and I know there are others. You have to saturate the area of the stain, sometimes more than once. Even if you can't smell it, Coco can. If your room is George's domain, keep her out of there for now, anyway.

How many litter boxes do you have? You need at least three, and one of those should be in a different place than the others.

Some feliway plug in diffusers may help Coco with her territorial feelings, and will help reduce stress, but I would say go ahead and get some rescue remedy too, and start using that on both cats right away. You can add it to water or food, or even rub it right on their little faces every day.

Get these things in place, and then start fresh, treat them as a brand new introduction.

When introducing a new cat, the new cat should be kept separate, in one room, while the resident cat adjusts to the presence of the newbie. An exchange of smells, by rubbing a towel over one cat then the other, then putting these towels under their respective food dishes can help them associate the smells of the other cats with good things.

George should be getting the bulk of your attention. It's his house, and you are his people. He should have the run of the house, (except the room coco is in) as Coco gets acclimated. After a week, change out the room occasionally. Allow Coco free run for a day, while George is kept safe in the one room. At the end of the day, put Coco back and let George out. Do this every few days for a while. A month in total from the original separation until the first face to face, if you can stand it. I mean, the towel exchanging, (do daily) and the room exchange period all should take about a month.

Then it's time to allow a face to face introduction. By this time the feliway plug in diffusers will have had time to diffuse all over the house. The rescue remedy should be helping to keep them feeling calm and relaxed.

For the first face to face, you might use the "vanilla trick". Put a dot of cooking vanilla (not perfume) on the nose and root of tail of each cat. This way they both smell the same to one another. Stand by so George knows he has your protection, but allow them to interact. Slow and easy, short periods for these introductions.

I know I am talking about a long period of time here. But I think you really want to make this work, and I do think it's possible, if slowed way down and handled well.

You are a real hero for adopting an adult cat. I hope you can stick it out, and I'll try to help where ever I can. Perhaps other members may have some other experience and tips to offer.
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Unread 07-12-2010   #4 (permalink)
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A complication that I forgot to mention is that I live in a 700 sq foot one bedroom apartment. It's practically impossible to keep my bedroom door closed all day and all night without depressing my dog, Indigo, who "patrols" to keep me safe.

I tried keeping George only in my room, the door closed when I'm not home to keep Coco away from him. The first time he peed in my bed was because he was in there with no litter box and Coco wouldn't let him leave. I've used three different enzyme cleaners - one by a professional who steam cleaned my bed, the others I bought in stores. No doubt the cats still know it's there because they are having a pee battle to mark that bed as their own.

I have two litter boxes now, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. It's actually bad for me to have one in my bedroom because I have asthma. Of course, cat pee isn't great for asthma either.

I've got Feliway in a diffuser for a week now, a waterproof mattress cover under the sheets and a tarp covering the whole bed.

I appreciate the advice, and I hope no one thinks I'm trying to come up with excuses. I'd heard about the slow intro method, but I simply didn't have room for it. Coco seemed so mellow when I met her. I kind of wish George would "grow a pair" and put her in her place, but he is terrified of her and she knows it.
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Unread 07-12-2010   #5 (permalink)
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No one is thinking bad of you, I am not, at least, it is obvious you really want this to work.

I have only a one bedroom apartment myself, well, it's only two rooms, a bedroom and a living/kitchen area, when I adopt, the new kitty gets the bedroom, and me and the resident cats sleep and live in the living area until the introductions are complete.

In fact I installed a screen door in my bedroom doorway, so they can meet with a screen in between at first.

It may be that Coco is a cat who needs to be in a single cat home, though I hate to think of her being bounced around from home to home like that, it can reallly destroy a cat's temperament. But George has to come first in this.

Do get the rescue remedy, it may help a lot. The feliway may take time to be effective, and of course, if your windows are open, you may need more than one.

What is her story, where did you get her?

I wonder....if allowing George to be around her, with Coco restrained....Coco in a crate, and George not in the crate, could help him build some confidence.
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Unread 07-12-2010   #6 (permalink)
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Coco was found abandoned in a trailer park when she was a young cat. She lived with the family that found her for two years until one of the teenage sons and his friends began abusing her - throwing her, etc. The other son gave her to my friend to keep, but my friend has two cats, a dog, a bunny, a guinea pig and that lasted 2 days. I volunteered at that point.

About a crate.... hmmm. It would have to be big enough for a litter box I think. Then trade who stays in the crate for a while.

Right now George is in the bedroom with a litter box, food and water and a sheet of plastic over the bed. Coco is trying to get in my lap as I type.

I rescued George from a box'o'kittens some kids had downtown 9 years ago. He weighed less than a pound. Now he's about 17 pounds. He's never been much of a lover but he would play and let me pet him for a few minutes, and sometimes sleep in my bed. If I can keep the pee off my bed he's welcome to stay in my room, but I want him to have run of the house.

I've got Coco listed on a cat rescue website to try and find her a home where she is the only cat.
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oh the poor poor little girl! This rescue site...is it bonafide? Do they do checks on the potential adopters and follow up references and all that, and charge an adoption fee? I hope it is mentioned that she is special needs.

There ARE special people out there who take these special needs cats, if only they can be reached. If you give me the link to her ad, I will be happy to cross post in another forum.

My heart is breaking for this kitty. What I really hope and pray is that it works out for her there, with you. Oh the poor little girl, no wonder she is the way she is. Aw, my heart is breaking.
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Unread 07-16-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Hi There

My mum’s cat, Dora, has been with me for many years now, I guess about 9 years or so. She is 15-16, a little younger than my eldest daughter, and starting to show signs of frailty, a slight build cat anyway. I am not a "cat lover" as it were, I did spend some time working in the SPCA (In the cat module ) and care about animals. Really, Im a dog person without a dog
My partner and his cat moved into my home recently, where my 2 daughters, myself, and Dora have lived for the last 5 years.

My partner's cat, Bob, was found, as a wild kitten, stuck in a tree, mauled by a dog and dying. Glen took him to the vet and adopted him, dispite him not being a "cat person" either. He does, however have a terribly soft heart. Bob was fed bone grow and is currently a very large Ginger male that can bring down a rabbit. Bob is about 3yrs old now, and terribly unsocial. I have over the last few years suffered bad scratches and some bites by trying to bond with him. I have pretty much given up on that.

Anyway, Dora is so scared of Bob, probably because he likes to pounce on her and she has never lived with another animal apart from a bunny, and bob's newly adopted "positions" are at or near vital accessways to the cat door. Consequently Dora has been pissing, and pooing inside. Very considerate, however, in the potplants and bath. Unfortunately I was unaware this was happening for long enough for overspill of recently watered plants all over my carpet, which I am currently battling with the smell of, yeehah.

Im sorry to say that this evening I sat my partner down in tears and told him that we needed to find a solution, that I couldn’t come up with any acceptable ones. The shortlist included putting Bob down, as he could not be re-homed with his unsocial attitude. In the end I wrote down all the possible solutions I had thought of over the last couple of days since finding the disaster downstairs. It was a pretty grim list. The list looked grim especially for Bob, the most positive one being that my partner moved back out with him. This became, understandably an emotional time for both of us. In desperation I typed the search phrase "my old cat is afraid of the new cat and is pissing inside" into Google and found this thread.

Your advise is very good. We are off to buy Rescue Remedy and Dora will now live in our Bedroom (previously off limits to all cats) with a kitty litter tray (previously unacceptable IMHO) on the upstairs deck which has no other access. This space will remain off limits to Bob and hopefully our allergies wont be too bad.

I would like to thank you, as we are now feeling more light-hearted again about our recent co-habitation. Mostly, Bob would like to thank you, for the second chance.
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