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Unread 03-07-2009   #1 (permalink)
crablady's Avatar
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Unhappy from 2 to 3, sorry for rambling

Well, I was going to post this under cat advice but apparently I do not have the priveledge to post there. Anyhow. Let me share more about my cat family.

Bentley is a male tabby from a rescue center that is about 13 yrs old now. He is neutered and declawed in the front. He is shy and somewhat nervous. he spends most of the day hiding. He loves to go out at night in the good weather. people have know me for a few years and not realized I had a cat, cause he was always hiding. Very affectionate with me and my husband though. Not too big on the kids but just slinks away, no aggression. (although apparently he bit my pet sitter!)

A little over a year ago, our Siberian husky went to puppy heaven and although I miss having a dog horribly, I know with young kids (one still in diapers) that it's not the ideal time for a new pup. However, a beautiful little white kitty caught my eye at the Petsmart adoption center. I hummed and hawed for a couple weeks, knowing hubby wouldn't be too fond of the idea. then I headed there one day and told myself that if she was still there, it was meant to be! Thus Angel joined our family. the intoduction was not too bad. Obviouly Bentley was a little ticked off at first. There was a bit of hissing and swatting, but more so on Angels part. Can't say that the two are best friends now but they do play once in a while. Usually find separate sleeping spots. Overall, a peaceful relationship!

So.... winter of 2008. after forgetting a bag of garbage outside, that someone got into... I realized that every time I went out the door, this black and white cat went bolting! Then one morning, around 4:30 I was awakened to the sound of cat yowling. there was Bentley face to face with this cat at the patio door. Forcast was for a big snowstorm, so I went to the basement window, (which is half sheltered by the deck) and put out a dish of food and a box with a towel under the deck. It came as no surprise that he came back each day. For a while, he would stay far from the window, just wait for the food. then eventually he would sit right at the window and meow! When I opened the window he would back away hissing. Eventually he started letting me pet him. that was it. He decided he liked this petting and in notime, made his way into the house. Bentley immediately went and hid, and after being chased, so did Angel. Welcome Smudge. The day after his entrance to the house, I got him into the vet, Feline leukemia and HIV tested, vaccinated, and borded him there for 2 more days until they could neuter him.

So.... we bring smudge home in a cat carrier, and before I could tell my kids to leave him in there, my oldest had the door open. B and A immediately bolted for the bedrooms. It has now been 4 weeks of pure stress!

Smudgie, who is soo incredibly affectionate with people, continually chases after the other two. I know, they have to sort it out, but, although A and B are growling, he makes the attack. Fur flies and more than once there has been blood streaks on Angels nice white tail. within 2 weeks, A and B were soo intimidated by him that they wouldn't come out of the bedrooms. By this point, we are having to keep doors closed at night as Smudge would come upstairs to where the people were and make an attack. Daytime was fine as he would follow me around and the other two would hide.

Now, let me backtrack a bit. I know it is reccomended to confine a new cat for while. this just doesn't work in our house. It's very open concept, four kids, litter box in the bathroom (that's where angel seemed to want it) basement door is one of those folding doors that has never been secure and the cats have all figured out how to open it.

So at this point, we started to crate him at night., oh, btw, I had the pet ease diffusers right from the start cause I did buy them when we got Angel. So after about a week of crating him at night, Smudge now has raw patches on his chest and back from licking/pulling out fur. There have been clumps of fur lying around. Obviously, this isn't working.

Ya know what? we really, really like this cat! Even my non animal loving husband loves him. so we are really wanting to make this work.

So here's what we've done. bought the larges size dog cage available. 48x 30x36. He has his own food and water dish. a small litter box, one of those carpeted cubby hole things that he can hide in or sit on top and several cat toys hanging form the top. this has been his home for 3 days now. Yes, he comes out twice a day for 1-2 hours each. or more. The kids can actually get in the cage and pet and play with him. The bedroom doors are now open and Angel and Bentley are starting to come down more. they have just come in sight of the cage but have bolted at the first sign of movement. I plan to gradually move their food dishes so that they are in sight of each other when they eat.

So, sorry for rambling soo long, but what does anyone think of this situation. and my attempt to resolve it. Of course, we know that a cat can't live in a cage long term. we are bording him next week while we are away, the others will be home with a pet sitter. I then plan to give it about 2 months after that. A and B will need time to feel secure in their home again and Smudge will need time to learn that they are not a threat to him.

Many thanks for any input and advice! again... sorry for the long essay.
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Unread 03-08-2009   #2 (permalink)
abbie1234's Avatar
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its alright to ramble on, it mean that you care which is good
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