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Old 02-19-2021, 09:37 AM
 
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Ok, as mentioned, we have a new cat. A stray that showed up at my job and I fed for 6 weeks until I was able to grab him. Once he was caught I sent him to a vet to be neutered.....Was not sure if he was feral or looking for help at that point. The vet called me and said he was on the fence because the cat was calm in the office and did nothing. We were not sure if it would be a catch/release if he was beyond being domesticated. I had all intentions of keeping him if possible. So home he came to recover. Long story short, he has his own safe room and we did the introductions slowly to our other 2 cats. We also spent time with him alone in there to get him used to us. He learned that playing was fun among other things. He let us pet his head and let us know when enough is enough and where not to pet him.
My wife and I over many years had a lot of cats, all rescues. No real behavior issues and normal adjustments. This new cat I am still trying to figure out. For one, he is insanely smart and tries to figure everything out. Everything fascinates him. Now the other 2 cats are not thrilled about him being here. Luna ,our 16 year old calico, goes out of her way to avoid him. She is sweet but can turn into crazy cat in seconds with another cat. She established right away to him that she is off limits. He was submissive to her and you could see was nervous when she came into a room. Ozzy, our 7 year old male tabby, is the dominant cat. He is super mushy and sweet with us.....he spent the many hours during the intro days just following and staring at the new cat. Then the new one started the lunge playing thing to get Ozzy to chase him. We thought that great, he is not going to be wild or a bully or mean. But things do get out of hand......now He will challenge Ozzy and it usually turns into Ozzy running him down up the stairs and into his safe room. Then Ozzy comes out and Theon(new cat) will come full speed out of the safe room and tag Ozzy right on the back....but you can hear the claws hitting skin. There were many times where the cat screaming happened and we had to separate them. Then an hour later they can be asleep on the ouch together.....Until Ozzy wakes up and Theon is locked and loaded. It seems to start as play but goes south quickly. Ozzy, who looks for is nightly belly rubs and brushing, is now a little hesitant to come downstairs and when he does, he looks at me like ,Why did you bring this cat home. Lol. I am still hopeful that it get better and calmer but I am still wondering. Ozzy, was given to us at 6 weeks old and we socialized him perfectly to humans. Thought when introduced to the other 2 cats (1 passed away in Sept)he was terror too. But he took a good 2 years to turn into a calm cat. I question whether Theon actually wants to be an indoor cat or not. I had to save him from outside, he would have surely been killed over here. He was also starving. No way could I leave him but I wasn't sure how he would be inside. He seems to love his beds and food and I am sure he loves the warmth. He has not discovered the front door leads to outside yet and that is because I am afraid he will try to run out once does. He is lightning fast. So some of the issues I need help trying to get under control are:
[[b]B]Getting playtime to not turn into fights. My wife and I supervise with toys to distract btw.
He has food anxiety so cooking, opening the fridge or the pantry is a battle. He is relentless if he smells food. If he doesn't get his way he will swat at you.
He likes to take things and bury them into a rug.....anything he can carry in his mouth....soap, my wifes headset, he grabbed a whole tub of Greenies treats from the pantry and carried it in his mouth until I took it away. He hissed and scratched my hand.
He likes to lunge at legs and grabs with both paws and those claws hurt. If you sternly say stop, it makes him riled up.
Catnip is off limits now......we gave it to him and he was out of control.
He has more energy than any cat we have ever had before. He is a russian blue by the way. We try to wear him out by playing with him and it does do the trick.....until another cat walks into the room.
He is not a lap cat nor a cuddly cat and that is fine, we just want him to be safe, but you can pet his head and he gives that look that he enjoys it and then for no reason will swat you away.
He climbs up curtains.
Let me clear though, he is not a wild crazy or mean cat.....he is 1 year old, possibly 14 or 15 months. He has a lot of energy that he needs to get out.....but I don't need it to turn into aggression taken out on the other cats or us. We are not sure what we should be doing to change anything.....we are doing what we have always done but this one is more challenging. I don't want the other cats to feel like they cant come into a room and I don't want Theon to turn into a bully. Not sure if he trying to play and it goes too far or if he is trying to establish dominance. He seems to like being here but how do we know for sure if really can be an indoor cat? I understand he had to survive out there and maybe he is still in survival mode?
I also believe he was taken from his mother too early.....He likes to suck the blanket and make biscuits...
Could it also be that maybe his hormones are still raging? I thought it took 6 weeks after being neutered for that to work itself out. He does try to have sex with the blanket while making biscuits so that is weird.

I know I have asked some of these before but if anyone has any more suggestions ,please let me know. Also I have Feliway diffusers on each floor and I spray something called Calming spray.....I don't think it helps though

Last edited by gmdealerguy; 02-19-2021 at 10:00 AM..
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:23 AM
 
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I don't know much about cats, but I've watched the Cat Whisperer guy on Animal Planet, and I recall, more than once, he's made the suggestion to get a cat tower.


Seems like, the few times I watched, the cat tower DID seem to calm tensions (with multiple cats) quite a bit.
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I don't know much about cats, but I've watched the Cat Whisperer guy on Animal Planet, and I recall, more than once, he's made the suggestion to get a cat tower.


Seems like, the few times I watched, the cat tower DID seem to calm tensions (with multiple cats) quite a bit.
Thanks. We have those already.
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Old 02-19-2021, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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I read one of your other posts about this new kitty. I can't remember how long you've had him, maybe a few months now? He sounds similar (though MORE active) to our Lucy. At first we could not contain her (and we had 3 other cats at the time) anywhere in the house, despite what we did.

It takes about 4 weeks for hormones to subside. However, it can take months for a cat in "survival mode" to settle in. His world has been turned upside down. He may have lost his mom at an early age. He needs to learn manners and boundaries in a positive way.

I think you may need to keep him separated from your other cats for a break every day. From what you've written, you may also want to shut him in a room when you're making/preparing food if that's a big trigger for him. It DOES take time for a feral cat to settle down and realize that regular meals are coming.

He may need more mental stimulation. Google how to make a treat puzzle toy from an empty water bottle. Our Lucy loves those--I set out every day. Maybe set one of those in the room and close the door while you are in the kitchen to distract him.

Play play play some more with him. Use a laser light and wand toys to tire him out. Can you get a bird feeder or play a cat video for him? Teach him tricks using a clicker?

I think he's getting there but still needs more time to adjust and calm down.
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Old 02-19-2021, 04:20 PM
 
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My advice would be to feed him in his safe room for a while. Put his food in and then go and do everyone else's food. He can smell it but won't be hungry when he does. The food insecurity takes a while.


The rampant energy also takes a while and can have more to do with age than hormones, though lucky you, it can be both.


As for rough play, that may be the only thing he knows and it can take time for him to get all the clues he needs from the other cats. The problem is that while he's learning their behavior, they're learning his, so patience is going to come in handy.


If he is wicked smart, then he needs some smart toys. You should get him treat balls or puzzles. He would love those and keep the toys coming since a smart cat will need new mental stimulation more often. You can look up cheap diy ones and the cheapest toy in the store (like the cruddy stuffed sliced of pizza someone gave us) will sometimes turn out to be a favorite. That stupid pizza slice doesn't even have the tag off because I held it out to Grace and she grabbed it and ran and has been showing up with it in bed, in the sink, at her dinner bowl, just plain all over creation, still has the tag attached. I should call her Minnie Pearl, if you're old enough to get that joke.


When I got Grace at a young age, I made a couple of trips to the dollar store or Big Lots and bought one of every toy they had and it helped a little. I catnip her now and then, too, but if your guy had a big reaction, I'd give teeny bits to see if it goes better. He sounds like he wants to be there, but he is a young, recently wild boy and will need the patience of a saint.
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Old 02-19-2021, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Midwest
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Holy moly, gmdealerguy, how about some paragraph breaks?
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dwatted Wabbit View Post
Holy moly, gmdealerguy, how about some paragraph breaks?
LOL. Sorry. I was typing while at work and kept coming back to it.
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:47 PM
 
2,058 posts, read 1,744,046 times
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Originally Posted by Rene S View Post
I read one of your other posts about this new kitty. I can't remember how long you've had him, maybe a few months now? He sounds similar (though MORE active) to our Lucy. At first we could not contain her (and we had 3 other cats at the time) anywhere in the house, despite what we did.

It takes about 4 weeks for hormones to subside. However, it can take months for a cat in "survival mode" to settle in. His world has been turned upside down. He may have lost his mom at an early age. He needs to learn manners and boundaries in a positive way.

I think you may need to keep him separated from your other cats for a break every day. From what you've written, you may also want to shut him in a room when you're making/preparing food if that's a big trigger for him. It DOES take time for a feral cat to settle down and realize that regular meals are coming.

He may need more mental stimulation. Google how to make a treat puzzle toy from an empty water bottle. Our Lucy loves those--I set out every day. Maybe set one of those in the room and close the door while you are in the kitchen to distract him.

Play play play some more with him. Use a laser light and wand toys to tire him out. Can you get a bird feeder or play a cat video for him? Teach him tricks using a clicker?

I think he's getting there but still needs more time to adjust and calm down.
Week of Thanksgiving is when I brought him home. He was neutered that week. He does get separated for breaks during the day. We don't let him roam the house at night yet. He's too unpredictable right now and we don't want to risk fights. He has no issues going to the safe room when we go to sleep. He just goes in and goes to sleep.

We gave him one of those blue egg puzzles and he was fascinated by it.... He also figured out how to get the treats quickly and grew bored. We play with him a lot and get him tired. Just tonight he wore himself out, layed down on the couch next to me and passed out...... Then ozzy comes into the living room and Theon is on full alert. Just jumps off the couch and swats at him and they got into it. I got scratched trying to stop it. He was relentless and Ozzy, who was dominant, showed fear.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmdealerguy View Post
Week of Thanksgiving is when I brought him home. He was neutered that week. He does get separated for breaks during the day. We don't let him roam the house at night yet. He's too unpredictable right now and we don't want to risk fights. He has no issues going to the safe room when we go to sleep. He just goes in and goes to sleep.

We gave him one of those blue egg puzzles and he was fascinated by it.... He also figured out how to get the treats quickly and grew bored. We play with him a lot and get him tired. Just tonight he wore himself out, layed down on the couch next to me and passed out...... Then ozzy comes into the living room and Theon is on full alert. Just jumps off the couch and swats at him and they got into it. I got scratched trying to stop it. He was relentless and Ozzy, who was dominant, showed fear.
He does sound like a smart guy. You may want to get a few puzzles and rotate them so he's not bored. You can use free materials to make them (like a small box with holes cut out, empty water bottle).

If you know that they may get into it, have a wand toy nearby you all of the time. When someone comes up and you see Theon go on alert, wave the toy as a distraction so the confrontation never happens. Or just pick up Theon and put him in his safe room before anything happens.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:53 AM
 
2,058 posts, read 1,744,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene S View Post
He does sound like a smart guy. You may want to get a few puzzles and rotate them so he's not bored. You can use free materials to make them (like a small box with holes cut out, empty water bottle).

If you know that they may get into it, have a wand toy nearby you all of the time. When someone comes up and you see Theon go on alert, wave the toy as a distraction so the confrontation never happens. Or just pick up Theon and put him in his safe room before anything happens.
He's a Russian Blue and I have been reading about their personality.....says they prefer to be the only cat in the house. Not sure how true that it is......also high energy......which his is off the charts.
He can sleep on the couch between my wife and I and the minute Ozzy walks in, he is on alert and starts in with him in seconds......and it has progressed to claws and cat screams.
Then Ozzy runs away and Theon is all over him. Ozzy was the dominant cat and Theon in the beginning would defer to him....not anymore.
Ozzy is feeling pretty sad and now spends time under our bed......which is not sitting well with us. We do keep toys at hand and we try to distract him.....he does get time outs in the safe room.

He did discover that we have a front door Saturday and he tried to get out. I am fully convinced he will try to run out at some point.....and he is like lightning. I wonder if he even wants to be an indoor cat. He seems to like it here.

Remember my original intention was to grab him, get him neutered and determine if he was too feral or not. If he wasn't feral, I was going to have a rescue group near me that I donate to help home him. We just lost one our cats to cancer in September and were just going to stick with 2 cats for now. But no way was I not going to try and help this cat. Once I got him home, he seemed ok. He never hissed, meowed or showed aggression......in the carrier or at the vet.....he let us go near him and touch him and loved to play. Even when he was outside at work, he would come into my dept through the open door and eat near my desk.
Feral cats as I understand would not do any of this, right?
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