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Old 10-31-2020, 01:35 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 1,550,202 times
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I have been adopting rescue cats and rehabilitating feral cats for years. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs too but dogs are more expensive and more High Maintenance. I thought I was was pretty experienced at understanding cat behavior and psychology but I am puzzled by one of my current adoptees.

After my previous cats passed on, I adopted a cat from a Kill Shelter. I knew little about her other than her age (4 years) and that she had been turned in for failure to use a litter box, and then returned by two more adoptive families. She turned out to be an antisocial cat who does not like to be petted and freaks out when picked up. But she did want to play, in fact she insisted. Not usually interactively back and forth with me, she wanted to have toys wiggled in front of her so she could watch them. She likes to sit in the window and watch birds but prefers to have activity happening inches in front of her. Shelter staff suggested that she should have a companion cat even though notes said she never had one before.

I consulted with some of the local cat rescue groups and they recommended an active male cat around the same age. One group picked out an intensely affectionate cat who was known to get along with numerous other cats. So I took him home. He is a great cat - smaller than her, intelligent, well behaved, playful, eager to please and highly affectionate. I followed all the Rescue org instructions - keeping them completely separate for a week, then interchanging dishes and litterbox, then letting them out together on brief supervised visits.

So, here's my question: Are they likely to eventually bond or not? They will eat from the same dish and share a litterbox. But, after a month she still snarls and hisses when she sees him. She will let him jump up beside her even within a foot, but snarls, growls and hisses, then turns her back on him, with her ears laid back flat along her head, tail curled around her, until she falls asleep. He will lie there, ears forward, tail lashing until it falls still, head on paws gazing at her until he falls asleep. They will then sleep there for hours within a foot of each other. It has been this way for weeks. So, what does this body language mean and do you think they will bond or not? It has been about 45 days. She seems to enjoy watching him cavort but refuses to interactively play with him - even when tempted with string, laser pointer, or Da Fly. He used to beg her, with the same vocalizations he uses on me at supper time. He even brought her his favorite toy and laid it at her feet but Miss UnCongeniality's heart remained unmelted so, eventually he gave up and mostly ignores her.
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Old 10-31-2020, 04:43 PM
 
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45 days isn't very long for cats to get adjusted to one another. It sounds like they are getting along fine and she is just letting him know where he stands. Whether they bond or not, there isn't any way of knowing. It could take weeks, it could take years and suddenly one day they are inseparable, or they may always live side by side amicably without bonding by your definition. It won't matter.

However they will get along better if you offer more resources. I wouldn't encourage sharing food dishes. Food is a very high resource item and each cat should have her or his meal spot and own dish.

There should be at least 3 litter boxes in the house, with at least one in a different location, if possible.

Ensure there are enough elevated spaces and beds and forts to share.
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Old 10-31-2020, 05:24 PM
 
16,931 posts, read 2,152,702 times
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OP mentions how nice the new cat is. That translates to human behavior. It sounds like two unhappy cats and one unhappy human.


Please feel free to pick up ChaCha Cat at 18 pounds and 11 years in our house.
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:17 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 1,550,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threestep2 View Post
OP mentions how nice the new cat is. That translates to human behavior. It sounds like two unhappy cats and one unhappy human.


Please feel free to pick up ChaCha Cat at 18 pounds and 11 years in our house.
??

Not understanding your reply. Can you please rephrase?
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:21 PM
 
1,230 posts, read 1,550,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
45 days isn't very long for cats to get adjusted to one another. It sounds like they are getting along fine and she is just letting him know where he stands. Whether they bond or not, there isn't any way of knowing. It could take weeks, it could take years and suddenly one day they are inseparable, or they may always live side by side amicably without bonding by your definition. It won't matter.

However they will get along better if you offer more resources. I wouldn't encourage sharing food dishes. Food is a very high resource item and each cat should have her or his meal spot and own dish.

There should be at least 3 litter boxes in the house, with at least one in a different location, if possible.

Ensure there are enough elevated spaces and beds and forts to share.
.


Thank you Catsmom - tried to rep you but CD deletes every rep I try to make. Don't know why.

I have adopted and rehabilitated multiple cats before. I understand feline possessiveness and territoriality and made sure each cat has their own room, separate bedding, litterbox, perches, toys, food/water bowls and dedicated individual attention time. I should make clear that they CHOSE to share their stuff despite having separate alternatives. That makes me suspect they may bond, but I am confused by their current behavior.

Last edited by ersatz; 10-31-2020 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:02 PM
 
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Sounds like wild cats I have seen with a friend who catches them to spay/neuter. Your wondering about her may be an expectation she was not wild? Just by your description she sounds like the wild cats who are not bad in their familiar family of cats and careful around unfamiliar cats but not horrible to them, not actually attacking. She may have enjoyed the stimulation of birds wherever she was caught from.
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:37 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
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At age four, I tend to think she will not change very much. She may have been badly abused and needs to feel like she is in charge. If she's not the boss, she freaks out because someone or something could hurt her.

I have no experience with cats that were wild so I can't comment on that, but it could be the case too.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:24 PM
 
7,093 posts, read 14,648,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersatz View Post
.


Thank you Catsmom - tried to rep you but CD deletes every rep I try to make. Don't know why.

I have adopted and rehabilitated multiple cats before. I understand feline possessiveness and territoriality and made sure each cat has their own room, separate bedding, litterbox, perches, toys, food/water bowls and dedicated individual attention time. I should make clear that they CHOSE to share their stuff despite having separate alternatives. That makes me suspect they may bond, but I am confused by their current behavior.

I don't understand why you are confused. They are cats, getting used to one another. One has had her territory invaded, the other has found himself in a new situation with a defensive resident cat. It's all perfectly normal, and as long as they aren't killing each other, it sounds as though they are working things out.


I am sure you know that every cat will react in his or her own way to any given situation. This is just two cats sussing things out.
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Old 11-01-2020, 09:26 AM
 
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PS wild cats in colonies they have created can be very sweet with each other, with those in their colony. If she was wild as in actually living outdoors in a colony and slowly making changes...not necessarily a bad thing. See how she does.
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