Cats Again ….

OK we seem to have more issues here with the cat hierarchy that I thought …

Abby came in last night to eat her dinner, but as soon as she saw Trubs she wanted back outside, all thoughts of dinner abandoned.  She didn’t care that it was her favourite food, she just wanted out the door as soon as she saw Trubs.

Whenever Trubs entered a room Abby left it. Yet I couldn’t see Trubs monstering her. All Trubs did was walk in and stare at her and Abby left.  I spent all evening, reintroducing Abby to “her” spots.  In the lounge room Abby has the two-seater lounge while Trubs sits on the one seaters and the has the area near the fire.  Abby jumped up on the two-seater and immediately jumped down again …. I ended up lying along the two-seater reading my book and patting Abby until she was comfortable being there again. obviously Trubs has marked it in Abby’s absence.

Later that night I found Abby under my bed.  Abby usually sleeps on my bed or mum’s bed, because Trubs sleeps in the lounge room near the fireplace.  I picked her up and had to calm her down before she would sleep on the bed again.  Some time during the night she went into mum’s room to sleep.   Trubs (who never enters mum’s bedroom) followed her in there and stared at her until Abby left again.

Trubs is definitely making Abby feel unwelcome in the house – but as she’s not growling or smacking or any of the other classic traits so I don’t know how to interfere.  I’ve tried using Feliway before by that doesn’t seem to work with Trubs.

Any ideas?

I’ve let Abby out again this morning – but I really have no idea when she will return especially as Trubs followed her out the door and essentially stared her off the property ….

In other news, there were no messes in the kitchen overnight.  There were two separate pee and one separate poop mess on the floor on fo the bathroom (apparently Trubs wont use the litter if Abby uses it first) but at least she is using the bathroom again – so thankyou to those who suggested changing the litter pan.

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3 Responses to Cats Again ….

  1. Julie Dollery says:

    1) Litter tray demarcation disputes. Does Will Abby use a tray that Trubs has used before? If not, then this is easily fixed with two trays. All you need to do, is get one to use each of the trays & then it’s theirs for life (never use bleach & the scent mark will stay). If Abby DOES use a tray used by Trubs, it’s a little more complicated. Let me know & I’ll describe how to solve that.

    2) Now, the trickier issue of dominant cat/submissive cat. I think unfortunately you’re going to have to be tough with Trubs. My gut tells me that Trubs is responding to you showing extra affection to Abby (as a result of Trub’s behavior) as even more of a threat & ramping up the animosity. So, back to basics. Lots of affection for both (out of sight of the other) but zero tolerance to “attitude” from Trubs when she “emotionally abuses” Abby. (The old water pistol & a sound “no” perhaps). It’s worth a try, but to be honest, we spent 7 years with a house with 2 cats that just didn’t get on. The difference was, Pi was too stupid to leave. Sound like Abby’s smarter than than that & looking at options.

    3) Suggestion from hubby. Some cats are very possessive of their human’s. Pi & Tips co-habited because Tips was Ian’s cat & Pi was mine. It didn’t get too bad as long as Tips didn’t get the feeling that Ian spent too much time with Pi. Perhaps, for a little while, you & your Mum could take “parentage” one one cat each.

  2. Mel says:

    Hey Jules,

    Thanks so much for the suggestions and advice, I’m a stressed out cat-mum-failure here 😦

    Abby has been around the yard all day today thank goodness. Mum and I have been out pottering in the garden, hanging clothes on the line, weeding (oh the horror) and just generally being in a space that Abby feels comfortable in. Both of us have lavished attention on her when she has come near us. Whenever we have called to Abby, Trubs has come out of the house so that causes tension to rise, but we ignored Trubs, spent time with Abby and *then* spent time with Trubs. Or whoever was calling to Abby spent time with Abby while the other spent time with Trubs.

    We basically used the same parenting techniques mum uses on her grandchildren. Which seems to be what you are advocating – so this is good. We’ll see how the inside part goes tonight and if we can get Abby back into the house. The fact the she did spend the day in and around the yard is of enormous comfort though.

    As for the litter tray, Abby will go in any litter tray at any where in any time. Unless it needs cleaning, in which case she will do the cat equivalent of hopping around you with her legs crossed until you clean it out for her.

    I think the issue for Trubs is compounded by the fact that Abby in her youthful enthusiasm sprays the litter over half the bathroom floor while trying to cover her business at the end. Trubs is a little fastidious and wont go in a box that is less than pristine. Yes she’s been indulged by living on her own with an human who cleans the tray religiously morning and night so she isn’t used to a messy tray.

    After Hemingway died, Abby spent a lot of time with mum. She watched mum bury Hemms, she followed after mum a lot, she slept on mum’s bed for weeks after, but lately she’s reverted back to sleeping on my bed and spending time curled up on my bed during the day. Maybe we should encourage her to go back to sleeping on mum’d bed for a while.

    We have made Abby up her own basket today. I don’t know if she will use it, but it’s made up of basket, towel and lambswool all from mum’s long term cupboards so none of it will smell of my place or Hemingway or Trouble, so it should be something that is just hers. We will see if that helps …

  3. Julie Dollery says:

    “Treat cats like grandchildren (or any other siblings)” = BIG TICK!!!
    My Mum always described cats as having the self-absorbedness of a three year old with the deviousness of a 10 year old.

    I think you guys are on the right track. The trays are going to be an issue. I was surfing the net today & in the USA (the land of “you can buy anything”) you can buy covered trays with swinging cat doors that you can program to the individual cat’s microchip. So your issue isn’t original. With a little luck, you may find that one of them relocates their toilet habits to outside (Loki’s done that), but I wouldn’t bet on it. I’ll ask my cat experts for ideas & get back to you.

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