Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Still Coping

It's still an uphill battle dealing with 2 cats in separate quarters

When discussing the situation with a friend, she suggested I cuddle and bond with Isabella. Considering that she gets to stimulated when being petted, that's currently impossible. Because she has had very little or no human contact, she starts biting and scratching the hand that is petting her to show affection.

I also informed my friend that I did not take the cat in because I wanted another cat. I took her in because it was so cold in the winter months. Some advice I was given from the get go was "if you didn't want another cat, you shouldn't of fed her, and you should of ignored her"  Well that seemed rather harsh. They have no catch and release programs in New Hampshire, where they will offer some assistance. For the people who care they are on their own. For me it was sort of a catch and release situation. But after she healed, and was let out, it seems that she didn't really want to be released. When I thought about finding a home for her, because of her bad habit of being so close to feet, I had visions of people tripping over her. If she was in a household where people had no patience in dealing with her problems, it could turn out to be disaster. Some people think they want a cat, then when it doesn't turn out to be what they expected they bring it back or throw it out to fend for itself. .

I came to the conclusion that I would start with some spray bottle training and give her more freedom. I don't want her to get to attached to me, so I'll be kind and patient, but not affectionate. Every day I put Zelda in my room and set up a gate. Then I let Isabell out of her room for a couple hours. Every time she got close to my feet I gave her a quick, light spray. So far she gives me freedom to walk, and now she knows what the bottle is for. Most of the time when I hold it up, I don't even have to spray. She generally walks around and explores for awhile. One day she jumped up on my kitchen cabinet. I only had to abruptly say NO! and she got right down. I have been doing this for a few days, with no problems. Unfortunately today it was a different story. When I let her out, she was doing fine at first, but then I noticed her getting into a stalking possession (the thing cats do when stalking their prey) I got up from my chair and noticed that Zelda was in plain site of her, but way back against the wall away from the gate. When I said NO, she heard me, took notice, but decided to ignore me. Later she did not want to go back in her room, so it took awhile getting her back in her there.

Before she was afraid of Zelda, but now I can clearly see that she has claimed her territory and wants to be the Alpha cat. I don't want Zelda living her senior years in fear. So once I get her trained to keeping away from feet, I think I should start looking for a good home for her.


The Lee County Clowder said...

Rehoming Isabella might be the best option, if you're sure they'll never work things out on their own.

Have you tried just letting them deal with each other for a few minutes? (We don't remember if you've ever tried that or not) There will likely be a lot of hissing and swatting, but hopefully no blood.

If there is enough room and enough hidey holes and high shelves, things should work out ok.

meowmeowmans said...

We are purring and praying that things work themselves out...

kraftekat said...

I had thought about letting them deal with each other, But for some reason or another my gut tells me the situation could escalate into a dreadful cat fight. With both cats being strays, perhaps both of them have had bad experiences with other cats

By Isabell's behavior, I think she wants to be the alpha cat. And considering she's 10 years younger then Zelda I'm sure she would be. Then Zelda would more then likely spend most of her days hiding places, like under furniture etc. etc.