Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: Addy on August 19, 2013, 01:35:40 PM

Title: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Addy on August 19, 2013, 01:35:40 PM
I am looking for the advice of animal advocates, cat connoisseurs and pet professionals.

My husband's sister recently discovered that she is allergic to cats, and needed to rehome her two. Unfortunately, a friend of hers took one, but declined the other. There was a deadline where she was going to be taking the other to the SPCA, and I didn't like the chances for a 2 year old, male black cat, so we took him in.

We already had a 16 year old, slow, fat, lazy female who I love with all my heart. She is the youngest and last surviving member of the trio of cats that we had for...well...the last 16 years. I was nervous to bring a newcomer into the house, so I did it very slowly...keeping him in the guest room, while letting our girl smell the pet carrier. Then putting up baby gates, so they could see and smell each other, then finally introducing them.

It has been close to three months now and they still don't get along. I still keep them separate at night, and when we are not home, but when they are together they still growl, hiss and swat at one another. I have been separating them when they do fight, mostly because I am nervous for my old girl. I hate making her put up with being bullied by this young whippersnapper.

Any advice? Am I being impatient, and it's just going to take longer? Should I just let them fight it out? My husband wants to get a kitten now, so that the younger cat has someone to play with (I forgot that young cats had this much energy, he has to run everywhere!) but I am afraid that we will then have three cats who don't get along, and I don't want to stress out my old girl anymore than she already is.

I know you ehellions have a lot of knowledge and experience. Any advice you can give is most appreciated.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Steve on August 19, 2013, 01:39:12 PM
Has your boy been neutered? I would start with that.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: RegionMom on August 19, 2013, 01:42:40 PM
Friend of mine had a cat older from before marriage, and after many years, got two kittens for her young kids, since "Squeaky" was on her last legs.  The kittens played with each other, and the old cat just watched from a viewing place. 

They never really fought.

Now, if you do get a 2nd kitten, and they do not get along, not sure then want to do. 
Stressing out the old cat is not good. 

Friend had a two story house, so the old cat got upstairs, and the kittens got downstairs.  Different litter boxes and even food. 

When Squeaky died, it was easier for the kids (and mom) to not have an empty house.  Then dad wanted a dog, so the house is all sorts of full!

good luck.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: SlitherHiss on August 19, 2013, 01:47:53 PM
Echoing Steve: Get him fixed, if you haven't already.

Also, make sure there are plenty of perches and little cubbies for both of them to hide in/on. I found that using Feliway didn't really help any of mine, but spritzing catnip tea around the common areas was very helpful in relaxing the more high-strung of my cats.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 19, 2013, 01:48:20 PM
Growing up, we had a female stray cat for about 2 years before another stray cat decided to come join our family. The original cat hated the interlopper. She hissed and growled anytime the new cat would come into the room and would force the new comer out. And if original saw you petting the new comer, she wouldn't have anything to do with you for at least a day.

I wish I could say they became buddies, but after 5 years, the best that it got too was they could walk by each other without growling.

I was at a friend's home last week and she has a 14 yr old and a 3 yr old. They don't get along either and primarily stay in separate areas.

So as long as they are not physically attacking each other, I'd just keep them separated at night. I'd also make sure to have feeding bowls in separate rooms.

Cats will fight. I have 3 yr old brother and sister. Sometimes they start out playing till one gets mad and then they go for blood. Sometimes one is just in a bad mood and decides to attack the other.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 19, 2013, 02:03:27 PM
My two are 11 and 7 and had been in the same house together for a year before I took them and I've had them a little over two years, now.  They are both spayed females.  The younger one is a cranky pants.  Walk too close to her, get hissed at.  Pick her up, get hissed at.  Scritch the wrong body body part, get hissed at or bitten.

I always thought cranky pants was the instigator in any fights but have since learned that the old girl will have a go, too.  They are never going to be friends but they do mostly get along and will groom each other... before it degenerates into a spat.   ::)

What I do is make sure there are separate sleeping spots for both.  A couple that only cranky pants can get to and the rest are for both of them.  And then, when they fight, I use a spray bottle to break them up.  Cranky pants just has to see the bottle and she runs, now.  And part of the problem is that cranky pants has a lot more energy than the old girl.  So I would recommend playing with the young cat a lot more to tire him out a little.  And get him fixed, if he's not, as per PPs.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Addy on August 19, 2013, 02:09:43 PM
Sorry, should have mentioned, the young dude is already neutered.

So, it seems like maybe my expectations are just a little too high and I shouldn't be too surprised that they still may need to be separated.

They do each have their own room with food, water and litter box, so separating them isn't difficult. I would just love to have my guest room back. But as long as guests don't mind sharing with boy kitty, I guess I'm ok.  ;)
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: EMuir on August 19, 2013, 02:09:44 PM
Assuming everyone's neutered... have you fed them treats while each is on opposite sides of the gate until they stop growling?

Also, Feliway spray throughout the place may help, it's basically "happy cat pheromones" and might calm them down.

Who usually hisses first?
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: random numbers on August 19, 2013, 02:23:08 PM
This might have some good ideas:

http://tomatonation.com/vine/the-vine-august-14-2013/

Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: peach2play on August 19, 2013, 02:30:52 PM
I know it may seem scary, but you may need to just let them settle it.  Unless they are locked in a furball or there is visible blood from scratches, they aren't hurting each other.  It might even be that they are playing and you are taking it as fighting.  My little Ming hisses and swats and growls at her sister, but she is just playing, she's not angry and they chase each other around.  Let them be and relax.  They'll figure it out.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: magicdomino on August 19, 2013, 02:38:12 PM
Most of the time, you can establish a detante.  It may well require months of supervison, though.

I'd offer advice, but my older siblings still attack the young sisters if they catch them on the wrong side of the gate (girls can jump it; Domino and Magic can't quite).  My older two have emotional problems, though.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: doodlemor on August 19, 2013, 03:01:21 PM
We have had 10 cats here off and on for the last decade.  Right now the population is 7.  All of them were spayed or neutered.  None of them have been nice to each other, but they are all loving and purr for humans.

We have a 16 year old and a 14 year old who have been together for 12 years, and they still get combative at times.  The hostilities seem to be a tit for tat thing, though, nothing serious for any of them - no bites or scratches.  I think that they are just telling the others to leave them alone.  The cats actually seem to get along better with the 2 dogs than they do with each other.

The newest cat is about 5 or 6 months old, and was found where someone had thrown her into a creek.  Now that she is healthy and spayed she annoys the older cats with her constant playing and chasing.  They also seem to like to perch somewhere and watch her activities, though.  We decided that her alternate name is Miss Demeanor.

The only cats that we ever had who got along were litter mates that we got as kittens.  I wouldn't worry too much about your two cats - it seems like cats just tend to be cranky with each other.  Or, perhaps this is just how cats communicate and we humans perceive this as mean behavior.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Ser Lucien Liliane on August 19, 2013, 06:35:12 PM
Oh, cats. I've got a cranky case myself - and I've grown up with cranky cases.

What you're technically SUPPOSED to do, according to most shelters, is to separate the cats completely for a period of time (two weeks to a month, usually - the shelter here recommends two weeks). Don't let them even see each other. They'll smell each other, though, and the idea is to get them both used to each other's smell. Once the "quarantine" is up, then you can let them see one another, but not come in contact - putting up a gate usually works well, and that lasts about two more weeks as well. Then after THAT, you can let them socialize and interact face to face without a barrier.

Personally, I think that's overboard. I just let them socialize and get used to one another as they will, no "quarantine". Lily, my cranky case, is the worst of them, and the most she's ever done in a fit of pique is to start trying to smack one of the others upside the head. (She's declawed, which helps.) She usually just hisses and growls and carries on like the world is ending, which is fine and also kind of hilarious because she has a growl three times her size. I wouldn't even be upset if she did get into a tussle with one of the others unless there was serious bloodshed and screaming going on, and in 26 years of owning cats I've never seen any cat brought into the household be that cranky.

Long story short, you're probably alright, they may never get along but as long as there's no screaming and carrying on - and you will KNOW a pained cat scream when you hear it - it's okay to let them, well, be cats. Also, if you get super worried about fighting, a squirt with a spray bottle can break them up if they get going.

Younger cats will also integrate better than older. *stares at kitten who thinks she rules the house*
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Shea on August 19, 2013, 07:03:45 PM
Sometimes it takes awhile for them to sort things out between them. When I was a kid, we had a two-year-old female, and then adopted a kitten. The older one spent much of the kitten's first few weeks in the house hissing, swatting and otherwise terrorizing the kitten. We separated them as much as possible, but we did let them mostly roam around the house unsupervised. Eventually, the older cat settled down and learned to tolerate the kitten, and the kitten spent the rest of her days attempting to become BFFs with the older one. Their relationship consisted mostly of cautious, sometimes cuddly truce, interspersed with the older cat asserting her dominance with hisses, swats and chasing. Hopefully, if you let them get to know each other, they'll learn to live together. But if the bad behavior keeps up, you may have to begin looking for a new home for the male cat. There are homes out there for grown cats, I adopted mine when she was a year old. You might be able to find a home for him, if you have to, through a local cat rescue group, so you won't have to run the risk of him being euthanized.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 19, 2013, 07:07:12 PM
Just let them figure it out.  As long as neither one of them is actively attacking the other, they'll be fine. 

In my situation.  I got Gretchen first.  She was queen of the house until I brought in Grace as a 5 month old orphan (there was a calico named Tiffany before Grace, but that didn't work out).  They hated each other, but loved me :) .  About a year later I brought in Phoebe who was a 9 y/o who had been given up for the stupidest of reasons.  Phoebe hated other cats, but loved people. After Phoebe arrived Gretchen and Grace became best of friends.  Once I moved back home, I gave Phoebe to my parents as she did better in a 1 cat household.  Gretchen and Grace were still friends. 

About 5 years ago I moved in with my aunt with the 2 cats.  3 years ago, the cat next door had kittens, so we took one of them and named her Zoe.  Gretchen and Zoe are now best of friends and Grace is fed up with both of them.  Every now and then Gretchen and Grace will mock fight.  But Grace wants nothing to do with Zoe and refuses to even play with her.  My bed is neutral territory, so all 3 of them will come and lay around.  But once they hit the floor, it's back to the two factions.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: *inviteseller on August 19, 2013, 10:37:02 PM
I would quit separating them so much because they aren't getting a chance to really get used to each other.  You will be surprised at how a younger cat can bring out the inner kitten of an older cat.  Remember, he had a playmate he is now apart from and he wants to play with your older one, who has been an only cat.  I have numerous cats and I foster.  At this point, the 2 fosters (who are brother and sister) pretty much only play with each other, of my residents, I have a bully, a scardy cat, a permanently PMS'ing cat, a dork, and a basement cat.  My one male and one female get along, the PMS'er and the scaredy cat tolerate each other and I sometimes get some spats that sound much worse than they are (bully likes to run at scaredy cat, who in turn screams her head off).  The main thing you have to watch for is your older cat expressing any displeasure by leaving 'gifts' in places other than the box.  Also, you may want to give them separate eating spots so they have their own 'happy place'.   As far as getting a kitten, you can always volunteer to do fosters.  That gives your new cat some playmates and you can see how he interacts with other cats.   Don't give up..it can take a while.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: tjika on August 20, 2013, 01:54:48 PM
I'm with the people who say to let the cats figure it out themselves. I currently have 5 cats and have never done an elaborate introduction. Just popped the new cat out of the carrier in the middle of the living room.

I did an introduction lesson to cat behavior once, and asked the teacher her point of view about this very subject.
Her opinion was to let them figure it out for themselves. Just make sure each cat had places they could retreat too, meaning multiple rooms.

Some cats will never get on, but they can usually find a way to live together if given the chance to work out who is boss in what area.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: bopper on August 20, 2013, 02:16:37 PM
This might have some good ideas:

http://tomatonation.com/vine/the-vine-august-14-2013/
I was going to post the same thing!

Key question:  Do they fight when you aren't home as well?
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Moralia on August 20, 2013, 05:27:53 PM
You could pour the juice from a couple of cans of tuna over them both...and after the frenzy of cleaning, they'll be BFFs!    ;D

Or, the big one will eat the smaller one...
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: lkdrymom on August 20, 2013, 06:39:04 PM
We had three cats for 10 years then the male cat passed away. We got a new male kitten. We were so excited...our girls not so much.  I grew up with alot of cats and we always had a new addition so it was no big deal when a new cat arrived. I didn't figure on our girls being upset as no new cats in the house for 10 years. Vincenzo, the Maine Coon kitten just fell in love with out 10 year old Siamese Blossom. He drive her crazy. Our tiny 11 year old black kitty did not like him at all. He is nearly three times her weight and he treats her like she is Don Corleone. Just on elook from her and he backs out of the room. However there is no longer hissing or fights and they can sit near each other or eat together. He just knows to leave when he gets the look.

We had so much fun with a new kitty that we got another one six months later. Girls took right to him. Rodolpho Valentino (Rudi) is Vincenzo's half brother.  And it is true....younger cats make older cats young again. Blossom who was content to live out her  life in a rocking chair occassionally joins in  in a game of STampede or tag.

my point was it took alot longer for us to introduce the new cat than I ever thought.  Once you get past the first introduction, the second one will be easier.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: crella on August 20, 2013, 06:52:58 PM
Some neighborhood kids brought us a tiny, tiny kitten (a little puffball that fit in the palm of my hand) and said they'd be back for it in 'two or three days' when some one of their mothers gave them permission to keep it. Well, it was over a month when they came back, and by then I'd been up every two hours to feed it with a dropper and doing housework with it in a carrier to keep it warm, I said I would continue to take care of it. The mother of the girl said she had no idea it was that small, and that I should keep it.

Miichi came when we already had a cat Bu (named for a monkey in a cartoon) and Bu was just plain hostile. She'd hiss and smack. The kitten wanted to snuggle, but Bu wanted NO part of it. I found the little one curled up on the video camera battery charger for warmth once. About two months or so into the hiss-fest I walked into the living room to see the two of them curled up on the couch, with Bu curling a protective paw around Miichi. After that they were inseparable. Bu carried her to the litter box to go, scolded her when she went on the floor, taught her how to hunt, it was amazing to watch. They may warm up to each other yet. Miichi was hit by a car a year later, and Bu mourned for months, carrying a sock around in her mouth. We got another cat, a male this time, and the fireworks continued for a long time again, and then suddenly, they were best buds. There's hope yet!

Edited for a typo.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Sebastienne on August 21, 2013, 02:09:44 AM
My cat introduction story:

When my husband and I met, he had two cats: Flounder, the most good-natured cat in the history of cats, and Gizmo, a captured feral cat who was terribly skittish around humans but a cat-social *dynamo* (we guessed he'd fathered about half the neighborhood strays before DH trapped him). Gizmo and Flounder were BFFs.

I had one: Lola. Lola is my heart, but she was...a problem. She is a fantastic one-person cat, in that she loved me more than anyone in the history of ever has loved anything. No lie--our eyes met at the shelter, background music swelled, and that was it. She hated DH at first, because he took me away from her. Eventually, she learned to tolerate him (and, still, he's literally the only other person she tolerates; if anyone else touches her, they get bitten), but we were worried about introducing her to the boys when we moved in together. Competition.

Lola moved in first; she had about a week in our place before we brought the boys over. We did the separation thing for awhile. Then, one afternoon, Lola was napping on a windowsill. Everything seemed super mellow, so we decided to let the boys out. Gizmo was smart and stayed hidden under a chair. Flounder, however, wanted to play, and there was a new cat to play with. He walked up to Sleeping Lola and swatted her tail. Shockingly, that didn't go well. Basically, Lola turned into the Tasmanian Devil: a quickly moving tornado of anger. She was literally running full-speed into walls, making demon noises, she was so pissed off.

They had a few more encounters that ended with Tasmanian Devil fights (one of which involved DH getting a terrible scratch that needed stitches), and we realized they needed to be permanently separated. The apartment was nicely divided with a french door diving the bedrooms from the living space, so we switched them every day. When Lola slept with us, the boys got the downstairs, and vice versa. They'd scream at each other through the french doors, but it worked pretty well.

A few years later, we moved to a place where it was much more difficult to separate them, so we decided to integrate the cats. We put up the feliway infusers, and we leashed Lola to "re-introduce" her to the boys. Guess what--she didn't care. Flounder walked up to her, and she turned away. Gizmo lay down next to her, and she cuddled up next to him. Apparently, they'd made peace with each other without ever being in contact over the previous three years.

At this point, ten years later, the cats are all old and cranky and sleep all day. Not, like, together, huddled up in a ball, but they've found a nice balance. At night, Lola sleeps in between us; Gizmo sleeps next to my head, and Flounder covers one of us like a blanket. Yes, they occasionally swipe and hiss at one another, but it's never really aggressive. We never thought they would even tolerate being in the same room together, but now, they don't just tolerate each other, but seem to like each other.

tl;dr: It can totally work itself out, with time.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: perpetua on August 21, 2013, 02:53:06 AM
I'm with the people who say to let the cats figure it out themselves. I currently have 5 cats and have never done an elaborate introduction. Just popped the new cat out of the carrier in the middle of the living room.


Same here. I've always introduced them straight away and let them get on with it, and the only two who *don't* get along are the two brothers who've been with each other since birth, so make of that what you will. They're 16 now and mostly tolerate each other, but will take a swipe on a bad day.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Cherry91 on August 21, 2013, 09:22:02 AM
There's some great pull in devices that emit pheromones similar to those a mother cat gives out when with her kittens. My mother used to turn ours on whenever our two cats started fighting, usually within ten minutes they'd both be calm and/or napping. It might be a good idea to get one and either turn it on if they start snapping at each other, or put it on when they're both in the same room to keep them calm
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: KarenK on August 21, 2013, 10:11:00 AM
I currently have six cats (5 boys and a girl) who get along with varying degrees of success. Our boy stray, Tug, has been particularly aggressive lately and has been fighting with everybody except the girl stray, Daisy (probably because Daisy is a Maine coon and is twice his size and four times as cranky). Daisy really doesn't get along with anyone except DH and me, and sometimes, she's not too pleased with us.

Part of our problem is that our house is really not big enough for that many cats, so there are limited places to hide from the rest of the bunch. Daisy has claimed the office as her own, but even she has had to learn to tolerate some of the others encroaching from time to time. When she first joined the family, she would fly off the desk and run off anyone who dared enter her domain.

We never did anything special to introduce new cats to the existing herd, except that usually all new animals lived on our breezeway for a bit before coming into the house, either because they weren't spayed or neutered yet, or they were too little to stand up to the rest of the clan. Once they were fixed and big enough, it was into the fray!
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Figgie on August 21, 2013, 11:57:16 AM
We have at times had up to seven cats (only two at the moment, although we will be cat sitting next week and so will have four).  I've always figured that they will just have to learn to get along with each other and have never separated them or done anything other than let the new cat loose in the house.

They all reach detente eventually, albeit with a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.  :)

The two cats that fight the most are littermates (brothers) who have been together since birth.  My spouse calls it "grooming gone bad." 

They start out with some friendly grooming, someone bites a little too hard and then there is screaming, hissing, growling, thumping and racing after each other.  It always passes (I use the squirt bottle if it annoys me enough) and they are back sleeping together.

I have learned to never, ever physically separate quarreling cats.  The only one who ever gets hurt in that scenario is the person doing the separating.  :)  Use the squirt bottle instead!
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: JustEstelle on August 21, 2013, 03:25:14 PM
I got Miss Kitty in 1984.  She was just past 11 when Fritz joined us (as a kitten) in 1995.  Missy never really completely accepted the young whipper-snapper.  At least, from what she'd let me and my DH see.  However, Fritz went missing one morning when he got booted out when the dog went out for potties and we didn't realize it until he was out and missing.  Missy was just about inconsolable until we got her "little brother" back inside.  She'd search for him and cry at the door for him.  Then, when we got him back inside and were sure he was fine, it was back to dirty looks, hisses, and swats as far as Missy was concerned.

I did keep them separated at first when I got Fritz.  He had his own room with litter box, food, and water.  I'd go in and spend time with him and then come out and spend time with Missy.  This worked fine until the little squirt decided to crawl under the door to his room and go exploring.  I had been afraid that Missy would hurt him, as he was such a tiny little baby when I got him.  I shouldn't have worried about it, though.  From the time they met fact to face, he was not afraid of Missy and, in fact, chased her around. 

I just basically let them sort it out and tried to supervise their interactions as much as I could.  A squirt bottle helped.  Missy would glare at me and go hide when she saw the bottle.  Fritz eventually (after many, many soakings) would freeze and stare at me if I just said, "Squirt-squirt, Fritz!"  He knew what was coming if he continued with whatever he was doing.

OP, I think I'd just continue with what your doing and add in more supervised interactions between your cats when possible.  And really lavish attention on your old girl. 
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: amylouky on August 22, 2013, 01:58:59 PM
I have a similar problem.. we have a 14 y/o female cat, and took in a stray male that we think was probably under a year last fall (so, almost a year). Old Girl is NOT happy about having Young Punk around the house. At first, they fought a ton, mainly because YP wanted to play/chase OG, but she was having none of it. Now they mostly just ignore each other, unless YP forgets his place and decides to get within ten feet of OG.

BUT. OG will not share a litterbox with YP. We have two in the house, both places that are easily accessible. Our house is pretty small and there aren't many good places to put them. OG has taken to eliminating in other places.. ugh. For a while it was on the floor about a foot from the litterbox, which was gross but manageable and easily cleaned. But now, she's started going in other places around the house.. the kitchen floor, the laundry basket, on my son's beanbag chair.. yuck. I hate to do it to her, but this has resulted to her being limited to our bedroom (one of the litterboxes is in our closet, and we try our best not to let Young Punk in there.

Anyone have a better suggestion for how we can help her get over this? Or how we can keep YP from using one of the litter boxes, so she can have it all to herself?
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Figgie on August 22, 2013, 02:08:56 PM
When friends had this problem, they put an electronic pet door in the door of one of the bedrooms and made the cat who wouldn't share the litter box wear the collar that unlocked that particular door.  It took a bit to train the cat to go through the door (lots of treats were involved), but it finally worked and did solve the problem of keeping out the other cat.

I've found that feliway diffusers and spray does help, but it needs to be in areas that the unhappy cat actually uses.  I have one who occasionally goes out of the box and have eliminated that by spraying the area where she went with feliway spray, covering it with a laundry basket and then putting a feliway diffuser near where she sleeps most of the day.

If there is a specific spot that they like to use to urinate, use nature's miracle and cover it with a laundry basket.  The laundry basket allows air to circulate and none of my cats like urinating around it because of the open basket weave on the sides of the basket.  Make sure you put it upside down. :)

I also wonder if putting a electronic pet door on a covered cat box might work to keep the other one out?  A box something like this:

http://www.outofsightlitterbox.com/

My spouse built one that was larger for our youngest.  One of her cats tops 22 pounds and the commercial ones weren't big enough for him to fit.  It is basically a large box with a lid and a ramp plus second level shelf for a litter box.
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: amylouky on August 22, 2013, 02:14:59 PM
When friends had this problem, they put an electronic pet door in the door of one of the bedrooms and made the cat who wouldn't share the litter box wear the collar that unlocked that particular door.  It took a bit to train the cat to go through the door (lots of treats were involved), but it finally worked and did solve the problem of keeping out the other cat.

I've found that feliway diffusers and spray does help, but it needs to be in areas that the unhappy cat actually uses.  I have one who occasionally goes out of the box and have eliminated that by spraying the area where she went with feliway spray, covering it with a laundry basket and then putting a feliway diffuser near where she sleeps most of the day.

If there is a specific spot that they like to use to urinate, use nature's miracle and cover it with a laundry basket.  The laundry basket allows air to circulate and none of my cats like urinating around it because of the open basket weave on the sides of the basket.  Make sure you put it upside down. :)

I also wonder if putting a electronic pet door on a covered cat box might work to keep the other one out?  A box something like this:

http://www.outofsightlitterbox.com/

My spouse built one that was larger for our youngest.  One of her cats tops 22 pounds and the commercial ones weren't big enough for him to fit.  It is basically a large box with a lid and a ramp plus second level shelf for a litter box.

Huh! How did I not know about electronic pet doors?? That sound like it would work, if I could teach/convince/bribe Old Girl to actually go through the door. She doesn't like enclosed spaces.. won't even use a covered litter box with one of those flappy doors, I have to take the door off. But maybe with enough coercion she could learn.
I love the out of sight litterbox, too.. she'd probably need a different top that let light in, but that would greatly increase the spaces in our house that I'd feel okay with having a litterbox, since it wouldn't be openly visible.
Thank you so much for the ideas, we are going to have to try this!
Title: Re: Cat People help me out, please!
Post by: Addy on August 22, 2013, 02:26:10 PM
Thanks for all the responses, it really does help to read everybody's stories.

So we've been trying to socialize them a bit more. Old girl is under my bed right now, with young dude sitting beside the bed staring at her. He doesn't seem to chase her under there too often, though, and she seems to be able to chase him off when he does. So at least she has a semi-safe place to hide.

Oh, now he just walked away.

No peeing anywhere other than a litter box for either of them, so that's a plus. They each have their own litter box, but each of them has used the other's. So things seem to be slowly improving. I'll see if I can get my husband to hold off on the kitten idea for now.  ;)