Author Topic: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...  (Read 6018 times)

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Kendo_Bunny

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I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« on: April 20, 2009, 06:12:20 AM »
My darling brother, his wife, and their newborn baby are moving out of state. The temporary housing they found does not allow pets, so they asked me to catsit for them until they find a house. I already own a cat, but I said I'd give it a try.

It's not working. My cat hates both the other cats, and they hate him. They all hiss and growl at each other every time they see each other. Luckily, there hasn't been a fight, since my cat is declawed totally (he came to me like that) and the other cats are not. One of the cats hisses and growls at me whenever I get anywhere near him, and his growling is keeping me awake at night. I tried shutting him out of my bedroom and my cat in with me, but Snowball just started scratching at the door, which made Titus (my cat) hiss and growl. I can't just leave them loose, because then I also get no sleep worrying over a catfight starting. I really can't handle this... it's finals week, and I really need my sleep. I had agreed to try it for a week, but I only got three hours of very unrefreshing sleep tonight, and I can't handle that on top of finals... and I start my student teaching week after next.

Is it ever easy to say this line to something that is a reasonable request, but is just not working out?

DCZinger

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 08:20:33 AM »
Kendo,  I'm sorry that you didn't get any sleep last night.    What I'm going to say is coming from someone who has brought new cats into my home...through adoption and/or fostering.   

A week is not nearly enough time to introduce a new cat to a household.    Cats need more time than that to get used to a new place, new person.    They don't know that your brother will come and get them. 

Do you have a "safe room" for these cats?   If not,  set one up right now and put them in there!     Don't let them have free run of your place just yet.   

Hissing and growling is normal.    The cats don't know each other and they are establishing who is "top cat" and who is "bottom cat".   Also, between the two cats tha know each other...they are vying for "top cat" status in this new house.   

Try to think like a cat here.....Kendo.    Cat's do not like moves.   They are also territorial.   In a house or yard...they have designated sleeping spots, eating spots, etc.....  When a new cat enters the scene,  or there is a new territory...they all have to re-negotiate.   

Your brother's cats have been taken from their "territory" and from their people...and are now in a strange house that belongs to another cat and there is a strange person they don't know.    They have also just came from a situation where a new baby came into their house....also upsetting.      They don't know if YOU are a nice person, yet.   They don't know that your brother is coming back for them.   Pretty scary, huh?   So, of course, they are going to hiss and growl.    They are terrified.    Once they realize that you are a nice person who feeds them and talks nice to them, and that your place is not bad and they work out the hierarchy....all will calm down.     

It took my dh and I weeks to get our cats used to our foster kitty.    We kept the foster is a safe room, and let him sniff and explore the house only when we were there.    There were hisses and growls and foster kitty bopped Korben on the nose...but they settled down and co-existed just fine until Foster Kitty was adopted.   

When introducing a new cat(s) to a household....think like a cat.    Give them their own room/area that 's theirs and only theirs.  This is their "safe" room.    Keep food, water and a litter box there.    Don't put the food/water and litter box next to one another because cat's don't like to eat/drink near where they use their bathroom.    This gives the cats time to calm down and slowly get to know you, your cat, and your place.     I'm talking weeks here.   It's a doable thing...but it takes patience and a little time.   

Let the cats sniff each other through closed doors.   They then get used to each other's smell.    Let the kittys out to explore the rest of your place when you are there for brief times.    During that time, keep your cat in your bedroom.   

I"m sorry that this is happening during your finals.   

I would definitely tell your brother what's happening.  Perhaps he can find a house sooner, or he can find someone who is not having finals who will foster the cats until he can retrieve them.    In the meantime, I hope my suggestions will buy you some peace and relative quiet time to study and sleep. 

Zinger




Kendo_Bunny

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 11:09:35 AM »
I unfortunately have no place for a safe room. I live in a three-room apartment: bathroom, bedroom, and open space that serves as kitchen and living room. It's also a total disaster zone because I've been finishing unpacking and settling. I understand that the cats are terrified, but the keeping me awake all night keeps me from having any energy to deal with it. I'm afraid I've been a bit snappish with all of them as well. I called my brother and told him I can't make this work right now: right after finals I start my student teaching, and I need my sleep above all things. He told me not to worry about it- they'll make some other arrangement, but I still feel rotten and undependable.

nekoro

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 01:10:23 PM »
You're not rotten and undependable.  You're not flaking out for no reason, something that you thought would work out fine isn't working.  That's okay, it happens sometimes.

I'm glad that your brother understands though, that cuts down the awkwardness, I'm sure.  :)

DCZinger

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 01:51:14 PM »
You're not rotten and undependable.  You're not flaking out for no reason, something that you thought would work out fine isn't working.  That's okay, it happens sometimes.

I'm glad that your brother understands though, that cuts down the awkwardness, I'm sure.  :)

POD.    You did the best you could under the situation.    How soon is your brother coming to get the cats?

Zinger

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 02:01:44 PM »
Sometime in the next couple of days. I would drive them the 50 miles back, but I'm worn out and Snowball won't let me anywhere near him.

DCZinger

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 07:55:22 PM »
I would rather have root canal than drive my cats 50 miles anywhere.    You are doing the right thing.

Hugs,
Zinger

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 09:33:27 PM »
Well, I had to leave the house for almost six hours for exam things. When I got back, the cats were getting along. Darndest thing- no cuddling, but they were sniffing each other very politely and there has been no hissing since. They've also shut up at night, although last night, Titus and Snowball managed to sneak outside. Luckily, my neighbor helped me catch them. I think it is going to work after all... though strange that it should happen when I was completely ready to give up.

LyraSilverose

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 12:30:35 AM »
Isn't that always the way?  Cats will be troublesome no matter what you do.  Now watch, you call your bother and tell him not to come after all, and they find a new way to make your life difficult. ;) ::)
Soft paws and sharp claws a tiger do make.

tnpenguinbaby

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 07:24:38 PM »
knowing cats, they probably overheard you say it wasn't working and decided to make you look like a goof  ;D  cats are good at that!




wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 01:12:08 PM »
You are being growled at because cat is not familiar with you. There is little chance of them fighting, maybe some slap fights, but that will be about it. Get a squirt bottle, and if something gets a little more out of hand than slapping, give them a squirt.

Get some cat treats, or canned cat food, something they will go crazy over when you open it up. This will give them something else to focus on, if even for a short period of time.

Did your brothers cats come with a cat carrier? Put them in it at night, if not, bring the squirt bottle into your room at night, and keep it close to your hand. Squirt your cat if she growls, and if your quick enough, open the door and squirt cat scratching at the door. Both will learn to stop quickly, they don't like squirts.

Cats are curious by nature, and they should start getting along. I know from experience. It's easier if they are younger, but even an old cat will calm down and accept the new situation. He may not like it, but he will accept it.

norli

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009, 12:55:00 AM »
I have some experience with introducing "unrelated" cats.  Even without room for a saferoom, any kind of cat-impermiable barrier between sets of cats, (but something they can hear and smell through) can help. If you had to put one set in the bathroom with door shut, and move the other litterbox to hallway, that can work (for the cats). Also, remember a CLOSET is better than what they would get in a shelter. A new growly cat can be put in a hall closet for a few days, and will not harm him/her AT ALL, as long as you put in food/water/litterbox/fuzzysleepsurface. I have done this, and after a few days, they have sniffed each other under the door enough to get used to the idea of another cat, and calm down, and everyone pretends there was no need for all that fuss earlier, and why are those weird humans hovering around so much without offering tuna or something anyway, I mean COME ON, like we're dogs or something.  The time needed for the cat combination can vary. I've personally seen it range from 5 minutes to about 4 days.

TootsNYC

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2009, 06:40:47 PM »
Well, I had to leave the house for almost six hours for exam things. When I got back, the cats were getting along. Darndest thing- no cuddling, but they were sniffing each other very politely and there has been no hissing since. They've also shut up at night, although last night, Titus and Snowball managed to sneak outside. Luckily, my neighbor helped me catch them. I think it is going to work after all... though strange that it should happen when I was completely ready to give up.


They have you exactly where they want you--completely unsettled. You have been shown who is boss, and now they have no further need to teach you any lessons.

sourgirl27

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 12:01:38 AM »
my brother is a total pain in the bacon-fed knave, always wanting something, and it's usually inconvenient or expensive, and sometimes both, for me. i have had him, a cousin, and a friend all ask me to keep their dogs in the past year. i took my  brother's dog, and she got pregnant. i told him he HAD to come and get her, because i wasn't dealing with puppies. amazingly, he did. i kept my cousin's dog, and that dingdangity thing tore a screen out of our kitchen window and out of our door, he chewed thru our halloween lights and ruined them, and he pottied in the house several times. that little effer figured out how to unlock his cage and get out, too! my aunt layed into my cousin about it, and he came and got the dog. he and his gf then took the dog to her gm's, and later gave him away to an amish man. so, all of that crap we went thru (and were not reimbursed for) was for them to just end up giving the dog away anyway!  >:( they could have done that to begin with. then my brother wanted me to take his dog again! my mom even called me bugging me about it!  >:( i said hell no! we've had enough dog sitting, enough stuff ruined, and i'm tired of cleaning up after other people's animals, and i told them all that we are not taking anyone's animals in anymore! my friend knew all of this and wanted me to take her mom's dog because her mom was moving and couldn't take the dog!  >:( what the hell?!!! i told her absoulutely not, i have had my fill of other people's dogs, and we aren't looking to adopt one. the real kicker is that all of these people wanted us to do this knowing that we had 2 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a newborn baby!  :o  could you get any (Oh, I'm a pottymouth extraordinaire!) ruder and inconsiderate, people?  >:(

RooRoo

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Re: I'm going to have to say this to my brother...
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2009, 09:47:32 PM »
Sourgirl, Welcome to EtiquetteHell!

The above is the fifth post of yours I've read, so far. While I'm sure your intentions are good, all have been off-topic.

Please read the rules before you post again. They can be found here:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=2.0

Here is a quote:

Quote
Think before you reply to a post and ask yourself if you are: 1) focusing on the topic, 2) being helpful in your response, 3) Am I about to be deliberately offensive?, 4) Am I taking up an offense too easily? If you donít have anything productive to say, donít bother saying it.

Another good thread to read is this one:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=52690.0

I hope your future experiences here will be helpful and entertaining!
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late