Monday, May 05, 2008

Making a difficult decision

On Sat morning, we decided to let Bob and Angel meet without barrier as it has been quite some time. It was not successful. Both were growling at each other and it was clear that Angel couldn't hold his position as he was slowly retreating. At the same time, we tried to prepare the canned tuna as a treat for them but they were not interested at all. The moment Angel looked away, Bob pounced on him. Both wrestled with Bob on top and Angel managed to break free and dashed for the living room and scrambled to the top of the rack. We managed to hold back Bob by spraying water at him but that didn't really deter him. The moment he stood still, eyeballing Angel, I quickly grabbed him by his scuff and put him back into my bedroom.

Angel was shaken up quite badly and kept hissing at us too. We left him to calm down. I sprayed some Feliway, hoping to calm both cats. Angel stopped hissing at us almost an hour later and seemed to be back to his normal self. However, yesterday morning, he didn't rub himself against my legs or lay down on his side to let my foot stroke him when I woke up and came out of my bedroom. He just lay at one corner of the hall or under the dining table throughout the day. Luckily last night, he seemed to more like his usual self.

Today, he seems normal but he is still not covering his poo (like the past few days) and Mom observed that if he sniffed scent of Bob, he would look around to see if Bob is around. Otherwise, I could entice him with his food, play with him and stroke him when he was laying on the kitchen while I was having my dinner.

All of us in the family saw what happened on Sat and we felt quite affected by it. Sis said she feels heartache to see Angel being attacked. For me and Mom, it seems that Angel is unlikely to be comfortable with Bob around as we found him alone without his mother or siblings and he has no other experience with other cats. He has only seen cats I brought home in carriers, trapped for sterilisation. He had paw fights and hissing sessions with Charcoal/Salem during that brief period. When we were fostering Pearl, Pearl would also chase Angel who of course didn't enjoy it.

Over the weekend, I thought I would have to put Bob up for adoption as Bob is miserable being cooped up in my room most of the time. Angel is clearly affected by the encounter with Bob at the moment. From what I read, I have to do complete separation and reintroduction all over again. It will only work if Angel can be conditioned but if he is a cat who can only be a one-cat family, whatever we do will probably not help the situation.

I love Angel, my first pet cat. I have also grown to love Bob who has been sharing my bed every night since a week after Mar 20 (the day we brought him home). I don't mind sniffing his poo when he does his big business while I'm sleeping. Most of the time when I don't feel lazy I will wake up to scoop out and throw away his poo and clean his backside before I go back to sleep. I play with him or groom his fur for a short while before sleeping, to relieve his boredom of not able to go out of my bedroom. I'm still undecided at the moment whether to put Bob up for adoption. Dad and Sis were alright for us to keep Bob if he and Angel get along. But Sat's episode has made all of us feel upset/sad.

Right now, my mind feels cluttered. I need to get it cleared first before I can think about the best way forward and discuss with my family. I want both Angel and Bob to be happy.

12 comments:

Dawn said...

Sorry to hear it Jacin :(

Anonymous said...

Sorry things doesnt work so well with Bob and Angel.

I have four cats at home. The introducing procedures i have done four times. Not easy, no shortcut only plenty of patience and time spent to get them familiarise with each other.

The first time the kitties met will always ending up with snarling, swating and even frighting. The trick to introduce them is to get the cats familiarise with each other and understand that the kitties became part of the family. Do not let them meet so soon, open the door just a bit so that the kitties can see each other and smell its prescene. Until the cat is no longer snarling at each other, bring Bob out for say half an hr a day and extend the timing according to Angel comfortable level. All these under close supervision.

The highest record of introduction took me more than half a yr. Two of my female cats are still not in good terms,will chase each other but no fighting. My two male cats also not best pal but manage to sort themselves who rule the other. Quit amazingly, Kitties will sort out themselves, set their own rules aft the introduction phase so you need not worry so much. Just my 2 cents.

KXBC said...

You are sad that Angel was bullied by Bob as Angel is the family's baby. This is quite normal.

However, you cannot wish that Angel is the top cat when he clearly isn't. The cats will sort these things out themselves. We cannot mess with their hierachy.

The introduction was too fast too soon. Perhaps it was too with the earlier introductions with Pearl etc. Perhaps Angel is a lone cat. We can only hazzard a guess. But the best thing now may be to get Bob adopted out. I don't think it will work, especially when both are males and seem pretty territorial.

Hopefully the next cat you plan to adopt will be a tiny female kitten (seems to work better this way) and the introduction process slow and painful for the humans.

Best of luck.

chris said...

Hi J,
i read from somewhere..
after the smelling of each other thru the doors..
you can actually exchange their territories to let them get more familiarise with the smell..

meaning.. maybe morning bob in yr room, angel in living room.. when night comes. bob will be in the living room n angel in yours..

hope this help though=)

Anonymous said...

I have 9 male cats. 3 of them don;t get along with one of them. However, they adjusted themselves and there is still fights and arguments. I will rush to protect the one that is likely to be attacked. Otherwise, they will leave each other alone.

Angel may be miserable and you will have to pamper him often. You will get upset and tire of the whole matter. Can you tahan for long term? As time goes, things will change. You have to decide if you can accept and live with the changes.

As for me, I am happy to pamper the one that needs most and still enjoy chasing and screaming my head off at the naughty one.

Fat Lady :)

Jas said...

Jacin, i am sorry to hear about the event.. seems like the best choice will be to put Bob up for adoption (ie. if u can bear to).. Angel has been the baby in the family for too long, and he is naturally very sad, angry and jealous that Bob is staying in yr room and has so much of yr attention.. Guess it might be better to have just one kitty to pamper and shower all yr love and attention. Then u dun hv to smell poo when u r sleeping too (not healthy for u anyway).. just my opinion..

Anonymous said...

How about giving Bach Flower "Fear" to the timid cat, Angel and "Aggression" to Bob - hope i got the cats' names right. I can send some to you by post.

I personally think it is ok to keep a cat in a room if you are ok with it. I have 4 on my bed. I don't think they mind NOT going out at all.

The other alternative is to keep the more aggressive cat in a reasonably big cage/carrier and let the other cat move around once a day for a few mins each day. They won't like it initially but they shd settle down eventually.
This give the cats a chance to be in the same room safely provided the family members are not stressed
instead.

It is good to have a big thick towel around at "meet cat session" - throw over cat (covering eyes) to save yourself from scratches.

Hope it works out.

coboypb said...

Thanks all for your comments. At the moment, I'm now giving Angel time to recover from the experience. I will try the tips you have given and see which one will help. I'm not sure how much time I should give the 2 cats - I probably have to see their reactions. Bob behaves normally while Angel will hide when I come from my bedroom. He sometimes would poo in a hurry and drop his shit outside his litter box.

Anon on May 8: Where can I get the Bach Flower? Thanks! I have heard that it works for some cats.

chris said...

Hey jacin..
you can get from can buy from:
BROWN RICE PARADISE @ tanglin mall
or
Whatever @ keong saik road.

you can also contact the lady of this web:
http://www.pawsitivesensations.com/bachremedy.php

and some readings for you if you need: http://www.bachcentre.com/centre/remedies.htm

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Sorry to hear about the upsetting experience.

Dont be in a rush to get the cat adapted to each other, they need their own time. I've came across owners that told me it took them at least 6 months to get them both used to each other.

You can get japanese catnip at daiso. They call it japanese silver or something.

cheers ;)

kwanxw said...

You can also get the Bach flower essence from Loving Pets @ East Coast Road (near the East branch of Mount Pleasant vet). It works for my aggressive 1st cat.

ocha said...

Maybe you can try this method if you have 2 pet carriers.
Put angel and bob in separate carriers, place carriers quite close together so that they can see and smell each other. Leave them for one hour(or more). Repeat daily until cats get used to each other.

Next stage, put the more timid cat in carrier, and allow other cat to be free. Again, leave them for an hour. Do this daily, sometimes the cat will ignore the caged one, but if you're lucky, it will choose to sit close and bond with the caged one.