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Thread: Cat Troubles

  1. #1

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    Cat Troubles

    When it comes to cats, I believe that MiceChatters know a thing or two. So I need some advice...

    Two weeks ago Jiffy (our 2 year old ginger female) disappeared. My 6 year old was distraught and so a couple of days ago we went out and bought Bugle (NDJnr's choice of name - don't ask me where he got it from!) - a 12 week old black male.
    Typically, Jiffy then reappeared today. She has clearly been getting fed during her two week absence as she has lost little if any weight. She also shows no physical signs of 'damage'. But she is not herself. She is grumpy and withdrawn. One moment she can be purring and rolling on her back and the next she is growling and hissing. Initially she did not enjoy being picked up although she is improving. My theory is that someone stole her for these two weeks and has been ill-treating her in some way - I think this is why she is now nervous and wary.
    Of course what doesn't help is the presence of Bugle. Jiffy is being grumpy when he is not around but is hissing and growling whenever Bugle is in sight. Bugle is wary around her but otherwise unphased.
    I guess I am asking if anyone has had experience of a cat coming back with a different personality (sounds a bit Pet Semetry!) and whether she will revert to her old, easy going self. And will her and Bugle be able to get along? I am concious the she may see him as an encroacher but I thought that females were less terratorial.
    Advice please!!!
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
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  2. #2

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    When it comes to cats, I believe that MiceChatters know a thing or two. So I need some advice...

    Two weeks ago Jiffy (our 2 year old ginger female) disappeared. My 6 year old was distraught and so a couple of days ago we went out and bought Bugle (NDJnr's choice of name - don't ask me where he got it from!) - a 12 week old black male.
    Typically, Jiffy then reappeared today. She has clearly been getting fed during her two week absence as she has lost little if any weight. She also shows no physical signs of 'damage'. But she is not herself. She is grumpy and withdrawn. One moment she can be purring and rolling on her back and the next she is growling and hissing. Initially she did not enjoy being picked up although she is improving. My theory is that someone stole her for these two weeks and has been ill-treating her in some way - I think this is why she is now nervous and wary.
    Of course what doesn't help is the presence of Bugle. Jiffy is being grumpy when he is not around but is hissing and growling whenever Bugle is in sight. Bugle is wary around her but otherwise unphased.
    I guess I am asking if anyone has had experience of a cat coming back with a different personality (sounds a bit Pet Semetry!) and whether she will revert to her old, easy going self. And will her and Bugle be able to get along? I am concious the she may see him as an encroacher but I thought that females were less terratorial.
    Advice please!!!
    Remember you brought another cat home, which she could be very upset because there is another cat in the house. She could be upset because she may think you were "replacing" her. Its her house, not his as she perceives it. I highly doubt she was abused. I think she is mainly upset because of the other cat, it will take her a while to adjust.

  3. #3

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    Wow. Interesting story! I wish I could give you some sage advice. But cats are just mysterious creatures. I have a feeling that they will all settle down once they all get used to each other.

    Good luck and keep us posted!


  4. #4

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    If she is purring one minute and hissing the next you should get her checked at the vet, I read in one of my cat books that purring can also be a sign that the animal is in pain and they are trying to calm themselves down.

    In my "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Cat Lover's Companion" Book the page about purring states:

    Purr Me a River
    We wondered...why do cats purr?

    Purr-fectly Stressed Out
    Sure, a cat purrs when she's on your lap being petted, but did you know she'll also do it when you take her to the vet or when she's in any tense situation? According to some scientist, the reason cats do this is that their purring is self-soothing, and the vibrations may help them calm down.
    Other animal experts argue that purring in stressful situations is a form of communication for the cat -- it may indicate submissiveness to a perceived attacker or may be an effort to get the predator to back off. The communication hypothesis derives from the fact that purring frequencies have been recorded between 25 and 1550 hertz, indicating that cats might be controlling purring levels to convey different messages.



    Another thought, you brought another cat into HER house and SHE thinks you have replaced her with another feline, jealously takes place and now she feels betrayed by the people who once loved her. I'd say keep the two slightly separated and make sure you give them both EQUAL attention while they still get use to each other.


    I wish you the best of luck.
    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau


  5. #5

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    Any new pet brings adjustment difficulties. Definitely get kitty checked out at the vet, just to make sure she didn't pick up anything in her vacation. Give kitty some space that's hers where she can somehow escape the new guy. Make sure to give kitty lots of attention so she doesn't feel neglected. Does she have a favorite toy? Make sure it's available.

    Can't say anything about the personality change. Hopefully it's temporary.

    Even under the best of circumstances, it takes time for pets to adjust to the new order. Be patient. I'd say three weeks is a minimum for a cat to get used to a newcomer.
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    Re: Cat Troubles

    When I brought Chandler home last summer, JT had serious jealousy issues. He did nothing but growl and hiss for weeks! Finally there was a breakthrough, but it's been a little over a year now and JT still has some issues when it comes to Chandler. JT puts up with Chandler (they get somewhat "buddy-buddy" at times but it doesn't last), but I know he enjoyed being the only cat (attention whore he is).

    To sum it up, cats hate change. Any kind of change. Both times I've moved since I've had JT, once he was in the new place, he hid under the bed for days (only came out to eat & go potty in the litterbox). After a week or so he finally started to explore on his own.

    Just be patient and don't try to force Jiffy to be best friends with the new kitty. Jiffy will do it on her own terms.

  7. #7

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    We had a similar experience. Our 18 year old cat was sick, we took him to the vet, who gave him a shot. The next day, he wandered away. We figured he went off to die, and then 6 weeks later, we get a phone call from someone not even 5 minutes away that he found our cat. I guess he had been eating the food and milk he had out for his kittens and our kitty finally let him look at his collar after 2 weeks of seeing the cat on his land.

    How he got there, who knows. He had to cross a VERY busy street to get there.

    But when we got him home, he had lost some weight, yes. One minute, he was nice, the next he was hissing and hiding from people. We tried to feed him, he wouldn't eat, so we gave him some cheese, which he ate, but he wouldn't eat it from your hand, you had to set it down and walk away and he would eat it.

    This continued for a few days, but he never gained back the weight and he never really seemed the same. Was afraid to jump to to get his food, hardly ate because of that.

    But as I said, he was a very old cat who had health problems to being with.

    But I say give your cat another few days, just treat her like normal, pet it, feed it, same with your new cat, treat them the same. They will learn to get along, but your cat who came back is just having some adjustment troubles from being away. It took our cat a few weeks to adjust to us getting a dog, after a few years of being an only animal after our first dog died. They fought, but it was more play fighting, nothing too bad. Your cat is unsure and maybe feels replaced. Just give it time and give both cats the love and attention they deserve equally.
    Press today is so concerned with cool vs. not cool that they're starting to forget good vs. bad. I'm not sure I'll ever be "cool", but I will always tirelessly strive to be "great". - Josh Groban

  8. #8

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    Thank you all for the advice
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
    DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
    DLR - October 2011





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    Re: Cat Troubles

    First, I think you should take Jiffy to the vet to make sure everything is ok. Like Pretzel Souls said, she might be injured that you don't know about or contacted something while she was gone.

    Second, she needs extra attention right now...she was gone for a while. A few years ago my cat got lost for 1 day (she was total housecat, so this was especially scary for her). When she came back, she was very nervous, edgy, and just not herself for a couple of days. New surroundings are very unsettling for cats and it takes them a while to adjust back to their normal home when they get back.

    Third, I agree with others, coming back and finding a new cat in her territory is probably stressing her out even more. If her new behavior is due to this, it will take time, but she'll adjust.

    Good luck and hope everything works out!

  10. #10

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    If Jiffy is not spayed, you may want to look into the possibility that she has come home with a few buns in the oven...

  11. #11

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    Jiffy is spayed.

    We actually went away for the weekend (long arranged booking). Because of the problems, our neighbour kept Bugle in his house and Jiffy stayed in ours. This has done wonders and immediately upon our return and both cats being in the same house again, there is a lot less friction. Jiffy is a whole lot happier and friendlier and is now ok to be in the same room as the little one. They have even been playing with each other! Perhaps Jiffy just needed a little time on her own to sort herself out!
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
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    DLR - October 2011





  12. #12

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    Great news Nathan!!!


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    Re: Cat Troubles

    NDJnr with the new member of our family - Bugle...


    WDW - 1987 & 1991
    DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
    DLR - October 2011





  14. #14

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    Oh, they're both so cute! Congrats on brokering the feline peace.

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    Re: Cat Troubles

    hmm. Maybe Jiffy is just a little traumatized by what she went through. Maybe coming home and finding a new cat there, was a little hard for her too. Hopefully, once she settles back in...and gets used to the new cat....and sees that you aren't replacing her...she will get back to her old self.




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