Helping Cats Get Along
Helping Cats Get Along
I’ve written in the past about Crazy Calico Lucy. I mean this kitty has such attitude and odd behaviors that I once asked our veterinarian, “What is up with this cat!?” Her answer, “It’s a ‘calico thing.'” She’d just gotten back from a veterinarian conference and she said there had been talk about the marked difference calico cats — who are always female — have in their attitude.
Lucy is three-years-old and for the most part is easy to live with. She loves to cuddle… until she doesn’t. She enjoys being petted… until she is tired of it. Are you seeing a pattern? Lucy likes what she likes, when she likes it. We have always laughed and brushed it off to “she’s just being Lucy.”
She is not a cat who takes change well, but she did semi-tolerate when Ickis moved in. He tried to chase her and play several times, but her growling and hissing stopped him in his tracks. Ickis really didn’t care, he just spent his time with Parker.
Enter the second Devon Rex
When Oblina came to live with us, Lucy went from long-distance snark to up close and personal and chasing Oblina around the house snark. I have separated them. I keep a close eye on them to assure myself that they are in opposite sides of the room. They are fed in separate rooms — I put the kittens in a room and the older cats in a different one. I was worried Lucy would be mean to Oblina and that Oblina wouldn’t eat. On a side note: Oblina is a scaredy cat. She is scared of absolutely everything and rarely relaxes into a deep sleep.
Thankfully, Parker protects her as does Ickis. Lucy will typically retreat to her hiding spot on top of the dragon tank; it’s warm, high and isolated and has always been her favorite space.
Helping Cats Get Along: My tips
- Separate them if you must. See above where they eat in separate rooms.
- Use separate litter boxes in different areas of the house if necessary. We have multiple litter boxes because we have multiple cats. They are all in the same room and Lucy and Oblina seem to ignore one another and do their business — if they didn’t I’d be relocating a box.
- Spend time with each kitty. Lucy was “my” cat before Ickis and Oblina came home. I think she misses snuggling on my lap because now the kittens take over and she refuses to be near them. I set aside special “Lucy time.”
- Give them time. I’m sure the family would appreciate not hearing me holler, “Stop that!” when the cats are chasing each other around. I try to not holler but there are times when I just can’t dash to the room quickly enough to break up what sounds like a horrible fight. It never is. Both Oblina and Lucy are LOUD and howly and growly — I believe they are as much show as they are actual drama.
- Let them be. I have to stop myself sometimes because I think that Lucy might actually be trying to play with Oblina — especially when they are both on the scratchy toy. I have to sit back and take a “wait and see” attitude. Like most siblings, they will have their spats, right?
Know that when you have a houseful of pets (five cats, two dogs, three reptiles) there will be times when there will be snark. I think back to how my sister, brother and I got along when we were growing up. I think of the fights my son and daughter got into when they were young. I know not everyone is going to get along every time. When your pet family expands, your patience and your stick-to-itivness needs to expand as well.
Stay tuned for updates on the kitty sibling rivalry. Any additional tips you can pass along? I’d love to hear them!