About 4 weeks ago, we adopted a 1-2 year old female cat who had been removed from a hoarding situation by a local rescue. She is sweet as can be, very playful, and very polite, but...
...she does not. stop. talking. The only time she's quiet is when she's sleeping. She howls when she plays (as in, "look mom, I caught dinner for the 14th time tonight! It's a pom pom!") she meows when you leave the room and she doesn't know where you went, she cries when she wakes up, and pretty much tries to repeat everything a human says. You talk, she talks back. The worst is during the night. She howls pretty much on the hour, every hour, and doesn't stop until you either call her, or go and fetch her. It's starting to drive me insane! Has anyone dealt with this before? How did you get it to stop? Or at least lessen? I'm down for quirks, but I also like to sleep, too.
We have had another cat for the past 6 years, who is very "special". Our vet compared it to feline autism. We love her to death, but she has some seriously bizarre behaviour that we can't explain. We tried to introduce Loud Mouth to this cat slowly like how it was explained to us, but she seems to genuinely despise the new girl. We can hear her growling and hissing from opposite ends of the house. Part of this cats unusual behaviour is hiding and avoiding absolutely everything when things "change". Basically, we've barely seen her in a month. I feel like since she's secluded herself pretty much permanently, the "meet and greet" is being dragged out WAY longer than it should have been.
New cat is very friendly, and is used to being in a house with many other cats and dogs. I feel like part of her chattiness is because she may be lonely for other animal company. If Scaredy Cat would just come to her senses, problems could be solved across the board. Any coping suggestions for her? Or is it a lost cause by this point? Lock them in a room together? Drugs? Our ears are wide open. We just want both our cats to be happy.
Your cats have learned very opposite MOs for coping with stress, that's all.
I'd try to fix New Cat.
She's insecure (and maybe has some Siamese in there adding to the "Meow first, last and always."). You have two options:
You do pick her up and cuddle her when she meows.
IMO, you need to do Kitty Cattle Squeeze for this to work. On one hand, it is comforting and scaredy-cat felt heard and answered. On the other, it's a PITA so that cat might decide that she doesn't need to keep calling 911 because, yeah, the cops and fire trucks always show up. It's a big scene.
Or, 2, you go back to ignoring her while she is near you and waiting for her to develop her own sense of security. She needs to learn that You Not Up In Her Grill is not You Leaving Forever.
Autistic Cat is adding to the disaster. It is confirming New Cat's worst nightmare. Just when she thought she might be ok in this new place without a body guard, Autistic Cat reminds her that she is not welcome.
And it might be that Autistic Cat is jealous of the attention New Cat gets, but cannot compete.... so that adds to Autistic Cat's sense of insecurity. What you see is DefCon 5 in Autistic Cat all the time.
Maybe you need to go back to the early phase of Cat Introduction where Autistic Cat has a small/safe/quiet room of it's own. Be sure to go in there and visit, but otherwise give Autistic Cat a break from the "assault" of new cat.
In general, if you can lower the stress of both of 'em, you have a shot at breaking the cycle as the pair of cats is adding to it.
Just my guess.
Last edited by mvp; Nov. 28, 2012 at 06:56 PM.
Reason: The feelings of Autistic Cat
sounds easier said than done........i'd opt for another cats also, them THEM do the work of being security blanket for new kitty.....plus, if they have each other, chances are they will leave special needs kitty alone...............i have one cat that hates other cats, but loves people...........if she is sitting on the hood of the car getting lovies, and another cat walks across the drive, she will make an ugly face and growl constantly.......not at me, but the other cat.............the other cats pretty well learn to get the company they want from other cats, and just stay waaaaaaay outta her sight..........
i think that once things settle into a routine again,special needs kitty will adapt
Four weeks is nothing in the world of kitty detante. Loud Mouth has been traumatized - even good change is stressful. Try to have patience with her. If you lock her in the bedroom with you overnight what happens? I was taught that the original cat in the home should get the attention when the two are together at first. Feeding treats in each others presence, maybe catnip. If you get a chance, watch Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell" as the show's behavoirist Jackson has some great ideas that seem to work.
It can be done. The cats may never like each other, and Loud Mouth will probably be chatty, but you can get to a semblance of peace and sleep. The cats are terrified and insecure right now, so keep your own "energy" as calm as possible.
Not an expert, but have been in cat heaven/hell for the past 12 years or so and I will NEVER really understand cats. I agree that 4 weeks is barely the beginning. Do whatever it takes to keep your special needs kitty happy, so they don't start having litter box problems. Do you have an office or tv room with a door, someplace you or another family member spends time every day? can that be the special kitty's room, so they mostly have it to themselves but when you are there with them, you're relaxed and available for attention but not forcing yourself to make contact? If you choose a spare bedroom for that kitty's space, you'll go in for 5 minutes and be thinking about all the other things you could be doing! So separating the kitties and giving the first resident kitty enough attention would be first on my list.
Our feral/PTSD kitty loves routines. Can you create some routines for yours? Ours has a patty-stretchy-inside out roll over game that goes along with bedtime and waking up in the morning. She wants you to ignore her all day as long as you do those things at the regular time. She's been an interesting cat. Given the choice, she'd live in the bedroom closet. Remove that choice, and she lives in the bedroom and the office across the hall, but won't go down the hall to the main part of the house, even for food/water/litter. Her comfort zone is very, very small but she allows and even likes the other cats to be in the bedroom with her - she just won't leave Her Room, and there she is Queen.
Insecure kitty probably just needs time. The past year or maybe 18 months at our house is the first time in the past almost-12 years that ALL the kitties seem happy and content. We are terrified to lose the elderly labradora and/or get another dog, because it will undoubtedly upset the balance. It is SO nice to have happy cats. It was SO miserable to have unhappy cats. Be patient. Hang in there. And based on our experience, with cats it's NOT the more, the merrier.