Need help with behavior issue

3FatCats

New member
Apr 11, 2024
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0
New here, hoping someone has some good advice. Long story short, we’ve adopted an adult tortoise shell female from a deceased friend. A lot of frustration. At first, we expected my friend to recover and come back home after a couple of months, so rather than go through a full house acclimation with our two adult males, we set her up in the master bedroom, which turned out to be a mistake because my friend passed after a lengthy hospital stay. Now, our orange male tabby (not otherwise aggressive) won’t let her out of the bedroom (our male coon/tabby leaves her alone), and even enters the bedroom and intimidates and occasionally attacks her. I’ve tried to bring her out into the rest of the house, but as soon as she steps off my lap she darts back to the safety of the bedroom and won’t venture out again (if orange tabby sees her, he chases her back to the bedroom).

Any ideas on how to change this dynamic and encourage her acceptance by “fat Jack?”
 

KittyJ

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 27, 2021
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641
I'm so sorry about your friend! I know it can be difficult.

It may just take time. How long has it been since you brought her home?

You can try separating them and letting them both get used to each other's scent before introducing them for a second time.
 

SirMeow

Administrator
Staff member
Nov 25, 2021
448
504
I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been through it myself several times now, so can empathize.

Sounds like a stressful situation with your cats. As well as trying what KittyJ suggested, perhaps you could also try Feliway to calm them down.

There's also Jackson Galaxy that you could check out, an expert in difficult cat behaviours.




He's also got a TV program if you're able to see it.
 

3FatCats

New member
Apr 11, 2024
3
0
I'm so sorry about your friend! I know it can be difficult.

It may just take time. How long has it been since you brought her home?

You can try separating them and letting them both get used to each other's scent before introducing them for a second time.
Hard to believe but it’s already been over a year. Of course, the first 5 months I still thought her momma would come home, so the separation in the house was intentional. I fear that because of that, we have created a negative dynamic that may be hard to break. It’s weird too, because a couple years ago we ended up adopting another cat from my ex, and Orange Jack accepted him very quickly. I almost feel that by allowing Jojo to live in our bedroom, it made Jack jealous and/or resentful, so he takes it out on her every chance he gets. For now I’ve just been bringing her out and cuddling with her to try and let her know she belongs outside the bedroom too, but as soon as she sees him she bolts back to safety.
 

KittyJ

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 27, 2021
455
641
Did you previously let Jack sleep in your bedroom?

Definitely strange that he was chill with the other cat, but not with JoJo. Was he a kitten when you got him?

Again, you can try removing JoJo from your bedroom and letting Jack spend some time in there to help him get used to her smell and hopefully feel less jealous if that's his issue.
 
Feb 4, 2024
10
3
I’m so sorry about your friend. That kitty is lucky she has you to help her and love her as she has probably grieved too. Plus a new home, new people and now other cats. It sounds like going back to basics is ideal. I know that can be hard to do and every little baby step is up to each cat. Some adjust faster than others. Keep the new kitty in her own room. Do not allow the other cats in that room at all. S as nd if you allow her out, the other cats need to be in a different room. Every negative interaction reinforces fear and mistrust. Does each cat have something they view as high value? Ie: a special treat, a fav toy or maybe attention? Are they all highly food motivated? Some people do the usual feed the cats near the door exercise but there are other exercises such as pattern games that might be better at creating a positive association. Sometimes using food is more of a lure rather than a reward.
 

3FatCats

New member
Apr 11, 2024
3
0
Did you previously let Jack sleep in your bedroom?

Definitely strange that he was chill with the other cat, but not with JoJo. Was he a kitten when you got him?

Again, you can try removing JoJo from your bedroom and letting Jack spend some time in there to help him get used to her smell and hopefully feel less jealous if that's his issue.
The odd thing is that he never seemed to try and establish any sort of dominance before, only once we brought Jojo into the house. He was a kitten when we adopted him, about 2 yrs old when we adopted the coon/tabby. I think that Jojo being initially “protected” in the bedroom made him jealous. I think you’re right, just gonna have to keep bringing Jojo out more (and maybe even limit her from hiding in the bedroom) so that they have more contact.