I am just sick about this. I feel like such a betrayer, she can’t understand this. Universe if there is any way we can work around this and bring Jackie back, please let me see that light!

24 thoughts on “Jackie

  1. That’s so sad. This is such a hard situation hon, I don’t know what to tell you, other than I know you’re making the hard choice you feel you have to for the furchild you’ve had longer.
    If they’re not intigrating, I’m not super good with cats enough to give you any more options. If the cat rescue lady dosen’t have any magic answers I can’t think of who else would.
    I wish I could make it easier, or make it all better, but clearly the two kitties just can’t live together.

  2. To be honest, I was really surprised you let her go back, pee notwithstanding. When my ferrets have territory issues, we gently hold, nurture and talk to them in a special low-pitched cadence radiating love energy when we catch them having attitude about “innerlopers”. I believe they really have feelings and that love helps to solve differences. Living together in peace is an art that even kitties need to learn 🙂 We’ve been lucky and the furballs have chosen to bond rather than to fight, but there have been individual ferrets who clearly would have rather been an only child and weren’t shy on occasion voicing that opinion, which traumatized one ferret in particular. After a little love he learned to ignore the outbreak. Maybe some alpha cat posturing and positive reinforcement with treats?

  3. Sometimes they just can’t integrate. I’ve grown up with cats and owned multiple cats my whole adult life. Out of many, many animals only twice have I run into a mixture that was so bad it couldn’t work. I consider myself pretty expert at facilitating a happy kitty community, but in those two instances it wasn’t possible without literally being in a different home with a different layout and that just wasn’t going to happen.
    It’s heart breaking, but you have to trust your own assessment of the situation. It sounds like you were really committed to doing all that you could and then some. You seem to have exhausted all the resources you have and it’s not fixing the situation. Sometimes it can’t be fixed and you’ll have to trust that you have honored your commitment even if it isn’t paying off with a positive outcome. My heart goes out to you as you deal with this painful experience.

  4. And this is, of course, the answer I really want to hear. The easy solution would be two litter boxes but I just don’t have a second place to put a second box.
    I think I’m going to have to take her back in, I just can’t bear to feel her pain. She is so dear. LItter box in the kitchen is pretty gross to me and sometimes the smell is just awful, but I think I would rather deal with the smell constantly than deal with her sadness.

  5. Do you think it might be an issue with the leavings in the box? Maybe an automated cleaning box? Maybe there is some sort of pheromone component, a bad memory or something… Time to think like a cat (or the cat psychic!)

  6. I use a brand called The World’s Best Cat Litter with my two furballs and it really reduced the odor. Converting to a raw food diet also made a big difference, but both were noticeable improvements.
    You’re so kind to want to take her back in and make it work. Good luck to you!

  7. This issue isn’t the litter. The issue is that Jackie Lao abuses Miss Mitty when she goes anywhere near the littler box. HUGE difference. It is about stalking and abuse not about litter brands.

  8. This issue isn’t the litter. The issue is that Jackie Lao abuses Miss Mitty when she goes anywhere near the littler box. HUGE difference. It is about stalking and abuse not about litter brands.

  9. So is loving energy the only thing you use or do you have other methods as well? Because you are right, this is a territorial issue and Jackie Lao is the interloper although she can’t see that.
    I believe they have feelings too but Miss Mitty was throwing up for a few weeks before the pee incident and I am very nervous about Miss Mitty getting worse if I bring JL back. JL really stressed her out and it isn’t a bad thing to perhaps give them a week to decompress and then bring in a different type of situation.
    But the house just feels so empty without JL’s energy. And Miss Mitty has not been spending any time on the bed with me. She comes in, says hi, and leaves. So, I’m thinking a litter box in the kitchen (gross) is the solution at this point in time. I’m thinking about ways to hide it and keep it clean.
    But if you can think of any other things in addition to the love bit (is that love to JL or MM?)I’d sure appreciate that. And did you just say you are a cat psychic?

  10. Do you have any ideas in addition to having two litter boxes in opposite rooms that might help these two get along better. Really I think it’s more about JL stopping her territorial stuff because Miss Mitty was more than friendly in the beginning. If JL would stop terrorizing her, things would be just fine I think.
    What did you do in tough situations?
    Wow, I never realized that territory and terrorize are so connected.

  11. No, not a cat psychic, but I do communicate well with animals. Dogs everywhere love me, but they are usually attention driven.
    I’m thinking in terms of my ferrets. They have smaller brains than cats so if their behavior can be modified then I think cats stand a good chance too. Have you caught them actively tussling? Or are they just posturing around the sandbox when you aren’t there to correct the situation?
    I’d try all sorts of things. I’d try putting two litter boxes side by side with each cats scat in their own box if you don’t see them fighting with a backup box in the kitchen as a ‘just in case’ scenario. If stuck with a box in the kitchen I’d also try moving the boxes closer together over time to eventually being in the same spot with the idea that they might get used to each other.
    We use ferretone (oil drops), ferretvite (like nutrical) and cheerios (ferrets love them for some reason) as training aids. Ferrets are harder than cats to litter train so proper box behavior gets immediate reinforcement with treat until they start to get in the box and fake going to get the treat. Then we switch to intermittent reward because we know they have made the connection. If there’s some way to treat Miss Mitty for showing tolerance while new kitty uses the box it might start a mental change. Does Miss Mitty have food on demand, or her feeding just at a certain time? What’s Miss Mitty thinking and what are her motivations? Is it past experience with a bully cat? Worry about food? Disklike of newbie’s smell? She doesn’t sound like she has deep mental issues but I would watch her and see what her body language is telling.
    The one who got the extra treats and loving, surprisingly perhaps, was the ferret who was showing undue terrioriality. He was the one who, for some reason was threatened. The sense I got from him was that he was surprised to see new ferrets? Where did they come from, why were they sniffing and nudging *him* and for all that is holy, why are they in the food and water bowl. There might not be enough (never mind that that they always have food available and are not expected to go hungry ever.) He was nervous, but when we held him and talked to him he settled down and followed his more natural curiosity (after he checked the foodbowl!)
    I’d also consider borrowing a third cat friendly to the new baby from the cat lady to see if 2 change the balance and Miss Mitty’s tendency to protect territory – she may realize she’s outnumbered and give up. I’d worry about her health though. Maybe Miss Mitty is not feeling healthy and it makes her a bit cranky?

  12. It isn’t about the litter box. Not at all. They don’t mind sharing the box.
    It’s about the fact that Miss Mitty has to walk through Jackie’s territory to get to the litter box. And when she does, Jackie hisses, swats at her, and then chases her into the next room. And recently she forcefully keeps Miss Mitty from coming into the bedroom at which she has to do to get to the bathroom. So Miss Mitty wasn’t getting the opportunity to even get to the litter box.
    Miss Mitty is the one who is terrorized. And she was the first cat. So she gets to stay and the new cat, Jackie, had to go.
    I’m considering having a second box in the kitchen (which means Miss Mitty doesn’t have to go anywhere near the bedroom ever) and getting Feliaway.
    Miss Mitty’s health is completely related to being terrorized. All her physical symptoms disappeared by Sunday morning. So they are from being chased etc…

  13. Oh, I had it backwards. If you are going to give Jackie another try, as new cat, I’d try picking her up and telling her no repeatedly and comforting. If that doesn’t work completely I’d then try to add alpha cat dominance (drawn out vocalizing and perhaps hissing) and time outs to make my point if she persists. Treats when she allows Miss Mitty into the territory without any sign of aggression. Timing is everything in behavior mod. It’s harder because you don’t know what sort of background she may have had and it may be harder to stop her if she’s really ingrained the behavior. Little tiny tigers, they are…

  14. From an expert
    The professor across the hall is all about cats – she has Maine Coons and shows them. She also is president of the Gorge Humane Society and is teaching a course on grantwriting to help cat shelters.
    She said the most critical phase is the introduction and the new cat should be contained and gradually introduced into the main area slowly so she knows she is going into someone else’s territory. She also said that female cats are divas. 🙂

  15. Re: From an expert
    Heh. Divas indeed.
    How does one gradually introduce? And I do have access to a cage… Does she say anything about a cat going back to territory she thought was all hers?

  16. Re: From an expert
    I think she said you have to start all over, but she also said she’d be happy to answer your questions directly. She’s boeschb at pdx dot edu. Her name is Becky and she is very nice.

  17. I totally understand the situation and sympathize greatly. You had mentioned a brief concern over odor if you put a litter box in the kitchen and I was just trying to offer an idea that might help make that part of it easier for you.
    In my opinion you’ve been a total champ in a very stressful situation and I was not trying to oversimplify the issue. I don’t have much to offer except support of your decisions and a tidbit of information here and there based on my own experiences. Best of luck with all of this.

  18. The other thing that has made a big difference in my situations was each cat having their own scratching posts with me enforcing the ownership of the territory. When cat A climbs or uses cat B’s post I remove cat A and put it on it’s own post. For this to be most effective the posts need to have a place for the cat to sleep and high enough that the cat can see an oncoming cat. Now my two kitties share the scratching posts and play on them together, but for the first year it was important they each had their own. Interestingly enough my first cat, Luna (female), was the terrorizer and I found that by putting her in her cat tree in response to improper behavior towards the new cat Frankie (male), that she seemed to quickly learn such things were unacceptable and unnecessary.
    It seems like females are more territorial than males. I also have had great luck with a 2 bedroom apartment where each cat “owns” one bedroom and the rest of the house is communal space, but it sounds like that may not be your situation. One last trick I sometimes used and still do on rare occassion is a dominance thing mother cats do to kittens. They put their mouths around a kittens head to assert dominance and encourage discipline. When Luna is out of line in an obvious attempt to be top cat in a bullying way I hold her and put her head in my mouth. Weird, I know, but effective. I keep her there while she growls until she stops. She calms right down.
    Those are what I can think of and don’t know if any of it will be useful, but there it is. Again, my heart goes out to you and I wish you the best of luck.

  19. The dominance thing actually speaks to me. I get that and prefer to talk “cat” when dealing with this kind of issue. I know for dogs, simply grasping the top of their nose works that same way.
    The only this works in this apartment is if Jacklie gets the bedroom and Miss Mitty gets the living room. The thing I’m worried about is that JL had begun foraying into Miss Mitties area (she got lonely) and I worry that she will assert her dominance here too. When I’m not there to stop her.
    I’m still actually sitting on the fence a bit about this. I really am not up to the drama right now. My psychic friend says that Jackie doesn’t want to share anything at all. She wants her own home. That she’s not mad at me. But that she wants a place with no other cats.

  20. Yeah, Luna was the same way. She was so pissed that I brought another cat in the house and wanted no part of it. I remember when she sat next to Frankie on the couch in a non-threatening and aloof manner for the first time after almost a year of co-habitation. It’s work and drama for sure. I had my two partners living with me and that support was really valuable.
    It seems like JL is pretty attached to you and wants to please you and that this could be used to teach her to share. I think sharing is a learned skill that even JL may be able to acquire. As the new cat she may feel that the only way to safely foray into Miss Mitty’s territory is to be aggressive first. It sounds like you’re on a good track for integration. With a second litter box outside of the bedroom you can close the door between the space when you’re gone and assist the negotiation between them when you’re home. Maybe the message can be that when you’re home the only personal territory is their own cat posts or something and that you as top cat can permit the presence of whichever cat you want. Easier said than done, I know.
    If you feel it’s not something you can take on right now and want help looking for a new home for JL I’ll be happy to continue asking around and I for one will totally respect the decision.

  21. I like the closed door thing. That’s a DOH! moment.
    Believe it or not, I can’t get either of them to use a scratching post of any kind and I do have them.
    But the closed door thing and separate litter boxes might work.
    I really don’t know how to get the message across that the only personal territory is anything though.
    I waiting to solidify this until tomorrow. Sleep on it one more night. I feel bad for Jackie and know that the cat lady doens’t need any extra cats but I woke up this morning feeling very hesitant about starting over.
    It’s a little too quiet in the house but before it felt very crowded… *sigh*

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