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December 28, 2005

The Maladjustment of Little-O


Having never had siblings, I am a bit perplexed as to the proper handling of Olive�s recent adjustment issues. After about two weeks of relative calm in the Lexacor household, it was if she suddenly realized the existence of Olga, not to mention the vast size different between the two.

Since that point, our home has housed a myriad of hiss explosions. We now have the daily task of extracting Olive from one of two �safe spaces��the top of the liquor cabinet, where she sleeps with her chin on our velvet menorah case, or the top of our closet, where she spends most of her time knocking things like sleeping bags and suitcases onto our heads.

The final straw, which involved Olga joining Olive inside the litter box while the latter was engaged in toiletry, has rendered the smaller cat a twitching mass of shedding fur.

Do animal therapists make house calls?

Posted by callalillie at December 28, 2005 8:44 AM | Feline Musings


cats will use the same litter box? and does that mean you have to clean it like every hour?

Posted by: tien at December 28, 2005 9:20 AM

do you really think we have FOUR litter boxes?? actually, we have two...and for some reason, it doesn't get very stinky. that might be because i am used to having the box in my kitchen, which thankfully we no longer need to do b/c we have more than 1 room.

Posted by: corie at December 28, 2005 9:22 AM

hey, i'm new to the cat thing, what do you want from me?

so it's one box for your cats, one for lex's?

Posted by: tien at December 28, 2005 10:55 AM

We had a cat therapist come to our house when one of our three inexplicably became a recluse. We were given instructions how to interact with her and we installed Feliway Comfort Zone plug in diffusers we emit feline pheramones that calm the kitties. You may want to try that.

Posted by: Mary at December 28, 2005 12:03 PM

Being the non-cat-owning person that I am, I of course feel the inappropriate need to say, sleeping on the liquor cabinet? Now THAT'S my kind of cat.

Posted by: deb at December 28, 2005 1:08 PM

Being the non-cat-owning person that I am, I am staring open mouthed at Mary's comment above.

Posted by: Meg at December 28, 2005 2:35 PM

The Humane Society has some pretty useful articles about pets, including this one on "fearful" pets http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/our_pets_for_life_program/cat_behavior_tip_sheets/fearful_cats.html

I have four cats and have seen some odd shifts in their dynamics as the oldest become less dominant and the younger become more dominant (with varying degrees of success). To date, all issues have been resolved within the cattery without human intervention (other than stopping fights).

I hope the two O's find a balance and that both get lots of love and patience.

Posted by: not-that-Andrea at December 28, 2005 3:36 PM

editing my prior message to say that the "plug in diffusers that emit" in place of "we emit". The way I wrote it makes it sound like humans emit feline pheramones. It really does work!

Posted by: Mary at December 28, 2005 4:16 PM

Insane. Truly.

Posted by: Meg at December 28, 2005 5:07 PM

there's got to be someone in our collective "crunchy" neighborhoods (im in PS) who's a cat behavior expert. who's your vet? the people at animal kind seem pretty helpful, and that's where i bring my cranky harriet (who looks remarkably like your olive). just a thought.

Posted by: grumpygirl at December 28, 2005 7:13 PM

If protestant Olive is seeking comfort in jewish religious symbols, perhaps the crisis is spiritual?

But seriously, I am told that fish oil is a natural mood-stabilizer for catties. Sounds like you may need an anti-psychotic though...

Posted by: Scoxx at December 28, 2005 7:22 PM

That's a brilliant picture!! They'll work it out. My two cats hated each other when they first met--one was there first, then the other came. But now they're inseperable old farts.

Posted by: christina at December 29, 2005 12:15 AM

You should just lock them all in a room with a carton of cigarettes and not let them out until every last one is smoked down to the nub. That'll learn 'em.

Posted by: jeb at December 29, 2005 11:09 AM

Well... usually I err on the side of not pathologizing things that are more than likely normal... perhaps she's just moved from "denial" to "anger" and will pass through this stage, too, and eventually accept the new situation.

On the other hand, I had two kitties here for several months and things did NOT get better, they got worse.... by the time the guest left, I was getting worried there'd be blood... then again, maybe one good fight would have settled everything once & for all... if the situation had been permanent, I probably would have sought out advice on teaching the kitties to get along.

Good luck, whatever happens.

Posted by: ms. frizzle at December 29, 2005 1:17 PM

the feliway stuff does help a lot, though you can never know how much till you try it (ain't cheap, neither). is olga the only other female cat? that might be having some effect on lil olive. but like other folks are saying, in time she'll get used to the situation. maybe you could get a cardboard box and make a hole in it that's only big enough for olive to get into. she'd feel safe from the other cats, although you might never see her again!

Posted by: ChrisG at December 30, 2005 11:57 AM

I'm a lurker but decided to post today for the first time. Blog still under construction. ;)

You know what worked in my home with the whole multiple cat daily hissing show? Lightly spread a little treat on Olga and Olive's neck and put both cats close enough (might take a few tries) so that they can smell the treat on each other's neck and lick it off. In my case, condensed milk worked for one of them and meat sauce on the other. They got along like best pals after a few good mutual lickings. LOL

Haven't had a problem since and the technique has helped a few friends in the same situation.

Posted by: Nina at December 30, 2005 2:12 PM

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