Tuesday, May 18, 2010

From Scratch

On Monday we took Amelia & Callie Mae to the vet to get weighed (they are on a diet).  We picked up their food and let Vante explore their room (our bedroom).  Upon our return home we discovered that Miss V urinated on the NEW bench in the bedroom!  Luckily it didn't smell like urine, but urine it was. 

We are rubbing the cats down and putting the towels under their food bowls.  We may wait another two weeks until we let them go into each other's rooms again.  And then we will be supervising Vante's every moment in their room. 

I have more reading to do to fully understand and implement the clicker training.  Keep your fingers crossed and if you pray, please pray for all 5 of us.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Advice from Dumb Friends League

I just got off the phone with an animal behavior specialist at Dumb Friends League and here is what I'm going to do:

1-Go back to square one with introductions
2-Rub a towel on the other cat(s) and put it under their food bowl so they'll associate something good (eating) with the other cat
3-Have them change rooms for a few hours, every few days
4-Gradually crack open doors so they can see and smell each other but not touch or feel threatened/threaten others
5-Talk to vet about anti-anxiety medications (we don't want to use medicine at this point in time... so)
6-Over the counter remedies (Feliway and a few other options I'll post more about later when I get the literature in my email)
7-More perching space (they can share space but don't want to be in each other's grill)
8-The shared litterbox is good... I'm going to add a shared drinking station
9-***Clicker training *** (She said they have had really good feedback on cat clicker training - seriously.  She said it's worth the effort and time from the feedback she's gotten.  Apparently it's not just for dogs.)

I was also told (and I already knew this) that with my sister-in-law's cat and dog coming in a few weeks, "Things will get worse before they get better."  However, since at one point many, many months ago we did have Vante, Amelia & Callie Mae integrated, then there is hope that we can make it work again.  It'll just take more effort.  They're worth it though... and I'll keep everybody posted on their progress.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Clean Bill of Health

Happy Mother's Day!  I got my present in the form of a cuddling nap from Vante.  IMMD.

Miss V went to her doctor this morning and got a clean bill of health.  No crystals in her urine, looks, feels and definitely sounds healthy (she was quite talkative had a few opinions to share with her vet).

So we're cleared to proceed with the behavior specialist from Dumb Friends Animal League.  YEAH!

Friday they emailed me some literature to read and one was titled, "Nothing in Life is Free" and it's about making your cat do things to get privileges.  For example, my other two cats have to let me put their collar on them and kiss them before they can go into the back yard.  They have to pay the price to go outside.  I've decided that Vante will have to sit before I let her out of her room.  I'm going to use positive reinforcement and food treats. 

It's never too late to teach an old cat new tricks, right?!  Wish me luck!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kitty in the Mirror

I was sewing with a friend this morning and realized I hadn't seen Vante in about an hour.  So, after a search of the house I happened to hear a strange noise in the guest bedroom. 
~not under the bed~
~not under the quilts on the chair~
Then I heard the noise again coming from the closet.  I pull aside some bridesmaid dresses to see Vante staring and growling at herself in the mirror.  She had apparently been at it for a while because she was laying down growling at that annoying cat in the mirror.

I just wanted to laugh, and snuggle with her all at once.  Poor girl, but she did it to herself.  This is a prime example of how much she detests other cats. Don't worry, I removed the 'offending' cat and put it where she can't find it again. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There's Hope Yet

Vante's former care-giver, Linda, has given me some suggestions to help figure out what is making Vante such a 'hater'. 
1--I've contacted the Dumb Friends League for some behavioral advise.  I should hear back from them soon.
2--I'm going to make a doctor's appointment for Vante next week.  We'll double-check her urine (she's urinated outside the box a few times, so I want to be on the safe side).  Also to make sure she's physically fit.
3--The cat furniture I ordered should be here next week.  Providing vertical space for them to explore. 
4--I've contacted the gentleman who makes the Best Friends cat shelves.  Hopefully his hand is healed and I can place my order.  (If not, I'm contemplating having somebody make cat-shelves for my girls.)

In other news, my sister-in-law, a recent college graduate will be coming to live with us.  Her 3 year old neutered male cat, Tucker, and her 15-year-old dog, Ginger, will be coming to live with us also.  I'm excited but a bit worried.  Things are most likely going to get worse before they get better, but I'm hopefully optimistic. 

If this doesn't work we're getting a Pet Psychic!