Introducing Cats – Showdown at the Great Wall
June – 2018
Another month has come and gone and we’ve made some progress, but not nearly as much as we’d hoped. To recap, it has been 2 months since our first face-to-face meeting with our Cat Behaviorist and nearly 8 months since we began the painful process of introducing our cats.
The month of May was pretty eventful. Arya and Django celebrated their 5th birthdays on May 6th. We had a week of chaos while our office renovation and custom cat shelving project was being completed. And Arya and Django finally stood up to Puddles for a showdown (or smackdown) at the Great Wall.
The most noticeable progress to date has been with Arya and Django. Just a few months ago the guest bedroom/office was their safe spot and the living room was the place they had to go to find their food. But they would seldom hang out in the living room. With the cat wall dividing the living room in two, they were safe from getting attacked by Puddles, but they definitely didn’t have any confidence. Puddles would spend day and night patrolling her side of the wall and she’d aggressively slam into it if Arya or Django got too close. Puddles’ scare tactics worked for a little while. But they aren’t working very well anymore.
In the past month both Arya and Django have exchanged whacks with Puddles at the wall. It is as if they decided they’d had enough of being bullied in their own personal space and they finally fought back!
Here’s a glimpse of what the exchange looked like. This sort of thing happens on the daily now.
My initial reaction was relief. Most people would find this behavior troubling. We went from having 1 aggressive cat to having 3 aggressive cats virtually overnight. But our Cat Behaviorist assured us that this was in fact progress. Puddles was never going to accept that Arya and Django belonged in her home as long as they were scurrying around like prey. But now that they are defending their territory we can hope that Puddles will eventually accept the reality of the situation and her aggression will simply go away.
Puddles is currently taking 15mg of Buspirone a day to help with her anxiety. We’ve noticed improvement in her behavior towards people, but we’ve seen very little progress concerning her aggressive and obsessive behavior towards my Savannah Cats. There have been fewer puffy tails and a lot less growling and hissing coming from Puddles. So I guess we can count that as progress. But her obsessive stalking of Arya and Django is just as prominent as it was on day one. I just keep hoping that Puddles will get bored of hunting Arya and Django, especially now that they are completely ignoring her.