Tag Archives: new cat

Did We Make a Mistake?

It has been more than three weeks since we adopted Frankie and while things are somewhat better now, there are still problems to overcome. This is new to us. We have had many cats over the years but never so many problems with fighting.

Our cats Frankie and Chris

At first it seemed like Chris was to blame. It surprised us because Chris did not act that way when we introduced Puck. He seemed happy to have someone to play with. The two of them “fought” all the time but it was mostly play. There was very little growling and hissing. I suppose it also helped that Puck learned to be subservient when necessary.

When Frankie and Chris are together, there is usually growling, hissing and, for lack of a better word, screaming. There is also fighting. Not play fighting but mortal combat. Yesterday I had to break up a fight when Chris pursued and then attacked Frankie. I held Chris down by the scruff of the neck (I learned that from what Chris does to Puck) and verbally scolded him. He didn’t like it and told me so. I finally let him go and he immediately went after Frankie again.

There has been some bright spots though. I sometimes see Chris and Frankie sniffing noses, or sometimes Chris will sniff Frankie’s butt without a fight starting. I also see Puck and Frankie close together without trouble. When that happens I have hope for the future which is quickly dashed by another fight.

Puck and Frankie getting along seems reasonable because Chris is our bad cat and Puck is our good cat. Puck never causes problems. At least that is what I thought, but I have seen plenty of fights between Frankie and Puck too. This morning the two of them were running around the house, apparently playing. This went on for a while but it suddenly turned into a major fight. I was in the kitchen and saw Puck pounce on Frankie as he tried to get out the cat door. A fight ensued which I foolishly tried to break up and got a paw full of Frankie’s claws in the back of my hand. A little later Rose also felt the wrath of Frankie’s claws.

I’m starting to think that maybe Frankie is not completely innocent in all this. Perhaps he is just one of those cats that needs to be in a household with no other pets. Most shelters will warn you about that, but since Frankie came from a government agency, they probably never took the time to figure that out. Also, we adopted Frankie from a Petsmart employee who probably didn’t know anything about him.

Well, we have him now and we don’t want to give up on him so we need to just continue to try to make things better. Perhaps this will just take months instead of weeks. Only time will tell.


New Cat Troubles

I have introduced many cats to our household over the years and it is never easy but usually after two or three days the war is over except for some minor skirmishes now and then. This time the war lingers on after eight days. It is getting better though. This weekend has been a bit of a turning point and the war has gone from the Civil War to the Cold War.

I did not expect Chris to be this bad. When we introduced Puck, Chris was eager to play with him. It was Tigger who had the problem. I can’t say it is all Chris’s fault though. Frankie gets very defensive when Chris or Puck enters the room and hisses and growls at them. Puck does the right thing and keeps his distance but Chris is undeterred and pushes forward, causing Frankie to retreat under the bed or stand his ground and fight.

Sometimes a fight starts just because Chris is too close. He seems curious about Frankie and wants to smell him but Frankie feels the need to defend himself. Other times Chris wants to show Frankie who is boss and will Chase him under the bed. We were leaving the house today and as I was locking the door I saw Chris chase Frankie out of the living room and down the hall. Out of pure impulse I went back in the house and chased Chris from the bedroom making a show of stomping my feet as I followed him out to the patio. I think I might have over did it though because it looked like I scared Chris. I felt bad about it but I also think Chris needed to learn that what he was doing was not acceptable.

We did have some good moments this weekend and I think we can at least leave the bedroom door open when we are gone. There was one moment yesterday when the two of the smelled each others nose without a fight starting. They also spent time together on the patio, although not too close.

Chris and our new cat Frankie

Frankie keeps a watchful eye on Chris.

Chris, Puck and our new cat Frankie

Frankie, enjoying some time on the patio, has to keep an eye on Chris and Puck.

Puck and our new cat Frankie

Puck made it to the second perch but Frankie’s hisses forced him back to the table.

Things are slowly getting better. A little too slow for my taste but we don’t know what kind of trauma Frankie went through before we took him home. He may just need more time before he trusts the other cats. I think he might also have to accept Chris’s role as the alpha or we may never see peace.

Meet Frankie, Our Newest Addition

Saturday Rose and I were discussing Valentine’s Day and she surprised me by saying that instead of jewelry, I could get her a Bengal cat. She then added that a Snowshoe cat would be acceptable too.

We were in the car so I brought up Petfinder.com on my phone but there were very few that met her criteria. The ones that were listed were a fair distance away. They also had photos that were poor and descriptions that were almost non-existent. There was one possibility at the Hillsborough County Animal Shelter but they don’t answer their phones on the weekend and their description on Petfinder did not even mention the age, sex or temperament of the cat. I don’t understand why shelters don’t do a better job promoting their “detainees.”

We happened to be near a shelter called The Suncoast Animal League (where I once volunteered) so we decided to look there. There was a female Siamese cat that I thought was very friendly but Rose didn’t like her eyes. They were blue around the outside and had a reddish glow in the middle. Rose thought she looked evil but I would have taken her.

Next we went to The Humane Society of Pinellas County in Clearwater. I was impressed with how the cats were housed there. They had very large cages outside but under cover. Each cage was (and I’m guessing) about five feet by ten feet and housed between two and four cats. The cages were tall and there were structures for the cats to climb on or go inside. If I was a cat waiting for my forever home, I would want to wait there.

While we were there we saw a black and white kitten named Wilma. She was a frisky little girl and Rose liked her but someone else was in the cage with her so we decided to look around and come back. When we did come back that other person had already committed to adopting her.

From there we went to Petsmart in Clearwater, not far from the Humane Society. We found a three-year old gold and white cat that seemed very friendly. When he was brought out of the cage he immediately climbed on my shoulders, just like Chris did when I met him. Actually, Chris dug his claws in my back and scaled me like a mountain so it may not have been just like that. He then went to Rose’s shoulders and started treading (Rose calls it Marching) on her sweater while holding a piece of it in his mouth.

We decided to adopt him even though he was not the female Bengal or Snowshoe Rose was looking for. He was from the Pinellas County Animal Services and didn’t even have a name, just a number, B311304. We had to change that because we couldn’t call him B311304. I mean it is hard to remember. What if I accidently called him B311340? I wouldn’t want to confuse the little guy. Rose decided to name him Frankie after the Snowshoe cat that we wanted months ago but waited too long to decide and lost him (see here).

When we got him home we didn’t separate him from the other cats, which we should have, but Chris has never given a new cat a hard time and Puck is so friendly we didn’t think there would be a problem. We opened the cage door in the living room and the cat made a beeline for the spare bedroom and under the bed, where he remains as I write this. He came out for five or ten minutes on Sunday while we had the door closed and the other cats locked out. He was very friendly and let us pet him but he then went back under the bed and did not come back out until after we left for work yesterday (Monday).

Our new cat Frankie

Frankie was out from under the bed for a short time Sunday.

Our new cat Frankie

Frankie was “marching” and sucking on the blanket.

When I got home yesterday evening from work, he was lying on the bed in the spare bedroom. I closed the door that morning so he could have peace from the other cats and it seems to have worked. He let me pet him for a good ten minutes while Chris sat at the doorway staring. I got up and pet Chris too so he wouldn’t feel left out.

Eventually Frankie got tired of the attention and batted at my arm and hissed at me. Our cat Sneakers used to come around for attention and then bite you when he had enough. I hope he is not going to be like that. I did notice he did not extend his claws when he batted me. We were not informed that he was declawed (which I would never do to an animal) so I need to check that when I can do it without upsetting him more.

Frankie eventually ended up back under the bed again. I’m a bit worried because, as far as I can tell, he has only used the litter box I left in the bedroom once since Saturday. I plan on closing him inside the bedroom again today. Hopefully he will come out and do his business.