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Cat behaviour: Update: Finny has gone missing. Update! He's BACK!

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This is a tale of two kittens, who turned into cats. It could be a romance.

 

Kitten Roony was a stray. She wandered into my daughter's garden when she was just tiny -- no more than maybe two or three weeks old. We don't know where she came from. The place is a village, but nobody knew of a cat who had recently had babies. My daughter had just given birth so they kept her and raised her on breast milk at first, fed with a pipette. She thrived, and became a well-loved pet. She has a large garden to roam in and beyond that, open fields and behind that, forest. She's an outdoor cat who comes and goes as she pleases, very independent. She quite likes sitting on a human lap and being stroked, but might very suddenly and quickly snap and bite the hand that stroked her. When she was a kitten, biting was a real problem. She would bite people's feet,  persistently, as if in play, but quite hard. I googled that a mother cat teaches her kittens not to bite by hissing, so we hissed at her when she bit, and she improved. Now that she's adult the biting only comes suddenly, after a cosy stroking session. She then runs away. She's not terribly fond of humans. She likes to be outside, catches and kills mice and birds (occasionally) and likes to go upstairs to sleep on the beds. She is spayed, now about 18 months old.

 

Daughter thought a second cat, a kitten, would give her a new focus and help with her biting, and since my granddaughter, 10 years old, longed for a kitten. we got her one when she came to stay with me and my son in July. I have a town flat. We thought the kitten could stay there while granddaughter is with us, then move to my daughter. This was Finny. We got him as a female, but he turned out to be male. We don't have a garden, just a balcony and a sort of outside courtyard. He was six weeks old when we brought him home. We took him straight to Roony, and Roony immediately hated him. Hissed at him while he was still in the basket etc, and wouldn't go near him. So it seemed the plan would not work and we'd have to keep Finny in the flat, which I'm not too keen on. Granddaughter went back to Austria, and my son is Finny's chief caretaker.

We take Finny over to my daughter occasionally. He is now five months old and just as big as Roony. Roony still hates him.

 

When Finny comes to visit, they seem to be always together. Finny just sits there, and Roony sits watching him. If he comes closer to her, she hisses and swipes at him. Finny is very calm, very steady, and doesn't seem to mind being hissed and swiped at. He just moves out of the way, sits and watches. Sometimes they both go upstairs and lie under the bed, quite close to each other, watching each other, Roony hissing if Finny gets too close. They are definitely interested in each other, and I suppose for Finny it's a courting thing now. Roony is just not interested. They seem to be always near each other, stalking each other. I watched them once when they were both outside: they were running round and round a large container thing, for ages.  Sometimes Finny stays overnight. SOmetimes he sleeps in Roony's bed. He is very confident, now that he's just as big. sometimes they are just near to wach other, resting, or staring at each other.

 

Once, they both had a bowl of food in the kitchen, around the corner from each other. Finny, who loves his food, didn't bother to eat his, but just say watching Roony. Then Roony came and ate Finny's food, and he didn't mind.

 

I have to say that Finny is a very friendly, sweet natured cat, a "people" cat, As we don't have a garden he's a house cat, and whenever we come home there he is, rushing to greet us. He follows my son all over the place, like a dog, and even sits behind him on the toilet. He comes when called by name, even if he's at the back of the garden, at my daughter's. If anyone is at home, he'll be with that person, on their bed or their lap.

 

The time is going to come when my son will stay at his sister's house for a couple of weeks, while we are away, looking after both cats. Our hope is that Finny's persistence and good nature will win through in the end. 

I don't have much experience with cats, so I thought I'd put it to the good people of TT; assuming that Finny is indeed courting, is there a chance he will eventually win over Roony? Can they ever be friends? I have to say it is fascinating to watch. I do feel for Roony, having her home invaded, and Finny just doesn't seem to understand rejection. 

 

Of course, it would be best for them to be friends eventually. Finny might be a house cat, but he loves the garden and it would be paradise for him -- of only Roony would give him a chance. He's not being macho about it, just very sweet and patient.

 

 

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I had a female cat at one time and then got a kitten as well. His name is Viktor and I still have him. She initially hissed at him but about a month after getting him I went off on vacation for 2 or 3 weeks and left them in my house with someone coming to feed them every day. Spending all that time alone they were the best of friends when I got back.

 

A couple of years later the female was hit by a car and I got a grown tomcat from a shelter to keep Viktor company. That was Tom I recently had to have put down. Viktor was initially scared of Tom and would hiss at him and watch him all the time at first. He probably didn't even eat for about two weeks, he was just so busy with that. Tom didn't really care and would walk up to Viktor and meow and Viktor would hiss and run off. But you know at some point he realized Tom wasn't going to do anything to him and they became friends. Sometimes they'd fight a bit but they often cuddle up together or groom each other.

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That is encouraging, LeonG! It's my impression that this is the beginning of a long friendship/romance, but there are things I don't know about cats, for instance, does a spayed female still accept courtship/mating from a male? Does she emit some kind of aura that deters the male, can he tell?

 

On another not, I tried to give Optimista a greenie but got  a pop-up saying I am not allowed to. What is that about?

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5 months is a bit young for a tom to sexually mature, but it does happen. Still, even a mature Tom wouldn’t “court” Roony as she is spayed and her smell wouldn’t turn him on. Anyway, I would advise neutering Finny at 6 months as he would start spraying the place if not and roaming the neighbourhood far and wide for days on end looking for attractive smelling intact females. Intact Toms lead very stressful and dangerous lives.

 

I would also advise installing several cat trees in both homes so both cats have the possibility of avoiding each other on different levels. I’ve had several cats over the years and they are just as different in personality as humans are. Some are sweet and cuddly, others are hissy and not so cuddly. One of my cats (Maja, female, 16) doesn’t like other cats at all and keeps my other cat (Maxi, male, 15) at a distance with hissing, swiping etc. Roony sounds a bit like her. I don’t think she’ll change and she definitely needs upper levels in the home as safe places to escape from Finny’s advances. If he is stalking her, which is what it sounds like to me, her life at home is stressful, even if he is the friendliest cat on earth. The staring at each other doesn’t sound good as it’s a threatening gesture. It seems to be what Roony is doing on the photo and Finny is shying away. Blinking slowly on the other hand is a soothing and calming gesture.

 

I would advise installing several Feliway difusers in the home. 

https://www.amazon.com/Feliway-Classic-Starter-Cats-Diffuser/dp/B01AVIIFRA

 

 

 

 

 

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Our two cats are not remotely friendly to each other. There are still random incidents of spitting and hissing when one or other breaks their code of non-involvement. We have a big house and there is space for each to have their peace, just a shame for the friendly one, as you say, who would have happily become snuggle partners, but hey.

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It sounds to me as if finny is simply a social cat, while roony is not.

 

Unbeknownst to many "new" cat people, cats can get very stressed out when they are left totally alone.  Some prefer to be alone, and maybe this applies to roony, but a well socialized cat will get lonely if they don't have other cats or humans to play and bond with, and they actively seek out bonds where they can find them.   It sounds to me as if finny is simply trying to form a cat friendship with roony, as that is simply his personality.

 

"Courting" with cats is very different.  Not really any wooing involved, the male just tries to get in there.  Even when they succeed the female can often appear pissed off, even if she's a somewhat willing participant.  There can be biting and fighting and howling involved. It's not very "romantic". and as Bramble explained, if she never goes into heat (which she can't) she will not attract the attention of males for sexy times.  And yes you should get him neutered asap for everyone's sanity.  I would personally not wait for six months as it's better to do it before they hit puberty (eta: primarily as if they start spraying they may not stop even if you subsequently neuter them) and you can't predict exactly when that will happen.  I've always had cats neutered at 3-4 months as that's what was recommended in the US but no matter, better "late" than never.

 

 

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Sometimes a quiet natured dog is better company for a cat than another cat. I've had that experience with dogs and cats sharing my various homes with each over the years. 

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I agree with what everyone else has said and would recommend googling Jackson Galaxy and trying to find an episode of My Cat from Hell where he deals with a similar situation (introducing a chill cat to a hostile cat). I learned so much about cat psychology from watching just a few episodes of his. Some of the episodes are painful to watch (clueless owners!!) but the tips he gives are priceless. :) 

 

good luck! 

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44 minutes ago, bramble said:

Sometimes a quiet natured dog is better company for a cat than another cat. I've had that experience with dogs and cats sharing my various homes with each over the years. 

 

totally - I didn't mean to leave out dogs, just there are none in play here :)

 

 

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Daughter's parents in law have a dog, Judy, who visits sometimes. Seriously, she is terrified of Judy! Judy is a small terrier who chases her madly around the garden. Father in law said Judy might kill Roony if he caught her. So that's not working. Daughter would love a dog, but the present house is too small. Maybe if they ever move, but then a stable, gentle dog. We have to see.

Judy is a sweet dog but over excitable. Plus, as is the case in Ireland, she is allowed to roam the streets. I've often seen her trotting down the high street and she comes to visit on her own (but has no access to the garden).

 

When driving here you always have to be on the watch for dogs on the street. For anyone with a German background it's crazy, but it's what they do, especially in rural areas. They don't even have insurance.

 

Thanks to all the feedback. Even if it means I've had to disillusion myself re the budding romance! I'll certainly check out some of your tips.

Poor Roony, having her space invaded, and poor Finny, denied friendship. Ah well, such is life

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16 minutes ago, arunadasi said:

Plus, as is the case in Ireland, she is allowed to roam the streets. I've often seen her trotting down the high street and she comes to visit on her own

 

Not actually "allowed" but sure lots of dogs roaming about.  

 

17 minutes ago, arunadasi said:

When driving here you always have to be on the watch for dogs on the street. For anyone with a German background it's crazy, but it's what they do, especially in rural areas. They don't even have insurance.

 

Not having insurance does not mean owner is not liable for damage or accident caused by the dog. 

 

https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/environment/animal_welfare_and_control/control_of_dogs.html

 

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I'd like to second the recommendation to look at the website and stuff on Youtube by Jackson Galaxy. There is "My cat from Hell", but also a lot of short 4 to 8 minute segments talking about things like stroking, food, litter boxes and so on. He gives a lot of information about the fundamental needs and temperament of cats, territorialism, the importance of scent markers, how to introduce a new cat, and so on.

 

On petting Roony and her lashing out: are you sure she's not being over-stimulated by the way its being done? Lots of cats can only tolerate a little bit of petting, and often only by the head. All the way down their back to the tail can be way too much for some of them. When I was young we had a cat that used to lash out like this, and only much later did I discover that we had, in our ignorance, been stroking him all wrong for his needs.

 

And like other posters have said, please get Finny neutered as soon as possible, for his own sake and for yours!

 

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2 hours ago, arunadasi said:

Judy is a small terrier who chases her madly around the garden.

 

Yes, that's the type of dog unsuitable to live peacefully with cats. My daughter's dog has Jack Russel and Dachshund in him along with a variety of other breeds. My cats don't like him at all. He has too much nervous energy. My own dog (Joker) much quieter in nature on the other hand is tolerated - even liked by my hissy cat Maja as one can see in this photo (one of many) nosing each other. She is the one initiating such moments. I have plenty of other photos with Joker and my other cats (some of which are deceased in the meantime) getting close. 

 

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A friend got a dachshund mix puppy and raised it with two cats and never had a problem so if she wants a dog, I'd say get a puppy and let the cats set the boundaries while it's young.

 

I second Bramble about getting the male neutered. If you don't he will spray, stray and fight.

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Finny is missing.

He has his set schedule: he sleeps during the day, and at night he likes to go out on his adventures. We let him out and he returns around 6 am wanting breakfast.

Today he did not return and we are very concerned. My son has driven around looking for him.

He is the sweetest, most affectionate cat you could imagine. He's grown very big, but is really cuddly and loves being with one of us. He follows my son around the place, but mostly he likes to sleep on my bed during the day.

Of course, he is now castrated so it's not that.

What has been your experiences with cats going missing?

Tomorrow is he is still gone we will put up posters.

 

For information: we live on the edge of town. There is a main street behind our compound: if you turn left, it heads into the country -- and lots of fields and even woods around the place. If you turn right it heads into town.

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He might have got locked up in someone's garage or garden shed by mistake. This happens to cats a lot. You could ask around in the neighbourhood. 

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Mine sometimes disappears for a few days and then turns up again as if they were never away, hopefully yours will turn upp again soone

 

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