Q: adults cats won't eat or use litter box

July 9, 2010 | By Stephanie | 2 answers | Expired: 1584 days ago

adults cats won't eat or use litter box

This is related to a question I recently posted. I got a new kitten and have two 2-year-old neutered male cats. The last few days I've been trying to introduce the kitten's smell to the cats. One cat, Buddy, is taking it better. Grease is not. I just had him smell the kitten's scent on my hands and he starts his now usual growling and hissing, he also sometimes growls and hisses at his once good friend Buddy. I have a 2-story old house and have a room upstairs just for then with food, litterbox, etc. Next to that room I have Bella in a room of her own, door closed. (I would move Bella's room but those are the only two rooms upstairs other than the bathroom that have a/c) Neither Grease or Buddy will go upstairs to eat or use the litterbox. I have been stressed over all of this. They have water downstairs also. They have been outside during the day. So far no going to bathroom on the carpet. Should I feed them downstairs? I haven't because I want them to go upstairs like they always do and sniff Bella under the door. Should I keep letting them outside? If I do, then they don't need to go upstairs to use the litterbox. I haven't had an experience like this introducing cats. I had some mild trouble when I brought Buddy home a week after we got Grease, as kittens. At that time they were mostly outside. After two weeks they (mostly Grease, Buddy just wanted to be friends all along, hence the name, Buddy) warmed up to each other. I sure love sweet little Bella but this is the last cat for a long time. I'll be bringing home a baby next Feb. I'm sure I'll need more help then to!
Some more info, Grease is letting me pet him now, and purring too (good for both of us!) And he isn't as agitated as he was the first day. Yesterday I took Buddy upstairs and put him in front of his food bowl and he just ran away back down stairs. I have not tried putting Grease upstairs. They had a face-to-face meeting with Bella three days ago, I have not tried that again since.

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daryl b.

Jul 09, 2010

unless they hut each othe i am a fim believe in letting them wok it out for themselves

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Jul 09, 2010

it's good news that you're seeing some progress {grease being more affectionate to you}. it takes time and patience to make it all the way through. if you're not keeping grease to his own room to de-stress, then let him outside. he probably has his own little sanctuary under a bush or something. anything to make his life easier right now. i don't know about feeding him downstairs though. i mean, he will eat when he's hungry and probably detest bella's door, but he first needs to accept her being behind it before he'll be okay w/meeting her again.
i have this problem every time i bring in a new cat. one of my fosters is adamantly against other cats and new ones only upset her more. i've had her for a year and a half and it takes months for her to get use to a new cat, but she's terrified of the cats. grease sounds like he just doesn't like them. a lot of cats take about 2-4 weeks, and some are only a matter of days.
avoid forcing grease or buddy to interact at the door. carrying a cat to a stressful situation minimizes the control they have over it. in the end, it has to be their choice to walk up to the door or eventually walk through it. instead of carrying them, wait until they're upstairs anyway {b/c they will be to eat} and toss some treats in front of the door. they don't have to spend minutes in front of it just yet, start these smell introductions w/a matter of seconds. another thing you can try is playing w/them in front of the door. if they seem stressed, back off, but if they'll follow a lure or attack a toy mouse, use it to your advantage. one of the most helpful things for me when introducing cats is to get them all focused on a lure toy and take turns playing w/each of them.
but the point is grease's stress level is beginning to drop! it's an itty bitty baby step, but it's definite progress. and not all steps are likely to be that small, but he has the first hurdle to get passed before you'll see him get better and better and better. good luck and keep us updated!

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