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Advice on bad behaviour- jealousy?

(4 Posts)
OmniaParatus Fri 10-Jun-11 11:19:40

I've got two cats who are brother and sister, they are 10. I adopted them at 3 so have had them many years. Since having DS2 (I have DS1 and a DD), they have shown some very challenging behaviour.

I think it is mainly the female cat (can't be sure with 2!) but they have been sleeping on baby's things, pram, bouncy chair, even pushing off things placed on these objects to stop them sleeping there, messing in DD's room (most recently on her bed, I had to throw away her covers and quilt sad), and messing in the newly built play area. We also have mice in the house, I am not sure if they have brought them in from outside or if they are no longer hunting and the mice have moved in.

I now try to close bedroom doors to stop them getting in during the day, and have put down citrus in the rubber chips in the play area (not working well though, does anyone have any ideas on how else to discourage them?)

I don't know if the new baby has made them jealous and unsettled. They did not bother about either of the other two children. Could it be now they are older they are not handling the change as well? Any advice on how to change their behaviour would be great, I am struggling to tolerate the messing everywhere when I have three kids under four who can't use their play area or play upstairs without me checking their rooms first.
Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?

1Catherine1 Fri 10-Jun-11 11:29:14

Cats rarely suffer with jealousy but more likely stress. Unpleasant marking with poo and wee in addition to scratching are all signs of a stressed cat. It can also be a sign of a sick cat so a trip to the vets to rule this out is a good idea. Cats are very territorial and will become extremely stressed out if a place they considered their own is taken from them suddenly. It is too late to redo how you introduced your DS2 into the house but unfortunately people often forget that current pets need preparing in the same way current children do with gradual changes.

Ways to go about fixing it now:
1) Go to the vets to rule out any medical problems
2) Buy feliway defusers for the rooms the cat spends most of its time
3) keep the doors closed for where you don't want the cat
4) Provide a safe haven for your cat - Maybe a new scratching post that is high so well away from the children, if possible put it in a room away from the children so the cat has somewhere safe to curl up. I would spray this with feliway regularly to keep your cat nice and relaxed. A cat cannot OD on feliway, it is perfectly safe and really does work at helping a cat relax.
5) Have some special cat fussing time - they need to feel that they haven't lost all their territory.

Good luck - I'm sure this is quite a stressful time for you!

OmniaParatus Fri 10-Jun-11 12:03:01

Thanks Catherine. I will book a trip to the vets- it will be stressful for them but I do have to rule out illness.

I will have to create two areas as the male cat often turfs out his sister (perhaps this is also why she is stressed?) And I will buy some Feliway as Jess in particular can be quite nervous, I didn't realise there was anything I could buy to help relax her!

oldwomaninashoe Fri 10-Jun-11 12:11:33

Just to mention we adopted a very nervous cat a few months ago, Feliway has been brilliant but as he has taken to living in the bathroom (no-where to plug it in) the vet has given us some herbal type sedatives which are having the desired effect!
They are called Zylkene ??
I would also suggest you get a book on cat behaviour as I have found the info in them very helpful
Good Luck!

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