Saturday, February 11, 2012

exploration

The plan went well, Oliver was twice allowed inside the house to explore the first floor while all the regular kitties were locked away upstairs. I followed him closely, ready to intervene at the first sign of a quivering tail.

Morning exploration, 10:45am:
He waltzed in like he owned the place and seemed perturbed that it had taken so long to get back in.

He frequently kept his tail high in the air, which kept me on edge, watching for possible spray.


Everything had to be explored and cataloged.

Oliver really has a thing for catnip. He LOVES it! The catnip banana is a favorite of the inside kitties, so I didn't want Oliver getting his scent on it, so I grabbed it away before he could get going with it.

That didn't stop him from enjoying the catnip-banana residue on the floor.


He's not looking very stressed even though this is the first time he has even been in the dining room.


The morning exploration lasted for about 20 minutes before he sprayed and thus got escorted out. I actually share part of the responsibility for him spraying. He sprayed the trashcan, which was filled with inside cats' pees and poops that had been scooped from the litter box but not taken out yet. Yea, that was pretty poor planning on my part, not disposing of that before letting Oliver in. Live and learn.

Evening exploration, 8:13pm:

Oliver was a lot more active in his evening exploration. He got up on all the furniture including several trips on the large cat tree. He rubbed his head on everything, making everything his.

sniff sniff, hmmm, popcorn...

this is awesome! furniture for kitties!!

I like being inside looking outside.

I like my new house, can I stay?

From all these pictures, it sure appears as though Oliver is pretty comfortable here. 

The evening exploration went for about 30 minutes before he sprayed. I interrupted him before he got really into it, but he did manage to get some out and on the furniture - ugh! I'm really not sure what to do about the spraying, that is a significant problem which means he can't be left unattended inside. 
 
Several of you suggested the calming pheromone collars. I might try one on Oliver and Buddy, but last time I tried to put a collar on Oliver, he didn't take to that well. I do have Feliway diffusers in several rooms and I spray the Feliway spray all over prior to exploration. Cattywumpus asked if Oliver has been neutered, and yes, he has been back in November. The vet said some cats keep marking out of habit if they started before castration, Oliver seems to be one of those cats.

I think I may still try an introduction tomorrow between Oliver and Theo, but I'm not really sure why. I have to get the spraying issue resolved before I can consider him coming inside to live. Part of me wonders if he is spraying because he smells the other cats who live here, and maybe if he was an only cat, he may not feel the need to spray.

Now that he's tasted a bit of the pampered inside-kitty life, I'm sure he will intensify his campaigning to be let back inside.

Once Oliver was safely back outside, I released the other kitties. They curiously explored all the interested smells, but otherwise didn't seem to care that a strange kitty had been in their space.

15 comments:

  1. Well, except for the spraying, it went really well! Good for Oliver.

    But yeah, the spraying would be an issue for me too.

    Oddly, Nicki, who's been neutered since 5 months of age, before I adopted him, backs up when excited (food time, when I come home, etc.) and does the tail-quivering thing. Nothing ever has come out, though, knock on wood. But he's definitely got the right--or wrong--idea about what to do. LOL. Interestingly, he doesn't do this outside at all, where you think he might want to "mark" the fence. But nope.

    I don't know that you can break Oliver of this, though. Hard to alter something that's instinctive and natural for him.

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  2. I am so pleased it went as well as it did!!

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  3. Progress! Would a course of valium stop the spraying once Oliver is inside, or would he stop once he knows inside is his?
    Jane x

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  4. Oliver did look very happy to be inside! I'm glad it went as well as it did. Of course the spraying is indeed a big problem. Good Luck as you continue this process. He's a handsome guy for sure!

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  5. I believe spraying can be overcome in time--it is a new place for him and he needs to leave his mark.

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  6. Two words: Nature's Miracle. I volunteer at a no-kill rescue. I use Nature's Miracle spray to control the spraying and odor in the building I clean every other Saturday. It made an incredible difference. I lightly spray the cat furniture with it after "defuzzing" and anywhere the cats have sprayed or peed. Test in an inconspicuous place before using on upholstered furniture, though.

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  7. Has Oliver been neutered? If not, he may feel the need to mark territory even more.

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  8. Sir Oliver certainly wants to be an indoor boy! Our Maui is one of those sprayer-boys, we tried everything and what works for him is Clomicalm. It's an anti-anxiety drug and it makes it so Maui can stay indoors. Not that Oliver will need meds, but it is an option.

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  9. Sounds like Oliver was a "dumped" kitty...he seems all too comfortable around people. Poor boy...I hope he will be able to make his way inside!

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  10. Oliver looks quite happy indoors.
    WE purray that his spraying won't become an issue(I know I have a sprayer in the house, it isn't fun)
    purrs
    >^,,^<
    ♥Abby♥Boo♥Ping♥Jinx♥Grace♥

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  11. It looks like Oliver enjoyed himself!

    We are sorry it's been so long since we visited. We missed reading your blog.

    We wish we could suggest something for the spraying behavior. We were going to suggest the Feliway, but you're already doing that. Please keep us updated on how it's all going.

    By the way, we gave you an award over at our blog :)

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  12. Mom here: I am just fascinated with how you are doing this transition. I am sorry Oliver felt he had to spray but I understand why. I thik you and your wife are just the best! I am on tenterhooks hoping all goes well.. I dearly love Oliver.

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  13. About the spraying:
    Skootch started spraying [out of nowhere] about 4 years ago. Nothing had changed - same house, same cat roommate, same pawrents. I actually consulted an animal behaviorist, and after a few trial runs of various remedies, we came up with prozac (for cats)! It's called fluoxetine. The vet calls it in to the pharmacy, where it is compounded with tuna flavor. He gets .5 ml per day. It works. I tried weaning him off it a while back, and the spraying came back. It's expensive, but I will always use it!! Not all pharmacies will do it, and it's possible you could get a better price by mail order. The pharmacist said he does it a lot, for both dogs and cats.
    Maybe you could ask your vet about it. I hope this will work out - Oliver seems so happy to be inside!!

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  14. Oh, and another remedy for already-sprayed-spots: there are all these enzyme sprays for stain and odor removal - many different brands - that you can buy now. I totally rely on them for either throw-up spots or urine marking. Sometimes you have to treat a spot repeatedly, but they work pretty well. As with any stain, the sooner you treat it the better! You can mail-order it from Doctors Foster + Smith, and my Whole Foods store has a different brand, Bac-Out.

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  15. LOVING the Oliver updates! Love his name ;o)

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