Sunday, November 11, 2012

even more Hershey

I haven't had much time to blog lately, not really sure why or where my time is going, but it's going! Yikes! I know some of the time goes to caretaking lots of cats!

Hershey has been getting more time in the general population lately. There have been moments where I have felt like his integration has been going quite well.

Hershey, Nahum and Theo keep watch together

During the daytime, Hershey is a lot more subdued and thus isn't trying to get the cats to play every moment. At night, all he wants to do is play, so it quickly gets crazy between him and the others.

When he settles, he becomes a pile of purring kitty-putty in my lap! So precious!

It might seem all is going well, but sadly, that's not true. As Hershey acclimates to the house, he is becoming a bully, in particular with Rose. Hershey has challenged each of the cats in his own seemingly playful way, which appears to be his way of gauging how they defend themselves. Rose tends to hiss but if challenged she runs. Hershey has taken to chasing after her which terrifies poor Rose. The other night, Hershey chased her upstairs and under the bed. I raced up after him to protect her and I found that he had scared the poop right out of her, literally. I was not happy. 

Since that moment, Hershey is strictly monitored when he is among the general population. Today he managed to chase Rose behind the clawfoot tub. This is not acceptable behavior. Rose is a treasured member of our family and any bullying will not be tolerated. So, now I keep a secured door between Rose and Hershey. 

It saddens me to have to keep Hershey locked up so much, I was really hoping he would settle in well with the indoor cats so he could have the freedom of the entire house, but so far that is not so. Tonight, I got some Feliway going in the house, maybe that will help, but I'm not overly optimistic. I still give Hershey some time in the full house when Rose is secured in the bedroom or front porch, but that is not easy to arrange since she will not let humans touch her.

If anyone has any tips or pointers on how to make Hershey not bully Rose, they would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  1. That's such a hard cycle to break...Johnson has been stalking The Baby for five years now. Poor Rose! I think what you are doing is good--monitor Hershey when he's out, and play with him until he's panting to wear him out and blunt his chase response. Also, if it's possible, wake him up during the day for a play session, to dial him down in the evenings.

  2. We are finding that our new guy is too young and is also a bully to Charlie (who is 14 and de-clawed in the front poor guy). We just can't get them together. We've had them separated in the house but now we think Mr Toes will end up part-time outside and in the screened porch. When it's really cold he will come indoors. I wish you luck with the integration! hugs, Linda

  3. I'm wondering if something homeopathic, like PetAlive's remedy for aggression, would help. I use UTI-Free for Derry, with excellent (so far, knock on wood) results, re: his chronic cystitis. I'm now trying their PetCalm, but I don't know if it's making any difference, especially since I give it only once a day (granules that I put into his canned, for both remedies). They do have an aggression remedy, but I can't say how effective it would be.

  4. Are you familiar with Jackson Galaxy? He has a website and this issue came up on his show....he often has video clips or answers questions on his site. I bet he could help!

  5. Jackson galaxy also has homeopathic remedies called spirit essences... I suggest looking into those! I've heard that they work!

  6. I have found a quick squirt of a water sprayer at the 'aggressor' trains the offender not to do things they shouldn't.
    Jane x

  7. WE are having similar problems with Skootch and our new kitten, Louie. I thought I was doing it "right" by keeping Louie separate the first week, but once they were introduced, Louie became the aggressor. He chases poor Skootch. I ordered and received the Jackson Galaxy essences, and have used them for 2 days. I wish they would hurry up and work! I probably should have gotten "bully remedy" for the kitten! Jackson has all sorts of advice on his website about cat behavior, and it appears I may have not done the introductions gradually enough. I am getting close to despair. My husband has no patience for keeping them apart. I just can't bear Skootch getting beat up and intimidated.

  8. Hershey is such a handsum fellow. We too, have bullying within our horde. Princeton, who we suspect is Bengal, is ours. Sounds like you are doing the best thing for your crew. Good luck and Happy Monday!

  9. Some good advice in the comments. Hershey may have needed a slower introduction, but that is hard to know. The water bottle idea is one the lady has used with good results. You must not say anything while using the bottle because you don't want Hershey to associate you or your voice with the cold water spray. It can be effective to the point where all you have to do is bring out the bottle and it will deter the unwanted behavior.

    It's hard to know what Hershey's motivations are. Showing he is not to be trifled with? His chase instinct being stimulated? Thinking that he is playing a game and not realizing that Rose is really frightened and not just playing?

    I know you are doing the best you can!

  10. I've found that some boy cats just have to be the boss, no matter what. Constant supervision is the only thing that seems to work and separating the trouble maker for a "time out" when they act out is all I've been able to come up with, but sadly it may never change. I'm still fighting a battle with one of my bullies and it's been years. He's gotten a bit better but things like Feliway didn't help at all, just a constant "discussion" and separation from the situation every time seems to help a bit. Good luck!


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