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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:05 pm 
Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:37 pm
Posts: 196
Hi Annie

Keep strong, it will be worth it. We have just seemingly reached the end of the tunnel with ours and they are now free to roam the house without hating each other too much. They are still freaked out by each other when one tries to groom the other and they fight (but as normal, not as absolutely crazy separation-needing type fight), but I cannot believe that we can now go to work leaving them in the house alone since last friday.
It was a killer to have to go home rushing after work and deal with them and it is heartbreaking, but do not give up (and if you are on your own for this, doubly tiring, but do persevere).
Our behaviourist did not provide such strict separation measures as yours - i guess every case is different - but we had them in different sides of the house. For a month or a bit longer we would just basically rush home and play with one in one room and with the other on the other room (the levels of frustration and boredom they reached in this separation malarkey were high and not helping).
We exchanged rooms for the cats and gave them both freedom to roam (separate) in different areas of the house, as part of getting them accustomed to each other's smell.
Keeping one in a cage while the other roams free must be frustrating, but I cannot comment as I know nothing! (well, after these two months of "cat therapy" I know a bit more how to read my cats).
Our behaviourist also talked about positive reinforcement near each other, so we fed them in the same room, gave them treats together, stuck toys on their face if they looked like they were going to attack each other.
We now have Feliway Friends plugged in different areas of the house, and we have bought an extra tree (the "bullied" cat feels now she has a safe place just to herself - bearing in mind this makes tree number 3!). We had added extra litter trays (as cats bullying others block access to essential areas like litter trays).
One room has become an issue and they fight badly when they are allowed in and we have found lots of pelt bits covering the desk over which they fight (it used to be "bullied cat's" safe room), so they are not allowed into it anymore and we are planning on working at reintroducing them there without conflict using treats.

Anyway, do hold on, it is very hard after a long day of work and with two cats it means double the attention time as each needs individual time with yourself (I've never eaten so much MacDonalds, Pizza or microwave soup in my life! it was either spending time with the cats or prepping dinner). It will be worth it.

It is easy to say "be patient" but soon you will be able to start the reintroductions - I hope - and after that process you will start realising there are little steps forward (like, "oh look, they are only hissing at each other and freaking each other out but not attacking!" or the most amazing moment when Echo decided to smell Ishka's bum, again, without biting her - never thought I'd be so happy to witness an instance of bum smelling, but there you go :-) )

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