How can I make kitty jail easier for my cats?
September 17, 2012 6:03 PM   Subscribe

How do I keep my cats calm while separated and waiting to reintroduce them?

I have two six-ish year old cats who have lived with me for just over 5 years. Keke and Linny were best buds until this weekend. Three days ago a mouse came into our apartment and while they were hunting Keke managed to accidentally scare the pants off Linny. Now Linny freaks out when she sees Keke and Keke is responding by poofing up and hissing back. They've been separated for two days and being locked up in their respective rooms is driving them batty. They're very clingy to me and I can't be in both rooms at once, obviously. This afternoon they both started howling and scratching under the doors like maniacs. I don't think they're howling at each other, but they're already on opposite side of our home and can't get any further apart even if they are. I already have Feliway diffusers running. Can I let them roam the living area one at a time or should I definitely be keeping each one in their own room at all times? Is the anxiety of being alone in their rooms going to counteract any calming benefit of being separated? Are there any tricks to keeping them happy during the next 24 hours?

Bonus question: Tomorrow we're going to start reintroducing them with a baby gate between them and their favorite foods. If Linny freaks out do we completely start the process over with another three day quarantine?
posted by MaritaCov to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Let them work it out.

One day our five cats (which were in two camps in terms of friendship) were shoulder to shoulder at the window on the deck, there was another cat out there. The tension was huge... I don't know what happened, but somebody bumped into somebody and I had a cartoon image rolling ball of cats hissing, clawing, and screaming across the floor. They wen't about 20 feet, a blur of cat claws and fur. I yelled, they stopped, and for the next week everyone tiptoed around, hissing, glaring and ready to fight... eventually they just got over it....

Personally, I would just let them go, understand there may be a bit of tension and hissing....
posted by HuronBob at 6:13 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

I agree with HuronBob, let them work it out. It should pass in a few days.
posted by shoesietart at 6:18 PM on September 17, 2012

They're not new to each other, so I'd trust them to work it out.
posted by xyzzy at 6:56 PM on September 17, 2012

Agreeing with the responses so far, but I want to add that the only time something like this has happened between my cats is when one of them was sick and wanted the other one to leave her alone. Are you sure one of them wasn't injured somehow in the altercation? If not, I think you are probably safe to let them work it out on their own, as long as they aren't getting into actual, blood-drawing fights.
posted by something something at 7:23 PM on September 17, 2012

What everyone said: let them work it out. If it were me, I'd let Linny out first. Give her an hour or so to chill, then open the door to the room where Keke is, and let them take it from there.
posted by trip and a half at 11:25 PM on September 17, 2012

Okay, I let them out last night for about an hour. There was some hissing and posturing when I would look away but no brawling. I locked them up for bedtime and let them be together this morning. It looks like the tension is going to take awhile, but it seems to be improving. I think I'm going to keep them separated when we're not home, just because Keke is twice the size of Linny and I'm worried she could do some serious damage. Linny has decided she must have her nose up Keke's hind end to remember who she is and Keke hates having her butt sniffed on a good day.

As for my cats' health, they're both pitiful. Keke has idiopathic cystitis and Linny has stomatitis. I know stress can make both these things worse, so it probably isn't helping.
posted by MaritaCov at 7:55 AM on September 18, 2012

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