My two little rascals have been in the same household for also two months now and we are starting to seem great signs of improvement from the two of them. In the beginning, they were both very weary of each other and there was a lot of growling and death stares. Now they are behaving much better towards each other, although at times there does be the occasional death stare.
We have came to the conclusion that Gifty may be a good bit older than Marley and Gifty could have poor enough vision. We noticed that when Gifty did lash out at Marley, it was when Marley unintentional would have crept up to Gifty and startled her. Gifty would generally be very easy going and wouldn’t be very easily frightened (as Scott would be an extreme over-exaggerator when it came to sneezing and would be prone to random outbursts when playing Xbox Live with his friends HaHa!) but with Marley, she was getting spooked when Marley came towards her quickly or expectantly – this would then lead to Gifty throwing out a swipe and hissing at Marley; at the start Marley would have turned and ran the other way but then she started to swipe back. Anytime we saw Gifty do this we would give her a boop on the butt and/or put her outside; so that she knew that this behaviour was completely unacceptable.
But now, in the last week or so, we have noticed that they are starting to come to terms with each other being under the same roof and the swipes are becoming less common. Once, Scott even saw them eating out of the one bowl at the same time. As we can see that they are somewhat starting to get along, without too much drama, we feel a bit better about leaving them alone together. Before, when we went to bed or both left the house, we would have kept Marley confined to the kitchen and living room while Gifty was confined to upstairs. Now, with both of them having free reign of the house we have caught them both sleeping on the bed together at the same time – opposite ends of the bed at first but in recent days they have been getting closer and closer. It’s more likely Marley feeling braver and creeping her way into the bed while Gifty is already spark out asleep.
Marley is coming out of her shell more now, she is coming up to us on the sofa and bed more often; Scott fell asleep on the sofa the other day and woke up to Marley lying on his chest sleeping as well. We have been allowing Marley short visits outside when it’s quiet – as she wouldn’t be used to the amount of cars that go through our park and people (the children in our park can be wild enough so I was weary for her with them about). So I’ve been letting her out some mornings for about 5/10 mins – she would have a nosey about our garden and garage, the next door neighbour’s garden (no one currently lives there) and probably their next door neighbour’s garden (they have a dog I believe but it would be fairly docile) she would probably know by the scent though to be careful in that garden. When I call her back in 9 times out of 10 she comes straight over – if she doesn’t come right away she may need a few more moments of freedom or if I can’t leave her out for very much longer, she’ll come in with a bit of enticing with food.
Our house at the moment has been turned upside down with these two rascals – we are constantly covered in cat hairs, they are using the sofa, armchairs and base of the bed as scratch posts and I am forever lighting candles to cover up the smell of cat poop/pee. So the next steps now would be to invest in a scratch post or five! Order one of those fine tooth combs for pets and start to train Marley to go outside for her business instead of the litter tray. (Cat litter is surprisingly expensive!) I read somewhere, when potty training your cat, you’re supposed to move the litter tray a little closer to the door each day (or so) and then eventually place it outside, when the cat knows the litter tray is outside then you are supposed to take it away completely. Worth a try! For being a stray cat all of her life, Marley picked up the litter tray in next to no time – she’s only had one mistake and even then that was in the beginning and she was very close!
Make sure you subscribe if you want to know when I publish another Rascal Update or other posts that you might also find interesting. Feedback or tips on any of the issues I’ll mentioned above would be greatly appreciated! I also still need to either find a suitable cattery or stay-in cat sitter for 11 days in June…