She was an adorable, spunky and fearless kitten. She loved to surprise family members by springing out of hiding places as we walked by. While this behavior was funny to the human members of the family, the feline members of the family were not amused.
The grande dame of our house is Momo, a beautiful 10 year old long haired calico. Momo has always been somewhat of a recluse. She rarely comes out of hiding when strangers are in the house. She doesn't go outside much anymore, content to spend her days eating and sleeping. She loves to sit in my lap! But there is one member of the family that Momo cannot tolerate - and that's Maddie! If Maddie comes anywhere in her vicinity, Momo growls to ward her off. Cat fights are not uncommon, usually beginning with Maddie chasing Momo at high speed around the house.
Last summer, bigger problems began.
Momo started peeing and pooping around the house. Not all the time, but pretty often. Her favorite spot was in one of the dog beds in our bedroom. After throwing away 3 dog beds, we've improvised and we now "make" our own dog beds out of foam covered with a piece of vinyl and then a soft layer on top.
If Momo chooses to pee, we can just replace the top two layers.
We have 3 of these Feliway diffusers plugged in outlets around the house. Feliway is a synthetic copy of feline pheromones used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.
The vet also recommended a calming treat to give to each cat every day.
And I bought a special cat litter containing a scent to attract cats to use the litter box.
And I make sure I clean them every day too.
The Feliway has greatly lessened the fighting between the two cats. I can tell when the diffusers have run out because the fighting starts up again.
Even though Momo has been much better, she still pees once in a while. So I read a book on cat psychology recently to see if there is anything else I could do to make Momo's life less stressful.
I read that expanding the cat's territory vertically often helps cats get along. So I have done that.
These shelves in the family room are for cats!
Maddie has begun to lay up there!
I also bought two cat beds that are held up by suction cups to window. I put a fleece blanket on each one and Momo really likes these! One is in the family room on the french door.
The other is on the window near our dining room table.
Momo even sleeps there at night, now. I think she feels safe from any surprise attacks from Maddie when she's up high.
Hopefully, with a little more time and patience, Momo will become less fearful and less stressed.
Hopefully she will eventually use her litter box 100% of the time.
Hopefully Momo will stop growling at Maddie.
Hopefully Maddie will learn to leave Momo alone.