Cats

A Tale of Two Kitties

I’ve been considering writing this post for awhile and haven’t wanted to.  But it’s my new reality so I’m not going to bury my head in the sand anymore. As you may (or may not if you’re new here) know, we have two cats, Taylor and Pippin.  We’ve had Taylor over ten years and Pippin for almost eight. They were my babies before my baby and they help me balance female power in our house, ha ha. When we first got Pippin we had to work to get them friendly with each other, but with patience, we did. Sure, they would play fight and maybe didn’t love each other 100% of the time, but for the most part they liked each other and would even cuddle together, especially in winter.  So life was good.

After we got back from Jamaica, we decided to switch them to a grain free dry food.  We have been feeding them grain free wet food for some time now because Pippin has digestive issues and it helps her. We thought moving to grain free dry food would be good for her too.  We did the usual mix half and half and everything seemed fine. I noticed they seemed to prefer their old food though and would leave most of the new food behind. I thought maybe we’d just need to try a different grain free food and didn’t think much of it.

One night I woke up to extreme meowing and howling noises. I thought it had to be some wild cat outside, this surely couldn’t be in my house. The noises stopped and I went back to sleep.  Then it was a morning that Ollie woke early and we ended up sleeping out on the couch together.  And Taylor and Pippin came in the room and Taylor yowled and hissed and growled at Pippin in ways I’ve never heard before. It was frightening. I separated them as best as I could and Taylor spent the majority of the rest of the weekend in the basement while Pippin stayed upstairs.  That was about two months ago and I’m sad to report, while things have improved slightly, they still can’t really stay in the same room for very long.

We have ruled out any health issues.  The best we can figure is they somehow had a fight over their old food when we were mixing the two foods together and it was enough to send Taylor over the edge.  She is an old lady and stuck in her ways and maybe just decided she isn’t going to put up with Pippin’s BS or something.  Who knows.  I wish they could just talk to us.  And of course, Pippin is our big doofy girl who doesn’t understand that Taylor’s mad at her.

At first we were very frustrated and even had some emotional nights where we thought, maybe we need to re-home.  But then we stepped back and agreed that we still love these little furballs and they are part of our family for better or worse, so we’re going to deal with it.  We got some Feliway diffusers, which is this thing that is like a Glade plug in, it emits this fermone that only cats can smell that helps them relax. We also got some in a spray version.  We got some “happy kitty” treats that we feed them.  My sister-in-law’s best friend also told us about a collar that has that same fermone on it that cats can wear that helped her cat through a difficult period.  We bought a collar for each of them.

They’ve both been wearing the collars for about a week and while Taylor still hisses, she hasn’t yeowled nearly as much.  She’s coming upstairs more and more again and she’s even willing to sit on Nate’s lap if Pippin is sitting on mine. They may never be 100% best friends again, but if we can at least get them to be civil, then I’ll take it.  I just hope and pray I see a picture like this again someday.

cats

Cats are such assholes aren’t they?  But God I love them.  So we press on. If any fellow cat people have any tips we haven’t tried yet to share, hit me in the comments.

7 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Kitties

  1. Oh no, how frustrating–especially to have that happen now after they’ve been living together in your house for so long! I’m glad that you’re finding things that are helping, and I hope that things only get better! We only have one dog, but I think it would be really challenging if we ever got another pet–Ellie is almost 10 and I don’t think she would want to share “her” space with another animal 🙂 I hope it gets better Beth!

  2. I hope that things get better between Taylor and Pippin! Hopefully with the collars and the other things you guys have done, it will help even more. I don’t have any cats (as you know since I’m allergic to most of them – except Taylor) so I can’t offer any suggestions, but I think you guys are doing great!

  3. My sympathy, Beth. I’ve been there with the dozen cats who’ve flowed through my life. We think they’re cute ’cause they’re small but they’re actually wild animals who, if they were lion-size, would scare the crap outta us. Good luck with your caring for them. Family is family.

  4. So sad that Taylor and Pippen aren’t doing well all of a sudden but thank you for posting this. I moved in with a best friend in May who has two cats and there has been all out fighting constantly, so the idea of a collar sounds fantastic (we’ve tried the filo-way both spray and plug in and kitty treats and now we have them all sectioned of into separate areas and it sucks!) Didn’t know they had a collar and will totally get on that! I’m seeing a google result that has a lot of them. Can I asked which one you went with?

    1. It’s the Sentry Calming Collar, it’s purple. They sell it at Petco but it’s not cheap, we bought it off of Amazon for almost $10 less than it was in the store. Sorry to hear you’re dealing with a similar issue, it just stinks sometimes!!

  5. Oh, I needed to read this. Miss Daisy is going on 15 years and yes, old ladies are set in their ways. She’s had a difficult time adjusting to all of these new family members who have moved in with me and the changes to her living situation. But, recently, since a trip we took in May, she’s been acting up. I won’t go into gross details, but let’s just say new carpet will be in order once the situation is handled. At her age, rehoming isn’t an option and I really don’t want to part with her anyway. I’ll have to try the diffuser. There’s no way in heck I’m going to get her to wear a collar. I had never heard of this before. I’m glad it’s working somewhat for you.

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