Friday, October 5, 2012

Living in Quiet Desperation

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Last fall, we lost our beloved Bonnie cat.  Someone told me that we might see a shift in the cat hierarchy at our house.  We have two male cats who have lived with each other for 8 years with no problem.  But in May, something happened.  We took both of them with us to our summer cottage for a weekend.  We used to take the girls (Bonnie's sister, Betsy, is still with us), or one girl and one boy.  But we didn't want to leave one cat home alone.  So we took all three.

It's a small cottage, and as Mr. L predicted--there was tension.  That tension erupted into the boys starting to mark their territory.  And guess what?  When we got home, they started marking their territory at our home, too.  Each of them wants to be Top Cat.

We've spent the summer (and now the fall) with Comfort-Zone Feliway (pheromones) that's supposed to calm the cat(s) and stop inappropriate marking.  They're also wearing calming collars. (Which are purple and smell like grape -- but artificial grape.  Ick.)

We disinfect the places where they mark, and we spray stuff that's supposed to mask the smell and stop them from marking their territory.

Needless to say, I wouldn't be writing this post if we didn't still have a problem. 

I've had cats for nearly my entire life.  Why is this happening now?

Does anybody have any tips for me?  Or do I have to keep scrubbing and spraying chemicals and ultimately replacing my wall-to-wall carpet?

I'm desperate.  Can you help?