Cat therapists…help please

I adopted a 7 yo spayed female cat from a local rescue. She has only been here since Tuesday. I know she spent a month mostly holed up in a cubby at the rescue. This rescue has rooms and catios for their population. No one is in a crate. However, she was not friends with one of her roommates and spent most of her time in a cat tree cubby. She ended up there due to her previous owner’s passing.

She opened up quickly when we got her home and she decided that she wanted to sleep on Mom’s bed. Well…she has taken over the bed and twice this morning bit Mom. Once when she was getting out of bed…which is kind of a slow process for her and once when she was making the bed. Nothing deep but Mom is 92 and has the infamous paper thin skin. The second one drew blood but still was a skin tear and not a frank bite/puncture (yes I scrubbed both well with soap and water).

I am guessing she has decided that the bed is hers…ah no. So my plan is to restrict her access to that room. She will spend the night in her base camp. No doubt it it will be noisy :grimacing:.
Any thing else I should be doing. I have gotten her to play a couple times today and will have another play session before bed. I know it is early in the process but I can’t have Mom getting bit. She is lovely in every other way.

TIA, Susan

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You could try a cat calming collar. I tried one on my trouble maker kitty which did seem to help a bit until she learned how to take it off.

Keeping the kitty out of your mom’s room seems the best plan. I hope you can get things figured out and you don’t have any more problems.

A calming collar and or a feliway plug in are an excellent idea. Moving house is SO stressful on kitties.

If that doesn’t do it, a short course of an anti anxiety med would be a great way to go. Maybe some Pepcid, too. I find cats are like horses, prone to GI upset with stress.


Feliway diffusers might help settle her. I was skeptical about Feliway but I tried it with my cats and it has really made a difference. Put the diffusers where they can diffuse through all the house. When she’s more comfortable in her new home maybe you won’t need them any more. Maybe also keep some Feliway spray to treat any other furniture she decides she doesn’t want to share.

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Do they have a scent that humans can smell? I wanted to try that but my husband is afraid they would be smelly. (Maybe it would work on him too :smile:)

Restrict access so that the cat doesn’t decide that is her area to be in, give her something in her area that is comfortable.
That being said…I really hope the cat hasn’t taken a dislike to your mom! This lets me vent about something, that I am quite sure is NOT your mother…but I need to type it out.
I just like 5 minutes ago wrapped up a dinner with my mother…who Had to tease the cat, who retaliated because the cat is terrified of her. The cat Hates her, and I know why. It is the same reason I don’t trust my mother with the horses or the cat unsupervised, and my brother won’t leave his girls with her. Cue drama over the cat. My mother is emotionally abusive and will swing into physical abuse; animals are very, very aware of that. If I had to pick between the cat and my mother…I’ve known all of that for my entire live, but somehow tonight my husband just laid it all out for me…I’m sort of spinning from finally really seeing it…
Sorry, venting on the internet. I doubt you have the same issue, redirect the cat and it should be ok!

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Nope for most people. There was a poster here who didn’t tolerate them, but that’s pretty unusual!

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I have a generic Feliway in the base camp. And yes, I can smell it. Kind of like dirty gym socks but we will keep it.

Mom isn’t a cat person and doesn’t always understand how to approach them. But apparently last night, the cat nearly pushed her out of the queen size bed over the course of the night then nipped when she went to get up. The other time an hour later or so, Mom was making her bed and of course ‘waving’ her arms around to pull up blankets. It doesn’t take much to mark Mom’s fragile skin. I think the cat has just decided that is her bed. No my dear.

I am just going to shut her in her base camp during the night. She won’t like it but she has anything she needs in there. A couple beds, scratchers, her litter boxes, toys and her food. She will survive the night. She has showed me a few ‘love nips’ where she licks a few times then gingerly bites…nothing hard. She has shown no aggression otherwise. I think it is a territory thing so we will just fix that.

She is starting to show some interest in playing so I will work in a couple sessions every day.

Thanks all.


I’d set mom up with a squirt bottle of water to level the playing field and establish her territory. I wouldn’t let the cat in that room; we have like 7 cats and they all know to stay away from our bedroom. Make base camp a wonderland but mom’s room is not. The cat is just branching out but can learn a boundary, IMO. Right thing, easy… wrong thing, spray bottle.


Playing is great. One of my cats started attacking my legs for no reason that I knew of and after the initial time out (I put him in a bedroom and closed the door for about 30 minutes til he calmed down), I started playing with him for at least 30 minutes morning and night.

For him the toy that really got him moving was something that you drag on the ground. I tired him out both times and if I had time I’d do more in the day.

It took a little while but he quit. He did learn the phrase “time out” and would take himself down the hall to the bedroom…

I think your idea of just taking your mom’s room out of the equation is a good thing. And a tired cat is a better behaved cat. :joy:


We had a nice calm night. I didn’t hear a peep out of her in her basecamp. I left her out in the house until I went to bed then chucked her into her room then opened Mom’s bedroom door. I need to be able to hear if she needs help during the night. This morning when I got up, I shut Mom’s door and let Ms Angel out.

I know there is a long adjustment period for these poor kitties but I have never seen one establish a new territory that quick.


Glad it worked. Establish that as a firm routine and it will all work out.

I rescued a near to death non-breeding/babysitter for his aunties/lowest cat on the totem pole male who would never say boo in the barn. Within 12 hours of meeting my much larger, healthy, easy-going, neutered males he was all hackles raised and back arched ready to take them all on if it killed him.

It was just the change of location and social structure. Once he got used to the new routine, he let all of that nonsense go and has behaved like a normal cat ever since.

My rescued, feral until about 6 female will still nip if you pet her wrong or she thinks the tables have turned in my four during play (she is a rough houser) but she also knows that she’s about to get yelled at and will usually just leave the room in a huff before nipping. She was the most dominant cat in a barn housing about 30 cats, so it’s not a shock that she has some interesting ideas about how her life should go.

That’s all to say, hold fast, it will get better with consistent routine and reinforcement of expected behaviours.

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Your mom should be flattered that she found her room a place of solace that she didn’t want to share.

I’m glad it went well last night!

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I got an ancient cat from the shelter. He took one leisurely walk around the house and plopped down on the couch in between 3 excited children. The biting began 30 minutes later whenever you tried to touch him, although he never actually moved to go after anyone. Soon he became a determined lap cat and you had to think hard about getting up to answer the phone, start dinner, use the restroom, etc… Oddly, he never did this in bed and was happy to be stroked or moved and he was always pressed up against me or on the pillow. I always thought the biting was because he’d been declawed.

As annoying as he was, best cat ever. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Two good days so far. She was meowing to get out of her room this morning and boy, was she busy. I think she is starting to feel more at ease. She is eating a bit better and her loose stools have resolved between getting used to new food (of course she wouldn’t eat what I brought home from the shelter) and using a bit of FortiFlora with each meal which is a probiotic. She loves being brushed and I am getting her to play a bit more. Today is Day 7 so we still have some adjustment.

Due to her age, I do have a vet appointment set up for her next month just for a good check over and get some baseline. She has nystagmus which I was reading happens somewhat commonly in siamese cats. Nothing else is “off” so I think it is just her. Weird to look at her eyes though. We need to work on appropriate scratching locations. She does most of her scratching early in the morning which means I have to get out of bed to redirect her when she starts in on the base of my bed :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.