Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by BobCat on Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:07 am

Had they ever seen a litter box before? All my cats took to it immediately (thank heaven), even a feral one we brought in from outside, so my guess is that they just haven't had to go while indoors yet. Cats turn from domestic to wild when they're stressed, so I think they just need to calm down a little before they start acting themselves again. Give them time.

PS - I love your cat-proofing for the garden. Please let me know how it works as time goes on.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by fiffur on Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:04 pm

I agree: they're confused and a bit scared of the unfamiliar new surroundings. Most kitties will revert to type for a while when faced with all that uncertainty. As soon as they figure out this is now home, they'll relax and start acting like themselves again. And don't discount kitty curiosity.....they may do a bit of exploring in the middle of the night when it's quiet, then scoot to their respective hiding spots at the first sound of someone moving around.

When my mom first took in Fiffur, he hadn't seen a litterpan since he was a small kit, about 2 1/2 years. Yet after she refused to let him outside to do his business despite his continued cries to be let out, she bodily took him to the litterpan, set him in it, told him "This is yours", took a paw in her hand and made a few digging motions in the litter with it (his paw, not her hand) he quickly got the idea. Never missed the box ever the rest of his life.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:40 pm

The news is partly good. Phantom decided that she would have a walk around the rooms. She let me pick her up and carry her outside, but decided that for the moment indoors was best and ran back in again. Got lots of purrs from her so she isn't too phased by the move. I've put the litter tray in the front room, in a corner (well they deserve a little privacy). While we were having our meal I noticed Pol nosing around in that area so I called her away and went to have a look and there was Phantom partaking of the litter tray like a good'un.
That's a weight off my mind (and probably hers too).
Now if we can just persuade Shadow to come from behind the washing machine all will be well.

Stop press: Even as I type this Beryl has called upstairs to say that Shadow is emerging. Must go to check on him.

Fingers crossed for another litter tray user.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by BobCat on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:49 pm

One more thing, Bob. You may want to eventually put the litter box up somewhere where the pups can't get into it. They think cat poop is fine dining! Urp You may also do the same with their food. There's only one thing dogs like better than cat poop, and that's cat food.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:40 pm

I do feed the cats seperately to the dogs to avoid problems. With two Labradors and four greedy Chihuahuas in residence it could get tricky otherwise.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Suzzzz on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:40 pm

The cats are freaked and looking for safety and security. They WILL get over it, but for now they're on high alert. It's hard to pee when you're on high alert! Glad Phantom's figured out that's what the box is for, at least. Shadow may need some guidance. When things are calm and the dogs are away, you could try "kitten training" by setting him into the box and gently guiding a front paw in a digging motion into the litter, then back away and see how he does. Also, I would put the box in the spot farthest away from general mayhem, perhaps with a low barrier the dogs won't bother to cross but the cats can jump over.

Wish I had pics of the lovely fence I constructed around Weezer's box using decorative wire garden fencing to keep out the hungry canine snackers. Snipped out one wire "post" to make a cat hole that the dogs couldn't fit through. My dogs were bigger than Chi's, though.

Also, I would feed the kits on top of a counter, shelf, dryer, or some other place the dogs can't reach. The cats won't mind jumping up and will eventually become quite smug that their food is off limits to all but them.


LOVE the yard cat barriers! They're clearly not ready for the wilds of Outside yet -- still looking for small safe places! -- but being farm cats they are going to want to be outside soon. I actually looked it up after your post about it, and you've done a stellar job! My only note would be that, if determined, they may try to wiggle under the lower edge (on the wood fence) to escape. Tack it down tight! Maybe even a row of board covering the leading edge.

Good luck!!!
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:52 am

I've fed them in the front room with the dogs in the other room. Quite funny really, the cats enjoying their meal with a row of four Chihuahuas and two Labradors looking through the glass at them. Eventually we have to let the dogs in and then it's a frantic scramble between Pol and Pippa to see who can get on the sofa first to get to the dish to see what (if anything) is left.
Shadow and Phantom have both come to the door to the garden when we had the dogs out for their 'late night final', but everything is strange to them. After the farm, where the noisiest thing was probably a tractor in one of the fields, it is all new to them. The noises and the smells. I can understand why they're a little wary of going out. Small steps are needed. I know they'll adapt, and at least everyone gets on. Not bad with eight animals in the house. Rolling Eyes

Suzzzz, I have used heavy duty staples along the edge you mentioned to make it a tight fit so there are no gaps. Put up a barrier to prevent them getting onto the shed too, otherwise they'd be able to hurdle the top of the fence into the neighbours garden. The place is starting to look like a POW camp. Just need the gun emplacements and the searchlights and we're done. Shocked

One of the local squirrels was checking out the barrier yesterday and seemed impressed too. Laughing
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by fiffur on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:02 pm

Oh the visual you just gave me Bob! Laughing

Glad to hear the kits are starting to settle in a bit. Give them time, they'll be all over the place and in the yard soon enough. Very Happy
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:41 pm

Both the little darlings are using the litter tray. Don't know about me heaving a sigh of relief, it had to be a weight off Shadow's mind too.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Suzzzz on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:28 pm

Two Kits in the Box! cheers cat cat cheers

I know it looks like a gulag now, but next Spring, when you grow the flowering vines over the mesh, it will become a lovely, cosy Hidden Garden. Flower
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:31 am

I'm hoping that once they become accustomed to the garden I'll be able to take much of the mesh down. I know it will be a couple of months but, they're used to a very large area to wander about in at the farm so if they know a) where they live, b) where the food is and c) where they get snuggles and a nice place to sleep, they may go looking around other gardens but should come back again.

I put paper under the box to keep the litter off the carpet and Phantom promptly pooped on the paper and covered it with some of the litter. Oh calamity. Very Happy Embarassed
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:28 pm

Made a scratching post/play station for the little terrors. Phantom loves it.


Just to show the fur is growing back.


Introducing Bunty and Gee (our rescued babies)


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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Suzzzz on Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:23 pm

Great pics, including the Chi's! Phantom is such a beauty! (and getting nicely re-furred) What an attentive Dad you are to make your mini tigers such a great toy.

I would wait to dismantle the wards at least until you're well into summer -- two years from now! Shocked Shpring and Fall always bring on wild-eyed kitty mode around here, and that's when they're most likely to make their break, but they could go off at any time. Exploring other gardens would be fine if you could be SURE they won't explore farther, but wide ranging farm cats will assume they can range widely, and that's no longer a safe option. They may feel secure and "homed" as you say, but I believe they'll have the urge to roam for some years. I'd give them a good long while to forget the wide open spaces and understand that this, and only this, is their territory. My opinion, for what it's worth.

What do The Royals think of all this?
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:34 am

Going to have to rethink my strategy on the fence aren't I? Phantom made an escape attempt yesterday. Tried to get over the back gate I only just caught her in time (got a scratched hand for my trouble too). I knew that part of the arrangement was the 'weakest link'. I'll have to re-think the overhang on that bit.
Phantom decided to pee on a floor cushion yesterday. Walked into, and out of, the litter tray. Crossed the room and onto the cushion. We thought she was going to lie down on it (as she had earlier in the day) and before we could stop her she had done her thing. Bin time for the cushion. Darn.

Of the Royals: Pol and the Chi's are just laid back about them and just treat them as though they've been around for years. The Chi's, of course, are used to sharing with cats. They always have at the farm. Gee shoulder charged Shadow yesterday and took a piece of ham off him. Greedy little madam had just wolfed (Chi'ed) her piece down.
Pippa is not amused.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by fiffur on Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:59 pm

hehehehehehehe....the visuals I'm getting here.....hehehehehehe
Was the litterpan in need of scooping? Too much commotion to use it? That could account for why Phantom ruined a nice soft cushy pillow she could've slept on instead.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:16 pm

The litter tray had just been 'refreshed' and is tucked away in a nice quiet corner to afford the cats some privacy. She's just getting her own back on me for tasking them from the farm.
I've tried to explain that she wouldn't get fed there, but she won't listen. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by fiffur on Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:27 pm

Ahhhhh.....stubborn kitties. They always insist on having things their way for a while before finally caving in. Good luck. I wonder if sticky tape on the garden door would teach her not to try climbing that to get out? Cats hate getting their paws sticky. Is there anything she's really afraid of? I remember a certain dog that kept getting out and turns out he was terrified of balloons.....so they put balloons all over the walls and gate of the back yard. No more escapes.....even if the balloons weren't inflated.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:27 pm

That little madam is scared of nothing. I might try increasing the barrier a litttle more just to see what happens.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by fiffur on Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:01 pm

I hope for your sake she doesn't turn out to be an olympic champion climber! Shocked
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:21 pm

Well today was a total triumph for humankind. Both the fiends wanted to go into the garden, so I opened the door and let them. The moment of reckoning was at hand. Shocked
The dogs were out (it had stopped raining for a few moments) and the cats followed them. They were still wary of their surroundings so I thought I would take the opportunity and told them both that if they wanted to go no one would stop them. I pointed at the fence over the gate and said 'there's the way out. If you think you'll get fed and cuddled out there go for it'.
Both of them gave me a withering look and walked back into the house. Rolling Eyes
Round one to me I think. Very Happy
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by bpaquet on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:05 pm

Well done! A little reverse psychology. Twisted Evil
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Suzzzz on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:38 pm

Lol, Bob! Of course, they might give you a withering look no matter what you say. They are cats.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by fiffur on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:06 pm

I have a feeling they understood every single word you said Bob. The withering look, like "how dare you suggest we leave, we rule here."
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by Bob on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:00 am

They may rule me, but the Chihuahuas are another matter. Gee shoulder charges themm out of the way if there is food about. The cats can't believe they're being shunted out of the way and just stand there in shock.

Phantom made a full tour of the garden this morning, eyeing up the fence as she went. She reminds me of the lead velociraptor in the first Jurassic Park film. Clever girl is checking the barrier as she goes. cat Mind you I just went into the house and made breakfast and when I looked round she was walking through the kitchen and into the lounge. Yeesh, she just won't run away. Laughing
Shadow is still unsure, but will venture onto the lawn and back. Early days and I have to admit that things have gone extremely well. Wink
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

Post by fiffur on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:53 pm

So far so good then. Watch out though if Phantom figures a way out, I think Shadow is leaving that part of their plan up to her....but will certainly follow her if adventure calls to him.
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Re: Phantom and Shadow (The fiends from the farm)

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