There's a cat in my cupboard - advice needed

Pearl was a stray cat who came in last Dec and made herself at home. At that time, she bullied Duffy mercilessly. He just took it for a long time but then one day this past summer he got to the point where he had had enough of it and started bullying her back.

She took it and stood her ground. She had established “her place”… a shelf in the bookcase we dubbed The Pearl Cave, but she didn’t spend a lot of time there. She was out most of the time enjoying the sun or curled up with me watching tv or “checking her email” as we called it when she’d get right up here whenever I was on the computer. When Duffy would bully her, she’d stand up to him and tell him she had every right to be there.

Since we’ve been here everything has changed. Duffy bullys her and she hides in the cupboard. We started out calling it the new Pearl cave, but once I noticed she was hiding on the second shelf as well as the bottom shelf, well, it struck me she had a 2-story place so it’s now become The Town(house) Cave.

I can’t figure out how to get her to stand up to him and to come out for any lenght of time. I am at a total loss here for ideas and it seems terrible to spend all of her time in the cupboard… not to mention it kinda grosses me out she’s in there with my pots and pans. I would really like to hear any suggestions you can think of. I don’t want her to be misserable.

Shake the Pounce can. It makes our cats come running. Either that or lock up the other cat for a while so Pearl can come out without fear of being beaten up.

When I got Chang as a kitten, I knew I’d have problems acclimating my older Siamese, Tiki, to him. Tiki is VERY jealous of any attention I give to any creature other then herself, and I was really worried that given that, and the fact that she’s bigger the Chang, that she’d really hurt him. So I left him in the bathroom, and allowed them to hiss at eachother through the door, but made sure that they were not left alone together when I wasn’t there to supervise. And when Tiki attacked Chang, I squirted her with water. I also made sure to give both of them attention in front of eachother, so that it was clear that I approved of both of their presence.

I would say in your situation that Pearl needs to feel that she has equal reign over the new environment. Kalhoun’s suggestion of locking Duffy up is a good one, but be sure to leave him with a favorite blanket or cat bed and food and treats, so that he doesn’t start associating the bathroom or wherever you lock him up with punishment. And make sure you’re giving him extra love, too, so that he’s not attacking Pearl as a way of getting your attention.

Maybe try putting a blanket in Pearl’s New Cave, and once she’s slept on it a lot, and it has her scent, move it slightly outside that cupboard, and perhaps she’ll follow it.

Let us know how it turns out!

It’s been my experience that some kitties are far less social than others; two of ours get along not one little bit. The queen Sheba is ten years old, though - so she isn’t about to let a one-year male push her around. I actually don’t know why she despises him so much, as I’ve never seen him act aggressive towards her. If he gets within 2 feet of her, she growls, hisses; about once a week, she spars with him and pretty much kicks his ass. I have a theory that he was a little too old (6 months) when we brought him into our home, because Sheba loves the the kitten we rescued about 4 months ago.

I think moving Pearl to a new location is a good idea; somewhere a little bit more in the open (maybe even build a two-story house out of boxes, with catnip and cushions inside - and put it in a corner of your house). She may or may not venture out - and probably won’t ever love Duffy.

Good luck!

she just maybe a less aggressive cat. winken the wonderful is a very passive cat, she is the number 1 cat in the house. nod the naughty and malenka the miraculous have her pinned to about 3 rooms in the house.

if it were possible i would close off rooms for wink so that she wouldn’t have to deal with nod and malenka. is it possible to do that for pearl? perhaps a bedroom and bath? then try reintroducing them slowly.

Not to really upset you (but this probably will), could there be a mouse hole in the cupboard?

No signs of a mouse. She’s clearly not interested in anything in there but is afraid to be out.

I’m working on thinking about how/where to create a new cave for her. I’d tried putting a throw pillow in the cupboard before but it was to big so then we put a towel in there. She refused to lay on it.

We’ve had her out tonight. She got scared when Ric started the dishwasher and came out. He brought her in to me and she watched football for a little while with me. Ric closed the cupboard doors and we sent Duffy upstairs to the bedroom. Pearl hasn’t been real happy with us. She’s spending a lot of time cussing us out and laying on the floor in the kitchen looking longingly at the cupboard doors.

Thanks everyone. Keep the ideas coming.


“Oh, there’s a cat in my cupboard, dear Lyza, dear Lyza…”