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The Royal Rumble of cats

Discussion in 'Savannah Cat Questions? Need Savannah Cat Advice?' started by Dawn, Jul 8, 2012.

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  1. Dawn

    Dawn Guest

    Hi my name is Dawn and on May 20, 2012 I bought an F2B female Savannah kitten. She was 3 months old and we named her Jazzy.

    We're having many of the same problems I have been readying on here. We have had her for 2 months now and things are getting a lot better. The first few days we had her my 5yr. old son and I kept her in his bedroom with the door shut away from our other cats. We have 3 other regular house cats... 2 females and 1 male. Jazzy didn't come out at first and just hid. It only took 2 days before she started to eat and drink. My son and I kept talking to her and trying to get her to come out and play. It took about 2 weeks before she started to actually play with us but never let us touch her and did nothing but hiss and claw. To make a long story short My son and I finally got her to sleep with us and play with us and even let us pet her but only on her terms. That took 1 month.

    After a few days of keeping her in his bed room we finally opened the door and it took a month before she would venture out into the hall way to play. Here it is into our second month of having her and she has come a long way. She is now out and running through the whole house, but now she spends most of her time in our kitchen and no longer goes to our son's room. Her new hiding place is under the cabinets or she opens them with her paws and gets inside to hide. She doesn't run or hide from my son and I, but she doesn't like my husband to much. That's understandable since he hasn't tried to spend as much time with her as my son and I. Just in the past 2 days my husband has finally listened to me and started trying to play with her and at this very moment they are laying on the kitchen floor playing so over the past 2 days her attitude towards him has changed.

    Jazzy is a very beautiful, funny, and loving cat, but we are still working on a few issues. Some of those issues include... she doesn't like to be picked up or held, she hisses at you when you first walk up to her then she stops and just gives us the stare down and then plays, she doesn't let us pet her as often as we would like but she will let us only if we play with her first and she still claws us when we put our hands in front of her to smell, but lets go quick and then licks us. They aren't the real problems. She adores our son and she comes out as soon as she hears his voice and they will play all day. He holds conversations with her and she responds by chirping constantly. It's funny because she doesn't really meow... just chirps a lot. So in all actuality she is coming along great but we just wish she would lay with us and let us pet her.

    So to get to the main issues... I have 1 and my husband has 1. My issue is more concerning then his. The problem is that 2 of our other 3 cats want to kill her. As soon as they she her it's like a royal rumble. We have to break them up. Jazzy just runs and hides under the kitchen cabinets or jumps on the kitchen counter because the 2 cats that attack her are to fat to jump up onto the counter. Now I'm use to this kind of behavior because every time I brought a new kitten home they went through a battle period, but these battles are much horrible then I've ever seen. I know it takes time, but in the mean time is there anything I can do to help them along?

    My husband's issue is that Jazzy walks around with her mouth open all the time sometimes making what sounds like a panting noise and he said he doesn't trust her. Funny because he's the one who wanted a Savannah cat and this isn't really an issue with me because I had another cat that I lost to cancer last year that use to do the same thing, just not as often.

    I just want peace between all my cats so that Jazzy can come out fully because I think it's the attack of the killer cats holding her back some.

    Thank you,

    Jazzy sleeping with our son Corey

    Jazzy playing with my legs in bed

    Jazzy playing with her toy
    DSC_0003 (3)resized.jpg

    Jazzy our beautiful F2B female Savannah
  2. admin

    admin Paige Staff Member

    Dawn, that is a gorgeous kitten!

    How did you socialize her with the other cats? Did you introduce them slowly? Or did you just let Jazzy out of the room without introducing them...

    Savannahs for the most part do not like to be held...hissing is what they do at times - that is all normal behavior. As for the panting noises...I'm not sure, but seems like she is still a kitten and may just be a bit afraid, considering the other cats in the house attack her...perhaps she is warning them.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Sue Armstrong

    Sue Armstrong Site Supporter

    She is a beautiful girl!!!! Being an F2 it actually is quite typical that she does not like to be carried around or held. Most of mine do not. I know we would just love to pick them up and give lots of hugs and kisses but it seems many times I just have to steal them when I can. I think it extremely sweet that she has such a relationship with your son.

    I see that you say that you opened your sons door just a few days after getting her? Is there any possibility that some of your other cats ventured into his room and either got into a hissing or spitting tussle with the baby at that time? This was not the way to do an introduction. She should have actually been left in your sons room with the door closed until she really bonded with all of you before letting her have the run of the house. I know you say she still did not venture out of his room for quite a while but that does not mean that the other cats did not go into his room and cause friction. Introductions should have been done slowly with supervision. No telling what may have gone on in your absence.

    Poor Jazzy seems to be quite traumatized by the other cats and they seem to want to pick on her. Seems as if she is just trying to defend herself the only way she knows how. I would contact Marilyn the Cat Coach http://thecatcoach.com/ and get her suggestions as I am really not all that sure how to undo what has happened and she will go into the behavior issues much more in depth with you. Have you been working with the breeder? Have other suggestions been offered?

    I am sure the situation can be corrected as mistakes have been made in her initial introduction and I am not a cat behavorialist. I am sure that with a little work Jazzy will be able to be a delightful member of the family.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. shelby

    shelby Guest

    Dawn...I had no idea you were having these problems. The last I heard and the pictures I was receiving I thought all was well;>( As I told you in the beginning the quarantine time was very important, since you also had other cats. She is a baby and I was aware that there would be a settling in period. Since she was playing with Corey and you...not so much with hubby...since he was gone a lot for work...I really thought all was okay. I had no idea the other cats were fighting her. The open mouth thing should be checked by your vet. It may be because the other cats are after her constantly. The hiding because they are mean to her and the hissing is probably hand and hand with the aggression of the other cats towards her.I told you ..you could call me day or night no matter what the problem was. This makes me sad and yes I am crying because my baby is not happy. You can bring her back if you wish. I would never place a kitten unless I knew in my heart that they would settle in for their new families. You sent me a very nice testimonial and I must have misunderstood...I thought all was well. I never would want one of my babies to go where either of the couple was not happy. Please take the time to at least call me and I will be glad to do whatever I need to do to make your home less stressful to everyone. I am sorry you are not happy with her. Shelby
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Trish Allearz

    Trish Allearz Moderator

    Dawn- correct me if I'm wrong, but she was quarantined for two days and then released into the main household?

    I don't know about Shelby's contract, but I'm guessing she recommends (or requires) a two week quarantine period to help the baby settle in. So many people don't realize- that is for the benefit of EVERYONE involved- you, the new baby, and the animals already in your home. For you- you get that quiet one-on-one bonding time with your new baby. For your new baby- she gets to know you, but even moreso- she gets used to the sounds of the household, the smells of the household, the hustle and bustle of a brand new household. This is so very important. Remember- when a kitten goes home at 12-14 weeks of age, it's like sending a 4-5 year old kid into a new home. It's a lot for them to experience and to take in. While it may be a bummer to us to take things slowly- there is a reason why we ask that you keep your kitten in quarantine for x amount of time. Do some kittens not really need it? Sure- to be honest- but it can't HURT them- it can only help. And for your older pets- this time of quarantine allows them to get used to smelling a new kitten in the home, the sounds of a new kitten, and really after those two weeks- a lot of older pets don't blink an eye when the newcomer finally comes out into the household.

    Personally, I feel contacting Shelby is your first step- she's your lifeline. People need to know too- a good breeder is a godsend and a lifeline. Never feel too silly to contact them! Second, I would probably go back to stage one and go back to quarantine with your baby- contact Marilyn in the meantime if need be. Marilyn is always a good step if you really need help.
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Lori Greer

    Lori Greer Cahaba Cats

    Hi Dawn,

    I got an F3 girl from Shelby and this is most definitely not the behavior I experienced. There are actually a number of people who have her cats that are on the lists and forums and without fail one of the things that is consistent is how well socialized and loving her kittens are. It sounds to me like the kitten has not been properly introduced in your home, and is quite frankly now traumatized. I don't know what other cats you have but Savannahs are not typical cats. That's why you got one... correct? With that comes the responsibility of learning about them and their unique personalities, behaviors and needs.

    Many don't like to be picked up and carried around. Even my most affectionate F2 queens do not like to be carried about. Trying to force her to do things like be carried while she is scared and getting beat up by your other cats is only making matters worse. I can only imagine Shelby is beside herself with worry and concern. You really owe it to her to call her and give her an honest assessment of what is going on. I'm sure she will have suggestions that you should take to heart and try.

    Hope it turns out well ~ Lori
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Dawn

    Dawn Guest

    No. Jazzy the Savannah is doing great! We aren't having any problems with her. It took longer for her to get use to my husband because he didn't play with her that much but she is now playing with him also.

    She's not scared or stressed out. I've had cats for 17yrs. and I know how it takes time to adjust and what needs to be done. Right now Jazzy is laying next to me while I'm on here. She's very playful and she doesn't have the look of fear or a mean streak. She loves when we play with her and spend time with her.

    The only problem is my fat cat Inky. I have a blind cat also who doesn't notice Jazzy that much and has only had very few encounters. My oldest cat doesn't even bother Jazzy. She just looks and watches Jazzy without bothering her. Like I said Jazzy herself is doing great and coming along fine. It's when the fat cat Inky gets into a staring contest with her when they get into it. Jazzy doesn't start it. She actually comes out and lays within 2 feet of all the other cats with no problems what so ever. Even when Inky is laying around they can be within 2 feet of each other and nothing happens, but if Inky and Jazzy get into a stare down that's when it happens.

    We kept her in our sons room with the door shut for 3 days and nights then opened the door and we stayed in there with her chasing all the other cats away if they tried to come in the room. After 2 weeks when Jazzy started to venture out of the room we still kept the other cats away by just leading them into another direction. Once Jazzy started exploring the whole house she could walk past all of our other cats while they were laying down and nothing would happen. The only time there is a problem is when Inky and Jazzy get into a staring contest.

    Like I said... we had some of the same problems that I have seen others have that took 3-4 months to overcome and Jazzy has overcome them in 2 months. She loves to have her ears rubbed and her chin and even loves when you rub her belly. She'll fall asleep while you pet her and lay there letting you pet her for an hour.

    Jazzy isn't the one stressed. It seems more like Inky is the one who is stressed. I think it may be jealousy because Inky is a fat lazy cat who loves to curl up and lay with everyone and she sees us now spending more time with Jazzy then her.

    I think people misunderstood what I was saying. We are happy with her and love her to death. My husband wasn't spending any time with her like my son and I so she didn't take to him as fast as she did us. I had him read some threads on here and he finally understood that he needs to play with her to get her not to be scared of him which he now does and Jazzy now plays with him and lets him pet her and doesn't run from him. Jazzy is a sweet heart! She eats her treats right out of my son's and my hands. The only scratching she does is when we play with her like a normal kitten does. It's not to attack us. Once she grabs my hand with her claws and pulls it towards her she releases her claws then licks my hands. She doesn't draw blood. The only time she hisses is when her and Inky get into the stare down and if you try to take a toy away from her that she is laying on. Like a minute ago my son was taking pictures of her and he dropped the camera and stole it from him and held it with her paws so when I went to get it back she hissed at me but she gave it back. She uses the same litter boxes as all the other cats and eats from the same food bowls. IT"S NOT JAZZY THAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!! It's one of my other cats and it's only when they get into a stare down.

    When I break them up I try to do so in an easy manner as not to make Inky retaliate even more. I just nicely make Inky go into another room and take her attention away from Jazzy and then Jazzy is right back out doing her normal thing.

    The open mouth thing that my husband talked about isn't nothing new to me that's why I said it was no big thing to me. I've seen my other cats do it before and I believe that is from the sent of the other cats. It's almost like she does it when she is happy and we play with her. Our son thinks she is smiling and says she's happy when she does it.

    I've told Shelby about Inky before and just hung up with her. I keep her informed all the time and she knows everything I have been doing and how Jazzy is coming along. I was posting on here to see if anyone had any ideas as to how to settle Inky down not Jazzy. People totally misunderstood. I guess when I said we were having many of the same problems I should have said we had many of the same problems.

    When I said we had some of the same problems that I saw that others were having I was referring to a thread
    14wk male F2B aggressive adaptation to new home

    and a comment on that thread by whitekickboxing.

    I saw where it took whitekickboxing 3-4 months and when I said Jazzy has come a long way I meant that it didn't take 3-4 months it took only 2 months, but what was mentioned in that thread was exactly what we went through with the hiding, hissing, and not letting us touch her, but we have overcome that already.

    So I hope that I cleared things up and the only thing I was hoping to get advise on was what I could do for my cat Inky who is the problem... not Jazzy! I've had cats go through the fighting stage when we first bring a new kitten home but I usually just let it pass. I was hoping that someone could help me find a quicker solution rather then just waiting it out... that's all! None of the cats have hurt the other. It's a big hissing match and sometimes a chase but they have not dove on top of each other biting and grabbing throats.

    So with all that said I hope you understand that it's not Jazzy that is a problem. She's great and gets into everything. She even likes to hide our car keys from us. I even read on here where other people had problems with their other cats getting along with their new addition and was hoping to get some positive advise rather then negative advise saying I was doing it all wrong because I have done everything Shelby told me to do and take very good care of all my pets. Jazzy is not traumatized at all. I know what a traumatized cat looks like because I went through that with having a blind cat who now is fine because I took the time to make him feel at ease.

    So are there any positive responses I can get rather then saying I'm doing it all wrong please? All I wanted was some ideas how to make Inky feel more at ease and to make her transition go a little faster rather then just wait it out because Jazzy is fine. I feel that because I spent more time with Jazzy to get her settled in that maybe Inky just got jealous even though I still spend time with her. Inky was use to sleeping with me and my son and when we brought Jazzy home we locked her out of the room to get Jazzy settled so Inky didn't get to sleep with my son or I and I think she may resent it even though Inky still gets to lay with me now that Jazzy is out and settled in.

    Shelby has been great and I called her everyday for advise and to update her. I send her pictures, videos and updates through email. I told her about Inky and I know it takes time. I didn't consider this royal rumble to be a sign of being a poor pet owner considering cats are very territorial and I have been through it before. People are so quick to judge when all I asked for was some ideas on what to do. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has brought home a new kitten and had an issue with the new and old getting along for a while. I didn't want to traumatize any of my cats and that's why I was asking for something simple to do that wouldn't make Inky angry.

    Here's my youtube link where you can see some videos of Jazzy. The ones from a month ago was when she first started to venture out of my son's room which was a little less then a month of having her so she was still getting use to noises and other things but you can see that she does enjoy playing with our son and doesn't show any signs of trauma.


    Positive, helpful responses would have been greatly appreciated!
    Thank you,

    P.S. Thank you Shelby. I will try what you told me to do. I think the next time Inky starts with Jazzy I will just pick her up and lock her in Corey's room for a time out.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Dawn

    Dawn Guest

    I didn't just let her out into a pack of cats. I eased her out and kept the other cats away which I continue to do as much as possible. It's not always easy to catch them before it happens if I'm in another room or something, but if I'm right there... as soon as I hear the hissing I jump up and hurry to chase my cat Inky who starts it off. Jazzy doesn't bother the other cats.

    As for the open mouth... my husband is the one who thought that was weird, but I've seen it before in my other cats. They do it when you play with them.
  9. Dawn

    Dawn Guest

    I keep Shelby informed of everything. When we opened the door we stayed in the room with her keeping the other cats out and when we weren't home we closed the door. Once she started venturing out then our one cat Inky started to go into the room. Inky is use to sleeping with my son or I. When they first met the hissing was just here and there, but over the past few weeks since Jazzy is now running through the whole house it has become a little more frequent. I'm usually there to break it up before they even reach each other.

    Jazzy is pretty good with it. She just jumps up on the kitchen counter and watches Inky after it happens because Inky is to fat to jump up there. They have been within 2 feet of each other and nothing happens. It's only when they get into a stare down.

    Jazzy's not the problem. It's just Inky. I can sit on the floor and pet any one of my other cats including Inky while playing with Jazzy and everything is fine. It's just when they get into that stare down. Other then that, Jazzy's transition has went well. I see where some people said it took 3-4 months. It only took a about 2 weeks for Jazzy to not be scared of my son and I and play and sleep with us. My husband it took longer because he has no clue on what to do and expected us to bring her home and her just be like our other cats. I finally got him to understand and now he plays with her everyday and she is no longer scared of him. He's able to pet her now also.

    Jazzy is a delight. It's my fat cat Inky that's driving me crazy. You know how Garfield is with Odie... that's kinda like Inky with Jazzy.
  10. Dawn

    Dawn Guest

    Well since we just talked you know now things were blown out of proportion. I told you before on the phone about my fat cat. Everything is well. Everything you saw in the pictures and videos are exactly what she does everyday and all day. Just that fat cat once in a while drives me nuts. You know I have called you with any concerns I had in the beginning and this wasn't a really big concern. I was just asking other people from their experience to give me some ideas on what they did to actually ease Inky into the transition because Jazzy owns the house. Corey just said to me the other day that Jazzy thinks she's the mother of the house now. I told you I would take good care of her and keep you informed and I have an will continue to do so. We love her and even Craig is having fun with her now.

    Whoever got you worked up misunderstood the situation and you know I have been keeping you updated on her progress. I made a promise to you and will continue to keep that promise.

    Thank you for everything. The only one stressed is Inky... not us or Jazzy. You yourself said she looked happy in the pictures and videos and she is.
    • Like Like x 1
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