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Unread 11-03-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bullying and Behavior

I can already see through other threads that mine is similar in certain aspects. I'm sorry for posting about similar issues, but I wanted to still post as I'm feeling a little unsure of myself at the moment about what actions to follow through with.

It's going to get a little confusing just so you know. I have a 3 legged cat Patches. I feel he was potentially abused. Shadow is the oldest of the girls, also their mother. I would always open the back door when we took our other 3 boys (who are harness trained) out in the yard to walk. Patches would sit on the back porch, but never venture further. It seemed like the first couple years there was only fighting.,

When we moved (I immigrated to canada) I couldn't allow the same outdoor privelege as we were on a main street. Eventually we realized someone was spraying on the doors, certain walls. Everyone is neutered/spayed. Patches as usual would always hide under the basement stairs, and we caught him a few times spraying.

So we finally bought a home last september. Everything seemed better, and the spraying stopped. For a few months. I had become very desperate and tired of the smell and constant cleaning. We had caught Patches a few times. So I tried a friends' advice from his mom who works in a shelter. We put him in a large cage, and he wasn't allowed out much at all. The spray on the walls stopped. After about a month of living in the cage (he was allowed out for a few hours a day for exercise) we started allowing him out more. Now he has started back up at picking on Shadow. He has always picked on the girls. But he and Shadow have a hatred or something. THere's never blood or fur flying, just crazy meowing and i know he is trying to dominate her with his long meows and stare downs. Well Shadow pees in specific corners of the house. I have a box for each cat, and a box in a seperate areas in case she's too afraid to go to one, but its not helping.

So Patches picks on Shadow, Devon and Oliver pick on her too but not as much. Patches also picks on the other girls. I was fearful it was due to them not being allowed outside like they were 3 years ago. So we built an outdoor enclosure off of our patio door. If Shadow is in my lap, and another cat jumps on the couch, she will growl at them.

I decided Patches needs to go. I've had him up for adoption online. I want him to live, and have a good home, with no other cats. He is healthy and eats well. The spraying on the walls has stopped, but the bullying continues. I got a couple emails for him. I started thinking. Will I ever get Shadow to stop peeing in her couple corners? I've tried many store sprays, the plug in, the spray to keep them out of that area. I've bought every smell remover concoctions and liquids that the stores have. Neither of those worked at all. So now it's like, if I get him rehomed, will she have to go next? I was hoping him leaving will help her stop, but I"m getting confused. Maybe I should get rid of her instead? I don't want to get rid of anyone, but these two are just causing too many issues. I hate to rehome Patches and then have to rehome Shadow, potentially thinking maybe I could have kept Patches. Shadow was tossed around a lot in her first few years, and I feel bad for her. I don't want anyone to have to leave, but I feel like it's easier to let Patches go.
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Unread 11-05-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, you do seem to have some feline issues, what a situation I have always had cats but am a novice when it comes to behavioural problems. I'm sorry to reply without offering a solution, but I feel you are in need of expert advice. Gail - I think you would be the best person to help here??
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Unread 11-05-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Hi. I want to think about this some, before I offer any advice, so don't do anything rash, okay?

I can't bear the idea of either of these cats losing their home. Especially with their history. What happens when Patches sprays at the next home? He gets kicked out in the street?

If you rehome, Shadow, and she pees under stress? Out on the street?

No, you don't want that. You don't want either of them to go to some random home, where did you advertise for Patches, craigslist? Crazy people read those ads. "oh a three legged cat, what kind of fun can I have with that?"

No, there has to be a better solution.

I want to read your post over again properly and think how to help you, okay?

But I have a question. Has either Patches or Shadow ever been tested for Urinary tract issues. Not just infection, but crystals too. This requires as Urine Culture, which is a sample sent out to a lab.

How old are they?
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Unread 11-05-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for replying both of you. Patches is 6 and Shadow is 5. Neither have been tested, but I guess I always thought crystals would affect them in a short period of time. Can they live a long time with crystal issues then? When we got to a breaking point some months ago, we started caging Patches and did an over haul cleaning of the house with the whole black light and cleaners. Since then I haven't found only maybe one or two spots that had it before, it has greatly reduced. But like I say, since Patches stopped being caged and came back out it seemed that Shadow has got worse. She still eats well and drinks well. When we were caging Patches in another room, it seemed that the mood and stress of the rest of the cats went down.
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Unread 11-07-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, cats can have crystals for a long time. In males it can become fatal suddenly, and if a male blocks he will die within 24 hours without emergency veterinary treatment.

Crystals and other UTI problems are very painful.

Shadow first: Stress causes illness and Shadow is under a lot of stress, with Patches and the other cats bullying her. She needs to be checked for a urinary tract infection, and crystals. A urine culture needs to be done. If you can afford it, I'd have blood work done on her too, to check her kidney function. Stress is rough on the kidneys.

Is there any room in your house that can be set aside as Shadow's room? Would she be content to live in one room, if it means not being bullied by Patches and the other cats?

You could bring her out into the enclosure outside, alone, for a few hours each day for a change of scenery.

You could put the other cats out in the enclosure and give her the run of the house for a while too, every day, or even every other day.

Patches also needs to be check for UTI and crystals. His territorial and bullying behaviors may stem from his disability and his history, but as I said stress causes illness in cats, and worrying about being alpha cat can cause stress, even if it doesn't seem like he is stressed.

I think, with Shadow slightly removed from the mainstream of the household, Patches' need to defend his Top Cat status may be reduced. He gets along with the other cats okay?

Keep the feliway plug in diffusers going, they may help more than you realize.

Changing attitudes and behaviors in cats takes time, so don't expect miracles right away.

I'm going to mention medication too. Medication can be a "last resort" and may seem like a drastic measure, but it has it's place in the world of cat health ad behavior.

Amitriptyline is the medication I like for helping cats with behavior/stress/peeing issues. I am not a vet. But I have been on pet boards for a long time and have seen a lot of good come out of careful use of amitriptyline for helping cats with anxiety disorders, which, basically that is what this comes down to, in my opinion.

Remember, this is going to take time to sort, but I want to help you keep both Shadow and Patches. I think their chances of doing well in any other home are not good. Most people aren't so patient and one pee outside the box and out the cat goes.

Plus, as I said before, or it may have been in the PM I sent you, I deeply fear the motives of anyone wanting to adopt a cat with three legs. There are evil evil people out there. And cats are the target of choice of these sick...things. Cats have this false reputation for being aloof and independent and torturing them gives these sickos a feeling of power.
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Last edited by acerlt; 11-07-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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