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Unread 10-19-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default I'm at the end of my rope.....please help!

I am the proud owner of 2 cats. My first cat is a 20lb Tuxedo Manx named of all things Junior, whom has been with me for almost 13 years. He's at least 15 or 16 yrs. old, very territorial, very vocal, very temper mental and a biter for he's been declawed, not by me but by his previous owner when he was young. Junior's not your typical house cat who rubs on your leg; he only comes to you on his terms, and that’s rarely; when he wants your attention; he acts more like a dog than a cat. When he see’s my second cat or he’s mad he growls, snorts, and makes sounds I never heard come from a cat.

My second and newest addition last November is a stray that was abandoned along with his sister on my street at that time. He's a 16lb blue/gray domestic about 2 yrs. old named Grayson who has not and will not be declawed. His personality is the complete opposite of junior's. He loves getting attention and acts like your typical cat! I had Grayson's sister adopted by a great family last year.

I'm having a big problem with the introduction of these two and am hoping someone can save my sanity and lower my stress level with some advice on getting these two to get along. Currently I have to keep them in separate rooms all the time because when my resident cat see’s the newcomer he looks and attacks him like he's going to kill him, it’s not pretty because my new, young cat doesn’t seem to want to or know how to fight to protect himself. I was bitten by my resident cat during one of those fights which required several stitches to close. This is why I keep them segregated, in separate rooms, they are rarely together because the 3 fights they have been in were not pretty, and I'm afraid my Manx will really harm the younger cat who has no idea of what’s happening to him. My Manx is a bitter, I know he's gotten me dozens of times in the 12+ years I've had him. He's 20 lbs and solid, he looks like an English bulldog in a cat suit, and when he attacks the youngster its like train hitting him.
I'm really stressed out over this. There are times when I want to remove all the barriers and let them go at it till it's resolved, but again I'm afraid my younger cat will get hurt badly by being bitten.
Any help would be appreciated; I'm at my wits end, the stress is nerve racking. All I want is peace; they don't have to be best buddies but I want them to be able to be in the same house with no barriers, no separate rooms, and no segregation just tolerate each other. I know Manx are ferociously territorial, and that's not good for me or my 2 year old cat.
Please anyone help me!!
Thank you,
Rob
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Unread 10-19-2012   #2 (permalink)
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My first suggestion is to install feliway plug in diffusers in the house. This will help with both stress and territorial feelings.

It's quite possible that Junior is in considerable pain, all the time, which of course makes him feel vulnerable, which makes him aggressive. De-clawed cats suffer pain not only in the amputated toes, but their back and legs also, from arthritis due to not being able to walk and stretch properly. Putting Junior on a supplement such as cosequin for cats and/or Krill oil may help his pain level and make him feel friendlier. You might try to reduce his weight also, but that should be done very slowly, no more than 1/4 pound a month.

What do you feed them? Diet has a lot more to do with behavior than people realize. Cats eating foods full of corn and other grains, and all kinds of additives and junk feel like crap most of the time. Cats hide any sign of discomfort of course, so you would never know it, except perhaps by behaviors such as you are experiencing. Cats on dry diets, especially, are perpetually dehydrated, which also adds to feeling like crap.

How much elevated space do you have for them? One way to get them to safely be in the same room together would be to have them each on his own separate cat tower. They will be able to see one another but each will feel relatively safe in his own elevated space.

Congratulations on the rescue last year, and I congratulate you also for trying so hard to make this work. I will reply again after I see the answers to my questions.
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Unread 10-21-2012   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Gail and thank you for trying to help me...I really need it.

To answer your questions I have been using the feliway plug in diffusers, 2 of them, for several months. I really can't tell if their working because my resident cats behavior has remained the same. He still wants to attack the new, younger cat whenever he sees him. Again I keep them in separate rooms. They take turns getting use of the house when the other one is sleeping in a bedroom.

My resident cat (junior) does have arthritis an x-ray from his vet confirmed it. I'm going to start him on cosequin and krill oil; can I give him both at the same time?
Both of my cats eat well. Wellness sardine, shrimp and crab formula wet food and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck recipe dry food. Junior my resident cat mostly eats the dry while my youngster Grayson eats the wet and little dry on occasion.

There is elevated space for Grayson in every room, areas where junior can't readily get too because of his size and age. I'm planning on building a cat tree for Grayson; the highest Junior can jump is the couch.

I wasn't planning on acquiring a second cat at the time but it seems Grayson picked me to live with.

Thanks again
Rob
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Unread 10-22-2012   #4 (permalink)
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The cosequin is a daily supplement. For his size he may need two capsules a day, the package will say.

I would start the krill oil maybe twice a week and see how Junior does, increasing it slowly.

Sounds like you are already doing everything right. Hopefully a lessening of pain may make Junior feel less threatened, so less aggressive to Grayson.

It may take several weeks for the cosequin and/or krill oil to make a difference.

Let me know how things are going.
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Last edited by acerlt; 10-22-2012 at 09:39 AM.
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Unread 10-22-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acerlt View Post
The cosequin is a daily supplement. For his size he may need two capsules a day, the package will say.

I would start the krill oil maybe twice a week and see how Junior does, increasing it slowly.

Sounds like you are already doing everything right. Hopefully a lessening of pain may make Junior feel less threatened, so less aggressive to Grayson.

It may take several weeks for the cosequin and/or krill oil to make a difference.

Let me know how things are going.
Could I get a collar for Junior, the kind that goes around the front and rear of the front paws, more like a body harness than a neck collar; attach a leash to it to control Junior when I try to reintroduce them? So as to control juniors attack and eliminate the intruder mode.

I'm just thinking outside the box, and am willing to try about anything, whether drastic or not, but I don't want it to be counterproductive and make things worse.

I want a peaceful coexistence; they don't have to like each other just tolerate each other once dominance is established.

I read somewhere that as a last resort you can put one of the cats in a cat carrier and sit it in the room with the other cat. That sounds way too cruel.
How about kitty muzzles, vets use them?
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I think the harness is a feasible idea, but of course train Junior to it and make sure he is comfortable in it before using it for face to face introductions with Grayson.

All my cats are harness trained so I can offer some tips on that if needed.

I agree with you that introductions where one cat is in a carrier and one is not is not a good way to do things.

I think a muzzle might make Junior worse, making him feel even more vulnerable.

I think the first step is to try to reduce his arthritis pain and see if that helps him feel less aggressive. It will take some time of course. I know it must be so hard, having them be separated all the time. Very stressful for everyone in the house.

Have you ever tried rescue remedy?
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