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Unread 10-22-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default constant whining

some background

I'm fairly new to being a cat guardian—my bf moved in a few years ago with his 16yo cat who had health problems. It took time, but the two of us became the best of pals. When she had to be put to sleep, we decided to rescue two (a younger and a senior) and give them a great home. Unfortunately, the older had undiagnosed health problems and after only a year, had to also be put to sleep—we were crushed. After some time (about 2 months ago), we decided to rescue two more older cats. We now have Sammy (almost 3), Eddie (about 5), and Cagney (about 9)—all males, all have claws, all various shorthairs.

We only have two issues that we're trying to work with—one is that they are all comfortable with each other EXCEPT these seemingly random moments when all hell breaks loose. We're monitoring, documenting, trying to find patterns... This one is workable.

The problem that I'm having is that the 9yo whines constantly... I don't mean meowing, it's these long whiny cries that are like fingernails on a chalkboard (can't be ignored). The only thing that quiets him down is is physical contact.

I work at home, and there is REALLY no way for me to work and have him on my lap at the same time. I've made bedding for all three of the cats on my desk and the other two cats will just be content to hang out and nap off to the side of my computer, but Cagney MUST be touching me or the cries start in.

behavioral notes:
- we believe he was abused (if you go to pet him, he backs up quickly like he's anticipating being hit)
- he's been to the vet twice (early kidney disease, missing teeth)
- he's a drooler (I'm guessing from the lost teeth... it's constant and gross, but we just make sure we have towels for our laps and napkins/tissues around)
- Eddie (5yo) was a house-mate (Eddie and Cagney came from the same home)
- our apt is VERY catified (lots of climbing areas, cat nap beds, toys, activities)
- litter boxes cleaned multiple times a day
- I'm working on ignoring him when he cries and give him extra attention when he's quiet, but this guy and the constant crying makes me loose my temper after 5-10 minutes, which then makes it impossible to work as I sit there huffing and puffing.

My partner suggested that it's possible that he's not all mentally there... and an example of why he thinks this is what has just happened while typing this up: the crying started, there was finally a gap where he was quiet so I picked him up and put him on the back of my chair curled against my neck. He became quiet, groomed, stayed for a couple minutes then got down and left. He came back 5 minutes later and started the whole process again.

I'm hoping that someone can give me a little more insight into what might be going on or have some tips or info.
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Unread 10-22-2012   #2 (permalink)
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one is that they are all comfortable with each other EXCEPT these seemingly random moments when all hell breaks loose. We're monitoring, documenting, trying to find patterns... This one is workable.
This is pretty normal for multiple cats. It may seem like fighting, but it's probably play.

I'm so sorry for your losses!

I want to think about Cagney some, I haven't time just now to think it through, but hope I can help. I'll be back.

PS Hurray for you for adopting adult cats, and going the distance with them, no matter what their issues. You're real heroes!
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Last edited by acerlt; 10-22-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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You said Cagney is in early kidney failure? Has his thyroid and blood pressure been checked also? Constant crying can be a symptom of either hyperthyroid or high blood pressure.

He and Eddie came from the same home? Do you know if there were other cats, too? I'm wondering if Cagney is grieving for another lost companion (or could be a person). Do you know anything about the home they were in or why they were dumped?

It does sound like Cagney has had a rough time in his life. I wonder if the missing teeth are from an accident, and the accident caused brain damage, as you suspect is a possibility.

2 months isn't a very long time, it seems you've worked wonders already, to have all three of them getting along with one another, I would say give him longer to settle in but...your sanity has to be considered too.

Has your vet mentioned any medication possibilities? I'm not sure what would be safe, because of his early kidney failure, but I wonder if he could take something like amitriptyline for a short time (it's an old anti-depressant used as an anti anxiety med for cats). I'm not sure if this med goes through the liver or the kidneys, I'm thinking the liver, so it would be okay, but I'm not positive.

Have you tried feliway plug in diffusers? Rescue Remedy?
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