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Unread 10-11-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help with newly adopted cat

Help with newly adopted cat. I have just recently adopted from our local Humane Society 2 new cats into my home. A 5-month-old female kitten and a 5-year old male. I already have a 9-year-old female that has been with us her whole life. The kitten has fit in wonderfully and adapted well. The male we are having some big problems with. The first month he was here, he would not come out from several hiding places and it took him a long time to adjust. He then became comfortable if the other cats were not near him. He is very laid back and loves to sit in your lap and be petted. When he was more comfortable moving around the house, he then became very aggressive toward the older female and has started chasing and attacking her and it has finally resulted in him biting her and hurting her. He also has started spraying only when he is attacking her. I really would like to find away to keep him as other than this he is a great cat, but my older female has been with us 9 years and I fear for her safety. Can anyone give me some suggestions on how I can try to work through this problem so all the cats can live in the same environment without worries of one of them being seriously hurt and so I do not have urine being sprayed in the house. Thanx much.
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Unread 10-11-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Hello, welcome and thank you for adopting from a shelter, especially an older kitty!

My first recommendation is that you have the male in to the vet for a check up. Stress can cause illness in cats, and he may be developing a UTI or crystals in his urine.

Is the kitten spayed yet? If not, that needs to be done too.

Next I recommend you install some feliway plug in diffusers through out your home. This will help with territorial feelings.

In addition be sure you have enough litter boxes. One per cat plus one is the "rule of thumb" but in your case I would add another, three cats, at least 5 boxes, with at least two in another area of the house than the other three.

I understand your desire to protect your 9 year old girl, and applaud your willingness to work through this so the boy doesn't have to lose his forever home.

What kind of set up is your house? Do you have a way to keep the two adult cats separate when you are not there to supervise? How many cat trees do you have? Cats like, need, to be up high, so you need to have several elevated spots so all can be.

Please keep us posted on how it's going, what are their names?
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Unread 10-11-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Help with newly adopted cat

Thank you for responding so quickly.

I have had them about 2 months now. Both the kitten and adult male were in to my vet for checkups within the first week of adopting them. The female kitten has been spayed and declawed with the first 3 weeks of their adoption. The male was adopted already neutered and with all 4 paws declawed. They were both picked up as strays on the street, so the Humane Society did not know their backgrounds. After having had them now for almost 2 months, I think the male cat must have been someones pet, and most likely lived in a home where he was the only pet. He was well taken care of and beautiful. He is a very large, well fed Siamese. I have been keeping the adult male and female apart during the day when I cannot be there to monitor them. I do work from my home, but am in an office area and cannot watch them while I am working. The male is in my finished basement with plenty of food and water and his own litter pan. My adult female is upstairs with the kitten and they have their own litter pans and plenty of food and water. My father also lives in my finished basement, so the adult male is not alone and has companionship all the time. But since he has discovered the upstairs and the 2 cats up here, he wants to be up here with them and bangs on the basement door to come up. When I am able to be in the same room with all three and watch them, the male does somewhat okay. The females hiss and growl at him, but stay clear of him. All 3 were actually lying around in the same room with me one time with my having to give only a few reminders about hissing and such. The male did okay. But as soon as my adult female moves, he is after her and attacks. I have not heard of what you mentioned for the territorial issues and will definitely look into this. Is it possible that they can all live together. I had a friend tell me that once a male starts spraying, he will not stop. I dearly want to make this work, but if this is something that I cannot eventually stop, I do not know if I will be able to. My adult female is terrified and has become very spooked now and jumps at every little noise and is afraid to move around the house.
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The male cat was already declawed? Therein lies his aggressiveness problem. You had the kitten declawed? Why on earth? Is your 9 year old cat declawed also?

Declawed cats often end up dumped on the streets because of behavior problems. I am not saying that has happened to any cats you have done this to, but it happens to many.

The male still will need another check up. Stress causes illness and he has been under considerable stress. He needs a urinalysis/urine culture to determine if he is developing a urinary tract problem. UTIs and crystals left untreated in male cats can become fatal very quickly.

He has no claws, so feels defensive. My gosh he can't even scratch an itch! What kind of person could do such a thing. What kind of vet would do it?

The shelter should have told you whether he was good with other cats or not.

The feliway plug in diffusers may go a long way toward easing the tensions in the feline ranking. Put them in your part of the house and in your father's. Does your father pay any attention to him when he is down there? Does he play with him, and does the kitty have windows to look out, and a cat tree to climb? Perhaps you can send the kitten down to play with him since he seems to desire feline companionship, rather than letting him up.

Or let him up at certain times, and keep your senior kitty in another room while he is upstairs.

I'm afraid you'd better know right now that I am rabidly against declawing of cats. I loathe this needless mutilation of these innocent animals.

26 countries around the world have outlawed declawing as inhumane. 6 cities, so far, in the USA have done the same.

The USA cities are:

West Hollywood, CA
Santa Monica, CA
Beverly Hills, CA
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA

And Norfolk Va

26 countries:
England
Scotland
Wales
Italy
France
Germany
Bosnia
Austria
Switzerland
Norway
Sweden
Netherlands
Northern Ireland
Ireland
Denmark
Finland
Slovenia
Portugal
Belgium
Brazil
Australia
New Zealand
Yugoslavia
Malta
Israel

Please read this link, it describes what is done during a declawing. I hope you will never ever have it done to another cat. There are plenty of already declawed cats in shelters, because people dump them as fast as the problems start, or because they just can't be bothered, even after having their cats crippled for life.

DECLAWING: What You Need to Know

You can also find videos showing actual declawing surgeries. Horrific.

PS I will however continue to help you solve this problem. You can get the feliway plug in diffusers through amazon.com. They are decently priced there, you will pay a fortune at the vet.

But do please have the male checked for UTIs and crystals.

You should know also, that since he is a large cat he is going to have many problems with his legs and back as he ages, because of the amputations, and in fact may already be suffering arthritis pain.

In fact pain may be part of his problem of aggression.

Pain makes a cat feel vulnerable, and if his legs and back hurt he is going to be warning other cats to stay away, and proving himself over and over that he is not vulnerable.

I recommend you put him on cosequin for cats now, and keep him on it permanently. It is an arthritis supplement for cats and does not require a prescription.



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Last edited by acerlt; 10-11-2010 at 11:23 AM.
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