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Old 05-15-2008, 10:06 PM
663 posts, read 5,281,798 times
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We have dealt with this problem several times. We have two cats, and one of them (the female) doesn't recognize the other cat when he is either sick or comes back from the vet. It's either because he's acting differently or has different smells on him. She hisses, screeches and attacks him.

Well we're having this problem right now big time because our male cat has been sick. She started attacking him right away when he started vomiting last Friday night. Then after he came back from the vet ER he smelled different and had blood drawn, etc. so she didn't recognize him and continued to attack. We've had to keep them separated in different rooms since Friday. Usually when this has happened before, it takes about 3 days for the other cat to calm down and accept her buddy. But it's been a week now and she still won't accept him. We've been trying short introduction periods each day, supervised, and she always hisses, screeches and attacks him, leaving him to scurry under the bed for cover.

The sad thing is that it's been a week and we're wondering if they're ever going to be friends again. Normally, they're best buddies.

We even tried putting the female cat in a kennel and letting the other cat be in the same room with her (so she couldn't attack but could observe him.) Unfortunately, that didn't work, since as soon as we let her out she hissed and attacked him.

Anyone ever deal with this?
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:26 AM
Location: Home of King Willie the not so great
4,189 posts, read 3,162,293 times
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You might want to try leaving the unrecognized cat in the kennel for a little longer maybe even over night. Then try and see if that works. Good luck.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:17 AM
Location: Melbourne, FL
1,006 posts, read 5,084,205 times
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ooh.. I had this problem too. I thought it was very strange and didn't realize this happens. Fortunately, mine didn't last but a day or two. I wish I could offer advise, but I thing the other poster may be right. Just keep her in a kennel a little longer and let the other one sniff so she/he can get used to her/him again. Maybe wrap kitty (or around the area) in some of your clothes or towels that have your smell on them.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:07 AM
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,481,534 times
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They come back from the vets with a different smell. I would keep them apart for at least 3 days before introducing them again and one would be in a kennel. I wouldn't turn the one in the kennel loose but try the kenneling intorduction for several days. Also, try swapping their bedding during this time so they have time to get use to one anothers scents again..
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:08 PM
Location: Right here, see??
1,401 posts, read 3,442,316 times
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Here's something that works EVERY time.

You can do it one of two ways:

Ask your vet for a spray bottle of Ft. Dodge Waterless Shampoo. Spritz some on a dampened wash cloth, and gently wipe down the kitty that has returned from 'the outer worlds'....that way, the strange smells are gone, and it might go easier. If need be, wipe down the kitty who did NOT leave the house, that way they both smell the same!

You can also get "Kitty Bath Wipes" at Petco, PetSmart, Walmart and others...they work great!
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:46 PM
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,516,359 times
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Now, I had never heard of these. Thanks for that great post.

People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:45 AM
663 posts, read 5,281,798 times
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Yes, we have had this problem every time our male cat comes home from the vet or gets sick, etc. My theory is because the male cat is the alpha cat in our household, and the female is the beta cat. When the alpha gets sick, my hypothesis is that it freaks the beta cat out, and the cat hierarchy is shaken up. Cats don't like when they don't know where they stand, so to speak. So when the alpha is weak or sick, he doesn't act like the alpha anymore, and either the beta doesn't have a "leader" to follow anymore and freaks out, or she tries to usurp his power and become the alpha. The balance of power is only restored after our alpha has enough of the beta's antics, and slaps her upside the head. This is how it always happens in our house--once the male cat gets sick and tired of the female's crazy behavior, he puts her in her place with a slap upside the head. Then she realizes who is in charge and becomes submissive again.

This is my theory of what's happening in our household, anyway.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:53 PM
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,736 posts, read 31,792,495 times
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Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
Now, I had never heard of these. Thanks for that great post.
I have had this happen when I had a dog that went to the Vet to get fixed. My cats loved her and curled up with her to sleep but when she came back, they didn't know her and were affraid. Mine got over it however.
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