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Old 12-02-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,618 posts, read 12,155,075 times
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We are ardent cat lovers and have had cats in our families since our childhoods. well over 50 years of experience for both my wife and I. We currently have four: one 18-19 yr old very loving and quiet (deaf) female [Dottie The Wonder Cat] who came to us as an abandoned stray, one older male [Ghost] who came to us as a hagard, starved stray; one 7 year old female [the subject psycho-cat; Cookie], and most recently, a 4 year old shelter cat we rescued (he'd been severely abused), a purebred Siamese "applehead" named Thai [definitely not one of those string-thin oddball big-eared Siamese showcats, but an original robust Siamese with a round nice head that looks like an apple!].

Cookie, the psycho cat, is a tiny animal, one of the smallest cats I"ve ever known. She's also not that friendly.

About two months ago we had a walk in to our large rural property. It was a polydactyl young male (had extra toes on all four corners). He was very friendly, but Cookie was not amused. She got her back up, so to speak, and the entire situaiton really got to her inner *****.

We got the polydactyl, "Hemmingway" [Ernest had over 60 polydatyl cats at his mansion when he died; he thought they brought the owner good luck] taken to the local shelter, where they quickly found a good home for him. But the entire adventure seems to have pushed Cookie right over the edge. And she's getting more and more sensitive and reactive. and adversarial. She's breaking up our happy cat home.

Now, she literally lays in wait for Thai, the Siamese, who, BTW, is The World' Friendliest Cat. She drops on him and attacks, biting and scratching, and yowling violently and loudly. It sounds very bloody, and usually is. She also takes on Ghost, the older but still very large male. He's also very friendly and has a sort of "what did I do?" look on his face when she goes after him.

Last week, she fell on and bit him badly, then ran off. He sat there for a few moments, thinking it through and licking himself, and then went after her upstairs. What ensured was one of the most vocal and ferocious cat fights I've ever heard. I heard Ghost literally throwing Cookie against the wall several times. Later, he sauntered downstairs, and resumed his quiet licking.

I went upstairs and found lots of yanked-out fur tufts [hers] and also found her, bruised and quivering under the bed, with several very tender spots on her little body. She started this range war, but she won't do well in the final analysis. Ghost is too big for her; at least twice her weight if not more.

Now she hides upstairs, under the bed-covers, or if she does come down at all, she looks like a permanently inflated, puffed-up fighting cat. She yowls at anything, even old deaf Dottie the elder lady cat who ignores her becaue she can't hear her.

Big question: What to do. We've tried putting Thai and Ghost outside when Cookie comes downstairs, but who can predict when she might want to do that? It's also about 18˚ F here at nights now, so it's not fair to excommunicate those friendly cats. Last night, she peed on the upstairs bedroom floor because she didn't want to come downstairs.

The transient poly-d cat Hemmingway was, I think, the unwitting instigator of this big change in intra-cat relations; it pushed Cookie over the edge.

One idea I had: Anyone heard of using a mild tranquilizers for cats, to calm her down for a few weeks until she regains her composure?

Or? Please: any ideas. Thanks!

Last edited by rifleman; 12-02-2009 at 09:30 AM.. Reason: typoz
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:40 AM
 
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I'm sorry to hear you're having problems. First thing I would do is take her to the vet to rule out any medical problems that could be causing her aggression. I just posted something to this effect on the thread funny cats. Once the vet has checked her out they can offer some solutions to you. I had to put my cat on an HRT program but I don't know if that would work in your situation. I had 2 male cats that were having problems...not female/male like yours. I think they do offer meds to "calm" a kitty and your vet will know what to do.

This is just my opinion but it sounds like she wants to be the alpha cat of the household. I have 4 cats and our girl Pumpkin is the alpha cat in our household. She is 20 pounds of snark and sass. Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,858 posts, read 61,709,771 times
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I tried using feliway, the calming scent that comes in something like a warmer. It didn't seem to work for my problem but lots of people like it and think it helps.

Your vet may have a suggesiton for a tranquilizer. I have let them fight it out but then I've never had as bad a battle as you had! Cookie seems to want to be boss and isn't so now she's both sulking and afraid.

Sorry I dn't have better suggestions!
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
10,768 posts, read 19,114,072 times
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Short term 'kitty prozac' actually can be useful for behavior issues that don't have an underlying medical issue. I'd talk to your vet about the options. Straight sedatives aren't great for nervous cats since they can figure out something's not physically right and that can freak them out even worse.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,618 posts, read 12,155,075 times
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Yes, Cookie definitely wants to be the alpha cat, tho' she's a female. With Ghost's lax & laid-back attitude and Dottie's deafness and the fact she sleeps most of the day, Cookie had the place to herself for, literally, years. Thai represented a near-last straw, but he tends to be outside a lot. Now it's colder, and they all want ot be in, and she had her tiny cute nose put out of joint.

And so that poly-D really ticked her off, I'm thinking.

BTW, Dottie's sitting right here on my desk, purring and tilting her head at me and occasionally looking at my post, giving her approval or corrections on spelling mistakes. Fun old girl! She's in my Profiles pics with my son. Note the "bright glow of intelligence" in her eyes!
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Old 12-02-2009, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Hartwell--IN THE City of Cincinnati
1,055 posts, read 3,884,952 times
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I agree with Ouijeewoman--vet for a check up. I would also give her a litter box and food/water of her own and keep the door shut for awhile--but most importantly, vet check up.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
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Once you rule out something medical at the vet.....

It sounds like to me you have a kitty that space and world seems threatened. Sounds like kitty needs some of her own. Cats are very finicky out their space.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:13 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 7,681,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
One idea I had: Anyone heard of using a mild tranquilizers for cats, to calm her down for a few weeks until she regains her composure?
I'm sorry - this isn't fun for anyone and believe me, I know how you feel (we've got a very similar situation going on now).

The use of anti-anxiety meds definitely has a role in dealing with and treating behavioural problems in animals. Please note that anti-anxiety meds are different to tranquilizers of old. The old stuff would leave an animal "out of it", the new psychotropic drugs do not. The animal can function normally, just without the anxiety (i.e. the root of what's causing the problems). However, they should not be seen as the cure of and by themselves - they're merely a means to an end by allowing a pattern of behaviour to be broken.

True issues of dominance are more rare than people think. "Dominance" has become something of a catch-all term unfortunately as it leads people to see behavioural issues in black and white and rarely is it that simple.

By all means go to the vet and discuss the use of meds. But please bear in mind that vets are trained to treat the body/medical issues. Some are more up to speed on behaviour, but some are not. It just depends on the vet. I'd suggest calling a good feline behaviourist for a consultation too. It can't hurt and it might very well bring to light something that is going unnoticed.

Here's an article on their use from Dr. Fox - former VP of the US Humane Society as well as the international version.

Behavioral Problems and Drug Solutions: A Last Resort (http://www.twobitdog.com/DrFox/Behavioral-Problems-Drug-Solutions - broken link)

Hope that helps some.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: ST paul MN
622 posts, read 1,575,095 times
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First vet check the fighting cats to see if they have FIV and feline luk. If they do you may have to put them down or forever sepreate them.


Sense all these cats- or most of them anyway seem high to mod risk I'd test them.


Secondly I would Ideally re home the fighting cat with someone who plans of keeping her as an only cat. If this cant be done I would seperate them and devide the house up. Build virticle space by aiding cat trees, furniture places to hide. Put a litter box on every floor.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:06 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,353 posts, read 18,640,785 times
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I'm guessing that the op has had the kitties long enough and they have been house mates long enough that the FIV and leukemia are non-issues........
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