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A few questions answered and a little advice needed please...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A little background,
5 years ago I purchased a short-haired calico for my wife. After 8 months it was very obvious that Kali was lonely so we brought home a brother and sister (Grey and White, Max, and a Tortie, Tails). All three got along very well and things were great. 4 months ago I bought a house in the country (desert) and installed a cat door for the little devils. All three are de-clawed and spayed /neutered. This concerned me as they would have little defense if the need arised, but they seemed to stand their ground with the local rif-raf cats. But to my great displeasure my Calico (Alpha cat) disappeared 7 days ago. I fear an owl or nighthawk was the culprit. My questions (observations too) are about this incident. The other two, Max and Tails, went through two distinctly different greiving periods that are just now seeming to end. Max (male) immediately established his domainance over Tails (female), but not agressively. He now takes the lead in everything they do, and has spent the last 6 days outside unless he is eating. Tails became very despondent and didn't eat for 5 days, spending the entire time sitting on the porch (waiting for Kali to return, in my opinion). She has just recently been active again and eating, and has taken up Kali's spot on my bed at night. Is this a normal behaivior for grieving cats? It doesn't suprise me to much, but it is fascinating to see the new interactions now that they are down to two. I miss Kali dearly, but want to make the transition as easy as possible for the others, any suggestions?

Another issue that has been put on the back burner because of the dissapearance was adding a small dog to the household. I am a dog person at heart, but have the cats due to a divorce and have come to love these furry balls of oddness. I would like a small dog, but I have concerns about the "changing of the guard". I will definetely put this off for a while because of the current issues, but has anyone had experience with adding a K-9 to the feline mix?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated,
Lloyd Turner
post #2 of 5
If a cat has been declawed, the best place for the kitty to be is inside only since they have no defense against any type of predator. Your other cats are in mourning for the loss of their friend and what you describe is typical for them to go through. I would urge you to please keep these two inside from now on, as they have no recourse or weapons to use when predators are about. My vet is anti-declawing and has a sign in his office that reads:


Teeth =
post #3 of 5
Hi and welcome to TCS!!! I can't give you any information about adding a dog to your home. I wanted to share this link http://cats.about.com/cs/declawing/ with you. It leads to a few articles on declawing issues.
post #4 of 5
First, let me say I am sorry you lost your kitty. It sounds like the others are behaving normally. My Fred sat beneath my kitchen sink and howled for 2 nerve-jangling weeks over the loss of a companion kitty. They will be ok. I wholeheartedly agree with the others about keeping the cats inside. It would be a shame to lose any more to predators. I have no opinion about the dog issue, I know almost nothing about dogs. Good luck with this problem. Welcome to The Cat Site.
post #5 of 5
Hi Lloyd, and welcome to The Cat Site Forums.

Since the other replies you've gotten have already addressed the declawing issue, and since you've "inherited" your cats already sans claws, it doesn't seem really necessary nor do I feel it is appropriate for me to address that part of your post. What's done is done. Maybe in the future, if you ever decide to care for cats again, you'll reconsider declawing and find it disfavorable. I will hope so.

Now that being said ... If you are absolutely certain that your Kali is not ever coming home again, then please, for the continued health and well being of your remaining kitties, permanently lock that cat door, and never, ever let them outside again without a harness and lead, and you supervising. 'Nuff said.

As to the behavior you've witnessed - what you are observing is probably as much grieving as it is a shifting of the roles. Since the cat who is missing was the dominant feline in her colony, the remaining two will need to re-evaluate the hierarchy and determine between the two of them who will take the Alpha role. So long as they are both eating, and are both enjoying otherwise good health, they will be alright with time. Grief in cats manifests in many different ways. Be watchful for stress-induced ailments such as urinary tract infections, upper respiratory infections, and the like. And it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the remaining two began to fight a little if they don't normally.

Regarding adding a dog, I wouldn't do that right now. The cats have had a lot to deal with - separation from one of their "persons", a move to a new home and environment, and now this grief and shift in roles. Let them have some time to adjust to all that's happened to them - think about the dog later.

My continued best to you, I am certain all of this change in your life hasn't been easy for you either.


Gaye Flagg
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