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redirected aggression long term...HELP!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This is long sorry! We have two Tonkinese, a male named Blue who is now 13 and a female Loreal who is 16. Blue was a kitten and Loreal was 3 when we got them at the same time and were together before we got them. They are strictly indoor cats. Both are neutered, Loreal at 3 and Blue at 1 year. Prior to the aggression incident both cats were very attached to each other with Loreal taking a mothering role to Blue. When the cats were 3 and 6 they were sleeping in a windowsill when a stray attacked them through the screen. This is when the aggression started. Besides the aggression they were both infected with severe FLHV by the stray although both had been vaccinated against it. The FLHV resulted in long hospital care over many months and near death multiple times for both cats with permanent respiratory problems in both cats and in Blues case almost lost both eyes. I spent 8000.00 alone to save Blues eyes and probably 15,000.00 on medical together including a 90.00 an hour behaviorist. We have the health issues under control.

After the attack which was extremely vicious the cats when well enough continued to attack each other resulting in puncture wounds, blood and clumps of hair everywhere.My daughter and I suffered wounds in these attacks some of which needed stitches,a cauterization and tendon surgery to one of my fingers. Blue suffered a punctured sinus cavity in one fight when Loreal bit right through his nasal bones. Stopping a fight when started is completely impossible without physical intervention on our part. Water pistols, clickers, brooms, noise makers, favorite treats, putting chairs or objects between them nothing stops it once it starts. I even drenched both with a bucket of mop water once.

We had both cats on Elavil and Buspar for months at a time, neither drug worked. Loreal also started urinating in our beds and dirty laundry at that time a behavior that continues to this day. We ended up separating the cats for various period of time and living with doors closed all over the house. We were never successful at reintroducing the cats no matter how many times we tried. When my daughter went to college 5 years ago I rented an apartment for her just so she could take Loreal to college with her. After 2 years she moved back home and the whole thing started again. Last spring we moved to another house and left my daughter and Loreal in the old house while we were renovating it. Now Loreal and my daughter will be moving back in with us again and I am desperate to try and get these cats to stop.

Blue seems to start it by puffing, hissing and will swat at Loreal who promptly responds by literally beating the living hell out of Blue. He instigates it and she finishes it. Although she is only 6 lbs and he is 10 she tosses him around like a rag doll. Loreal is extremely vicious once provoked. We ended up just completely keeping the cats in locked bedrooms. Loreal does not seem to be bothered by this, Blue when locked up gets severely depressed and will howl desperately for hours till completely exhausted. When Loreal is locked up Blue will obsessively claw under her door resulting in foot wide holes in the carpets. If 2 people hold the cats and let them see each other Loreal will attempt to lick and wash Blue who will nonchalantly chomp her in the neck.

Blue is the mommy’s boy extremely attached to me and follows me everywhere and sleeps with me. Loreal treats all family members equally. Both cats are social with any people who come into the house, Loreal is especially friendly with company. Both are very affectionate cats. Both like to play anything is fair game as a cat toy. Loreal is more obedient, undesired behavior (except for fighting) can be stopped by simply saying No firmly, for instance when chowing down on a house plant or bothering the parakeets say no to Loreal and she stops, Blue has to be picked up and removed from the plants or birds and will go back again until you move it out of his reach.

I think if I could stop Blue from puffing and hissing at Loreal we could get them to at least stop attacking each other. Blue also puffs, growls and hisses at cats he can see through the windows. Loreal just watches them.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 6
Oh my gosh! You poor thing! You have been through it. You constant attempts and the expense you have gone through really show that you care about these two. I wish I could offer some advice. Have you considered placing one of them with someone you know would give one a good home?
post #3 of 6
I'm sure you have, but when Blue starts his huffing and puffing have you tried interupting that with play or something positive like some treats?

I would hesitate to bust out punishment (like a squirt bottle) b/c you want him to associate your other cat with good things.

Other than that, I have to agree with Captiva. Sometimes as hard as we try, it's just not the best place at the best time.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I did think of giving one away but was unable to find a suitable home the Feline herpes is highly contagious. Loreal pees in your bed, pillows, laundry and you would never be able to place Blue in a home with another animal. My daughter would be devastated too

I've been reading about felaway, not sure if I spelled that right- changes the scent of the cats- has any one had any success with that?
post #5 of 6
Sounds to me that the problem is because he keeps seeing cats out the window. Is it possible for you to cover the windows and see if that helps him.

And do try the Feliway, I've read many times that it works.
post #6 of 6
This is a difficult case. I'm in a similar situation trying to introduce a new cat to my alpha who sounds very much like your Blue. I've tried the Feliway spray with little success- but they also sell the Feliway room diffuser which may work better, it's also more expensive. I'm also looking into the Bach Flower Essences which an animal behaviorist recommended to me. Holly is used for negative emotions and aggression. I've also used the Anxiety/Fear and Rescue Remedy one for my feral. It seemed to help , seemed like it zonked him out more...but maybe it's because of the high alcohol content of these preparations! BTW These tinctures can also be used by people. You might want to give these a try.

I know how attached you are to your cats but I'm wondering, just like in my case if some cats just like some people, may never get along. I think in the end, you have to do what's best for the cats and yourself. That may mean finding a separate home for either Blue or Loreal. How long has Loreal had the peeing problem? Was she checked for bladder infection? We have a cat who pees on clothing or other personal articles put on the floor...so guess what, I'm getting a new purse for Christmas!
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