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Advice Needed

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I’ve debated back and forth about posting this for a while now because it’s such a “touchy†subject, but I’d really like to get some advice and feedback. Our Maine Coon Arek (pictured in the signature) doesn't seem to be doing very well here. He is totally anti-social and has bitten me multiple times, even though we’ve been working with a behavioralist to help him with this. He and my other Maine Coon don’t get along and he spends most of his time avoiding the rest of the family. There was a brief time period when I thought he was doing better, and he even sat in my lap once, but that was during his confinement (while we were trying to get him used to his new litter box.) Since he's been out he's back to his anti-social self again with the exception of early mornings, when he really likes to be petted at the bathroom sink (no idea why this is - perhaps it’s the only time during the day when the house is quiet and no one else is around.) We have four small children, other cats, and several foster dogs as well as a dog of our own and I'm really starting to wonder if some of his problems aren’t simply because he’s overwhelmed with all the activity here. We had a cat here for a few months who wasn’t doing well at all, and we placed her into a new home and right from the start, she was following her new owner around and was doing absolutely wonderfully. Which gets me to thinking… WOULD Arek do better in another home??? He is three years old and before coming here, he'd only lived with one other owner his entire life. The worst part is that my husband and I had JUST decided to make the leap and adopt two kittens... we've already paid for them and they've been spayed/neutered. We were very excited about the possibility of bringing up babies who were used to the activity level here, and not so skittish (though our other Maine Coon is finally doing better) and I'm really worried about the additional stress with Arek. I can’t help but wonder if he would do better in a two-person household without children or other pets? Have any of you ever considered giving up a cat? I know that if we DID try to find him another home, we could find him a really great one relatively quickly, as we just helped a man find a home for another Maine Coon and we had SOOO many great applicants on his cat. What do you think I should do? Do you think it’s ever simply in the cats best interest to find him another home? There just seems to be too much activity here for him, and I wonder if he'd do better in a less-active home. Please don’t send me any hate mail - I know what a touchy subject this is. I just really want to know what you guys think.
post #2 of 22
No hate posts or PMs from me

Sounds to me like he is definitely an anti social cat and feels he has to keep his guard up all the time from the sounds of the activities there. Perhaps your behavioralist said this too, his trying to assert his dominance in front of other animals and may do this by biting or hissing or growling. Luna gets like that whenever one of the 3 other cats are around. Otherwise she's the perfect sweetest cat.

Also I'm sure you've done this already, but just to ask, have you made sure that there isn't any physically wrong with him? Cats can be mean when they're hurt or sick and often times they'll try to hide it.

The decision is ultimitaly yours. However IMO it sounds like he needs less activity in the household.
post #3 of 22
My heart goes out to you... that must be heartbreaking! I think what you're considering may be the best option. I'm not a behaviourist or anything, but perhaps he would be happier. If you have people lined up to take him already, I don't see a reason not to. Maybe it's best for everyone involved. I think you're incredibly brave and compassionate to even consider it.

By the way, I love that second pic of your other Maine Coon in your signature... I love crazy eyes!!!
post #4 of 22
Have you tried calming aids like rescue remedy with him>>???

Reintroduction??

if so you may need to rehome him to a single pet home
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godiva View Post
My heart goes out to you... that must be heartbreaking! I think what you're considering may be the best option. I'm not a behaviourist or anything, but perhaps he would be happier. If you have people lined up to take him already, I don't see a reason not to. Maybe it's best for everyone involved. I think you're incredibly brave and compassionate to even consider it.
I agree that it may be best for a new home without so much confusion.He may need to be with only an adult home or a no other pet home.
You'll not get any hate PM's or posts about this from me either.Only YOU know what is best for him.
post #6 of 22
ahhh, thats really sad. If he's as stressed out as you say, then think about how much he'll be thanking you for helping him to live his best life somewhere quieter. I think it's a real hard decision especially to be so unselfish, I know I wouldn't be able to do it.
post #7 of 22
My heart goes out to you I understand what it's like to be in that situation. Sometimes even when we try our best- things just don't click or work out. It seems as if you've exhausted every option possible and have even sought the help of a behaviorlist. Normally i would say- when you adopt an animal- it is a lifelong committment to that animal, reguardless of what may arise...here's where i'm gonna change my tone on that argument- it depends on the situation. You are a good owner- it sounds like you're doing everything possible to help your pet. Sometimes, we just have to take a step back and think....is my animal happy- is there something that would make it happier (smaller, more quiet home. a friend..etc) Is my home the best possible place for my animal. Sometimes the answers to those questions are not what we'd like them to be and sometimes, in rare circumstances, we realize that even though we've done our best and worked hard to provide our animals with incredable homes- sometimes, it is in the best interest of the animal, if all other means have been exhausted, to possibly look into rehoming the animal if the situation arises where that is necessary. I understand how difficult this can be. I just want to say that I applaud you for seeking out help with vets and other specialists as well as on TCS. Your kitties are lucky to have you. No negativity from me sweetie- sounds like you're trying your best. Please know you have a lot of friends on here who support you and understand what you're currently going through. PM me if you wanna talk. I'd say take your time and think things through- make out a list of pros and cons......this will help you take a step back and determine what is best for your kitty
post #8 of 22
Your cat sounds a lot like my Felicia. She was used to living with one person (me).

To me it sounds like your cat would do better with no children or other pets.

I know how you feel; earlier this year, I had to find new homes for Felicia and Beau.
post #9 of 22
Rina, I'm sorry you have to make this decision, but you are just doing what you feel is right for Arek, He is gorgeous by the way Good Luck to you.
post #10 of 22
Sometimes, when a cat REALLY should be an only child, it is very difficult to keep him/her in a home where there are more than one anything.

My Maine Coon cross is very withdrawn unless he is in my bedroom just with me. Then he becomes my lover. But he has NEVER bitten me or scratched me.

This is your call. You know your cat. You know what your circumstances are. If you choose to help him find a new home that is quiet, where he will get ALL the attention, then you have put his interests in front of your own, and don't all cat lovers basically do that anyway?

Very best wishes on your decision and soooothing headbuts and calming licks from KittenKiya's Clan.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKiya View Post
Sometimes, when a cat REALLY should be an only child, it is very difficult to keep him/her in a home where there are more than one anything.

My Maine Coon cross is very withdrawn unless he is in my bedroom just with me. Then he becomes my lover. But he has NEVER bitten me or scratched me.

This is your call. You know your cat. You know what your circumstances are. If you choose to help him find a new home that is quiet, where he will get ALL the attention, then you have put his interests in front of your own, and don't all cat lovers basically do that anyway?

Very best wishes on your decision and soooothing headbuts and calming licks from KittenKiya's Clan.
Best of luck..I know it must be a very hard situation to be in
post #12 of 22
I know that you will make the best decision here - I can feel your love for Arek despite the difficulties you've had and I know how hard such decisions can be.

It may quite well be that he will feel happiest as an only cat, and if that is the case, I have faith that the right rehoming situation will present itself should you turn in that direction.

Whatever you choose, it is extremely clear that you have his best interest at heart.
post #13 of 22
You said he lived with one owner before. Does that mean he was never around other animals or small children? Some cats don't do well around children, particularly if they aren't used to them. Loki does not like children at all and hides when the grandkids come over. As well, if he had been an only cat before, then he would find all of the other animals a bit overwhelming. Difficult as it may be, perhaps he would be better in a household where there weren't other animals or children.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LokisMum View Post
You said he lived with one owner before. Does that mean he was never around other animals or small children?
We really have no way of knowing. We got him from a shelter who said he was dropped off with a note saying they'd gotten him as a kitten and for personal reasons they could no longer keep him. We have reason to suspect he's been abused in the past, and his attitude makes us believe he was probably an "only" cat in his previous home.

Quote:
My Maine Coon cross is very withdrawn unless he is in my bedroom just with me. Then he becomes my lover. But he has NEVER bitten me or scratched me.
I don't want to make him sound like a "bad" cat - he does bite, but it's when I'm doing something he doesn't want me to do (brushing him, bathing him, occasionally when I pick him up, etc). He can hardly be blamed for that… sort-of. But the thing that makes me wonder if he’d do better in a more quiet household is the fact that, like you're cat, he's SOOO lovable early in the morning and yet completely anti-social during the day. It just seems that he really WANTS to like people, but there is too much going on around here that bothers him.

Quote:
I know how you feel; earlier this year, I had to find new homes for Felicia and Beau.
I'm so glad to know that others have gone through this before. I feel like such a horrible pet owner.

I'm so afraid to make the wrong decision. Thank you for your support, and for the private messages, too. The only thing I can think of right now is that I could go ahead and list him on our website and see what happens. It's always possible that we'd find the perfect home out there for him who knows about his issues and whom we feel very comfortable with having him. We have contracts that state any adopter would have to bring him back to us if it didn't work out for any reason, and I'll always have the chance to change my mind before we get that far. The thing I hate is the not knowing. What if I give him up and he doesn't act any differently in his new environment? And what if they want to keep him, even if he doesn't act any differently? Then I didn't do anything for him except send him off to another home and I know I'd miss him terribly!!! At least if I have to give him up, I want to KNOW he's happier because of it! That's just the chance I'd end up taking, you know?

What do you think is best? On the one hand, there is no guarantee that he'll be any happier at another home. On the other hand, he's certainly not going to get any happier living here, either. If his attitude didn't change at his next home, do you think he'd still be better off being an anti-social "only" cat? Or do you think he'd rather be an anti-social cat living with more than 10 other family members? If this were your cat, what would you do?

(I know this is ultimately my decision, I'd just like to get some feedback.)
post #15 of 22
I would say only or maybe one or two "older" cat s...
post #16 of 22
Well, I think that I've heard that Maine Coons tend to be more quiet, and one-person cats. He really might be happier with a quieter household, especially since you DO see that side of him; it does exist. Have you tried Feliway? It's supposed to be very good...
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
Well, I think that I've heard that Maine Coons tend to be more quiet, and one-person cats. He really might be happier with a quieter household, especially since you DO see that side of him; it does exist. Have you tried Feliway? It's supposed to be very good...
We've tried natural aromatherapies, but not feliway. I'm a little worried about that one... what IS it, exactly? I don't want my kids to be breathing in lots of strange cat stuff or synthetics, you know? I should research it a bit more.
post #18 of 22
No new advice, just to you. I'm sure you will make the right decision.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rina_Marie View Post
We've tried natural aromatherapies, but not feliway. I'm a little worried about that one... what IS it, exactly? I don't want my kids to be breathing in lots of strange cat stuff or synthetics, you know? I should research it a bit more.
From what I understand, it's a form of the hormone that the cats make themselves when they're happy. So when the cat "smells" the Feliway (which we can't smell) it makes them more relaxed. It's a bit pricey. Let me PM someone and find out which is better - the spray or the plug-in...
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
From what I understand, it's a form of the hormone that the cats make themselves when they're happy. So when the cat "smells" the Feliway (which we can't smell) it makes them more relaxed. It's a bit pricey. Let me PM someone and find out which is better - the spray or the plug-in...
Thanks!
post #21 of 22
OK - Valanhb (Heidi) said that the spray seems to work better as far as she's noticed. Especially if one cat's getting hissy/pissy, LOL.
post #22 of 22
Awe, I'm sorry you have to make this decision.

It was one I had to make as well, but with my dog Gracie. I did end up taking her to a farm home with the in-laws.

I'm praying for your kitty and your family.
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