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Lost and confused cat owner.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I will try to go into detail with the issue I am having. I have searched several postings here and saw some good information but nothing quite as the situation I am having. Both are spayed anf front paws declawed.

I have two female cats. One, OJ, who is a 12 years old tortie about 13 lbs. For being a tortie she is the most docile cat I have ever had. She NEVER gets angry with anything or any human/animal. She will let anyone pet her, doesn't have a care in the world except minding her own business and getting attention as much as possible eating and sleeping. I found out later that calico and tortie are not the best combination of companionship for each other.

I have a 7 year calico UT. She is pretty much the opposite of OJ in the fact that she is the matriarch in her eyes and likes to be boss when she feels the need too and can be quite hyperactive when she wants. On the other hand whenever anyone other than myself is in the house she turns into a scardy cat and hides in the bedroom laundry hamper in the closet. Most people wouldn't even know I have two cats unless I tell them if they are at my hosue.

OJ has lived with 4 or 5 other cats throughout her life, UT has not other than OJ, I got both when they were kittens. These two cats as housemates have never truly bonded or gotten along with each other but for the most part they have tolerated each other. At times they do play for a couple minutes but rarely. They will at even at even allow UT to lick OJ's head but never lasts very long when UT's paw comes out to place it on OJ's head.

Lately UT has gone on what I call my 'bi-polar' tear. One second you can pet her on the head and the next blink she goes to growling and wailing at the top of her lungs, puffed up and wants nothing to do with anyone. I can have both cats sitting with me on the couch and the next thing I know she is psycho mad.

Part of me thinks that UT is jealous which in some fashion she is. UT has always been the solitary of the two. OJ has always won over my protection over UT since 95% of the time she instigates it. Nothing more than having OJ near me when this happens. Sometimes UT gets the bedroom door closed for about an hour. Both cats get pretty much equal attention if I can with UT, both have their own litter boxes but now and again I catch them using the other. About 3 years ago OJ had bladder surgery for crystals/stones and has a realatively small bladder for a cat but since that time seems to be doing well but the trouble seemed to be initiated about that time and has gotten worse over th years. UT will at times 'stalk', stare, watch, intimidate (at times) OJ who would rather just mind her own business. Her favorite is to sit and guard in the doorway/pathway to other parts of the house and stare at OJ. OJ never but rarely initiates confrontation with UT. This ends up stressing out OJ and limiting where she wants to go in the house where you can see every times she comes to a juncture in the house the looks to make sure the coast is clear.

I have taken them to the vet a few times for this but all the 'techniques' I was told to attempt have failed. I have tired the seperation, the pheramones, etc. I hate taking them to the vet because returning one or the other results in a month long screech war from UT. This is usually the violent parts I have seen from UT attacking OJ where no person or cat is safe, she has never bitten a person but your ears will hurt after an amount of time of it. I think in due to the smell of the vet office and the fact that putting her in the kitty carrier terrifies her to bloody her nose/mouth from slamming herself inside the cage and going to the bathroom unintentionly from it. I try to remove the smell of the vet as much as possible with no real effect of making it better in UT's eyes.

The one thing I haven't tried is some type of emotional stability drug for her. I have tried to not go that route but I think I am running out of options at this point. I am wondering if this is a good idea or experiences other people have had with this. I would never get rid of either of my cats but I can't say it hasn't crossed my mind with UT lately with the amount of stress she has caused lately. Now I am at a lose of what to do.

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 8
when did you get ut?? almost sounds like ut is starting to really become the alpha cat... I've never had that happen since i got a male and female and the male pushes my female around, but my female sure does fight back if he rubs her the wrong way.... Umm. if you think it is emotional one thing you might wana try is feliway.. I love that stuff and it helps for when your cats are a little wound up to tight... it helps them calm down.. other then that, im not sure and someone out there might have a better or another way... good luck..
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I got her when she was 8 weeks so I've had her the entire 7 years just about. I tried that a couple times but it didn't seem to do any good. Thanks for the reply.
post #4 of 8
i'm sorry not to have any advice to give you... sounds like a very tiring situation! both of your girls are lovely, tho. maybe someone more knowledgeable or experienced will come along with some good advice.
post #5 of 8
Sometimes de-clawed kitties have behavioural issues after a few years. Perhaps this is why your cat is behaving this way. If so, I doubt there is much you will be able to change except for perhaps using Feliway plug-ins and hope that helps. I believe you said you had tried pherimones so I don't know if Feliway will indeed help or not.
post #6 of 8
I have one thought on this before I offer a suggestion that I myself have not actually tried (it was suggested to me when I had a similar situation, but mine ended up resolving itself, mostly).

Has she been doing *anything* else to indicate that perhaps she's got something more physical going on, that might be causing her pain and causing her to react badly... it does sound more like a change in personality and not something medical, but...sometimes discomfort or pain will cause them to be more aggressive. I ask because you said you could be sitting there petting her, and her attitude toward you has changed as well.. that just seemed sort of odd to me.

Anyway, on with the only suggestion I've ever heard (and the only one I hadn't tried out of all the ones I'd heard) that I thought might work. We had issues between Khan and especially my timid Mau, Bagheera.. any number of rescue agents from different agencies suggested putting them on prozac. The one (actually detailed from him) said to get the creme that you rub onto the inside of their ears. Wear gloves so it doesn't dose you. Put it on *both* cats for a couple of months, daily, following the recommended dosage. It gives the scared cat time to forget they were scared, get out of the habit of being scared and forget why it was they were scared in the first place. It, in theory, gives the aggressive cat a more mellow attitude, makes them forget they were attacking the other cat, et cetera. He said they need to be on the meds for awhile, so that they have time for their brain to "reprogram" for lack of a better phrase, iow, forget what they were doing. He said the stuff for the ears was much easier to deal with than any other form. He'd also said he'd had some success with this. And most of the time, after a few months.. the cats were getting along and they were not having the issues that they'd been having previously once you took them off of it. He indicated that most "failures" with prozac happened because the animals were not left on it long enough to forget their behavior and that you wanted to do it for at least two months.

I honestly have no idea how well this works. We, fortunately, had our situation resolve itself for the most part.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for your remarks, makes me know I'm not alone with this problem. Just got home and nothing has changed. I walked in the door, petted UT and she was happy, went and hung up my coat and approached the same way as before and she went psycho on me. Stalk, hiss, watch where each of the other is at. Ones stressed, one is mad, and I play referee. I think I'm off to the vet for my own consultation before I take either or both of them in and see about the prozac or something for UT. I might try the Feliway once more, it can't hurt anything. Just sitting here typing right now makes UT just about jump out of her skin when typing.

Once again thanks everybody!
post #8 of 8
OJ is 13 and clearly a senior citizen. Cats that are ill or aging are often driven out of their pride because they are no more use to it. I have seen my cats gang up on a sick or elderly cat for no apparent reason. I've had to separate them from the rest of the cats, or give them a place where the other cats are not allowed to go. Shep lived on my kitchen counter for the last year she was with me.

If I had to offer advice, I'd get a complete blood workup on OJ and make sure there is no underlying illness that UT is detecting. Sometimes the behavior between cats, particularly one that is spiraling downward, is an indication that one is sick. And its usually the one on the receiving end of the attacks.

If there is nothing physically wrong with OJ, then it could just be her age that is triggering the response from UT. Most tri-colors have that "toritude" gene, even when true calico.
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