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Loving cat couple now in abusive relationship

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
In October of 2005 we picked up a kitten, Frank, when we lived in Denver. He was ultra playful. Chased after toys; leaped in the air after toys; generally a very happy kitten.

In April of 2006 we moved to Oklahoma City. Frank adapted well to start off, but a couple of months later seemed to depressed or lonely (who knows). So, we decided to pick him up a friend, Lola, a tiny kitten from the pound.

For the first week, Frank would literally hiss and then attack her. Over the next couple of weeks, he eventually warmed up to her and for all intents and purposes, they looked like a loving couple. They would clean each other (mostly Frank cleaning Lola) and *always* slept curled up with each other.

A couple of months ago, Frank began to abuse Lola. He is now constantly hissing at her, attacking her and wants nothing to do with her. Lola is a very loving (almost too loving) cat; but, not quite the sharpest of cats.

This has now become a problem for us. When we are having dinner or watching a movie, Frank just seems to hisses at Lola and/or attacks her. She hides. He paces around the room. Very annoying.

Frank is no longer the playful cat he once was; playing with toys is beyond him, sitting with us on the couch is no longer an option (unless he sits as far away as possible), etc…

What has happened to their loving relationship and how do we get Frank to stop attacking her?
post #2 of 19
Has he been neutered?
post #3 of 19
Hello and welcome.

That would be my first question too...are both cats fixed?

IF they are both fixed, the second thing would be that cats are very sensitive to smell - there is a possibility that Lola doesn't smell right (could be sick) so Frank doesn't "recognize" her. Frank being sick could have the same effect on their relationship too.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
Hello and welcome.

That would be my first question too...are both cats fixed?

IF they are both fixed, the second thing would be that cats are very sensitive to smell - there is a possibility that Lola doesn't smell right (could be sick) so Frank doesn't "recognize" her. Frank being sick could have the same effect on their relationship too.

Both cats were neutered as soon as we got them (or as soon as the vet would allow us). When we got Lola, she was a sickly little thing with really runny stools (too much info?) that lasted for about 2 months. We brought her to the vet on almost a weekly basis during this time so that he could watch her (he gave her some type of meds during this time). But, since then, she's been healthy as far as we know.

I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but Frank will hang out outside a couple of times a week (if he doesn't get to go out first thing in the a.m., he just starts screaming). Lola does not go outside.

I'm not sure if there is a connection, but Frank really started acting abusive towards Lola about the same time he started to go outside again a month or two ago (as soon it was warm, he wanted outside).

So, maybe we should take Frank to the vet for a checkup to make sure he isn't sick? I'm farily sure Lola is quite well - she's always smiling and playing.

We appreciate your replies.
post #5 of 19
If frank is attacking Lola I would take Lola to the vet. When cats get ill or something is wrong, their scent may change, other cats will sense that and think the resident cat is actually a new strange cat. When was the last time they were at the vets office?
post #6 of 19
I'd have them both checked out completely. And letting Frank out, may have an effect on the relationship; perhaps Frank is being picked on by another cat/dog outside and is taking it out on Lola inside the house.

Keep both inside (or supervise Frank outside).
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
If frank is attacking Lola I would take Lola to the vet. When cats get ill or something is wrong, their scent may change, other cats will sense that and think the resident cat is actually a new strange cat. When was the last time they were at the vets office?
They both had their last check up in December of 2006. I think we'll go ahead and take them both as the possibility of one of them being sick seems to be a consensus here.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I'd have them both checked out completely. And letting Frank out, may have an effect on the relationship; perhaps Frank is being picked on by another cat/dog outside and is taking it out on Lola inside the house.

Keep both inside (or supervise Frank outside).
That could very well be the case. There are a few cat posses outside that I know he will follow and sometimes play with.

FWIW: We decided last week that Frank should no longer be allowed outside. Partly because he comes back dirty; partly because we think he's bringing his 'street-wise' attitude inside now. Hopefully that may calm him down a bit after he gets over himself for no longer being allowed outside?
post #9 of 19
Yes it should, but you may have a hard time curbing that wanting out for awhile. Be sure to have lots of interactive time with him and both so they can get rid of the extra energy.

If he's stubborn, train him to a harness/leash and walk around in the yard for 1/2 hr or so.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Yes it should, but you may have a hard time curbing that wanting out for awhile. Be sure to have lots of interactive time with him and both so they can get rid of the extra energy.

If he's stubborn, train him to a harness/leash and walk around in the yard for 1/2 hr or so.
Thanks for the advice; it certainly makes sense, especially since Frank is rather stubborn. And I like the harness idea. We tried a leach once, but he wanted nothing to do with it and just sat on the ground staring at us. Maybe with a harness he will feel more like we are holding his body and not just his neck.

We'll post back after we take them to the vet.
post #11 of 19
I am interested in what they vet has to say. I hope everyone is healthy. It does sound as if Frank is bringing his street attitude back inside!
Be sure and wear him out, have you used a laser light? All my animals love it.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
I am interested in what they vet has to say. I hope everyone is healthy. It does sound as if Frank is bringing his street attitude back inside!
Be sure and wear him out, have you used a laser light? All my animals love it.
We'll definately post back after we take them to the vet this next week or so.

The laser light sounds like a good idea. We may need to put Lola in a different room because Frank won't play at the same time as Lola. At least that's the way he's been for the past few weeks.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
I am interested in what they vet has to say. I hope everyone is healthy. It does sound as if Frank is bringing his street attitude back inside!
Be sure and wear him out, have you used a laser light? All my animals love it.
Hi All,

Just wanted to follow up with my original post

Both cats were given a clean bill of health by the Vet; no known health issues.

Since we posted this, we have not allowed Frank outside. It took about 2-3 weeks, but he eventually mellowed out and started playing with Lola again. No more hissing

We recently moved and Frank sure seems to like being inside the new house much more than the old one. He's on his way to becoming a loving li'l fella again. Not quite snuggling up with Lola like he used to, but certianly a marked improvement.

Thanks again for all your replies!
post #14 of 19
Good news! I'm so glad everything worked out ok! Thanks for the update!
post #15 of 19
I just read this thread, very interesting!

Soooooo, Frank was hanging around the wrong crowd while he was outside, was he?!? These days ya gotta watch out for your kitties and who they hang with, some of those 'street kitties' didn't grow up with morals and manners.
post #16 of 19
"I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but Frank will hang out outside a couple of times a week (if he doesn't get to go out first thing in the a.m., he just starts screaming). Lola does not go outside."

This does make a difference - a huge one! You need to keep "Frank" in! Poor Lola!
post #17 of 19
One thing that can happen is that if Frank is going outside he might feel more territorial.
If I take one of my boys out without the other, they need a good hour or so to realize OOOOOo its you!
post #18 of 19
Sounds like everything has worked out ok. Glad Frank is improving!
post #19 of 19
Thanks for the update! So glad to hear all is going better. I really like your title by the way..it is cute
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