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Zane the Insane, the Cat of Tiny Brain

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi! My Fat Furry Friend is Zane, a grey tabby. He used to be my father's cat, but since father died in March he is mine; or I am his.

The vet says he's about seven years old; he came to my father as a full grown cat, so we don't know what he was like as a cute little kitten. He just showed up in the neighborhood. He obviously wasn't feral; he was neutered and declawed and for several weeks he was making the rounds of the neighbors. People would feed him, and he'd catch mice and even tree rats; fortunately, father was living in a isolated cul-de-sac in a semirural neighborhood, so there were few cars. Father was worried about what would happen to him come winter. I urged him to take him in.

"But I already have a cat!" (PurrPuss, an orange tabby.)

I reminded him that lots of people have more than one pet. (We'd always had only one at a time.) Father took Zane in--Zane because he's Grey--and PurrPuss didn't like it one little bit. I wasn't living there then, and father apparently didn't do any of the things you are supposed to do when introducing a new cat. Shortly thereafter, PurrPuss just curled up and died; I don't know if there was a connection, but Father always thought there was. (He wasn't a very old cat; less than 10 years, IIRC.)

Shortly after that, father moved here and we bought a duplex together; father lived downstairs and I lived upstairs. Father died this past March, so I guess Zane is my cat now.

I have two behavior problems from him that I would like to address.

1. Unprovoked biting. He'll be sitting in my lap, apparently quite happy, and then CHOMP on my hand or arm. Or I'm walking around the house and he'll run up, CHOMP on my ankle, and then run away. Bad enough that he does it to me, but my handiman sometimes brings his kids over; they're good kids, and he's drilled into them that if kitty doesn't want to play you shouldn't force yourself on him, but I'm so afraid that he'll bite one of the kids, and if he does the Court will declare him a 'vicious animal' and order him put down. The Vet has put him on Prozac, which has helped a little.

2. Yowling. Zane used to be a very quiet cat, but now he's taken to wandering through the house yowling. When he gets in that mood he doesn't want to be petted or played with. I thought at first that he was missing my father, but he stopped for a while and it has started again. The Vet says that there's nothing organically wrong with him; he seems a perfectly healthy cat. But the yowling is beginning to get on my nerves.
post #2 of 17
First I'd like to welcome you to the addictive world of TCS!

Thank you for taking in Zane. Not everyone would do that. I'm not sure about how to deal with the problems, but a declawed cat has a MUCH better chance of having behavior issues (biting is one of them, if I recall right).

I'm sure someone else will be along to help sort out the problems. If not, take a quick trip over to the Behavior forum and someone can help you there!
post #3 of 17


Many greetings from the Cat Site!

Luckily Zane has you now Although the biting isn't good & him being declawed doesn't help. But have you tried disciplining him for that behavior? Whenever he goes to bite, you must let him know that is going to stop. Lets try something, whenever he bites you, do a "ch" sound & tell him no. He should get the hint but every cat is different. For his howling, he sounds lonely, try to go up to him & tell him to "shh", be quiet, you don't need to howl. We have had biting issues & meowing, for our cats all that worked anyways. It may or may not work for Zane but hopefully Update us all on if he is doing better with the biting & howling...

Best Wishes! Enjoy the forums
post #4 of 17
Welcome to TCS!
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katz4Life View Post
Luckily Zane has you now Although the biting isn't good & him being declawed doesn't help.
I am, generally, against declawing, but it was done to him before he came to us, so that's past praying for.


Quote:
But have you tried disciplining him for that behavior? Whenever he goes to bite, you must let him know that is going to stop. Lets try something, whenever he bites you, do a "ch" sound & tell him no. He should get the hint but every cat is different.
As I said, often he will bite and then run away before I can do anything. When I can get him, I take my thumb, first two fingers, and the 'web' and clamp down on the back of his neck and say "NO, DON'T BITE!" down in my baritone register (I'm really a tenor). Not hard enough to hurt, but hard enough that he feels it. That's what mother cats do to discipline their kittens, isn't it?

Quote:
For his howling, he sounds lonely, try to go up to him & tell him to "shh", be quiet, you don't need to howl.
I've thought of that, but won't that just encourage him to do it all the more when he wants attention?
post #6 of 17
Wow Zane is being a bugger isn't he...theres got to be something that works for him. Well hopefully someone can help ya! Again Welcome to the Cat Site!
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katz4Life View Post
Wow Zane is being a bugger isn't he...theres got to be something that works for him. Well hopefully someone can help ya! Again Welcome to the Cat Site!
Thanks. He is usually a very sweet, loving cat, but sometimes. . . . .!
post #8 of 17
Hi and welcome to TCS! We are so glad you have joined us!

If I can help you with any questions you have about the site, please click on my username and send me a message.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
One thing he sometimes does is when I'm in bed he'll jump up and lie down up at the head where his tail is flicking me in the nose.

Often when I'm lieing on my side he'll streach out with his spine aligned to mine.

If I'm asleep, he'll position himself so that if I turn over in my sleep I'll wake up to a face full of cat hair.
post #10 of 17
Hola y bienvenido a TCS, ...Catulina y Milky te saludan!!........
(Translate: Hi and Welcome to TCS, Catulina and Milky say hello to you!!!...)

See you on the forums!
post #11 of 17
Hi, welcome to TCS
So glad you've joined us! We love hearing about each other's kitties.
I see that you have already posted questions in our Behavior thread.
You will receive some useful feedback there.

If you have questions about the site,
please feel free to contact me.
Simply click on my user name and send a private message.
I will get back to you asap.
post #12 of 17
It sounds like Zane is a tempermental older cat. Some kitties like petting only to a certain extent. When they've had enough, they'll either jump away - or bite you. It's their way of telling you to stop. It's nice at first, but then it becomes irritating to them, thus they tell you - no more.

As for the jumping at your legs - this is generally a sign of a moody animal or a frightened animal. I think you should take him to a vet to rule out hearing & sight problems, because, what it could be, is your kitty may be loosing his senses litterally... and when you walk near him, with vibrations, you may be scaring the bejebus out of him because he may not have been prepared.

On top of this, Zane is probably grieving for your father. This could be the cause of his howling. If he were with your father for such a long time, then he must miss him like crazy. Even kitties can grieve. I was a nonbeliever at first, but then my cat Keylah went to a lot of trouble to find me once... and my cat Jessi went into shock/grief when one of my kitties Skittles died.

When the kids are around, if you want to keep Zane from doing anything that could jeopardise his safety, I recommend you put him in a warm, dark, safe place. If need be, get a pet carrier and keep him in there whilst guests are over. He'll probably settle down, and after having a nice little break may be calmer.

Good Luck
post #13 of 17
Hello & welcome to the forum.
post #14 of 17
Welcome to TCS!
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnblueangel View Post
It sounds like Zane is a tempermental older cat. Some kitties like petting only to a certain extent. When they've had enough, they'll either jump away - or bite you. It's their way of telling you to stop. It's nice at first, but then it becomes irritating to them, thus they tell you - no more.
That sounds about right. Except that less than a minute after I push him away after a bite he'll be back asking for more!

Quote:
As for the jumping at your legs - this is generally a sign of a moody animal or a frightened animal. I think you should take him to a vet to rule out hearing & sight problems, because, what it could be, is your kitty may be loosing his senses litterally... and when you walk near him, with vibrations, you may be scaring the bejebus out of him because he may not have been prepared.
The vet's examined him to a fare-thee-well; there's nothing organically wrong.

Quote:
On top of this, Zane is probably grieving for your father.
I thought that at first; but he stopped the yowling for a couple of months and it has just started up again. Also, he used to be not a finnaky (sp.?) eater, but he would eat a bit, then go do something else, then eat a bit, etc.; now he inhales his food. And if his dinner is at all late, he'll let me know it! (I swear, he must have some Siamese blood!)

Quote:
When the kids are around, if you want to keep Zane from doing anything that could jeopardise his safety, I recommend you put him in a warm, dark, safe place. If need be, get a pet carrier and keep him in there whilst guests are over. He'll probably settle down, and after having a nice little break may be calmer.
I have the carrier that I use to take him to the VET, but (probably because he associates it with trips to the VET) he hates it. He yowls continually when put in it, and after more than a few minutes he'll loose control of his bowels.

Quote:
Good Luck
Thanks. I hate to be shooting down your suggestions, but (as you can see), much of what you've suggested I've tried already.

The Prozac is helping, but hasn't eliminated the problem.
post #16 of 17
Hi there we're so happy to get the chance to welcome you and Zane to TCS. I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay with us - we're one great big family and you'll find loads of friends here. If I can help at all while you're finding your way around TCS just click on my username and send me a Personal Message - I'll do what I can to answer your questions

I see that Xocats has already recommended that you post in the behaviour forum, that is a really great idea as some of the more experienced cat behaviour members may have some good advice for you.
post #17 of 17
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