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Sister acting odd after brother comes home from stay at vet?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Today our Calico spent her first day home alone since we got her and her brother over a year ago. They are approximately 2.5 years old.

Her brother is skiddish, doesn't like to be held, and is so feral that we've opted to declaw him due to problems cutting his claws on a regular basis, as well as recent issues recovering him after he escapes outside (both indoor cats).

He was declawed yesterday, the vet kept him overnight.

He is home, and recovering, and very much returning to his normal behavior. I haven't tried to pick him up or anything, but he is enjoying me petting him as always.

Our Calico it is a different story. She was perfectly normal in his absence, a very affectionate cat.

She is now hissing at the sight of her brother, constantly growling and flat out screams when he gets too close to her. I'd expect something like this the initial few minutes or even an hour after he's back, but it's been almost 6 hours now.

Has anyone seen something like this? We're not segregating them, to try and get her over this, but it's the completely opposite of what I'd have expected to happen.

post #2 of 18
Hi and welcome!
I do not approve of the cat being declawed - especially with the possibility of him escaping outside where he now cannot defend himself anymore if anything happens - but that was not the question.

I think it is a normal behavior after a vet visit. My Singa was hissing and growling at Soleil for a complete day after she came back from her spaying appointment. Reason being the smell of the vet.

I kept them separated for a whole day and even the next day Singa would still look at Soleil as if she was a stranger. they are now partners in crime again

I'm sure it will go away soon. Best of luck!
post #3 of 18
Any time a cat has surgery and comes home from the vet, the other cats will react that way cause of the hospital smells.

I am sorry you chose to declaw. There is no reason to do so. You risk your cat having problems with behavior, fear biting, not using the litter pan, etc. And I hope that if your cat exhibits any of these problems you will NOT get rid of him - but take responsibility for what you did and keep him despite any future problems!
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
This was partly our answer TO behavioral problems... I am sure the vet sees plenty of odd cases, but ours was odd enough to be called 'interesting' and he labeled our cat 'semi-feral' despite him living with us for over a year now. It killed me to do it, and I'll be happy when he's finally fully recovered. I know it's not a popular decision, and we have no intention of getting rid of him short of poltergeist-like behavior. (if his head rotates around on it's own, he's outta here)

It's odd, he almost seems more affectionate now, but we'll see how things are once the pain patch is gone and his sister comes around.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
So in theory, all should be ok in a day or two?

Frustrating that there is no way to just fix this, it seems so weird that she's acting this way. I'm afraid it's stressing her out and it'll make her sick or something.
post #6 of 18
I agree that it is probably due to the unfamiliar vet smells on the cat. She should come around in time, especially as he starts to smell like his old self again...I wouldn't worry too much unless it goes on for a really long time or she becomes violent with him.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
She swipes and lunges when they happen upon each other (near common chokepoints in the house... doorways, the kitchen, etc), but you can tell it's more defensive than anything... she's only pursued him after a swipe once to run him out of the area. Otherwise she just kinda broods and stares at him from far away, hissing at his motions and stuff and growling.

He acts like he doesn't care, he's more happy to be home than anything.

Too bad he's gotta go back into the cat carrier of doom in a day or two to have the pain patch removed.
post #8 of 18
Maybe you should take her along to the vet this time if it's not too stressful. Then she smells the same and she won't freak out again
post #9 of 18
How are things now?
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Things are calming down, but they're not what they once were.

He is infinitely more friendly than he used to... you can't tell this is the cat the vet referred to as 'semi-feral'. Even letting my fiancee pet him for a good hour last night while she was watching TV... before he'd only really let me do it. I am not sure if it's because he feels we've rescued him from the evil Vet after he spent 2 days there or what.

Today we had to take him back to get the pain patch taken off and whatnot. Now we finally get to look forward to starting to return to normality or fairly close to it.

Unfortunately it will be a small amount of time before things are COMPLETELY normal, as they both had ear mites. We had this problem when they were initially adopted and were told by our former vet (bad experience led us to leaving them) it was eradicated. I am not sure if this is the previous problem that never went away fully, or a result of moving into a place that had some nasty cats and required carpet to be replaced and walls to be painted before we could move in... it was THAT bad. Anyways, as a result we'll need to give them treatment daily for a little bit, something neither of the, enjoy of course.

Things are better, but not quite back to the status quo yet. Will keep you guys updated, and will post about my kitties in the NKOTB forum later tonight probably


- Stevo
post #11 of 18
I had the same problem after Frantic was treated for bladder crystals. The meds and the the antiseptics made him smell differently. He was no longer recognized as himself. I had to seperate them for a few weeks.

Put some vanilla under their chins to mask the weird smell. Also, rub them down with a towel to transfer smells. Its helps. If you have a baby gate, put that between them sideways so it is blocking most of the door.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
There is a lot less hostility now, but now he is sick. Sneezing, eye is puffy and draining.

This is so frustrating, and $$$ draining. This has happened each of the times we've had to use the cat carrier... stresses him out and he's gotten sick (3x in the last year). The other 2 times up was an upper respritory infection, doubt this time will be different, haven't taken him in for this one yet.

post #13 of 18
I've had good luck with Rescue Remedy, it's a homeopathic flower essence most health food stores carry. Put it on the food or add it to the water dish.

It lets them calm down, and then the brain starts working again. Sheer panic keeps them from realizing they are actually home!

Feeding the cat a low carb diet also helps with stress/immune issues. Grains prompt an inflammatory response in the cat's system, which flares up under stress and overloads their immune system.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
A quick update... sister hasn't hissed in a few days, and is now only cautious/indifferent around him. Still a little ways to go before they're their usually bouncy couple running around the house but progress is progress.

Paws, the declawed 'semi feral' tabby is still recovering from his visit and had become sick. 2 days ago we started giving him Clindacure (think that's what it is called) as that is what he was prescribed last time he was sick.

If the amount of fight in him is any indication, he is getting better by leaps and bounds. It is increasingly difficult to restrain him and administer the medicine. Before we started giving it to him he was hiding/sleeping for almost the entire day, over a 24 hour period I saw him twice, and I am not sure either time he ate anything.

Since we've started giving him Clindacure, he's become sociable again, comes out and sits in front of the window, and to my at my computer, jumps up and sits on my lap like the old Paws we know and love.

We've got another vet appt. scheduled for him being sick, but we've pushed it back since he's improving, and if he continues to do so we'll cancel it and avoid another $100+ ding after the $400+ last week.

We're only kinda bummed that he isn't the super cheery and lovable cat that he was between being declawed and the removal of the pain patch. Feeling little pain/being high or whatever had a dramatic effect on his personality that we miss, we hope that Paws returns to that once he's recovered from this round of being sick.

Thanks all for your assistance, will be sure to keep you updated.

- Stevo
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by x-ta-Z View Post
Maybe you should take her along to the vet this time if it's not too stressful. Then she smells the same and she won't freak out again
That's a good idea.

My cats always display the same behavior whenever I bring any of the others home from the vet - especially after they've been there themselves. Cats remember that "smell", and associate it w/ "that awful Place". She'll re-adjust to him after a few days..

post #16 of 18
I apologize: I just noticed that this is an older thread, and responded before reading the entire thing.

If your cat continues to have a re-occurring URI, I'd have him tested to find out what's causing the re-occurrance. I don't mean to scare you, but it could be something that needs attention: I have 2 cats that had a re-occurring cough/congestion (URI?) and they were both "diagnosed" w/ FIP. They're on interferon now to keep them in remission.

Just an FYI.

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Was always told it can be induced by stressful events, and stressful events always preceeded the occurrences of it (adoption, to vets for shots, to vets for declawing).

Something to definitely be mindful of in the future though.

- Stevo
post #18 of 18
In addition to the hospital smell, sometimes animals react to a familiar being 'damaged' (having parts of its body removed) in strange ways as if they no longer accept them as the same animal. I knew someone who had a dog who had 8 pups, and they kept them all, but they had them all spayed/neutered at a young age. When the pups came home operated on, the mother dog looked at their stitches, sniffed, and I guess noticed they were missing what she considered to be important parts, and refused to have anything to do with them anymore. (I lost touch with these people, don't know if she ever accepted them again) They said she even seemed upset and forlorn because of their surgery.
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