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Lonely Kitty???

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well first off – Hello everybody! I am new here and hoping somebody can give me some advice. Sorry this is so long!

Here goes.

I have two kitties – Libbi (who is an 11 y/o female) and Spooky-Joe (who is a 1 y/o male). Both of them are fixed.

Libbi is very aloof and distrusts every human on the planet that isn’t me, and growls and/or hisses at every cat she’s ever met even way past the introduction period. She spends most of her time hiding in a closet (formerly under a bed at my old house), refuses to play with toys, runs away when you try to pet her, and only comes out to eat at night when everybody is settled in and not moving much. She comes to see me every night at bedtime for a treat and a couple pets (on her terms) but other than that she wants no human interaction whatsoever. We have no idea why she is this way, as I have had her since she was 7 weeks old and she has never been abused or treated like anything but a complete princess. Go figure. However this is not my issue.

Spooky-Joe showed up and adopted me last December. He literally just walked up to me in the front yard one day and jumped in my lap, then snuck into the house behind me (I didn’t coax him in or anything) when I went inside. I found out later that he was an unwanted kitten and left to roam our neighborhood for the first 7 months of his life because nobody else wanted him. From day one he made himself at home and was only curious about outside for a couple weeks. He always met me at the door and followed me around the house and snuggled up at night, etc.

When Spooky showed up, I was living with my parents and their two adult males Romeo (9) and Onyx (5), so when Spooky joined the family Onyx and Spooky bonded almost immediately and spent their days together grooming and playing with and chasing each other and fighting over toys, etc. Every evening they would each go to their respective human for playtime and snuggling and life was happy. Sometimes one of the boys would chase Libbi around because she was so anti-social, but usually if she stayed under the bed as usual they left her alone.

About 3 months ago I moved out of my parents’ house and in with a roommate, bringing Libbi and Spooky with me. Of course as always Libbi wants nothing to do with Spooky, and since then his behavior has consistently gone downhill. At first he was just more clingy towards me and wanted to be with me or playing with me ALL the time I was home. Then it started that when I wasn’t home, he was all over my roommate in the same way. If we were both not home, he was very vocal about how unhappy he was to be left alone once we returned. My roommate works from home, so he is only very rarely left alone at all, and then usually only for a couple hours if that.

Then he started seeking Libbi out and starting fights with her, increasing in frequency from once a week or so to now 2 or 3 times a day. He has always been a very quiet kitty but now he walks around meowing (he used to do this when he was looking for me and couldn’t find me) and will come to me when I call him but looks at me and meows while I am petting him. He still plays with his toys, etc. but only for short periods of time where before he would be amused by one thing for hours. He has not been outside since I got him in December and now over the past couple of weeks he has started darting out the door every time it is opened. He will even wait by the door when he hears your keys and run off into the yard. He doesn’t run away and comes back eventually, but he doesn’t need to be outside at all. (My parents had him front declawed).

His behavior isn’t so much destructive as he just seems less happy. And I definitely don’t want him going outside! And he’s my best buddy and I can’t be having him unhappy. I got some of those Feliway plugins but they haven’t seemed to help. I took him to the vet and they couldn’t find anything physically wrong with him. They suggested he might be lonely since Libbi refuses to be a companion cat to him and he was used to his best friend Onyx. Libbi is not as happy because she can’t venture out of her “room†as much with him coming after her all the time.

So I guess my question is what should I do? My parents offered to take him from me so he could be with Onyx but I would miss him terribly, and he’s so bonded to me we think that would be just as detrimental to him to be without me as it is to be without Onyx. I have had difficulty finding much information on behavior/signs of loneliness in cats so I thought I would post to see if anybody else has had a similar problem and has any suggestions? I am not at all against adopting a new friend for him that is what I need to do to see him happy again. I just don’t want him to be even more miserable if he has to share his human too.


Oh here are pictures of them. Libbi is the black and white one, Spooky is the solid black one.

post #2 of 16
Wow - what very pretty cats you have. Love Spooky (my Spooky was pure white ).

Any thought of getting a 3rd cat - another young male to play with Spooky? Libby's behavior is typical for females - they are more territorial then males and take longer to accept.

Ling is only a year older then Charlie, but she really does not like him. Would your parents want to trade Libby for one of the other cats that Spooky liked playing with?
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
My parents’ cats Romeo and Onyx are very close to each of my parents (Onyx is Dad’s cat, Romeo is Stepmom’s). Onyx was actually originally my cat but then bonded with my Dad so strongly he became his kitty instead. They want nothing to do with Libbi because she doesn’t want anything to do with them. Nobody but me ever even sees her. Its sad but I guess she’s happy that way, after 11 years I’ve just accepted that’s who she is and love her anyway. I am considering getting kitty #3, probably a neutered male of about Spooky’s age. I just figured I’d post here before jumping to that decision to see what a bunch of cat lovers thought.

Thank you for your compliment on them. I happen to think they are pretty awesome!!!
post #4 of 16
In this case, what comes to mind is more the merrier, I would think of getting a third cat to let spooky have some fun with another cat. By the way, great pictures of your cats
post #5 of 16
I agree that the potential solution in this case is to get another young male of around the same age as Spooky, neutered of course! I would go to local shelters and try to match their personalities so that they will be more likely to be friends. It will still take a little while to introduce them, but I bet Spooky will perk right up with a buddy.

They are both lovely, also!
post #6 of 16
I agree. Sounds like he needs a buddy
post #7 of 16
I also agree with getting a buddy for him if you can! We had Enzo for six months and he started to get aggesive towards us. I did some research and decided he needed a friend. It worked wonders! So then we had Enzo and Leya, our female. Then, anther six months later a little gross looking kitten finds me, Stuart. Our male Enzo adored Stuart from day one, but Leya HATED him for a good month, tolerated him after two months, and adjusted to him after three months! It took awhile, but they all get along now! Stuart and Enzo play a lot, and leave Leya alone when she wants.

Good luck!
post #8 of 16
He needs a friend. He sounds like he misses the old arrangement of having you and Onyx. But he is not thrilled about doing without one of you.
I have adopted in twos the last two times for that very reason. My Mary who is 3 is territorial and is the opposite of Libbi. She is affectionate and is very attached to me. She is also relentless and I know if I brought another cat in that was an adult she would fight until she won potentially hurting herself or the other cat. But she loves kittens and so I adopt kittens.
She and the boys(1 1/2 years old) tussle now and then but 10 minutes later she is sleeping or grooming one of them. They accept the hierarchy and have each other to play with.
It cuts down on destructive behavior from boredom too.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well I guess y’all would be interested in an update on my Spooky. I had minor surgery last week so I was at home with him constantly for a couple days and he calmed right down. Everyone called him my nurse-cat because he wouldn’t leave my bed, and had to go check out any visitors before he’d let them near me. But as soon as I went back to work, everything started right back up.

I have found a young lady in my area trying to re-home her male who is the same age as Spooky (new kitty’s name is Sherbie). She had Sherbie checked by the vet yesterday to make sure everything was well, and he will be coming over tomorrow to meet Spooky and I and will be staying for a week while his current mommy is out of town to see how they get along and if they do alright then he will be staying. I know it will take longer than a week for them to really get things sorted out, but hopefully we can tell during that time whether or not they are going to try to kill each other or whatever.

The one main concern I have is that Sherbie is not fixed or declawed. So if there are fights, he will have a definite advantage over Spooky, who is declawed, and I am concerned that he may be more territorial due to not being fixed. Of course he will be neutered and likely declawed if he comes to live with me permanently, so hopefully it won’t be a problem for this trial period.

I will keep everyone posted on the new addition and how everything goes. And of course pictures . Sherbie is a light orange Tabby.
post #10 of 16
well, you'll definitely have to get him fixed... but i wouldn't do the declaw. i have 2 declawed & three clawed cats living together - & the declawed win 'fights' as often as the clawed ones.
also, TCS is an anti-declaw site, so you're likely to get quite a bit of flak about it should you decide to.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well my parents got Libbi declawed when I got her (I was 11) and then last year when I got Spooky he was beating up all the other cats at dad's house and we had some injuries that weren't pretty so the parents decided he had to get it done or he had to go. If Sherbie can be a happy family member without getting it done, I'm not necessarily all about doing it, it just will depend on if there are any problems or not.
post #12 of 16
You can cause far more problems by declawing. Get him neutered asap - that will help with introductions. Just keep the nails trimmed or use the nail caps (Soft Paws) but please do not declaw him.

Some cats will stop using the litter pan or go in other places (like your rugs, clothes, bed). Or the cat may become a fear biter cause he has no defense.

Just cause you have the others done, is no reason to mutilate another cat.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I understand many people have strong feelings about the declawing issue. However I am pretty sure there is a better place on this forum to discuss it and would appreciate if you didn't turn my post about my cat's behavior into another post to flame people who choose to declaw simply because you do not support the practice.

My parents had Libbi declawed when I was 11 and had no say in the matter. Spooky had it done due to the fact that we had several injuries to our other cats during the period that we had him and were attempting to let him keep them as I originally did not want to have it done to him.

I have no problem leaving the new kitty as he is, assuming he can be a good family member with his claws and not injure my other cats. In my (admittedly limited) experience with a clawed cat among those that have already been declawed, it is not a safe situation for the declawed animals. If this is not the case in this situation, we will have nothing further to argue about.
post #14 of 16
GoldenKitty is not flaming you. this is TCS's stance on declawing.

behavior problems post-declaw are extremely common. many declawed cats available for adoption are there because of their behavior issues.
here are some helpful links for alternatives, etc.
Cat Claws: How To Best Take Care of Them
Declaw: More Than Just A Manicure
Declawing and Alternatives
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
First – I was not accusing anybody of flaming, just asking we don’t get started on the whole debate here.

Ok now, a little update.

I told y’all I was bringing a new kitty home on Wednesday to watch for the weekend to see what happened. Well the good news is Spooky’s behavior turned around literally immediately as he became obsessed with sniffing the new kitty under the door. I kept the new kitty (Sherbie) in a spare room set up just for him. Well on the first day there was a lot of hissing and growling but after that no problems. They both took to laying against the door and pawing at each other, etc. So I decided on Friday (since Sherbie had to go home on Monday or stay for good) to press my luck and let the new guy out to run around and see how things went. No fighting, though Spooky did keep finding high places to sit and glare down at Sherbie. By Sunday they were laying in the same vicinity, though still ignoring each other for the most part.

However, Sherbie was been completely miserable with me since he arrived last Wednesday. He started by just walking around my house meowing the most mournful sound you’d ever hear. If I locked him in his room overnight he just cried all night but if I let him run the house or be in my room, he did the same. He showed no interest in playing with me, or my roommate, or my boyfriend (or Spooky) though he would occasionally let me and my boyfriend pet or cuddle him. Usually he just hid behind a chair, under the bed or in a box in the closet, which was nothing like the behavior his owner had described. Most concerning was that he was eating very little. According to his owner his usual intake was 1 can of wet food every morning, and most of 1 cup of dry food which was to be available all day, but for me he wasn’t even eating half of a can of food and didn’t touch his dry much if at all. His owner had brought his food so I know that wasn’t the problem, and also his favorite toys and he had no interest in those either. I called his owner for an update and she decided he must just miss her (she’s had him since he was 7 weeks old) and decided to take him back and find some way to keep him despite that she is moving because she now believes he is too bonded to her to be rehomed. I don’t know if that was too hasty a decision as I had him for less than a week so he wouldn’t even be properly settled in yet, or if that was the right move, but he was surely very happy to see her when she arrived yesterday evening.

I think trying to bring another kitty in right after him leaving might be a little too much stress for Libbi and Spooky so for now I think I am just going to clean out the “new kitty room†and watch Spooky’s behavior to see if he starts up again. If he does, I will start looking again for a match. My roommate does not believe I need to get another cat for Spooky, saying that his clingy behavior is annoying but not really a problem. However, my roommate did not know Spooky before I took him away from his buddy Onyx, and he really is a different cat when he’s like that.

Ok I guess this is really long, so if you made it down here, thanks. I’ll keep y’all posted.

post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by CruiserMaiden View Post
I called his owner for an update and she decided he must just miss her (she’s had him since he was 7 weeks old) and decided to take him back and find some way to keep him despite that she is moving because she now believes he is too bonded to her to be rehomed. I don’t know if that was too hasty a decision as I had him for less than a week so he wouldn’t even be properly settled in yet, or if that was the right move, but he was surely very happy to see her when she arrived yesterday evening.
sounds like he was definitely missing her. he might've gotten better - but if she can keep him, he'll probably be happier.
regarding the decision whether to get another one - i think waiting is perfectly ok. the adoption option is always there if you decided you need a companion later on.
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