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Crazy Attack Kitten... sad older cat. Please help.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK - I apologize for this long post, but I have been having issues with my new kitten, so I'm providing full details in order for you all to give me the best advice, which I will truly appreciate. It's been almost two months since I got my kitten who is now about 7 months old. He was a stray and is still a bit of a biter. He's very bold, not afraid of anything, loves water, the vacuum etc. He is neutered.

I have had another sweet, yet independant cat, Marley a 6 year female for 1 & 1/2 years now. She loved my previous cat (a nutered male -very affectionate). She would chase him and play fight but didn't hurt him. I did their introduction properly - slowly, seperate rooms for three or four days etc.

I went through a horrible experience with my previous cat Pokey, who I loved with all of my heart. I found a pea sized lump on his side, which we immediately had removed with surgery. It was lymphoma cancer. We had another surgery to try and remove it all but the day prior to the second surgery I found another little pimple that I also had removed. The second surgery cleaned the margins around the first lump but the second little pimple area had cancer in the deep muscle tissue. Numerous tests showed that the cancer didn't spread, so they recommended the 16 week chemo process as his best chance of containment and a few more years of life. When Pokey was four, I decided to stop giving him vaccines because he would be limp and sick for three days, so naturally I was very scared to put him through chemo. Knowing this, the oncologist insisted that chemo was still the way to go and assured me that his severe reactions to vaccines would not in any way be related to the way he would react to chemo. I would do anything to save my little guy so took him for his first treatment. Two days later, he went into cardiac arrest as his heart became enlarged heart with fluid around it. I took him to a cardiologist who saved him, put him on meds, but after I brought him home he went into kidney failure and died three days later.

After a few months, I got a 5 month old kitten. Although I knew better, I let my fiancee introduce the kitten to Marley on the first day I brought him home. Upon seeing each other the kitten immediately attacked Marley. I kept him, his food and water and litter box in a seperate room the rest of the night and the next day, but have since then let the two cats have free run of the house, hoping that they would get used to each other with time.

It's now almost two months later and the kitten still constantly attacks Marley. He could either be playing, trying to establish dominance or trying to mate. He bites her neck and will often have her fur in his mouth. She hisses and usually lays on her back to either fight or submit. When he's on top of her biting, I will either squirt him with a squirt gun (when it's around) or I'll remove him from her (yes, I get redirected aggression, but would rather get bit them let him hurt her). I put him in time out. He calms down quickly, come out purring but once he sees her again, he's right back at it! I now moved their food dishes next to each other to let them associate happy feeding time with each other, but their litter boxes are still in seperate rooms.

Marley just drives him absolutely crazy. She's a big furball and he just can't control himself around her which makes me think it could have something to do with her possibly not being spayed? She was a stray and her previous owners said in the 3 years they had her, she might have been in heat just once since they saw blood in the bathtub. In the 1.5 yrs I owned her she never displayed any heat like behaivors, but once I did see a little blob of goo on the floor near where she was sitting. The vet said the only way to tell since she never displayed behaivorial signs would be to check with surgery.

Because of what I went through with vets and Pokey, I'm so afraid of taking Marley in to check/spay (if she isn't already). I have had three friends pets die when they had the surgery to get them fixed. She's already 6 years old (I think). Is that too old for the surgery? Plus I hear they will be even less affectionate then before after getting fixed and she's already so independent.

With that option out, what can I do to get him to stop attacking her? I have feliway plug in's around the house. He is not affected by catnip. He's not afraid of loud noises, change in a can, water etc. When I see him going to attack, I yell "no" at him. Half the time it works as he's learning what no means, but the other half of the time he just gets too fired up to listen.

Do I have to do the introductions again or is it too late? Do they need to constantly be seperated while I am not home? I am going to try the vanilla extract applications today. I feel bad for her but I love the kitten and getting rid of him is not an option. Any advice would be appreciated.
post #2 of 10
I will pm you
post #3 of 10
Here's my take on it.
Marley needs to be spayed. She may be in heat, which the male senses even though you aren't aware of it. I'm sorry you've had such bad experiences, but it isn't always that way. I've had 9 dogs and 4 cats who were spayed or neutered without problems. Ben, our Golden Retriever, has even had 2 emergency surgeries for obstructions (once an "eater," always an eater). The last surgery was at age 8 - and remember that the bigger the animal, the shorter the normal lifespan, so he was fairly old.

Some may recommend a re-introduction, but I'm not sure it will matter at this point unless you get her fixed.

I would not leave them together unless you are there to referee. Even though I'm home for the summer, my cats and dogs sleep all day. Even at night, I would either separate them or close them up in your bedroom with you (assuming you will wake up if there is a problem). When we introduced the kittens to the dogs, and the kittens to the cats and dogs, we watched them closely for the first three months before I felt comfortable leaving them loose together.
post #4 of 10
seems to me they should be able to check for a spay scar just by shaving her belly... i'd only expect a surgery if she didn't have a scar. some cats can have 'silent heats', too, so even if she's intact, you might not notice anything. but an unspayed cat can develop other, life-threatening problems, so i'd get a 2nd opinion on how to tell... maybe an ultrasound or x-ray?
has your boy been neutered? cause if he hasn't, & Marley is also intact, you'll have kittens soon
i think a re-introduction type thing couldn't hurt, altho i wouldn't do the full out one. also, putting vanilla at the base of their tails can help - altho i'd think they had similar scents by now.
maybe a feliway diffuser or 2? plus some bach's rescue remedy in their water?

post #5 of 10
Could he just be displaying Kitten Krazies?? I have little experience with kittens but I know many in these forums who say that a kitten can drive an older cat nuts cuz the kitten wants to play and the older cat may not.

I hesitate to suggest it because you might be afraid of making the problem worst but can you get a second kitten? A male about the same age or a bit younger (so he'll accept your current kitten as dominate).
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I hesitate to suggest it because you might be afraid of making the problem worst but can you get a second kitten? A male about the same age or a bit younger (so he'll accept your current kitten as dominate).
this worked well for me... i had 2 adults [7 years] when i 'acquired' Cable [she was found in the road in front of the school where i teach]. she drove my adults insane! but about 3 months after i got her, Mouse died... & i was really glad i had her, since Pixel & Mouse had never been apart [littermates]. but even tho Cable would snuggle/groom w/Pixel, her energy level was still a bit high for Pixel. then, about 4 months after Mouse left us i found Java in the parking lot at my school. she was about 6 months younger than Cable - had plenty of energy for playing, & that really seemed to relieve things a lot.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
The kitten is neutered so I don't have to worry about litters if Marley is not fixed. I do have feliways already in the house. I would love to get another cat but unfortunately, my fiancee is allergic to them so I am at my capacity with two. Because he's a wonderful man and he saw how devistated I was when Pokey died, he allowed me to get another cat as Marley is very independent and didn't fill the huge hole left in my heart after Pokey was gone. I am going to try the vanilla extract and hope it helps. During the day, I will just have to keep them in seperate rooms and maybe he'll learn that if he's a good boy and doesn't attack her, he'll gain permission to roam the entire house once again during the day.
post #8 of 10
I had a similar situation with a new kitten and an adult cat.

I had to get another kitten to give the new kitten a playmate. It is a tough situation.

You will have to keep them separated unless you are home. Whe they are out together try engaging them both with a toy they can both chase. Maybe a laser? or a tail.

Love and praise them both in front of each other. when it looks like a fight is ready to break out, speak calmly, be nice, or good boys, or whatever love talk you use with them. If one walks away tell him how good he is.

It seems to me you should be able to tell your female is neutered without cutting her open. that is hogwash.

If she is not neutered, that is a definite problem. She will not want to be around a new male.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellem View Post
She was a stray and her previous owners said in the 3 years they had her, she might have been in heat just once since they saw blood in the bathtub
Everything that I have read stated that cats do not bleed while in heat. And if they do, it is such a miniscule amount that it is barely detectable. And the fact that there was blood in the bathtub would lead me to guess that it occurred while Marley was eliminating, not because of her heat cycle. The bathtub is a common place for a cat to go during an episode of litterbox avoidance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michellem View Post
The vet said the only way to tell since she never displayed behaivorial signs would be to check with surgery.
As others have already mentioned, there is a good chance that her spay scar would be detectable once that area is shaved. True, surgery would be a more conclusive approach but wouldn't it be better to take the less invasive approach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michellem View Post
Because of what I went through with vets and Pokey, I'm so afraid of taking Marley in to check/spay (if she isn't already). I have had three friends pets die when they had the surgery to get them fixed. She's already 6 years old (I think). Is that too old for the surgery? Plus I hear they will be even less affectionate then before after getting fixed and she's already so independent.
I was saddened to read about Pokey's cancer, and I can appreciate how that unfortunate experience (as well as those of your friends' pets) would color your feelings about surgeries. But keep in mind that a spay is a routine surgery and statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that Marley would suffer any ill effects from the procedure. The anaesthesia may be another story, but the vet can test Marley beforehand to ensure that no complications should result.

It is almost never too late for a cat to be spayed or neutered. Generally speaking, the earlier in a cat's life that it is done, the better, but Marley hopefully hasn't even lived out half her life yet. So I certainly wouldn't say that she's "too old".

And many people report that their cat becomes more affectionate after the surgery, not less. Now, maybe that's more likely to be true in the case of a kitten rather than an adult, but in any event I really doubt that you would see a negative personality change. But of course you know your cat better than anyone else.

I do think that having her spayed would very likely lead to an improvement in her relationship with your kitten.
post #10 of 10
I had a cat, stray grey kitty we called HER. Took her to the vet , he laughed at me. It was a neutered male. Joke was on me!
K.
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