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Dozer is Freaking Out

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey all!

Some of the older posters may vaguely remember me. I had found a small kitten in a bull dozer about a year ago.. named him Dozer. Things have been going well. He is now over a year old and thinks he is a little human being or something. Everything was great... until earlier this week.

Some background... my boyfriend and I finally moved out of his family's house. Dozer had lived in the in-law suite with us since he was about 5 months old. So it's safe to say it's pretty much all he remembers. Two days before we moved, I got a new kitten (Clyde Frog). He is about two months old. At first Dozer (and Rosa.. our other cat) didn't like Clyde. But Dozer took it a lot differently than Rosa did. Dozer wouldn't let me touch him. He growled when I got close. So I let him be. Clyde has been with us for about 5 days and he and Dozer have bonded but Dozer is STILL being weird around me.

When he first sees me he runs away.. then has to "get used to" me being around before he will let me pet him. He doesn't like to be cuddled or anything. I know he is still getting used to the new house but he actually attacked me the other day. I was walking behind him to slowly shoo him out of my bedroom and he flipped around and attacked my leg. Very quickly. It didn't hurt.. just startled me and I said "What the heck was that?" and he just stared at me for a couple of minutes until I was able to slowly coax him out the door.

And, the reason why I am really writing, is that just a few minutes ago when I was cutting his nails (something that he never liked but he, of course, would completely tolerate me doing) he majorly attacked me. Punctured the lower part of my hand deeply and scratched both of my hands and arms repeatedly until I bled.

He's like my baby and it's making me sad that he is this way... but I don't want him to suddenly think that he can start attacking my boyfriend and I when he doesn't like things that are going on. I don't want him to think he can get away with it.

Any ideas? Sorry this is so long but I am worried. Don't want to get rid of him but I definitely don't want him flipping out on us like this. I understand he is totally confused by the situation and the new kitty and all.. but... jebus! My hands and arms are covered in band-aids now!

:*( What happened to my baby!
post #2 of 8
I really hate to say this, but from a cat's viewpoint, you almost are a stranger now... His world (your old house) changed at the same time you decided to get a new cat, and being the territorial creature a cat is, not only has he been displaced (lost?) but his (cat) family is different, and who else can he blame but you? I don't want to make you feel guilty, but things could have been handled a little better regarding the new cat, if not the move. In any case, you may also (now) smell like the new cat a lot, and it scares him, even if he seems to get along with the cat himself, you are someone else in a way, and one more than he needs of the new one. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a good idea to not only try Feliway, but as I'm not sure how effective it really is, to also try something like Prozac temporarily, to cool him off. BTW, have you also recently changed ... shampoo or something like it, because maybe that's all that's going on.
post #3 of 8
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
BTW, have you also recently changed ... shampoo or something like it, because maybe that's all that's going on.
or washing powder/liquid, fabric softener, etc.
also, has he had a vet check? maybe he's sick in some way?
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I won't go into major personal details or anything (it's boring stuff anyway) but unfortunately the move and new kitten had to happen at the same time. I knew there were going to be some conflicts but there was no other way. :\\ Explaining the situation would require me to write a book about it.

We haven't been in the new house long enough to have washed anything yet. But all of the furniture is also not moved in. He seems to get better as each old piece of furniture makes it's way into the house. Also I put all of our old sheets on top of the kitchen table (temporarily) and that is where he is spending most of his time.. which makes perfect sense.. so I am going to leave it there until we are all settled.

I also finally moved my other cat, Rosa, into the house last night (after Dozer flipped out on me) and I think the fact that she was not there was also making him uneasy. I chose to leave her at the other house for a couple of days because Dozer has a tendency to pounce on her and she hates it so I thought I would give her a break from him AND the new kitten (who both love to rough-house). I think she enjoyed her alone time but Dozer was upset. Hopefully the smell of her being in the house again will make him feel better.

Anyway, thank you for replying and giving me the advice. If he still acts strangely after we have settled in then I will bring him to the vet.
post #5 of 8
I think it was just way too much happeneng way to fast for him to process all at once. You say he is showing signs of settling down as things are being brought back in, thats good. Honestly it sounds like he is just pi$$ed off, and really who can blame him, moving is stressful enough on us humans and we know what the heck is going on! As long as he keeps showing signs of calming down I wouldn't worry too much about it, he will love you again.
post #6 of 8
If you can, give him a "safe place" where he can feel at home and relax. Respect this place, don't ever take him out of it (though if you can entice him out of it, he's fair game.) If you absolutely must pull him out of it, make sure that you later re-establish that it's a safe place (like, if you go to pick him up and he goes there, you stop trying to get him because now he's "on base.")

When we moved out of our old house, the new owners were planning on replacing the carpet, so we actually cut pieces of the carpet out of the old house from the places where the cats liked to lay. We also had some carpet samples that we used as shoe mats at the old house that the cats liked to lay on, and those came, too.

When we got to the new house, we put the cut carpet pieces in quiet areas in the rooms that most closely approximated the room they'd come from. The carpet samples went near the new doors, outside the traffic paths (like under an end table near a door.)

Each of our cats was able to take up a place while they dealt with being in the new house. The cats were still spooky and excitable around us and each other for a while, but things went well even with the change of our outdoor cat becoming an indoor cat for a while. Yuri was the slowest of our cats to take to the new house (he and our outdoor cat never got along with each other.) He practically lived on his carpet piece under our bed for about a month until he decided he wanted to be out where the family was more, but he'd still retreat to his piece of carpet regularly for six months. We were able to get rid of his piece of carpet after about a year, but only because his carpet sample that sat under a keyboard near the patio door became his new safe spot, where he retreated whenever he got wound up for the rest of his life.

Not everyone can cut pieces of carpet when they move, but a rug, favorite blanket, or something of that sort can work as well. When the cat has a safe spot that they can retreat to, my experience is that they adapt a lot quicker.

Good luck! I hope Dozer keeps doing better!

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the advice, everyone. Dozer has gotten a little bit better. He got up on my computer chair and I sat down on it in front of him and he was fine. Even went to sleep until the kitten started bugging him.

But then he attacked Rosa. And not in a bugging way. I heard her scream and when I ran out of the room there were chunks of hair on the floor and hair sticking out of Dozer's mouth. Rosa has always let him push her around (even though she is MUCH bigger and I let her keep her claws while I clip his) but he'd never gone nuts on her like he did. I always keep them separated when I'm not home anyway cuz I don't want him messing with her but I was really shocked by this recent behavior and I think Rosa was too. She refused to come out of the safe room I had set up for her after that, even though I kept a watchful eye.

So... I guess it'll just be a while. It's so frustrating because I wish I could just explain the situation to him. Heh. But I suppose that's life. He's getting along fine with Clyde, though. So that takes a little bit of stress out of the situation.

Rosa will stay in the safe room (she seems fairly happy in there anyway) when we aren't home and hopefully Dozer will stop being such a jerk eventually.

Thanks ^_^

(EDIT: I should mention that Rosa sheds like a crazy person so the fact that there was hair all over when he jumped her isn't really shocking. I was upset when I saw the hair but.. when you pet her you get hair all over your hand anyway. Still, I will keep Rosa where she seems happiest.. which is probably as far away from Dozer as possible for the moment.)
post #8 of 8
well, i'd try explaining the situation to him. i'm always surprised by how much they seem to understand...
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