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I need cat family therapy. Help?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I will love you guys forever for any help you can provide.

I have three issues dealing with the wacky sociological balance of my 4.5 cat family.

The cast of characters - Everyone is altered.
Hobbie, a 7 year old female who, at best, dislikes cats.
George, a 5 year old male who frolics like a box of caffeinated kittens.
Meepy, a 5 year old female that doesn't really care.
Diesel, a 7 year old runty male who just wants to eat, cuddle, and be left alone.
Scooter Libby, a (old?) male who I'm transitioning from neighbor's outdoor cat to my indoor/outdoor cat, and hopefully soon, my indoor cat.

Issue number one: Hobbie is afraid of the other cats and hisses at them. She doesn't try to hurt them, she just runs away screeching and hissing. I've tried all manner of love, feeding, cuddles.. Nothing gets her to relax around the others. I haven't tried Feliway, and I know you're going to recommend that, so it's on my official Payday Shopping List. What else have you got?

Issue number two: George is like a kid with a broken wagon ever since my dad passed away a month ago. He follows me around like I'm a turkey breast and WILL. NOT. LET. ME. SLEEP. Stands on my head, dances on my ribs, meows in my eye, bites on my glasses (while I'm wearing them!), licks my ears.. I like giving him cuddles, 'cause I miss my dad too - Hugging his cat kinda helps, ya know? But seriously. Nobody licks my ears while I sleep. I'd prefer not to keep the cats out of my room at night 'cause I don't want Meepy and Diesel to be put out of their sanctuary. If I lock them in, Diesel will litterbox in random corners. Suggestions?

Issue number three: Scooter Libby. I have no idea how to introduce him to the rest of the cats. They have free reign over the house, and we really don't have a room of sufficient size to sequester him in that we're not in and out of all day. He's got access to the garage and outside right now while I monitor his litterbox skills and wait for a vet appointment. Should I plop him in a carrier in the middle of the kitchen and let the rest of the family sniff him for a while? Would that be too traumatic for him, even if it's a pretty decent way for them to get used to him?

Again, I really appreciate any insight y'all can offer.
post #2 of 10
First, I love how you've described your kitties

Second, one suggestion is to get Feliway plug-ins, they plug into your outlets kinda liek air fresheners and they release cat phermones which are supposed to calm kitties down, that may help with Scooter Libby's intro as well as Hobbie's ,er, issues
post #3 of 10
Issue 1, I have the same thing going on with my girl Cinnie, she is 10 1/2 years old. She and her Brother, Mo are the first ones that came into the house. I have added 7 others and she really doesn't feel comfortable around any of them, especially the girls, she growls and hisses at them and pretty much stays in my bedroom by herself, so I let her.

Issue 2, Thats a little more difficult, unless you get a little litterbox for your room, thats what I had to do with Cinnie.

Issue 3, I've found that most of the time if you just let them walk in and walk around they work things out by themselves. In the beginning there is a little fuss, some growls, some spits and hisses, but they do find their own place in the pecking order.

This all works for me, maybe someone will have more suggestions. Good luck.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswient View Post
Issue 3, I've found that most of the time if you just let them walk in and walk around they work things out by themselves. In the beginning there is a little fuss, some growls, some spits and hisses, but they do find their own place in the pecking order.

This all works for me, maybe someone will have more suggestions. Good luck.
Everything I've read leads to processes, and give Cat A three treats while Cat B gets four treats so they love each other blah blah blah. We just kind of went "Here, I brought you a cat" before, but I can't gauge that as a success, 'cause Hobbie hates everyone.

Scooter Libby just followed my roomie into the house. He hissed. George hissed. I ran to my bedroom and had a panic attack, calling my roomie an awful person for throwing the cats together like that. The cats are fine now. Your advice worked!
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foofy Cat Lady View Post
I ran to my bedroom and had a panic attack, calling my roomie an awful person for throwing the cats together like that.
Animals pick up on our emotions. If you allow yourself to get upset or agitated, you will feed negative energy to the animal. Your throwing a fit probably didn't help the situation.
post #6 of 10
Please, please, please don't try to introduce your house kitties directly to Scooter Libby till you have a clean bill of health from your vet! You are an for taking him in, but don't take any chances introducing an outdoor kitty to indoor kitties. Till you can have a thorough vet check, I would keep giving him comfort, food, water, and litter training in your garage the best you can. Bringing back and forth items with each others scent is good for now, and once you do have clean bill of health, take it slowly. Introducing an outdoor/stray from the area can often become a stressful introduction for the indoor kitties.
post #7 of 10
One thing that hasnt been mentioned here for Hobbie (and is a little extreme, possibly) is the fact that antidepressents could help her a bit. My oldest girl, Tigger, doesn't really like the other cats, but she is more, "get near me and I claw your eyes out" so we don't have many issues. Everyone understands that.

It sounds like poor George needs a friend. Any possibility that Scooter could fill that need? I know Smudge really liked it when we added Clyde for him to rough-house with.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
Please, please, please don't try to introduce your house kitties directly to Scooter Libby till you have a clean bill of health from your vet!
He's been vetted by the neighbor, so I'm not -too- too concerned regarding his bill of health. I've got an appointment for him myself with my vet for the whole kaboodle of poking and prodding, but he's up to date on shots, has no fleas, and has no chronic problems. They haven't interacted much, aside from some bootysniffing, and the REAL introduction is coming after vet time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kluchetta View Post
It sounds like poor George needs a friend. Any possibility that Scooter could fill that need? I know Smudge really liked it when we added Clyde for him to rough-house with.
I think Scooter Libby might be too much of a grumpy old man to frolic with George, but I'm hoping this'll bring out his inner kitten.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Animals pick up on our emotions. If you allow yourself to get upset or agitated, you will feed negative energy to the animal. Your throwing a fit probably didn't help the situation.
It probably didn't, but I didn't have much of an option there - I couldn't exactly say, "Hey Scooter, can you sneak back in again later in fifteen minutes while I pop an Ativan and take some deep breaths?" What's done is done, and I'm going to try to control my little interloper as much as I can.

[quote=kluchetta;2513878]One thing that hasnt been mentioned here for Hobbie (and is a little extreme, possibly) is the fact that antidepressents could help her a bit. [quote]

That's definitely worth looking in to - I hadn't even thought about it. I'll get the vet's opinion when I'm up there with Scooter Libby.

Thanks for everything
post #9 of 10
That's great you know hes had all his shots and is flea free! I would continue taking things very slowly. If you do talk to your vet about medication, I don't think anti depressants would be the best option. They often have side effects and only provide a temporary result. An anti anxiety medication, such as buspirone, which is non addictive could have better results.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foofy Cat Lady View Post
It probably didn't, but I didn't have much of an option there - I couldn't exactly say, "Hey Scooter, can you sneak back in again later in fifteen minutes while I pop an Ativan and take some deep breaths?" What's done is done, and I'm going to try to control my little interloper as much as I can.


That is too funny! I like your sense of humor! Unfortunately, I don't have any experience in getting everyone to act like happy campers. But it does sound like George is mourning/missing your dad.
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