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Does Not Play Well With Others

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have a household of 2 dogs and five cats (all neutered/spayed.) I have one 3-year old cat who is lovely and sweet except...

Maggie has developed the worst case of fear aggression towards the other animals. Her fears are so bad she has resigned herself to live in a tree in the woods on the outskirts of my field. When I do see/find her, she is thrilled to see me. She will let me pick her up and even carry her through the field. Within view of the house however, she becomes crazy! Once inside the house, she lives under my bed in a constant state of fear. I have to keep a litter box in my bathtub for her.

I know that her problems were in part caused by my adding 2 dogs and 2 cats to the household through rescue/adoption. However, the two cats (one a litter mate) she was raised with and were once beloved to her are now her considered enemies. The animal gang is so intrigued by her appearance in the household they can not leave her alone. They intend no harm towards her but they frighten her beyond belief. The rest of my pets love each other and get along great. There is lots of running, jumping, chasing, cooing, grooming and general fun going on. Dogs groom cats, cats sleep with dogs...it's a wonderfully blended menagerie that continues to amaze even our vet.

Maggie hisses and growls at anything that moves. When she comes out of the bedroom to the kitchen she immediately jumps on the counter where she is fed. She is so fearful of the other cats that she will not leave the counter without human intervention. There are times I awoke in the morning to find she "soiled" the counter top because she ventured out there then was too afraid to get down.

She is loving and sweet with us humans. We would very much like to keep her, but are considering adopting her out to a one-pet household or placing her in a no-kill shelter. I can not in good conscience allow Maggie to continue to live outdoors at her whim. We are so flustered and dismayed at how this wonderful cat is so frightened that she chooses to deprive her self of a warm home and regular feeding.

I do not know what else to do thus I consider this post a last ditch effort. Our vets can offer no insights into correcting this behavior. I fear she is too far gone to help, but do not wish to give up on her.

I need serious advice. How do I help her overcome her fear of my busy animal household?
post #2 of 4
You could try Feliway air diffusers throught the house. Some people have found them effective at calming a fearful cat. Others have found them ineffective.

You could islolate her in room by herself for a week or so until she calms down and then *slowly*, over the course of weeks, introduce her to each of the other animals.

You could ask your vet about prescribing Prozac for her. Some people have found that while on the Prozac a fearful cat can learn to not be afraid and can be taken off it after a time (months).

Good luck!
post #3 of 4
I have pretty much the same problem, Cinnie is 10 1/2 years old I've had her since she was 3 1/2 months from a shelter along with her brother and littermate Mo. I also added to the mix no dogs but 7 other cats. She is very fearful of the females one in particular who is always chasing her when she see's her. They see Cinnie is afraid and so they like to tease her. She stays in my bedroom, she never ventures out. By her own choosing shes a bedroom cat. I also have to feed her in the bedroom, litterbox in the bathroom. I guess she seems happy enough when left alone, she can look out the window, she is strictly an indoor cat. Its not the best of circumstances but We get along this way. I put a Feliway Difuser in the bedroom. I don't know if I'm being fair to her either. I'm not an advocate of medicating any animal but maybe there is something very mild that the Vet could prescribe. I wish I could be of more help to you. Someone will be along that could offer you better advice.
post #4 of 4
Have you taken Maggie to the vet to make sure that there isn't a health issue causing her behavior?
I think she's become so fearful of either the dogs or the 2 newbies that shes showing aggression towards cats she knows. Also, if she's hiding from them outside and is forced back into the situation she may be showing her relunctance to be back in that situation by attacking.
You may need to speak with your vet about prescribing a medication while you try to figure out where her stress trigger is coming from so that you can try to solve the problem. Calming her anxieties and nerves will aid in that.
Good luck and I hope you come up with a solution that works for everyone involved.
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