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Can someone help me?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I am new. I hope someone out there has either experienced my issue or can shed some light to what they "think" is the issue.

I have a 5yr. old male, neutered cat. I recently adopted a 10mon old neutered, all black cat for his company. Needless to say within a couple HOURS they were both weel received of eachother. They groom eachother, play together, chase, fight, sleep, share the litter box, eat out of the same dish, etc. This has been now a good 4months of total bliss for the 2. My older cat (Fazool) is very laid back. My younger "T" is very energetic, fun, extremely playful. Loves to instigate, stalk. He loves balls, anything that moves. Fazool loves this too.. he is more laid back but loves to play with "T" as well.

Anyway, last Saturday I left the 2 in the back yard..they love to play in the sun..roll around on the porch, chase bugs, run at squirrels, etc.

I have a fenced in yard and they always stay put. This time I left them for a couple hours with the door cracked so they could go in if they needed too. I came back later to find Fazool in the dining room...with this intent look on his face. He kept sniffing the air. I realized that under the table was T in a tight ball. When I moved the chairs, T hissed, growled, howled and took off. Fazool in an instinctive defense chased him. This time it was NOT play. For some unknown reason T now has completely changed. He acts like he doesn't know Fazool. Now it is 2 days later and still if Fazool enters the room he spazzes. Fazool is very non-aggressive. They both don't have claws so can't hurt eachother.

I need to reiterate that they loved eachother for 4months straight. Even the first introduction 4mons ago took only a few hours before they both accepted eachother. Why is "T" so terrified now? Why after 2 days does he not chill out?

Something traumatic happened. Maybe another stray cat came on our property and in panic he attacked "T". Maybe even Fazool in the cahos confused the smell of the other cat and pounced or chased "T" as well. Is it possible that "T" now thinks that Fazool is the evil one still?

Thing is whatever happened its over with now. Why can't "T" recognize his old buddy? Fazool is even tired of his antics. He is trying to just be normal but Fazool can't help but get upset when he walks into the room an "T" starts growling, snarling and spitting at him??????

Problem is now I can't keep the black one in the house. I refuse to have multiple litter boxes in my already small house. But "T" will not move when he sees Fazool and I'm afraid he will pee or something in the house. He already had an accident yesterday when he spazzed and tried to run..he urinated on the couch.

Has anyone experienced once loving buddies ..having one or both turning into Church from Pet Cemetary??????
post #2 of 19
Please take T to the vet. It sounds like T was injured, perhaps by a stray cat or a spider bite, or something else. The behavior you are describing is what we see in an injured/sick cat.

Also, when a cat is ill, their once friendly fellow cat may attack because the sick cat's scent has changed. Because the cat smells different he is viewed as a strange cat by the other.

Regarding the litter box. Just until the trauma has resolved, I think it would be worthwhile to add a second litter box. Think of it this way....it is easier to clean and then later remove a litter box than it is to clean and then have to remove a soiled rug.

Once T returns from the vet, please let us know how he is.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I know my vet and he will do nothing he can't physically see as a problem. T has no injuries I can see. When Fazool leaves the room and he no longer feels threatened he lightens up and plays like usual. THAT is why I don't think this is anything more than mental. The issue is T is showing no signs of even remotely accepting FAzool.

In the beginning it was Fazool who needed to accept T as T was happy go lucky when I brought him home. Being younger and inexperienced he never was agressive with FAzool. But Fazool's curiosity got the best of him and he was friends in less than a day.

So now it's turned. If T doesn't accept Fazool he will no longer be able to share the same house. I will keep them apart but that is hard since I have a child and work. They bonded so quickly before.

I found an article (after much searching) that is what I believe happened. Something...a cat, animal or who knows happened when I was gone and FAzool in a panic and cahos misdirected his aggression with T...T probably was the one attacked as he is very "naive" in the back yard. He sees a squirrel and immediately runs after it while if Fazool sees a squirrel he will patiently wait for the right moment...before attacking. So my feeling is what ever wandered into our backyard uninvited..."T" was cold prey as I know my FAzool and he would have laid low until he could figure out what to do. T tends to run in the middle of the yard so I can see a big ole tom cat attacking him w/out T even knowing what hit him.

Now unfortunately I feel T thinks Fazool is after him. It's jut getting him to relax before ruining my house and my last nerve (and Fazool's)..ha!

Here is the article:

Re-Directed Aggression Towards Other Cats
It can happen in only a moment. Feline companions who have been buddies for years can suddenly view each other as "the enemy" and serious fighting can follow. An excellent explanation for this strange behavior can be found in the booklet "Aggressive Behavior Between Cats" published by the Quaker Pet Care Center.

When two cats in the household who have gotten along well together suddenly become aggressive toward each other, the problem is generally fear-induced aggression. Neither of the cats seeks the other out, but if they run into each other, both will act startled and attack. Usually this problem begins "by mistake" or by accident. For example, Cat A may be sitting in a window as an outside cat walks by. Cat B sees the outside cat and rushes toward the window to attack it. Unfortunately, Cat A happens to be in the way and sees Cat B aggressively charging toward it. Cat A puffs up and hisses. Cat B redirects its attention to Cat A and puffs up and hisses. Then the cats attack each other. Each acts as if the other started the fight.

Occasionally, two friendly cats may be resting when a frightening incident occurs, such as a bookshelf falling over. Both cats become startled, puff up, and assume defensive postures. When they see each other in a defensive posture, they act as if the other is about to attack. Consequently, each reacts defensively, a fight ensues, and thereafter they are aggressive whenever they see each other.

In order to successfully treat this type of aggression, the cats must be separated and carefully reintroduced to each other. They must become accustomed to each other again without either cat becoming afraid or aggressive. The method for reintroducing cats is the same as the protocol for introducing a new cat into the household. Remember, don't try to handle the cats if they are aroused or agitated or you will be the victim of redirected aggression. If necessary, throw a thick towel over one of the cats so that you can safely take it to another room.

Keep the cats in separate rooms for a few days. Then exchange rooms so that they can reacquaint themselves with each other's scent. The door should be kept closed so that there is no interaction between the cats at this time.
After a few days of room rotation, let the cats see each other, but not have contact with each other. This can be accomplished by securely wedging or hooking the door so the cats can peek through the crack but can't fit through the opening. Feed the cats something especially delicious on opposite sides of the door. You can also tie two small toys together with a string and slide it under the door so that when one cat bats at the toy, the toy on the other side of the door moves. The goal is for each cat to associate good food and good times with the presence of the other cat.
Praise the cats when they are near each other. It never helps to scold the aggressor. If either cat becomes extremely hostile or frightened, close the door and try again later.
When the cats are relaxed with the sight of one another, then it is time to open the door. Let them be together for only a few minutes at first, gradually increasing the time each day.
This process can take a few days or a few weeks depending on the personalities of the cats and the severity of their aggressive encounter. If you are patient and systematic about the reintroduction process, you will be rewarded with two cats that are, once again, purrfectly compatible.
post #4 of 19
Originally posted by Sydney0503
Unfortunately I know my vet and he will do nothing he can't physically see as a problem.
Wow! It sounds like you need a new vet! Often a wound or bite is not real easy to see and many illnesses require a lot of investigative work to find the cause, so it dismays me that your vet only thinks it is real if he can physically see a problem.

The article you quote is a good one. Misdirected aggression can certainly cause problems like you are describing. I hope you try the separation and reintroduction ... it is often very helpful in helping old buddies become friends again. You also might think twice about letting them both outside at the same time (or at all) in the future.

I don't know where you live, but if you're in the USA you can go to a pet supply store and buy a Feliway Comfort Zone diffuser. This puts out a pheremone scent that is very similar to the friendly cheek-marking of cats. Lots of folks here at The Cat Site have found that this has a tremendous calming effect on cats.

Good luck!
post #5 of 19
I have to ask why would you let two declawed cats outside in the first place? If a stray did come into the yard and attacked T there was no way T could really defend himself without biting which means close contact would be needed. Please keep these cats inside where they can stay safe, and take T to a vet immediately.

His posturing tells me he has been wounded, and cat bites are hard to find even when you know there is one. The fur needs to be clipped around the area to keep out the bacteria and the cat needs to be on antibiotics to stave off infection.

If he is mellow with you, you can try and find the wound in the following way. While he is lying down, go over to him and sit down. Take your hand and without touching him pass your hand slowly above his fur, do not touch him (I know I am repeating myself). The areas normal for cat bites are under the legs, on the back or the sides or on the tail. Pass your hand over the cat slowly, what you are looking for is heat rising up (signifying infection) find the heat source then stop, and gently lower your hand- does the heat intensify, if so, mark the spot mentally and get T to the vet immediately. Show the vet where the wound is, or take T to another vet who is more sympathetic to cats.
post #6 of 19
I'm glad Hissy wrote. It reminded me of a time when my cat was attacked by a coyote. After the attack, she was very friendly to me, but cowered whenever one of the other cats came around. She has lots of fur, so the bite wounds were not at all visible. There wasn't even any blood! But, since she was behaving so strangely I took her to a very gentle and patient vet who very quickly found two puncture wounds where the coyote had her in its mouth (one puncture on each side of her body)! Just imagine how much larger puncture wounds from a coyote would be than punctures from a cat bite, and yet they were not visible to me.

Anyway, I agree with my original thought and with what Hissy (the one who knows all about cats) said, that you should take T to the vet (a different one if possible).
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the advice about the potential bites..and I will head them. I already checked once and no marks. He is a short hair so it is somewhat easier than a long hair cat.

I also can appreicate the posters sentiment about letting them out although it is not the best case scenario declawing allows these cats to live in total bliss and luxery in our home. It's not for everyone, but for us it was a necessity..

Although being in our backyard is for the most part very, very safe...things can happen..and so it did. But for all I know it could have been a loud noise or soemthing that startled "T"...that caused mis-directed aggression. They have been going outside for a while...Fazool has been doing it for 6 years and no incident. I also keep the door to my house cracked just in case. And in the total time I have lived in my house I have only seen one cat wander back there. They have to do some work to get back there since I have a fence too.

But I do agree to look more closely. I talked to my vet on phone last night and he tends to think it is more phsycological as well.
post #8 of 19
Please be very careful about leaving your declawed cats outside. Our cat (not declawed) goes outside on a leash, so I didn't worry too much when I spotted a marten hanging around (that's similar to a weasel). Last week a woman on another forum related how her cat was killed by a marten, and the "forum vet" wrote that she had seen that in her practice. So it's not just dogs, other cats and coyotes you have to worry about. Our cat is rather large with very sharp claws and a good hunting instinct, but I'm not sure he would be a match for a marten or weasel.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
I agree outside is not ideal for a declaw. I do not live in an area where coyotes and weasels are a threat. The worst danger in my back yard is a stray cat wandering by. But as I said, usually when my cats are in the backyard..so am i.

I could quarantene my cats (and children for that matter) to avoid all impacts of life but that is not what/how God intended us to live.

BTW, declaws are not defenseless. My Fazool chased a squirrel up 1/2 a tree before..didn't seem to restrain him that much. My "T" has jumped to the top of my refrigerator. I also leave my back door always open for them to escape too.
post #10 of 19
I have to disagree with the statement that declaws aren't defenseless. How are they supposed to fight back? I would NEVER let Sox and Alli out in our 'fenced in back yard'. Even if the back door is open. If they are able to jump up on a fridge then they can probably jump over a fence. Please don't let them outside. I do agree that God didn't intend for them to be locked up but he also intended for them to have claws.
post #11 of 19
Agreed God gave the cats claws, it is humans that take that away from them.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I should have said declaws are not "totally" defenseless. This post was not intended to debate declaws or how I "choose" to raise my cats. That is my business. But since there seems to be more emotion about that than my cats issue I posted about I will share my 2cents.

I choose to let my cats in/out on a discretion basis - MY discretion ...as they are MY cats. My cats are loved and taken well care of. If anyone does not like the way I take care of my cats...you take them (ha)...just kidding.
post #13 of 19
Originally posted by Sydney0503
If anyone does not like the way I take care of my cats...you take them
Be careful...we just might take you up on this!
post #14 of 19
The issue that you posted about was that you let your cats outside and went away and came back to find one of them acting peculiar and what you thought wounded. In your long explanation you mentioned just briefly
They both don't have claws so can't hurt eachother.
So you left two cats with no adequate protection outside. That is the issue. Well the issue here is that this board is very anti-declaw. It is in our rules, and in many of the posts that are spread out in the forums.

Your cats should stay inside the house, where there are no predators and no real dangers. But you feel you are doing the right thing letting cats with no claws climb trees and be unsupervised for hours at a time, then that is your discretion. Just don't expect those who care about the welfare of cats to embrace your discretionary measures.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hissy, as I said I appreciate your sentimate but please don't "lecture" me on how I raise my cats and the pros/cons of letting declaws outside.

I don't need anyone's RULES to post on a forum. I have my own opinions about my cats welfare and don't expect other people to raise their cats exactly like I. Just because I do things YOU may not like does not make me a bad "cat" parent?

I did not write my post to hear your anti-declaw sentimate. ok? I understand how people feel and I know the BEST case scenario is to leave the cats inside. I also know that my cats are 99.9% safe with going out in my backyard now and then and choose to do it. Period.
post #16 of 19
When you have a problem and ask for someone else's opinion, you might not like the reply. You asked what everyone "thought" about why your cat was acting the way he was and you were told. We read the situation and told you what we thought. You don't have to get defensive. You may feel that your cats are safe 99.9% of the time but the .1% is what we heard about. You are certainly free to raise your cats the way you see fit but when you ask a question try to look a the answer with an open mind. We just care about the cats and hate to see any harmed.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Xactly. You may not like "our" reply. The issue was never declaw or outside. The issue was mis-directed aggression. My "defense" was jut to bring certain posters back to the issue. It really isn't an issue anymore as it was never about being in backyard it was about how my cats were treating eachother. Mis-directed aggression can come from being inside the home, coming home from vet, certain confusing scents, loud noises...doesn't have to be from being outside. My cats could have just been rough playing inside for all we know. It was never about them being hurt. My cat was clearly not hurt. IT WAS ABOUT THEIR BEHAVIOR.

I appreciate and reiterate appreciate your sentiments and "reminders" that keeping my cats inside is better. I respectively acknowledged this early on in this thread. Please take your own advise and not be defensive to my point of view and move on? One little statement about them having no claws turned into me being attacked? Hello? I am not the one being "un-friendly".
post #18 of 19
Well, it sounds to me like you already had the answers to your own post. I thought that you were worried that a STRAY may have gotten in there with the and caused this behavior. No one was being rude to you. That's all I have to say about this.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Your right. I did answer my own post wayyyy early on. I realized it was mis directed aggression why my cat's BEHAVIOR changed to my other cat. There is no doubt I worried about another cat potentially being involved BECAUSE they were outside. But the issue was how to get them loving eachother again. I did ask a quesiton if anyone else experienced this. This was new to me.

It's not new now. And your right. NUFF SAID.
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