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Help for Cleo, my 4 year old feral

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for some new ideas on how to get my girl to settle down a bit. Bless her heart, I'm beginning to think this is just how she is. First, a little background:

In 2005, Cleo was brought home to stay when she was a 10 week old kitten. She was so playful; she loved to wrestle with Albert. She rarely hid and when she did, she was always in plain sight (she blended in really well with my royal blue curtains). As she grew up, she became a lap cat and frequently slept on my stomach at night.

Fast forward to 2007.

We adopted Charlie and all of a sudden, everything changed. She hid ALL the time, hissed, growled and spit. It got to the point where we wouldn't even see her for days at a time. After trying everything we could to properly introduce everyone and make sure that everyone got along, a year had passed and it was time, the vet suggested, to try medication.

Currently, she is on Amitriptylene 5 mg twice a day (at noon and midnight). We gave her her own bathroom at night so that she could get some rest from the boys, but that turned out to be a bad idea; seclusion just doesn't seem to work for her.

So now I'm trying this: I have set up a large wire dog crate in the living room and now she sleeps in there. She has food, water and a bed, litterbox and toys in there and it's also open so that she can see what everyone does during the day. When she's out, I'm keeping the door to my bedroom closed, since under the bed is the first place she darts to.

I let her out of the crate at about noon, since that's when the boys seem to settle down. I'm thinking of putting her on a schedule of 2 hours out, one hour in for the next week to see if that helps anything.

The main issue is that my two youngest boys play with each other-hard. So when one gets close to her and she starts growling, they think it's time to play and they don't back off of her (as I type this, Ramsey and Charlie are rolling each other around on the floor). I can't spray them when they do this because the bottle scares her off and I don't want her to think she's being punished. I remove them from the situation, but they don't get the hint.

Sorry for the novel, lol. I'm trying to find a different way to go about this and hopefully you've all got some good insight.
post #2 of 3
I see she isnt no feral, but get scared as now, and acts somewhat like a feral...

Had you tried with Feliway diffuser? It "should" help some - much here.

Another idea is perhaps her own friend, docile and friendly especielly to her. - The difficulty with this suggestion is to find such a cat or dog for sure: you dont want to make excessive tries...

As she get this Amitriptylene 5 mg, I understand you were with her at a vet, and had her examined for possible medical reasons??
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
She was feral when she was dumped at the CO vet; they had to socialize Mom for months before they adopted her out. Cleo was just a tiny baby, so she did okay, but when we got Charlie, who was SUPPOSED to be her friend, she spazzed and regressed- big time.

She grew up with Albert and will sleep and cuddle with him and groom him; they get along famously. She just won't accept the younger check.

I take my cats to a cat specialist and she got a clean bill of health; it's solely behavioral.

The feliway spray that I have doesn't work. I'm going today to get some vanilla and see what that does... I put a Charlie and Ramsey-scented towel underneath her food and water bowls in her crate the night before last and yesterday she seemed a little calmer, but as it was only one day, I'm scared to say she's made progress. As with people, some days are better than others with her, but I've still got the towel in there with her, so hopefully that helps over the next week...
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