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How do I help my surviving cats?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
On 11/23 my Dusty was euthanized after a long bout of intestinal problems. He was 17. He accepted each new cat as it came along gracefully for a total of 6 cats. Each new addition respected him and looked to him for leadership and affection. It seems that Dusty was the glue that held this family together. I am having terrible fights among the 5 survivors. Dusty as late as 3 days before he died could walk into a room and a "tussle" would stop. Is there anything I can do to ease this tension. I know they are all missing Dusty as much as I am. Do I just wait until they all find their new place in the dynamic of the group? I need peace back in my family.
post #2 of 9
This is a hard adjustment on all concerned. The cats will be stressed because something is amiss in their lives and all they know is it feels different in the house somehow. With your alpha cat gone, there is now a vacancy and the fights that are breaking out are your cats vying for the position of head of the house- so to speak. Although you are clearly the head of the house.

Although this makes me sound certifiable, take each one of your cats individually into another room and talk to the cat.Tell him/her what has happened, let them know the details and that you miss Dusty very much and you are stressed at his death and understand they are as well. (trust me this works) I have recently gone through multiple feline deaths here, which also affected all the rest of my crew.

Then invest in a Feliway Comfort Zone Room diffuser from Farnum Pet. Also if you don't have a sturdy, tall cat condo, find one and purchase that as well. They will play a version of king of the mountain on the new condo, and the cat that ultimately ends up on the highest platform will know that he/she is the ruler. Once that has been established, be sure to feed the alpha cat first and then the others after the first dish is laid down, to let the cats know you understand the transference of power within their group.

Good luck, and I am so sorry for your loss. I know first-hand how hard it is to accept the absence of such a long-time friend.
post #3 of 9
I just wanted you to know how sorry I am over your loss of your cat . May Dusty RIP
post #4 of 9
I also wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss of Dusty<RB>

Hissy, I had a few things I was going to write, but read your note, I can't add one word, except to say I don't think that is certifiable, it's just the way to handle it (talking to each about what has happened).

Please keep us posted on how things go with your remaining 5 kitters,
post #5 of 9
I'm so sorry about Dusty. I guess it's good to take Hissy's advice. It helps a lot.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just want to thank Hissy and the others that responded to my cry for help. I am happy to say that everyone is doing much better. The very first thing I tried was just talking to each one. They all freak a little if I just come and pick them up, they think they are going to the vet. But I let each one come, as they do, through-out the day to sit on my lap or next to me on the arm of the chair. I told each one how sad we all are that Dusty had gotten so ill, and that he passed away. I mentioned how much Dusty would like us all to get along and how he didn't allow any fighting among ourselves. I affirmed my love for all of them and asked them to try to work things out without fur flying. I am pleased to say, I have not had a major break out of fighting since. There again seems to be a rotation of turns on the best seats, the windows and heating vents. So, thank yous go out to you all from Sarabi( I stole her name) my 9 year old; Camille, my 5 year old, Chester and Smudge my 2 year old litter mates, and my youngest, Lily all of 1.
post #7 of 9
That is good news, I'm glad they are doing better and settling down.
post #8 of 9
I'm glad the cats are fight-free! I'm sorry to hear about Dusty.
post #9 of 9
I am so sorry about Dusty. When my alpha Max died about 6 years ago, we had a lot of tussling in our household also. We did a lot of individual attention like Hissy suggested and you have tried, and also helped the obvious alpha-successor into his role. Stumpy was only 2 at the time and he was not quite mature enough for the role (based on the large size of our household). We gave him just a tad more attention, allowed him to eat first, placed him at the top of the cat tree, and put him first over the other cats. It took a few months, but they all worked it out with our help.
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