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Sister Hates Brother -- HELP!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good morning - I am new to this website. Thank you for letting me join. I am perplexed as what to do with my two cats. To make a long story short. Took female to vet for checkup (wasn't able to get male in carrier, he freaked out and hid under bed) (female also freaked out at vet, very traumatic experience (she peed and pooped all over herself, vet said to see her in future would have to put to sleep to examine - NOT!!). When I brought female home, took her to basement to calm down and clean her up. Male hid under bed for 2 days. End of second day he thought she was a stranger and growled at her. Eventually female got aggravated and hissed and growled at him and chased him around house twice ready to attack. Male was then scared to death and hiding. This was almost a month ago. I have since had male in his own room in basement and have been trying to reintroduce them, but female hisses and growls and will not chill out. Male is fine now and doesn't understand. I have Feliway in basement w/male and am awaiting two additional units to put in rest of house for female. I take turns letting the male out and keeping her hidden so he can familiarize himself w/house. Confiding the female is not an option as she will scratch the carpet or door frantically. If she even smells him underneath door she starts to growl. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 10
Believe it or not, this is not an unusual situation. However, these situations usually resolve more quickly than this.

I suggest doing three things while re-introducing the cats:

1st: Dose them both with Bachs Rescue Remedy. This is a calming flower essence that works wonders with critters of all types. You can find Rescue Remedy at most health food stores.

2nd: Make them both smell the same by putting a dab of vanilla extract under both cats' chins and at the base of both cats' tails (not on their bottom but on their back at base of tail). Cats are very scent driven. By making them smell the same, they are less likely to be aggressive.

3rd: Follow the re-introduction directions in this thread.

Good luck!
post #3 of 10
I would also give them Rescue Remedy before taking them to the vet so they can better tolerate their visit.
post #4 of 10
Yep- it's pretty common, especially in this household when I take ferals in to be seen. Spraying the inside of the carrier with Feliway Spray will help prior to placing the cat inside. Putting vanilla extract under the chin, will help to combat the smells the cat encounters at the vet's office. If no procedure was performed on either cat (like surgery etc) and no wounds are present, bathing both cats in the same pet shampoo when they arrive home will also help.

What happens is while they are there- they are in high stress mode and they smell different when they are that anxious. Plus the other stress smells left by different animals that were there adds to the tension and makes it worse.

Here are some of my tips that have evolved over the time I have spent transporting frightened and sometimes fighting cats to the vet.

Pad the inside of the carrier with disposable diapers, and place a soft cloth diaper (or two) over the padding.

Spray the inside of the carrier heavily with Feliway Spray

Take a few pipecleaners and run them through the slats into the inside of the carrier (way up on the top over the cat's head. Thread a light weight toy to the ends of the pipecleaners (inside the carrier) that way, when the cat is stressed, she can reach up and bap the toy to help ease her discomfort.

Take a can of spray cheese (Cheese Whiz) and give it to your vet. Ask him or her to treat your cat to a sample or two during the visit- a really good ice breaker between the two.

I would also find another vet if I were you.One that specializes in cats and dogs only. This one sounds like they just don't give a darn about the comfort of the cat. Unless your cat is a full-on feral, putting it to sleep when it is getting a check-up is not only endangering it, but it is ludicrous. My vet has never put any feral to sleep to examine it- and only once did he tell me if I brought this one cat in to him again, he would barr the door! LOL That would be Cleo due to turn 12 years old soon, and who only went to the vet one time in his life and trashed the surgical room and recovery. LOL He has never been back, and oddly is my healthiest cat!
post #5 of 10
I had the same problem with my boys when I took only 1 to the vet. Was the female getting any medication? That would cause her to smell differently too.

Another suggestion is to take a towel and rub the male EVERYWHERE, then take the towel and rub the female with it. It transfers the scent to her fur. When you let the male out, put the female in the same room, but sit with her. Let her sniff around while you are in the room comforting her.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your support. How do you administer Bach's Remedy to them? By the way, neither cat was sick, vet visit was just a checkup for shots, but because they stress out so badly they will not be getting future checkups unless one becomes sick -- too much drama and stress on me and them both. They are both very healthy. Thanks.
post #7 of 10
You can put the rescue remedy straight on their tongue, some people drop it in water. I will let you know that some cats are not even affected by it, and if your cat is stressed already, it may not faze him at all. I know one gal who swears on rubbing it on their ear.

They do have several different essences besides the regular straight rescue remedy and some of those work better than the rescue remedy alone. You might look into Holly and Vervain and see if they help.
post #8 of 10
For an almost immediate calming effect, I have used four drops of the Rscue Remedy in a heaping teaspoon of my cat's favorite canned food. They eat it right up and in about 15 minutes they are just as calm as you can imagine!

But, Hissy is right (of course!). Some cats aren't even slightly fazed by the Rescue Remedy.
post #9 of 10
I can tell you from experience that vanilla on both cats does work. I brought Simon home from a 4 day stay in the vet and my other cat, Max, wouldn't go near him. I did the vanilla trick for a few days and now they are best buddies again! Good luck. I hope everything works out!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Keep your fingers crossed. I will give it to both of them that way tomorrow night in their canned food. Since they both had a bad re-introduction on Sunday, I've decided to totally keep them separated for 3 or 4 days until things calm down again. The male who is confined tends to get upset and throw up, so I think its best to give him a day or two to relax and not be afraid she's going to attack him -- I have Feliway in his room which I think has helped a great deal, but when she sees him and hisses and growls the stress starts all over again. I upsets me so because I'm so used to both of them sleeping with me and I know she gets lonely and so does he thanks again.
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