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Tiny terror! what do i do?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
i recently rescued a 14yr old calico (spayed and declawed)

i have three other cats of various ages (a 17 1/2 yr old, a 6 yr old and one who is between 2 and 4- not really sure of her age)

the oldest cat is Top Cat and everyone knows it
the other two are very timid

the new "girl" is very tiny, 6 1/2 lbs - but she is a terror!!

she started off growling at the other cats anytime she came across them (i have a big apt so they can spend a lot of time apart, thank heavens)

but now she is chasing them, and even my Top Cat will run!

she has not attacked them, and i almost wish she would, because then wouldn't they find out, she has no claws and really can't do much damage???

i don't know what to do about this- i hate to see my three girls terrified of her.

i had originally planned to re-home the rescued cat, but she has some less than desirable traits and habits and i would be very concerned about her being abused, even the most patient person i know,who adores cats, found this cat annoying ( and thats putting it mildly)

during the winter it is not possible to close off any rooms, the only room in the place with heat is the kitchen

in the summer i could put the little terror in one room for a good part of the day, but i can't do that now.

anyone else deal with this?
oh i did get some feliway- it either is not working yet or makes no difference, i don't know which.
i've been using it for about 10 days i think.

thanks in advance for any ideas
althea and the girls, even the grumpy one (oh yeah, the old girl has arthritis, i am looking into treatments for her)
post #2 of 5
If your other cats have all their claws, then I would leave the order alone. She understands she is defenseless, and her only alternative will be biting, so she is aggressive so they will leave her alone. If she was timid and weak, they would attack her, and as I said, she has no defense against this. So her survival traits kick in and she becomes the bully. It is a matter of her survival. I would seriously look into rehoming her to a home with no other cats. You also might try nursing homes in the area. I know a few around here who have rescued declawed cats and now they call the nursing home, their home-
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanks Hissy

well i am worried because she also tends to urinate standing up (sometimes looks like she is actually spraying) i know sometimes this is right after she gets up and she is still pretty stiff, so it is hard for her to squat- other times she just stands up and pees on the wall behind the litter box (i have five litterboxes all in different cat-friendly places)

she is also difficult to handle- you can pet her head, very gentley, and sometimes a bit further back, but then she will cry out as if in pain. she also cries in pain sometimes when i pick her up (so i try to get her to come to me)

i am worried that an elderly person may not be able to handle the cleaning up after her, and whomever takes her in HAS to have a lot of patience, because she is old and set in her ways, and gets very upset if things do not go the way she wants (then she threatens to run away from home!!)

she is used to having a saucer of milk in the morning, and heaven help you if you forget LOL
and several treats in the late afternoon.

she also seems to be expecting other things at different times but i have not yet figured out what those are.

she can be a real sweetie, when she comes into a room and sees me, she waits until i smile at her, and then she comes running over and jumps in my lap
if i dont smile, she will not come over!

i understand what you are saying about her being defenseless and wanting to be sure the other cats leave her alone, but when she first got here, she used her rather fierce sounding growl, and no one would get near her.
now they usually stay as far away as possible, so why did she start chasing them?
i actually think she was hoping her growl would get them to leave completely so she could have the house to herself....

re-homing a cat her age is extremely difficult in this area- people do not take in younger and healthier cats.

i can post at the elderly housing projects (none of our nursing homes allow cats) and see if anyone there may be interested. but its really a long shot, i talk to the elderly in the area all the time and they mostly believe cats belong out doors.

well if there is anyone on the board who is interested in a challenge- she really can be quite sweet, and will sleep with you, and sit in your lap and fall asleep there if you pet her just right (extremely gently!!) she still plays like a kitten, loves catnip, and is a riot to watch when she goes after it
she likes to jump into boxes and play with toys inside them.

a great old girl, just a bit on the grumpy side. i would be grumpy too if i had to leave my home of 12 yrs and move far away!

thanks again
althea and the girls
post #4 of 5

Declawed cats are prone to athritis, because removal of their toes affects their stance. They have to learn to walk and balance a different way, not intended for them to walk in a normal fashion as they were created to do, and the result is usually a debilitating arthritis.

Although your symptoms of her urinating would usually indicate a UTI it is common for older declawed cats to pee this way because it hurts them to squat. I would take her to the vet and get her x-rayed and see if she has a UTI, but I am inclined to believe it is arthritis and the pain of it that is making her grumpy and perhaps one of the cats jumped on her back when you weren't looking and thus created this monster.... Poor kitty-
post #5 of 5
Thank you so much Althea for giving this old gal a chance!

I rescued a 14 year old declawed male named Hans back in early October. I already had a two year old male named Merlin who has his claws. Two weeks after I brought Hans home I brought a 6 month kitten home (clawed as well), originally to foster, but we decided to keep him.

I never thought Hans was going to come around. He used to growl and hiss at my mother and me, and actually charged my mom a few times! Whenever we tried to pet him he'd try and bite us, but he moved so slow we never got hurt. He was violent towards the other cats constantly, though there were never any serious fights.

It's been a little over two months, and I am so glad we decided to wait it out! He's the only one who comes to see me off when I leave, and the only one waiting at the door when I come home. He's the welcoming comittee whenever we have company, unlike the other two who prefer to keep their distance. I can pick him up (!) for just a moment or two, but that was like the holy grail of his attitude readjustment!

Mind you, him and Merlin still get into tiffs about once a day. They wrestle, throw hair and scream, and then they're fine and sit and eat together. He's even started to play wrestle and play tag with the kitten! (It's really funny because the kitten is about five times faster than Hans, and litterally runs circles around him, and then starts a one-sided game of leap frog.)

I have the same litterbox problems as you do, and I really think it's because of arthritis. At his check-up next year, I'm going to talk to the vet about getting him started on a pain-management program, because he's so easy to give medication to. He can still play and get up and down stairs just fine, so I'm not too worried about it right now.

If you're really thinking of rehoming her, you'll have some trouble. When mom was recovering from surgery (torn rotator cuff), she became very paranoid due to the medication she was on, and believed that Hans was going to kill the kitten (as if). She wanted me to take him back to the shelter that day, but I managed to talk her into giving him a month to come around. (Once she came off the meds she was fine and never brought it up again.) But I did look into getting him a new home. I just knew it couldn't be done. Whoever took him would have to be skilled with cats, or just have a lot of patience and who was willing to give it a few months for him to come around. I was also afraid of him "snapping" due to another change of house and owner. I contacted shelters for advice and help, even Best Friend's Network - everywhere was full, and no one could give me advice on finding an old cat a new home. If I had taken him to a shelter, even the one I volunteer at (and took him from) he would have been put down the second I left, because he was too old. (Not to mention grumpy when confined.)

It'll take time for her to adjust to a new house, a new owner, and especially new furry roommates. She's scared because she's declawed and defenseess, and probably because she doesn't know what to expect from other cats. Hans would always make the first move becuase he was terrified of getting attacked. My boys would never do that, but how was Hans to know? He had been an only cat for 12+ years and didn't know how other cats behaved, or was possibly attacked by another cat in the past. If you can, give it a month or two for her to become comfortable with the new surrounding, and to learn more about your cat's behaviours and attitudes. I bet it'll be worth it in the end!
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