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New Behavior - Cat Overlicking and Matting

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi - I'm new here. I have two cats - Angus (my male) and Pepper (my female). We've had a lot of changes in our life this summer - moving into a new house, wedding, and now a new puppy. Pepper, my little warrior/loving teenager seems to be handling all the changes fairly well - no changes in toilet habits, grooming, etc., but Angus is overgrooming himself - he licks constantly and is matting horribly. He NEVER used to mat. In fact, I rarely had to brush him (he absolutely HATES it!) I can't (and won't because I don't want to cause him any more stress) hold him down to groom him, but he won't let me get at the mats. Any advice on how to solve this overlicking problem?

Also - Pepper has hissed and scratched the puppy (good thing since the puppy is a malamute and needs to know now that chasing cats isn;t a good thing). Angus, however, will NOT defend himself. Our puppy (Sascha) will chase him and pin him down (tail wagging) and mouth him terribly - but Angus will not unsheathe his claws. He bats at her, but without much effect. It's killing me to watch it, although I've been told they have to work it out - and I should let them since the puppy is playing (shows no sign of aggression).

Can anyone help? I love my Angus dearly and feel like a horrible mother.
post #2 of 6
I can't help with the matting, but I hope someone can help you with that, because it would upset me too.

As for the puppy pinning Angus, whether that's playing or not, I would not allow it.

I have two boxers, and the cats love to get them going. I allow chasing and "boxing" each other, but I don't allow claws from the cats, or pinning from the dogs.

Every now and then someone breaks one of the rules and I just "HAH!" at them and they quit it. (I gotta say though, my boys are usually very well behaved, it's my girls that are naughty!)

Especially as Angus appears very stressed, the dog pinning him down probably doesn't help.

Welcome Tracy (have you posted a hello in the Cat Lounge?). There are a lot of intelligent experienced cat owners here. Hopefully you'll get lots of different opinions and you can follow whatever seems to be the best course for you.
post #3 of 6
That way you can put them on, groom out your cat and the cat thinks that you are just petting him. You can also start adding some cod liver oil into their food, this will help to sleek out the coat and stop the matting. I have a long-hair polydactyl that matts everyday and until I started putting a tablespoon of cod-liver oil in this dry food daily, he would get these thick mats that were hard to remove. Brushing him was a pain because he loved to bite and claw me and with his extra thumbs he would grab on to the hand holding the brush and bear down! It could also be a flea allergy or dust mite allergy and an application of Advantage will help alleviate the discomfort.

I too have cats and dogs, and when the cats act out and I say their name sharply, my shepherd will go towards the cat I have shouted at. Though how she knows exactly what cat, I am still trying to figure out. But one command of NO CHASE and she is back at my side knowing she did wrong. You will need to start training your malmute, I suggest clicker training, that is how I train mine in the beginning, it has been very successful. Good luck!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you both so much for your replies.

I will try the cod liver oil. And the grooming mitts. Hopefully that will do the trick and Angus will be back to his beautiful self. (and I won't feel like such a bad mom!) Both cats are treated with Advantage routinely - so I don't think it's an allergy of that sort - maybe just stress.

Thanks also for the advice on the "No chase". After hearing both camps (the camp that thinks you should let them work it out, and the camp that advocates making it a no no) - I'm going to be vigilant with the "no chase" approach. No only will I feel more comfortable with that solution (I can't stand to watch Angus get pounced on - and Angus doesn't much like it either) - but it will help with the squirrel, leaves, and other moving objects issue!!!!

the zookeeper (2 cats, 2 guinea pigs, and 1 malamute!)
post #5 of 6
And having rescued many huskies and malamutes both of these dogs are high-energy so try and take your pup out a lot and do a lot of high-energy activities with him so that he knows he has that outlet and chasing cats and pinning them are not one of them.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Working on that too...taking her for hikes, or out to enclosed baseball fields where we can take her off leash and play chase and ball and any number of activities. Also working on finding people (and their puppies) to have play dates with...she gets out most energy puppy playing!!!!

Pooped in Syracuse (but trying hard to be a good mom).

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