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Young Stray Causing Problems

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have an older cat, named Cricket, who is about 6-7 years old and has been living with my parents and I for about 6 years. She was a stray cat who must have been through something traumatic because she's always been extremely shy and afraid of everything and everyone (except for my parents and I, of course .

Then, about 6 months ago, I brought home a younger stray cat who is about 9 months old now (her name is Tazzi). Tazzi is a very wild and energetic cat who isn't afraid of anything and is the complete opposite of Cricket. But, ever since I brought Tazzi home, Cricket has become really reclusive and more bashful than ever. Cricket now hides upstairs in one room and only comes out to eat and relieve herself. When she does come out, Tazzi jumps on her and chases her, obviously wanting to play, but Cricket hates it and always runs away or growls at her. Also, I don't know if maybe the new cat gave her fleas or something, but she's been ripping the fur out of her back (near her tail) and out of her stomach and seems to have a bad infection on her chin, none of which ever happened before Tazzi arrived. We've given both the cats flea baths about twice and we keep them inside to avoid getting more fleas. I've also combed Cricket for fleas and couldn't find anything except what look like scabs or bumps all over her. The bumps seem to be itchy. Tazzi seems to have overcome the flea problem and doesn't scratch herself any more than usual. And as for Cricket's chin, I've been washing it with soap and water and then using peroxide on it to try to clear up the infection. It seems to be getting better, but what gives? What are all these infections and bumps on Cricket and why is she ripping her fur out?
Is there anything I could do to make the situation better for Cricket? She just seems to be so stressed out and suffering a lot Thanks!!!
post #2 of 3
Wow we have a similar situation here. 6-7 year old timid female cat, used to be attacked once in a while from our older cat who was sick and passed, but we just got a new cat (Buddy) who is very energetic and wants to be friendly. At least we think he does. But she will have no part of him and growls or hisses at him, runs and hides and will not come out except sometimes in the morning as my girlfriend gets ready to goto work or comes home from work and we eat dinner. She is so scared that the "normal" methods to get her to relax and accept the new cat just do not seem feasable. We also have a small apartment and since she likes to hide in the couch in the livingroom (room without a door) we find it hard to keep her seperated and feeling safe. I have tried to give Buddy "time outs" in the bathroom if he chases her, and when they are near each other I feed them "treats" but she is so afraid she usually is not very interested in standard food.

If anyone has suggestions, I would be interested in hearing them as our situations are similar. I think he has started to watch for her to come out so he can ambush her, but I cant be sure if hes doing that or just finding places to relax.
post #3 of 3
Poor Cricket! Younger cats seem to always cause the same dynamic in my house. The flea baths may be causing an allergic reaction - call the vet, they may recommend some oral baby Benadryl (my vet is very good about recommending OTC products, when possibe) and the vet may recommend a Neosporin or other antibiotic cream for the chin. Is it possible for you to take the cats to the vet? Maybe an animal rescue group would help you out with the costs, since they wouldn't have to foster the cat themselves. have you checked out Hissy's website - she often gives great advice on cat behavior. And is it possible for you to get another kitten? I've had to do that, and it really helped the situation for the older cat, because the younger cats tend to hang out together! (I, on the other hand, had to add another litter box). Best wishes for all in your household! Susan (& Icy,JC,Joey, Cinders)
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