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antisocial Himalayan

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I am having some major problems regarding my roommate’s cat.

For the past several years we had two cats; a very old, docile, mostly blind, de-clawed Himalayan longhair that was very friendly and not often groomed enough; the other was adopted from a friend because his new roommate was allergic. This other cat had always been fearful of everyone, including its owner, had a lot of problems with its digestive system, vomiting, not using it’s litter box, and nearly killing itself trying to find places inside walls to escape to. This was the case at its original owner’s environment, as well as its new environment at our space. I do not believe the old Himalayan was stressing out this cat any more than it already was.

About a year ago, the old Himalayan went on to better things leaving just our nervous, hiding, scratching, biting, ball of shedding misery.

Our roommate found a new Himalayan to adopt about nine months ago.

The new Himalayan behaved very similarly to our nervous cat. It was not friendly and quite afraid. It took about two months for it to venture out of the room we introduced it to. Eventually some major battles over territory ensued between the two cats, and the new Himalayan disturbed our remaining cat so severely, that we had to give him away.

Now we have only one cat, Cofi the Himalayan.

Cofi became a little more friendly. He would let us approach and pet or groom him if he was relaxing on one of his two favorite spots to recline, though if any mildly sudden move was made by anyone in the room, the cat would still run and hide. Occasionally while being petted, he would all of a sudden change his attitude and scratch or bite the person petting him, and then flee.

He seemed to become almost normal, though he never played with much of anything, and anyone who tried to dangle a piece of string in front of him would wind up just scaring him away. In the past couple months he has taken a great turn for the worse and no longer engages with anyone, even his owner/feeder/groomer. He doesn’t make use of his favorite reclining spots. He very aggressively flees any person walking into the room, and hides in places that are quite dangerous for it. He also has been having more frequent problems using his litter box, and doing what cats do, took an opportunity to relieve itself in more ways than one on our other roommate’s new bedspread that was very special to him.

My problems now are this; some are more roommate/owner oriented than cat, but here they are anyway.

a)\tthe cat is not groomed properly by its owner.
b)\tthe cat is not fed properly by its owner.
c)\tIt has ruined much of our furniture.
d)\tIts hair is everywhere.
e)\tThe cat will not approach anyone or be friendly/playful.
f)\tThe cat often does not use its litter box.
g)\tThe cat has scratched, bitten people.
h)\tThe cat hides until it wants to be fed, and it still treats that like a life threatening situation.
i)\tThe cat is not happy.
j)\tThe cat is filthy.
k)\tMy roommate refuses to have it shaved.
l)\tSome of us are slightly allergic.

We have tried to have an intervention with its owner to see if we can find it a better home it may find more relaxing and accommodating, but he feels he made a commitment to the person he adopted it from and refuses to find a better situation for it.

I am not a cat person, but other friends have cats that are very pleasant, clean, and enjoyable to have around. They are entertaining, well behaved, and personable.

One thing its owner often says is that Cofi’s behavior will improve with time, but I must emphasize that it has only become worse and worse in the past several months.

Is this cat’s behavior beyond hope? I believe it is about three years old.

What other options may I offer my roommate to help convince him to find a better situation for this animal?

post #2 of 3
This cat may actually be quite sick. Not using litter is sometimes a good sign of illness. I honestly believe you need to get this cat in a carrier somehow and get it to a vet to examine. Mats in a cat's fur can also be very painful to them and they hide pain very well but the acting out and hiding may be the cat's clue that something is very wrong.

Do everything you can to get this kitty to a vet to have it's health checked out before anything else. Then, once you get a healthy report on this cat, you can work on the other issues with this person's poor treatment of this beautiful animal.
post #3 of 3
The cat's behavior is not beyond hope, but your roommate's is! If he really feels a sense of commitment relating to this cat, he should be taking proper care of the poor thing. I suspect the antisocial behavior of BOTH cats was the result of this kind of neglect.

I absolutely agree with Yosemite that the kitty is probably ill and should be taken to the vet as soon as possible. If you think your roommate's heart is in the right place, but he just doesn't have the knowledge and experience to realize that he's not doing right by this cat, try showing him this thread, and the rest of this site. Maybe he'll see how much better he can and should be doing.

But if your roommate won't step up and do the right thing for his cat, you should ask to take ownership of the kitty yourself, if you're willing. If you can't do that, I would start looking for a new and better home for this poor kitty, one where he can receive the physical care, interactive play, and emotional reassurance he needs.

Bless you for caring about this kitty! Good luck...
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