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Cat dominance issue

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
The kitty problems and blessings began just a month ago. I heard a funny sound on my back porch and went out and found a nearly dead emaciated cat laying there. I put some food down and he gobbled it as fast as he could absolutely gobble. He could barely even walk. I went and got a crate and moved the food into it and he went in the crate. I shut the door and called the vet. He saw us right away.

My new kitty was dehydrated, starved, and covered with a flea bite skin infection. My vet did tests and pronounced him free of major diseases, but said that he had been badly abused and bruised and starved. He said he is sure he has been on his own for a long, long time. Bob is a neutered, front declawed, 2 year old male.

Here is Bob's picture.

I very, very slowly, over about a week, introduced him to my household which includes Samuel, the cat, and Isabel, the Dachshund.

Isabel loved him right away and he showed no fear to her at all. I think maybe it is because Isabel is so gentle with him. She seems to sense he needs care right now.

Samuel was a little more touchy about it. He said some major bad words and told him there was no way he was coming into our house.

The first three days, I kept Bob in the bathroom and Samuel and Bob could see each other under the door. On day 4 Samuel stopped hissing at him everytime he looked at him and so I moved Bob to the living room in a crate for 2 days. Samuel seemed to warm up to him a bit and the next day, I let Bob loose. Other than some posturing from Samuel, everything went well. Bob has remained passive.
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
Things were looking pretty good.

Samuel seemed to be trying to play with Bob, but Bob doesn't seem to know how.

Then this past weekend, Bob screwed up. He went to sleep in Samuel's bed. Samuel paced and hissed and swatted, but he didn't hurt Bob. Bob ignored him. I just watched for the moment.

Well, after Bob woke up and got out of Samuel's bed, Samuel kept on him and follow him and tried to agitate him. Samuel never had his ears flattened in anger. The were always upright, but he was relentless to Bob.

Bob went to sleep on the rocker. (Neutral territory) Samuel jumped up and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and pulled up the skin. He looked like he wanted to drag him off. Bob rolled over and Samuel latched onto his neck and Bob squealed. At that point, I dropped the camera I had in my hand, and separated them. Here are the pictures.

Bob was very subdued that evening and hid the whole next day. When I got him out from under the couch before bedtime, I noticed he seemed hot. The next morning her was burning up and I took him to the vet. His temperature was 105.9 and the vet asked me if he could have been bitten.

Well, you know the answer to that!

Bob got antibiotics and has been on them two days now.

Last night, Samuel picked up Isabel (Dachshund) by the scruff of the neck and tried to drag her away. Isabel is Samuel's play friend! I about freaked. He had her skin stretched up and she had taken on the posture of a little kitten and he was ready to drag her away. I broke them up. (I didn't get a picture. LOL)

How should I handle Samuel's behavior? Samuel is 1 year old.

This morning is the first I have allowed Bob to roam at will in the house again, so I don't know if there will be issues with him again or not.

Can anyone here help me?

I'm sorry this is so long.
post #3 of 14
Samual mounting Bob is a sign of dominance. Bob slept in Samual's bed and Samual is telling him that he rules and chooses his space.

Bob is not only new to your house, but he came from a background of abuse and neglect. He is not going to play for a long time and will probably just sleep and steer clear of everything for a while. If he was abused by humans, don't be surprised if he runs and hides from you for a while. Since he was so thin, his body simply has to heal and healing takes a lot of energy from you. And what is play to an abused cat? Abused cat's don't know how to play - they only know how to survive.

It sounds like Bob simply needs time to mend physically and emotionally. It sounds like you don't have major issues between he and Samual, but I would suggest that you give both boys their own space for a while. Not necessarily separated, but give Bob his sleepy spots out of the way and let Samual have his space.

If Samual is scruffing Isabel, it might be displaced dominance.

You have taken on a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. Most of all, give Bob his space and time to heal.
post #4 of 14
As to Samuel, I'd give him as much extra attention and play time as you can. If you've got wand toys, use them with him as much as possible. The extra attention will be reassuring, and the extra play will help work off the stress he's experiencing at the disruption to his routines by the new kitty.

And thank you for rescuing Bob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
So it sounds like Samuel is doing sexual mounting for dominance rather that trying to drag like a momma cat would do.

Samuel has always owned the laundry room and has a bed set up there. That is where Bob inadvertantly invaded. Sammy has always been a wild kitty at night and so he gets penned up. If he is loose at night, he chews my mom's oxygen line. LOL

I put a bed for Bob in the other end of the house in my bathroom's dressing area and he can come out into my bedroom at night. I have two different litter boxes, one on both ends of the house.

I just got out Sammy's wand (with connected shoestring) and we will indeed play extra.

I have some Feliway spray. Does anyone know if this really helps and if I can put a squirt on each cat and the dog?

Bobby seems like a really nice cat. My heart just goes out to him . . . . . but I have got keep Samuel feeling loved. I just know we can make this work. I really appreciate your advice and information on cat behavior. I have a dog background and understanding. I am presently relearning.
post #6 of 14
Don't squirt the animals with the Feliway. It doesn't discolor anything that I've been able to discover, and I spray it on everything. It is a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" markers in the scent gland in cats' cheeks.

We have a multicat household with a really highly strung kitty, a really territorial kitty, and a kitty that does NOT like change. We've had fosters in and out, and we grew the group from two to six. We also lived in an RV with five cats and occassional fosters up until two years ago. The Feliway really helped keep things calmer than it was without it.

What you do is spray the feliway - either throughout the house - or where the kitties hang out the most. Spray it at the height of a cat's cheek (a cat standing up). It's OK (it has been for us) on the walls, on wood, on carpet, on the furniture (including the living room couch). Don't spray it near the litterboxes or on a cat scratcher - Feliway can be used to help kitties not scratch places you don't want them to or to not pee where you don't want them to, so don't get them confused. Leave scratching posts and the area near litterboxes alone. Otherwise use it liberally - I spray it every few feet around the entire house and on everything.

You can also purchase a plug-in Feliway diffuser. It's more expensive than the spray, but it's like a scent plug-in that you can't smell. It sends it generally out into the room and lasts about a month.

I'm sure you'll make this work, too! Patience and wanting it to work are all that's required. Of course TCS helps too!
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ahhhhh, I appreciate knowing how to use the Feliway. I originally bought it last September when I moved and I sprayed the new house with it. However, Samuel was still a kitten and he didn't seem phazed by moving at all and I didn't use it after that.

I didn't know not to spray near the litterbox or scratching post.
post #8 of 14
I suggest a Feliway plug in too rather then or in addition to the spray. I think it works better but everyone seems to have a different opinion on this.
post #9 of 14
A vet told me once that Feliway works in about 60-70% of stress cases. The odds are with you that it will calm them down and it is definitely worth a try.
post #10 of 14
Where can you get feliway?
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I got mine at Petsmart, but I bet there are a lot less expensive places to get it.
post #12 of 14
what do they look like??? is there only one brand that makes them??
post #13 of 14
If you google Feliway it gives you lots of info on it
post #14 of 14
oh thank you.
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