Need some advice on behaviour
Thought this would be a great place to seek some advice for my 4 year old cat, Dexter.
My last posts here were not of the happy variety unfortunately. I recently (June) had to send my beloved girl Monkey to the bridge, as she quickly became ill and the vets and I could not help her, despite all of our efforts. This has left my heart extremely broken and I believe is the root of the issues that are effecting the change in behaviour of my 4 year old.
A little back story (sorry, it's probably going to be quite long)..
I have always had a cat or two, or three in our home, along with our German Shepherds. When I moved out of my parents home for University almost 11 years ago now, I brought with me a beautiful little black kitten since I could not have a dog with me in school. I trained her, took her on all my vacations, she even hiked with me (on leash) in the bush. She was my constant companion. I did not have roommates, she was my roommate. I lost her in June and I am still not over her loss..
My sister, who was living at home still had a cat (Callie) who was about the same age. Monkey (my cat) and Callie would visit when I returned home in the summers and on the sporadic weekends I visited. I never had any issues with them and they actually got along quite well and loved to play and snuggle with one another.
Fast forward many years, and I brought home another little kitten, my Dexter. He is a MC mix from the rescue group in town. I did some volunteer work with them afterwards as well (just paperwork - calling to do followups). Dexter is a joy, super affectionate, and VERY dog like in his behaviour. He is clicker trained and knows several tricks.
My sister, who has since moved in with me (going on 3 years now) brought her cat with her. Callie is very quiet, not active at all and does not enjoy nor initiate play with Dexter.
Dexter and Monkey played and snuggled all the time.
When he was about a year, I finally welcomed home my own German Shepherd dog Stark. And a few years later, welcomed another one into my home. I compete in sport with both my dogs and am VERY active in the GSD community and sport world with them.
In June, when I lost Monkey, I swore I was done with the cats and that Dexter would be the last cat I brought home. I still somewhat feel this way.
But... since June, Dexter has been demonstrating some new behaviours that make me think that he is no longer happy. It is very frustrating and sad to not know how to help my little spunky guy.
- crying and walking around the apartment
- clingy (more so than normal)
- not as active
- needs to be ON someone
- just seems 'off' (depressed?)
- constantly pestering/trying to play with Callie (Callie does NOT like this)
I have taken him to the vet, thyroid is great, did a snap test, everything seems fine and he has checked out with a clean bill (excellent!) of health.
The vet thinks he is lonely, as does a few rescue people I have spoken with and who know Dexter (friends of mine).
I am on the fence about bringing another cat home. I have the finances to do so, have the time, but not sure I want another cat...
I will be bringing home another German Shepherd in a year's time as well.. this will bring my total count of pets to 5! Not including my sister's cat - who realistically, does live with me.
I have tried the following to help Dexter:
- new play house/tree - custom made
- new toys, etc.
- rescue remedy
- plug in's (pheromones)
I feed raw and Origen kibble and do not do any grain or other additives in my pets diet (dogs are on all raw). No change in food, living situation or the like, etc.
The behaviour started a day after Monkey was sent to the bridge and has not stopped since.
Any advice as to what I can try, what YOU would do, etc... like I said, not sure if I want another kitten or even if it would help... ?