Help/tips for calming a stressed-out kitty?
I took my 15 year old Ocicat boy, Austin, to the vet last week as I was seeing
blood in his urine (and he was peeing everywhere). The vet palpated his
bladder, and there was no sign of blockage, inflammation, or infection. He does have a history of urethral spasms, but has never actually had a UTI. We did a blood panel on him which came back pretty darn good (except his kidney values are high normal, which I would expect in a cat of his age). But he's also lost two pounds in the past year.
The vet seemed to think that his problem is stress, and I tend to agree with
her. Austin has always been a sensitive boy. We have 4 cats in the household,
and our youngest Ocicat, Archer, has been harassing Austin constantly. I didn't realize how bad it was getting, as Archer is just a kitten (about 18 months old) and wants to play, play, play... and he won't take no for an answer!
We think the reason Austin has lost weight is because Archer is harassing him so much and is probably chasing him off his food. I was feeding them all together at the same "station", providing plenty of food, but Austin is easily
intimidated and probably just doesn't want to deal with Archer at feeding time. This is evidenced by the fact that Austin is getting skinny and Archer is fat and sassy!
Here's what I've done so far:
I've been separating Austin from the other cats, in the bedroom, with his own
food, water, and litter box. I put one of those pheromone collars on him--don't know if it'll help, but I'm sure it won't hurt. Been giving him lots of pets
and cuddles and hands-on attention, but not TOO much--mostly, we've just been leaving him alone and letting him sleep and relax as much as possible.
I've been feeding him as much canned food as he wants to eat, and we're looking into putting him on a special kidney diet. Is there any diet you all recommend? I don't really like k/d, and I think Purina makes a kidney diet, but is there another option? What about raw? I've fed raw before and he tolerates it well, and loves it of course.
The second part of the equation here is Archer. I am sure he will eventually
calm down and stop being such a crazy little brat-cat, but in the meantime, is
there anything I can do to wear HIM out so he doesn't attack everyone? I'm
thinking about getting one of those cat exercise wheels. Archer gets lots of
attention and play from us, since he basically follows us around demanding it,
but he still wants to play with the other cats. Dizzy and Spyder, our other two
cats, don't want to play with him but they don't seem to get stressed over it
the way Austin does.
Any tips? Advice? Anything I should be thinking about? Thanks!