How do I help her cope? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
Tom Cat
 
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Location: Eagan, MN
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How do I help her cope?

Almost two months ago my friend and her cat (Ellie) moved in with me and my two cats (Gabby and Lily). Almost instantly Ellie and Lily became best friends. Soon after they moved in I realized that I was allergic to Ellie. I tried everything I could to manage this issue and was certainly willing to let Ellie stay, except for the fact that my roommate was not taking care of her. She never cleaned the litter boxes, played with her, or pitched in for food or litter. She even went as far as locking her out of her room at night, even though she would cry outside the door all night! So long story short, yesterday my roommates mom came and took Ellie home with her.

This is where my problem began. Lily is driving me crazy! I do feel bad for her, but I don't know what to do. She follows me and my roommate around everywhere crying. She does not cry quietly either. She kept me up all night last night crying and walking on me. I realize that she is very sad and has no idea what happened to her friend, but how do I make her feel better. I let her follow me and I try and play and cuddle with her more, but nothing seems to be helping. She still has Gabby and they love each other, so its not that she is an only cat, but Gabby is kind of a loner and won't cuddle with Lily. I feel so guilty and I don't know what to do. Any ideas?

Katie

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 04:30 PM
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Bring Ellie back. Surely you can handle a few hives and chronic asthma for Lily's happiness.

***I'm allowed to say that, Lily and Gabby are my cat-nieces***


Like I said on the phone, I have no idea how you can console her. But maybe someone here will have some suggestions.

Comfort food, Mommy cuddles, and Da Bird time?


Of course, that raises the question of...what's comfort food for a cat? Chicken soup?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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If allergies are the main reason why she had to leave, you could try taking her back and giving her a weekly rub-down with special allergy wipes. I know of a few people who do that, and it allows them to live with cats when they normally would not be able to.

If the price of food and litter is a real issue, then maybe ask your roommate frankly to contribute a given sum per month... and you can take care of Ellie as if she were yours.

What do you think?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 05:11 PM
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I should let My3babies respond for herself...but...

As soon as Ellie moved in, My3babies started getting terrible hives all over her body. She then also got sick and started having asthma attacks as well (she doesn't even normally have asthma at all!). She tried bathing Ellie weekly and wiping her down...as well as vaccuming a lot...but it hasn't helped...plus those things take a lot of time.

Also, Ellie's mom seems to not care for her AT all. Almost never pets or plays with her. She won't let Ellie sleep with her either. My3babies needs to minimize contact with Ellie, it's heartbreaking to hear Ellie crying to be let into the bedroom at night...so My3babies gives in and lets Ellie come into the room to sleep with her, Lily, and Gabby and then My3babies wakes up with hives...ITCHY hives. The financial issues are also there.

Further, 3 cats are more work than 2. Which is why I have My3babies' third cat (Kota, Mr. FLUTD) at my house for the duration of the school year, so that she can focus on school and not so much on cat care.

So, I don't really think taking Ellie back is a good idea. Sooner or later Lily is going to have to adjust to life without her...it's just a matter of helping her make that transition.

Any ideas on how?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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Oh wow, okay, with those details now I understand better

To ease the transition, I would say that spending as much "quality time" as possible with Lily should help... extra time playing with the Da Bird or her favorite toys, setting up a new routine of brushing and treats or something else she really likes, preferably when she shows signs of missing Ellie the most (if she cries more at night, for instance)... maybe offering her a few food treats here and there - chicken breast, shredded turkey breast, her favorite canned food etc...

I would think that the main thing is to establish a comforting routine, and try to stick to it as much as possible. It should help her adapt to the new situation, knowing exactly when to expect what... eventually she should accept the fact that Ellie is not around anymore.

Also, might sound silly to a lot of people, but asking an animal communicator to explain the situation to the cat and letting them explain what bothers them can really help. I have several friends whose cats' behavior completely changed overnight thanks to this... might be worth a short if the rest does not work after a month or two.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
Tom Cat
 
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Thanks Kitty's mom for filling everyone in with the details. I was going to write it all out in my original post, but it was like three pages long!

Thanks Nini for the advice as well. Ellie leaving wasn't really my choice I would have tolerated the hives just to make Lily happyand I did care for Ellie as if she was my own. I think my roommate was just looking for a reason to get rid of her.

I have been cuddling with her every chance I get and I tried playing with her, but had no success. I got out DaBird and she sat in the middle of the room and stared at me! Usually she will atleast run at it like a nut even though she never touches it.

Then I gave her a bunch of her favorite toys (cat crazies) and played with her and she wouldn't move. She just looked at me and cried.


I will try establishing a feed, brush, cuddle, and play routine and hopefully she will get the attention and the stability that she needs.

Katie

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 08:44 PM
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Although I understand there are levels of sensitivity and so some people with allergies can react to one cat and not to another, I find the dramatic difference between her own cats and her roomate's cat to be rather curious. Perhaps there's some other factor involved here that she isn't aware of that's setting off these allergic attacks. Some other factor that by itself, or maybe even the cat by itself wouldn't set off an attack, but combined together will. I think she should discuss this with her allergist.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Tom Cat
 
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I am allergic to my cats as well as everything else...just the skin testing made my arm blow up like a balloon! However, I only have slight reactions to my own cats. I believe that Ellie just put me over the top. Whether I was allergic to her or not is really not the issue though. My roommate refused to take any responsibility for her cat and she was over joyed to get rid of her. Lily and I were sad to see her go. I can't do anything to get Ellie back, all I can do is try and help my baby feel better.

Katie

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 10:15 PM
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I'm sad you can't take Ellie back. Lily should get over it just fine. They were only together two months. I don't think you need to do anything special except just be there for her.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to give an update. Lily is doing much better and I am glad she is getting over Ellie. She still occasionally sits in the kitchen and howls, but stops with distraction. Thanks for the advice. I am soo glad that my baby is feeling better.

Katie

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