Bartleby is insane. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Bartleby is insane.

Hey guys!

It's been a while, but here's what's been going on.

Everything but progress.

(backstory) Bartleby was about 1 and half when we got Joon (6 or 7 year old girl) in October, after moving here in August. Keep in mind, at that point, we hadn't had Bartleby all that long. And the lady that was fostering him had another cat.

We immediately had to put Joon in our office with a baby gate. Bartleby would hunt her. Like when they see a squirrel or bird. And pounce on her and bite so hard that she'd just lay there and cry (we only let that happen once, didn't know he was being that ferocious).

Well, it's been almost 5 months. We now have it split up where Joon has the livingroom and kitchen, and Bartleby has the office & bedroom. That way they both have big windows, etc. But to this day, if Bartleby can get to Joon, he will try and kill her. That's all there is to it. It's not playing. I know this, because my hand has come between the snake-like attack he goes at her with. When he's mad, now, he bites my hand and pulls my skin up, like he's trying to tear flesh off. I can only imagine how much pain he'd put Joon in. Even if she just comes to the baby gate, when one of us is in the office, Bartleby will run at the baby gate and slam into it to scare her away. It's beyond mean. I've never owned a mean cat. Then again, Bartleby's normally not a mean cat!

We've tried Feliway. I've even put him in a crate next to it, with her laying somewhere near. He tries to get out of the crate like a velocoraptor the entire time. The stuff has never calmed him.

We can't give up and just say Bartleby is a one cat, cat. Because a) we're not getting rid of either cat and b) we don't want only one cat. If we had more room, we'd have 3.

Help, help, help.

Thank you.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 07:53 AM
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Hi! I recall you posting a few months back. I think it was about a month after you adopted Joon. At that time, it was suggested you separate the cats via baby gates (which you’ve done), and to have lots of good things happen by the gates (food, treats, play, etc.). I’m not sure to what extent you followed the “good things by the gate” routine, and I don’t say that to be critical. I mention it only because my advice now will differ depending on whether you did or didn’t stick to the “good things by the gate” routine and, if so, for how long.

If you didn’t do the routine…or only tried it for a little while but gave up…then I would try it again. Feed them either side of the gate. Do what you can to play with them on either side. Give them treats together. Put their water dishes/fountains close to the gate. Put any cat grass and/or favorite toys either side of the gate, and so forth. Also, exchange their places once a day. So, let Bartleby roam around in the living room/kitchen, and let Joon roam around in the office/bedroom. You say you tried Feliway, with no success…but did you try other non-prescription remedies, such as Spirit Essences or Rescue Remedy? If not, you might give one of those a shot. This “good things by the gate” approach has worked for others here (including myself), although it often takes 3-6 months of consistent application, which I know is a lot of work and can be very frustrating.

On the other hand, if you have been following the “good things by the gate” routine for some 5 months now and Bartleby is still at the point of trying to attack Joon…or if you tried the routine for a good length of time and weren’t able to get anywhere because Bartleby was too focused on attacking Joon…then you now only have a few options that I see:

a) Speak to your vet (if you haven’t already) to see if he/she might recommend medication to calm Bartleby down. Alternatively, as noted above, try things such as Spirit Essences or Rescue Remedy, if you haven’t already.

b) Hire a professional behaviorist who will be able to observe the cats first-hand and provide you with a more specific program (which may or may not involve medication, either prescription or non-prescription). I used a behaviorist with success when introducing my two girls. The cost will likely be in the range of $250-$300 (assuming you’re in North America). Although that’s not cheap, it’s no more than you might pay in vet bills if one of the cats were sick. The trick will be in finding a good behaviorist. If you’re interested in pursuing this option, I’d be happy to give you advice as to how to go about finding a good behaviorist.

c) If neither of the above options appeals to you (and on the assumption you’ve done all you can with the “good things by the gate routine”, yet you’ve gotten nowhere), then as much as you don’t like the thought, you might need to re-home one of the cats. Alternatively, you will need to recognize that these two might always need to be separated.

I wish you the best of luck and feel free to post again if you need clarification. Perhaps others here will have other suggestions too.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 02:46 PM
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Unfortunately, with cats like Bartleby who get so fixated on attacking another cat, even careful re-intros don't work. In that case you may just have to keep them separated so that they don't interact. Some cats just want to be a solitary cat and that's all there is to it. And if you won't rehome one or the other, then keeping them separate will be the only way to have a peaceful household. Believe me, it's not easy. Doors get left ajar accidentally and then there's fireworks. Had a situation like yours many years ago.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 03:37 PM
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Not sure there's much to add - just wanted to wish you luck and hope things go smoother after abit.
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