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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-16-2013, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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3 Cats, 3 questions

We have three cats and no major issues, but I do have a question about each one that I can't seem to find a good answer on in any of my books.

1) Sonic (8 month old male, neutered). Sonic is pretty bad about going after our small animal cages. He's not allowed to interact with them when they're out, but he has a tendency to climb the cages and fixate on the animals. So far (in the past four months) he hasn't swiped at anyone or shown any real aggression, but I know it stresses them out to have him fixated on them the way he is and I don't want to take any chances. We've tried training him out of it with a spray bottle, clapping, saying his name in a warning tone, putting him away in the bathroom every time he goes near, etc, and nothing, no matter how consistent, seems to get through to him. Any good training advice for a kitty with a thick skull?

2) Tucker (1.5 years, neutered) was a feral/stray cat just before he was adopted by my roommates at about 4 months of age. As a result he's always been less affectionate than most cats, though he does interact with us a lot and doesn't have any problem behaviors. However, his pupils are almost always dilated, even when he's laying down doing the slow blink. Might this be a vision issue, or is he really overstimulated 24/7? If he is, what sorts of things can we try to calm him down?

3) Sake (7ish years, spayed) does not get on well with the boys. They don't have any real fights but there's a lot of hissing and growling any time she's forced to be around them, or if they hop up on the couch she's sleeping on, etc. For the most part they don't need to interact because our place is pretty big and she sleeps in my room at night with the door closed to the boys, but she's been doing a lot of overgrooming on her belly and I'm worried she's stressed just knowing they're around. I think a big part of the problem is that we totally botched the initial introduction, so we're going to try doing a re-introduction. Does anyone have good advice for making sure intro #2 goes well?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-16-2013, 04:25 PM
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1. Sonic's fixation was addressed on an episode of "My cat from h*ll" with Jackson Galaxy. The cat parents had a very active Sphynx cat that constantly tried to get at the small animal cages causing all kinds of anxiety. The solution was to move any furniture that allowed him get on top of or near the cages. You may need to move some stuff around and elevate the cages higher.
2. Tucker may outgrow his anxiety, in the meantime you can try some calming diffuser like Fel-i-way. They plug in but will calm all the animals down. Try a couple for a month (one covers about 450sf of air space) and if they don't help, or help too much you can discontinue them. You can also talk to the vet about a mild anti anxiety medication for him. Here's a link to read up on some. Anti-anxiety Medication for Cats If it's just his eyes and otherwise he seems fine, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Maybe get a referral for an evaluation from a dedicated animal eye specialist.
3. Sake sounds like she'd fit right in in my house. I have 5 indoor cats and for the most part they tolerate each other but there is plenty of hissing and growling at times. Fel-i-way may help this too - so it could benefit 2 cats.

Hope this helps. I'm sure others will chime in.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-16-2013, 06:14 PM
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For the first problem, moving the furniture as Marcia suggested is a great idea (and watch that episode if you can!). Could you also set up some bird feeders outside? Obviously only do that if he is an indoor only cat, but I have found setting up bird feeders to attract wild birds while also setting up a comfortable perch for viewing (especially if the window sill isn't wide enough to sit in) can redirect some of the attention towards other animals. Birds will be more likely to come to feeders that are somewhat close to some brush, but you will get a few brave ones with window feeders as well (best to have both really). If bird feeders aren't an option, if you can set up some way for him to watch the little critters from a distance then everyone might be happy. Additionally, my cat Midas used to also love to sit on top of my tarantula tank. I don't even know why, she is basically a pet rock that doesn't move. But I digress, I solved that with a Ssscat placed on top of the tank. It wasn't even that I thought he was stressing her out (see above rock comment), but I just didn't trust the wire mesh to hold his weight forever, and I didn't want her to be crushed, him to be bit, or to have a large spider wandering around my house.

So basically, a Ssscat on top of the cages where he hops up, and then maybe a tree some feet away so he can still watch might be your best option. It's kind of like how the San Diego Wild Animal Park keeps the lions next to the herd animals to keep the herd animals on their toes, but not too stressed out because they get used to it.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-16-2013, 07:14 PM
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As far as Tucker goes I would use plug in Feliway dispensers. Plus give him the all natural Composure Liquid by Vetri Science to help relax and calm him down. I wouldnt give him anti Anxiety med unless this is a last resort. I would worry if his eyes are always dilated. I would have his vision check out by a vet.

Do you play with Sonic everyday. Some cats need that stimulation or they will become fixated on something to give themselves something to do. It wouldn't hurt to have some higher vertical areas for Sonic to climb and perch on.

This is a good article on cat to cat intros: Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat

plus check out the book


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