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My 13 yo female spayed neutered cat has an anxiety problem.

When she was 2, I got her a friend, or so I thought and I noticed that she was pulling out small amounts of hair on her front leg. (Her friend was a male kitten who has a very different personality and is extremely needy for attention. He pays rough with her and bullies her around. She is about 6 pounds (very tiny) and he is around 11, so there is quite a size difference. )

Her vet told me the cat was anxious, and I should consider putting her on anxiety meds, like Amitryptaline. I said no because I thought it was mean to drug her.

Now fast forward. She is 13 and he is 11. He still plays rough with her, she has two small nics from her ear and last month her bloodied her up and I thougt she had a bloody nose. (I freaked out, ran to the vets, no bloody nose just a cut near her nose from his claws.)

In addition to that, I moved in with my boyfriend a year ago. She hates my boyfriend. Her hair pulling out is much worse, her belly has no hair on it at all. She hides from him and if he approaches she growls and hisses. WHen he is gone or asleep and she is not hiding, she contantly is looking around for him pacing in front of our bedroom or constantly looking around over her shoulder. He has never done a single thing to her that might be conisdered abusive or mean, although when we first moved in he did try and pick her up, which she won't even let me do. Obviously he doesn't pick her up any more.

My current vet said I should put her on anxiety meds. I said maybe and he filled a script for me. I asked him for a behavior consult and I called a cat behaviorist. The cat shrink told me that she is 13 (sort of old) and I should put her on the meds.

I gave her a pill and she was like a zombie. It broke my heart and I stopped.

So my question is: is it cruel for me NOT to give her the meds? Is her life worse because she is so stressed out and I don't want to drug her?

BTW, she is originally a shelter cat so she has no breed specific predispositions.

Thanks for your input.
 

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It's sad to hear your story :(

Is the male neutered? Do you trim his claws, how often? Maybe claw pads would prevent him from scratching her. :?

She seems skiddish, you say she doesn't go into your arms or your bf? :( How about having a room in your house to her alone, or some kind of a separation between the two? If it's a two-story house, you can buy a gate and keep the two cats totally separate, one upstairs one downstairs. Cats won't jump over gates if they are high enough... 32+ inches. Then you can have litter boxes and food for both, she might be less skiddish. :D

In my opinion, if she was skiddish to begin with, getting a twice as big, agressive male was a mistake. Instead a small female, just like she is, would have been a much better choice, in my opinion. :(

Good luck. :)
 

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Thanks for your response.

When I got the male cat he was a tiny kitten and I had no idea how big he would get and she is a tiny little thing. He is neutered although he seems forget that because I catch him mounting her every now and then. I trim his claws regularly.

I just learned that its better to get a companion of the same gender.

Back to my female, she loves me and hangs around me whenever my boyfriend isn't home. She sits in my lap and chases me around the house when she thinks I am spying on her. (Hence my name "spy cat" because she is a total spy cat and loves to hide and spy on people, but will chase me if she thinks I am spying on her...) As long as my boyfriend isn't home or around, she is fine. If she hears his voice, she freaks out.

I'm less worried about the other cat than I am about the stress of her issues with my boyfriend.
 

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I would not put an elderly cat on anxiety meds! That's just putting a bandaid on it; it does not solve the problem, it only stops the behavior by making her too dull to do anything!

You might want to consider flower essences for this cat. They are natural and completely safe. There are many formulas to choose from at www.spiritessence.com; I would look at things like Safe Space, Scaredy Cat, Space Invader, and Obsession to see which one fits her personality and the situation the best; or consider a personalized essence.

Also, you'll want to work on improving her relationship with boyfriend. Have him feed her, give her treats, associate *good* things with him. If he has a loud voice, have him try to be quieter around her. He needs ot make a special effort to be friends with her by behaving in a cat-friendly way. Hope that makes sense!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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spycat said:
Thanks for your response.

When I got the male cat he was a tiny kitten and I had no idea how big he would get and she is a tiny little thing. He is neutered although he seems forget that because I catch him mounting her every now and then. I trim his claws regularly.

I just learned that its better to get a companion of the same gender.

Back to my female, she loves me and hangs around me whenever my boyfriend isn't home. She sits in my lap and chases me around the house when she thinks I am spying on her. (Hence my name "spy cat" because she is a total spy cat and loves to hide and spy on people, but will chase me if she thinks I am spying on her...) As long as my boyfriend isn't home or around, she is fine. If she hears his voice, she freaks out.

I'm less worried about the other cat than I am about the stress of her issues with my boyfriend.
I guess it makes more sense you didnt' know how big the male was going to get when you got him as a kitten! :oops: :p

I'd say Jean is right, try to do introductions between the female and your bf, it's your best course of action. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dr. Jean, thank you so much for saying that! Putting her on meds never felt right in my gut.

I have been to your website and looked at the flower essences.

Just to let you know, initially, I tried to have him give her treats but she won't take food from him. She sits there and growls and sometimes will hiss.

Funny thing is, before we moved in together she had no problem with him and she never had a problem with anyone else.
 

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spycat said:
I just learned that its better to get a companion of the same gender.
I've never heard that; the two opinions I've heard are:
1. It doesn't matter; any gender combination is equally likely to work. and
2. Males and females work best together.

I think that opinion 1 is more true. I have 1 female and 3 males. The female gets along with 1 of the males, but hisses and swats at the other two. All of the guys get along pretty well, but not as well as the female and the one male do.


Good luck with the flower essences!!
 

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I had a female and got a male because I heard that same thing. They say that second cat of the same sex will be viewed by the resident cat as a rival for territory.
 
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