I also have a little brother and when he was younger you would pick the cat up horrably wrong by the neck, and he wouldn't stop his technique. Thats why i think it doens't like being picked up.
I can imagine so. This unfortunately happens all too frequently when children are left unsupervised or not taught proper care of pets.
And about stimulation, it has its own place pretty much downstairs in the basement. what else can I do so it can have fun?
Sounds like he has a lot of space and privacy and that's good, especially for an older cat. Older cats need more sleep but do still need stimulation to make their lives fulfilling. Interactive games are best, the traditional wand w/ a feather or mouse lure, throwing toy mice back and forth across the room. "Da Bird" is the best I've found and has various attachments based on your cat's preference. If you're strapped for $$, cats are very imaginative. My cats love the little tiny bows you can buy at Hallmark for small presents. Some cats really enjoy batting the tabs from milk cartons around (be careful to supervise though to prevent choking). Crumble up aluminum foil into little balls and roll them across the floor. Drag a string around on the floor. Hang bird feeders outside to attract more interesting visual stimulation during the day when you're not around. Buy some fake mice for him/her to bat around when you're gone.
If you have more $$, I'd highly recommend the Panic Mouse (http://www.panicmouseinc.com
). It has a built-in computer board that signals a battery-powered motor, creating random and unpredictable, "mouse-like" movements w/ the traditional plastic wand and little black mouse at the end. My cats love it, especially if I put plastic paper underneath it to add to the sound stimulation. I've also placed open boxes strategically near it so it looks like the mouse is darting into the box.
The best, least expensive cat toys I have ever found are apparently old classics called the Cat Dancer and Cat Charmer (http://www.catdancer.com
). I have never found a cat that will not play with at least one of these. You could buy both for under $10.
Also, What are good methods to make an indoor cat lose weight? When we buy different food it doesn't even eat sometimes. At times this cat seems very bright, in ways of gettign its feelings accross.
Cat weight loss is a tricky business and can be dangerous! Here's an article I recommend you read: http://cats.about.com/cs/catfood/a/weightcontrol.htm
. Obviously, you want to cut out table scraps, take up your dog's food (some cats love dog food), and make sure he's not getting meals from other sources (mice in the basement, etc.). I would again recommend you have your cat checked out by a vet and get more specific, personalized advice from an expert.
Cats don't usually like to have their food switched, particularly if you're changing from the tastier, fattier food to some diet version (neither do humans). If you want to switch brands, most experts recommend that you gradually make the conversion, mixing a little of the new in w/ the old, slowly changing the proportion until it's all the new kind.