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Discussion Starter #1
Hi to all out the on this absolutely great forum...I have not been able to tear myself away for days, reading all the posts here!

A little back ground to my question first off:

Me and partner got our oldest cat John last November from her mum, who had 3 adult cats, but found it difficult dealing with them all.
John was actually a stray, who just turned up one day at their door (Yorkshire, UK) and decided to stay. He lived with the other 2 cats for about 5 years, and is what I always call a very 'regal' fellow. He is very powerfully built, very independent, and almost looks down on us as if he were aristocracy! He has a strong will, but is quite sedate. He has never been a big "player" but has always been an indoor/outdoor cat, who would often go out all night, probably beating up other cats I suspect.

When he came to live with us, he immediately settled in within 15 minutes of being there. He actually became more active, and even started playing occasionally, chasing things and 'hunting' the toy mouse. Once we decided to let him out, he took to it slowly, but by the start of last summer he was out every day for long periods, but never going out of our big garden. We both work, and he would often be out to greet us when we got home. Despite what many say, he IS social, but just not a lovey-lovey, "please give me attention" type.

So, we moved house about 8 weeks ago from the UK to Germany, and after a fairly stress free journey with John in his box, we arrived in the new flat. This is the first problem; he can no longer go out. He seems fine, and is purring a lot and "smiling" at us all the time, but has just become SO lethargic, and almost "bored". We make sure we pick him up a lot, and he still walks round the apartment, but it's as if he just can't be bothered to do anything, yet still seeming quite content. I know this has something to with not going out, and so in an attempt to give some company while we are working, we got a kitten last weekend.

I don't really want to go into a post about how to introduce, as we are quite aware of what we need to do (maulie the new one is BEAUTIFUL btw!), and are giving John LOTS of love and attention, swapping scents etc. We plan to do this for about 30 days.

The other thing I have done, after reading a few horrible posts and articles on here, is to start gradually change his feeding from dry-wet-Raw over a period of 3 weeks.

This is all clearly a lot for John to handle, but he seems ok in himslef. He still comes and sleeps with us for a while, and when I opened the new can of wet food this morning (100% meat) he went insane with joy! I just need some ideas as to how to get him going again.

He was checked by the vet numerous times before we left the UK, so no problems there, but obviously the stress of moving coupled with not going out, coupled with new kitten has taken its' toll.

Can anyone out there give us some words of wisdom on how to motivate our aristocratic john-boy???!! Will he get used to not going out?

We don't plan to stay in the flat for more than the winter, and next year will be back in a house with a garden, but I don't want his personality to change to a lethargic layabout forever!

The other thing is, he is on very small doses of Metacam (1 drop every 2 days), for a mild recurring gum disease he has (I know, I know...BAD STUFF, but it helps him not wince everytime he eats), could this be affecting him too?

God I know I've written loads, but knowing you guys are so knowlegable, I'm hoping I can get some good advice!

Best regards from the flatlands of Northern Germany,

Bob, Del, John and Maulie.
 

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Hi, welcome and what a great first post! It sounds like your kitties hit the Lottery with you both. Overall, I wouldn't be too concerned about John's lack of activity. I do think him not going outside could affect him in this manner, but I also think he will adjust to the new living situation. You could also try more enticing toys in an effort to get him to move, run and play a bit more in the house, but some cats just aren't up to chasing toys around. Most of our cats *love* the laser-light, but Squirrely-Jo will only chase it once or twice, then she's done. She'll just sit in one spot until you bring it close enough for her to slap her paw at it while another cat will chase it everywhere and try to run up the wall after it. Cats are just 'different'.
I don't have any experience with Metacam, though I wonder if such a low dose could/would have any cumulative and/or negative effect on him. Someone else with more experience than me will have to answer.
heidi =^..^=
 

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Does John have some windows he can look out? My girls can sit and watch the birds at the feeder on my neighbor's fence for hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi all!

Thanks for the replies...Yes, John does have a few windows to look out of, as well as a balcony which he go out on when we're home. There is a great deal to see out of the window except trees and houses, but it's better than nothing I suppose.

We aren't really worried as such about him, and we certainly do attribute most of his behaviour to our rather long house move (as well as the coolness he is exhibiting from the new kitten being in the house...I think he is going to need every minute of the 30 days we have alloted for the introduction!) as well as being in a new place. He is eating less too, but I believe in allowing cats to regulate their feeding, and with him not really being active at all at the moment, it makes sense that he isn't eating as much.

Regarding the Metacam, he has been on it for quite some time, as it simply eases his pain from his gingivitus, but has never shown any side effects. After reading all the bad stuff about the drug, we are going regulate dose as low as possible, but stopping altogether might mean more pain for Johnny boy, which he certainly doesn't need right now!

Are we right in thinking he could need a couple of months before he feels fully comfortable in the new place (and with the new cat)?

If time is all it takes, then he can have as much as he wants...he is a true star! (Will post a pic soon...He declines to be photographed at the moment...) :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh yes, just for info, we moved here approximately 7 weeks ago...

I guess that isn't so long for a cat to get used to a new place...is it?
 

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Oh, by 7wks I'd expect the pets to have adjusted by then...it does sound to me like you are on the right track with your thoughts about him. I also had a cat with mouth problems and we had to remove all of her molars to make her comfortable. She was able to eat just fine, both canned and dry. However, we did have to continue to give her a low dose of steroids every day or every other day to keep her comfortable. That med *did* shorten her life, but as far as quality of life goes, she had a fabulous four years with us, compared to however long she could/would have lived without the steroids but have been in constant pain. It was a trade-off and now I try to only focus on how well she enjoyed her short life.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Heidi...good to share thoughts...

Regarding adjustment, he is completely relaxed in the apartment, and is after changing his food, we really have seen a change in him (comes and sits with us in the kitchen, sits on his cat tower etc..) but I think we're expecting too much to be wanting him to run around and be active...He can't go outdoors, and I know he wants to.

It's also a heck of a lot to expect him to adjust to, see we're just having patience and giving him love, and honestly? i can notice the diffference already. He is losing wieght, but eating less is obviously going to cause this.

he's a great lad, and I can't wait until we have a garden again. He is just SO independent, and I think he just feels a bit bored in this "unnatural environement"

Which steroids did you give your cat that shortened his/her life?
 
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