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Author Topic: Cassie and Rascal  (Read 6652 times)
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catmom5
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« on: December 04, 2011, 06:19:03 PM »

Trouble in River City!

I think I mentioned that we were having issues with the girls not getting along. I have Feliway diffusers, Rescue Remedy, squirt bottle and now they are being separated by confining one (Rascal right now) in the den. Things seem to be escalating and I can't seem to figure out what's triggering it. Friday night Rascal backed up to the front door and sprayed - something she has never done. And I'm wondering now if the overgrooming is anxiety with her.

I suspect that Cassie is the initial instigator - she is very needy and jealous of me. Rascal is very upset now and I think she's reacting to Cassie. Tonight we had more fur flying! I have contacted the vet at MSU and she won't even consider prescribing anything for them until we work with the "behavior specialist". Frankly, I do not have the time, energy or money to do that right now.

So . . . my plan for the time being is to rotate them in and out of the den (Rascal in tonight, Cassie in tomorrow) just to keep them separated. Sometimes they are fine, but every few days they get into it.

Any thoughts? Any ideas?

I love my girls so much, it's breaking my heart to have this happen.

Thanks for any help you might offer.
catmom5
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petslave
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2011, 07:30:06 PM »

Wow, that's a hard one, catmom5.  I hope you are able to get the issues worked about between those 2 girls.  Separation in different rooms sounds like a very good plan for now.  Could they be reacting to the feral kitties outside?

I wonder if some daily feather-on-a-string toy workouts would wear them down some, if you have time for that.  Maybe each alone in their own rooms at first - lots of play, interspersed with petting and maybe a brushing.  Then later you could put them in the same room and do a group play session.  I know mine play well in a group like that since the focus is all on the feather flying around on the string and not what the other cat is doing.  But I'm not sure where you go from there, unless the exercise takes the edge off enough so they don't fight anymore.

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August
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2011, 10:30:30 PM »

Urgh.  I don't have any advice - I just wanted to tell you I hear you.   Tongue   It's awful to see your family not getting along and having to separate and always having to worry about the nitty gritty.  I hope you'll find an answer ... and share.   Roll Eyes  Until then, big hugs.
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Fizzy1
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2011, 11:02:49 PM »

Oh I can understand how upsetting this is.  I think that separation is the best thing to start with.  Have there been any changes in your home?  Hugs from me too!
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I once asked a four year old what the secret of life was.  "Feed the kitties," she said, "Feed the kitties."--Ellis Felker
Mandycat
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 01:09:50 AM »

Have they gotten along well in the past?  I know that it is probably impossible for cats to get along 100% of the time, but if they were fine most of the time, this is strange.  Could there be any medical issues with either one of them that would cause irritability that then triggers the fights?  Perhaps a check-up would be in order if they haven't had one recently just to be sure that there isn't a medical problem.  What you are doing for now seems to be reasonable, but I hope a long-term solution can be found that will enable them to be together.
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lesliek
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 05:30:03 AM »

I'm wondering the same as mandycat. As Punkin got sicker, Oreo went after him more here. In hindsight that alone should have warned me it was more than just aging wrong with Punkin. In the meantime, separation & a lot of play to tire them  along with feliway & rescue remedy will hopefully help.
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catbird
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 06:33:44 AM »

Sorry that Cassie and Rascal are still having problems. It's so stressful when cats are not getting along.

I agree with what everyone else has said.  Especially since Rascal sprayed, I wonder very much about cats outside.  The fact that she sprayed the front door is interesting.  At one time when we saw an escalation in "cat combat", we discovered that a roaming tom was spraying outside our front door and on the nearby bushes!  I finally figured it out when I smelled it one day on the front step, probably right after he'd been there.  (Eau de Tom is unmistakable.)  Not only were we tracking it in on our feet, I'm sure our cats could smell it every time we opened the door.  We sprayed the outside area down with Nature's Miracle (I should have bought stock in the company long ago) and that seemed to help.  Then, when the weather got colder, the tom apparently quit stopping by, and we got some peace.

I also wonder if Rascal may have a UTI, since I've been told that's another reason females spray, especially if they haven't done it before.  (I have Phantom, world champion female spraying cat, and kept getting her checked for UTIs, which she never had.)

Hope you can find out what's behind the problem and get things resolved.
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catwoods
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 02:55:54 PM »

I'm so sorry to read that Casie and Rascal aren't getting along...I know how stressful that can be as I have two boy cats who can't seem to work things out right now...sending hopes for success in restoring harmony. I will second August in saying, please pass along any tips about what works! May hugs!
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catmom5
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 04:08:38 PM »

I'm writing this in a quiet color because I don't want to jinx anything. Both girls are a bit tentative, but nothing like it has been. I have been confining Cassie in my room when I can't be home - and at night - to supervise. When they are both out I keep a close eye on them and we do things like play and get brushed. So far, so good, although I'm not comfortable that this is done yet. I'm going to continue this for a long while . . . There are feliway diffusers in the house, rescue remedy on their ears and Good Cat - an herbal - in their water. It's really pricey, but worth it if it calms things down. My vet wanted to have the behaviorist from MSU come out and do a consultation, but that's just not possible right now. She was unwilling to prescribe any medication without involving the behaviorist. That's okay, though, because I know that just giving meds without other interventions won't be effective. Hoping we can have another day, then another without any aggression or fighting or stalking. 

Geez, I am tired . . . but hopeful.
catmom5
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lesliek
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 04:18:28 PM »

I hope things continue to go well !
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catbird
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 05:11:10 PM »

Very good news indeed; I really hope it continues.
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The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer--Paula Poundstone
August
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 03:01:05 AM »

More quiet cheers from here!
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Fizzy1
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 10:28:25 AM »

Good news!  Fingers crossed for all of you.
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I once asked a four year old what the secret of life was.  "Feed the kitties," she said, "Feed the kitties."--Ellis Felker
catmom5
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 12:18:02 PM »

A little bolder here . . . no problems, but I'm still confining Cassie at night and when I'm not home. Any thoughts on how long I should do this? I hate to do anything to mess up the progress we've made.

Thanks for your support. I know many of you have dealt with these kinds of problems and understand how upsetting it is when they can't/won't/don't get along. Appreciate you all so much.

catmom5
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catbird
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 02:50:01 PM »

My thought would be that if it's not a horrible inconvenience to keep Cassie confined at these times, keep on doing it for awhile.  Say, another two or three weeks, or if there are any unsettling circumstances or unusual events that you think might upset them.  (Holiday visitors?  You see cats on your doorstep? You know best whether they are going to enjoy or dislike various events.)  I'd say, take it nice and slow to avoid undoing the good results.

However, if it's difficult to do, you'll probably need to move a little faster.  But definitely another week IMO.  Since they already have supervised time together, it's not like they will have to completely re-learn each other.  They just need to un-learn the bad behavior pattern.  In average humans, this kind of learning is supposed to take about three weeks of steady practice.  I don't know that I've ever seen a timeline for cats though!
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The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer--Paula Poundstone
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