Behavior issues?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by JJinGA, Jan 28, 2018.

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  1. JJinGA

    JJinGA New Member

    Nov 10, 2017
    Good morning everyone! I have not been active on here because Yoshi's blood sugars have all been normal once we switched him off of the prescription food.
    I also want to preface this by saying that I've had cats my entire adult life. I like to think I mostly understand their behavior - body language, when they just need to be crazy and run around the house for a bit, etc. This is also going to be really long, so I apologize and I hope you stick with me because I'm about at my wits end.

    This recent situation has me stumped. I'm not sure if there's something I'm not doing correctly or if I'm just projecting what I *wish* onto the situation or what. But I could really use some unbiased, experienced opinions here.

    I've had my oldest cat Sophie for over 12 years now. Honestly, she's been a joy. No problems, she moved from Georgia to Pennsylvania and back again with me, adjusted well both times, adjusted to moving in with my husband when we got married, no issues.

    Then we got her a little brother about 8 months after we got married. If I remember correctly, Yoshi was 7 weeks old when we brought him home - too young, but the owners wanted the kittens gone and were ready to take them to the pound. We kept him isolated in a bedroom for quite a while, seperate from Sophie, but they could still smell each other under the door, etc. We followed all the recommended advice on introducing them. It took a long time, and of course we didn't let him have the run of the house even after he was bigger and wasn't getting into quite as much. Supervised them together for several weeks and Sophie always had a place she could go and escape him.

    They never truly "got along" in the way I see some cats snuggled together, bathing each other, etc. I feel like its some kind of dominance thing, and that Yoshi doesn't pick up on the cues that Sophie lays down. And this especially happens when one or both of us come home from being out. Sophie usually deigns to get up and come and greet us. Yoshi greets us too, but then starts chasing Sophie around. Sophie ain't having it. She growls and hisses and when he finally pounces on her head, the fur flies and it sounds like a portal to hell has opened in my living room with the screaming. We clap, stomp, yell at him to get off her - and maybe that's been the wrong approach all these years as it clearly hasn't been working. So he'll stop for a minute, but the second our back is turned he's at it again. It takes him probably about a half hour to settle down each time. It makes coming home super stressful, and that's the last thing that should be.

    At night when we're watching tv, he'll randomly do the same thing. Sophie usually sees him coming, the growling starts, and we start yelling. The spray bottle makes an appearance. The spray bottle generally works, but he always looks at me like he's so confused, he can't understand why he can't jump on his sister's head while she's growling and warning him off. I'm *guessing* since he left his mother & siblings so young, that he just didn't learn these cues when he was a baby. But why can't he learn them now?? Like I said, this has been going on for YEARS. How can we fix this behavior once and for all? Is there any hope? And yes, they're both fixed. I actually even wondered if something wasn't caught completely when he was fixed and maybe there's some lingering crazy juice in his system! I told you, I'm at my wits end, lol.

    So a few years ago, Yoshi developed interstitial cystitis. I noticed he was avoiding the litter box and peeing on beds, and then we started to see blood. Off to the vet he went, they diagnosed him, and that's how he ended up on the prescription food.

    A few months ago, I noticed he was drinking a lot more water and had lost some weight. I watched him for a few days, then back to the vet we went just to have him diagnosed with diabetes. A change of food and a few doses of insulin was all he needed, and the blood sugars have been fine since. The behaviors never quit.

    Soon after that, a small cat turned up outside our house. She and her sister had been kicked out of a house or something and I had been wanting an outdoor cat to help with squirrels, chipmunks, etc. She stays outside, but we feed her at the same time as our two inside. Sophie expressed some interest in her originally, but now it seems like she couldn't care less. Yoshi, on the other hand, continues to freak out about her presence and I'm guessing this is why he's started with this new pee issue.

    Our front door (right beside the kitchen) has a long rectangular window in it that's mostly frosted glass in a pattern, but you can still generally see things on the other side of it. Yoshi will THROW himself at her, then paw the glass like he's digging his way out. He's hit it pretty hard a few times and I'm seriously questioning his sanity and brain cells at this point. I've opened the door a crack and let them sniff each other, which he seems to enjoy, although maybe this was the wrong move? She's escaped into the house a couple times, and he's escaped into the garage with her once (we put her little outdoor house in our garage with a heater when the weather gets below freezing). Each time he just looks really confused.

    We have all the bedroom doors shut because he will absolutely pee on anything soft. He's peed on our bed several times, once right on top of me, but mostly on my husbands side of the bed - trying to claim us maybe?? He peed on the bubble wrap that I had in a box in the spare bedroom! He peed on the extra blanket my husband keeps downstairs in his man cave. I'm really surprised he hasn't peed on the couch in the living room, although now that I say that...

    His newest "trick" is peeing in the sink in the hall bathroom. Makes for easier clean up, but still not really appropriate when there are two litter boxes nearby.

    Keep in mind, he still jumps on Sophie's head, chases her around when she doesn't want to be chased, and attacks the front door when the other cat is out on the front porch.

    We have to shut him out of our bedroom at night, so he's alone out here in the main part of the house, which I feel terribly guilty about, and I'm afraid is just exacerbating the issues. He's a super sweet cat the rest of the time. Incredibly affectionate, curious, loves to smush your belly and then curl up in your lap. As I write this, he's laid out beside me on the couch taking a snooze. We've tried giving him more affection, he's definitely not shy about asking for it.
    I've also tried more playtime, especially when he's jumping and chasing his sister. He seems to enjoy it and it does distract him. For a few minutes. Then he's bored again and back to jumping on her or pacing around or attacking the front door. I don't know how to keep him entertained longer than five minutes! They have toys galore, of course, but do they ever get played with? No.

    Sophie has generally taken to following me from room to room for "protection." She sleeps in the bedroom with us at night. Still no problems with her, although I wish for her sake that she could have the run of the house once more and enjoy the rooms that we now have to keep closed off.

    So here's the crux: we're now pregnant with our first child. Soon there will be a nursery to remodel, a crib to put together, and so many oh-so-tempting soft baby things for him to pee on. Plus all of the schedule disruption that comes with a newborn. I'm so afraid the issues will get worse. And of course I can't yell at the cats when a baby is sleeping! That's also not the kind of parent we want to be - yelling at kids and cats to stop yelling? Counterintuitive.

    What do I do? Getting rid of him is not an option at this point. I don't know anyone who would take him and it hurts my heart to even think about it. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips to help?? If we've been doing something wrong all these years, then we'll definitely correct it. I just don't know what. We need to fix the pee issue and the fighting. I thought he would grow out of the playing/fighting but he's almost 6 years old now. Baby is due in September. That seems like plenty of time to fix things, but I just don't know where to start or how to begin to address this.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart if you read all this and it managed to make sense! I know its long, but I really feel all that background is essential to understanding the situation.
  2. Squalliesmom

    Squalliesmom Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2015
    Do you ever watch "My Cat From Hell"? Jackson Galaxy has touched on just this sort of thing so many times! He has a website, might be worth checking it out. He also has a book called "Cat Daddy".

    Marilyn Krieger, self-styled "Cat Coach", also has a website, and a book that lots of folks swear by (I've never read it so can't personally attest to it).

    My Bengal boy will pee on soft things, too, but his peeing is generally him marking his territory. He is terribly insecure and all it takes is one trip to the vet (for any of the kitties) or a suspicion of a cat outside, for him to initiate this behavior. I also have a Bengal girl who jumps on the other cats like your Yoshi does to Sophie; I'm real familiar with that portal to hell - you haven't heard anything until you've heard two Bengals screeching at each other, believe me!!! I have no idea why she does this, but I suspect it has to do with the first 10 months of her life, where she lived with a cat hoarder. She thinks she's playing, but she bites and, needless to say, the others don't like this. When the others don't want to play back she gets seriously pissed at them, the devil horns sprout and the gateway is opened! Once she gets going in pissed-cat mode, she is undeterred by anything.

    So I may not be able to help you much, but I sure can empathize! :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
  3. Sylvie

    Sylvie Member

    Sep 26, 2017
    have you tried a calming collar?? know it may not work for all cats but, that is what we put on our bipolar cat (what i call his previous behavior), and within 2 wks he was no longer growling & attacking his favorite cats to pick on or peeing /marking areas. once in a great while since, he will get irritable/stressed and spray inside corner of bookcase in my room but, that is it (puppy pee pads help take care of that now).. perhaps try that or maybe your vet can give him whatever that calming behavior medication is called they gave the cats behavior issues on cats from hell show that squalie mentioned but, i would try the same collar we used first.

    the collar we use and only one that actually worked was: Sergeant's Vetscription 30 day cat calming collar, most places don't carry it anymore but, you can still find some on amazon for around $10-15.
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