behavioral issues with cat getting worse

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Noah & me (GA), Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    I don't want to clog up this forum with a question that doesn't have an answer but this is getting to be a problem for me. We have six males, all from a different genetic background. A few of them were rescued from abusive homes. My biggest issue is with Lewis who was kind of dumped on us right after two deaths in our kitty family, never a good time to get another cat, and I resented him right from the start. I cannot undo that now, judging me won't help. He has forever had issues with who is the Alpha-male, who's dish has more food etc. and he's a biter. I've gone through all the positive reinforcement rituals with him, I know smacking a cat or a kid just doesn't work. The affection Lewis gets is genuine, not just a quick pat on the head.
    His number one goal in life is to eat eat eat so you can all sympathize with me on this because we all know what it's like to beg a diabetic cat to eat. I can tolerate him bumping Noah off of his dish, I just move the dishes around. Noah wants absolutely no part of this. This morning when "food" magically appeared Lewis first took a mean-spirited swat at Noah and then climbed up Noah's back and chomped on him. I kind of lost it and gave Lewis a tweak on the nose and stood over him and let him have it verbally. That in itself is abusive so now I'm at the end of my rope. Lewis is also the dumbest cat I've had in almost 40 years.
    That's it, I've tried not to inset too much drama into this and I'm well over 500 words, again!
    Maybe it's something else like a dental issue and he's just trying to let me know. Just so frustrated.
     
  2. donnalea

    donnalea Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Would it be possible separate the problem cat at meatime? We have to feed Callie in a different room,different food and different time . That works well for our gang.
     
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  3. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    A few ideas as an amateur "cat behaviorist":

    - have you tried multiplying food spots, and maybe food availability, to reduce "pressure" on this vital ressource and help relax the relationships between the cats? (same goes for food, water, perches; when I introduced a new cat in the household the vet recommended food, water and litterboxes in abundance so nobody felt they had to compete)
    - there are automatic feeders which will only open for one cat (microchip or collar with tag) that can be very handy in certain situations (I use surefeed)

    Do the cats have access to the outdoors? If it's not the case, do they have enough "vertical space" to increase the surface available to them inside? Are they occupied enough (playing, hunting for food, observing outdoors)?
     
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  4. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Member

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    Dec 9, 2017
    Definitely do this if you can. Simple solution if it's manageable.
     
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  5. Myagi and Heidi

    Myagi and Heidi Member

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    Oct 30, 2017
    Can't believe you of all people are beating yourself up! Pull it together man! :bighug: we all reach the end of our rope and frustrations get the best of us. Plus you're legitimately protective of Noah. Btw you didn't say if nip broke skin and if he's ok.?? You said you've tried all so I don't have suggestions other than same of feed different areas. If you still feel bad, take the beast aside for a gentle one on one talk where you apologize for yelling and tell him what your expectations are. :p
     
  6. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Thank you all for putting any thought into this. I am not the idiot who steals parking spaces or has road rage, this is so unlike me.
    We have 3 floors and 1700 sq ft so they all have their own little kingdoms and places to get away. And 4 huge litter boxes well spaced in the basement, clean water everywhere. They can't go outside, crazy traffic but lots of windows. I think separating them at food time is the most viable option. Lewis could lose some weight too or he'll be our third diabetic.
    Noah is a mystery as well, the cat who lived in our walk-in closet for half his life and is too frightened to look out a window. We don't play loud music, slam doors etc.
    Did I say thank you already and that I'm not a bad person?
     
  7. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    @Myagi and Heidi You're probably just like me, no patience for self pity or groveling. I will pull it together, thanks.
    Nope, no broken skin and now there all asleep like it never happened. There's also a lesson here about taking on more than can be expected. Don't try and save the world, pick a corner and do what you can.
     
  8. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    definitely do that. if you free-feed go for the chip-detection feeders and put them in different areas of the house. but if you give "meals" then it should be reasonably straightforward.

    what I learned from many consultations with a behavior specialist vet (and some classes) is that it's often easier to work around the cat, shaping the environment so that the cat naturally does what we want or stops doing what we don't want, than trying to "mediate" relationship problems or troublesome behavior (understood we're speaking here of behavior that is troublesome for us humans but not from a cat's point of view and is not indicating suffering).

    my civvie gets into horrible fights with the neighbour's cat (actually, that cat gets into horrible fights with everyone). problem solved by giving them rather strict inside/outside schedules so that they don't meet.
     
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  9. Myagi and Heidi

    Myagi and Heidi Member

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    Oct 30, 2017
    @Noah & me. You know it! I had melt down the other day when had to skip Myagi shot after stalling night previous. Did melt down in the fb group cause to embarrassed to do it here. Lol. Sometimes we can't bend, we do break. But we do recover!!! :bighug:
    :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  10. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Lewis is a product of nature where every meal could be your last. Maybe the bigger surprise is that they've all been so civil to each other most of the time. Not like the greasy spoon we go to for breakfast where the humans act like animals. "I wonder how much bacon I can shove in my mouth?" :(
     
  11. Tracey&Jones

    Tracey&Jones Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    My former stray kitty Libby is like that. She is the outlier eater. Her feeder is the farthest away from anyone else. If handing out treats and she decides to push and grab, I usually just give a quick flick to the nose. Nothing harsh but something to say stop! She usually does this to Jones and he really wants his freeze dried treats.


    As you know I have the feeders. So each gets their own and can eat at their own pace.

    :bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug::bighug: those are for you.

    We all have limits and some days those are closer then others.
     
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  12. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Give me strength please. It's been quiet all day since Lewis got paroled and he's been sleeping next to Noah. Then Marco just walked by almost got shanked like a bad episode of Law&Disorder. Whatever.
     
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  13. Myagi and Heidi

    Myagi and Heidi Member

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    Oct 30, 2017
    Pics of the trouble makers Lewis and Marco please! Having a "day" with Myagi. Could use the distraction.
     
  14. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    First is Lewis (left) 10 pounds and 4 years ago with his foster brother Andy.
    Second is Andy, who is the welcome wagon of cats, snuggling with Noah. Out of focus of course.
    Third is just so we get a sense of what a completely whacked and loving house this is. There is no hysteria here, just love and hair everywhere.
    I swear, it's NOT ME!!! andy&louis005.JPG DSC01916.JPG hannah_nigel02 (2).JPG
     
  15. Myagi and Heidi

    Myagi and Heidi Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Yay!!! Thanks bubba!!! See the little twist to Lewis's ears??? Troubles brewing! Lol
    :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  16. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    And Marco? I am digital stoopid so still use a kamera. Marco sees the camera and wipes his nose on the lens so then I have to wipe cat snot off the camera. He is our last rescue and is pretty well adjusted but the first time he saw a spray bottle he went into full meltdown so someone had been doing that to him as long as 6 years. Then they dumped him off at the shelter. Your loss is our gain stupid human!
     
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  17. Myagi and Heidi

    Myagi and Heidi Member

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    Oct 30, 2017
    If you have print of camera pic you can have dw take phone pic of the pic. Or she could just take pic of Marco and send it to you. Lol
     
  18. Meya14

    Meya14 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    We have 3 cats - 2 of which have food obsessions, and one skinny old lady cat that likes to take her time eating. I've invested in slow-feed bowls to keep the obsessed two occupied while the other cat eats. Also, each has a different area where they eat, one in the closet, one in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen. The slow feed bowls really help reduce the obsessiveness with eating as they spend a lot of energy and brain power figuring it all out, and after they are kind of over it.
     
  19. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    We have switched completely to wet. Too bad our dog isn't here anymore, that was her big weakness.
     
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