- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Adjustment issues, cat.

June 30th, 2005, 01:50 PM
I have an 11 yr old Pixie Bob cat. She was my grandmothers cat. When gramma died no one wanted the cat so I took her in. She used to be a show cat with he brother, (same generation) when gramma got worse with the dementia the cats became a little neglected. (Taken for 5 walks one day, none the next, being fed MANY MANY times a day) Her brother cat died within hours of gramma dying. She always has been kind of a "prissy?" cat but now she is getting really strange.

I know being that old and introduced into a strange home, without her brother or "gramma" can be stressful, not to mention having to tolerate 2 kittens and a 3 yr old. When we brought the cat home she promptly hid. She would come out to eat late at nite but that was it. We took her to the vet he said it was normal. After a few months of this same pettern she slowly ventured out from under the sofa, but only to terrorize the kittens and our son. She won't let anyone get close enough to her without attacking. I called the vet for a follow-up and he said our only option was to put her to sleep.

Very dissatisfied with this answer I made another appointment with another vet, who did a complete physical and blood work-up. She is healthy, minus being overweight. They didn't find any infection or cancers. The vet proposed that is was an adjustment issue, and that if things didn't improve we could try some feline anti-depressants. I have even brought some of grammy's things here and placed them right outside the sofa thinking that that would help.

Back to the vet...The vet prescribed the generic valium for cats..(Diazapem, Veetine?) for a two week trial...No change in behavior. The second vet is at wits end and so am I.

I don't mind her eccentric behavior and she leave my husband and I alone as long as we leave her alone, but she agressivly attacks the kittens and my son. It has gotten to the point where I am seriously thinking of keeping her secluded in our bedroom.

Does anyone have any hints or suggestions? I don't want to "lock" her up or put her to sleep, but I have tried everything I can think of....ANY advice would be helpful!


June 30th, 2005, 02:29 PM

I think your idea of giving this kitty her own space is a good one. I myself have a bedroom cat. She was terrified of my other cats who loved to chase her around and make her scream. Eventually she spent al her time in the rafters down in the basement and looked miserable. I decided to set her up in my bedroom on her own and she is perfectly happy there ( she has her food and litter box and a pillow to lie on under the bed). It has been one year, and a month ago I started leaving the door open when the other kitties are having their quiet times and she can walk around exploring. The door is open more and more now and the bedroom acts as her home base. Ideally she should have a home of her own, but nobody has yet adopted her.
So try it out , and you may be pleasantly surprised by the change in your kitty's behavior.

Lucky Rescue
June 30th, 2005, 02:43 PM
What did you do when you first brought her home? A new adult cat should be isolated from the rest of the pets in the house for a minumum of two weeks, depending on how the adjustment goes.

I would start all over with her. She is a mature cat,(although 11 is not old for a cat) who not only lost her loving owner, but the only home she ever knew, and her brother. I think that would traumatize any of us.:( Integrating her into such a different type of home could take many months or longer.

Give her a room of her own, if possible. Visit her, pet her, talk to her and comfort her each day. She may eventually feel calm and secure enough to come out without being defensive.

I also suggest you try Rescue Remedy for her. This is a natural calming substance that is tasteless and can be put in her food.

Barbiturates often do not calm animals down, they just slow them down.

July 2nd, 2005, 11:45 AM
Yes, wehn we brought her home we kept her in our bedroom at first but there was absolutely no place for her to hide, (bed sits on floor, furniture is all directly on floor and too tall to let her get to the window) we moved her to the guest room. She was much happier there, (it seemed) and I would go in and attempt to comfort her and play with her, and she would have none of this, so I would just sit on the bed to let her know someone was there. We also put a "white noise" machine in there becasue grammy's house was in a downtown area and we live in the dead country.

After 3 weeks she would constantly sit at the door and push her paw under. We opened the door and she came out proceeded to hiss at my kittens and jump up on the widow sill and hiss and swatted at anyone who came near. After much reluctance we got her back into her room. This kept up for several days untill the kittens were terrified of her and would go sit in our sons room and not come out.

*update* We have put her back into the guest room and she isn't trying to come underneath the door yet, but she hisses when anyone walks by it. I am seriously thinking of trying to get her into a "pets for the elderly" program. I am thinking that the chaos in here is just too much for her, I am also wondering if she doesn't yearn for an older cats companionship. But I don't think I could take on another animal right now. But if she would be happier somehwere else I would rather her be happy, it's just I have come to love this frumpy old cat....

Lucky Rescue
July 2nd, 2005, 01:05 PM
"Pets for the Elderly" or a senior residence might be a very good place for her.

Just like us, cats become increasingly inflexible in middle or old age. I'm sure she misses her brother and her owner and everything about her former life.

She knows she's older and cannot defend herself the way she could at a young age, so this makes her defensive, not to mention that kittens are extremely annoying to everyone.:p

I personally love older cats, and if you could find a person who is also older and lives alone to take her, or the Elderly program you mentioned, she might be happier.