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Cat depressed and very afraid of other cat

April 10th, 2006, 05:47 AM
I have a 15 year old female cat and a 1 year old male cat. We've had the 15 year old (Miranda) for 6 months. The 1 year old (Spangle) was a stray cat that used to hang around, which we adopted about 3 weeks after Miranda arrived. We have noticed over the last 6 weeks or so that Miranda seems to be getting depressed and seems very frightened a lot of the time. :sad:

Miranda has disliked Spangle from day one, understandably because she has never lived in a home with another cat. She has always hissed at him whenever he walks past her or tries to approach her. This hasn't been a problem until the last 6 weeks or so, as Spangle tended to spend most of his time outside, while Miranda is an indoors type of girl.

Spangle has started spending a lot more time inside and now Miranda is too scared to even walk past him. She seems a lot more withdrawn and doesn't enjoy our morning and evening play and brush sessions anymore, as she seems to be constantly looking over her shoulder to see where Spangle is. She has also gone to the toilet twice inside the house in the last fortnight. I think this is because she is too scared to walk past Spangle if he is near the cat door.

We have tried having two "safe rooms" for Miranda where we put her food (she likes to graze, where as Spangle gobbles all his food at once) and we don't let Spangle in these two rooms. We have also tried to talk to her a lot more and have been escorting her outside after she eats, :sad: so she can go to the bathroom.

Do you have any ideas to cheer up Granny Miranda and help her get her confidence back?

April 10th, 2006, 08:54 AM
A old cat and a young, active one is on the face of it not a great match, but not impossible. You might have to wait a little longer for things to settle down.
Try giving Miranda some Rescue Remedy drops (made by Bach), either in her water or directly into her mouth. It is a herbal calmant, available at health food stores and some grocery stores, non-toxic, and can be quite effective.
Otherwise, you're doing everything right. Is the male neutered? If not, I would have him done right away, the smell of an intact male may also be bothering her.
Give her her own litter box in the safe area and schedule your play sessions when the other cat is outside, or close the door.
Thanks for taking these two in. Just be patient.

PS I'd have the older cat checked by a vet, to rule out any ailment which may be contributing to her unhappiness.

April 10th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Thanks very much for the reply.

Yes, I have had the male desexed and have also tried "PetCalm" a homeopathic remedy, but it was in capsule form and she wouldn't eat it. Nor would she eat the capsules contents emptied out on her food. I'll try and track down the liquid one.

I have had her fully check by a vet and since I've had her have had to have four rotten teeth removed, a full blood test for elderly cats (kidney function, hypothyroidism etc) and have also trialled her on a pain killer as she has one slightly arthiritic hip. The pain killers helped a lot as she can jump up on chairs again, but the vet is reluctant to put her on it permanently as it may damage her kidney function.

I will try shutting Spangle out when we play like you suggested, as that would help I think.

April 10th, 2006, 02:37 PM
I have one cat(Wendy) that was extremely nervous of the other house cats. The other cats could almost sense that she was nervous and would pick on her. She would also pee outside of the litter box. The vet prescribed an anti-anxiety drug called clomicalm? (maybe spelled wrong) I'm not sure if you want to go this drastic but it did calm Wendy and she didn't get upset around the other cats. They also stopped picking on her. You may want to talk to your vet about this.