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Thread: Needed: Advice/Insight From Fellow Cat Owners

  1. #1
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    My husband and I have had our two male cats for around 3 years now. We got them within a couple months of each other, and because they have always been inside only cats (and because of our financial situation) we have been unable to get them neutered until now.

    We have had it pretty rough financially starting out as a young couple, and then as newlyweds, and all last year we were living in a one-room efficiency apartment that used to be a hotel room, so even when the cats did sort of start to spray, all we could really do is clean up after them and keep trucking.

    My husband has recently been made a general manager at an Arby's in my hometown, allowing us to move back and be closer to my family and giving us the most financial stability we've had in 3 years since we were both in college. It's been a huge blessing and we are now living in a very lovely apartment that I do not want my cats to destroy.

    Basically, the move was sort of rough on the kitties (we were moving into another state, after all) and they had already started getting a little aggressive before we moved, but we chalked a lot of it up to them being contained to such a small area, and thought that when we got into a bigger place and had more room to move around, things would improve a bit.

    Well, we moved, and my older cat got REALLY aggressive. Like, attacking the littler one whenever he encountered him. It got so bad we had to close one of them in the bathroom at night until we could the older one fixed. Now, he is fixed, and his temperament has changed back to the happy, friendly cat he always used to be, but whenever he goes up to his brother, the little one freaks out. He makes this growling sound and if the older one gets too close, he gets attacked, when all he wants is to make up with his brother. I understand that it's just because the younger one has been burned so many times, but I really hope once we get him fixed as well (which we're hoping to do before the end of the month) that things will go back to normal for the two of them.

    Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Any advice or tips on how to get things moving smoothly again? It's been very stressful on me, as I am home all day with them, and I keep having to run around the house when I hear the growling sound to make sure one is not about to attack. It's killing my nerves and my heart because they were always such great friends! Any insight (or prayers, as silly as that might seem for this kind of thing) would be very very appreciated.


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  2. #2
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    Congrats on all of the good things happening!

    I'm a cat momma. So the little one is freaking out when the big one is near? Do you have a place where the little one can call his own while he gets his bearings? It's going to take some time. The little one is scared as you know and just needs to feel comfortable again. Have you ever watched the show "cat from hell" on animal planet? The cat guy has some really good tips about cat behavior. I've got 2 that hate each other. They both get along with the other cats just not each other. We found a neutral space where we they could get to know each other and there were spaces up high where they could retreat if it got too intense.












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  3. #3
    Senior Member Esmeralda's Avatar
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    Sorry I'm no help... will you be letting them outside now when they are both neutered? I read it that you didn't let them outside because they hadn't been neutered due to funds, but this is different now?

    Maybe when they go outside that may help if you do let them out. Maybe get onto a cat or pet forum and ask around there?




  4. #4
    Senior Member uscwest's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I can't speak for newly neutered cats. However, I can speak to aggressiveness. We originally had two male kittens, both of whom were neutered young. They got along famously as indoor cats. Unfortunately one of them developed a liver problem and died. The other one, Tom, was an only cat for several years. We then introduced our female cat Oreo (Cookie) to Tom. They would fight but it was a playful fight. Then we unfortunately had to put Tom down at the ripe old age of 18. Cookie moped around like she had lost her best friend. Our son, who works in the real estate business as a settlement agent, knew of a lady who was losing her house and had to give up her cat, Pooh. We decided to take him in. He was considerably larger than Cookie and attacked her mercilessly. We had to separate them. We had decided that Pooh had to go but my brother in law, who lives with my mother in law had been assisting me when I had my knee surgery and he had fallen in love with Pooh. Mom had a smaller cat than Cookie so I wasn't sure but he and mom insisted. So we took Pooh down to Florida. He tried to attack Miss Kitty and she stood up to him, unlike Cookie, who is quite docile. They now get along famously. I guess what I'm trying to say to this is that there is hope for them.

    I hope that your two cats can get along once you get them neutered. Are you also considering de-clawing? I know a lot of folks won't hear of this but all of our cats have been declawed and they haven't had any problems.





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  5. #5
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
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    I am no use whatsoever with anything to do with cats but just wanted to say congrats on hubby's new job and to send some of the magic dust your way and hope it helps









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  6. #6
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    Well done on your husband getting the job! That's great news!!

    It would be my guess that after you get the smaller one neutered then things will settle down. You can see that it has already had a positive effect on the larger cat. It does settle their hormones somewhat and takes some of the need for the aggression away as they don't feel so drawn to have to fight. Moving house is stressful for most animals, and when you have unneutered toms they are put into the position where they feel they have to fight or protect the new territory. I agree with Johnie, in that at least until the operation has been done and he is recovered, make sure there are safe places for each to go, and if in doubt shut a door between them for a while till they calm down. If you haven't already, have two litter trays for a while, even if they take up valuable space. Separate trays can ease things by making sure they don't have to pee where the other one has if they don't want to; as you know that is a big territorial marking thing. Also, bear in mind that since the larger one was neutered, he will then smell and behave differently to how he used to, and that will be alarming to your smaller one. He will not be sure how to treat him and will react accordingly, maybe out of fear of something strange rather than actual aggression.

    I personally am not an advocate of declawing as it can stop a few of the things they need to do, like grooming and scratching. And they can still bite each other if they want to. But if they ever (heaven forbid) escaped they would be very unlikely to protect themselves or hunt for food. I would see how they went after the little one has been neutered and then reevaluate.

    Sending lots of "please kitties, start settling down!" thoughts to them - I know how stressful it can be when your pets have troubles and don't get on. So big hugs for you too






  7. #7
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    Can I just say, I'm so glad I joined this board. You all are so sweet, and I really appreciate your support!

    Little guy (Mel) does have a couple places he goes to as his safe spots. He has a little kitty cube that he will lie in for hours sometimes and Fiyero (big guy) doesn't really bother him in there. He also has decided he likes (climbing on the tippy-top of our cabinets in the kitchen (which, we originally discouraged, but then discovered there really isn't much hope of keeping him off of there and it's not like there's anything up there he can hurt anyway). So there is that.

    When things get too rough, we close Mel into a bathroom for a while, as he is the one who is upset and needs calming down. Poor Fiyero really just wants to play and be friendly but he can't get anywhere near Mel without him freaking out.

    We had read about getting 2 litterboxes, so that is on the list as soon as DH gets paid this Friday. Til then I guess we'll just have to make do.

    My husband has had other cats and he outright refuses to have them declawed because he feels that it takes something innate from them, but I don't think it will be a problem because when they fight, they're not really hurting each other, it's more just paws and fur flying out. Especially now that the big one has been neutered. Things were much meaner before, but he is so much less aggressive now.

    We don't have plans for them ever to be outdoor cats. We got them to be indoor companions and that's what they've been. Plus they would need extra shots if they were ever to be outdoor (which we don't really want to do) and the apartments that we just moved into doesn't allow outdoor cats anyway.

    I just really hope they can get back to the way they used to be after we get Mel fixed.
    [ATTACH]14363.vB[/ATTACH][ATTACH]14364.vB[/ATTACH]
    This is what they were like before! I want this again!
    Attached Images Attached Images


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  8. #8
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    They are gorgeous! My Sassy is grey and Bear is black












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  9. #9
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    Aww! They are absolutely gorgeous!






  10. #10
    Senior Member Esmeralda's Avatar
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    Aw they are gorgeous, let's hope the other op works a treat for you and you can have a calm home once more :)




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