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Soliciting Advice for My Cats’ Problematic Behavior

Yeah, I know it’s been 4 months. Time flies, doesn’t it? Hope you are doing well and surviving either winter or summer (depending on where you live).

Things here are… well, different. Not bad, necessarily, but not great either.

Yella Fella

But this blog post isn’t to play catch-up. I need your help. You see, I have cat issues.

Graybie is a bully and he’s been bullying Little Girl. She had been on Prozac for awhile and it helped, until it didn’t. I talked to the vet and he suggested putting Graybie on Prozac also (he was on it before and it did help some), but try as I might, I couldn’t get him to take the meds. So the vet suggested we change Little Girl to Buspirone. It’s been two weeks, but I’m not seeing much improvement. She has started to defecate under my bed, though, and this is a problem.

Graybie Baby

Meanwhile Hissy’s allergies that led to him to pull his hair out seem to have cleared up, but his loose stool has not. I’ve been researching the possibility he could have IBS.

Graybie does not eat his food at meal time, then meows at me all day to feed him. I save the food he doesn’t eat and give it to him then, but he rarely eats it. Yet he will continue to cry for… something. If I give him some dry food he’ll eat some, but that starts Yella on a tear. Hissy will want some as well, but I am trying to keep him on one type of food to help his tummy.

And Yella? Well Yella is a food monster. He will eat anything and everything he can get his paws on. I started feeding him closed up in the downstairs bathroom so he won’t gobble his food and then steal Graybie’s while I’m occupied. He acts like he’s starving all the time, but between his regular food, the food he guilts out of me and that he steals from others, his weight is starting to creep up again.

Little Girl

My anxiety is through the roof, and I don’t know if it’s affecting their behavior or simply making me more aware of it, but here we are. I started using Headspace to meditate daily. I hope it helps. After two years of therapy and medication, I do see improvement, but I truly hoped to be further along the journey than I am.

But enough about me. I need your advice about my cats.

For Little Girl, do you have suggestions to help with her fear of Graybie and to stop the defecating under the bed? I have thought to keep her separated from the others in the bedroom, but I’m not sure. Will she be lonely? Will that make matters worse? What do you think?

Hissy Fit Jones

For Hissy, have any of you had a cat with IBS? What indications did the cat have and what treatments were effective? Could there be some other cause for the loose stool? The vet thought it might be associated with the allergies. I will take him back for follow-up but I try to have all my info straight first because, for Hissy, vet visits are quite stressful.

Have any of you worked with a cat that was a bully? What works? I have a calming diffuser in the bedroom and recently got a calming collar for both Graybie and Hissy to see if it would help them.

And, finally, what works with a cat like Yella Fella that wants to eat all the time?

Thanks in advance.

About Rumpy's Kitty Siblings

I'm Jen, caregiver to the late, great Rumpydog and now to some rather pesky kitties. You can follow us on Twitter - @FineMellowFella and @HissyFitJones. And don't forget to LIKE our Facebook pages! Thanks!

Discussion

24 thoughts on “Soliciting Advice for My Cats’ Problematic Behavior

  1. I’ve read that you should have one box per cat plus another one because bully cats may try to keep others away from the litterbox. Often that’s not feasible, but maybe just one other box in a secluded area might make Little Girl feel safer(?) You have beautiful kitties! We had a black kitty who had two names and one was Little Girl.

    Posted by Catwoods | February 9, 2020, 10:48 AM
  2. My cat that was ravenously hungry while rather slender was finally diagnosed with diabetes. I think he’d had it for quite a while, but he’d have a good test result, so it took a while to catch it. I’m sorry, I don’t have any good advice. I’m glad you’re keeping close tabs on them all.

    Posted by KDKH | February 9, 2020, 11:30 AM
  3. Hi … I have not talk to you in such a long time are you still on Facebook…

    Peggy and the cats Ogden, Sinjun, Horton, DOGGOE

    >

    Posted by Peggy Thomas | February 9, 2020, 11:39 AM
  4. You have a lot going on there! I had a cat with IBS. Hazel had explosive diarrhea almost her entire life. It would flare up, then she would be good for a while. The diarrhea was frustrating for me because she “couldn’t make it” to her litter box. There would be a bunch of little liquid poops along the way (most on carpet!). We did the whole food changing thing but never found anything that changed it. Also tried probiotics. Nada. Finally I put her on a small dose of Propectalin every day for the diarrhea and the vet gave her prednisone. I had to grind up the propectalin tablet and put it in her food. That worked for a few years. Eventually she developed a huge tumor in her abdomen and that plus heart disease did her in. She was only 12.
    Jake would bully an old cranky cat I had and I ended up keeping her in a sunny bedroom segregated by herself. She was already around 15 or so and she was fine. She really didn’t like other cats. Half the time I think she was the instigator as Jake got along with all the other cats in the house.

    Posted by Kate Crimmins | February 9, 2020, 12:38 PM
  5. dont know if you have feliway over there or something similar. bit pricey but worth a try for a few months if you can get it
    (Feliway is a product that mimics a chemical that cats emit through the glands on their faces when they are feeling calm and want to communicate that to other cats in the area. This pheromone works on cats’ brains to calm them down and help relieve stress and anxiety.)- its a plug in thing works for some but not for everyone

    Posted by Michelle Cantillon | February 9, 2020, 1:38 PM
  6. I have a bully cat – Oscar. But he hasn’t driven anyone as far as your kitty has. He has also had chrocic diarrhea and the awful tasting meds didn’t help. Jackson Galaxy has several formulas – anti-bullying, peaceable kingdom, etc. Others may have more information on how well they work
    Isolating Little Girl if you can may be the best. Several bloggers have cats that live in their own room and it seems to help them (I will try to find which ones – can’ remember off the top of my head.” Eastside Cats” had an older girl who lived apart from two new boys who are more rambunctious than vicious. She recently passed away.. But the blogger will probably be glad to help.) Brian of “Brian’s Home” had an old tortie who lived upstairs. She died last fall – but Brian is always ready to help other cat owners.
    Feliway spray might be a better (more localized) fit than the diffusers. There are also calming treats .

    Sorry I am not much real help. I will send purrayers and POTP for you and all your furamily,

    Posted by catladymac | February 9, 2020, 2:15 PM
  7. Bullying can be a difficult problem. For now, I think you should separate them when you are not around to control the situation. That will give her some respite but since it is only sometimes she won’t get lonely.

    Posted by Charles Huss | February 9, 2020, 2:51 PM
  8. Does Graybie get along with the others? Is it only Little Girl he bullies? Separating them might be helpful, but maybe the one who causes the issues should be the one who can be separated. Also, I wonder if it is possible to help them reset their relationship. Like, separate them, and re-introduce them as if they were brand new.

    Posted by meowmeowmans | February 9, 2020, 3:15 PM
    • Graybie and Yella get along fine and they don’t mess with Hissy. Sometimes Hissy also instigates with Little Girl but the big flare-ups involve Graybie. I don’t know how I would reset the relationship, but I’m open to suggestions. Should I remove one from from the home? For how long?

      Posted by Rumpy's Kitty Siblings | February 9, 2020, 4:04 PM
  9. Our Angel Precious was a bully cat so she lived alone and was quite happy about that until the time she departed. Do you have a room where you could put up a screen door for her to interact without being hurt?

    Posted by Brian | February 9, 2020, 6:54 PM
  10. Good to hear from you. Sadly I can only sympathize since I have no feline knowledge whatsoever. I will however be sending oodles of poodles of good luck.

    Posted by Tails Around the Ranch | February 10, 2020, 7:39 AM
  11. Have you tried CD oil for either Graybie or Little Girl or both? I’ve heard that works wonders of anxiety or the drug gabapentin? The peeps had Autumn and Nicky who hated each other and they kept them both in different parts of the house. Autumn who was older lived in the huge master bedroom while Nicky roamed the rest of the house. Both were happy. Dunno if you join FB groups but I recommend the CB; in fact, if you don’t mind I’ll add you. They can give you better advice than I can.

    Posted by Cathy Keisha | February 10, 2020, 12:12 PM
  12. So sorry to hear about all of your challenges! I’ve been able to work through some similar situations and circumstances with my cats.
    To help with the bully –
    -Make sure each cat has access to their “own” spaces. Both up high and down low.
    -4 litter boxes all in different locations
    -Play like crazy with the bully kitty to tire them out
    -Some people have used Feliway multicat products with success.

    For suspected IBD –
    -Symptoms can really vary from cat to cat. My cat has it and it presented with vomiting immediately after eating, not wanting to eat, and weight loss. But loose stools, among other things can also be an indicator.
    -It’s important to have a vet who really knows their stuff when it comes to diseases of the gut do very thorough blood work to determine if there are any indicators pointing to IBD. My understanding is that a biopsy of the small intestine wall is the only way to definitively determine if IBD is the problem, however I chose not to do that because of how invasive and stressful it is for the cat. My vet explained to me that the course of treatment would be the same regardless of the outcome.
    -The absolute game changer for my IBD kitty was transitioning her to a raw diet. It took a lot of time and patience, but has been well worth it. It literally saved her life and has reversed the disease to the point at which it’s very mild.
    -Another thing I used at the recommendation of my vet was dexamethasone (a steroid) on an as needed basis for whenever she’d have a flare up, which for her was vomiting.

    For your hungry kitty –
    -First step should be blood work to determine if there are any underlying issues or disease that are causing the hunger. Cats are masters of disguise and even the most subtle of symptoms can be a warning sign of any number of problems. (Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, Pancreatitis…just to name a few.) I say this not to scare you, but to emphasize the importance of first figuring out if there is anything physical going on.
    -Feeding in separate rooms, even with doors closed may help. I had to put one of my cats in a powder room at one point so the other wouldn’t steal her food. He’d just barge right in and she wouldn’t push him away.
    -Then I found a microchip activated feeder which helped immensely. It’s made by SurePet and you can put any kind of food in it. It will only open for whichever cat you’ve programmed it for. It reads their microchip and will open only for them and close when they step away.

    For the kitty going outside the litter box-
    -I’ll sound like a broken record, but blood work is recommended again to first determine if there is anything physical going on.
    -After that, helping kitty to feel safe and have access to their own space is important.
    -I’ve had great success with using Dr. Elsey Cat Attract litter to coax a cat back to the box.

    Good luck! I hope some of what I’ve been through might help you even a little.

    Glogirly

    Posted by Glogirly Cats | February 10, 2020, 12:43 PM
  13. I wish I had some advice to offer you, but I have yet to figure out how to deal with bully cats. I have to keep Joanie in the bedroom to keep her from the bullies.

    Posted by 15andmeowing | February 10, 2020, 5:59 PM
  14. I’m am far from an expert in at so will let others respond to that? It will say, if you are not coping they will responds to that. We have all been there. Because they’re so attuned to us. Not your fault and damn cats with such complex issues will not be helping. Hope the bullying stops, the over-eating does too. And that shitting under the bed? Not cool! (Try cleaning up ) then put a tray under there, so you can then relocate tray and behaviour to where it belongs? Good luck. P.S.Its been too long. Cheers,H

    Posted by helentastic67 | February 11, 2020, 7:40 AM

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