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Behavior & Training > Is this going well? Or not so much lol

Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Tue Nov 6, '12 11:15am PST 
Just an update...bitty this time I promise lol

Things have been great! Acorn every once in awhile gets a bug up his butt and will swat at Tao's behind after creeping up on him but otherwise they seem to have really taken to each other. They eat next to each other, haven't had any litter box issues and I've even caught them napping on the same couch cushion....not touching of course, but as close as they can get without being snuggled up into each other ha!

The hissing and growling has phased out completely happy dance

I think we're definitely on the right track to them becoming good friends! way to go

» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Jan 2 8:22 pm

Behavior & Training > Is this going well? Or not so much lol

Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Tue Oct 23, '12 2:50pm PST 
Let me just preface by saying I am not a cat person. I know I know.....but for honesty's sake they've never tripped my trigger so I haven't invested much time into learning much about them.

I ended up with a rescue (took her only because after a lengthy stay in the shelter I was volunteering at I learned she was about to get put down). I grew to love her and she was around for about 10 years before she passed. Swore I'd never get another. I cared about her deeply, but figured she was an anomaly as far as the cat world goes. A mere year or so later the rescue I got one of my dogs from contacted me desperate for homes for cats from a hoarding situation, and I relented. Enter Tao. Tao LOATHED other cats, which was no problem because I had zero intention of (once again) ever getting another one ever. I grew to love him too. He is far more like a dog in every sense. I adore him. Tao had no desire to go outside until this past summer. He started venturing out catching gophers and mice, and chasing off (read. near killing) the strays that dared wander onto the property. He'd go out for maybe an hour at a time, always supervised, never leaving the yard within our property, and come right back in the house when he was called to. One day however I had gone grocery shopping and the kids let him out. Because he always stuck around they didn't think they had to keep as close of an eye on him. He disappeared and we all were devastated. To this day I have no clue what inspired him to wander off. Fliers, phone calls, desperate searching...nothing. We live out in the boonies and thought for sure an animal had gotten him.

Again I swore I'd never get another cat. Especially because it near killed me to have no clue what had happened to Tao. I had never lost a pet before and it literally made me sick at night. my husband who claimed to dislike cats as much as I did admitted Tao had grown on him. For my birthday he took me to the shelter and we ended up taking home the sweetest saddest guy there, Acorn.

Ok, so I'm done saying I'll never have cats, as that obviously just lands me with more lol

A mere week later, we are all settling in with Acorn(who is awesome) when our vet (who lives just a hop skip from our property) calls and tells us Tao just showed up at her house.........

eek eek eek eek

We were a combination of beyond relieved he was still alive, and completely overwhelmed at the thought of not just having one, but now, TWO cats. Especially when we knew Tao HATED other cats and there was no way we were bringing Acorn back to the shelter.

We've given Tao a bit of time to recoup as he was super wormy, had lost quite a bit of weight and his beautiful fur was matted and thinned out. Meanwhile, not having a clue how to introduce cats we defaulted and did what we've always done with the dogs....we kept them separated by a gate, fed them side by side with the gate between, gave them lots of positive attention when they even looked at each other and swapped blankets so they got used to each others scents. Their mews would change tone when they'd look directly at each other but there was no outward signs of aggression (that we could identify anyway).

Because of that, about a week ago started letting them into the same room as each other.

To our surprise Tao didn't try to kill Acorn as he had every other cat he's ever seen. They largely ignored each other until Acorn picked up on the fact that Tao seemed almost intimidated by him and has since taken full advantage. When they happen to pass each other now Acorn will posture up, hiss and growl these God awful sounds, Tao will slink, and when he tries to retreat Acorn will pursue him and swat at his behind (he's front declawed so no damage). Tao will scoot away to avoid a confrontation. Acorn's back fur will twitch but he eventually settles back down. And then the whole thing will repeat itself 10-20 minutes later.

Last night however Tao started growling and hissing back party

Is this the normal behavior of cats simply getting acclimated to each other? Is the behavior escalating (sure seems like it...), and I need to be intervening somehow? If so how? And at what point? Take things slower? Scold Acorn when he starts to get ridiculous? Offer more positive attention when they're together? Is it near impossible or even unlikely for two males (both neutered) to become friends? Is this a dominance thing and does that even exist in the cat world? If so will Acorn always pick on Tao? If they do end up in a full on fight at some point what do I do?

I feel absolutely clueless when it comes to cat behavior. I can look at a dog and tell you near exactly what he's thinking and feeling but I know NOTHING about how to tell what's going on in a cats head.


» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by , Jan 2 8:22 pm



Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Mon Oct 8, '12 5:38pm PST 
I will be watching to see what others say on this.

We have one cat who is a phenomenal mouser. He has been indoor/outdoor for most of the summer and it's worked very well for us and him. We live out in the country and have loads of coyotes so leaving him outside during the night is out of the question. He really has come to enjoy his outside time though so we plan to continue letting him come and go throughout the day as he pleases.

We just picked up Acorn from the shelter little more than a week ago. As much as he seems to want to go outside we really hesitate allowing him to as 1.) he's still very new and 2.) he's declawed. I would worry that he wouldn't know or care to stick around home yet and that he wouldn't have the ability to defend himself from even the bitty critters he might encounter around here.

So as it stands, one boy is allowed to go out and one boy is not. So far that's working fine for them and us, although I am interested to see if anyone see's any cause for concern with that arrangement thinking

» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by , Oct 9 12:58 pm

Food & Nutrition > Not a fan of canned? Or is something else going on here?


No longer looked- over <3
Purred: Mon Oct 8, '12 5:28pm PST 
Wow! Thanks for all the insight guys!!!

Thankfully he wasn't nearly as stubborn as I anticipated he'd be. The URI seemed to have cleared up around Thursday, no more sneezing since then and the eye gunk was gone, and his appetite picked up soon after that.

He still has yet to finish a whole can, but at least now when I start to open the can he comes running and starts pawing at the counter top. When I set it down he still hesitates slightly but then eats until a good half of it is gone. I've been doing that in the morning and then offering him what's left at night. I think I may start making that the routine by just offering the half to both of the boys twice a day.

Is that silly? To feed cats twice a day? I think for Acorn especially he was used to free feeding on the kibble all day, so eating only once is just a bit too overwhelming this soon. Tao INHALES his food and always has so I've never had to contemplate such a thing.....

I'd love to get them both on raw but Tao did a great job at turning me off from even trying. He can go out, catch and kill a striped gopher and eat it whole without so much as a drop of mess on him anywhere but a raw piece of chicken, pork or venison? He'd literally try to bathe himself and everything else around him with it and unfortunately I can't have that when I do daycare out of my home frown

» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Oct 12 11:13 am

Food & Nutrition > Not a fan of canned? Or is something else going on here?


No longer looked- over <3
Purred: Mon Oct 1, '12 12:02pm PST 
Far too much information apologies in advance!

We couldn't leave our new lovely guy behind in the shelter when we went to peek around on Saturday. He'd been stuck there for more than 3 months after being found as a stray middle of June. I had been watching him never disappear on Petfinder and it was breaking my heart. Saturday was my Acorn Day (aka my birthday) and I felt compelled to at least go visit him.

From what we were told no one had even asked about him, which is shocking because they said hewas astonishingly sweet and very well behaved. We took a lot of cats out just to love on them, many tried to shred the couch in the room, one clawed right up my husbands pant leg, and there were a crazy amount of BITERS! HOLY BUCKETS! I knew if I took *him* out however he'd be coming home so I was hoping to observe him happy as a clam and not in need of our family at all. He sat there not moving the whole time.... When I finally relented and scooped him out he just sat where I set him with his eyes closed the fainted of an appreciative purr frown

The shelter workers thought he may be a bit depressed (a bit???) as he'd stopped mewing at passer-bys some time ago instead choosing to sleep his days away or staring, back turned to everyone, looking out the window his cage was butted up against.

He was being treated for an URI and they gave him another shot of antibiotics before he left with us. There was no way we could leave him. He's sneezed a couple of times since Saturday when we brought him home but otherwise that's it, no nasal or eye discharge, and he doesn't sound raspy or anything.

He perked up quite a bit when we let him out of the carrier. He promptly came out cautiously curious and thoroughly investigated every square inch of the house. He's not clingy but will sit in our laps for pets occasionally. He's not sure what to make of the dogs but he's managing alright. He hides a lot when they're out, but he's constantly peeking out to observe them and has even come up behind them when they're snoozing to try to get a sniff. I think in time they'll get along just fine.

I do daycare and he's been in heaven today with all the attention lavished on him by all of their very gentle hands. He is incredibly tolerant. Doesn't seemed stressed by the noise or commotion in the least. I've left the basement door open behind a gate so he could retreat if he felt overwhelmed but so far he's chosen to stay right in the middle of all the action.

My only complain is he is bit of a wanna be Houdini. We have to watch the doors as he shows obvious interest in getting outside which I'm guessing is how he ended up a stray in the first place. He was neutered and front paw declawed when he was found so someone obviously loved him at some point. I can't imagine his previous family lost him intentionally....

Now on to my question.....

At intake to the shelter he weighed 10lbs and they labeled him *under* weight. Last time they weighed him he was closer to 15 so they moved him to a weight control kibble. The sheer size of his frame is impressive to me, by far the largest cat I've felt (he has a lot of hair so I'm trying to judge by more than just what I'm seeing) but I don't peg him as fat or in need of weight control foods at all. He definitely has low muscle tone, no doubt from being stuck in a cage for 3+ months, but he's not chunky anywhere and his ribs are easily palpable.

I had Tao on Fromm 4 star canned. I put a can down for Acorn thinking he would dive in after the hard kibble they had at the shelter but no dice. He wouldn't even attempt to eat it instead choosing to walk around obviously hungry and mewing up a storm later that first evening.

Then he sniffed it for a ridiculous amount of time.

Then he nibbled just the tiniest bit off the edges.

And finally turned his nose up in disgust looking at me like what else ya got, lol

Same thing yesterday.

Same thing today.

He is drinking just fine.

I'm not sure what to make of this. Could it be that everything is just too new and he needs time to adjust (even though he seems to be loving it here)? Could it be his URI making him not feel the greatest or diminishing his appetite (even though his symptoms are at this point non-existent)? Could it be that he just hates canned? Or the kind? I've tried the Duck & Chicken and the Salmon & Tuna varieties but not sure if that's the right thing to be doing, switching it up. Tao always handled variety just fine and dove in at each meal. This finickey-ness is totally new to me and has me pretty concerned.

Not sure if that is his plan, but I don't want it to land us on the path to spoiling!

I wouldn't think twice if this were my dogs. I'd put it down and tough if they didn't eat. I have a feeling this guy could hold out for quite some time though and I am worried about him fasting himself being sick and under the stress of a new home.

Any advice? Do I keep offering him what I think is best quality wise or cave and buy a bag of the crappy kibble he was on? Do I keep with the same variety every time until he accepts it or are different flavors ok? Both were pate's, should I try a shred or chunk? Different dishes (using glass now, they fed him out of plastic)? Is this likely a preference thing or just a being new or even just being stubborn thing?

Any insight would be much appreciated if you made it to the end of my ridiculous novel party

» There has since been 9 posts. Last posting by , Oct 12 11:13 am

Behavior & Training > Do all unneutered males spray?

Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Sat Sep 24, '11 1:26pm PST 
"Actually your kitty could be spraying now and you wouldn't even know. Buy a black light and shine it around your house, cat urine glows."

LOL - how would someone NOT know there was cat urine all over their house??!

I'm a licensed foster care provider, in addition to that I run a licensed daycare out of my home. My house is kept impeccably clean. Aside from that, between all the daycare parents, licensing workers, state inspectors, friends and family that come here rarely do they even remember that we have a cat (or the dogs unless they wuf at the doorbell) until they see him. It's not just people being nice. Animal urine or feces anywhere but where it's supposed to be is obviously not tolerated in a licensed home.

Add to that, I'm not sure what other upsets he could possibly face in his life...rescued from hoarder and rehomed at about 6 months of age, me getting engaged and moving from the home I brought him home from rescue into, into SO's out in the country, adding new pets, going from one set of daycare kids he grew to adore to a completely new set, having new foster babies come and go periodically. It's not like he's been living life in a fragile bubble that's just waiting to burst him into an emotional wreck. Life has definitely been full the entire time I've had him, and it's certainly been ever changing lol.

Going back to the OP, does anyone have any actual research they can point me to? Maybe it doesn't even exist and all anyone can go by is personal experiences at this point? I'm looking for the same sort of stuff currently available about not spay/neutering dogs across the board for medical reasons. We have decided not to neuter our current pup (well, not really a pup anymore, his first birthday is today!). Until I researched it further I believed all unneutered male dogs were insanely naughty, prone to aggression, roaming and humping everything in sight. We thought we'd keep pup intact at least the first couple of years because of the new research highlighting the concern of the loss of hormones on a larger breeds growth plates. Come to find out, as an added perk, he's actually been much better behaved and balanced than any of our three other dogs ever have been. Cool as a cucumber. Much like Tao has been.

It's hard not to wonder if that's merely coincidence or something more.

It's not that my mind is made up, I'm just hoping to find some scientific information over opinion since merely fear based opinion in the past led me to neuter my three previous dogs. I don't want to make such a decision based on what might happen if someday a stray cat happens to sneak past the four dogs in our household and our cat suddenly does a completely 180 with his personality, leaving the house on his own when he never has before to pursue and animal he's never been interested in doing anything with other than killing when he's 9 years old...or older.

No offense, but using that logic I could just as easily not take him for fear on the way to the vet we could get in a car accident and he'll be lost or killed that way, you know?

» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by , Sep 25 12:22 pm

Behavior & Training > Do all unneutered males spray?


Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Wed Sep 21, '11 11:04am PST 
I should clarify, he's never out on the porch alone (I don't think I ever said he was, but in case I gave that impression I apologize). The only time he'll come out is if we're sitting outside and he's lured to sit in on a lap. It lasts maybe 5 minutes, and then he's mewing to be let back in. It's not a typical occurrence at all. Maybe a few times a month? He'd never let us leave him out there alone, and again, the dogs would never allow a stray cat anywhere near the house. They go the same way as anything else that tries to come up into the yard... There aren't many anyway due to the large predator and bird population here (another reason why he'd never be left outside alone).

The kitten is not the only cat he's met. While visiting family he's also tried to fight others, male and other females. I initially just chalked that up to them not knowing each other but the kitten I actually tried to acclimate him to because my intent was to house it for some time. When I say he very obviously hates other cats I do mean *all* and *hates.* It may be due to where he came from - a hoarders trailer house filled to the brim. Who knows.

Is it really that odd an occurrence that one - a cat doesn't want to get outside and run away at every opportunity, two - a cat doesn't like other cats for any reason or intent, and three - that an unneutered cat won't mark?

I worked in a shelter for a long long time and met plenty that were not only content being solitary but so much as demanded to not even SEE another cat in a cage across from theirs. All that left either were neutered or had to be within a certain amount of time but the ones left intact weren't always spraying up the place, even though there were tons of other cats in the same room with them, including ones occasionally that would come into heat.

I guess I never knew any of that to be odd and was primarily interested in if spraying is a definite inevitability in an intact male shrug

» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by , Sep 25 12:22 pm

Food & Nutrition > "Dave's Naturally healthy food"


Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Wed Sep 21, '11 7:40am PST 
I just did a search, looks like unless I want to head a few hours away to pick it up shipping would be the only option to continue him on it long term.

I'm thinking it'll be best to just get him on another brand like you mentioned. I know I've seen several of those really good brands canned where I currently get his dry stuff.

Definitely jumping on the wet food train after this experience though, he seems to like it sooo much more way to go

» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Sep 21 7:27 pm

Behavior & Training > Do all unneutered males spray?


Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Wed Sep 21, '11 7:14am PST 
Well, we are most definitely NOT getting another cat lol. I only had one before. Will only ever have one at a time period. We are mainly dog people, have four, and he adores them with no problem so I'm not as worried about that at all. He took adding our last pup with ease, it's just his nature, he doesn't really care. He doesn't really care about much. The only thing I've ever seem him get riled about was when I tried to foster a kitten. Just a little thing, but he HATED it. Didn't matter that it was female and terrified of him trying to steer clear at all cost, if given the chance I'm quite sure he'd have killed it.

I'm not sure he even knows he's a cat to be honest. He doesn't act like one at all. And contrary to his feelings about the kitten he adores all dogs.

All of my dogs are males. Three are altered, so I'm well aware of the process. All dogs before the currents were too, as well as my previous cat. But current studies have me second guessing the "just do it" mentality. Regardless of if it's quick it's still surgery. There are risks associated with it. And if he's not having trouble I don't understand the point of putting him through the stress I guess shrug

Does anyone have a link to cat specific studies, either in support of altering or not? All the ones on dogs lately are starting to lean the other way and that's been an intriguing revelation for me. I'd be curious if the same discoveries are being made about felines.

» There has since been 9 posts. Last posting by , Sep 25 12:22 pm

Behavior & Training > Do all unneutered males spray?

Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
Purred: Wed Sep 21, '11 6:23am PST 
Tao is two and a half years old now, and unneutered. Only cat. By his own choice he rarely if ever goes outside, if he does he only sits on the porch, he's always been scared to go any further. We live rurally with dogs that chase off any strays that may wander onto our property so him breeding isn't at all a concern.

He is mellow as all get out, very tolerant, and he's never had an accident outside the litterbox, so I guess I never really saw a reason to get him altered.

I've been getting a lot of guff about that lately. Friends, family and vet say it's all just a matter of time before he starts peeing all over the house so I should have him done asap. They tell me ALL males mark eventually and it's stupid to ever let him start.

Is this true?

The only other cat I've ever had was a female, and she would very occasionally get ornery about her box not being clean enough (as in scooping at least a couple of times a day), but he isn't like that at all. When I say never had an accident, I mean never.

Thoughts? Is it something I should just take care of in anticipation that eventually it's going to be a problem or can some indoor unaltered males just never have an issue with that?

» There has since been 11 posts. Last posting by , Sep 25 12:22 pm

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