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  1. #1
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Default Pet Advice Thread.

    Not sure what part of the forum this belongs in..

    Anyway- I haven't seen any general threads about pet problems, so I figured I'd start one, and address one of my own. We can all trade tips/experiences.

    So here's my issue-

    My cat, Jack, is 8yrs old. He's always lived with another animal in the house. He's not particularly social or playful with other pets, but, apparently, the lack of an animal's presence is becoming increasingly stressful to him. We've been at my mother's house for some time now- she has a cat of her own. In the summers, she goes away on weekends, taking the cat with her. I've noticed on these weekends, Jack displays increasing anxiety. Literally always following me around- long, plaintive meows, a lot of repetitive pacing. Constantly running to his food dish, wanting it filled [I assume for comfort- I don't give in to this, though.] No matter how much attention through affection, talk, and play I offer, he still seems very anxious.

    I'm concerned about this becoming even worse when we move, soon. There will be no other animals in the apt, at all. How can I comfort him?
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Poor fella. I wonder if it's this particular animal companion that he feels attached to, or if finding him a companion when you move would solve things on his end. How would you feel about adopting another cat?
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. #3
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    How old is your mother's cat? Is it male or female? How does Jack act when your mom and her cat come home again? Is he excited? Does he try to smell your mom's cat? Could he be missing your mom and not your mom's cat?

    Have you ever tried Feliway? Be aware that it doesn't always work, but might be worth a shot.

    Does your cat like to be brushed? My cats seem to calm down after brushing them.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  4. #4
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    How old is your mother's cat? Is it male or female? How does Jack act when your mom and her cat come home again? Is he excited? Does he try to smell your mom's cat? Could he be missing your mom and not your mom's cat?

    Have you ever tried Feliway? Be aware that it doesn't always work, but might be worth a shot.

    Does your cat like to be brushed? My cats seem to calm down after brushing them.
    Ah, he tends to avoid my mother, usually- I assume he dislikes crazylady screaming. The other cat is male. They're both fixed. He's a little over 2yrs old. They're not particularly close, as in, they don't engage in play terribly often, but I'll find them grooming one another on occasion. Jack does sniff the other cat when he's brought back home from the weekend.

    He was also around a small dog for most of his life, which that dog died last year at 14.

    He likes brushing, and he calms down, but the second I finish he's anxious again.

    Thanks for the link.. I'll try that out.

    ..I'll probably need to get him a friend when we move.. maybe I can fool him with a furry robot cat.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  5. #5
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    If they're grooming one another, then I think they have a pretty close relationship despite not playing together much. The only ones of my cats that will groom each other are my mother and son pair. The son used to ask to be groomed by my other female cat, but she would just look at him funny and then either bat at him or run away. Since I'm no expert, I did a little search and found this:
    Is It Normal for One Cat to Groom Another?

    So you may have come upon your cats balled together on your couch or your bed, licking each other. One eyebrow goes up slowly…. is this normal? In reality, this is truly nothing to be concerned about. It is not sexual in nature (unless your cats are mating, but even then it's probably just basic affection). In fact, it is something you should be happy about because you have brought the cats up to be tight-knit like a family and non-aggressive.

    In truth, one cat grooming another is not normal per se because cats are more likely to fight than to sit around and lick each other in silence. If you have two cats that do this, all that this means is that they are extremely close.
    So, just getting another companion for your cat when you move might not solve your problem. I have no personal experience with this type of problem, so there are no ideas coming off the top of my head right now. I'm not sure if having something with your mom's cat's scent on it would be calming to Jack, or if it's not enough because Jack knows the cat isn't physically there. Also don't know if there is some method to help Jack gradually detach from his friend. Is there any possibility that you could take your mom's cat with you when you move, so as not to separate him and Jack?
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  6. #6
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Hey Lex

    It's probably the fact that the routine is disturbed at that time ( I have a cat that starts meowing and running out of the door when I'm gone for too long or on times that I'm supposed to be home according to her. It's a mild form of seperation anxiety, which normally is much more common in dogs ) Cats are territorial and habitual in nature. That means that if he's used to having another animal around, especially one he's close to, it causes him stress not to know where he's at. To make matters worse, the animal comes back. So the cycle continues. Thankfully the absence isn't long, which means the other cat retains the 'nest smell' for the most part. But, he does bring in a whole host of other smells, all of which are confusing and frightening to your buddy.

    I wonder if the other cat also displays these signals when he's seperated from Jack? Or perhaps he's so used to the routine of having two territories that it doesn't bother him as such.

    While you still live at your moms, I'd suggest engaging him at least 15 minutes a day in play with a fishing rod toy. Especially when your mom's gone. That way he can work out his anxieties on the toy. After that, a nice brushing is a cherry on the cake. Even if he's not particularly playful and just follows the toy with his eyes (most cats cannot resist doing at least that), it'll take his mind off things and it'll give him something to think of and take the stress out on. Meanwhile it'll strengthen your bond with him, which is going to help with the move ahead. Coz if you think that he's stressed now, this is nothing compared to the stress that moving him out of his territory is likely to bring him. If you want, I can post some 'playing instructions' for optimum results. Other things you can do is get a feliway vaporizer to plug in two or three days before they leave. It won't cure him as such, but it'll give an extra boost in comfort and security. Throw a catnip party (if he's sensitive to the herb) on your carpet while they're gone, for him to unwind even further.

    When you do move, and if you're interested, give me a heads up and I'll walk you through how to prep him properly

  7. #7
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    hi

    i think my dog is afraid of me. when she gets happy, she pees herself as well. i have been consistent in looking away from her when she enters the room and started using calm tone when talking with her, i even pet her and praise her but not sure how to get her to stop being afraid of me. any suggestions?

    she has no history of abuse either
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
    -Bruce Lee

  8. #8
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yakimadude View Post
    hi

    i think my dog is afraid of me. when she gets happy, she pees herself as well. i have been consistent in looking away from her when she enters the room and started using calm tone when talking with her, i even pet her and praise her but not sure how to get her to stop being afraid of me. any suggestions?

    she has no history of abuse either
    Ugh, my Aussie used to do this. She still does from time to time.

    Does your dog do this when you first get home or all the time? Mine would only do it when I got home or when I first get up in the morning. I broke this (for the most part) by ignoring her, especially when I noticed other submissive/appeasement behaviors. I would just turn and walk away. When I came home, I made sure I had a toy (it was something she could only play with when I got home, so it was special) or a treat to distract her. I also made sure to not stand over her when I gave her the treat or toy. It helped if I refrained from praising her as well because that seemed to excite her and she'd end up having an accident. Obedience training helped her a lot, too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redbone View Post
    Ugh, my Aussie used to do this. She still does from time to time.

    Does your dog do this when you first get home or all the time? Mine would only do it when I got home or when I first get up in the morning. I broke this (for the most part) by ignoring her, especially when I noticed other submissive/appeasement behaviors. I would just turn and walk away. When I came home, I made sure I had a toy (it was something she could only play with when I got home, so it was special) or a treat to distract her. I also made sure to not stand over her when I gave her the treat or toy. It helped if I refrained from praising her as well because that seemed to excite her and she'd end up having an accident. Obedience training helped her a lot, too.
    she does it all the time. i will cut out the praising and start ignoring the behavior. definitely looking into the classes. I was trying to teach her some more tricks but im thinking its more and more that I am the one that needs the training. training to train her.

    thank you
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
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  10. #10
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Hey Lex

    It's probably the fact that the routine is disturbed at that time ( I have a cat that starts meowing and running out of the door when I'm gone for too long or on times that I'm supposed to be home according to her. It's a mild form of seperation anxiety, which normally is much more common in dogs ) Cats are territorial and habitual in nature. That means that if he's used to having another animal around, especially one he's close to, it causes him stress not to know where he's at. To make matters worse, the animal comes back. So the cycle continues. Thankfully the absence isn't long, which means the other cat retains the 'nest smell' for the most part. But, he does bring in a whole host of other smells, all of which are confusing and frightening to your buddy.

    I wonder if the other cat also displays these signals when he's seperated from Jack? Or perhaps he's so used to the routine of having two territories that it doesn't bother him as such.

    While you still live at your moms, I'd suggest engaging him at least 15 minutes a day in play with a fishing rod toy. Especially when your mom's gone. That way he can work out his anxieties on the toy. After that, a nice brushing is a cherry on the cake. Even if he's not particularly playful and just follows the toy with his eyes (most cats cannot resist doing at least that), it'll take his mind off things and it'll give him something to think of and take the stress out on. Meanwhile it'll strengthen your bond with him, which is going to help with the move ahead. Coz if you think that he's stressed now, this is nothing compared to the stress that moving him out of his territory is likely to bring him. If you want, I can post some 'playing instructions' for optimum results. Other things you can do is get a feliway vaporizer to plug in two or three days before they leave. It won't cure him as such, but it'll give an extra boost in comfort and security. Throw a catnip party (if he's sensitive to the herb) on your carpet while they're gone, for him to unwind even further.

    When you do move, and if you're interested, give me a heads up and I'll walk you through how to prep him properly
    Playing with him to distract him has helped a LOT, I've noticed.. at least for the weekends when he's missing the other cat. They're on vacation presently, & I'm noticing increased anxiety, so I returned to the thread to skim through your post again.

    I've finally given in & orded a Feliway plug-in diffuser to see if it helps. Should arrive next week.

    They're gone for two weeks, and my mother sent me a photo today of a new addition, since the other cat [her white retardcat] will likely be lonely when jack and I depart...



    Himalayan kitten; she's 2 months/4 days old..

    I figure the diffuser will help her adjust AND ease Jacks anxiety over the random isolation as well as the new addition. He's generally very good with new pets..

    Anyway if this diffuser helps, I'll post here in case others have a similar issue. They're expensive, so it's probably important to hear from people who use 'em before you buy.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

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