HELP!!

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Any new addition to the household can create a disturbance in the current cat dynamic you have presently. If it is possible having a separate area that can be the new cat’s “safe zone” until there is an adequate adjustment period. I agree with expert Julia that products such as pheromone diffusers can help to create a more calming effect. There is also a calming collar product called sentry. If these remedies are not helpful you could consult with an animal behaviorist or veterinarian for further treatment options, that may include medical therapies.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Don`t be alarmed; it`s normal for cats to hiss at something new or something they don`t understand. Hissing is a distance-increasing behavior. Simply put, it`s a warning saying, “Please back off, and do not come any closer.”
Sometimes cats hiss at other adult cats to show dominance. Cats are territorial and may have specific spaces in your home marked as “theirs.” When another cat encroaches on that space, hissing might occur to re-establish the hierarchy in your home until they learn to get along again.
Don`t be alarmed by hissing or growling. These are normal reactions. Encourage interaction through the door. Place your new cat`s food near the door of his room so he stays near it.
Again, some hissing when they see each other is normal so don`t be alarmed. Some light swatting is also common. Separate them if the hissing doesn`t die down after 1 or 2 minutes or if there is any sign of threat (swatting with force, chasing, screaming, ears flattened, etc.). Try again when the cats seem to be calm.
Cats are territorial and will hiss at other cats to assert dominance, especially when a new cat is introduced to their surroundings. After a trip to the vet, it is common for the returning cat to be picked on and hissed at by their housemates. Cats communicate through sight, sound, and scent.
Our pets like to be in control, so it may take some time for resident cats to adjust to new kittens, cat hissing at new cat is there way to communicate discomfort. It`s possible that your kitties will hit it off from the start – you might notice them playing, sneaking around, and snoozing together.
Some of the underlying non-medical causes for aggression between cats in the same household include fear, lack of socialisation, inappropriate introduction of a new cat, overcrowding (i.e. not enough vertical or horizontal space, too few resources etc), redirected aggression, play and predation.Some of the underlying …
Most often cats will start hissing at you because they are annoyed and are trying to tell you to back off. However, a hissing cat could also be telling you that they are in pain and need your help. So if you`re petting them or lifting them when the hissing sound starts, check to see if they have any signs of injury.
If your cat dislikes other cats entering their territory and becomes agitated or angry when this occurs, it could be a hint that they would not accept sharing their home with another cat. Bengals, for example, are ideally suited to being sole cats. Cats who are related get along better than cats that are not related.
They will likely regard the new cat as a stranger and not as a member of the family. This is normal. They don`t hate the new cat — they are simply scared of him and need time to learn that the new cat is not a danger.
Place the cats` food bowls on opposite sides of a closed door. This will encourage them to be close together while they`re doing something that makes them feel good. Each day, have the cats switch rooms so that they both experience some variation and get access to each other`s scents.
Cats are highly territorial. Your resident cat or cats likely believe they own your home. A new kitten can feel like a threat to that ownership, so it`s so important to make introductions slowly. Anticipate keeping the kitten separated for at least a couple days.
By having both cats experience something positive (a meal or yummy snack) while they are nearby, they can learn to form positive associations with each other. If either cat is growling or hissing at the other through the door, donot put them together anytime soon; take things very slowly and continue feeding this way.
It takes most cats eight to 12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. Although some cats certainly become close friends, others never do. Many cats who don`t become buddies learn to avoid each other, but some cats fight when introduced and continue to do so until one of the cats must be re-homed.
There will be hissing and growling – try to ignore it, but be ready to intervene if a physical battle breaks out. It`s important to take this step slowly. If they do seem to tolerate each other, praise both cats effusively. Gradually increase the time they spend together.
However, your cat can absolutely form a strong emotional bond with another cat, and they can even become BFFs — which you probably already know if you have two cats who spend all their time together. Bonded cats sleep and play together and groom each other.
According to a new study, cats experience the greatest fondness for female owners. Cats attach to your veterinary clients—your female clients in particular—as social partners and it`s not just because they want to be fed, according to research in the journal Behavioral Processes.
Cats lick each other (and their humans) to communicate, show affection, and, sometimes, out of survival instinct. This communal grooming behavior is called allogrooming, and here`s why your cat does (or doesn`t!) allogroom their furry housemates.
Both male and female cats are territorial, but males may defend larger territories than females. Cats` territorial aggression is usually directly toward other cats, but it can be directed toward dogs and people, too.
Male cats can dominate female cats occasionally as male cats are typically more aggressive. They might relive their aggression by picking fights with their male and female littermates, or even other cats. Male and female cats from different litters can live together, they just need time to adjust.
Sensitivity threshold: The cat enjoys the human contact at first, but then the repetitiveness of the petting becomes irritating. The cat turns and bites as a way to say, “I`ve had enough.” An analogy to human behavior can be made. If someone pats you on the back, it feels good.
Your cat stares at you as a way to communicate with you. Your cat may be telling you it`s hungry, scared or simply observing you. The best thing you can do is take in your cat`s body language as a whole instead of just the staring.
If you have a young cat at home and want a second, consider adopting one kitten of the opposite sex, as same-sex cats are much more prone to fight each other for dominance. Your resident cat will still be young enough to recall having fun with her littermates, and the new kitten will be more than happy to oblige.
Pairs are Happier

Despite their independent natures, cats are social creatures that need companionship to thrive. Left alone, a cat can develop behavioral problems, and in some cases, even show signs of depression. Cats in bonded pairs, on the other hand, are more likely to be better adjusted.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. New addition to all female cat household of 4 ages 7 to 2 yrs. She is 9 months old. She doesn’t get along with the others. Hissing & pooping HELP!!
ANSWER : A. Any new addition to the household can create a disturbance in the current cat dynamic you have presently. If it is possible having a separate area that can be the new cat’s “safe zone” until there is an adequate adjustment period. I agree with expert Julia that products such as pheromone diffusers can help to create a more calming effect. There is also a calming collar product called sentry. If these remedies are not helpful you could consult with an animal behaviorist or veterinarian for further treatment options, that may include medical therapies.

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat will not eat the renal food my veterinarian recommended, can I feed a grocery store food?
ANSWER : A. Your veterinarian recommended a therapeutic kidney diet because it has ingredients that will help slow the progression of your cat’s conditions, especially phosphorus and lower protein levels. Many of the non-prescription or grocery store foods generally have high levels of phosphorus and would not be ideal for your cat.

To help your cat accept the new food It is important to do a transition. There are two reasons to do a transition:

1) Occasionally a pet will have a GI upset when switched to a new diet,

2) A pet will accept a new food better when a transition is done to allow the pet to get use to the new texture and flavor.

There is more of a chance with a hydrolyzed protein or different (high or low) fiber level food to cause a GI upset. Transition recommendation:

1) Recommend ¾ old diet – ¼ new diet

2) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

3) ½ old diet – ½ new diet

4) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

5) ¼ old diet – ¾ new diet

6) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step

7) End with 100% of the new food.

Sometimes a transition should be longer, especially for cats. Use the same recommendation, but instead of a few days, recommend doing each step for a week or more. If you cat is still not interested in the new diet you can research other non-prescription diets focusing on the labels for appropriate levels of phosphorus and protein.

Also, home cooking may be an option but make sure to provide adequate nutrients. A good website to consult is balanceit.com. This website helps you to create well balanced home cooked recipes and offers supplements to add into the diet.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. Approx 8 years old, had her for 4 years, last couple months has been peeing in/out of her box on furniture,blankets,etc. Never had this behavior.
ANSWER : A. Most of the time when a cat is peeing on your personal belongings such as your bed or piles of clothing/blankets the cat is telling you it is upset about something. Try to think of what could have happened that brought change to the cat’s life. Such as a new baby, new house, new pet, change in routine. New food, new liter, ect. I would try to address what was the change if possible. Make sure to keep the box clean and try adding more boxes. 1 box per cat and 1 box per house story. (2 story house 2 cats = 2-4 boxes).

Q. I have a cat with that virur (aids) could u tell me about her disposition and care
ANSWER : A. Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately the discussion about what you asked has no straightforward answers and can be quite complex.

First thing that I would double check, considering that your cat is very young, is whether she is really infected. It is important to remember that kittens born to FIV-infected queens will receive antibodies from the queen via the milk, and so will test positive early in life though they may not be infected. Kittens with a positive test result should always be retested when they are 5-6 months of age.

Many FIV infected cats are able to live happily with the virus for a long period of time, and indeed the virus will not necessarily ever cause clinical disease.

Different factors will influence the onset of disease in your cat including:

– The ”subtype” of FIV your cat is infected with,

– Her immune response

– The presence or absence of other infectious agents.

To maintain a good quality of life for your cat, I will give you these general guidelines, but you will then find certainly helpful to speak with your veterinarian for specific cases.

– Some antiviral medications used in human patients with HIV infection have also been shown to help some cats with FIV infection. Interferons may have anti-viral effects and modify immune responses. A recombinant feline interferon (feline interferon omega) is available in some countries. Down side is the cost usually.

– Keep your cat away from other cats and possible source of infections;

– Maintain good quality nutrition;

– Keep your cat indoor if possible regularly checked by your veterinarian;

– Keep your cat away from non-infected cats.

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.