An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Timmy the Brave: How a Cat Overcame His Agitation to Stray Cats, His Attacks on his Human and Household Pets, and His Fear of the New Dog

Timmy is a brave and very reactive male cat who has been challenged by BIG problems. He does not deal well with change. 

Stressed by the stray cats who visited the outdoor areas of his home for feeding by his animal-loving purrson, he would then attack both his purrson and the other cats in his household to the extent that everyone was very fearful - for good reason. Well-meaning friends advised that he be 'put down' for the safety of all. Instead he contacted me and we worked out a plan to help the household. But it wasn't easy. There were times of progress and times of discouragement. Yet persistence paid off. Timmy and his purrson kept up the work and it got results. 

In 2012 the household changed with the addition of a dog; new problems manifest. Take heart. 

It's a 'good news' story that starts in March 2011 and continues for several years. By compiling it in one place, I hope to give cats and their purrsons a better idea of the timeframe and evolution of behavioural problem management; as well as to alert them that household often have complicated problems that evolve over time.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Skittish Cat Meets Demonstrative Human: Bea's Puzzlement with Bonding

Dear Greyce,
I am a stunning, five-year-old, female tortoiseshell in a long, fine fur coat that I keep in good condition largely by myself - though admittedly I do produce furballs. Two months ago, I arrived in my third home via an animal shelter, as a companion for a 14-year-old, male tabby called Henry after the death of his former feline room mate (also male). While considerably older than me, Henry is in good health except for having high blood pressure. We live with Herself in a five-room, single-storey home.

When I arrived, I was placed in the second bedroom with a catnip pillow. Of course I had my purrsonal litterbox and food and water bowls. At first I hid.

Herself visited every evening for about two hours. Henry would come to the door and we would hiss at each other (me in response to him).

Two weeks later, I was let out to explore the rest of the house for brief periods. There was still some hissing but it calmed down. Now I have the run of the house.

Now Henry and I eat out of each other's bowls (mine is still in the bedroom). We now share a common water bowl as well as a common litterbox (kept very clean - in the basement). From time to time he will grab my hind leg in an attempt at play and I will run with him chasing me. It's very benign and he doesn't harm me in anyway. But other than that we seldom interact. For example, during heat waves I stay upstairs while Henry goes to the basement which is cooler. At such times I like to lie behind the sofa table near the window which is purrfect because I am hidden but can bask in a light breeze.

So what's the problem?  It depends on whom you ask.