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Friday, July 10, 2020

Freaky Friday

TBT here:  Yesterday things got a bit out of control here.  Laz is young and a bit hyper.  He runs in the house recklessly, yells a lot, and sometimes chases Ayla around (he's too smart to bother Marley much).  Mostly (based on how Ayla reacts) it seems playful.

But yesterday, she came inside and he attacked her.  Jumped on her and bit at her neck!  He chased her all around the house and they are both way too fast for me to catch up.  She was screeching and he wouldn't stop.  It was a "fur on the floor" at one point.  I finally managed to get him closed in a room to calm down.

Then Marley even sniffed and whapped her and made a a brief chase.  At least Marley responds to "STOP"!

I checked the Felliway dispenser and it seemed to be working (about 1/4 left after 3 weeks).  But as I was standing there wondering what on Earth had happened, I detected a faint smell of "skunk".  And I HAD noticed some varmint scat in the back yard recently.  Maybe Ayla got some smell on her that triggered Laz and even upset Marley slightly.

I hope, I hope, I hope...

I don't really understand Laz.  He is more aggressive than any other cat I've had.  On the other hand, the only male cats I have had for decades have been laid-back orange and white ones.  And even Marley has chased Ayla briefly when outside.  Laz acts like a feral indoors cat sometimes.  I am assured he has been an inside cat all his life.

Most of the time, I post about his progress.  Well, "most of the time" things are good and Laz seems to be adapting to his forever home.  But it isn't always.  

He had a bad start with dogs and children in his first home, and I think he has basically been an "only" cat.  I get the impression he is like a young human boy locked in a room.  He needs space to run.  On a 1-10 scale of energy, he is at least a 9.  It seems more than FRAP or THOE.

He fights being picked up even briefly.  Yet he sits on my lap peacefully sometimes, and he sleeps up against me most every night.  He eats calmly with both Marley and Ayla.  He doesn't deliberately push things off tables and desks.  He loves my attention.  He doesn't seem malicious; just "uncontrolled".

I know he is new and adjusting.  I know he had a hard start.  I am giving him a LOT of attention and peacefulness.  I don't like the "squirt bottle" training but if things don't improve in a month or so, I may have to try it. 

Laz is friendly to Marley and Ayla most of the time.  Here is a picture of them sleeping together on the bed at night a couple of days ago...
I do not have much experience with a "sometimes angry cat".  Mean Old Tinkerbelle (who had a reason to be angry due to a bad dog-bite across her spine when she was a kitten)  was tempermental and  sometimes drew blood if I touched the wound wrong, but that was understandable.  And she was an only cat for 10 years so she wasn't attacking other cats (and accepted Skeeter and LC well later).

What Laz NEEDS is a yard he can fling himself around and run himself into exhaustion but cant escape from, but I can't manage that.  I intend to introduce him to the outdoors soon.  I have a Hav-A-Hart trap rather larger than a carrier that would allow him to be on the deck and see/sniff/hear around in all directions.  He went ape-crazy when I tried to get him in it, but that was because I couldn't hold the trap open AND guide him in calmly AND close the door at the same time. 

It occurs to me to hold the door open with a spring clamp and add a cushion and try again.  I looked at small dog kennels at the local pet store, but the doors latches are pathetic.  Doors are tricky; if I built one, the door would still be "iffy".

Most of the time, all is calm.  I think what he wants to be is an only cat in a large house.  He is so great with me, inviting attention and scritchies, flopping on the floor in front of me (and I never ignore him then).  He eats well, is perfect with the litter boxes, and keeps his claws in around me.

Any suggestions?

14 comments:

  1. I don't have any suggestions... only to keep being patient.

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  2. Tincture of time...lots and lots of time.

    Pipo sometimes would attack Minko and try to Mount him (!), maybe somehow Laz is doing that in a strange way?? But the outdoors smell of skunk might well have upset him.

    Its hard to stand by and deal with all that, isn't it?

    I have seen large cat runs that are portable on line, but I cannot remember where I saw them...maybe you could google that?
    Can you enclose your deck with some kind of barrier, like chicken fencing?

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  3. I don't have any suggestions, but he did have a troubled start to life. If you could faintly smell skunk, don't forget that a cat's sense of smell is far stronger. It could be what tipped him over the edge.
    I know how out of character Flynn used to act if Eric came back from the vet not smelling right.

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  4. We do not know what to suggest.
    Maybe he is over stimulated by the smells outside?
    Purrs,Georgia and Julie

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  5. No suggestions from us just purrs for all of you. We hope Laz calms down.

    The Florida Furkids

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  6. Mum has a large soft sided enclosure with screening on all sides. Mum couldn't find the exact same thing now but here is a link to something similar for outside. Can see all directions.

    https://www.wayfair.com/pet/pdp/tucker-murphy-pet-pfister-outdoor-cat-playpen-w000616858.html

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  7. It could be the weird smell. Our Simon gets like that every once in a while. Would he eat calming treats? I'd be afraid if you let him outside that might be the last you see of him. Poor Ayla though, I'm sure she was pretty frightened.

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  8. I had to look up FRAP and THOE. I got FRAP, but don't find a definition of THOE that suits the situation.

    Your garden? A "catio" out of a window (everyone could use it, or you could limit it to just Laz). The chicken run I sent you a long time ago? Start leash training him now.

    We lived with three "only" pets, two cats and a dog. There was some tension between the cats, but we intervened and all was good. But then, the cats had a cat door.

    We always touched, felt, handled, held the pets, including picking up the cat who didn't like to be picked up from the time she was a wee kitten. Our cats were always calm and curious at the vet's. He commented on it.

    Training cats is tricky. Dogs respond to praise (and treats). Cats pretty much take praise for granted, and you provide treats for your own amusement. Does Laz respond to "Treat!"? That would be a place to start training him to come when called. I would start with that, but keep the squirt bottle in reserve for times when Laz seriously attacks Ayla. You don't want him to drive her to hiding out in your bedroom. Again.

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  9. Poor Ayla. My Sammy used to do that to Prancie daily even when she was very old and frail. We made sure we never left them alone together so we could stop him right away. Maybe it was the skunk scent.

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  10. Well, we knew "Thundering Herd of Elephants" but all we found for FRAP was "Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure"

    Besides skunk t here may have been other smells you couldn't pick up on - maybe an intact tom somewhere ?

    Sounds like you are doing everything right in handling and calming him. Calming treats might help.

    We are sending purrayers and Power of the Paw that things settle down - and we know TBT has patience and love.

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  11. Wow, that must've been scary all around. Just be patient...with your love and guidance things will work out in time.

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  12. I don't have any advice, I'm afraid. Just consider yourself 'blessed' with "never a dull moment"! LOL

    Megan
    Sydney, Australia

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  13. They must be a struggle right now. Everyone suggests patience (can I add maybe a good stiff drink, or a walk in the sunshine if that's more your thing?)

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  14. That's hard. I can sympathize. I don't know how I'd handle it. I wish he could be in his own suite again until he was able to be more calm with the others.

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