Saturday, March 27, 2021

Not Easy Like Sunday

TBT HERE: "Houston, we have a problem".  That may or may not relate if you are young.  But it means there is a problem in The Mews world.

Laz came here as a rescue/socializing effort.  He had been in a home with 2 pit bulls and a couple of grabby children.  He was returned (retaken?) by the seller who breeds Siamese.  Laz is 1/2 siamese.  I don't know all the details.

Laz was traumatized by the pit bulls and the children.  The breeder gave him care and attention, but he wasn't exactly what she needed.  When Iza died, I contacted her to ask if she knew Tonkinese breeders like whom she had gotten Iza from.  She did not but had this poor guy who needed a caring home and she just knew I could provide it.  

I found an actual Tonkinese breeder but they were a year on a waiting list.  I accepted Laz from the other.  I wish I had not.  I had never failed with a cat before and I expected Laz would get used to a secure life.

I kept him in The Mews Room for a week, talking and singing nonsense stuff many times a day so he would get used to me.  I offerred comfort and safety.  I gave him peace and assurance.  He responded slowly.  Eventually, he stopped clawing at me and accepted head scritchies and chin rubs.  

I finally let him out of The Mews Room when Marley and Alya were outside so that he could wander around.  He seemed happy and calm after a few days of being around the house alone.

He seemed to adjust when I let him be in the house with Marley and Ayla.  Lots of sniffings went on, and no problems.  That's what I EXPECT from a new cat.  It is normal.

Then suddenly, Laz started attacking Ayla.  And I don't mean chasing and pouncing.  I mean claws and teeth!  Poor Ayla had scabs around her neck.  The attacks were random with no apparent cause.  I worked with Laz many times daily to calm him, assure him, and try to let him know he was safe here.

Over Winter, he seemed to calm down.  I thought he had accepted his Forever Home and his new cat family. I thought he had finally become socialized.  He is to ME.

I used Feliway.  I think it helped a lot.  Laz never attacked Ayla once in the past few months.  But he did again yesterday.  And I don't mean "chase and pounce".  I mean teeth and claws!  Ayla has scabs around her neck again.

I'm struggling here.  I've never failed with a cat, but I may need to give up on Laz.  I'm reluctantly learning that Laz is unrelentingly vicious toward smaller weaker cats.

An option is calming collars.  Do you know anything about them?  I've also heard about "chill pills".  Are those safe and do they work?

How about cat behaviouralists?  Any of you tried that?  

Because if I can't get get Laz to stop attacking weaker cats I am probably going to have to do something I have never done before with a cat.  Give up.

And that is so strange.  Laz gets along with me well enough.  He isn't a lapcat, but he spends the night curled up next to me.  If he was an "only cat", he would be great.  But I think he needs to be an "only cat".  I personally like him, but we aren't a one-cat family.

Can anyone take in an "only cat"?


  1. Heartbreaking, TBT. I don't have any expertise to offer, I'm afraid, but am hopeful that other readers will be able to assist.

    Sydney, Australia

  2. When someone does everything they can to integrate a cat into a family, and it doesn't work out, that doesn't mean the person failed. It means it wasn't the right family. Big difference.

    That said, it sounds like you still have some things you want to try with Laz. If you really think they might help, do try them. But don't feel bad if you can't make things work. It's important that the resident cats feel safe and secure with the newcomer. And clearly Ayla has a good reason not to. You may be right about Laz. He is not an easy cat, and maybe he needs to be in a one-cat family, and with someone who is patient enough to let him adjust on his own terms. Someone like you but who is temporarily without a cat.

    However this works out, you have my purrs.

  3. I had a cat that was rehomed due to the young daughter giving the cat a rough life. Peaches didn't like anyone except me and some days she didn't even like me. I have no doubt she would have never gotten along with another cat.

    Sometimes one has to throw in the towel and bite the bullet. Laz is a beautiful cat. I'm sure you can find an "only child" home.

  4. I am really sorry to hear this and know you have tried so hard with Laz. No-one knows exactly what he went through in the earlier home, but it has obviously affected him badly. All the cats we have had have always got on together so I am afraid I can't offer any suggestions.

  5. I too am really sorry to read this- I know how hard you have worked with him. I also know that if you have to give up on him you will do everything in your power to make sure he goes to a good safe home where he can thrive.
    I've had cats who were bullies and cats who were scaredy but they managed to avoid one another enough to skate along ok, so I really can't offer advice. I've read that other people have had luck with "chill pills" or calming collars, but my only experience was calming treats with a dog. (they helped...but getting anything you want them to eat into a dog is much easier than with a cat. I just hope something can be worked out that can help Laz and give sweet Ayla some well-deserved peace.

  6. Purrs and prayers for all of you that an answer can be found.

  7. I can only recommend segregation which is the only way I have been able to deal with issues like that- no amount of Feliway or calming collars has worked here. I hope you can keep Laz somehow without stressing Ayla. XO

  8. You may want to consult with a behaviorist for more suggestions to help with the situation. And while medication isn't always the best, it can help in many situations. I used it with several cats including Zoey. Don't give up yet, there are still some things you can try. ~Island Cat Mom

  9. I don't have experience with more than one ca at a time, so I can't speak to it; but I do know from personal experience and from anecdotal evidence that Feliway is not a magic cure despite what the word is out there. A cat with strong issues is that, a cat with strong issues; and a scent of pheremones isn't going to cut it...not for that type of problem.

    Pilch92 is right. Segregation- and as she said, calming collars and feliway just won't cut it if the cat is aggressive. We wish they did. This is of course just how I see it. I have been worried about Ayla and I hope she "recovers" from the attacks and doesn't live anticipating them. You have done all and more in your power to acclimate Laz into your home and family. He must have been a victim where he formerly was and can't get over it. He, as humans are able, can't reason about the situation. I am so sorry for all this for the cats and Laz and you.

  10. We're sorry Laz isn't doing well with others. We hope something can be done. Lots of good suggestions here.

    The Florida Furkids

  11. I'm so sorry, we have had that happen here as well. Our Ozzie did that when he first arrived, but over time he calmed down and is one of the sweetest kitties. That being said, not all situations are the same. I wish you the best and I am sure you will find the right solution.

  12. If we are being truthful then we have to admit we have a problem child in our home. Thankfully there is no aggression like you speak of. Some cats, due to their first introduction to life, have trouble living with others while fine with humans. We see this posted all the time at the rescues we follow. It is difficult but it may be time he finds a home where he is the only cat. Our trouble maker is a bully but not to the extent you report or we would be thinking of rehoming. You also have to think of the other cats and how this affects their quality of life. Some say to never give up but I say for a good enjoyable life for all sometimes there needs to be adjustments made. We are so sorry to hear this
    Dad Pete and Timmy
    PS email if you would like

  13. His makes me feel sad for Laz, but indeed you have already gone above and beyond what many would have already quit at.

    We did have some unrest here when we had three kitties, but the 'victim' wasn't well, so it ended when she passed away. We did engage a big cage for her, though so we could have quiet nights and peace of mind when we were not around...

    I really don't have anything to add to the other's comment...but you do have to do what is right by you and the others.

    Sometimes we feel we are not the right home for Dalton, who can be very aggressive, even after almost 4 years, to hubby, and sons.
    CBD oil seems to help a bit, as well as special calming treats, two varieties, one am and the other at night.
    If those didn't help, the way they have, we too, would be asking the rescue he came from to help rehome him.

  14. I've been away for years so I've been scrolling through old posts a bit when visiting blogs now and I found this. I had an issue with Grr that was similar. Grr would stalk and attack Riley randomly and for seemingly no reason. Riley was a smaller friendly female and Grr was a very big female with an attitude problem. Grr never attacked anyone else, so I don't know what it was about Riley that was different, except that maybe she was submissive. I ended up putting a collar with a bell on Grr because none of the calming things seemed to work. The bell warned Riley that Grr was coming and it also warned us so we could intervene. After a couple years, Grr stopped trying to eat Riley and just ignored her. I have no idea if this will help you, but I thought I'd comment in case.


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