Snarky Brides

Oy this cat!

Background:  H and I came with our own cats.  We moved in together 6 years ago so cats had to tolerate each other.  And that's basically all they did:  tolerate.  Last May H's male cat was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer and we fought the good fight but in the end Bo had to be euthanized.

Since then Justy has been nuts and I mean totally nuts.  She has taken on Bo's personality traits (and I read somewhere that IS a form of grieving in animals).  She used to be very solitary; only snuggling up at night when I went to bed; hated to be held or cuddled; and pretty much kept herself to herself.  Bo was complete opposite - very much a people cat - into everything.  While Justy still has not become a "people" cat, she is very much more snuggle-able and just wants to be around us to the point of being everywhere and meowing like mad when we don't pay attention.  And she's also very restless; moving around all night from room to room (exactly as Bo used to do).

She's healthy according to vet, she's 13 years old (almost 14).  My thought is that she's lonely for another cat.  H doesn't buy it.  He's still grieving for Bo (he and his son got him when he was 4 weeks old and had to be bottle fed), so he doesn't want another cat.  He says that I can get another cat but that's not right either.  I would want it to be something we decide together.

In the meantime, any ideas for this cat?  I play with her, I cuddle as much as she lets me.  She eats well, uses the litter box.  I am not totally a cat person so some of their behaviors puzzle me.

Re: Oy this cat!

  • I honestly think getting another cat is the best idea.
    My family dog died, and for 2 years my dad was insistent that he did not want another dog.  He never gave emotional reasons, just said it was too much work, he felt like he finally got all the dog hair completely out of the house, he wanted to travel and not worry about who was taking care of a dog, et cetera.  My mom fully supported him and said absoloutely no dog.  So my brother and I got them a dog for Christmas!  We've had Maggie for 2 years (will be 2 on Christmas Eve), and both my parents are in love with her.  It took my dad about three days to warm up to her, but after that she was sleeping in his bed.  When she got sick he made her chicken and brown rice soup (the vet's suggestion) and actually spoon fed her.

    Maybe you could tell your H that you are going to get another cat, but since you aren't entirely a cat person you want some help choosing one.  It will still be your cat, but he will have taken an active role in getting it.

    I have no other ideas, and I'm sorry about Bo.  Good luck!
  • Thanks dtb.  One hesitation on getting another cat (and this is where my little knowledge of cat behavior comes in) is would she get mean and aggressive toward it like she did with Bo when she and I moved in here?  I would obviously not get a kitten for those exact reasons.  And when I say "mean and aggressive" I don't mean that she bit him or anything like that.  It was more that she hissed and swatted alot - she did body slam him a couple of times but that was early in their "relationship."  She is a good sized animal; not Maine Coon big but on the large size.
  • Yeah I understand where you are coming from.

    My cat grieved the loss of our dog last year BIG TIME! I mean to the point he growls like a dog when someone comes to the door, but he will not tolerate other cats at all! So getting another cat is out of the question for us, he is downright mean and nasty. He drew blood on me because of it. So, no new cats here.

    He tolerates the new dog and they get fonder of one another day by day. I'm not sure I'd rush out to get another cat.
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  • I wouldn't rush getting another cat, especially if your H is on board with the idea completely. I personally don't have any experience with living with two cats, or knowing a cat who is grieving. But if her tendency is that she doesn't get along with other cats, I would wait awhile. I don't think you want the situation of where the two are always fighting with each other. I'd suggest talking to your vet to see what he thinks. 
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  • There is a plug in called Feliway you can get at Petsmart that might calm her down. It plugs into a wall outlet and releases pheremones (? Spelling) to calm kitties down. Some respond well to it, some don't.

    It's not really expensive, I think it's about $60. I have one, but I haven't used it in several years.

    There is also kitty prozac. One of my kitties is really high strung and she was on kitty prozac for a while after her original owner passed away very suddenly. We're moving half way across the country shortly and I'll probably see if we can put her on her happy pills before we move to reduce stress, it mellows her out where she can eat, drink, and be normal, but doesn't change her personality or make her a zombie kitty.
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  • A kitten may actually be better, she may act maternal towards it. She sounds lonely to me, poor thing! It's so hard with animals, you never really know. However, kittens can be a pain in the butt! LOL, running around like maniacs and climbing everything, I always say never again! (but I most likely will.... )

     

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  • Steffi, you giving anyone advice on how to take care of their pets is asinine.
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  • Marrin713Marrin713
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    edited November 2012
    Definately will hold off on getting another pet until H is truly on board.  He'd really like a dog (german shepherd) which is okay by me as long it's from a rescue or shelter.

    angel - this cat probably doesn't have a maternal bone in her body.  I would be too nervous with her around a kitten.  I think she might have been a street cat before she was put into the shelter/rescue.  There's just some odd traits she has along with her dislike of being picked up.

    Vet was non-commital.  He knew what we went through with Bo's cancer and I got the impression he thought it may be too soon (at least for H).

    kd - isn't it the strangest thing?  I thought I was reading too much into her behaviors until I read about other cats doing the same.  And now you write that your cat was that way after the dog died.  Interesting.

    I'll just keep on keeping on with her.  She's a good sort and loving in her own way.
  • Cat dynamics are so funny eh? It took 4 years for FI's cat to warm up to me after I moved in with my 2 cats. Go with your gut, you know your family better than anyone.

     

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  • In Response to Re: Oy this cat!:
    Definately will hold off on getting another pet until H is truly on board.  He'd really like a dog (german shepherd) which is okay by me as long it's from a rescue or shelter. angel - this cat probably doesn't have a maternal bone in her body.  I would be too nervous with her around a kitten.  I think she might have been a street cat before she was put into the shelter/rescue.  There's just some odd traits she has along with her dislike of being picked up. Vet was non-commital.  He knew what we went through with Bo's cancer and I got the impression he thought it may be too soon (at least for H). kd - isn't it the strangest thing?  I thought I was reading too much into her behaviors until I read about other cats doing the same.  And now you write that your cat was that way after the dog died.  Interesting. I'll just keep on keeping on with her.  She's a good sort and loving in her own way.
    Posted by Marrin713
    Yeah I would definatly not get a kitten. Even when we've thought of the idea of getting another one, it would be at least 2 years or older and female. I think Tobie would seriously kill a kitten.

    And the odd thing is when we found him I had a older male and they got along fine. But once he died and I moved in with H, he just took over the house.

    We tried to watch stepdaughters 2 cats when they were in Ireland. It got really bad.
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  • I'm a little late to this but I agree that holding off may be best. 
    My parents had a pair of sisters, one of whom passed away recently at the age of 15. The remaining cat, Sadie, was very vocal and acted lonely and my parents ended up getting a pair of very young kittens to keep her company. There were a lot of fireworks and Sadie didn't particularly like either of them. It took them a few months and now they tolerate one another but Sadie's health has declined to the point that they think they will have to let her go soon. It could be because she's old but I can't help but wonder if the stress of trying to deal with two little interlopers didn't help. But all cats are different. Just from your description, it sounds like the remaining cat prefers to be an only cat.
    Also, I second the feliway suggestion. I do not have it myself but I've heard good things.
    Good luck with your decision! Hopefully once your H feels better about it, you can discuss it again.

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  • Spartan, I think she wants it both ways - to be an only "child" AND to have someone to swat at.  Sorry about your parent's old Sadie. 
  • Thanks. She's had a good life but it's time. She is deaf, has arthritus and is down to about 3 lbs even though she eats constantly. Mom said she would never anesthetize another kitty but they're having a hard time watching her suffer so I'm glad they're finally taking the last step. 
    Well, cats are ornery creatures. I personally would let her be alone a bit longer and try the feliway plug ins. She might calm down with the swatting and enjoy being a snuggle bug. Sorry this a problem for you guys, hope you get it figured out!

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  • OP, would you consider fostering another senior age cat? You wouldn't have to keep the cat forever (unless you decided you want to), and senior cats need a lot of love- they're often passed over for kittens in the shelters. 
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