Monday, June 18, 2012

Oh Cat Whisperer, Where Art Thou?

True life: My house is like a feline version of West Side Story. 

If you're fairly new to the blog, these are my babies:

Photographic evidence that they used to like each other
As I briefly explained in this post, my cat Scout (left) reacted badly to Scrabble (right) getting groomed about two months ago. Instead of seeing Scrabble and saying, "Wow, man, bad haircut!" She instead said, "Who the heck are YOU??????" and immediately was on the offensive. She did everything she could to beat the crap out of Scrabble, to the point where I was (and I mean this seriously) convinced she would kill her if she had the opportunity. After all, she is an animal, and that's what animals instinctively do to a threat in many cases. So when Scout started drawing blood, we knew it was time for a separation.

Our arrangement works like this: Scout spends the day in our bedroom and bathroom, and Scrabble runs around the living room and guest room. At least once a day, we put Scrabble in the guest bedroom/bathroom and let Scout have the run of the house.

We've taken Scout to two different vets, both of whom seem completely stymied by the fact that this hasn't cleared up on its own. The first vet knew less about these kind of situations than I did, and all I have is my degree in Google Searching. The second vet was less clueless, and decided we should try an antidepressant on Scout to help with her aggression. You heard me. An antidepressant. I mean, they say animals look like their owners after a while, but this is getting just a little too real for me.

 So we had to go the drug route. Now, if you haven't met me before, you may not be aware of the fact that I'm practically a poster-child for drug-free living. I hate taking any kind of pills unless it's necessary, and I certainly don't do anything illegal. By extension, I'm the same way with my animals. I don't like giving them any kind of medication unless they need it. The idea of Scout being drugged up or not like herself anymore was really tough on me, but it was the only option at the time.

We tried one medication, and the good news was that Scout was still like herself. The bad news was, it didn't work well enough to allow for the cats getting back to being friends again. I called the vet again and we'll be trying Prozac once the other medication gets out of Scout's system. Whether it will work or not is a mystery.

We've basically tried every natural remedy at this point and tried what all the websites have said, but I'm open to suggestions. I've googled "cat therapist" a few times and bookmarked some pages. I'm about to call that weird guy from Animal Planet with the guitar case full of cat toys to come do his thing and fix this.

So, while I wait for my cats to be friends again...anyone know a cat whisperer?


  1. Hi Ashley! I'm a new follower as of today, and I hope I can offer a little help :)

    I am the mom of two female cats also, and awesome job doesn't come without it's share of drama. To make things more interesting and similar - I'm also the mom of one female orange tabby (who are so so so so sassy and bossy. I know your life.) and one female "fancy" (mine is an egyptian mau) who is more submissive and easily pushed around. So, I totally know what you're going through.

    Now, generally, my girls get along very well. They usually don't fight or act out. BUT, every now and again, Sookie (the orange tabby) will start to beat the daylights out of Cessie (the Mau). Seriously. Like pummel the hell out of her face and bite her ears. It seems to be brought on by absolutely nothing and usually resolves itself. One big fight left Cessie bleeding and acting out by peeing all over my guest bed (she's a spiteful thing), and Sookie not letting her out of the guest room even to eat. Not a good thing.

    So, I invested in a little thing called Feliway. It's supposed to reduce scratching furniture (which I really don't care about) and stress related behaviors. It's all natural and it TOTALLY mellowed out the situation. Within a week, they were back to their cuddling and bathing each other routine and normal, non-scary fighting. I don't have it plugged in all the time, only when things feel tenser than usual, and it seems to help.

    Anyway, good luck! Glad I found you today! You can check out my weirdos on my blog too, if you'd like, at: perchedup,


  2. Hi Jackie! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I'm so glad you found the blog. You're right, the issue you describe sounds very similar to what we've experienced with our girls. The problem that we had is that the fighting was so intense that Scrabble, our more submissive cat, was absolutely terrified for days and would hide and not let anyone touch her. During the fights, she would also pee a little on the floor out of fear. So we felt like her life might be in danger since Scout seemed to want to kill her.

    We have tried the Feliway, and I think it did work for us to some extent. I'm glad you commented and talked about that because it convinced me that I need to get more. It didn't work enough to where they were fine and could be around each other again, but I noticed a difference the two times we ran out of the diffusers. I plan to get more because I think it did have some effect on them. If you think of any other things you've used, please let me know! I am open to any and all suggestions!

    I'll definitely be visiting your blog!


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