I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

Buffster7

TCS Member
Thread starter
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
751
Reaction score
2,380
Okay, thank you guys for your input. I thought about it throughout the day, and I'm really wondering if Finn wasn't perhaps defending Charlie. Charlie had darted from the room and run to his hiding place. I needed to leave the house soon and didn't want to leave Charlie out with Finn, so I went to retrieve him. But he didn't want to be retrieved and he had started to dart from me again right when I picked him up. So to Finn, it must have looked like a skirmish. Then when my feet went out from under me and Charlie started growling, Finn went into attack mode. He also wouldn't calm down until I started talking to Charlie through the bedroom door and in my human mind, I think that maybe he realized that Charlie was okay in there.

When I left today, I left Charlie in my room and let Finn have the run of the house since Finn is the active one and Charlie mostly sleeps all day, and Finn has been cooped up for the last couple days. Things were just fine when I got home. They both ate; they both left a little food in their bowls and then went and finished what the other cat left in his bowl. I went back to my room to take my makeup off, Charlie followed. A minute later I hear a yelp and Finn has jumped Charlie and bitten him again. Finn is now in time out as I type this. I feel like I've felt Charlie's confidence increase a bit since I've been separating them, but I feel as if Finn has been jumping Charlie more since I've been separating them, too. A couple nights ago when we went to bed, Finn stayed outside the room, but Charlie wouldn't settle down and was on high alert until I closed the bedroom door. Then he immediately cuddled up to me and started purring. Broke my heart. Last night I let Finn sleep with us again, and I had to carry Charlie to bed - he wouldn't come by himself. Finn usually starts jumping and biting Charlie at around 3 in the morning, so when he woke up and approached Charlie in bed at around 2:45, I put him out the room and closed the door. These cats are wearing me out. Anyway. I'm going to go grab a bite to eat and then come and read the posts in depth.
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
6,378
Reaction score
32,345
Location
Southern U.S.
One thing I wanted to stress here, remember the beginning. It all evolves and we learn as we go. It is some back and forth but Finn will be getting older too. Your schedule has been changing during a lot of this along with so many other factors that have already settled to large degree. You are leaps ahead of where this all began and in the weeks and months ahead you will be leaps ahead of where you are now. :hugs:
 

Buffster7

TCS Member
Thread starter
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
751
Reaction score
2,380
Charlie is a senior kitty, and the higher activity the last few months combined with age may be causing arthritis to flare up. Supplements, such as Cosequin or GlycoFlex, can help control inflammation and degeneration associated with arthritis, easily overlooked during wellness exams. Cosequin is flavored and most palatable in food; GlycoFlex is available in chew treats. These are well tolerated gastrointestinally and take 2-4 weeks to see efficacy. See which he likes.
Feliway Multicat is a game changer for cat-on-cat aggression, anxiety, or fear. Its pheromone differs from Feliway Classic and Comfort Zone, as the original formula of facial pheromone helps self-soothe and establish territorial comfort. Rubbing at scent gland areas of the face, such as the temporals, cheeks, chin, and submandibular area, is soothing as it activates these facial gland pheromones; thus rubbing on us or on furniture.
Open (not covered),large litterboxes, 18"x24" minimum, both in accessible communal area and in private corners, at least 3
Additional environmental enrichment modification includes food puzzles.
Redirected aggression when acutely scared or threatened is a very scarey cat reaction to behold. But, he relaxed unordinarily quickly, so thank your lucky stars and his quite domesticated brain for that.
Thank you so much for taking the time to pass along the wealth of information- your post is full of good insight. I did try Cosequin with Charlie, but it makes him vomit. I tried to work it up gradually, but every time I reached 1/2 capsule in his food, he'd vomit. I switched to Charlotte's Web CBD as I heard that this does wonders for arthritic cats (and that it helps mellow them out, so Finn gets it, too).
I'm using Feliway and Comfort Zone Multi-Cat. Right now I have 5 diffusers at different locations in the house. I can tell a big difference when they run low. It was interesting to read about the difference between the classic and multi-cat; I hadn't read any of this before, thank you!
I have 3 large litterboxes, uncovered, and use Dr Elsey's Precious Litter, no scent. I do have the food puzzles and use them occasionally for treats - Finn is a HUGE fan! But I don't feed them kibble, only wet food, so I can't use the puzzles frequently.
As for my vet, he's one of the most experienced vets in this area. He was the vet for our zoo at one point and is part owner of the emergency clinic in town, I believe. I trust him; he and his partner vet have taken wonderful care of my animals for the past 15 years. I love the sound of the setup of your vets' offices, though not likely something our small and somewhat rural city could enable the vets here to support.

It was nice to read that you feel Finn has a domesticated brain - there are times that he feels so "wild" to me. Other times I think he's just misunderstood. It was encouraging to read your post; feels like I've been on the right track due to the fantastic advice I've received on this site over the last 9 months. It sounds as though you've worked extensively with felines. If you have any ideas or tips on how to stop Finn from stalking Charlie, I would love to hear them. Right now Charlie is hiding in my armoire in my room while Finn is sitting on the bed. It is so sad to see Charlie feeling so anxious/vulnerable in his own home. That's no way to live. :(
 

Buffster7

TCS Member
Thread starter
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
751
Reaction score
2,380
I've been keeping a close eye on them, trying to decipher what is going on and where things went wrong. I've been home today, and it's been pretty peaceful. Charlie is definitely very wary of Finn and refrains from wandering the house in the evenings when the sun goes down. I guess Finn is more active and the risk of being pounced goes up? If I go to my bedroom from the kitchen, I have to walk back and carry Charlie to the bedroom - that's just too much house for him to traverse. He never used to be like that.

It's been peaceful for the most part today. If I had to guess, I would say that there's been a mixture of jealousy, vying for my affection, and then plain old excess energy in a young cat who never properly learned how to play. He's a little unpredictable and he bites - I think Charlie's been bitten one too many times and started running when Finn came up behind him. And this kicked in Finn's prey drive.

So...how to get Charlie to fight back? And how do I build up Charlie's confidence? I've tried playing with him, but he's really not a playful cat and doesn't play much. I feed Finn in my bedroom in the mornings so Charlie and I can have that first bit of time in front of the fireplace together. I'm not sure how else to build up his confidence, any ideas?
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
6,378
Reaction score
32,345
Location
Southern U.S.
I think time with Charlie as you are doing now. You really can’t make him fight back but you can build his confidence. Bringing in others requires a dedication of time and energy to them. Finn is now well established so the focus can be me equally divided now. Cats can really turn the tables on us. There was a time when you worried that Charlie would bully Finn. The balance will shift again. Giving Charlie private time should help a lot. Allowing Finn the time to mature too. The rough play still needs to be monitored by you when you see it. That calm but firm,” uh uh Finn.” Stop is a good word foranything they do that causes pain or risk of any kind. Cats are so strong willed, we have to be very regular with instructions. Have you ever tried to teach a cats trick? Lol They can be taught but, it takes human patience. That might be a good exercise for both kitties. Maybe reaching with one paw to snag something tasty in a teaspoon? Making Finn work a little harder for it. Finn might even enjoy jumping on a footstool ( or similar) and then back down to get his treat. Make the treat a small taste of something. You might do this when they are not together since Charlie could be arthritic. Make it easier for him. I found that since BJ has no real interest in toys, the teaching for things or other brain teasers was more to his interest. If you are doing this even once a day, it could build confidence in Charlie and work off a little angst in Finn. If you can do more, I think you’ll find they get interested in all sorts of challenges.
 

Buffster7

TCS Member
Thread starter
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
751
Reaction score
2,380
I think time with Charlie as you are doing now. You really can’t make him fight back but you can build his confidence. Bringing in others requires a dedication of time and energy to them. Finn is now well established so the focus can be me equally divided now. Cats can really turn the tables on us. There was a time when you worried that Charlie would bully Finn. The balance will shift again. Giving Charlie private time should help a lot. Allowing Finn the time to mature too. The rough play still needs to be monitored by you when you see it. That calm but firm,” uh uh Finn.” Stop is a good word foranything they do that causes pain or risk of any kind. Cats are so strong willed, we have to be very regular with instructions. Have you ever tried to teach a cats trick? Lol They can be taught but, it takes human patience. That might be a good exercise for both kitties. Maybe reaching with one paw to snag something tasty in a teaspoon? Making Finn work a little harder for it. Finn might even enjoy jumping on a footstool ( or similar) and then back down to get his treat. Make the treat a small taste of something. You might do this when they are not together since Charlie could be arthritic. Make it easier for him. I found that since BJ has no real interest in toys, the teaching for things or other brain teasers was more to his interest. If you are doing this even once a day, it could build confidence in Charlie and work off a little angst in Finn. If you can do more, I think you’ll find they get interested in all sorts of challenges.
Okay, thanks Jcatbird. I will have some time this week, but then my next clinical starts next week. I need to figure out how long to keep them separated when I'm gone, too. Do I keep separating them indefinitely? Any time Charlie uses any of the litter boxes and Finn hears the scratching, Finn runs to whichever box and stalks it, pouncing when Charlie enters. I've been able to head this off somewhat today. They probably need to be separated for a while longer whenever I leave so this doesn't happen while I'm gone and set us back?

Well...just as I was typing this, Charlie comes running in the room with Finn chasing him, biting him, and Charlie yelping. I said, "FINN nooooo" and he ran out the room. I closed the bedroom door. Now he's out in the house and Charlie and I are in the room. Finn is sticking his foot under the door periodically, then walking around the house yowling. It's like he couldn't control himself...Charlie must have been walking through the house back to my bedroom, And Finn couldn't resist the impulse. He had to pounce. Which is why Charlie doesn't walk alone through the house anymore. I had just turned out the lights and come back to my bedroom and forgotten I left him in the kitchen. Sigh. We almost made it a whole day.
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
6,378
Reaction score
32,345
Location
Southern U.S.
Almost a whole day is good. That urge to become active this time of evening is totally natural and a chance to have a good game of chase?!?!? Irresistible!! Finn is in his prime health and years. Not at all a surprise.
Yes. I would keep them apart as needed until you see Charlie feeling more confident or manage to work things out a bit. I do think offering a learning challenge could help. Especially Finn. Get his brain working in a different direction. Even if you need to get him jumping through hoops. It can actually be fun to get them doing a sort of obstacle course of games/tricks. I think Finn has the purrfect purrsonality for this. He’s smart and has energy to burn. Once established, Charlie might enjoy watching the show too! I know your time and energy are pretty much devoured most of the time but I really think this is worth doing a few minutes here and there as you can. Let’s see if the guys find this new thing interesting. 🤞
 

pearl99

In memory of Pearl, my labrador. RIP Pearl.
Super Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
889
Reaction score
2,175
Location
Colorado, USA
I think the trick training is a fantastic idea! I am starting to try clicker training with Mooshoo. Just working on her sticking her nose to my index finger when I put it out. Eventually I want to get to a high five with a paw.
I just do what I can, even a few minutes every day or so is good.
 

Buffster7

TCS Member
Thread starter
Super Cat
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
751
Reaction score
2,380
Okay, my interest is piqued with clicker training. I just googled it and it doesn't sound as overwhelming as I thought. I was just in the pet supply store today, dang it, I should have picked up a clicker. This may be really good for Finn. He's done better this week since I've been home more and can correct him when he gets "stalky". Charlie still acts skittish and wary, but doesn't seem quite as cowed. Last night they wouldn't come to bed; Charlie was out in the living area and too afraid to come to the room. I went out to get him, and he darted under the chaise. It must have looked like I was out to get him, because Finn 'came to his defense' again. He didn't get aggressive and go for me, but he began that anxious sounding yowling and got between the chaise and me. I definitely got the "feel" of concern from Finn, no aggression. And yet Charlie still fears him. I finally went to bed and got up around 1 a.m. to go retrieve him from a chair - Finn was in bed with me. I don't separate them at night because I did sense more hostility when I did that. I only separate them when I feed in the morning so Charlie and I can have our alone time, and I'm still keeping them separated when I leave the house. We shall see how things go next week when I start my next clinical rotation. I'm definitely feeling encouraged, and feeling a lot more loving towards Finn, poor guy! Now that he's not attacking Charlie - who just turned 9 years old!

You're right, Jcatbird - Finn is young and has energy to burn, and he is so smart!! It's a shame not to challenge that intelligence. If I can work with his hyperactivity, he can totally learn tricks. I just have to find the time! Thanks so much for the encouragement - will keep you posted!
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
6,378
Reaction score
32,345
Location
Southern U.S.
I am so glad things are turning around. I do think giving Finn a direction for that energy will help. I also think that you have a very good grasp on what they are both doing and feeling. You are reading them well. :) I know having Finn acting as protector can be a little intimidating but it’s a sign of a solid bond that will evolve as he understands more of indoor life.

High five!
AD1FD73C-3275-4953-A1D7-E7DAB0709BD3.jpeg
 

pearl99

In memory of Pearl, my labrador. RIP Pearl.
Super Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
889
Reaction score
2,175
Location
Colorado, USA
Okay, my interest is piqued with clicker training. I just googled it and it doesn't sound as overwhelming as I thought. I was just in the pet supply store today, dang it, I should have picked up a clicker. This may be really good for Finn. He's done better this week since I've been home more and can correct him when he gets "stalky". Charlie still acts skittish and wary, but doesn't seem quite as cowed. Last night they wouldn't come to bed; Charlie was out in the living area and too afraid to come to the room. I went out to get him, and he darted under the chaise. It must have looked like I was out to get him, because Finn 'came to his defense' again. He didn't get aggressive and go for me, but he began that anxious sounding yowling and got between the chaise and me. I definitely got the "feel" of concern from Finn, no aggression. And yet Charlie still fears him. I finally went to bed and got up around 1 a.m. to go retrieve him from a chair - Finn was in bed with me. I don't separate them at night because I did sense more hostility when I did that. I only separate them when I feed in the morning so Charlie and I can have our alone time, and I'm still keeping them separated when I leave the house. We shall see how things go next week when I start my next clinical rotation. I'm definitely feeling encouraged, and feeling a lot more loving towards Finn, poor guy! Now that he's not attacking Charlie - who just turned 9 years old!

You're right, Jcatbird - Finn is young and has energy to burn, and he is so smart!! It's a shame not to challenge that intelligence. If I can work with his hyperactivity, he can totally learn tricks. I just have to find the time! Thanks so much for the encouragement - will keep you posted!
This is a sheet about clicker training:
Cat Clicker Training - Dumb Friends League

I have a clicker that is a little quieter than dog clickers (not so startling for a cat); got it at the shelter training class. You can also use a dog clicker wrapped in a cloth or something to make it quieter.
I make the treats quite small. Just a very small bite is all that's needed. I also have a few small unused syringes that I put baby food in (the stage with no chunks) to give a taste at the end of the syringe for a treat (turkey or chicken flavor.) I had to learn not to squirt it all out.
The session doesn't have to be long at all, just 5 minutes or less.
Just have to give the reward with no delay at all, immediate. And only click once per reward.
It's just a fun thing. The shelter uses it for stressed, very active, frustrated, depressed or fearful cats.
After the click sound/treat teaching part, I am just having Moo target my finger till we can move on.
 

pearl99

In memory of Pearl, my labrador. RIP Pearl.
Super Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
889
Reaction score
2,175
Location
Colorado, USA
pearl99 pearl99 I tend to watch for each kitty to do something on their own and then I emphasize that behavior. I have a kitty, Mitsy, who likes to reach up to me. She does a great high five now. Lol It ends up looking like I am teaching them tricks but truthfully, they all teach me. :lol:
Yes! When I get to "sit" or "raise a paw" I plan on doing that. Moo is very good at targeting my finger now.
 

mentat

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
165
Reaction score
189
Location
VA
I love the training posts here, fun and engaging with our kitties. This is why I enjoy the variety of communication and experience on catsite. Props to you for preparing to try it Buffster7 Buffster7 . My Stuart a lifetime ago was a ball retriever and paw shaker ham who loved to engage his vet team and visitors with his wiles. Desensitization for paw holding by rewarding offering a paw, captured from him pawing at my hand to get the treat, shaped from there, was how my own Finn stopped guarding his feet for nail trims.

Behavioral modification with training, such as the clicker training, can take time to be effective, often best achieving response in combination with medical behavior management. This is why primary care vets and behaviorist vets recommend behavioral therapy medically while initiating training for problem behaviors such as persistent anxiety or redirected aggression. The guidelines I previously posted from the AAFP for anxiolytic drug therapy, singular or multimodal combin!ation low-dose treatments, is really a good discussion point to have with Finn and Charlie's vet as Charlie's victim status persists and Finn's chasing/targeting as the "aggressor" is not letting up. The vet experience and alternatives point-of-view was more to reassure you your cats have normal response to veterinary handling and care; Finn was not an aberration feral/semi-feral at a vet clinic. I have lived in very remote areas. We drive a considerable distance for good cat vets. For emergencies, we have a local vet, and the knowledge/plan from our feline specialist; my last town had 3 AAFP Cat Friendly vets, with one who had further education and training in feline internal med and ultrasound, so we didn't have to go to the city; she understands we're 50 miles away now, and provides excellent phone and email consults for a nominal fee if we need more than a little followup advice or her to review an emergency care plan long-distance. She and vet professionals like her have educated me invaluably. The scientist in me did the rest. As an advocate gathering all this info you've diligently reaped, bringing up AAFP treatment guidelines, restraint/handling that is low stress, and premed at home before transport are continuing communication for care and direction with your vet care plan. The behavior modifying drug therapies are lifesavers in multicat homes with cat aggressive or redirecting aggressive/fearful individuals. Drugs that boost confidence, release seratonin, encourage calm, are all worth discussing benefits and side effects with your vet, to consider 4-8 week trial for each boy.
https://catvets.com/public/PDFs/PracticeGuidelines/FelineBehaviorGLS.pdf

Regarding CBD, self-inform and discuss with your vet. The joint supplements I mentioned are tested independently for safety by Nutramax Laboratories an VetriScience R+D. We must be prudent with our selection of supplements unregulated by the FDA with no safety/efficacy oversight or accountability. Food for thought:
Log In or Sign Up to View

"CBD is not a risk-free substance. As evidenced in the public clinical development data for Epidiolex and in the publicly available published scientific literature, CBD is associated with risks including liver injury, drug-drug interactions, drowsiness that may affect driving, and the possibility of male reproductive toxicity."

The ABCs of CBD: What to Know Now, What to Do, What Comes Next
"It’s a lot faster, less complicated, and less expensive to do clinical trials with a CBD isolate, but the synergy between cannabis molecules matters. There is a good chance that the best mix of cannabinoids and other molecules will be different for uses in seizures, pain, anxiety, cancers, allergies, and so on. For example, Andre explained that CBDA, which is what the cannabis plant originally produces, has potent implications in inflammation. However, in the race to get CBD products to market, companies burn off CBDA in processing.

Andre pointed to the published Cornell study on CBD and osteoarthritis in dogs. That research used an ElleVet Sciences CBD, where the certificate of analysis describes the ratios of CBD, CBDA, THC, and other minor cannabinoids and terpenes. “We can’t really say that [any] CBD at 2 milligrams per kilogram was effective in controlling the pain,” Andre said. “What we need to be saying is that this particular molecule profile at 2 milligrams per kilogram is effective in controlling pain.”"

From my deceased cancer dog's onco technician VTS, CVPP (pain certification specialty) 2 years ago:
"What to look for in a product:

I prefer to use products formulated specifically for veterinary species. While high-CBD products are available for the human market, many of them still contain levels of THC that may lead to toxicity in our patients (particularly dogs).

Make sure the company provides:

- The CBD:THC ratio in the product
- Laboratory analysis of the product, including cannabinoids present, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, heavy metals, and a microbial and solvent residuals analysis as well. Ideally the analysis will also have a terpene and flavonoid analysis
- The amount of CBD in the product (by mL or teaspoon)
- Other ingredients that may be dangerous for pets, such as xylitol
- Extraction method - carbon dioxide extraction is generally seen as safe and leaves no dangerous residue behind in the concentrated product
Because these products are not regulated by the FDA (like human vitamins and supplements), look for a product that follows Good Manufacturing Processes or one that has the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal to ensure a clean supply chain and manufacturing environment."
Resource she sent me I gave to my AAFP cat's vet: About
She is on the advisory board now for ElleVet Sciences, who conducted the first CBD vet study with Cornell's help. CBD Mobility Products for Dogs & Cats | ElleVet Sciences
"Veterinarians at Cornell called ElleVet Chews “A game changer that will change the face of veterinary medicine.”
In collaboration with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, ElleVet conducted the first study examining how hemp is metabolized by dogs. This research established proper dosing levels and helped us determine how often dogs should take our product for best results.
ElleVet also conducted a double-blind placebo trial at Cornell, focusing on dogs with multi-joint discomfort. The dogs who took ElleVet showed significant–often dramatic–improvement over dogs who took the placebo."
As always, research in feline pain management response is behind dogs :\
The study: Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs

I used Pet Releaf, then this product, once on market. CBDA, terpenes, and EBS were cannabis components I learned about in the search to find a safe product that processing preserved the active targeted ingredients.

Charlie and Finn are lucky to have you by their side. Keep at it!
 

mentat

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
165
Reaction score
189
Location
VA
Log In or Sign Up to View

"CBD is not a risk-free substance. As evidenced in the public clinical development data for Epidiolex and in the publicly available published scientific literature, CBD is associated with risks including liver injury, drug-drug interactions, drowsiness that may affect driving, and the possibility of male reproductive toxicity."
The link was to FDA's CBD report submitted this year to the Senate; re: human and animal supplement/diet products and use. Sorry if you can't view it; pdf sent to me last week.
 

mentat

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
165
Reaction score
189
Location
VA
mentat mentat I think it is important for everyone to be very aware of the pros and cons of CBD. The more information made available, the better. Very interesting documentation. 👍
Every 8 weeks, there is new scientific data as well as new legal decisions regarding cannabis products. I get surprised sometimes by reports like the FDA one, when I thought I had read all the most recent info, then something else is published. I sink into research and data rabbit holes from stuff like this, lol
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
6,378
Reaction score
32,345
Location
Southern U.S.
Every 8 weeks, there is new scientific data as well as new legal decisions regarding cannabis products. I get surprised sometimes by reports like the FDA one, when I thought I had read all the most recent info, then something else is published. I sink into research and data rabbit holes from stuff like this, lol
🐇 By all means, take us with you into the rabbit holes! The more reliable information to help the kitties, the happier we’ll all be. It holds great promise if properly managed. It’s a much different plant than it was decades ago. I have watched the evolution of it and found it very interesting. It holds a place that I never would have imagined all those years ago. I am more than surprised. :lol: Cattibis.
 
Top