I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

Jcatbird

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I think I have seen some treats with that name. Definitely a good marketing name. Lol Most of my kitties love catnip if it’s good nip. I have a couple that really aren’t interested in it and one that is super stimulated by it. Perhaps if it was infused with CBD it would have a different effect :climbcat:
 

mentat

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Shelter technician reviews play aggression, redirected aggression, reducing stimulation induced by people or other animals approaching by two 15 minute play sessions at crepuscular points of the day. Feed after play, to satiety, then calm or rest sets in. Cat behaviorist vets remote consults for problem behavior, all encompassing: environmental needs, recommendations, with positive reinforcement, densensitization, play, clicker training. Services – Feline Behavior Solutions - Cat Behaviorist
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Buffster7

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mentat mentat , thank you so much for your very informative posts and the links that you provide. I have been reading through them bit by bit. I had big plans to spend time catching up on my reading and on this site, and I've found that the last five days have had me doing all the running around I've not been able to do, and zero desire to be near a computer.

Jcatbird Jcatbird and pearl99 pearl99 , I still haven't gotten a clicker, but I did start having the boys stand for treats and have been trying for a "high five". Shockingly, Charlie was the first one to do it. By accident perhaps? He will reach out and tap my hand with one paw pretty regularly. Finn will grab onto my hand with his paw. The most heartbreaking moment happened the first couple times I tried with him; he wanted that treat so badly, but the minute I held my hand up for a high five he cowered. I realized it must look just like a hand that must have been raised to smack him like that in his past, maybe? Why would he be so terrified of a raised hand? He got extra treats that night. :bawling:

The last two days have been particularly pleasant with these two hooligans. I've continued to separate them when I leave, and Charlie's confidence has been improving. Last night was the first night they both voluntarily climbed onto the bed with me at bedtime. Prior to that, I got this video. Finn had been sitting in my lap, and he kept trying to jump out of my lap to get to Charlie. I thought he wanted to go bite Charlie, so I was hanging onto him. He eventually wriggled out of my grasp and went and lay down next to Charlie! Charlie wasn't buying it - he was super suspicious. But look at how cute they were - Charlie jumped up like, "Look, I wanna trust you, but you're going to have to let me lick you to show me you mean it (Finn hates being licked)" And Finn allows it, but then goes for a little neck nip - then Charlie wrestled him off the bed:

Then today. This morning Charlie was up to his usual morning shenanigans of pouncing Finn til he yelped. Later Finn snuck up behind him and gave him a good bite on the back in retaliation - Charlie yelped. But this time Charlie chased him and was going to teach him a lesson. Finn dove under the ottoman hiding from him, but stuck his head back out to look at Charlie's face. So something's going on. Tonight they've been so cute!! They've been interacting, Charlie's been asking for interaction:

But my favorite - I had tried to engage them both in play with some wands and strings. It didn't really work. I abandoned the bring and went back to my project at the table. I turned just in time to see Charlie pouncing with the string, very obviously doing it for Finn's benefit. Finn was laying on the ottoman watching him, and Charlie was attacking the string, pouncing straight up in the air like a kitten, then looking at Finn. That's when I started recording. When I asked Charlie if he was showing off, I love the way he bounded right up on "Finn's chair" and Finn allowed it and didn't try to sneak up and bite him the way he normally would have!

Today is the best day we have had by far. I'm so so pleased!
I was supposed to start my next clinical tomorrow, but it's been delayed by COVID-19. Waiting to see what transpires in the next few weeks but for now, it looks like I'll have some more time with these two to hopefully solidify this progress. :hearthrob::redheartpump:
 

Jcatbird

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Awwwww! They are so precious and full of shenanigans! They are progressing too! I do think the exercises of teaching things helps. BTW for Finn your hand probably just looks like a big paw. You are top cat and it may not have reflected any past abuse but more of Mom putting up a paw. Low five may work better for Finn. Hand shakes can work too. :salam:A head butt / kiss might be nice too! I have imitated a mom lick to the head initiate head butts. To do this I just brush my cheek against the ear or neck. Watch the paws at first though! LolMake sure they know you are not going on for a neck bite! I hold their head and stroke them to make sure they are in petting mode first. A gentle pet with a single finger across the eyes or up the nose can start some calm petting too.
Go Charlie! High five buddy!
 

Buffster7

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Jcatbird Jcatbird - noted re: the single pet across the nose/eyes. As for the imitation mom lick. I do that with Finn! It makes him purr. What is the significance of a neck bite - what does that say to a cat?

mentat mentat I just noticed on another post you commented on that you mentioned both Zylkene and Royal Canin's calm. Does Royal Canin make calm treats?? I did not know that! I still feed Finn their urinary + calm about every other day, and I can notice such a difference with him. I have wished that I could find just the 'calm' without the food. A treat would be great!

And I just looked up the Zylkene. I had originally thought it a prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depressant along the lines of Prozac, and I wasn't interested. I just saw that it's a supplement you can buy on Chewy's! I just placed my Chewy's order tonight, I will see if I can add this to it still. Which do you find to be more effective - the Royal Canin Calm or the Zylkene?
 

pearl99

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Good to hear from you! That is so cool about the high five! I'm about to go to sleep but just checking in.
I have used Zylkene some time ago and I did see some difference, so hoping for it to work for you.
I have yet another kitty, Ziggy. I will be doing introductions for a long time. Short story, my neighbors' son died unexpectedly (37 years old only) and no cause found, he had Ziggy so I have taken her in- my neighbors could not keep her due to health reasons for the mom. She is 13 years old, a Manx with a cute little tail stub. I sure have a housefull.
 

shadowsrescue

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I have found that Zylkene works best with a daily dosing. One of my cats needed it twice daily. I do find it's short lived. For my cat it works about 4 hours. So pick a good time to administer it. I just open the capsule and mix in wet food or baby food.

Don't expect miracles from it. I do find it takes the edge off. One of my cats is very grumpy. He gets in snits and no one wants to be near him. With a daily dose of Zylkene he is much more laid back. I have tried to reduce his dosage to 1/2 capsule and he immediately gets snippy again.

Let us know how it works!
 

mentat

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Jcatbird Jcatbird - noted re: the single pet across the nose/eyes. As for the imitation mom lick. I do that with Finn! It makes him purr. What is the significance of a neck bite - what does that say to a cat?

mentat mentat I just noticed on another post you commented on that you mentioned both Zylkene and Royal Canin's calm. Does Royal Canin make calm treats?? I did not know that! I still feed Finn their urinary + calm about every other day, and I can notice such a difference with him. I have wished that I could find just the 'calm' without the food. A treat would be great!

And I just looked up the Zylkene. I had originally thought it a prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depressant along the lines of Prozac, and I wasn't interested. I just saw that it's a supplement you can buy on Chewy's! I just placed my Chewy's order tonight, I will see if I can add this to it still. Which do you find to be more effective - the Royal Canin Calm or the Zylkene?
Most effective, consistently, esp at the "double dose" one internist implements often and prescribed for Dodger and Oliver, RIP: Zylkene. Now, half of my kitties are on it.
Calm diet, used as treats. It's not packaged as treats, I just get a small bag, keep it velcroed closed in pantry, with a repurposed Temptations jar as my dispenser. My Danish feline specialist thought of using it this way when I told her I couldn't feed it as a sole diet to certain medical kitties with anxiety.
 

mentat

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For transitioning while modifying behavior with training and environmental enrichment, prescribed anxiolytic/psycholytic for 8-12 weeks, with gradual wean off, helped with newly introduced cats when territoriality spiked, as well as when the social dynamic changed when one was hospitalized for a while and returned to the population.
Temporarily medicating for anxiety and/or aggression was a light bulb that my other vets hadn't thought of when I was avoiding a "trial" I didn't want my cats on for life.
Only one has stayed on a low dose combo, for years now. The lowest effective dose means she's not a sedate zombie shell, her liver isn't at risk, and she's happy. Combined with good pain management. No self mutilation, no targeting other cats, no hiding and avoiding litter and food. The stress is low and harmony high in our home now, with better environmental space considerations, diffusers/nebulizers, and medical therapy.
 

Buffster7

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Thanks all! I have a bottle of Zylkene ordered. It has been such a roller coaster with these guys! We are on a calm stretch now. I'm not sure what has made the most difference; keeping them separated when I leave, or being home a lot more, or correcting Finn every time he pounces Charlie, but it feels like we've had an unidentified breakthrough! We've had total peace for a couple days. Just as I was hopping on here to report in, I heard a scuffle in the next room and Charlie loudly protesting - he'd obviously just been pounced. When I went to investigate, they were facing off. I turned around and walked out. By this time I know they won't injure each other, and facing off means that Charlie is finally standing up for himself again! Next time I checked my camera (just a couple minutes later), they were both sitting about 2 feet apart on the floor grooming themselves with foot up in the air. :lol: And this morning was the first morning EVER that Charlie wasn't grumpy with Finn when they woke up. I am tickled!

I have a vet appointment on Friday because I found a lump on Charlie's side. Is it common for cats to get fatty lipomas? He won't let me explore it; when I try to give any part of his body specific attention, he fights me and escapes. Won't tolerate it. So I can't really tell if it's firm or soft, and I can't discern whether it's movable. All I can tell from a quick grope is that it's between the size of a nickel and dime, and it's on his side about an inch or two behind his front leg.
So...I'll load both the boys up and let them bond over the trauma of a vet visit on Friday.

I have yet another kitty, Ziggy. I will be doing introductions for a long time. Short story, my neighbors' son died unexpectedly (37 years old only) and no cause found, he had Ziggy so I have taken her in- my neighbors could not keep her due to health reasons for the mom. She is 13 years old, a Manx with a cute little tail stub. I sure have a housefull.
WHOA! This is big news! You'll be getting your money's worth out of that cage for sure! So tragic about your neighbor's son - how heartbreaking. Thank you for stepping up and taking in yet another baby in need. What do the cats think of Ziggy so far??

Calm diet, used as treats. It's not packaged as treats, I just get a small bag,
I had thought of that after I posted the last post - when I checked Chewy, they only had a large $50 bag of Calm kibble, so will check with my vet on Friday to see if he can order a smaller bag, perhaps. Great idea on the kibble as treats - it's totally off limit around here, so of course both my boys are CRAZY for kibble.

Neck bite can be dominance, aggression, play or mating.
Pffft, I'm going with the first 3. :lol2:
Don't expect miracles from it. I do find it takes the edge off.
Okay, this is good. I like managing my expectations. Do you think any contraindication with CBD oil? I think I finally found the sweet spot for my boys with dosing. Should I back off of CBD when I administer Zylkene?

Thanks again, you guys. You are all the 💣!!
 

shadowsrescue

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I have a vet appointment on Friday because I found a lump on Charlie's side. Is it common for cats to get fatty lipomas? He won't let me explore it; when I try to give any part of his body specific attention, he fights me and escapes. Won't tolerate it. So I can't really tell if it's firm or soft, and I can't discern whether it's movable. All I can tell from a quick grope is that it's between the size of a nickel and dime, and it's on his side about an inch or two behind his front leg.
So...I'll load both the boys up and let them bond over the trauma of a vet visit on Friday.
One of my boys has the exact same thing and in the same location. He is almost 12. I found it this past fall. I went to the vet and he was able to get a sample with a needle. It was all fat. Jake doesn't like me to touch it either. So far it has not grown. They can grow and sometimes need to be removed if they get too large or hamper movement. It's good to get it checked out.

Okay, this is good. I like managing my expectations. Do you think any contraindication with CBD oil? I think I finally found the sweet spot for my boys with dosing. Should I back off of CBD when I administer Zylkene?
I am still using both CBD and Zylkene and have not reduced the CBD. I have one of my former feral boys who is very upset by change. My DH was gone for over 2 weeks. This little one (Shadow) decided to start spraying. UGH. Fortunately he only sprays on the side of the litter box. I use tall rubbermaid containers as he usually does elevator butt peeing. I decided to up his Zylkene to twice a day for a bit to see if it will take the edge off. Yesterday was the first day he didn't spray in over 3 weeks!
 

pearl99

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WHOA! This is big news! You'll be getting your money's worth out of that cage for sure! So tragic about your neighbor's son - how heartbreaking. Thank you for stepping up and taking in yet another baby in need. What do the cats think of Ziggy so far??
Yes mega intro experience coming here.
As far as the others, Gracie knows Ziggy is in the room and doesn't care. She wants in there when I go in. She sticks her paws under the door sometimes when I am in Zigg's room and Ziggy just looks like "oh someone's there, interesting."
Moofles will sniff under the door and look scared. "Boogeyman is in there!" But they are curious also.
Ziggy now really wants a peek outside the door when I go in or out, even with Gracie right there. They have seen each other and no real reaction so far.
The test comes with more visual! Still in the scent and room swapping stage. I'm going slooooowwwww.
I think I will order some zylkene! For Moo and Waffles, they seem to be the most affected.
 

mentat

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I have a vet appointment on Friday because I found a lump on Charlie's side. Is it common for cats to get fatty lipomas? He won't let me explore it; when I try to give any part of his body specific attention, he fights me and escapes. Won't tolerate it. So I can't really tell if it's firm or soft, and I can't discern whether it's movable. All I can tell from a quick grope is that it's between the size of a nickel and dime, and it's on his side about an inch or two behind his front leg.
So...I'll load both the boys up and let them bond over the trauma of a vet visit on Friday.
Lipomas aren't "common" in cats, but absolutely occur. There are other benign masses we don't worry about, just monitor, like a lipoma, to ensure they don't grow quickly, inhibit normal range of motion of limbs, and don't bother the cat (overgrooming area, self-mutilation).

Here's hoping it is a benign, slow, teensy, inconsequential mass ;]

he usually does elevator butt peeing
LOL! phrasing...not the pee mess under/around a box :[
I love the higher dose Zylkene one vet uses in all her anxious feline patients and thought to increase in our multicat treatment plan. I get the bottle of 225mg capsules, 0.5-1 every 6-12 hours, as she advised it had no negative effects when doubling Vetoquinol's guided supplement dose for cats and small dogs (only 75mg 2x/d). She checks with Vetoquinol as well as her medical boards/networks regularly to monitor for any toxicity reports since employing this higher dose 2 years ago. I give it to all fosters while adapting to new setting, as well as my own, some long term, some short term, depending on their needs.
 

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Well, the vet had to reschedule Charlie's appointment due to complications in a surgery he was doing. Rescheduled to the following Friday. However, I got an email later stating they were following protocol for COVID 19, retrieving pets from car. I completely understand why they're doing this, but I'm not comfortable doing it this way for a couple reasons. First, I think it would terrify Charlie to be sent in without me. I always stay with him through every appointment. Second, I had planned to take Finn with to the appt to avoid the redirected aggression upon Charlie's return, and because in the past it had seemed to bond them a bit. I'd hate to lose the ground we've gained these past couple weeks. So I called and cancelled the appt and will bring Charlie in when this craziness is over. Chances are that this lump is likely nothing to be concerned about...right? I guess no one knows how long this madness is going to last. Still debating with myself on this.

Speaking of progress, things have been going so very well! I started adding the Zylkene to Finn's food yesterday. Finn has been remarkably good today, and Charlie had been remarkably...not. He's been gunning for Finn and I've been nonchalantly walking by them as a distraction on several occasions. Once today, Finn was snoozing in his chair and Charlie jumped up out of nowhere and just pounced him good. Finn yelped and then bit back - fur flew, Charlie yelped and darted off. Finn looked at me, wide-eyed, as if to say, "Oh no, Ima catch it now!" Poor guy! No buddy, that was self-defense, Charlie had that bite coming. Can't believe I'm saying that! I don't want Charlie going back to his bullying ways, but it is really good to see him standing up for himself. Even so, Finn would normally retaliate after a bit of time passed, and there have been no retaliations. I'm impressed. I can usually count on a retaliation 99% of the time. How long does the Zylkene take to kick in, usually? Is this just coincidental?

Edit: Oops, there it is. Finn just snuck up on Charlie and tagged him from behind. I thought it was too good to be true that there had been no retaliation. :lol: These two truly keep score. And it will carry over to the next day. Whoever gets the last say - if it's bad enough - will have it coming to him the next do, fo sho. Vindictive little suckers, aren't they?
 
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Tag! You’re it! :lol:
Just watch the lump. If you get worried about the lump, have the vet take them in together. I know you want to be with them but they’ll look to each other for support. Just make absolutely sure they securely fasten the carrier and hold it properly to their body when carrying it. Zip ties are great. My vet techs carry the carrier by the handle and I never totally trust that. The carriers these days can flex and the door can become loose at latch or hinges. Zip ties all around keep it safe. Give the techs extra ones to use when they put the kitties back. No worries if they do that. ;)
Hi guys!
 

Buffster7

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Tag! You’re it! :lol:
Just watch the lump. If you get worried about the lump, have the vet take them in together. I know you want to be with them but they’ll look to each other for support. Just make absolutely sure they securely fasten the carrier and hold it properly to their body when carrying it. Zip ties are great. My vet techs carry the carrier by the handle and I never totally trust that. The carriers these days can flex and the door can become loose at latch or hinges. Zip ties all around keep it safe. Give the techs extra ones to use when they put the kitties back. No worries if they do that. ;)
Hi guys!
Thanks Jcatbird Jcatbird ! I like the idea of taking them both in - I wasn't sure if that would be allowed in this lockdown scenario, but if they'll do that, then I'd feel better about it. Something about sending Charlie in there all alone just didn't work for me at all. Good thinking on the zip ties - Finn's carrier just is not secure enough at the top. I'll see if zip ties will work with this 'lid'.

Guys, I think the Zylkene is doing wonders for Finn. Along with the upped dose of CBD oil and time spent with me at home. But he has stopped stalking and is able to overlook offenses (real or perceived) from Charlie. Charlie's confidence has been growing and he's trying to assert his dominance again.

Last night I had to go retrieve Finn and carry him to bed. Usually Charlie will sleep on one side of my legs and Finn on the other. Last nigh when I put Finn down on the other side of my legs, he promptly got up and went to Charlie's side. He gingerly sat down next to Charlie and started to groom. Charlie watched Finn warily, then he started to groom. What does joint-grooming mean? Is it a friendly thing? THEN, Finn got up and went face-to-face with Charlie, and I got that part on video. Usually this is where Finn would pounce and then fur would fly. The video is grainy and blurry in low light, but watch Finn 'make the right decision' and tell me what you see!

The second video is immediately after, when they booth started grooming once more in close proximity. I turned the lights out after this, but when I woke up in the middle of the night, they were in the same place! Charlie has been doing zoomies while I type this. :) Hope has been restored!

*Edit: OR...was that Sneaky Finn's attempt to get between Charlie and me and assert his own dominance? As I watch the video again, it makes me wonder. But Charlie didn't seem to mind too much?
 

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I think the Zylkene is doing wonders for Finn. Along with the upped dose of CBD oil and time spent with me at home. But he has stopped stalking and is able to overlook offenses (real or perceived) from Charlie. Charlie's confidence has been growing and he's trying to assert his dominance again.
WOOHOO, this is marvelous to hear, I'm SO glad, and joint grooming is an excellent thing!!
 
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