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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update

Mommeh here again, wanting to thank all of you SO MUCH for all your advice, comments, and concern regarding my girls.  Unfortunately they are still separated from each other at all times.

Took them to the vet last Friday and dropped $400 for complete checkups including bloodwork, etc, only to find out they are both perfectly fine.  I know it sounds wrong, but I was kind of hoping someone was sick so that this could be fixed.  But it seems they're both okay so there's still no known reason for this.  Had both their nails cut down as low as painlessly possible while there too, to try and avoid any injury in case another fight breaks out any time soon.

I have to say, Audrey seems over it.  She's her regular spunky little self, interested in everything and wanting to play all the time.  It's only Attie now who can't get over it.  Attie has a memory like an elephant, she remembers every single little thing that ever happens to her.  So she remembers having these fights with Audrey and she can't let it go.  She can't get near her sister without a growl and a hiss.  She even hisses at a closed door when she knows Audrey is behind it.  Still have not been able to figure out the original reason for the fights starting - no toms around, no other cats anywhere at all actually, no more attention to one than the other, no change in routine/feeding/etc.

The vet gave me a prescription for low-dose buspirone for both of them.  It's a very slow acting tranquilizer/anti-anxiety medication.  For Attie it's supposed to take the edge off, and for Audrey it's supposed to take the roughness out of her play.  (She is extremely energetic and sometimes she plays very hard so we wondered if maybe she was too much for Attie at times?)  So this medicine takes 10 days to build up in the body and begin to take effect.  Today was dose #7 and so far absolutely no change in either cat.  The vet says after 10 days we may up the dose, as we began with the smallest possible at 2.5mg.  I'm not happy about putting them on medication but I'll do whatever I have to do as long as I can afford it and there's a chance it will help them get along again.  I'm hoping that in the end, whatever dose or medication we end up with, it will be possible to get them into a room together without a fight and then make the attempt to get them reacquainted.  I'm certain all this separation isn't helping matters, it's just distancing them further, but there is no other option right now.

The Feliway spray and diffuser have had no effect, which is very disappointing.  Also have tried vanilla on their heads, and have tried Rescue Remedy for Attie in the past (for separation anxiety prior to adding Audrey to the family) which never worked either so I haven't bothered with it this time around.  Currently considering purchasing and trying a Thundershirt for Attie, as suggested by the Cat Street Boyz.  So far that's the only thing that may help that hasn't been tried.  Both the vet and Sierra have suggested seeing an animal behaviorist, but I'll be honest and say that isn't in the budget.  Punapippuri wanted to make sure that even while separated both were still getting equal treats and snuggles, and I assure everyone they certainly are.

*sigh*  Just wanting this to end and have my girls be sisters again.  It's already been 3 weeks since this started, and it will be especially hard to deal with after next Thursday, as that Friday morning I am having surgery and will need all the peace and hassle-free-ness I can get for a while afterward.  But I try never to give up on the ones I love.  <3

For now I'll leave all you wonderful friends with a few pictures of Attie spending some time with me out on the hammock this evening.  Decided to get her leash and harness on and take her out for a swing and a nap since it was still light out when I got home from work, which let Audrey have the run of the house for a while without any nonsense.



25 comments:

  1. We are happy to hear that both are well, but sad to hear that things still aren't any better. We're hoping the medication kicks in and they can start over with each other and be best buddies again.

    Truffle and Brulee

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  2. Wow, I've just been reading your last post about the fighting, what a complete mystery!!! I use feliway plug-ins at my house and found that the boys are calmer with them than without but they are by no means a miracle cure. I hope the medication works and they will be friends again!!!

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  3. Too bad Jackson Galaxy from My Cat From Hell isn't shooting in your town - I am sure he could help Attie and Audrey. I just hope the medication starts to kick in and work. I am sending purrs to all three of you. Please keep us posted!

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  4. I'm so sorry you all are going through this, it must be so stressful! Hopefully, in time the medicine will start helping.

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  5. I'm looking for something calming for Derry, as he's had another bout of stress-related cystitis this past week. A new to me clinic here told me about Zylkene--they actually have it in stock. New, natural product sold by vets.

    A couple of bloggers have told me about Anxitane too (L-Theanine). Both might be worth looking into.

    Fingers and paws crossed.

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  6. Oh man, I have been coming back fairly frequently hoping that you had an update. I wish I knew what happened! My only real guess IS aggression. It could be Audrey just got on Attie's last nerve for the last time. Feliway NEVER helped me. Ever. I imagine the medication will need to be upped as you are seeing noting now. I would hate medicating too but one must do what one must do.

    I hope it works out and soon and I'm going to be thinking of you come your surgery time. GIRLS! Behave. Miss Cake if you're the instigator, get over it forever.

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  7. Island Cats' mom here: I hope the buspirone helps Attie and Audrey. Buspirone is designed to help an insecure cat more confident. And one of the side effects is that the cat may become more affectionate...not a bad thing, really. I had Zoey on buspirone but it really didn't seem to help her (she is a former feral, very wary and afraid of things, and for some reason hates Wally. I think she's afraid of him because he hisses at her so she sees him as a threat. She's now on prozac which has helped. I've been consulting with an veterinarian behaviorist for over 2 years. One thing that I've learned about feliway is that you have to use a lot of it in order for it to make even the slightest difference. I have 5-6 diffusers going in my house. I'm hoping that with the addition of the medication, you can start the slow introduction process with Attie and Audrey and they can become friends again.

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  8. Oh, dear, had hoped things were improving. We know this has to be tough on the household. Hope the scheduled surgery is minor. But even if minor surgery you will need peace. Pawhugs.

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  9. We're sorry that things haven't gotten better. Paws crossed that the buspirone works, and that the girls can be re-introduced sometime in the near future.

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  10. We just wanted to stop by to see how things were going. We are sorry to read they aren't much better, but we will purr for that medicine to kick in and solve the issues.

    Sending purrs to all of you!

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  11. We, too, were hoping things had gotten better. As it is, hopefully the meds will kick in, and help the girls be friends again. I know how horribly stressful this is, had it with Jet and Taffy for six months (though no knockdown dragouts) until he went to the Bridge. Purrs for you now and for your surgery.

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  12. Happy Birthday Attie!

    So sorry things are not better between the girls. Scylla plays rough and I think she injured Socks badly once, as any time she went near him he hissed and growled (which he has never hissed or growled at another cat/dog before). Hubby thought it was because he was injured and didn't feel good but he wasn't hissing at Arty or Fenris (the dog). In fact he was spending lots of time with Fenris as Scylla will not go in the room with Fenris usually (she has gotten better about that now). So he would go lay down next to Fen for his nap. Socks has Fen trained to stay x amount of feet away from him and Fen has never dared to cross the line with Socks. Luckily once he healed up he and Scylla became friends again, but he will not play with her anymore. Thankfully Arty will, and Scylla is learning not to play so rough as Arty gives as good as she gets.

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  13. Hope your surgery goes well. Healing purrs and positive thoughts.

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  14. We hope you are recovering well from your surgery!

    And Happy Birthday to Attie.

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  15. Happy Birthday Attie! Hope your surgery Mom goes well and you recover quickly! So sorry things have not improved - sometimes it is as simple a one cat startling the other - my Yoko withdrew and remained very solitary after a run in with kitten Sweetpea who just wanted to play I am sure.No fights but we were very concerned Yoko would not come out of her shell but she did.
    I have used free animal behaviorists available thru some shelters. I will check to see if anyone is still offering this - just costs a phone call. Sending lots of positive energy to you all.

    Cats of wildcat woods

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  16. Happy Birthday Attie!

    Mindy, Moe, Cookie & Mike

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  17. Happy Purrrthday, Attie Cattie. We hope you have a great day, and learn to relax a little.

    Purrrrrrss for Mom, too. We hope your surgery goes smoothly and with a minimum of pain and grief.

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  18. Sending birthday wishes to Attie Cattie. Wishing you many, many, many times many more birthdays to celebrate!

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  19. Happy birthday, Attie. We sure hope things will get better soon. Purrs and prayers for you Mommeh after her surgery!

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  20. Happy Birthday Attie! We hope you have a fun day with lots of treats.

    Laura & Taffy

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