Cat to Cat Aggression

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Doodlebug (Dood) is a 7 yr old, neutered male. He's been in my home for the past 6 1/2 years. He's had some "flavor" of aggression issues since he first arrived. It was towards hands/people, but I trained him out of it. He's very affectionate and loving with people now. I was told the former "owner's kid" kicked him and chased him around.

However he has been a bit of a bully over the years with some of my other cats (mabel and andy), not to a point where it was a problem. Most of the time he would lay with his belly up in the air and simply relax, enjoy life with my other (varying in number) cats.

The past year and a half, Dood has become violent with two of the 10 cats and I've had to gate him off from the others for most of the day. I've focused on ruling out neuro issues and tried some allopathic meds (prozac for about 10 months, which did work for a time but dulled him into a blob, then he seemed to fight back out of it and started attacking again). I've done a lot of testing: blood work, x-rays (looking for pain), chiropractic (he did have some hip pain when he got adjusted Note: he had an injury as a 6 month old kitten and had to be cage-rested for 8 weeks), accupuncture, gabapentin (two weeks-no effect), now he's on CBD oil (he's still attacking if I don't watch him every second).

There are Feliway diffusers all over the house. The environment is very peaceful and quiet. Dood is on raw (home made) and commercial (some times).

I'm completely heartbroken about this because I can't confine him forever. It causes him to be more stressed out-obviously that does not help him. I saw him grooming his right side last week and he suddenly stopped, then hissed for no reason. As if he trigged some pain. I've got him set up for 3 weeks of laser therapy on his back and hips. This is a BIG cat (about 20 pounds) so maybe this is still a pain issue. I find it unlikely.

Dood attacks certain cats and this morning he went from only going after two cats, to going after a third. Others he leaves alone (our senior cats) and there are two cats he's actually friendly with. He will groom them and vice versa and hang out with them. The attacks usually occur around meal time-so first thing in the morning and around 5/6 pm, but I'm to a point where I cannot leave him unattended, with access to the other cats. I've tried playtime sessions with him during these times, as well, but it often only ramps him up more. Also given him things to gnaw on (thinking it would help him get his stress to release).

I'm a Certified Cat Behavior Counselor. At my level of training I'm not "allowed" to deal with aggression issues, so I was not taught a great deal about it. I've asked some of my colleagues who do behavior and they are stumped. I've done some research on it. I still don't know if my cat has a dis-ease or if it's a behavior problem. I'm facing having to re-home him for his own good, but I do not feel comfortable doing that. I worry he will be euthanized by another caregiver and I worry I will face that with him as well. I truly love this cat and am racking my brains trying to find an answer.

So this is my long-winded question: can homeopathy help Dood with what is likely a serious behavior problem?
 
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Feb 11, 2018
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Hi Robin,
Are you familiar with Mieshelle Nagelschneider? I read her book last winter "The Cat Whisperer". I really enjoyed it and found her protocol's for cats in all household situations very interesting. She breaks aggression down into several categories and explains how to go about bringing the household back into balance depending on what type of aggression you are dealing with in the household.
I am by no means a cat behavior expert . But thought I would pass this along in the event you were not familiar with her. Mieschelle does phone/skype consultations. The website with info is
www.thecatbehaviorclinic.com
Good luck,
Jackie
 

Dr. Jeff

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Thanks for your great posts Robin and Jackie!

Has Dood had recent baseline bloodwork or x-rays?

Have you tried various flower essences?

How about Ignatia or Aconite (or any homeopathic medicines)?

In reply to your question, almost certainly!

However his imbalance may have started years ago in his prior home, so you may not see a quick response.

The duration of any symptom is directly related to how quickly it will respond.

For example, an acute problem may respond immediately, unlike a chronic one.

Dr. Jeff
 
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Yes, I know of her. I also know Jackson, but getting ahold of those folks is another story. I'm going to reach out to Pam Johnson-Bennett and see if she can help. I've asked other behaviorists, but so far nothing is helping.
 
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Robin, have you tried any homeopathic medicines?

Dr. Jeff
 
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Have you tried various flower essences?

How about Ignatia or Aconite (or any homeopathic medicines)?

In reply to your question, almost certainly!
Yes!

Usually yes (all BEAM symptoms are from the imbalance).

You would write up Dood's case the same way as a physical problem.

History/timeline including prior problems, his current status and symptoms. Especially modalities and concomitants.

For behavior issues it's also very important to include emotional and environmental triggers.

Awhile back Amy wrote up an excellent summary of her kitty Wilhelm. This thread might give you additional ideas.

Dr. Jeff
 
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Hi Robin,
I found Wendy Thatcher Jenson's book , Veterinary Homeopathy, very helpful for case taking. It is under the Member Resources tab under Research Resources as an e-book. I bought a copy and read it all the way through and it really helped me to organize my thoughts and sort through the rubrics.

Are the cats he attacks now the same 2 cats he bullied from the beginning or are they different cats? Who is the 3rd cat?

One point that Mischele Nagleschneider makes, is that sometimes the cat that lays on his back is not necessarily just lounging. He may be worried about being bullied himself or just being defensive.When he's on his back if need be he has all four sets of claws and teeth ready in an instant.

What can you tell us about his behavior pre-attack and post-attack? What is his personality? Is he happy go lucky, grumpy, anxious etc.

Meal times are triggers for the behavior. Does he like to eat? Does he eat well?

He's a large cat. Is he fit or does he tend to be overweight? Are there other symptoms/behaviors that have been noticed along with the increased aggression?(concommitants)

Another random thought... you say that you have tried playtime at mealtime and this seems to only ramp him up.... not sure if this is even remotely the same as I have seen in canine behavior but I am wondering if a) he's really not a very confident cat and b) by singling him out to play it somehow raises his status in the eyes of the other cats and makes him feel very vulnerable.

Is his behavior driven by anxiety and fear of the other cats?

Sorry to ramble. But the more questions you ask, the more information for his timeline and the info is useful from a behavior stand point as well as for finding the remedy that best fits the totality of all his symptoms.

I personally, have gotten to understand my dogs so much better since my quest to find their remedies. It has helped me see and understand them from a totally different view.

I hope in some way this helps. Have faith. It will all work out. ☺

Jackie
 
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Fantastic post, thanks Jackie!

You make wonderful points and have great questions.

Thanks for your message.

Archie says hi: yum archie edit.png
 
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