This family of cats & humans learned to thrive together
Last week I shared the story of 3 badly behaved but well-loved cats with urine soiling, brawling, and bladder disease. I prescribed a detailed plan for the improved wellbeing of all household creatures, both feline and human.
Larry, Moe, and Curly had lots of square footage but couldn’t stay out of each other’s way. Being cats, what they really needed was vertical real estate. Several floor-to-ceiling cat trees and hide boxes were added so they could get a break from each other. As natural-born predators they needed to stalk and hunt. Toys that mimic wounded prey became more compelling than using one another as surrogate rodents.
The long suffering Larry needed a litter pan of his own. An Invisible Fence Indoor Avoidance Shield protected his private lair so he wouldn’t be another cat’s mouse. Everybody’s stress-related urine soiling was mitigated by multiple big, open litter pans. Scooping twice daily and locating them in low traffic areas promoted better bathroom etiquette.
All those years of divisive political strife had generated deep-seated hostilities. Larry and Moe were granted a 3 month separation, allowing them to be fed and entertained on either side of a closed door. Good things happening with a former nemesis nearby, but not visible, was at the heart of their reconciliation. It was a long process but with no guarantees.
This indoor feline colony was fraught with angst; there was no sense in pussy footing. Extractions of Curly’s infected teeth eliminated his pain, improving his attitude immensely. The anxiety driving Moe’s bullying and Larry’s victimhood improved significantly with safe prescription antianxiety medications. The natural supplement Zylkene was added to everybody’s food. Feliway Multi Cat diffusers promoted a calmer emotional state.
Moe became more affectionate with his people, played better with Curly, and successfully swore-off urine spraying. Curly had no recurrence of bladder disease and had stopped urinating in the sink. Moe and Larry went on to live separate lives in the same house.
Those pesky creatures at the door? They weren’t girl scouts after all. They were-you guessed it-coyotes. A booby trap called the ScareCrow eliminated that stress. Automatically hosing those varmints motivated them to prowl elsewhere.
Each week Dr. Jeff Nichol makes a short video or podcast to help bring out the best in pets. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Dr. Nichol treats behavior disorders at the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe (505-792-5131). You can post pet behavioral or physical questions at facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.