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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2474
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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We recently adopted a 9 year old rescue cat from a very

Customer Question

Hi...we recently adopted a 9 year old rescue cat from a very horrible household...named her Catniss, as she must be strong & heroic to have survived her former life. Spent almost $1,000 to get her healthy and up to date with her vaccines, etc. she has truly blossomed from a scrawny, eye-infected terrible cat. But, we're having an issue...we also have 3 other cats, including Nermel...a very sweet 20 year old Calico. Catniss has taken to bullying her...and because old Nermel is also deaf, she doesn't hear when Catniss is sneaking up and freaking her out. Any advice? She is okay with our other two...both neutered and big males (ages 10 & 14).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about the dynamics of your multicat household.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

It's absolutely wonderful you were able to save Catniss and turn things around for her so well! It's also clear you're an excellent cat household because you've got Nermel who's defied the odds and lived to such a ripe old age.

Please rest assured you're talking to a fellow cat person with over two decades of experience helping cat people deal with all the intricacies of life with cats.

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

The key to success in your situation is going to rely on thinking outside the box and figuring out a way around your problem. That means your most likely strategy for success will be to take steps to control the *environment*. Attempting to control the cats is futile and will only lead to frustration and disappointment.

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

If I were in your situation I would do the following:

  • Be sure to run Feliway diffusers throughout the house. Won't hurt. Might help.
  • Set up areas and boundaries within the house so Nermel can have safe access to areas where Catniss isn't allowed.

I know you can probably list all kinds of reasons why that will be difficult or isn't practical, but - unfortunately - rescuing cats and living in a multicat household (as you already know) isn't practical and is difficult.

I'm hopeful you'll find some peace of mind in knowing that even the experts don't have a magical solution for a problem like this.

It really comes down to doing what you have to in order to protect Nermel.

The good news is that an older cat with Nermel's sensory issues is often quite content with a very small physical space. It just has to be reliable and secure.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Does what I'm saying make sense?

Please rest assured we can chat back and forth about this until you're satisfied with the information I've provided. Just type in what you want to say then click REPLY or SEND.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Hello? Are you there?

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Just checking in to ask how things are going with Catniss. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Just one final check to ask if there's anything else I can do to help you.

Thank you.