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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7350
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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Opie is the 3rd animal in my household's animal erarchy,

Customer Question

Opie is the 3rd animal in my household's animal hierarchy, came to the family when he was 2 to 3 weeks old ( from an abandoned ferrel litter) and my Calico, LC (Lucky Cat - fished out of the intracoastal when 3 to 4 weeks old) was 16 yrs old and Max a 129 lbs pure bred Rottie, who was was adopted, when he was 6 mo old, from the local pound was 9 yrs old. Opie was bottled fed w/ "kitty Glop", & was kept in the guest bathroom when not being fed or loved for the first 2 weeks. Eventually he was introduced & given free reign of the household, he was a happy, playful & adorable long hair orange tabby., who was neutered as soon as the vet said it was OK. He continuous to be healthy/inside kitty although he still tries to escape outside Opie & Max became inseparable, however Opie was very aggressive prescribed 5 mg of Prozac, then 10. From time to time I would lower the dose from 10 to 5 to every other day. 1st Max passed about 2 months ago, then LC about a week later. He's become very docile, stopped the Prozac. He still not a lap cat but the greatest stride is that he jumps on the couch w/me in it & sometimes sleeps on my bed, but not close. He allows me to pet him & barely can be heard except when he goes to the vet, only time he purrs loud. Opie is now 7 yrs old . I have desisted from bringing another animal in because he seems to like being the # ***** kitty & deserves to be King. However wonder if he'll ever be a sweet loving, loud purring kitty & want to know how I can help him become more comfortable wanting to be close -
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response. I recently just logged onto the site and noted that your question hasn't yet been answered. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years’ experience and would be happy work with you if you are still needing assistance.

In all of my experience with cats through the years, I can tell you that I have learned all cats have their own unique personality and while you can influence it some, you will never change it. Some cats are cuddlers and some just aren't and never will be. Some are very vocal and others not so much. As they age, I have seen some tend to mellow out and certainly some do become more vocal. I have read and do believe that cats have learned to vocalize to communicate with humans as they use body language to communicate with other cats. If that is the case, now that he is the only cat in the house, he may likely start to communicate more with you.

I would continue to pet him when he is near, but always be in charge of the petting sessions. Do it a few times and then stop, before he tells you he has had enough. You want to make him want the attention and not shower him with it too much. As far as the vocalizing, talk to him all of the time, and over time, he may start to reply more.

I am also including a link to a website that offer suggestions to provide environmental enrichment for indoor cats. This has become a very important subject as we have now identified that many cat behavior and medical disorders stem from the fact that they are confined indoors and don't receive enough stimulation, This "stress" can lead to physical and behavioral problems. By enriching the environment, it can provide both physical and mental stimulation and make for a more well adjusted cat.

OSU Indoor Pet Initiative

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please reply so I can clarify for you.

Dr Z