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Ask Dr Marta Lepes Your Own Question
Dr Marta Lepes
Dr Marta Lepes, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 507
Experience:  Owner, practitioner, Owner at Hilo Veterinary Clinic, Inc, Vetmed Hawaii
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I have 2 cats, one male and one female and the male

Customer Question

I have 2 cats, one male and one female and the male constantly stares down and intimidates the female. This forces her to cower and hide all of the time. He is a lovable cat he just wants loving and petting, etc. But I have had the female the longest and she is so dear to my heart and she has lost all semblance of the way she used to be, so playfull and happy. I can't seem to find a home for Romeo since there are so many cats out there and he is at least 4 years old, even though he is absolutely beautiful. Is there anything I can do to change his behavior so that I am able to keep both of them?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Hello Sue, I am Dr Marta and I will try to help you. I assume from your comments that Romeo has been around for some time and you didn't just get him. He is very capable at establishing his dominance. Since Lulu cowers Romeo is never challenged.

This is avery difficult situation because they both exist in the same environment. You might try to get a tranquilizer from your vet for Romeo to calm him down. However I suspect that he will still do it if you stop the medication. Can you totally separate them? Give each one a part of the house? I know that this is difficult because you want to socialize with both of them. Continuing to stress Lulu can cause health problems like urinary tract infections, digestive problems and hair loss from excessive grooming.

Your best solution would be to find Romeo a new home where he can be the only cat. Sometimes you can find a no-kill cat shelter that can find a foster home for Romeo until a permanent home can be found for him. Because he is such a beautiful affectionate cat, a home can probably be found for him. Lulu would be so grateful for being rid of her nemesis.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was forced by the death of my sister that I lived with to move to Newhall, CA and on moving day one of the movers accidentally let Romeo out and he ran (he is not fond of men) He was lost in the mountainous hills here for 6 months before I found him through a neighbor who saw a cat with his description on a fence not far away. He had been a stray that a friend of mine had been feeding when I took him in before the move. During his absence Lulu just came alive and was sooo happy, and now that he is back as I said, she cowers and it breaks my heart. I am 70 years old and cannot deal much longer with the stress that this has caused and yet I won't take him to a shelter, he has had enough hardship in his life, he needs a lot of love the same as Lulu does. I should have said that he is neutered and she is spayed.
Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.

Sue, that is why I suggested a new home for him. Look for a cat sanctuary (that is what I meant, not a shelter). Your local animal shelter may know of one. I have always been impressed at their outstanding work at placing a cat in the right home. And because the cats are fostered in loving homes, the cat in not sitting in a cage. We have several in our area and they are small facilities that take wonderful care of the cats. And because they only work with cats there are no barking dogs to terrify the cats.

I think that this would be the best solution. If you do have such a sanctuary in your area, go visit it and meet some of the foster caregivers. I understand you not wanting to stress Romeo but with your present situation Lulu is certainly not happy.

Good luck to you. You have a difficult situation. I hope that I helped.

Expert:  Dr Marta Lepes replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr Marta Lepes