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Ali, I hope you are still on this site, as your response to a question about a bullying cat (young male and older female) was written back in May of 2009.  I want you to know that response was very helpful, as my situation is so similar.  My 1 1/2 year old male is bullying my 8 year old female.  And I have just added a 6 month old spayed kitten to the mix.  I actually just brought her home yesterday. She is in her own room and doing great except that she will run out of the room when I open the door!  I make sure other cats are in their rooms. My neutered "frat" boy has a strange behavior that may be contributing to his bullying. I have a soft fleece blanket on my couch and when he gets on it he humps it and his little penis comes out all the way. He will do this for 5 or more minutes at a time.  I've had male cats before and have never seen this behavior. I'm wondering if whoever neutered him didn't get all of the testicle or could he have an undescended testicle?  Also whoever had him before me had him declawed #all four#, which really angers me; NO cat should ever be declawed, in my opinion. And could this contribute to his bullying? I am going to take him to my vet, maybe check his hormone levels. I also like your ideas about homeopathic care; I'm sure I can find a vet like that in Denver. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Susan

Answer
Susan,

Based on the information that you've provided I think that there may be a few factors involved in the bullying and humping/dominance type behaviours.

First and foremost the fact that your frat boy kitty is declawed on all four paws could be contributing to him being a bully simply because he feels threatened and is acting on the "strike first, ask questions later" approach to life. There may or may not be a good homeopathic treatment to help curb this, the only way to know for sure is to have him assessed by a good holistic vet who does homeopathy. A good holistic vet will be likely to try a few remedies, but if they don't work there is a possibility that your frat boy may have to be put on some sort of anti-anxiety medication. I also think that it would be a good idea for the vet to assess him for signs of pain in his paws because in my experience I've been left wondering if cats suffer from a pain similar to phantom limb pain in people after they've been declawed. It is also my opinion that declawing can cause psychological damage in cats so it's not something that I recommend UNLESS it's a rare instance where the declaw is done for the medical benefit of the cat (such as a cat with rubber kitten syndrome which leaves them with a weakened immune system and exceptionally fragile skin, but this is exceptionally rare) and even then I would have a tough time justifying declaw surgery.

Checking hormone levels is also a good idea, typically undescended testicles aren't usually fertile, but I would guess that they still produce some degree of testosterone which could also be contributing to this whole situation. Your vet may need to do a thorough exam to check for an undescended testicle which may even include diagnostic imaging depending on the results of the physical exam. If the vet is uncertain given your frat boy's behaviour s/he may suggest an ultrasound to see if any indication of an undescended testicle is present. Sometimes pheremone based diffusers like Feliway can be useful in helping to control dominance type behaviours, however based on my own personal experience with the pheremone calming collars I really would suggest staying away from their use - they do NOT break away as the packaging claims and a calming collar left a nasty scrape on one of my cats when he got caught under the bed and tried to pull out of it. Bear in mind that the pheremone diffusers only work for a certain amount of space so in a large house or apartment you may need several in order to achieve an effective result.

Hopefully this information helps. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,

Ali

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Ali

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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out catinfo.org which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.

Experience

I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

Education/Credentials
I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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