Hello all,

First off - thanks for the info about the wet cat food (in the thread "Best wet food for cystitis"), we've got both our cats (only one has cystitis) on Science Diet now (the kitten won't eat the flavor of kitten Science Diet that we got, so we're feeding her the Adult 'til we can get back to the store in a day or two to try another flavor or two). Yeah, we know Science Diet might not be the best, but we thought that at least getting them onto some wet food first would be good, then we can do some research in the next few days to determine the best food for them.

Now, hopefully somebody (or somebodies) will be able to share some insight on our situation (it's bound to be a pretty common one, but we haven't encountered it before). We would greatly appreciate any feedback because my wife and I have a gap between our opinions on this matter.

Sharon's cat history (for the past 14 years) has been Leo (a 1 year old male extremely mellow, loving orange tabby with all 4 paws declawed - he was declawed before she got him, and yes, we're in the USA), then she got Pepper (a 1 year old male DSH that she had front declawed) when Leo was about 2 years old. Leo and Pepper lived together fairly harmoniously (they scuffled and played, but not real aggression) and she had both cats when we met (in 1994). In early 1996, Leo died and Pepper was alone for about 6 months. We got Iggy when Pepper was 4 years old (a male kitten about 3 months old that we had front declawed) and Iggy and Pepper lived together fairly harmoniously (see above) after about 2 years, he died of a heart attack brought on by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (I think that's what it was called - basically a heart that grows too fast in male fast-growing kittens). So Pepper was alone for a few months again until we got Golddust (a 3 month old female Torby that we had front declawed) when Pepper was 7 years old. Pepper and Golddust got along fairly harmoniously (see above) until Pepper died of lymphoma a few months ago (I had posted about him in a thread about IBD a while back when the vet thought he had IBD, but unfortunately it turned out to be lymphoma - he went on chemo and had a fairly good last year of his life, but it invaded his bone marrow and that was it). Golddust was along for a couple of months, then about a month ago, we got Luna (a 4 month old female that we believe is pretty much a Blue Tortie Burmese - her personality and looks fit the descriptions pretty well that we have not had declawed). So we've got a 5 month old female with all her claws and a 5 year old female with only her back claws. All cats have been spayed/neutered. Golddust also had the herpes virus when she was about 1 year old (it showed up by making one of her eyes watery and swollen almost shut), which will apparently be in her system forever. So that's kind of the past history, now on to the situation.

Golddust is currently going through a bout of cystitis (blood in the pee started showing up in the middle of last week). We're not sure about the cause because the vet said no stones or crystals or bacteria. We believe it might be stress-related (with Pepper's death and/or the arrival of Luna contributing) and we've had our cats on dry food, so it may have just reached a point where Golddust went over the edge. She's now on wet food and Prednisolone and has started peeing much larger volumes each time she goes (and she doesn't visit the litter box as often). The vet said it could also be viral (related to the herpes that's in her system that's aggravated by stress).

Luna has been fairly aggressive, but we're not sure if it's just kitten behavior or if it's true aggression. We've read that female Burmese tend to want to rule the household (according to the CFA description) and Golddust tended to be top cat over Pepper (even though he was older), so we're thinking that Golddust is probably feeling threatened by Luna. When we brought Luna in, Golddust hissed and growled (the Exorcist demon-possessed type growls :-)) quite a bit. Over the past month, relations have gotten better, but Luna still pretty much starts every fight, but I think it's because she wants to play and it's usual kitten behavior, and Sharon thinks it's because she wants to assert her top-cat standing and take it away from Golddust. Golddust just hisses and swats at her a bit, then runs away. Luna will chase her sometimes and keep dinging Golddust (that's the term our vet used). Other than that, they use the same litterbox, sleep in the same room at night, sometimes lay around fairly close to each other, but they won't really play with each other. So, to me, it seems like they're tolerating each other and it will probably get better as time goes on and Luna starts being less kittenish and settles down a bit. Sharon thinks that Luna might be a continual bothersome presence to Golddust and they might never really get along.

We didn't have Luna declawed because I read up on declawing and realized what kind of operation it was and didn't think we should do it. Sharon went along with this, but with reservations because she thought (and still thinks) that in a fight, Luna might accidentally or instinctively use her claws on Golddust. I believe that this might happen, but that the injuries (if there would be any, since Golddust has a pretty thick coat) would be fairly minor. Sharon believes that the injuries could be serious (such as a scratched eye or something similar). It doesn't appear that she has used her claws on Golddust (she really doesn't use them at all except on her scratching posts, and occasionally while playing with a string). BTW, our vet (cat only) does declawing and he has all of his cats declawed (all 4 paws) because (in his own words) his wife has spent 25 years accumulating a lot of nice things." To those of you against declawing, please don't discount his vet skills on account of that statement - he's been really good to all of our cats so far and has never really screwed anything up or caused any harm to any of our cats. So, the first of a few questions - Is it a possibility that Luna will use her claws (either accidentally or on purpose)? How much of a possibility?

Sharon believes that stress caused by us bringing Luna into our apartment and Luna having her claws (actually, that Golddust might sense that Luna has her claws and might use them) might have caused Golddust's cystitis. I believe that the cystitis could have been aggravated by the stress of Luna's arrival, but I don't know if the stress actually caused the cystitis or if it would've just happened anyway. I don't believe that the claws factor into the stress equation. Anybody got any opinions on this?

Our vet told us that we had about the worst of all possible combinations of cats - bringing another cat (kitten or adult, he said it doesn't matter) into a household where there's an adult female. He said that males tend to be a lot more forgiving when you bring in another cat (which has been our entire past experience - an older male with another younger cat of either gender being brought in). But I know that there are lots of people that have an older female and bring in a younger cat and it works out OK. It may just be the specific personalities of each of our cats that's not gelling right now, but if anybody has any insight on this, we'd appreciate it.

So, if you've read this far, thank you very much! It kind of all boils down to this - Sharon thinks that it's a possibility that because Luna has her claws and is aggressive towards Golddust, she will be causing Golddust stress and might keep making her sick (we don't know if it's a coincidence or not that the cystitis showed up now). Sharon also thinks that in any play scuffling, Luna would have an unfair advantage, therefore making her the "top cat" by default, and it would be an unfair fight. Sharon also is reluctant to leave them along together after this bout with cystitis. I believe that the stress is caused just by Luna's existence in our household, and has nothing to do with the claws (because I don't believe that the claws will come out during a fight) and that once Luna gets a bit older and settles down, they'll pretty much be in a truce. Pepper's death could also have contributed to the stress, we think.

Any opinions on what's going on with the cats and if they'll eventually get along or if Luna will constantly be pissing Golddust off and Golddust will be getting sick all the time or they'll reach a truce or ..?

Thanks again for reading this lengthy post and for any advice..

brian -- If you want to reply to this message by mail, you will have to change the reply address to (Email Removed)
1 2
If anybody's read the entire post I made earlier, thanks, and I wanted to add a couple of things.

Please, no holy war on whether or not to declaw and how good/bad we are if we do/don't do it.. :-)

And it appears that our options are:

Wait and see what happens and how they get along (and Golddust might or might not get sick in the future, possibly because of the other cat's presence or possibly just because sometimes it happens due to other factors).

Use Soft Paws on the kitten to see if the claw issue is really an issue (which wouldn't take away the stress caused by the presence of the kitten and might or might not keep Golddust healthy)

Declaw the new kitten (which wouldn't take away the stress caused by the presence of the kitten and might or might not keep Golddust healthy)

Take the new kitten back to the agency we got her from so there won't be the stress of her presence (and this might or might not keep Golddust healthy, since illness can sometimes just happen due to other factors).

Opinions on any of the above?

Thanks again for reading.

brian -- If you want to reply to this message by mail, you will have to change the reply address to (Email Removed)
If you can't live with a cat with claws, take the kitten back and only adopt already declawed cats. There's plenty of them available. Mutilating current or future cats for your own convenience has to stop. This idea that the kitten will somehow maim the older cat simply because it has claws is ridiculous. There are many of us here that have had declawed and clawed cats live together for their whole lives wihout the declawed cats suffering claw related injuries. I think your wife needs to either stop being so ignorant or seriously rethink her choice of pets if she can't learn to live with them without mutilating them and causing them painful trauma and an irreversible handicap. Anyone that knows what declawing is and still chooses to do it is heartless and should not be trusted with cats. That includes your vet.

Megan

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album: http://www.picturetrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."

- W.H. Murray
on 9/14/03 3:01 PM:
If anybody's read the entire post I made earlier, thanks, and I wanted to add a couple of things. Please, ... illness can sometimes just happen due to other factors). Opinions on any of the above? Thanks again for reading. brian

Personally I think you just need to do a slow introduction. Clawed and declawed cats can do fine together. I'm glad you've seen the light about declawing.

Karen
on 9/14/03 3:28 PM:
If you can't ... four paw declaw. I can just hardly believe this vet does it routinely. I would certainly find a different vet!

Karen
[nq:1]in article (Email Removed), The vet seems particularly suspicious to me. I've never known even vetsthat declaw to four paw declaw. I can just hardly believe this vet does it routinely. I would certainly find a different vet! Karen
I agree. This part of the message seemed particularly suspicious to me. I am not trying to start a flame war, but I would like to reinforce Karen's statement that even vets who declaw will seldom consent to four-paw declaw. My vet told me that he has only declawed all four paws once in his long career, and that was because the woman said she was going to euthanize the cat if he did not consent. I hope you will look for another vet. This vet may have some fine skills, but he is lacking in compassion and the quality of caring that should be an essential part of the relationship.

As to whether clawed and declawed cats can get along -- yes, they certainly can. Your cats will generally engage in play, which sometimes will seem aggressive to you. Even if it is vigorous play, it would be extremely rare for one cat to literally "scratch" the other. Both of my cats have very healthy (and very sharp!) claws. Neither has ever caused any damage to the other, and one of them is blind.

MaryL

Photos of Duffy and Holly (pictorial history of my blind cat Duffy's integration into our household): Duffy, Part I: The Introduction -- Duffy, Part II: Life at Home --
[nq:2]in article (Email Removed), The vet seems particularly suspicious to ... it routinely. I would certainly find a different vet! Karen
I agree. This part of the message seemed particularly suspicious to me. I am not trying to start a flame ... but he is lacking in compassion and the quality of caring that should be an essential part of the relationship.

Personally, I've suspected that he doesn't quite have enough of the compassion/caring that he should for a while, but as long as he's technically capable, we really don't want to go through the enormous challenge of locating a vet that's the "right" one, especially since we're planning to move out of the area as soon as we can.
As to whether clawed and declawed cats can get along -- yes, they certainly can. Your cats will generally engage ... (and very sharp!) claws. Neither has ever caused any damage to the other, and one of them is blind. MaryL

Thanks for your post.

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[nq:1]Personally I think you just need to do a slow introduction. Clawed and declawed cats can do fine together. I'm glad you've seen the light about declawing.
We did the slow introduction when we got the kitten (it took about a week to introduce the new kitten to Golddust, as opposed to a couple of days with the earlier introductions of new kittens to Pepper), and they've been together for about a month now, so are you suggesting we separate and re-introduce them?

Thanks for your post...

brian -- If you want to reply to this message by mail, you will have to change the reply address to (Email Removed)
[nq:1]Hello all, First off - thanks for the info about the wet cat food (in the thread "Best wet food ... you want to reply to this message by mail, you will have to change the reply address to (Email Removed)
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