Need help with my Tonkinese

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mandeh
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Need help with my Tonkinese

Post by mandeh » Mon May 13, 2019 6:17 am

Hi all,

I am new here. To say I am desperate would be an understatement. I would like any advice or tips regarding my 9 year old Tonkinese, Snoopy. A bit of background:

I have two Tonks both are 9. They have been together since the slightly older one, Hugo was about 6 months. So about 8.5 years.

Both cats required dental work in January. Snoopy has always had notoriously bad teeth. We were expecting that he required extractions. Both cats went to our normal vet and underwent their procedures. It turns out that Hugo had his teeth cleaned and extracted. Snoopy only had his teeth cleaned, none extracted as we expected. Anyway, both cats returned home that night. That is where it all went bad. When they visit the vet, they are usually standoffish towards each other for maybe a day or two, this is normal for them, but then go back to being friends. This return home was like no other. There were fights like I have never seen before. The fighting never settled down. We spoke with the vet and said keep them apart and give it time. This never worked. Snoopy will only ever sit on top of his cat tree and spend 24 hours a day there. It is quite sad. They are both usually lap cats and quite playful.

We took them to another vet to seek advice and it was seen that they may still be in residual pain as well as anxieties. Lovan (fluoxetine) was prescribed along with Meloxicam for both cats. Was informed the Lovan may take some time to take effect. No improvements were seen. Snoopy would hiss and become aggressive any time Hugo would be in the near vicinity. Neither cat is usually an aggressive cat.

No improvements were seen. Another trip to the vet (the new vet) and it was discussed that Snoopy would require teeth extraction (which is what we expected at the original vet, although it was not carried out for unknown reasons. We have cut all ties with this vet as they have shown lack of caring). Snoopy had 6 teeth extracted last week (8/5/19). They have been kept separate since his return home (he stayed one night overnight at the vet). They are both still on Lovan and Meloxicam.

Snoopy never leaves his bed. He is eating ok. His toilet use has decreased but he does not appear to be in any pain. We can only get him to leave his bed with intense coaxing. When he does come out to say hello, he is friendly and purring and will rub on you, all his normal behaviour.

What can we do to help him return to normal? He has been a changed cat now for about 5 months. He doesn't roam the house anymore, he doesn't play, he doesn't sit on your lap. He will stay on his cat tree or in his bed and whine when he is hungry or whine when he wants to go to the toilet. It's almost as if he is petrified. I don't know what to do. I've tried positive reinforcement when they are near each other, I've tried rubbing the same towel on each of them to transfer scent and I've tried feliways.

Since he has been in a separate room, with the door closed, we make sure to spend plenty of time with him in there. We open the door so he can see out, and we try and feed them as close as possible with what he will tolerate. This is fine, until who knows what triggers in his mind, then he hisses at Hugo and runs back to his bed.

I miss my loving kitty and want to do anything I can to help him return to his normal friendly self. Any advice is appreciated.

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fjm
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Re: Need help with my Tonkinese

Post by fjm » Mon May 13, 2019 8:21 am

As it has been going on for so long I think I would talk to your new vet about anti-anxiety medication. It sounds as if Snoopy has associated Hugo with pain and trauma, and is now fearful of being in the same area - an anti anxiety drug may help get him over the hump, and enable him to learn that there is nothing to be afraid of. In the meantime I think I would stop trying to help them to get along, and make Snoopy a safe haven where he can relax without worrying about where Hugo is. I would go for separate feeding, separate trays, and avoid all opportunities to rehearse and embed the fearful behaviour and fighting.

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Kay
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Re: Need help with my Tonkinese

Post by Kay » Mon May 13, 2019 8:59 am

On a much lesser scale I am in the same position with a 11 year old female cat I rescued a fortnight ago - one encounter with my resident 17 year old Tiffany, when she went beserk, has left Penny living, basically, on top of the wardrobe in my bedroom - she will come down when I am in the room, and then eats and uses her tray, but will not venture out of the room. If I leave the door open Tiffany will wander in and Penny just watches calmly from her vantage point, but there are no signs of her wanting to move on.

It seems such a shame Penny is denying herself company and the use of the enclosed garden, but like you I can't see any way of changing her mind set, and so as fjm advises must just concentrate on keeping both cats happy in their separate spaces. In your case I wonder if an animal behaviourist might help, as what seems to be really needed is some cat counselling for Snoopy. But I do think accepting the situation, and de-stressing yourself about it might help, as cats do pick up on their owners' anxieties.

mandeh
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Re: Need help with my Tonkinese

Post by mandeh » Mon May 13, 2019 2:42 pm

fjm wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 8:21 am
As it has been going on for so long I think I would talk to your new vet about anti-anxiety medication. It sounds as if Snoopy has associated Hugo with pain and trauma, and is now fearful of being in the same area - an anti anxiety drug may help get him over the hump, and enable him to learn that there is nothing to be afraid of. In the meantime I think I would stop trying to help them to get along, and make Snoopy a safe haven where he can relax without worrying about where Hugo is. I would go for separate feeding, separate trays, and avoid all opportunities to rehearse and embed the fearful behaviour and fighting.
thanks.
He's already on lovan, which is anti anxiety medication.
We've got him setup in a spare room too with all his stuff

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