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ProfessorTomoe

Loudmouth's Journey Inside

121 posts in this topic

One of the things that some of you may disagree with—and even I'm not sure about—is the Jackson Galaxy line of "essences" for helping to integrate a cat. All I know is that we bought some when Baker was young and it worked. Well, we bought some more last night: the "Ultimate Peacemaker" group. We figure that Baker may need the Self-Esteem one, Loudmouth may need the Bully Solution (based on what he did the last time we tried to introduce him to Baker), and both of them could use the Peacemaker solution.

This comes on the heels of Baker's double barfage tonight. He's got issues.

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Okay, here's the "new possible routine" we've worked out for Baker, who is appearing more neurotic by the day. We're still going to try the Jackson Galaxy technique of reducing his on-demand dry food and giving him 2x daily wet food (not to be left out).

We're going to reduce this until his on-demand dry food (which gets replenished twice a day, BTW) is a mound a little more than a half-dollar in size, if that big. (Translation: his mound will have a diameter of approximately 30.61 mm (1.205 in), whereas it now covers his entire bowl.) On the other side, we're going to increase Baker's wet food supplement from just a taste to a full meal. We haven't agreed upon what brand of wet food to feed him (a vital decision), so input would be greatly appreciated here.

Once we've got him down to the proper food sizes and timings, we'll start moving his bowls toward the vicinity of the door. It's obvious that he's not going to be able to handle a direct move from his current position (by the back door) to the cat door in the hall, so we'll move them gradually—several feet at a time, until he's comfortable with the move. One of these days, this will result in a move to within about two feet away from the cat room door. If we're lucky.

Then we can start opening the door, bit by bit, like Jackson Galaxy suggested. Mrs. Prof is even thinking of temporarily installing a screen door. (Don't ask me how—she comes from a long line of family famous for jury-rigging things. Drives a planner like me insane.)

This would have been so easy if it hadn't been for that one time that we tried bringing Loudmouth in and Loudmouth hissed at Baker. Because of that, we've got to go through the convoluted process of introducing the cats to each other. Otherwise, we might've let Loudmouth out and had a harmonious household, but now we've got Baker stressing out and barfing. Nothing is going to be easy about this introduction.

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Well, it's not a Trail Camera picture (Mrs. Prof hasn't had time to mess with it yet), but here's another Loudmouth photo:

large.Loudmouth_20170708_122317_1a.jpg

A little bit more "up close and personal" than usual. He looks more surprised than he actually is. He's a cool cat.

Tech talk:

This started out as a huge-ass phone camera jpg (3024x4032). I scaled it down to 480x640, which took the file size down to around 120k. A pass through Google's guetzli jpg compressor shrank it even further to 78k, with no noticeable differences!

I compressed the original 3.19mb jpg down to 2.14mb. However, it took quite a while, and good lord at the memory usage! I'm glad this laptop has 16 GB of RAM. Guetzli was using 2 Gigs of it during the compression process! One other weirdness—it rotated the picture 90 degrees. That could be my fault, not using the command line switches correctly. I'll research and try again.

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1 hour ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Well, it's not a Trail Camera picture (Mrs. Prof hasn't had time to mess with it yet), but here's another Loudmouth photo:

What is up with his left ear?

 

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1 hour ago, mlooney said:

What is up with his left ear?

From here:

Quote

Eartipping is the universal sign of an altered feral cat. While the cat is sedated for the spay or neuter surgery, a quarter of an inch is removed from the tip of the left ear in a straight line cut. The procedure is swift and painless and healing is rapid.

Baker has a tipped ear as well.

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6 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

From here:

Baker has a tipped ear as well.

Cool.

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A sudden change in diet can lead to upset stomach, no question.  I should have thought to cover that.  Cats can also be a lot more stubborn than dogs about eating.  Sounds like the gradual move and gradual change from dry to wet are both a good idea for him.

There's a product called Feliway that can really help stressed cats and introductions.  It's got the pheromones that cats use when they rub their jaw against things to scent-mark them, so if you spray it in the hall near Loudmouth's door, or put in a plug-in diffuser, that might help Baker feel like he's not losing territory.  If he's really getting stressed,  your vet might be willing to give him some alprazolam to take the edge off, just until they get used to each other -- it reduces anxiety itself, rather than sedating him and masking it.

What kind of wet food to feed isn't too big a deal unless someone has food allergies or other medical needs.  You can go for something really low-carb, like Evo, or just stick with the brands that are the most open about their ingredients and complete nutritional information, and have put money into figuring out what to feed sick cats etc., which would be Iams, Hill's, Purina, and Royal Canin.  Their veterinary diets have helped keep a lot of cats and dogs healthier longer, so I tend to like to support that.  :-)

Gorgeous kitty!  I just had a long-time client bring in a new kitty this morning who was very similar, a sweetheart who loved everyone, wanted everyone to pet him, and put up with a blood draw and implanting a microchip nonchalantly.  She'd just lost a cat a month or two ago, so it was good to see her with such a cool successor!  Lucky person to find him, lucky cat to find her!

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1 minute ago, CritterKeeper said:

There's a product called Feliway that can really help stressed cats and introductions.

Just ordered one about 15 minutes ago. ;)

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The Trail Camera finally got some use on the 7th. Most of the pictures were of him lazing about on the bed in the cat room, but there were a couple worth sharing:

large.Loudmouth_20170707_03a.jpglarge.Loudmouth_20170707_04a.jpg

Not too exciting, but they show off the room and the bed that he has for his home base. The green ball on the bed in the top picture is one of his toys.

Note that I had to adjust the gamma on both of these to make them viewable. I also did my usual jpg shrinking with Google's guetzli compressor. That's an impressive piece of software, harkening back to the days of DOS (and a bit Linux-like) for now.

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This is a test, not Loudmouth related:

PortalCat.jpg

I was just trying to see if I could link images from my web site once I've exhausted my quota here on 910CMX. We now return you to your regularly scheduled mayhem.

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10 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Most of the pictures were of him lazing about on the bed

Isn't that what being a pet is all about?

As for the Test Photo?  It sure looks like the old cartoon gag of a character sticking his head in one hole and it pops out another hole in a different direction.

Does that scratching post have a higher dimensional worm hole?  Or is that just something cats do that humans will never understand?

 

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

As for the Test Photo?  It sure looks like the old cartoon gag of a character sticking his head in one hole and it pops out another hole in a different direction.

Does that scratching post have a higher dimensional worm hole?  Or is that just something cats do that humans will never understand?

The photo title is "PortalCat." Based on the game Portal from several years ago.

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One thing I have been sadly remiss on has been introducing you to the other half of the equation: Baker. He is a three-year-old neutered male who also came in from our backyard, although at a much earlier age (around five to six months, after having been TNRed at four months). So, without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to Baker:

large.BakerFace01b.jpglarge.BakerPose01b.jpg

large.BakerPose02a.jpg

large.BakerStanding01a.jpg

He's a nice cat, although a bit of a scaredy cat. He's going to be the problem side of the introduction equation.

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Loudmouth and Baker got duck as their wet food tonight. Both of them seemed to like it. Baker ate about half of his, while Loudmouth ate just a bit more. They should be growing to expect wet food to be available for a short period (about 45 minutes to an hour) with their on-demand dry.

They're still on opposite ends of the house, but as time passes, we'll start slowly moving the bowls closer together (to avoid Baker barf from sudden relocation).

One thing Mrs. Prof has noted is that Loudmouth drinks a lot of water. We didn't get any test results that pointed to any problems related to this, but I'm not 100% certain any were run.

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16 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

They're still on opposite ends of the house, but as time passes, we'll start slowly moving the bowls closer together (to avoid Baker barf from sudden relocation).

You've got plenty of time, hopefully they'll be there the rest of their lives!  :-)

Quote

One thing Mrs. Prof has noted is that Loudmouth drinks a lot of water. We didn't get any test results that pointed to any problems related to this, but I'm not 100% certain any were run.

Kidney values would be on a chemistry panel; even the most basic would include BUN/Creat, and Idexx also has a new test, SDMA, that's supposed to be able to detect the early stages even better.  Glucose is also on all the basic chem panels.  They can also get urinary tract infections, not very common when they're young but moreso as they get older, so a urinalysis would also be in order if you take him in.

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7 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Kidney values would be on a chemistry panel; even the most basic would include BUN/Creat, and Idexx also has a new test, SDMA, that's supposed to be able to detect the early stages even better.  Glucose is also on all the basic chem panels.  They can also get urinary tract infections, not very common when they're young but moreso as they get older, so a urinalysis would also be in order if you take him in

Mrs. Prof is reticent to run the chemistry panel if no problems are apparent. He's not showing any immediate signs of other illnesses. BTW, no other tests were run on him. She says he got the normal checkup that was given to most cats, and that she's happy with that.

On the other hand, she is planning on taking Loudmouth back for another snap test in a month, and if it tests positive, having an IFA test run.

BTW, she's decided that both cats will get EVO wet cat food during at least the "meet & greet" stage of introduction, to go along with the EVO dry on-demand food. They're close to being the same recipe, and both of them gobbled up most of it tonight. It's likely that this will be continued at half the rate after they're introduced (e.g., wet food at night).

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Another Loudmouth Picture. It's a bit blurry in the face, but the hand and tongue were the focus of the shot:

large.Loudmouth_20170710_224211_1.jpg

Mrs. Prof was trying to get Loudmouth used to having his paws and nails handled. He started licking himself afterward. That's why the face is a bit out of focus.

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I lick my fingers like that after eating fried chicken.  Delicious.

He licks his fingers after touching humans.

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3 minutes ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

I lick my fingers like that after eating fried chicken.  Delicious.

He licks his fingers after touching humans.

I'm not sure I like the connotation you're making here. :o

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I think we might be ready to start inching Baker's feeding station toward Loudmouth's door now. He finished off his on-demand dry food last night. He's also picked up another bad habit: flipping open the lid of his water fountain, presumably looking for more food within. I don't know how we're going to get over that problem, but I know we're not going to get over it by increasing his on-demand dry. He's going to have to learn to eat more of his wet food when it's presented to him, somehow. Maybe the food station moves will take care of that.

If they don't, we'll have to go back to a plain water dish for him until this is over.

EDIT: I checked with Mrs. Prof. She says she puts down Baker's wet food first and leaves it for about 45 minutes to an hour before taking it up and replacing it with a tennis-ball-sized circle of dry on-demand food. To date, he hasn't been finishing the wet food in the given time. He's too used to being a feeding-on-demand cat. That has to change for the "meet & greet" sessions to work.

Update on the first attempt at moving his food: it sounded like he tried "covering" his wet food. Good Lord, he's a stubborn cat.

Further update: Mrs. Prof used EVO duck this morning, introducing a new variable to the equation. URRGH. Of course, Baker didn't like it as much. She switched it back to the chicken/turkey recipe. He ate more of that. No more duck for Baker, no more screwing around with variables, I told her. Not unless she wants Loudmouth to be stuck in his room for the next six months.

BTW, she had me get on Chewy.com and set up an auto-ship for the canned chicken/turkey wet food. I guess she gets the idea. I hope.

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Quick progress report: after Baker ate some of the EVO chicken/turkey wet recipe, he took a break and climbed atop the carpeted boxes you see in the second and third pictures above. I took advantage of this, after letting him rest a bit, to move his feeding station again, approximately a yard. I then gathered up Baker, called him a good kitty, and sat him down in front of his food. He looked confused for a moment, then went off somewhere. Sigh.

We're leaving the feeding station there for the rest of the day. Mrs. Prof informs me that, when she switched out wet for dry, he ate a few dry morsels at the new location. Small progress, but we'll take what we can get. A couple more feet tomorrow, I hope.

I guess I should mention Loudmouth in all of this. He eats anything given to him, at the time it's given. Part of his feral life, I guess. I don't think we're going to have a problem with his part of the meet & greet, especially since he was used to eating around other cats in the first place. It's the long-term co-existence issue that I'm worried about. Will Baker tolerate another cat on his turf? Will Loudmouth be able to spend a day with another cat in the same house with no way to wander off and get away from its smell?

For the Baker part of the situation, we did employ a Feliway diffuser below his favorite window hammock. I don't know if we need one for Loudmouth yet.

Another Loudmouth mention: Mrs. Prof says that, since he has moved in and started getting good food and regular attention, Loudmouth is looking much better. She says he has a "sheen" about his coat that wasn't present when he was outside. He's also not shedding as much (not necessary at a constant 78°F/25.5°C) and isn't as gaunt looking as he was outside. So far, the only real problem we've had with him was with the cat carrier used to get him to the vet. It has bare chrome wire for the cage door. He tried so hard to get out that he bloodied his nose. We have another one with vinyl-coated wire—that's what gets used the next time he goes anywhere. (Make that two cats we have who hate riding in the carriers.)

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Okay, first real Loudmouth problem: he peed on the bed. The one shown in the pictures. We don't know why.

My knee-jerk reaction was to order another Feliway diffuser for him. The other one we bought for Baker might have thrown the household chemistry off, since it just went into service last evening. Said urination took place between then and now (11:54 a.m. CDT). So, Loudmouth will get his own diffuser on Thursday.

Anyone have any ideas as to what happened to cause this?

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Well. for people you would tell them to stop drinking anything one or two hours before they go to sleep.

As often as cats sleep, that would probably lead to dehydration.

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3 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Well. for people you would tell them to stop drinking anything one or two hours before they go to sleep.

As often as cats sleep, that would probably lead to dehydration.

Just remember that while the Pharaoh has a great deal of experience with cats, his expertise is really with Sphinxes. Which is impressive. You try having that big an animal in the house leap up and sit on your lap. It is a good thing that Pharaoh had a supersized mansion with supersized furniture at the time.

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34 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

Just remember that while the Pharaoh has a great deal of experience with cats, his expertise is really with Sphinxes.

You mean these?

sphynx-cats-and-kittens-9.jpg

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