Savannah Cat Chat - THE Place for Savannah Cat Talk

Welcome to the Savannah Cat Chat Forum! Our forum has been in existence since 2012 and is the only one of its kind. We were here, serving the savannah cat community before Facebook and Instagram! Register for a free account today to become a member! Please use an email program other than Hotmail, since Hotmail accounts are blacklisted by many servers and ISP's. Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site in some of the forums by adding your own topics and posts. But in order to take advantage of the full features, such as a private inbox as well as connect with other members ad access some of the larger topics, a donation of $2.99/mo or $25/yr is requested. This will allow us to continue running this forum!

Help

Lil Demon's Mom

Savannah Super Cat
#1
Friday morning I was getting ready for the day when I hear hysterical screams coming from my child in the other room. He runs to me and his left hand is pretty well shredded. He apparently thought it a good idea to try to stop a cat fight between Schrodinger and the Russian Blue. My best guess is that he tried picking Schrodinger up (Schrodinger is the only one not declawed) and Schrodinger peeled out on him. I got him and the cats squared away of course, but I don't know what to do about the two cats fighting.

They were introduced slowly and were never left alone together early on. And I know it is because Schrodinger is a kitten and wants to play and the Russian Blue is am all around jerk to everyone in the house (human and animal alike) -and that's putting it nicely.

And as far as Schrodinger is concerned, I put those kitty caps on his nails- but I know they won't last long. And I don't want to declaw him because I think it is inhumane. The problem is that even when I clip his nails they still seem sharp. Any advice?
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Kitten's claws are thin in diameter, so yes even when you trim them you basically have blunted needles not sharp needles...as he grows that of course will change.

It's hard to know how serious the fighting was, sometimes there comes a point in the introductions where you have to let the cat and kitten establish their hierarchy and for some people that seems too harsh. Your son needs to not put his hands in the middle of a kitty squabble but I'm guessing he knows that now.

When you say the introduction was "slow" what does that mean? Different situations require different timing and much of that timing depends on the cats' reactions. If one cat shows resistance or upset, then you slow the process down. Maybe you need to take a step back in their introduction and start again?
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#3
I agree that declawing is not the answer. What happens when you try to trim Schrodinger's nails? If he's been difficult have you tried the binder clip trick? You might also be able to take him to your vet to get his nails trimmed every couple of weeks.

As for the Russian Blue - sometimes there is just no getting along. Schrodinger is an active, playful cat and the Russian Blue just doesn't want to have anything to do with him. Make sure you have plenty of vertical space for the Russian Blue to retreat to, this should help avoid confrontations. When it does happen, a spray bottle might actually be more effective in breaking up the cats than trying to physically get between them.

Be sure to play with Schrodinger as often as possible - at least two to three times a day for 15-30 minutes (or longer if possible). If you can help him burn off his energy he might be less inclined to seek out the Russian Blue to meet his play needs.

I'm not sure what your situation is, but getting another playful kitten has often resolved similar issues in the past - the two playful cats have each other to interact with, and the other cat is no longer bothered. It doesn't have to be another Savannah as long as it is another active, playful breed. Highlanders and Abyssinians are two breeds that are excellent companions for Savannahs.


I can't remember how old your child is, I hope this incident has not had an adverse effect on him. I know some children grow up hating cats because of similar events. It is hard not to try to break up a cat fight - you can let your son know that us adults have made the same mistake at times so he is not alone!
 

Lil Demon's Mom

Savannah Super Cat
#4
binder clip trick? He usually lets me do the first couple and then he's doing whatever he can to get away and it takes a lot of breaks and a couple treats to get all the way through his nails.

they each have their own rooms also (the Russian blues is my parents room and Schrödingers is mine) I got a water bottle for anytime they misbehave, but I'm still working on teaching my son that it's only for that not for bathing the cats.

Schrödinger already broke the pole from the feather toy I bought him, so I went out and bought a fishing pole and its been endless entertainment
I try to play with him every chance he gives me (sometimes no matter how much I try to entice him he refuses.

I'll have to look into both of those other breeds. I want to get Schrödinger a playmate, but wanted to make sure he was well aclimated before I introduced another kitten.

my son is 5. He showed a lot of fear Friday after the incident. Didn't want to leave my side, etc. But I explained to him that Schrödinger didn't intend to hurt him and that he shouldn't have gotten in between them and then Schrödinger jumped up on the bed and snuggled up next to him and Clayton even kissed him on the head. So, I'm hoping that the fear subsides, but I won't know until he comes back on Wednesday (I have shared custody with my ex) .
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#5
http://vet.osu.edu/cvm/clipnosis-technique-can-calm-cats-vets-office-and-home this has worked for me on a couple of difficult cats.

I feel for your son. I have been seriously bitten by a cat in the past, and even though I knew he was not being aggressive toward me (he was going after another cat and I got in the way) I had to work through my fears to where I felt I could trust him again - it took a few weeks so I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't take time with your son as well, although children are much more resilient than us old folk... ;)
 
#6
First thing's first-- I know you said you have your son squared away, but you need to invest in a lot of time to implant it into a child's head-- never ever ever try to break up a fight between two animals. Dogs, cats-- it doesn't matter. And I mean-- you need to invest a lot of energy discussing this with your child as he grows. It's not a one time conversation. Let's face it. Even as adults, we are inclined to step in between fighting animals and that's simply a no-no.

Also, I'd be much more worried about the Russian Blue biting your son in the middle of a fight than your other boy's claws. If he's a real jerk-type, maybe look into some calming meds for him? Have you tried the collars/sprays/household diffusers? Might be worth the while.

I think getting a playmate is a good idea for Schrodinger, but I think the main issue right now is finding a way to keep the Russian Blue and him from fighting. And I feel for you-- I have an Elf (Highlander x Sphynx) that has it out for any female in the household-- and she's spayed.
 

Lil Demon's Mom

Savannah Super Cat
#7
when I said squared away, I was mostly referring to cleaning his wounds, treating them, and bandaging them up. But, I did also talk to him about not getting in the middle of a fight, and have continued to discuss it with him each time he brings the incident up.

I haven't tried anything with the Russian Blue up to this point, but was looking at those diffusers when I was last at the pet store. I don't know much about them.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Just a thought, have you had your Russian Blue checked out by your vet? I remember watching some show on Animal Planet and the cat was super-cranky and they worked out that he had paw pain resulting from the declaw...bone fragments can shift later on and their posture changes etc... just wondering if it might be possible his attitude you mention might have something to do with this?
 
#9
I agree with all of the above! Having lived in a multi-cat household nearly my entire life, I do think that cats always need to establish the hierarchy as Brigitte mentioned. When I worked in the clinic, we had a cat come in named Mickey who did experience this life long, personality change from a declaw. He would quickly trot around and then sit up like a meercat, sitting on his rear his front paws not even touching the ground. He was also very protective of his space after that, according to his owner. The owner did have success with a Feliaway diffuser and medication managing the pain. I know you didn't mention your Russian Blue doing any of this, but might give you an idea if anything changed after the procedure.

We use Feliaway diffusers here with great success to calm the establishment for hierarchy when we introduce new cats here. Have you tried one of these? We do not leave them plugged in if we are going to be out for longer than a few hours but might make the difference when you are at home! We have not used calming collars as Trish mentioned here, but if it works like the diffusers, that is a great idea!

I will also second the vertical space idea that Patti mentioned as well. Having a few cat trees around give one a escape route if needed.

Tons of interactive toys that you can rotate in and out will keep the kitten more entertained and bonding to you instead of the your other cat. Lots of outdoor walks will keep the energy level satiated more too!

These are just things that have worked for us. Good luck and keep us posted! :)