Shock Collar for Cat, or Better Suggestion?

leslie77September 26, 2010

I've finally gotten desperate. A cat adopted me last December. He appeared here and I kept chasing him off. He was chubby, friendly, I could tell he was a neutered male, so figured he had another home somewhere. Then we got a 12-inch snowfall and I didn't have the heart to send him on, and he's been here ever since. He's young, my vet estimates 2 years, and he's totally changed the dynamic of my home.

He chases my other cats, all females. Two are strong-willed and stand up to him, so he now leaves them alone. But two are ex-ferals, and are terrified of him, so he literally stalks them. They've gone from being outgoing, happy, and trouble-makers to living under furniture. They haven't slept on my bed since he arrived, they sleep on the floor under it because they're so terrified of him. I live in the woods, so I have a cat door and everyone comes and goes as they please. These two girls used to live outdoors, climbing trees and playing, and now they never set foot outside.

I've tried yelling, spanking, banning him from coming inside, and one time I got so mad that I locked him in a cat carrier and left him in a dark garage for nine hours.

I've put him on Craigslist three different times trying to find another home for him, but have gotten no responses. The only next step I see is to take him to a shelter, but I know that would mean euthanasia eventually. I like this guy and would like to keep him, but his time is finally running out with me.

Then I thought about trying an electric shock collar as a last resort. I know that's radical, but I'm out of ideas, and I'm ready for my household to become peaceful and happy again.

So I would like opinions on this, or other suggestions. I'm open to anything, but after nine months and absolutely no improvements in the situation I just want this situation to end.

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Be prepared to get some sharp replies here. Some of the punishments you listed are rather cruel. I can understand your frustration with him, but....

No, I would not use a shock collar on a cat ever. Years ago my mother opted to use one on a large dog who was in danger of injuring herself during her fits of bad behavior. I thought in some ways it was good FOR A LARGE DOG, but now several years later I think of it more as being lazy.

I have a young cat who tests my very last nerve at times. I have never had one like him. He will jump me- right up on my back without warning, and he will do it again and again. He is very assertive- he will look you in the eye and come at your face swinging with his paws. We have had him just a bit less than a year and he has chewed up more things than our lab did in 14 years. I have had a few wit's end moments with him.

We use a squirt bottle to curb some of his behaviors. It works pretty well, as a "rubber arm" technique. This doesn't always deter him though; he seems to get into these fits where he is absolutely out of control. The only thing we have found to stop these manic episodes is to give him a time out. We put him in one of the bedrooms, by himself, at the first sign that the behavior is not going to let up. He has food, water, litter box, toys, bedding, etc. It is a safe and friendly environment, it is just not stimulating in any way. I generally will try to let him out after 15-20 minutes, but if he goes back to the same behaviors, back in he goes for another 15-20. When he was younger, he sometimes needed to be isolated for a couple of hours before he would play nicely.

He apparently has a sister who behaves the same way- maybe even worse. Aside from doing time outs during the day as necessary, her owner has opted to isolate her in a bedroom all night, every night, to allow her older cats to sleep on her bed once again without worry. Since the isolation bedroom is fully set up to be very inviting to a cat, with most of the amenities a cat could want (including a nice cat tree), she is very happy in there. In fact, after several months this cat runs to this room at night when the woman announces that it is time for bed.

My knowledge of cats says that they don't respond to things like yelling or hitting. They are incapable of associating the punishment with the crime. They probably think you are spanking them or locking them up for not other reason than to be cruel- which may in turn make the behaviors worse. Because of that cat mindset I had wondered if the time outs would really work, but they have. He very rarely ever tries jumping me anymore, and his behavior is much less manic than it use to be. I'd encourage you to try this technique, the key is to consistently interrupt his behaviors at the first onset.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Have you tried shaking a can of pennies at him?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 1:53PM
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Good suggestion quasi!

Only thing I can add is to suggest finding a cat rescue group and see if any of them show their animals for adoption on weekends. Also, call your local pet stores, and your vet, and ask if they have a bulletin board you can post to. I don't consider CL a good place to rehome a pet. List him instead on Petfinder or contact some of the rescue groups on Petfinder for help.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 4:39PM
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leslie, I feel for you. I had a similar situation when I adopted a new teenaged male cat. He was relentless in stalking and attacking my 15 year old female, and I felt terrible for ruining her life. I too went through a long phase when I yelled, hit, or shook him in my frustration, all things I'm ashamed of. Only time helped. Eventually he grew older and a bit more sedate and the two learned to tolerate each other--even sleeping with and grooming each other every so often. Although adopting Basil did change the dynamic, and although I have some guilt in not providing Elaine, my old cat, with the quiet old age she craved, I also love Basil to pieces. Now that Elaine has passed on, he's my lover boy. quasifish gave great advice. The squirt bottle really works. I also learned to anticipate Basil's aggressive moods and swoop him up mid-pounce and isolate him in a bedroom until the mood passed, perhaps 15 minutes or so. I learned to divert him with treats. All of this does work with time and patience. No,the dynamic will never be the same in your house, but try to accept the change and do let the cats work it out on their own as much as possible. You are to be commended for your goodness in taking the cat in. Despite the frustrations, perhaps he will come to be a real blessing to you in some way. . .

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:59PM
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. Wouldn't shaking a can of pennies scare the others, also? I went to the Pet Finders website, but couldn't find a way to list a cat. Because I work full-time with a long commute, I'm gone daily for 11 hours, so I'm not here to do any consistent conditioning.

The trouble is mainly when any of them are outside, he's gotten to where he doesn't chase them so much indoors, probably because they're hidden under furniture. I had an older, gentle male cat when he came, who shortly thereafter got diagnosed with cancer. He had been my store cat for years, until I brought him home two years ago. He loved getting to be outside, and almost never came in. Roy just ruined the end of his life, he constantly stalked him also. I've always regretted that he spent his last months in fear of Roy.

And the sad thing is that Roy won't hurt any of them, to him this is just play. He's the friendliest cat I've ever owned, he'll just run up to people when they come over.
But his behavior just can't continue,and it's been almost 10 months now. And when it happens when we're outside, he's gone before I can catch him.

I just don't know what the solution is, I'm grasping at straws.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 8:20PM
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When I first read this I thought someone was trying to get us all cranked up because I couldn't believe that someone would think that being cruel to an animal would make it behave better. Unfortunately, I was apparently mistaken. No hitting, shocking, locking in cages, etc. It won't work.

I would find a no-kill shelter and take him there, or find another home for him. If you want to change his behavior it will take a lot of work and it may not work. It's hard to tell from your post, but he may view his behavior as play. My male stalks and attacks his sister (he is 9 months older than her, so we had him first, he hated being an only cat so we got her). He wants to play, he thinks it's great fun. She doesn't mind most of the time (she gives almost as good as she gets), but there are times where I have to tell him "pppsssttt no!", spray him with water, pick him up and carry him away, or give him a "time out". A time out consists of putting him in the basement (lights on, they love to play in the basement) for about 20 minutes. The time out isn't to punish, it is to break the cycle. Sometimes he will just keep going after her and taking him away from her for a little bit breaks the cycle. But for the most part they love each other, she is not afraid of him. She only hides when small kids come over, never because of him.

As of tonight I would shut the bedroom door and not allow him in, just the others, to give them a break from him. I would keep them as separate as possible. When you are not there can you put him in a room (with litter box, food and water) by himself? When you are there you have to be constantly on alert. When he is bad you pick him up and move him away from them. You spray him with water saying "pppssstt!" at the same time (eventually just the "pppsssttt" will work because he will assume the water is coming too).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 8:44PM
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Leslie- Oh Roy sounds like a cute little devil- one that could drive you crazy!!!!!!!!
I was originally going to blast you for punishing a cat who, it seems isn't trying to injure but play. But it really seems like you are trying to work this situation out. I know you have already figured out that hitting and shaking him is never going to work- it will just injure him and make you feel bad.
Just gonna throw out some ideas...

Can you keep the girls indoors? I agree to keeping him out of the bedroom at night so the girls can have time away from him.
If your a good shot I would go for the squirt bottle. I was going to suggest the penny can but not if you think it would scare the girls.
When you aren't around to supervise, I would keep them seperated. Either him in a room, or the girls.
If none of these work, there is always Fluoxetine.....

Good Luck and please don't list him on Craigslist. Who knows what would happen to him :(

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 7:59AM
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I find the penny can great for dogs --- for cats a spray bottle or squirt gun works great.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:24AM
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You can buy the plain, unmarked spray bottles in bulk and cheaply at Home Depot. Leave one in the bedroom, kitchen, living, room, etc. I find they throw a pretty good blast of water. All I have to do is pick up the bottle and boy cat stops what he is doing (unless he is really cranked up, which happens one in awhile).

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 11:04AM
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I had another thought for you that has been very pertinent to my energetic guy--

I had read this somewhere years ago, and then was reminded by someone here last year, that cats get increasingly active prior to feeding time. This has something to do with the need to hunt if you want to eat; the result being that they start getting worked up as if they are getting ready to go on a hunt- think about athletes getting psyched up prior to a game. The key to dealing with it is to just feed them when they start behaving that way. Often times when my cat gets into his fits, if you feed him some canned food, he will immediately stop being a pest, and not just while he is eating, but for a long time afterward.

Do you have them on a feeding schedule of some kind? Do you give them special foods or wet foods at some point in the day? Can you see any correlation between when you feed and when his behaviors tend to occur?

Even though you are gone throughout the day, I think it might be worth a try to work on his behaviors the other 13 hours of the day (even the time you are sleeping). He may be able to make some changes, particularly if he values your attention.

My other cat is a very old, very sickly female who weighs very little. He doesn't seem to understand that she is 128 years old, and he certainly doesn't always treat her with the respect and dignity that she deserves. I understand why you feel badly about how your old cat was treated by this one when he was up in years, but let me put this perspective on it for you-- Our sick old girl had been an only pet for 10 months until we got hyper-cat. As difficult as he's been for her at times, he has also breathed some life back into her, believe it or not. I think his antics keep her more alert and present than she would be otherwise even if the attention is at times unwelcome. She also tends to eat better and act psychologically more dominant (though this can be subtle) at times- things that had no meaning to her before he came with all his peskiness. Though it bothers you, justifiably, it may not have been all bad.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 3:02PM
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All of your suggestions are good, they just won't work in my situation. Roy is a sweet cat, and I want to keep him, I just want my two sisters to get their lives back.

I don't know about your areas, but shelters here are full beyond capacity. We only have one no-kill one in my area, and they didn't have room to take him. None have had room for him.

The big problem is when he's outdoors and one of them ventures out. Once he starts chasing, there's no catching him to spray him with a squirt bottle. He learned that they would each go out around 4:30 a.m. to use the bathroom. He started stationing himself at the cat door and would jump them the minute they tried to go out, every day. One will not go out now at all, period, anymore, and the other rarely does and you can tell that she is terrified the whole time. And they both love going out, climbing trees, and chasing each other around the yard. This has totally altered their lives.

My house is basically one big room, with a bedroom off of which is a laundry room where the cat door is. To confine any of my cats in the bedroom or the big room keeps any of the others from being able to get to the cat door, and Roy and my other two need access to it to go out and do their business.

If I take him to a shelter, I know it's a death sentence. I'm trying to come up with another solution that will finally bring some peace for everyone. After trying everything else I can think of, a little pain when he misbehaves might get the message through to him over time, and save his life in the long run. I figure that's more humane. No other kind of conditioning has worked with him, and I'm simply out of any other options. And I'm finally out of patience after 10 months of this.

I've had instances when I've been outside with the two girls and Roy appears. I stare at him and say "No" very loudly, and I can tell he understands and he won't make a move for them when I'm right there. He knows he's doing the wrong thing in chasing them. Now he needs to learn that there will be unpleasant consequences when he does. I have a pellet gun I use to keep squirrels off my bird feeders, and they just pause and look at me when they get hit, so I know it doesn't really hurt. Maybe I'll try that first, but it has to be something like that so that I can reach him when he's running after them, or running away from me when he sees he's made me mad. A squirt bottle just won't reach him under those conditions.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 9:18PM
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You are the only one that can correct this situation. If he attacks them when they go out then don't let them out. Close up the cat door, at least for now. Or lock him in and let them out while you are in the yard (they shouldn't be going out anyway, it shortens their lives dramatically).

Ignore everything I just wrote. I just got to the part where you are going to use a pellet gun or "something like that" on the cat. Find a new home for him. PAY a shelter a donation if you have to. You are one seriously sick individual. I wish I knew your name so I could report you to the authorities. What part of being cruel to cats doesn't train them don't you understand?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 11:42PM
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I have a pellet gun I use to keep squirrels off my bird feeders, and they just pause and look at me when they get hit, so I know it doesn't really hurt.

It does not really hurt, huh....

That is sick. A friend's cat developed cancer where pellets were lodged and could not be taken out
Another friend's cat got a pellet in the eye and if you insist,I will post a picture of the cat that had it's eye taken out...

Does not hurt because that squirrel did not tell you so? Bizarre.

Here in Tampabay shooting cats with BB gun (and certainly a pellet gun) is considered torture. A cat was dumped in the bay after being shot 30 times with a BB gun and the community got so rallied up, 11,000 reward for catching the sick dude was offered and he indeed was caught just recently.

Google "Lovey the cat torture case"

Because of the possible infections, it was not certain that the cat would live at first, but she did.

There are a ton of ways to control the cats, starting with controlling the environment (keep them indoors for the time being!) If you were close to Tampabay, I would ask for you to drop off the cat by my house no questions asked, so I could adopt him out. No animal should be left in a carrier without water and a place to poo for 9 hours, threatened with pellet gun, and euthanasia, at the end of it.

p.s. Are you trolling for emotional responses or are you really out to help the situation? I really cannot figure it out.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 9:32AM
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I also cringed at the fate of this wonderful spunky cat. I have pet squirrels as well as five indoor cats, and it is beyond any rational thought to think a pellet gun would 'train" a cat. And putting him for nine hours in a carrier in a dark garage is torture. Poor little guy. He or any animal doesn't deserve this cruelty. Maybe you could try an experiment. Have someone fire a pellet gun at you and see how it feels.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 11:57AM
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Leslie77, exactly HOW do you think you would train this cat to leave the other ones alone by shooting him with a pellet gun?? And once you've shot him and he is injured and has pellets embedded in his body, will you then take him to the vet and tell the vet that you shot him because you are attempting to "train" him? Or will you leave him without medical attention so he can die from an infection? Here's a description of pellet gun use, do you seriously think you are just scaring the squirrels and not inflicting injury? Do you seriously think you can shoot a cat without inflicting injury which needs to be treated??

Pellet Guns for Pest Killing & Small Game Hunting

A pellet gun has many uses, from fun to serious. When it comes to the more serious uses, pellet guns are favored by homeowners, gardeners, and farmers to eliminate pesky varmint trouble. They project killing force at short to medium ranges. It makes this type of air gun a good choice for eradicating troublesome critters in and around the yard or farm, as well as hunting small game.

Here are some popular pellet guns and BB Guns for hunting small game or eliminating pests from your property. While you can get the job done with a .177 caliber rifle if it is capable of producing velocities in excess of 900 ft/sec, we highly recommend one of the .22 caliber air guns. You will usually lose some muzzle velocity when you step up from .177 to .22 caliber rifles, but the .22 pellets are heftier and provide a significantly bigger wallop, ensuring a cleaner kill.

>> Please be careful when choosing an air rifle for pest killing or small game hunting. You do not want to leave an animal (even a pest) merely injured and in pain. Using .22 caliber pellet guns that produce high muzzle velocity (800 ft/sec or higher) will result in a clean kill virtually every time, as long as your aim is true and you are shooting from within the manufacturer's recommended distance range.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:10PM
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Wow ... I'm basically speechless.

leslie, you shouldn't have any pets if you think shooting them with anything is a good idea.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:19PM
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Totally agree , Pam

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 1:51PM
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I too find myself speechless at this point. Try to get it in your mind that the cat is just being a cat, just wants to pounce and play. Why in the world would you seek to harm him for this natural behavior? You are an animal abuser and should not have pets--and certainly should not have taken in a stray--if this is your attitude. Please, please don't harm the poor cat!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Please do not post here anymore. I ( and I hope no one else) will no longer open any of your posts. As was mentioned above, please come up with some donation money, and bring ALL of you pets to the closest no kill shelter. Once you explain to them your plan to shoot your cat with a pellet gun, I am sure they will quickly remove them from your custody. You are not equipted to own any pets. What a monster you are.............

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 2:25PM
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Leslie, Animals don't learn from pain. They associate the pain with you and learn to fear you, but will not associate the pain with the behavior and stop the behavior. You need to manage boy kitty so that he is separated from the fearful cats. I know you love all of your cats, and I truly don't think you understood that pain does not help animals to learn. You wouldn't have posted your thoughts here if that were the case. If you can't keep new kitty separate from your other cats, please take him to a rescue group or shelter to be rehomed. I hope that you can work this out so that the cats can be separated or boy kitty can find a new home. Take care,

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 8:21PM
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First of all, a thanks to all who offered helpful suggestions and encouragement. This will be my last post to this topic, but obviously I haven�t made myself clear.

What is cruel is seeing what has happened to my two sisters these past 10 months, and how my old Mr. Velvet spent his last days. I�ve spent 10 months hoping Roy would grow out of this, 10 months of offering positive reinforcement, all to no avail. When I�m around and he acts out, it is plain that he knows he is doing something he shouldn�t.

Some of you obviously missed my post where I mentioned that I had listed him on Craigslist 3 times. I had some responses, but none I felt good about. And don�t tell me that you don�t know what is going on in shelters right now � with the recession, there is no room - hundreds of cats get euthanized daily right now.

As to the pellet gun, when I shoot at a squirrel and it pauses, looks up, and goes right back to eating, I doubt seriously that it has been harmed. Maybe there is some kind of dangerous pellet gun out there, but mine is a plastic one that I bought at Wal Mart for $9.99. Roy is a bruiser of a cat four times the size of the largest squirrel � if a pellet gun doesn�t hurt a squirrel, it would be no more to Roy than squirting water on him. It�s just that I can�t reach him with a squirt bottle of water outside, but I can reach him with a pellet gun.

The time I locked him in the carrier hurt me more than it did him. Fifteen minutes after I released him outdoors, I was in a chair reading and he came and jumped in my lap like nothing had happened. But I�ve never repeated that treatment because it just ruined my day.

I have had cats all of my life, and all of my life I have let my cats go outdoors. Knowing how they love it, I would never change that. All of my cats have lived long, healthy lives into their upper teens, so the idea that it shortens their lives is not true. The only pets I have ever had that died before their time was due to cancer or some other organic disease that had no relation to where they spent their time. Granted, some cats get run over by cars, or killed by packs of dogs. But that�s because of where their owners have chosen to live. I have always picked where I live with my cats� safety foremost in my mind, and I have never lost a cat except to old age or some unpreventable disease.

A little bit more about myself as it pertains to cats. For 3 years I have spent $50-$80/month to help a woman I know who lives on disability take care of her many cats. I have worked with several people in my community who manage feral colonies, and have taken into my business and placed over 450 ferals into very loving homes. I have lost much business as a result of that. I take 2 kittens at a time and just let them have the run of the place (after I have worked with them and socialized them myself). People come in to buy something, and leave with a kitten instead. I reach people who aren�t looking, but fall in love when confronted with a kitten. People who go to shelters are already in the market to adopt. I tap a totally different market � people who weren�t even thinking about a new pet. I get tons of Christmas cards each year from people who have adopted my kittens, and people come in constantly to tell me about them. But a lot of people are allergic to cats and can no longer come to my business, and a lot of people don�t believe animals belong in a business, so my business has suffered because of it.

I�m currently working with adult cats since I moved my two permanent store cats home to live about 2 years ago. The cat I have now was supposedly allergic to food, and I had to buy him an expensive prescription diet. I soon learned that it isn�t just food, he suffers terribly from environmental allergies in general. After two different vets, one specialist and over $1,000, I�m just trying to maintain him as best as I can and keep him as comfortable as possible. He�ll eventually wind up at my house, because it�s very doubtful that anyone will take on a cat with his challenges and expenses.

Three of my home cats are kittens that were so shy they would never show themselves to people, they would only interact with me. They became unplaceable, so therefore they went home to live with me. One has come out of her shell and stands up to Roy, but the other two are pitiful. It tears me up for something to drop, and see them almost jump out of their skins and dive under furniture as fast as they can. They were never this way before. My fear is that this has been so hard on them that even if the situation totally changes, I don�t know if they will ever get back their carefree ways.

Since I haven�t been able to re-home Roy, and he has not shown any progress in altering his behavior, I have two choices as I see it. Either my two girls spend the rest of their lives in constant fear, or Roy undergoes some kind of behavior modification. Which is really the cruelest route? I would never harm him or any animal. But it�s clear that he�s going to have to start associating an unpleasant result when he charges at them in order for him to change. If I didn�t see that he knows he is doing something wrong it would be different. But he clearly knows he�s not supposed to chase them. In addition, he�s huge, and they�re both very small girls.

Some of you are getting all worked up about Roy, with no thought to the 24/7 torture my girls are experiencing. I want them back on the bed with me, not under it on the floor the minute I turn the lights out. I came here for help, not for the cruel remarks I�ve received from sue36, olyagrove, lily316, petra, pamghatten, marita40, and homebodymom. You know nothing about me or my situation, so go take a valium and keep your thoughts to yourself. And Sue, if you can figure out how I can give you my contact information without having to post it for some weirdo to see and use, I�ll gladly do that so you can report me to the authorities. I would just love to see your reaction after they give you their report. I would welcome that just to put you in your place. Maybe we can pass our contact information to each other through the moderators of this site. Whatever � if you have a solution, I will happily accommodate you.

This is it for me and this topic. I�m done with this and will figure out my own solution. And no one has to worry about Roy being harmed, there�s no way I would ever injure him in any way. Again, many thanks to those who were supportive and offered helpful suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 8:31PM
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I�ve received from sue36, olyagrove, lily316, petra, pamghatten, marita40, and homebodymom. You know nothing about me or my situation, so go take a valium and keep your thoughts to yourself.

I and everyone else here judged you based on the information you provided and you painted quite a picture. So do not get nasty back at me or anyone else and do not tell me to "keep my thoughts to myself" if you do not like the genuine response to pellet gun suggestions.

Maybe yours is a magic "no pain" pellet gun, but a normal one will in fact inflict pain and terror.

Poor Lovey cat sure was terrorized ,getting hit with a BB gun 30 times

If you have a venue for adopting out cats (your business), then why not put the cat up for adoption there?

There are many humane ways to deal with the situation. Separate the cats. Make a temporary set up for Roy to keep him isolated, maybe the female cats need to get used to the sight of Roy. Squirt bottle or a water hose - any of these are way better than a shock collar or a pellet gun.

Want to get the cat into a no kill shelter? Sure, everyone is full - ask to get on a waiting list - cats are coming from somewhere. Offer a surrender donation and a safety net - that if the cat does not get adopted in a certain amount of time, you are willing to take him back. Or willing to take him for cage breaks.
Plenty of smaller groups show cats at Petsmarts and Petcos on weekends. Volunteer with them, ask for the cat to be shown on weekends - volunteer to come out and show the cat.
Leave posters with a sad story and a cute picture at vet offices -maybe someone just lost a cat and is looking for an adult kitty to soothe the pain.
There are ways, you know.

I have 20 cats, most of which are here because I could not adopt them out. I do animal rescue and foster by dozens at a time, but unfortunately, some are too skittish, too imperfect - missing limbs, teeth, hearing, you name it, or too old, to get adopted - so they stayed. Sure, not all got along right away, it took work, time, dedication...and plenty patience.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 10:57PM
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I absolutely will not apologize to some one who would even consider for a moment using a pellet gun on their pet. Makes me ill to think of it. But I do have a suggestion. I went kayaking with grandson and the rest of the family and he had one of those super blasters. If you are not near the cat , a squirt bottle won't work. I have used them but my cats are indoor cats so not a problem. But these water guns squirt HUGE distances. and blasts a shot of water on the target. Maybe that would work.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 2:46AM
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Leslie please don't stop posting here as a result of your treatment by the folks who think they need to judge anyone who doesn't behave exactly the way they do. You are obviously not trying to torture or harm the cat and I think you are doing the right thing by asking for suggestions. Unfortunately sometimes we end up in situations where there are no perfect answers, but still something must be done so you have to go with the one that has both the maximum impact and the least negative repercussions.

I am one who doers not think a shock collar is cruel, or punishment. Most people wouldn't if they understood how to use them and when. That said, most people wont take the time to understand so for them it is best that they just stay away from them. For your case I would suggest that rather than a shock collar you might try one of the collars that only vibrates. Its the same principle and method as a shock collar and should work as well on a cat. Use it sparingly so he doesn't get used to it because really all you need is to take his attention off of the other cats when he is chasing or bothering them. Eventually he will get the idea that this unpleasant vibrating happens only when I approach the other cats and he will learn. Cats can learn, we don't give them enough credit for that.

About the pellet gun. I know the kind you're talking about, more like a childs toy than a weapon. I would avoid that if at all possible. Even if it didn't hurt the cat you wouldn't be able to get in position fast enough to associate it with the cats actions. And there is always the possibility that you'd accidently hit his eye or other vulnerable area and hurt him unintentionally.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 10:09AM
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You can email me your contact information through GardenWeb.

Just because you have had cats doesn't mean you are a responsible owner, just as having your children survive into adulthood doesn't make one a good parent.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 12:00PM
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Leslie77, did you really think people here would support shooting a cat with a pellet gun?

JackieBlue's idea to use a vibrating collar is a good one, and certainly won't inflict injuries.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 12:21PM
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Good riddance Leslie ... totally agree with sue36!

"Just because you have had cats doesn't mean you are a responsible owner, just as having your children survive into adulthood doesn't make one a good parent."

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 12:22PM
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I would also advise against giving anyone on here your personal information. Just because they post here doesn't mean they aren't a wierdo.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 1:06PM
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. Just because they post here doesn't mean they aren't a wierdo

And that applies to all of us, you and me including...hehe

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 1:16PM
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I use ( well I did) a little gizmo that emits a sound that only dogs can hear but I have no idea if cats can . It stops then dead in there tracks to figure out what it is and after a short while discontinue the behaviour. Worked on the dogs. Now some of you may think this is cruel and will damage their ears. It won't but that doesn't mean I won't get squawked at.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 3:30PM
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Beegood, the "squawks" were mostly a result of the pellet gun intention, I doubt anyone would condemn your gizmo.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 5:06PM
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Beegood, the "squawks" were mostly a result of the pellet gun intention, I doubt anyone would condemn your gizmo.

Yeah! Common people, it is common sense, and no need to be overly dramatic.
Pellet gun == cruelty -> hence, animal lovers got genuinely rallied up. Would you want it any other way? I am not lying when I say, a cat my friend cared for got shot in the eye and lost the eye (former feral living on the streets ow living in a sanctuary environment due to disability). I am not lying a cat my other friend had got shot and later on, had cancer where the pellet was lodged...

We have used the "do not jump on counters" gizmo that reacts to vibrations (cat jumping on the counter) and emitting a rather annoying sound for both cats and humans. Did work.

And seriously, a water hose can do wonders. I have two females semi ferals who occasionally get in the mood for petting, but for the most part are fearful of people. Both spayed and both very territorial to the point of spraying ...And while they share the yard - one gets the pond, the other one - the orchid house...they still duke it out occasionally on the border. I get the hose out and that sends the girls running to their respective territories...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 10:22PM
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Leslie -
I was well on my way to training a cat to attack other cats when my ex noticed that I was actually rewarding the aggression by trying to calm the cat down with petting. The cat was learning to attack others whenever he wanted attention.

Build a large cage of 2x4s and hardware cloth. Put food, water, and shelter from the cold in there.

Cage him overnight so he can't attack the others while you sleep. Every time he makes any sort of aggressive move towards the others, put him in the cage.

Do not talk to him, do not pet him to calm him down ... pick him up by grasping his body around the chest, give him one GENTLE shake and say NO! in a medium sharp voice. Hold him facing away from your body at arm;s length and dump him in the cage. Walk away.

Attacks get the cage, and no physical rewards.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:10AM
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Beegood,I would like to know what the gizmo you used that emits a sound that dogs can hear.This sounds like something I could use with Annabelle(lab/7 months)to get her attention..

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 12:00PM
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I bought this thing from INVISIBLE FENCING About $60.00 I think. Right now my friend is using it for her insane boxer who jumped at every one non stop. Plus other problems of not listening. In 3 days the dog has pretty well stopped that crazy jumping. I find you shud only solve one problem at a time or the animal gets confused and also lots of praise if they stop when you alert them. It is not a toy but used properly does work well.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 1:09PM
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Install a cat door on an inside door in your home, only use the kind that require the electronic key fob thing that attaches to your cats collar. Give all the cats but him access through the door. This way they can all come indoors and stay safe and warm but all the other cats have refuge from him in areas of the house that you choose.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 3:41AM
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Hi Leslie:
I have 5 cats. 4 girls and 1 boy. He's a big guy that I adopted from my neighbors when they moved, after I'd had my girls for several years. The neighbors left him outside, day and night. When my dog died, Tigger started hanging around my house, bc I'd give him the attention he didn't get at home. Pretty soon, he was living on my side porch bc I couldn't stand that he was outside in the cold winter, and one night, coyotes had him cornered and I had to run out in the middle of the night and rescue him. He's big, part Maine Coone, and needless to say, tough. He'd chase any other cat that came around. He'd stalk my girls. He couldn't be in the house bc he'd peed all over. That all started about 3 years ago. For the past 2 years, he's been part of our household. What changed? Time passed and everyone got around to getting along and used to each other. I did intervene if I thought he was picking on anyone -- "No No No!!" -- just like I teach my dogs. He learned. When I wasn't there to intervene, I kept him separated from the girls. They took turns outside. I adopted two little dogs a year ago. The dogs are not allowed upstairs so that the cats have a place to go to get away from them. 3 of the cats had no problem getting used to the dogs right away. The dogs chased them, the cats swatted at them, the dogs learned. It took the other 2 cats a little longer, but all of a sudden one day, they're coming around and it's like there never was a problem. Funny thing is, now, when Tigger occasionally chases one of the girls, the other girls all rally together against him. It's really quite amazing. Tigger IS older than your boy, tho, so your boy probably needs to be played with. I've always found that in order to get the animals to get along, you just have to let them get used to the idea that they are all permanent housemates, that you're there to be top cat, or top dog, or I've even been top pig, and that everyone is loved and safe. I downsized to a little house, with a tiny yard that is fenced in for the dogs and pigs, as well as a cat fence for the cats. I have a pet door that allows the dogs and cats to run in and out. Everyone gets along great, whether I'm home or not. It makes me feel good that I was able to make that happen. Also, and I know, believe me, that sometimes this is easier said than done, you have to be the calm in the storm - firm and in control. If you're all freaked out, it might exacerbate a bad situation. BTW, do you let your cats out late at night? You do have to be careful of great horned owls, you know. Good luck. I hope your situation can end up like mine.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 11:46PM
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Don't forget you always have the option of the local Chinese take out. You might be able to trade Roy in for some fried rice :P

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:53PM
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spedigrees z4VT

From your posts it sounds like you own or work at a retail store. You mentioned that one or some of your cats were 'store cats' and lived at the store. Could you not relocate your troublemaking male cat to the store and bring home the present 'store cat' or cats to live at your house? Just an idea. He might be popular with the customers, given his outgoing personality, and your 'home cats' would have the peace they all need.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:22AM
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This thread has outlived its shelf life. Playful fun Roy is either dead or in a 'no kill shelter' which in itself is torture for an animal. Animals don't do well in cages. Maybe, just maybe they are better off dead.

Our prisons are full of caged animals. How well do they do in society once they are out? Go to any zoo and tell me those animals are happy. Strange life we have when we try to do good.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 3:49PM
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I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you're having with Roy. I hope by now you've had some sort of resolution. I would also like to say how sorry I am to read the negative (and just plain nasty) comments made here regarding your efforts to change his behavior and keep him. You have tried EVERYTHING and you're at your wits end. I can understand that. Maybe some of your methods have been harsh, but the cat is not dead nor will he be forever damaged as some seem to want to point out. I also know the pellet gun you are referring to. Just plastic. There is nothing "magic" about it at all. It's perfectly legal. Kids use them all the time. It's not pleasant to be hit with one, but no damage will be done. They don't peirce the skin as the x-ray suggests. Please ignore them and listen to the people who are actualy trying to offer some help to you. I don't know if you've resolved your problem. I hope you have. If not, it seems like separating the animals when you're not around is a good idea. From what you've stated I think you are a good pet owner and I wish there were more like you around. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 8:23PM
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sue36, olyagrove, lily316, petra, pamghatten, marita40, and homebodymom

You appear to be incapable of coherent thought and reasoning. It's a sad condition some humans have as soon as they are exposed to the internet. I love that you get on his case for the pellet gun but say nothing about the person suggesting giving the cat Prozac? How is drugging the cat until it's liver fails any worse than a light tap from a toy gun.

Which brings me to my next point. You automatically assumed that he was stupid and meant a BB gun which uses metal bb's. However you completely ignored the context. What he's most likely referring to are the cheap plastic guns that shoot rubber or occasionally light plastic pellets, we used them a lot when we were kids and they wouldn't be any more annoying to a cat than a squirt of water. They shoot about 3/4s as hard as your average rubber band gun..They aren't going to lodge anything in the cat, or do any permanent damage, hell they probably won't do any short term damage, it just feels like someone tapped you on the shoulder unless they held the thing right up to your arm.

Pay attention and do some thinking next time before you belittle someone. And read the whole post, don't just pick and choose key words like some stupid search engine for any reason to troll someone.

Now, that said to the little girls here who like to overreact, I still wouldn't use the toy gun on a cat. It wouldn't hurt it directly but I'd be afraid of it eating one of the little rubber pellets. Not to mention it would cost a lot less to fill a small super soaker and squirt him than to buy more of the little rubber things. Just keep it right inside the door since you've illustrated most of the issues occur out there. (don't wanna keep it outside cuz the cheap plastic will become brittle from the sunlight.)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 2:25AM
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I can't explain how irritating some of your replies are to me. I read through these, shaking my head almost the whole time. Sometimes I wonder if I'm one of the few folks left on the planet that firmly understands the fact that as pet owners, we make a conscious, deliberate decision to provide for the animals we take in. I am of the personal opinion that given the natural outdoor life yours or my cat would normally have, both the quality and length of their lives in our homes are better and longer respectively. They don't need to hunt for food, they don't need to fight off other cats or animals and they have a firm sense of security, which would otherwise be impossible.

Now, not that I would ever say that a cat consciously understands that it "owes" you its good behavior, but allow the above reasons to justify reasonable disciplinary action if necessary. Remember folks, cause and effect, just scale it to the situation. If the cat is on the counter, snap your fingers at him, tell him to get off the counter or do something mild - shoo him off, water bottle, whatever. If the cat lunges at your face? Wad up your fist and show him why that course of action is a *really* stupid idea (No, I'm not telling you to pin the cat down and have an MMA moment - just show him that it hurts to attack you). Let me assure you that although many of you have the misunderstanding that cats lack the cognitive ability to relate reactions to actions or associate your behavior with disciplinary action, this is most certainly not the case. For instance, if I snap my fingers and point at my cat, he will literally stop anything he's doing and exit the room promptly. My cat also as most cats has gone through that experimental stage so to speak where he has in fact lunged at me and did in fact learn quite quickly why he shouldn't do that. The point? They learn. Teach them, or suffer.

Regarding the shock collar: I have 2 mentionables for this. The first one comes from my perspective as an electrical engineer. The capacitive discharge from shock collars, tasers, etc will not physically injure your cat - these devices deliver voltage in high amounts, almost no current whatsoever. I would suggest one with the beep function if you're going to do it. Give the cat a beep every single time before you shock him, he will eventually associate the beep with the shock and much like me snapping my fingers at my cat, he will stop whatever he's doing at the beep.

The second mentionable: If you are among the crowd that believes the cat has no cognitive ability to associate the beep or the shock, what does it matter anyway? Blast him from afar, achieve your objective and the perk? To him, it's not you doing it, so very little behavior implication.

But anyway, I cannot imagine the flood of "omg animal abuse" posts that are on their way, hopefully you got the point I was trying to deliver. You're feeding him, cleaning his litter, giving him a climate controlled place to live and things to play with, heh - I don't know many humans who wouldn't be thrilled with that. You've earned the right to smack him upside the head if needed, just don't abuse it. (The just king is the loved one).

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 2:27AM
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This post is over a year old WHY start it up again ?????

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 8:08AM
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Seems to me the cats who are getting chased need to grow a spine or two! I would let the situation play out as long as no one is getting mutilated. If it is coming to that, then time to get rid of the cat.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 4:15PM
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