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I could use a little help from my friends

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 at 12:05 pm in Animals, Cats, dogs, Pets, Poisonous plants.

I could use a hand if you’ve got a moment. I’m researching information to help me answer a couple of reader questions. If anyone reading this has encountered one or both of these problems and has a successful solution for dealing with them, I’d appreciate you sharing what you did with me so I can add it to my own ideas and pass it along. I’m actually looking for as many different solutions as possible. The more, the merrier as they say. I’ll also list your name with your idea if I use it.

Cat problem: A 4-year-old cat is very affectionate with a mother and her son, but every time the dad gets near him, he hisses. When the dad tries to pet the cat, it bites his hand. Any ideas on fixing this problem?

Poisonous plants and puppies: Lady is getting a boxer puppy and has been reading about plants that are poisonous to dogs. She’s been checking the Internet for lists of these plants (there are many) and figures just about every plant in her house and garden is on some list of poisonous plants. Does she need to dig them all up and toss them out? She says she will if she has to. She wants to know how other people deal with this.

Thanks for any responses. I’ve answered both of these questions many times over the years I’ve been writing my newspaper column and am ready to answer them again. I’m just always looking for new ideas on these things from the actual people who’ve dealt with them. Thanks for your help!

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4 Responses to “I could use a little help from my friends”

  1. Pat in Antioch Says:

    The cat problem sounds familiar though. I inherited Calle when her elderly owner died of cancer. She was DEATHLY scared of adult males. (The cat, not the owner! :-) Whenever my friend’s son or 22 year old grandon visited, Calle would hide. She actually tore the fabric under the box spring, crawled in there and wouldn’t come out until they left. I was concerned about how she’d react to MY adult son when she moved in. She never seemed quite as panicked, but was definitely leary. He talked to her from a distance at first & over time was able to get a little closer. When he was finally able to pet her, it was HER idea, and to this day, she adores him. I think patience is the key here and trying not to push too much too soon. It can take awhile, but it’s definitely worth it in the end!!

    The poisonous plant issue has always baffled me, so I just gave up on inddor plants. (My pets never ingested any, but I didn’t take any chances since I always seem to have at least one who enjoys an occasional salad! :-)

    Pat in Antioch

  2. Mary in Pacifica Says:

    Sounds like something must have really spooked the kitty. If the family has had the cat for only a short time, it could have had bad experiences with men in the past. Or if they have had the cat since it was a kitten, most likely something recent has scared it and it associates that fear with Dad.

    My youngest cat (estimated 3-1/2 to 4 yrs old) was a member of a feral cat colony before he decided to come inside out of the November rains in 2003 and live the good life. He was (and still is) afraid of most men and doors. It took almost 2 years but he finally does not run from the room or hide under the freezer when my husband enters the room. The other day he even let my husband pet him. Tasty cat treats, lots of interactive play with toys that can be chased, and a ton of patience were the key for us. He still runs from other males, so having a safe hiding place might help. I am glad our Charlie is still afraid of doors- makes it easier to keep him inside.

    Our other 2 cats are older (9 and 10 yrs, both female) and do go outside for supervised play. They were rescues too with their own personalities and issues. Such nice little creatures!

    On the indoor poisonous plants, perhaps putting the plants high out of reach of the puppy would help (unless he proves to be a climber). I don’t keep many indoor plants (outside of pet grass, aloe, and spider plants) because of my 9 yr old cat. She will chew on plants if given the slightest opportunity.

  3. Betty Says:

    This is just to let everyone know about the dangers of Sago Palms.
    Our Champion Border Collie cowdog had puppies. We kept one of
    the puppies. The puppy along with the mama dog stayed on the
    fenced in patio. We had two large Sago palms on the patio, which
    had been there for years and where the mama dog had lived for years
    and had never touched the Sagos.

    When the palms get older they
    sprout soft feathery shoots that come up around the roots.
    These were sprouting when we put the puppy on the patio. Since
    puppies chew on everything in sight, she found the shoots from the
    palms. She was five months old. We did not realize that she was
    eating the shoots, until one day we took her out to the sheep yard and
    all of a sudden she went into a stupor. She came out of it but continued
    to appear depressed. We took her to the vet and he ran a lot of lab test.
    When the test came back with Bile Acids at over 300, he said she had
    been eating something poisonous. Her liver had been damaged beyond repair. We immediately knew that it had
    to be the Sago palm. She continued to degress and formed a lot of
    fluid on her little body. We had to have her put to sleep, with much
    saddness as we love out dogs like family.

    The 8 year old mama dog is
    now showing symptoms of liver disease. We took her to the vet this week
    and when he ran a live profile, her bile acids came back also over 300.
    We had no ideas that she had even been eating on the plant also. We will
    eventually have to have her put to sleep, as she has already began to put on fluid.
    The vet said that he had never seen a dog live with bile acids this high, although
    we are giving her all the treatment that he recommends. I hope this helps someone.

  4. Me Says:

    Love your blog/site thanks. :)

    In my years of rescue I have taken care of some odd aggression (attacking people seriously) problems in cats by simply introducing another cat into the previously one cat household. Two cases of such both primary cats were male. However, in this situation- I would highly suspect the person the cat is lashing out at, are they a drinker etc. Just the other day I heard of a dad who pinches hard when hes been drinking and in a bad mood, enough to make the cat cry out, hiss, and hide for hours. Otherwise I would suspect the other people in the household took the time to gain this cats trust while the dad has not or he is simply being too rough or going for a sensitive area that may have pain/injury. Personally, I’d get rid of the dad, problem solved.

    As for the puppy, people should dig it up and get rid of it all or put it behind a sturdy well taken care of fence. Not much for options there to be safe.

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