Anyway, here goes....
So, there I was at the clinic with Cow for his battle wounds and that was my first time meeting the new owner (he's a vet) who had bought over one of our panel clinics.
(I'd swear now that he's one of the most brilliant vets I've ever met all my life....)
So, I told the vet that Cow still sprays in the house despite having been neutered and he is also of a very "cranky" (almost insecure) temperament.
Here's what I learnt:
1. Spraying is caused 70% by hormones and 30% by psychological reasons. It doesn't mean that once neutered, the cat would not spray/mark anymore.
2. Cow is an alpha cat, and he needs to keep establishing this fact (ie. reminding the rest of his exalted position in the house). Hence, the spraying.
3. He needs to reach a comfort zone before he stops. Is there any way I can help him reach this "comfort zone"? Unfortunately, no. This is amongst the cats, it's got nothing to do with me. Cat politics...stay out! Not like you can do anything about it, anyway.
4. Is it true that once neutered, the male cat would become less aggressive and may not be able to fight as well anymore? Not necessarily. Being neutered only means the cat has reduced sexual desire and hence, will not go after the females. He will also not fight with other tomcats over a female, but it doesn't mean he cannot fight anymore. As far as territorial fighting (how dare you trespass into my territory!!) is concerned, he can and will still fight (to the death?).
Okay, Cow can still fight....I'm not sure whether this was a good thing or not...but I had a feeling this might not be the last time Cow would have battle-scars...
5. If your Cow...oh, I mean, CAT, is still territorial, don't cut or even trim his nails. He needs it for his own protection and survival. Got it, sir. I've never trimmed his nails before.
6. Then I showed the vet the two bite-marks on my legs - the Cow bite-marks. It must have been three months ago that he bit me one night as I was trying to stop a fight between Bunny and him in my son's room. They were merely at the stand-off stage (about to begin) that I came between them by standing in front of Cow. Wrong move...he clutched my leg with his two front legs and his two canines sank deep into it. It was a matter of 2 seconds, I think....but the pain was...worse than childbirth!
Exactly, the vet said. NEVER try to stop a catfight this way. Splash water. Don't try to be a hero (okay...point taken).
8. Remember that a cat is not like a dog. A dog only has his teeth. A cat has its front legs, the back legs and its teeth. All these function as "weapons". Lethal weapons?
Yes, I know....and hey, wouldn't it be good if our cats could protect us from robbers and would-be assailants? Imagine an assailant threatening me and my 6 cats pounce on him/her from different directions, with a sum total of 6 sets of teeth, 6 pairs of front legs (with claws intact and un-trimmed) and another 6 pairs of hind legs (claws intact). Hey, who needs security, yah?
Yes, I'm imagining a scene from Disney's Aristocats and 101 Dalmatians....
If only that were possible, we'll have guard-cats working alongside guard-dogs! I think cats would be more lethal....
Imagine Cow coming from the left, Bunny from the right, Pole and Cleo joining forces from the back, Indy from the front...and Tiger? Oh, he's a Gandhi-Reincarnate (An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind), so he'd probably be in the background with his eyes closed, sending thoughts of "May you realise the error of your ways, you foolish human...May you never try to harm your fellow being again...."
"May all of you humans one day gain the wisdom of us cats..."