A couple of PET questions.

I now have four pets. 2 cats and 2 dogs (all “fixed”, except the kitten that is). And, yes, I live in the sticks with a large lot.

The Cats:
Chrystal - 7 yr old, female (mix)
Godzilla - 10-12 week old female (mix)

Both cats were abandoned as kittens. Chrystal hates Godzilla - and I mean HATES. Hisses and growls whenever they get close to each other. However, the vicious swatting has, for the most part, stopped.

My questions:
Can I assume that, over time, Chrystal will not hate Godzilla as much? I don’t expect bossum buddies but a little less hostility would be nice.

The Dogs:
Larry - will be 12 yrs old in December, Male Great Dane-Shepherd mix. Adopted from Humane Society when he was 6 weeks.
Samantha - 10.5 yr old, Female German Shepherd. Added to our family when she was 8 weeks old.

Samantha was added to our family because Larry was not good at being alone (while we were at work he would eat the house). Sam is FUSSY. Unusual for a dog I know, but she dislikes 90% of anything offered to her. Not a bad thing, except that she is alergic to beef, chicken and wheat and suffers from chronic ear infections as a result. We’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work. I’ve tried the Vet’s special food (60 bucks a pop) but she hates the stuff. Not to mention we can’t afford to feed Larry and Samantha won’t eat anything he doesn’t. We’ve tried ointments, creams, steroids, sprays - nothing eases the itching for her.

My questions:

  1. Is there anything I can do to for her? Do you know of any ear treatment stuff/routine that I can use to make her more comfortable?
  2. Any words of advice on how to help Samantha deal with being the only dog? She was pretty much raised by Larry and has spent almost every waking moment with him nearby. We’ve come to accept that he may not see his 13th birthday (he’s suffering from “bad hips”. It takes him 10+ minutes to climb our stairs). Any advise / comments would be appreciated.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and ideas.

I thought this was going to be a question about Polyethylene Teraphthalate.

PET resins are made from ethylene glycol and either terephthalic acid or the dimethyl ester of terephthalic acid. Most uses for PET require the material’s molecular structure to be oriented. Orientation of PET significantly increases tensile strength and reduces gas permeability and water vapor transmission.

It’s a plastic milk bottle.

“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” - Humphrey Bogart

Geez, UncleB, that’s obviously not the kind of PET the poster was talking about.

Orginally marketed in the 1970’s, the Commodore PET cost $795 out of the box. PET stood for “Personal Electronic Transactor”. The PET never enjoyed the success of other early personal computers like the Apple II and the Radio Shack TRS 80.

All these pet questions in GQ is crazy. What are we, Petopia.com?

“The world ends when I die. And as far as I’m concerned, the rest of the universe might as well call it a day too.” – Matt Groening

The cats could go either way. We’ve had cats that eventually came to love each other and at least one cat who only barely tolerated the other cats throughout her 19 year life. I have never seen an older cat who remained actively hostile for more than a few months.

I can’t really answer the dog question, although it is posible that Samantha could “adopt” Godzilla. We have had a dog that wanted to be “mom” to our cats.


UncleBeer and alphagene, what are you two thinking of? This was obviously a question of Parent Effectiveness Training!

(Or was that P.E.T. Condensed Milk?)

No, it’s about Positron Emission Tomography, a medical imaging technology.

MLAW (is that short for mother-in-law?), I can’t help much with the dogs - maybe Michelle will see this (she’s a certified vet tech - I’m still a trainee).

However, I can give you some hope for the cats. You don’t say how long you’ve had the new kitten, but I’m assuming only a few weeks. The older cat will, eventually, adjust to the kitten. They may not ever become bosom buddies, but more than likely you will come in one day and find them curled up sleeping together.

Look at it from the Chrystal’s point of view - here she is, queen of the house, got a nice routine, plenty of attention, etc. Then you bring in this young pipsqueak that wants to play with her tail, pounce on her while she’s napping, steal the best sleeping spots, hog the available petting/lap time, and compete for the food dish. Also, her position as ‘top cat’ is being challenged. Wouldn’t you be a little short-tempered with the young fart? She knows that if she wants any peace and quiet in her life, she better make sure the youngster knows NOW who is boss and what his place is in the household. If she trains him correctly now, he may grow up to be a properly respectful and devoted companion.

Provide the kitten with plenty of toys to amuse him so he won’t be pestering Chrystal so much (paper bags, boxes, and those little furry mice from Walmart are great).

This may sound silly, but if you have a serious dominance problem between the two cats, provide some shelves at different levels for them to sleep/lounge/play on. A cat tree, an old bookcase with some carpet or something tacked on, or just some extra shelves at different levels in the laundry room or something will do. The ‘dominant’ cat will choose the highest spot available while the subordinate cat will settle for a lower spot. For some reason this seems to relieve some of the stress for the ‘top cat’ - maybe because he/she can demonstrate dominance without resorting to violence.

Maybe also because from the upper position, Chrystal can bop that little pest on the head and send him on his way :slight_smile:

Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

Can’t help with the dogs, but perhaps I can add to BenDover’s response. I went through the same thing twice and aggree with Ben.

Cat #1 was 1 year old with #2 was added as a kitten. I couldn’t leave them in the same room alone without the aid of a SuperSoaker (these things are the BEST cat controllers around). Every chance #1 (female) had, she would go over and give #2 (male) a really good whack! When I left the house, I locked them in seperate rooms with individual cat boxes, toys, food, etc.
This went on the about 5 days then all of a sudden, I looked and saw #1 cleaning #2. They have been best buds since. They still wrestle once in a while (to prove who’s in charge I think) but that is always short, minor and no one gets hurt.

Adding #3 nearly 6 years was a different problem. Both #1 and #2 were now full grown and rather set in thier ways. #3 was seriously picked on for nearly 2 weeks until they finally realized he was harmless and they would not lack in thier allotted attention. #1 and #3 get along real well, #2 and #3 pretty much just tolerate each other.

I would say just to give them some time, protect the little one from anything really nasty and make sure the big one gets more than her usual amount of attention and she will settle in eventually.

As the possibility of me ever adding a #4…NO-FREAKING-WAY!!!

MLAW, hopefully Michelle will see this soon and help you out. As far as dog food, have you checked into a brand called Solid Gold? It’s hard to find, but there are several websites that advertise it and can ship it. I find it’s not too much more expensive than the regular good brands, but has a lot of good stuff in it that’s supposed to help with allergies. (Their training treats are absolutely awesome, too.)

As far as others disliking pet questions here, sorry about that. It’s still a general question. I got LOADS of good advice when I got my first puppy in GQ, and thank everyone who helped with great suggestions. Puppy’s doing fine, and now has a little puppy sister, who also is reaping the rewards of the good advice previously offered.

What if the hokey pokey is really what it’s all about?

There have been good answers about the kitties so far. Eventually, the cats should get along. Even if they don’t become friends, they should at least learn to tolerate one another. My female cat Annie, doesn’t care much for the three males (Angel, Cherokee, and Happy). Still, she leaves them alone, and they leave her alone and if they ever do annoy one another, a little hiss or growl and the skirmish is over. There are those rare instances however, where the cats never get along and do try to fight all the time.

As for the dogs, that is more complicated. It sounds like you have already done some allergy testing, since you know your dog is allergic to certain food ingredients. have you evert tested for environmental allergies as well? Who did your allergy testing? If your regular vet did it, I am sure that it is fine, but you may want to consider seeing a specialist. There are also many types of specialty foods out there for pets with allergies. I can’t vouch for any of the foods that you can buy at the pet store, but maybe your vet could find you a different food from the one you already tried.
In any case, if you are not getting good results with your regular vet, seek a second opinion, or get a referral to a specialist. Your pet should not have to suffer.

When Larry dies and Samantha is left as the only dog, the best you can do is give her lots of love and attention. Pets have been known to grieve for a lost companion, but for the most part, they get over it. She might be lonely for dog companionship, so you might want to get another dog after a while. Probably not a puppy, since Samantha is rather old herself, but an older, more laid back dog.

Also, I would like to mention that I am not a certified technician, although I am currently enrolled in a certification program. I have been a non-certified tech for about 3-4 years in general practice and now I do emergency/critical care at night.

“Love given when it is inconvenient is the greatest love of all. Kindnesses that are shared at a high cost to oneself are the most dear.”

Don’t know who said it, but I like it.

Damn! I thought it was going to be a question about Positron Emission Ttomography. Geez! Isn’t it bad enough that the Web’s pornographic gallery is diluted by so many home pages about peoples’ pets?


OK, that was supposed to be 'people**‘s** pets’.


Thanks everyone for you advise so far. It’s comforting to know that the cats could very well get along (ok, tolerate may be more accurate).

To answer the few questions I noticed:

  1. M.L.A.W. are my initials.
  2. I’ve had Godzilla just over a month now. And Yes, I do keep them separated at night. Chrystal still has the run of the house and Godzilla has the spare room (with food, water, cat box, bed).
  3. Unfortunately, Samantha would never accept another dog - no matter what the age. She is your typical female German Shepherd (possessive, teritorial and a “it’s mine-back off” attitude. She will provide warnings to get her point across. Larry out weighs her by 50 lbs and is just about twice her size and he will back off when “told”.
  4. I’ve seen two vets about Sams allergies. They both told me the same thing: “special food”. It’s too bad she hates the stuff. I’ve tried making food for her (rice, tuna, potatoes), which she also hates. We manage to control the ear problems with constant cleaning and a lamb based food (not to popular but at least they eat it).
  5. Another question: I’ve heard that authtritis (sp?) medication for humans is also good for dogs (thinking of Larry’s bad hips). Is this true? Or, do you know of anything I can give him to assist in his last year(s). He seems to have little pain but is quite stiff. Would be nice to be able to limber him up a bit.
  6. Thanks for the support on “posing my question here”. It is a general question and is no more or less important the “why isn’t Santa dizzy?”.

Thanks again for all of your comments. They are apprciated.


My mom’s Great Dane had very bad arthritis, to the point that she was having trouble walking. The vet put her on glucosamine, which I’ve also seen in natural food stores for human arthritis. It worked wonders.

IIRC, the vet said that it doesn’t work for every kind of arthritis, but when it does work, it’s like a miracle.

This was a few years ago, and I heard that one of the big vet schools (sorry, I can’t remember which one) was doing clinical trials, so there may be more information available about it now.

The Cat In The Hat

My vet also prescribes glucosamine, which comes in different forms and strengths.

The cats: I agree with the general concensus around here. I live with two, the “top cat” is fully half the size and weight of the submissive cat, but she runs the show. They have it worked out. (Actually, I hate my top cat…she is evil. Anyone want her?)

The allergies: man, I feel for you. A dog that is a FUSSY EATER??? Are you sure it’s a dog? True dogs are also known as living garbage disposals. To have those allergies and be so picky about her food…damn.

Well, my cocker had horrendous allergies and skin problems for years. Nothing helped. Then I switched from IAMS to some crappy store brand that was NOT made from wheat and she cleared up almost instantly and never had a problem again. There must be SOME kind of food she likes that won’t irritate her skin. My sympathies and regards on this one.


This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.