3 male cats get along, but all males attack female - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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3 male cats get along, but all males attack female

We have 4 cats. 3 males and 1 female. 2 males are 2.5 and brothers, the other is 6, and the female is also 6 year old. They have been living together about 8 months. Until recently, there hasnt been much of an issue with the males attacking the female. An occansional tussle between 1 particular male cat and the female like once a week ...

since we got back home from holiday travels, last week. All 3 male cats have been attacking the female cat. Mainly just paw slaps, then the female runs and the male follows. A little bit of growling and hissing. I havent seen any biting. 1 of the male cats almost seems obessed with her at times (until now, he has been the lazy " i dont care about anything cat). Usually like staring her down then she will run and he will follow her and slap her. This seems rather strange to me.

Anyone have any suggestions or ideas what might be going on....nothing in the household has changed recently.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 11:30 AM
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Are the males and females spayed/neutered? Even if all the males are neutered and the female isn't or the female is spayed and none of the males (or even one of the males) aren't neutered. This could cause those problems.

Also, what are the ages of your cats? This could influence their behavior as well.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 03:23 PM
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Well it seems "something" happened while you were on vacation. What arrangements did you make for your cats? Were they boarded out? Or, did you have someone come in to feed and check on them? If it was the latter, how much time did person spend each day? did the person observe the males attacking the female? did person always find the female isolated somewhere away from the males? Whatever happened, something triggered this increase in aggression of the males.

What is your reaction when you see a male attack, especially the one who was more inclined to bully here. Do you intervene or just observe and let them sort it out? Might be able to give some suggestions if you can give more feedback.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 08:38 PM
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I agree with catloverami, it certainly sounds like something happened while you were away, and it would be helpful to have more info.

Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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The cats were kept at home. A pet sitter came for about a half hour to an hour a day every day to feed, play, clean up after them.
The 4 of the cats were all at home for the travel time. All the cats were free to roam all over just like they usually are. The pet sitter made sure they were eating when she came. She observed no unusual behavior when she was there.

She didnt say she had observed the males attacking the female when she was there. She also didnt see the female isolated from the males constantly.

We try to intervene as much as possible when we see the attacking. We use the squirt bottle or usualy pick up sam and hold her for a bit until things calm down.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 12:55 PM
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What are all their ages and spay/neuter status?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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All spayed / neutered. Female is 6. 2 males are 2.5, last male is 6 yrs old. The one that seems obsessed with her is 2.5
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:43 AM
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May I suggest a vet visit for the female?
Sometimes when one cat is unhealthy the other cats pick-up-on-it and will attack them to isolate the 'ill one' from them. They do this to instinctively remove themselves from something that would attract a predator.
IF she is having a medical issue, this could catch it quickly, however, I think this sounds more like a behavior issue and you may need to isolate, monitor and do another re-introduction.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 08:47 PM
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In general, males and females don't get along so well, even if they are de-sexed. Men are bigger and thend to be bossy, they also play more rough and girls find them unbearable at times. I suppose you can calm them down at times when they start displaying aggression either by tempting them with a toy or calling them to a different part of the room/house. It looks like your boys formed an alliance to easily dominate the weaker females. It's important to speak very calmly to all of them when they behave as they tend to associate your calm voice with being together, thus diffusing the tension between them. If , based on pervious experiences, you are nervous when they are together, that can be a problem. Cats (and dogs) pick up the owner's insecurity or fears and they turn against the weakest around (in this case the females.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 09:51 PM
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Unfortunately, no advice I can offer, only sympathy, from one who is in an uncannily similar situation at present.

I, too, have three males and a female--males 2-1/2, 1-1/2, and 9 months, and female 2 years. All neutered/spayed and in excellent health. One male, Blizzy, likes to go after the female, Snowby, and--unlike you--it took me five months to be able to leave them out together. Even so, once or twice a day Blizzy would go after Snowby. However, she was able to move about the main area of the house. I went away for four days over Thanksgiving, had a cat sitter for a half hour to an hour a day, she thought things went fine. But when I returned, Snowby would not come down from the counters or shelves, except for mealtimes. She won't even cross the foyer to use the litterbox--I have to bring it over to her now.

Despite my not having travelled the past six weeks, the situation is not getting better. Blizzy attacked Snowby again today. She is not unnerved otherwise, is still eating normally, but she rarely ventures down from the counters or tables and stays in two rooms of the house. I have tried treats together, as I used to, to no effect.

This is your thread and your problem, not mine, but since I have been experiencing something similar, I'd be very interested if anyone comes up with any good ideas. I have been silent here as to this problem because, frankly, I am at the end of my rope, as this follows a full year of trying to get them to tolerate each other peacefully--and without saying more, I have to admit, the situation has now reached the point where I have run out of behavior modification options.

So good luck in trying to nip this in the bud. I should add that I do break things up as soon as I see it happening or even brewing, and Blizzy knows from my behavior that I disapprove of his stalking her. He just can't seem to help himself.

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