Sisters suddenly fighting
It's another of those "why do my cats suddenly hate each other" threads. Here's the situation.
We have two domestic short hair cats, age 2.5 years. They've been with us since they were 7 months. They are littermates adopted from a no kill shelter. They have always been the best of friends. They sleep together, eat together, even use each other's litterboxes. They groom each other, play together, hunt together, everything as perfect and peaceful as you can imagine.
Now that it is spring time again we've opened up the patio room for them to enjoy. This is a room they normal go into and are only locked out of when it is too cold to leave the door open in the winter. They have a cat tree out there and floor-to-ceiling views of the garden outside.
For the last couple weeks this has been their favorite place. One prefers sleeping on the cat tree and the other has a favorite spot on a chair. They wanted to be out there all the time. Only came in for food, water, the litter box and the occasional human grooming time.
Well last night after dinner (we feed them a can of wet food at night, which they eat side by side in the kitchen even sharing each other's bowls) they went back to the patio room. Two hours later, right in the middle of my 9pm TV show, I suddenly hear a fight break out.
This was a growling, hissing, wrestling, fur flying fight. Tails fluffed, backs arched, full fledged cat fight. Usually when they'd get a little too aggressive with the play wrestling I'd interrupt them and they'd back off. This time neither would pay the least bit of attention. They just wanted to kill each other.
Cricket (the smaller more timid one) had Bella (the fluffier more lap kitty) backed into a corner when I arrived. I thought perhaps it was misplaced aggression. Cricket saw something outside and got defensive then Bella surprised her. So we separated them for the night. Cricket got a time out in the laundry room.
This morning we opened the door again. Cricket and Bella individually are reacting fine to us. We can pick them up, pet them and they purr. But after a half hour of sniffing and licking each other, they suddenly decided to fight again.
Another growling/hissing, fur flying fight. Except this time it was Bella who was being the aggressor. There was no point doing a reintroduction since their smells are all over the house. They have always shared the place equally.
When I last left it, Cricket started the submissive behaviors (rolling over, licking her tail, looking away, backing away from Bella) while Bella was in her crouched/ready to pounce mode. She doesn't attack, just keeps a close eye on Cricket as if she's ready to defend herself. It's a Mexican standoff.
I don't know what to do. Separating them is not working. Distracting them with noise or water just makes Cricket more defensive aggressive. I have no clue what started this. I wasn't watching but it didn't sound like they were playing. There were no other animals or scents in the house. Nothing they seemed to be fighting over.
Only thing I can reason is that Cricket started a fight and won, but Bella is trying to reassert her dominance. She is dominant solely because she is less afraid. Cricket is always the one to give up and back away first.
Any ideas? Their claws are trimmed. They didn't appear to bite one another. They sound horrible but the wrestling is where the fur comes from. Both are shedding their winter coats. (Yes, we've been brushing them. Took off 4 brushfulls last night from Bella.)
Last edited by BroganMc; 05-15-2012 at 04:12 PM.