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Old 12-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default One y/o cat being mean to 5 m/o Kitten.

My roommate and I adopted two cats, Moosey and Ziggy. Moosey is my cat and she is about a year old. Ziggy is my roommate's cat and she is the 5 month old. Both cats came from the same place and were adopted at the same time.

Moosey lived in the shelter for 9 months and did not like any other the other cats there. She had a very hard time getting used to our apartment and still, after 5 weeks, she is a little skittish.

At first, she would hiss at Ziggy and then she started to tolerate her. One evening she started licking Zigs and I was so excited. The next night, she started licking her again, but then started biting the front of her neck and being very rough and Ziggy started throwing a fit. Hissing and growling. She sounded like she was being murdered. I broke them up and everything was fine. The next night the same thing happened. Now, about 3 weeks later, Ziggy will hiss at least 10 times a day because of Moosey. Sometimes because she is being mean and chasing her or "playing" and other times Moosey can just look at her wrong. For the most part they get along fine, but sometimes they fight so bad. I use a spray bottle to train them both (staying away from our food, staying off of places they shouldn't be), so when she is being mean I use it on her, but sometimes it makes her so skittish she will hide under the bed for hours. Ziggy will try to play with her which makes me think she isn't hurting her too bad.

Ziggy is getting to the age where she needs to be spayed, so could that be the problem? Or is Moosey really being mean? Or is she just playing and Ziggy is too small right now?

I love these kitties like children already, which makes it so hard to think one is being hurt. My roommate is rarely home (he goes to film school) so I spend a lot of time with Zigs.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would really appreciate it.

Last edited by marie73; 12-29-2012 at 08:55 PM. Reason: font
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds pretty normal. I've got a 10 month old kitty who has a really hard time understanding all the foster kittens he's seen come through here. He's also ENORMOUS (over 11 lbs and not an ounce of it is fat) but just a baby and has no idea he's playing as rough as he is with the kittens. It's something that should continue to improve with time. Just keep breaking them up when things get out of hand (if kitten starts crying). Meanwhile, maybe try giving them both treats together, or brushing them at the same time, so they associate each other with rewards and yummy-ness. 5 weeks isn't very long, and after 9 months at a shelter, that's a big adjustment to make.

Does each cat have a space they can go to and get away from the other cat? It's important that they can choose to be alone if they want to.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Moosey is a big cat as well (hence the name, Moose).

They ripped into their treats the other day (picture below) and I haven't been able to get to the store to get some new ones.

I think you are right, time will make it better. Zigs will get bigger and show Moosey what it feels like. Haha. And you're right. 5 weeks is a short time.

Thank you!!

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Old 12-29-2012, 06:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i've had plenty of food bags that looked like that. even my food. thus, everything is stored in the fridge.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venusworld21 View Post
Does each cat have a space they can go to and get away from the other cat? It's important that they can choose to be alone if they want to.
I forgot to answer this previously.. They have the whole apartment, really nothing is off limits to them except for when we are eating but I try to feed them at the same time we eat so it is easier. There are several places to hide and we also have a loft. A lot of times I will take Ziggy and remove her from Moosey and hug on her and she calms down. Or other times she will go at Moosey and then they start fighting all over again. I know they both want to play, but I am afraid that if I remove Ziggy every time she will be conditioned to think she will get rewarded every time she gets upset. I am not sure if cats make those connections, but they have certainly conditioned themselves to know when it is time to eat or time to play or when I am coming home from work (which is about the time they get to eat dinner).
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The only time you should need to separate them during play is if they get too rough (you'll know because the kitten will start crying). You shouldn't need to calm Ziggy down each time either. You want their interactions with each other to be positive, so once you break up the tussle, you can try to pet both of them (together). You want the other kitty to be a positive thing for each cat.

And I know how the torn treat bags go! My cat treats all live in a very high cover or a treat jar with a locking lid. Once, my cats even tore open a bag of pancake mix that had similar packaging to their treat bags. Silly kitties!
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ziggy definitely needs to be spayed. I'm surprised that a shelter would adopt out a cat without being fixed. Most shelters and rescues spay at 2/2 now (two months old and at least two pounds).

I would keep them separated while you're not around until they start getting along all the time. Right now, I'd let them sort things out while you're around as far as the hissing is concerned. How often do they actually fight?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venusworld21 View Post
You want their interactions with each other to be positive, so once you break up the tussle, you can try to pet both of them (together). You want the other kitty to be a positive thing for each cat.
I would love to do that but as soon as I get up, to separate them, Moosey runs away. I play with them together every night. I even used a cardboard box as a new toy. I cut a hole big enough for them to get into, then some smaller holes for them to stick their hands into. Zigs got in the box and stuck her hands out and they played together.

It's really strange, but they haven't fought at all today. They must know I am talking about them.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
Ziggy definitely needs to be spayed. I'm surprised that a shelter would adopt out a cat without being fixed. Most shelters and rescues spay at 2/2 now (two months old and at least two pounds).

How often do they actually fight?
I'm not really sure why they didn't spay her. I live in LA and the lady said you have to write a $50 check to the shelter and then get a voucher when it is approved they tear up the check. I have never adopted a cat myself before, so I am not sure how it works.

She is my roommate's cat and he is in New York for the holiday so I will make sure he takes her when he gets back.
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