Split personality and a bully - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Split personality and a bully

Hi all. Anyone out there with a cat/cats with several personalities? I swear my cat does. One minute he is so sweet and loving and in a split second he will attack. My poor dog doesn't trust the cat at all and slinks when walking by because she doesn't know if she will be attacked or not - depends on the mood! Just seems like mood swings. He is neutered.

I also have another question - a few months ago I adopted a kitten. Whenever my first cat, Tiger, had the chance he would attack the poor kitten and bite and kick it. He was very mean to it and I ended up keeping the kitten upstairs away from Tiger. But if Tiger got upstairs he would do the same thing. He was very aggresive and downright mean. I ended up giving the kitten to my mother.

I would love to adopt another kitty, but am afraid to try it again. Could Tiger be the type of cat that just won't accept another kitty? We had cats years ago - 5 of them and I never had this problem. Sure there would be growling and hissing with each new addition but nothing like the display with Tiger. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Some cats really don't get along with other animals. If you are willing to have cats that may never like each other you could probably get away with adopting an older dominant cat. I have 2 full grown girls that hate each other and they fight, but they both can stand up for themselves so I don't worry like I used to. They both dish it out and they both take it too. Neither of them ever have visible scars either. They just swat and hiss. And yes, I did the slow intro that everyone suggests. I have had them both for 3 months and they come from different backgrounds. There has been a very small amount of progress in the past 3 months, but any progress is good.

I have asked many people if my cats will ever get along. What I have found is some cats eventually do get along, years later. There are some success stories on this forum. Some never do get along and just learn to live with each other.

It is hard to cats that don't like each other, but you get over the disappointment and love them for all their unique traits.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 10:19 AM
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My Assumpta can be like that. She has triggers (most of which I've figured out) that send her into a panicked rage. I just avoid the ones I can, and deal with the ones I can't avoid. Most of the time, she is absolute velcro-kitty/love bug, but when she tweaks, it is frightening. She was pretty hard to deal with when we first got her (it was sad, because she SO wanted to be loved and cuddled, but she'd just freak out if something scared her), but she has gotten easier to handle over the last 6 years. One thing I've learned is that there's no such thing as a random or surprise attack, we humans just have a hard time reading and interpreting the signs. Assumpta makes complete sense to herself, I just have a hard time catching up with her sometimes.

Introducing cats to other pets is always hard...most experts recommend complete separation and a gradual introduction process over the course of days, weeks, or months (depending on the animals and their progress). When we tried to introduce a dog last year (very slowly, doing all the "right" things), Assumpta reverted to a lot of her previous behavior (fear, aggression) and got quite sick from the stress of having another animal in her territory (even though the dog spent most of his time in a separate room...we ended up deciding that she would need to be an only pet for the rest of her life...though that is OUR decision, not hers. She likely would eventually "adjust" to another animal in her space, at least for the most part, but it seems to be evident that she wouldn't be the "same" cat that she is alone, and after we worked so hard to get her as far as she's come, we just don't want to see her go back to the withdrawn, afraid, hostile kitty she was when she came to us (not even a little bit)...so our conscious choice has been to commit to her as an only pet for the duration of her life.

If you decide to try another cat, do some research on cat-to-cat introductions, and go ridiculously slowly during the introduction process. It's hard for a cat who's defined his territory over a period of years to suddenly have another cat running around in it. You may look at getting an older cat (kittens can be intensely annoying to older cats), and one who is proven to deal well with other cats (most shelters have at least one or two cats who just seem to be able to live with any other cat without so much as turning a whisker).
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Thanks for your replies. As for Tiger not being very accepting of others I guess if there is a possibility that he might not ever accept another cat, then I had better leave well enough alone.

As for your comment Gudewife "seems to be evident that she wouldn't be the "same" cat that she is alone" I have given thought to that fact that if I persue this, it could change Tiger and I don't really want that to happen. I have just never dealt with anything like this. (unwillingness to accept another)

Glad he's not the only one who has "mood swings". Will pay more attention for "signs" of an oncoming attack! It's like a Jekyl/Hyde thing!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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My Baby is the same way. She is two faced. Sometimes she can be sweet & sometimes she just wants to be left alone. I guess she is like this because she was a feral before. But she is slowly getting used to us though.
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