3 year old litter mates - aggression between each other - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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3 year old litter mates - aggression between each other

Hi all, I'm new here, but I've been scouring the net trying to figure out a solution to my problem and I thought it wouldn't hurt to try here.

I have two Korats, from the same litter that just turned 3 years old a few months back. Also a few months back, one of them started to get rashes up around her ears and dry patches on her skin.

Back in August, we took them both in because Jasmine (the one with the rash) had her rash got worse and we got worried. That trip went fine, we adjusted some of their foods and litter after as they thought it might be a skin allergy. Jasmine got her self an allergy shot to get over the rash.

Fast forward to the last week of October, Jasmine has what appears to be another allergic reaction to something and her eye swells up. It's late at night, so we're off to a 24 hour vet, and I don't take her sister Mila with her this time on that vet's recommendation. Well, big mistake. When I brought Jasmine home that night her Mila acted like she didn't even know her and was hissing and growling at her. This went on for two days with me keeping them separated and after 2-3 days we got them in the room again and they appeared to love each other again.

It should be said that prior to that trip to the vet, you wouldn't find two cats that loved each other more. They went everywhere together in the house, slept together constantly, grooming each other, inseparable. We had gotten them back to this state, which was a giant relief.

Fast forward again to last Friday, and now they are due for their annual vet checkup. After an ordeal getting Jasmine into the carrier that involved nervous peeing on the floor we finally got them in the car and off we go to the vet. Our vet does a couple of skin tests on Jasmine to see if her allergy problem is not an allergy problem (tests were negative), and they both get their yearly rabies vaccine (Purevax).

We come home and everything seems to be okay, at least this time they shared the traumatic experience so we thought they'd bond over that. Oh were we ever wrong. Jasmine started to get extremely needy and affectionate with us and Mila and eventually Mila snapped and started the hissing and the growling. We separated them for a couple of days, because at the same time, Jasmine appeared to react to the rabies vaccine (skin crawling, excessive rapid licking herself, and a bit of paranoia). We assumed that Mila was reacting to whatever reaction Jasmine was having.

After a couple of days again, the two got back together and curled up and we seemed to be on the road to recovery. Two days after that I came home after leaving them alone for a couple of hours and we were back to square one again with the hissing. Jasmine appears to make it worse for herself this time again because she wants attention from her sister and she's getting very close to her pushing the issue. We tried separating them again, but it didn't appear to help, so today I've been letting them go free and try to work this out for themselves.

The odd part is, they will sleep together like they used to at night, cleaning each other. Then they are fine in the morning, by the afternoon they are having issues, and then later in the evening they calm down again.

Products I've tried: Feliway diffuser, liquid catnip on the noses to confuse smells, and tons and tons of playtime to get them in the same room socializing. When they focus on the toy, the anger seems to be gone.

After a short novel, I guess my question ultimately is whether there is any other advice or guidance on why this is happening, and what we can do to help. I'm wondering if Jasmine still has a foreign smell to Mila and that's why she's reacting, and if so, what would be causing that foreign smell. If it's not a smell, and just a behavior/dominance issue (because Jasmine is being overly affectionate and needy), when do they go back to normal. There hasn't been a serious attack yet, but it's somewhat unsettling and makes us nervous seeing Mila acting out like this.

Anyhow, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading. And I appreciate any advice.

Cheers, Tom
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 09:29 PM
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Hi...welcome to Cat Forum!

A good part of what you're seeing is pretty normal, although having it go on for a week is a bit extreme. When a cat goes to the vet it picks up all kinds of foreign smells and the cat(s) at home tend to respond almost as if it's a new cat coming into the house, although the response is usually short lived...a day or two as you previously experienced.

Taking both to the vet at the same time is also a stressful experience, and while they smell the same, it still may cause some relationship issues. As I said, a week is a pretty long time for this to go on though.

Here's what I would do...continue with the Feliway diffusers. I don't consider them a miracle cure, but in my experience they do seem to help. I would stop putting the liquid catnip on the nose; first off that's a very overbearing scent and second I find that catnip can just as easily cause aggression as it does make them high. I rarely use it because it tends to make my cats fight. I'm not sure how often you've used it and how long it lingers, but I think this could be a contributing cause to the extent of the issues. Continuing the play sessions is good too. I would also use treats during the play session so they associate additional good things with being together and getting along.

I would wash the catnip off their noses. Take a towel, rub it on one, then the other and back on the first to intermingle their scents. I would also put a drop of vanilla extract on the back of each of the necks. You can also try some Rescue Remedy for a couple days. Give it a few days and I'm betting they'll be back to normal.

In the future, I suggest you do the towel rubbing and vanilla thing as soon as they come home from the vet.

Good luck with Jasmin's rash issues, those are tough to solve. Hope you get it figured out soon.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2007, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebug
Taking both to the vet at the same time is also a stressful experience, .
I take all three of mine to the vet for their annual exams and if you think that's stressful for the cats, I come home a total wreck.

Welcome also from me, and do post pics of your cats in "Meet My Kitty."
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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The liquid catnip was actually the breeder's suggestion. I haven't noticed much difference personality wise, just they both seem more hyper.

The issue pretty much boils down to this. If they are sleeping or lounging they can pretty much be fine around each other, then randomly the hissing starts for no apparent reason.

All day they were mostly fine with each other's presence, there was a little growl here and there, but nothing major and they hung out together. Then they slept curled into each other cleaning each other for 2 hours, got up, stretched and then ten minutes later there was Mila hissing her face off, and Jasmine confronting her and trying to attack.

For the past two days I've let them try to work it out, but seeing Jasmine not backing down with the hissing I wasn't sure how serious her attack was so I separated them again.

Discouraging to say the least. Half an hour ago I thought we had finally gotten over everything and here we go again.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 06:35 PM
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Take a deep breath because that's going to continue and it's perfectly normal to experience ups and downs. So long as the long-term trend is improving, then don't get too down about the daily setbacks. Chin up!!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-17-2007, 06:53 PM
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A little hissing and confrontation is something that you can let them work out by themselves. Even if they start smacking each other a bit I wouldn't be too concerned. It's an all out fight that you want to avoid and if you've ever seen one, it's unmistakable...the screeching and yowling is ear splitting. Keep a squirt bottle handy in case that happens, don't get your hands or body in the middle of it.

But quite honestly, I don't see it progressing to that point if they are cuddling and grooming each other at other times. I think you just need to let them work this out themselves, although I'd still recommend using the towel rubbing and vanilla.

I still stand by my concern about rubbing catnip on their noses. Cats have a highly refined sense of smell and use it to identify people, toys, food, locations in the house, their litterbox etc. By having the catnip smell over powering everything, it basically upsets their world and makes everything foreign. Putting the liquid catnip on the back of their neck instead of vanilla would be fine, it's putting it on the nose that bothers me.


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