Help- 2 cats not getting along - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 33
Help- 2 cats not getting along

I have 4 cats. 3 males and 1 female. Vincent and Holland are 6 years-old. Leo and Caesar (brothers) are 2 years-old. Vincent has territorial issues with Leo (and is fine with Caesar).

They were OK for the first few months they were together but for the last year Vincent chases Leo and won't let him roam around freely. Vincent is the aggressor.

I feed all 4 cats together. They are about 10 feet from each other. When it's time to eat Leo and Vincent will go up to each other in an "I'm checking you out" kind of way but it's always while I'm standing right there with them.

Does anyone have any advice on how to go about eases the tension and hopefully resolving their issues?


I haven't tried this advice I read on about.com yet...

"Begin by putting the aggressor in a less-desirable room behind a locked door with food, water, and a litter box. The victim cat, on the other hand, should be allowed to roam freely and have access to the more favorable areas. The aggressors should only be allowed out when they can be supervised. At the first sign of aggression, it needs to return to the less-desirable room. You may want to try leashes and harnesses to gain control of the animals. In addition, put a bell on the aggressor so the other cats always know where it is. Use rewards to condition cats to each other, such as treats, massage, and grooming. Do not use physical punishment...ever. It will only make things worse."
colin72 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 10:58 AM
Premier Cat
 
Susan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,597
The best, and perhaps the only, way to deal with an aggressive cat and a victim cat is to separate the cats for a while and do a gradual re-introduction. How long to separate them and how long the re-introduction will take will depend on how severe the aggression is...and, in some cases, two cats might never get along, regardless of what you do.

A mini re-introduction is essentially what is suggested in the about.com advice you quoted, although I don't see the point of the "less desirable" room part. In fact, if by a less desirable room, they mean something small with no windows, etc., then I would disagree with that part, since locking up the aggressor in such a room for any length of time will likely only aggravate him further.

Here is a link to a helpful article, which outlines the reasons for aggression between cats (I suspect social maturation is the issue in your case), along with how to manage the aggression depending on its severity. ASPCA - Virtual Pet Behaviorist - Aggression Between Cats in Your Household

BTW, I assume all of the cats have been neutered/spayed. If not, you should arrange to have that taken care of. Good luck!
Susan is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan View Post

Here is a link to a helpful article, which outlines the reasons for aggression between cats (I suspect social maturation is the issue in your case), along with how to manage the aggression depending on its severity. ASPCA - Virtual Pet Behaviorist - Aggression Between Cats in Your Household

BTW, I assume all of the cats have been neutered/spayed. If not, you should arrange to have that taken care of. Good luck!

Yes, all of my cats have been spayed/neutered.

Thanks for the link. In the articles it says, "Behavioral medication may be helpful in reducing a domineering catís aggression and a skittish catís fear, making the reintroduction go more smoothly and quickly."

Does anyone know anything about/have any experience with "behavioral medication"?
colin72 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 11:58 AM
Premier Cat
 
Susan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 4,597
There are a few members here who have tried behavioral medication, and perhaps they will reply with their experiences. Normally one would only resort to medication as a last resort, and you would need a prescription from your vet for any of behavior medication.

There are also non-prescription formulas that a lot of members here, including myself, have used successfully. These include Feliway, Rescue Remedy, Spirit Essences, Bio-Calm, etc. They can be obtained from pet stores and/or the web. Since they're not drugs, no prescription is required.
Susan is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 12:53 PM
Premier Cat
 
catloverami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,139
So this all started a year ago when Leo was 1 y.o. and coming into maturity. What was the relationship between Vincent and Leo before then?....have you had them from the time they were kittens? How well socialized was Vincent? Did you have Vincent as a kitten?, what age?, what age was he weaned and taken from his littermates? Was there any incident that you can recall that started Vincent chasing Leo in an aggressive manner, such as a move, new person in house. Has Leo tried to dominate Vincent either subtly or openly?---e.g. take the favourite sitting places, be overly aggressive in play?

Last edited by catloverami; 01-28-2011 at 12:55 PM.
catloverami is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
Jr. Cat
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
So this all started a year ago when Leo was 1 y.o. and coming into maturity. What was the relationship between Vincent and Leo before then?....have you had them from the time they were kittens? How well socialized was Vincent? Did you have Vincent as a kitten?, what age?, what age was he weaned and taken from his littermates? Was there any incident that you can recall that started Vincent chasing Leo in an aggressive manner, such as a move, new person in house. Has Leo tried to dominate Vincent either subtly or openly?---e.g. take the favourite sitting places, be overly aggressive in play?

Leo was one of four in a stray litter. I brought them into my home when they were about 3 months old because they were afraid of people and would be euthanized if taken to a shelter. They were kept in a room by themselves away from Vincent and Holland. The plan was to socialize them and then take them to a shelter. To make a long story short, one of them was having seizures. Thousands of dollars and months later, it became obvious I was going to have to keep the kitten with seizures (Caesar). I also decided to also keep Leo because he was such a great kitten. Caesar's seizures (try saying that ten times fast) took months to get under control. He was spinning around and urinating 3-5 times every 24 hours. I didn't want to keep Caesar in a room by himself so Leo kept him company.

By the time they finally were introduced to Vincent and Holland, they were about 9 months old. Things seemed OK for 3-4 months but I was worried how Vincent would react to Leo and Caesar. He's kind of jumpy and doesn't like to be held very much.

I don't know of any incident that started all this. No move. No new person. Leo has never chased Vincent or been aggressive with him.

I've had Vincent since he was 10 weeks old. He was neutered when I got him. He was about 6 months old when I got Holland.

I asked this same question on another forum and someone suggested a vet check for Leo would be a good idea. They said that if Leo is injured, Vincent could be sensing that and picking on him or if Leo is ill and he smells different that could be making Vincent pick on him. Well, there could be something to this. Leo has chronic congestion and a runny nose and sneezes. He's been to the vet many times. I've been told that some cats just have colds like this... I've been told he may have allergies. He's been tested for this and that and given different medications. I'm actually taking him to the vet this Monday.

So the congestion/sneezing could be what freaked Vincent out.
colin72 is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 12:24 AM
Premier Cat
 
catloverami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,139
Cats seem to recognize sneezing as a sign of weakness. I've always noticed that when I sneeze my cats come and meow at me, get in my face and are concerned. Cats will pick on a weaker one, so that might be what triggered it. Since you got Vincent at 10 weeks, he really missed out on an important socialization period with his littermates, as from 7-14 weeks that is the age when they learn their cat manners. What is too hard a bite, when play is too rough, toleration of being pounced on and when to sheath their claws. Some cats will learn to play nice but some never really do, and you really just have to take measures to discourage any really bad fighting by keeping cats separated. Sometimes even that doesn't work and a cat needs to be rehomed where it is an only cat. Male cats, even tho neutered, tend to be more territorial by nature than females, and it could be Vincent thinks Leo is intruding too much in his territory.

So what to do? When you see your cats interacting well, always reward them for good behavior, with affection, treats or with play. You could disagree with Vincent's behaviour when he goes after Leo by going after him and stomping you feet, saying a stern No! at the same time and giving him a hard unblinking stare. This is showing him that you are the alpha in the house and don't like what he's doing and will object to it. Often in a group of cats, one of them will be the policeman or referee. I had a female that would not tolerate any fights and would get in between the combatants and box both their ears. They respected her as the group alpha, and would stop fighting and then walk away and behave. Do balance your discipline with lots of loving to Vincent when he is being a good boy. I always believe it's better if you can modify behavior rather than having to resort to medication. I think a vet visit for Leo would be a good idea as well.

I commend you for all the care you've given Leo and especially Caesar, many people would not have gone to the lengths that you have. Let us know how things go.
catloverami is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome