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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-05-2013, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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My cats hate each other. Advice please??

Hi everyone,
This might be long so I do apologise!! I would be so grateful for any advice that anyone has.

I have two cats. Both 2 years old. One has been hand reared from 1 day old by myself (male) and the other I acquired at 6 weeks abandoned but she is not hand reared are 4 weeks apart in age.

They generally got on quite well, they would eat and sleep together and also groom eachother however the female has always been shy and reserved with strangers. The male however is outgoing and quite fiesty but very affectionate. He shows no fear to anything unlike the female who would rather hide and is very reserved (she was shy at 6 weeks and would hiss even then!)

In the past 2 months he has become increasingly aggressive towards her. He will bite her and pin her down while scratching her with his back feet. She is covered in bite and scratch marks. She will not really retaliate however does scream and hiss. As a result she has become so shy she hides 99% of the day and cowers away from any affection, she spends most of her day outside hiding ( he will not go out and is 100% house cat-she ventures to the garden but not far) and won't come anywhere near him at all. He will launch at her and pounce from the other end of the room which results in them fighting and her running away to hide. She now runs every time he comes into the room or near her. I am worries he may do some damage but so far it's been superficial wounds. He also tries to hump her if given the chance but she usually runs before he gets that close!!

I am pretty sure it is due to a house move 12 months ago in which they were also (very carefully) introduced to my dog, however I am not sure why they would start to behave this way only recently and not 10 months previously? They settled very well and seemed fine- more curious than anything. The house is bigger and they have access to everywhere in it. They don't seem fazed by the dog too much but do avoid him and he them, they don't really react at all to eachother but to be honest I am not sure how to introduce them further as he is a collie and I am worried he could chase them? They can be in the same room and the dog is never left alone with them. Even with the dog out of the house they behave aggressively to each other and it is never worse when he is around.

The male cat also humps objects and myself as well as her! He has been castrated and she has been speyed and they were both done at 4 months. They have been vet checked many times incase there was a cause. I have tried Felliway and other herbal remedies with no success. I have also tried discliplining the male by telling him no, spraying him with water and scruffing him- he does not care one but and just does it again 10 seconds later!
They have hundreds of toys, hiding places, bowls, 3x litter trays ( they use the toilet at the same time so no issue there?!!) and they are free to go anywhere they please.

If anyone has any advice I would be very grateful as I am considering rehoming one of my cats as I feel it's not fair on her to be constantly bullies or on edge, but I do love them both and I don't want them to be passed from pillar to post in a rescue center or worse. I wish I could keeps them seperate for life but in an open plan house with no real areas to shut off it's pretty much impossible unless one has a life in the kitchen!!

Thanks again!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-05-2013, 04:07 PM
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This is what I do for my cats (a boy and a girl) because they are not getting along well yet (hopefully in the future). The boy is twice the girl's size, so if they fight he will definitely win. Both of them were the only child for a while, and they started to live permanently together since early summer.

I clip my male cat nails once a week, front and back paws. Let the girl's nail grow and sharp. So she has the chance to fight back.

When they fight I usually yell at the boy especially if he corners her. I give him time out when he doesn't walk away after I yell. Means he stays in the other room alone for maybe 5-10 mins until he calms down. I just don't want him to associate her as target forever.

A lot of time my girl cat is the one who initiates the play, then it turns into fight. He is a lot bigger and a lot stronger so he needs to hold himself better. And I make sure the girl have the confidence to fight back if necessary by giving her all the claws privilege.

You may want to check some of My Cat from **** Episodes. I think there are several key points from Jackson Galaxy to handle cases similar to yours. I.e. proper reintroduction of the cats, giving the timid cat a safe place including a rearranging the furniture/house - giving her escape routes, making sure he can channel his energy into something else like play etc.

It's probably a phase that all male cats go through. My male kitty was really bad for a while. He is calming down a lot and now a total lap cat.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 08:18 PM
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There was a jackson episode on this actually... where one cat saw the other as a target and faught after a move... he had them go back to square one and reintroduced them.. the separate rooms and the smells.. and even haf them put in a screen door so they could see eachother but not fight.. at the end of the episode they were friends again... sounds like he's trying to drive her out of his territory. .. she needs her confidence back.. I would separate them

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-15-2013, 10:22 PM
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Compared to the others in this post, my experience with fighting cats was opposite. My family's first cat was Loki. He was an only kitten from a feral mommy kitty that roamed our farm, and after we tamed him he became an only kitty indoors for a year or two. Then my mom decided to adopt Milo.

Loki was usually a timid kitty, but he could get ornery for a golden (his mother WAS a tortie). We tried for a month to do the whole introduction thing, but he was not having it. Milo was the most relaxed cat I've ever seen- a lover, not a fighter- if you will. Every introduction ended in Loki hissing and running away. Finally, as a last resort we forced them to stay in a smaller room without hiding spaces for about two weeks. They had all of their meals and spent their entire day together, and we didn't let them out of the room until Loki finally became civil with Milo. Even then it seemed like he only tolerated the other cat in his space. However, I quickly found that he cared for Milo when I was spraying him with water for jumping on the counter and trying to get at food that wasn't his to take. He yowled and suddenly Loki came up behind me and bit me on the calf! It was totally not something he would do. When I turned to look at him, he gave me those big "uh oh, I'm in trouble" eyes and ran away. But in fact he wasn't in trouble. I was laughing so hard I had to go tell my mom about it.

I say all that to say this: Your situation is obviously a little different than mine (different cat personalities, etc), but I would say that if a reintroduction doesn't work, consider something a little non-traditional. It worked for us.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2013, 07:18 AM
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All this is assuming that both cats are fixed!! If not that is the likely root of the problem.

Try installing some Fel-i-way diffusers in each room and keep them separated for awhile then doing the reintroduction techniques outlined on this site. Treat them as if they were strangers to each other and you need to make initial introductions. The Fel-i-way should help, but don't stingy - buy one for every room because you need to saturate the house with the pheromones.
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