Having trouble with a bit of aggression suddenly - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Having trouble with a bit of aggression suddenly

My Coco has been here 3 weeks - a bit of a honeymoon period has gone by and she has been on her best behavior. Suddenly during the past 2 days she has out and out attacked Lacey - an 8yo with a bad heart and failing kidneys. Its at the point where I lock up Coco when she does this. I can't trust her to be alone in the house with Lacey if we are gone which is much of the day. Lacey is declawed and frail and Coco is not either of those.

I worry for my old girl and wonder if Coco will try to establish dominance over my 18yo nearly blind Missy next. I feel an obligation to protect them. I have ordered several Fel-I-Way diffusers for the house and will talk to the vet about an anti-anxiety med for Lacey if the diffusers don't work. The attacks have triggered a growling response in Lacey which sets Coco off.

I feel so bad about this - all on the heels of my old girl Zipper's passing. I really thought Coco was an angel - not a tyrant bent on dominance. If all else fails I will need to rehome her for sure and this thought makes me so sad. I'd like to hear if anyone in multi cat households that have dealt successfully with this. I don't want to keep Coco locked up all the time but I can probably work out a door closing system to keep them separated for awhile.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 09:03 PM
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So sorry to hear this. I can't offer any solution but hope someone here can and hope things will work out well for you and Coco.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 09:20 PM
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I am also wondering if she might be stressed because of her recent illness?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 09:20 PM
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WOW Marcia! That's would be upsetting!
How often are you involving Coco in play sessions?
How is Coco around Jack now?
One thing I seriously suggest is to keep Coco's claws trimmed, you may have to trim every week for a while...but it won't be that bad because you'll probably find only a couple of nails on each foot grow fast enough to get 'dangerous'!
Before I do any face to face intro's with new cats, all of my residents get front and back nail trims! This is a 'Just in case...' preventative!
I also like to have everyone well fed before intro's, its harder to have a hissy fit with a full belly!

How is Lacey acting otherwise with her normal daily habits?
If you start seeing major changes, than she is probably getting stressed out...
However a few changes are normal when a new cat is brought into the mix...
Are there particular times that Coco pounce's/swats at Lacey?
Take note...
Is there any litter box 'guarding'?
Feeding time issues?
Anything you observe can give some clues!
Don't give up on Coco yet...
And Lacey might not be,
being as bullied as you first might think...

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:42 AM
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You know that's true what 10c2d said - sometimes the 'bully' is not the culprit, sometimes it is the attitude of the other animal that can provoke the attack. Not that it makes any difference in this situation really, given Lacey's ill health and declawed state. I agree you have to protect her. But I do remember in the beginning when Coco first came you mentioned Lacey just staring at her - that in itself can be a form of aggression.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Heather and 10c2d, that is exactly what I've been telling my hubby. As long as Lacey does not provoke her, C is fine and just ignores her. It's when Lacey growls or swats at her that C lunges back. I mean, full on lunge and fighting mad type of going after her. We are doing a ballet of separations this morning and so far so good. We had her nails trimmed last week when we did the blood panel, but yes, I plan on keeping them snipped just in case.

As to play, OMG, this girl can play!!! She never gets tired of it!! If I didn't know better I'd say she was more like 1.5 or 2 years old vice 6!! I'm also wondering if Da Bird is getting her too worked up and bringing out the savage beast in her. I might have to stop using that as a play toy.

We have another appt with the vet for the recheck blood panel for her dental on the 25th. I'm going to talk to the vet about a mild anti-anxiety med if the Fel-i-ways does not help. I've ordered 2 more, but may pick up a 4th today from Petsmart to make sure the house is saturated with feel good vibes. Thanks all for the positive help. I appreciate it. Intro's went so well - I thought this was a match made in heaven!!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 10:02 AM
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Aw, so sorry to hear that there are a few problems

In reading what a zillion cat and some dogs said, and Heather, it makes loads of sense!! Lacey sounds like "the aggressor". Staring is hugely rude and aggressive in the cat world. Cats hate to be stared at. And now Lacey is also growling which just enforces the message to Coco to defend.

Coco is doing what comes natural and defending. She is in a new place and "on her toes" especially with all the kitty eyes in your house.
I wouldn't blame DaBird on bringing out anything in Coco, really I wouldn't. If anything it is working out some energy that she might be keeping pent up!!

I would seriously see if there is anything that the vet can recommend for Lacey. She is obviously anxious with her illness, perhaps feeling vulnerable and over reacting towards other cats... and Coco is new.

I'm sorry there are issues, Marcia. Hopefully they can get ironed out soon.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the vote of confidence, cat face! Hubby is off today and the heavens opened up and smiled on me!! He agrees with me now that Lacey is the problem. While I was cleaning the cages at Petsmart this AM, he said that Jack swatted at Coco in play and Missy hissed at her when she passed too close and there was no reaction from Coco at all. Lacey growled and Coco started lunging towards her but DH intervened and put Lacey in the study where she settled down and went to sleep. He is now a believer.

I purchased another diffuser from Petsmart this AM for that room and put it on a timer. I don't think it needs to be 24/7 so I made it on for the hours she is most likely in there. At least we better understand what we are dealing with today. He said he loves Coco and does not want to rehome her - we can work out a system of separation. I love that guy.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 01:47 PM
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Marcia,
I agree with Cat face on the 'Da Bird' toy helping to work out pent up energy for Coca!
Since Coca is such a little Energy Ball!
Also spend more time with Lacey, she needs to know she's Important and not being replaced!
The more you can keep to a usual schedule with your original cats...
the easier it is to assimilate a new one, I've found...
Your Hubby gets a BIG Thumbs Up!up:up:
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 03:12 PM
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Do you think it is because Lacey is so vulnerable now and doesn't feel good?
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