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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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One cat beating up on the other - help!

I have two cats, Montressor and Midway. Both are neutered males. Montressor is 20, Midway is 13.


Montressor has always been the passive submissive cat, he has always accepted being at the bottom of the cat ladder. Midway is all personality and has always been a dominant force. Midway also has always had play aggression and a strong prey drive (if it runs it is to be chased). In the past Midway would chase Montressor until Montressor had enough, Montressor would turn and stand his ground and make an angry sound and Midway would immediately cease the chase (or sometimes run past and then back and forth a bit in what looked like trying to get Montressor to chase him). However in the last couple of years Midway just won't let up and Montressor has stopped trying to stand his ground and runs unless cornered. He'll hiss and growl and Midway will ignore it. It's play, I've seen him pounce and run and it's not serious in the slightest, but Montressor is scared. Very recently there's been some redirected aggression, if Midway wants something from us that we are not doing (like taking him out on a leash) then if he spots Montressor he's after him.


It probably started a couple years ago, but it's been getting worse and worse and now it's hit intolerable. Montressor will flinch if he unexpectedly sees Midway. I never can tell if the two of them are going to nap peacefully close together for a while or other parallel activity or if any second Midway will decide right then to jump Montressor. There have been times that Montressor has walked in the room and I look at Midway and his pupils dilate from slits to wide open in an instant once he sees Montressor. They used to have happy grooming sessions but lately all I've seen is one give the other two licks and then leave.


I have tried territory swapping, I have tried lots of red light laser time, I have tried things to make Montressor feel more confident, I have tried feeding them canned tuna together so they have happy times together. Nothing seems to work. Montressor will no longer say "enough" with conviction and Midway is equally happy sharing the cat tree with Montressor for a couple hours as he is when chasing him off the cat tree.


I was able to get them to the vet yesterday to see if there were physical problems that could be contributors and nothing. The vet said it's 100% behavior. Midway is super healthy, Montressor has arthritis but otherwise is in great shape for his age. The vet said try Feliway, so I bought some. The vet said that the death of a third cat two years ago could be a contributing factor; he likened it to a child having a sibling die and then the child changes dramatically from the loss.



Does anyone have any other ideas to restore the peace in the house? Montressor certainly deserves to have a peaceful home. Thank you.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 10:52 PM
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This situation is like a 95 y.o. guy being harassed by a 45 y.o. bully, who is in the prime of his life. Who would stand for that!? I cannot think of anything you can do to change Midway's behavior.....My opinion based on your detailed description of his behavior is that's just his personality and how he's wired genetically. Montressor's arthritis seems to be bothering him, either in his mobility and/or pain and does not have the strength or will to "stand his ground" any more. He is now fearful and afraid of Midway by running away from him.....he doesn't want to have anything to do with Midway's rough bullying. If he were my cat I would separate them, and let Montressor live out the rest of his days in peace and comfort. Age 20 is very old for a cat; the oldest cat I've known was a neighbor's cat who reached the age of 25 before he had to eventually be euthanzied when his health failed.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
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in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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It's not non-stop, so hard to justify 100% separation. There's plenty of times where they can be in the same room and co-exist peacefully, sometimes just inches between them as they are napping, peacefully eating side-by-side a snack of canned tuna or catnip, even the few couple of licks before walking on. The litter box ,the food dishes, and the little stairs we have all over so Montressor doesn't have to jump have been completely conflict free. Midway is just unpredictable, he just gets it in his head that it's chase time. If I can keep Montressor in the same room in a safe spot, then just as unpredictable Midway stops looking for a way to get at Montressor, focuses on something else, and Montressor walking by 30 seconds later doesn't trigger anything. When I took them to the vet and they were sniffing every inch of the room after the vet tech walked out, Montressor seemed to get some comfort by being near Midway. When they are upstairs (Montressor's territory) there's no issues and they are more apt to groom each other. When we come home, plenty of time Montressor is downstairs (Midway's territory) and is calm.



I just want to get the unpredictable times down to as close to none as possible, and make it easier to redirect Midway in seconds when trouble starts, and get Montressor to tell him to stuff it (like he used to do) which involved no physical conflict, just body language and vocalization.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 12:19 AM
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The only way to draw off some of Midway's aggression is engaging him in regular active play......20 mins. at a time, twice a day minimum. If he's bored with the laser (because he can never catch the dot), then get some different toys---a wand type with feathers on the end, and wave it around in imitation of a bird flying, landing, and hopping around on the floor, landing on furniture, etc. Let him catch the bird occasionally. Try some ping pong balls....some cats like to play with one in a bath tub. Try some of the spirals/spings (available at a pet store), as they are light weight and easily batted around. Throw them for Midway, and encourage him to bring it back. Cats can retrieve small toys (mousies, springs) like a dog once they get the hang of it. Some pick it up fairly easily, others never get the hang of it. The point of all the play is to tire him out and drain off aggression. Good luck, all the best!

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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