Adult female recently started terrorizing 6-mo/old female, both spayed - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-31-2014, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Adult female recently started terrorizing 6-mo/old female, both spayed

A little background....I have six feral cats living around my house. There were originally 4 kittens and an adult I thought was their mother ("she" had identical markings to one of the kittens, except where the "mother" was grey and white, the kitten was black and white). The adult would call the kittens to come and eat and they would join her. Eventually, it was just the kitten who looked like "her" that came. I named all but one of them, to keep things straight. A full black (I thought was male) named Uncle Inky, a grey and white tabby named Tattie, a tuxedo name Little Mama, and another female tuxedo I never named. I intended to TNR them, but I had a back issue that turned into surgery and in the meantime, the two tuxedos had litters about a month apart. Only one kitten each, thankfully. Little Mama had hers first, a little grey male named Raggylug. The two of them hung out every day with Big Mama (the "matriarch) eating and playing. About a month after Little Mama first showed up with Raggylug, the other tuxedo brought her tiny grey and white baby (female named Tiny) to eat. That was the only time I saw them together. A month or so later the tuxedo disappeared and Tiny started coming to eat on her own. She was still very small and very fearful and would just eat and run. Raggylug would try to play with her, but she would run away. Eventually, she became less fearful and discovered Big Mama who became the nurturer of both kittens. The three of them are still frequently together. The others usually come to eat singularly, but do sometimes eat with one or two others. Another thing about Tiny is that she is very feisty. She has stood up to raccoons and tom cats, with her little back arched until they finally went away. She doesn't back down. So that's the lead up.

When I recovered from my surgery I prepared to TNR and over about a month starting in November, I was able to catch all remaining six. (Tiny's mama never has reappeared). That's when I discovered that Big Mama, the matriarch, was really Big Daddy. (I still find that fascinating, that he mothers his children and grandchildren.) And Uncle Inky was really Aunt Inky. The vet was supposed to notch the ears on all of them, but only Little Mama actually came home notched. After they were all TNR, I noticed Big Daddy seemed to be hostile towards Inky and would chase her when she came to eat. This was new behavior, but Inky seemed to be able to take care of herself. However, within the last couple of weeks, Inky has begun terrorizing Tiny. I have a very soft spot in my heart for Tiny because she was orphaned so young and because she is so little. She's 6 to 7 months old and half the size of Raggylug who's 7 to 8 months old. Inky is at least two and a half times Tiny's size. I have a spy cam set up at the feeding area so I can keep an eye on things and four times in the past week or two I've either heard cat fight noises or seen Inky chasing Tiny on the video. I run out and Inky has her cornered and when they see me they both run. The first time there was a clump of Tiny's fur where I'd seen them fighting on video, and pee and poop, too. Tiny pees with fright every time this happens. I'm scared for her that Inky will hurt or kill her. I'm clueless as to why Inky has started doing this and I don't know what to do about it or how to keep Tiny safe. I've never spent any time around cats until these guys, so I don't know what is normal behavior and what they might be capable of doing to each other. Research hasn't helped much because most information about cat-on-cat aggression is on domesticated cats. The only thing I can think of is kind of far-fetched. I have, a time or two over the past year or so, seen a second all black cat in the neighborhood. So I guess it's possible that the black cat I actually trapped wasn't Inky, but another cat and that cat went back to wherever it usually hangs out after she was released. So Inky could still be an intact male or female. I've seen the other black cat so rarely, though, that it seems too much of a coincidence that the night I put the trap out I caught the other cat instead of Inky. So what other reasons might there be for Inky's behavior and how do I fix this? If there are no other reasons, I will try to trap Inky and take her back to the vet to see if she's not the same cat I had fixed. I'm sorry to be so wordy, but I wanted to give as many facts as possible to maybe make it easier to understand. I appreciate any advice or help anyone has to offer. Thanks for the help, in advance!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 12:28 AM
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I think you have one intact female. Usually females are very territorial .All feral cats that have been tnr should have the ears tipped for easy identification, mine are microchipped too.Its easy to check on males but for female cats I dont know if the vet could be able to tell. Can you keep Tiny inside with you? If not try to trap Inky and have her check if she has been fixed. I have 9 that stay in my backyard and they all get along fine. They do chase other cats/intruders away from their feeding station which is a bummer when i'm trying to trap other ferals.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, all of the cats except Raggylug run when they see me, so I can't bring Tiny in. I'm hoping to change that over time, but that won't help now. I caught and took them all in to be fixed in three separate batches. The vet I used works with a spay/neuter group who pays most of the fee, so I assumed they would automatically notch the ears knowing they were ferals. The first three came back with intact ears, so with the next two I mentioned it beforehand and they made a note for it to be done. The paperwork says they were notched, but only one of them was when they came home. The last one I forgot to even look at her ears while I still had her. I've only seen her once since then and I didn't see her clearly enough to tell, but looking from the spy cam, it didn't appear to have been done. Our dog was tattooed when she was spayed to show it had been done, but I don't think they did anything like that with the cats. Maybe they can see a scar if Inky has already been fixed. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Thanks for your advice. Having someone experienced with ferals assess the problem is so helpful. I'll be trapping Inky again soon, I hope!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-01-2015, 04:11 PM
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When you feed them do they run or you have food out for them? I feed them at 7 am and 5 pm I sit a few feet away and watch them eat. And move closer so they are used to me then I touch their backs and later move up to the ears. This takes patience and time to earn their trust. With a feeding schedule they know who feeds and care for them. They even meow which is rare for ferals and some wrap around my feet when they see me carrying their breakfast or dinner. If you have more then one trap dont feed them for 2-3 days then put really good smelling food like tuna into the traps and see if tiny or inky goes in. Best of luck to you.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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I have an UPDATE, but first....deanna79, thank you for your post. I somehow overlooked it until now. I just keep food out there all the time. All but one of them run when they see me. The one that doesn't goes a distance away and watches. He's very sociable and hangs out with the other cats, possums and even raccoons. I started putting food out when the original kittens were still small and so scared. I left it out 24/7 so they could come whenever they felt safe enough. Since then, they've all come at different times, some only come at night, some come several times throughout the day and night. I would love for them to feel safe around me, but I hate to not have food out there for whenever they want it. I do sit from time to time inside the sliding doors that the food is in front of so that they can get used to me, but it hasn't made much of a difference yet except for with that one......So now the update. I was able to get another trap last week, but the weather was so cold I wanted to wait until it was warmer so it wouldn't be too hard on Inky once I let him go. Last night I baited the trap with sardines (which I discovered the last time I trapped is quite an enticement!) and within 20 minutes Inky came and was trapped. I took him to the vet this morning and sure enough, he was unaltered. This is the Inky I've known since kittenhood and I always thought he was a male, so when I trapped the black cat that I took in first, I was so surprised that he was a female. Now that I know that that was an entirely different cat (which I haven't seen since and don't know where it came from), it all makes since. Now the real Inky has been altered and hopefully the bad behavior is behind us. Thanks again for the advice!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-12-2015, 09:28 PM
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That is great news to hear! Hope that solves your problem.
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