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Hey there.
I was posting to try and get some opinions from other members about a behavioral problem my boyfriend and I are experiencing with his 7 year old female cat Rinoa.

My boyfriend and I have been living together for 6 months and we both have two cats. Reese is my cat, she's 3 years old,spayed and declawed and has lived with multiple cats before. Rinoa my boyfriend's cat is 7, spayed, not declawed and has lived with other animals before, I believe one cat and one dog at two separate times. My boyfriend and I did not introduce the cats to one another until 2 months into dating when I moved in. We made it a point to keep them separated for the first week and a half to two weeks, keeping one in the bedroom with the door shut, and the other roaming free around out apartment. A little bit after this when we began introducing them more face to face I would put Reese in a carrier in case they decided to fight. Since then, the cats have adjusted for the most part but the aggression problem we're having is solely from my boyfriend's cat Rinoa. She attacks Reese multiple times a day, and or stalks her for no other reason than she feels like it. My cat is extremely laid back and completely non aggressive, Rinoa will attack her randomly, even when Reese is sleeping or sitting in one of the windows in our apartment looking outside. As for discipline goes we at first would yell or clap our hands together but that didn't bother Rinoa. I also tried scruffing her by her neck and pushing her down to the floor saying "No!" and that also did not work so we introduced the squirt bottle. Rinoa definitely does not like the squirt bottle, but she still persists on attacking Reese even after we've squirted her with it. Not only does Rinoa also have aggression to my cat but she's also been aggressive towards me since I moved Reese in. When I try and discipline her she hisses at me, and even times where I haven't disciplined her and am just showing her affection. My boyfriend is worried that the stress of Rinoa being unhappy is going to shorter her life span or make her unhealthy.
We're not sure what to do to try and make Rinoa happier, and the unfortunate part about it is that Rinoa seems to be distant when Reese is laying in my lap and I'm sitting next to my boyfriend, it's as if she feels excluded.
 

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I think you may have just answered your own question when you said rinoa feels excluded. my guess is that she's's just plain jealous. Not only of your cat, but YOU, too. Unfortunately that means any ” discipline” from you might do more harm than good. I think your boyfriend is gonna have to spend more time with his cat to.reassure her. Then you may all have to do the introductions all over again, but much slower. Don't know if you've got the time and energy for it, but good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I definitely understand where she may be feeling excluded but both my boyfriend and I go out of our way to include Rinoa if we're doing something "family" oriented.
The thing is that my cat is always with me, whether she's laying next to me, in my lap, or just sitting close by me in the same room. Rinoa has a similar relationship with my boyfriend but not as close, she likes alone time and although I do understand they need their space, my cat Reese does not "invade" her space. Reese in fact stays out of Rinoa's way and stays up in higher places such as the counter so that she can avoid attacks from Rinoa. I completely agree that discipline from my end may be doing more harm than good but I only discipline her when my boyfriend is not home.
We are also very conscious of their food and litter boxes, we have two separate food bowls and litter boxes for them, though Rinoa began using Reese's litter box only a few weeks after she moved in and vice versa.
Sharing does not seem to be the problem in terms of food and litter boxes, it's just Rinoa being stubborn.
 

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You might want to read up on pecking order in animal colonies. Jane Goodall found many interesting facts about chimp behavior, for instance. I'm sure that we can put our human emotions in what you have going on in your house but I think there is more to it than that.

You also put two females in the same room, 24/7 and want them to be nice? Hmmmmm. I know you say Reese is layed back and Rinoa is not. Their age difference is part of that I think. And the fact you and Reese are the interlopers might also be seen by Rinoa as reason to be aggressive. I think watching them and your BF doing the discipline will only break up a current attack by Rinoa, not solve the problem...Unless they work it out, Reese will be at a disadvantage because of her lack of claws...cats sure know how to use them. Is BF trimming Rinoa's nails?

I know cats can be jealous, as I found this out when I took in a small female cat, Marble. I had bonded with Kermit very soon after he was born and held him by my neck for naps when I came home from work. He sure didn't want to share me 10 yrs later but they don't fight. They don't love each other yet and Marble even picks on him by chasing him even tho she is half his size. I hope it will turn into play but maybe it won't. I'm glad I don't have the problems you have, and I mention my cats to illustrate the jealousy issue. They sure can be such. Keep checking Reese for injuries that will tell you things are getting real serious.
 

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i do hope things improve for you, but cat's house's reminder about trimming rinoa's claws is good. maybe even file them so they're not as sharp to prevent injuries, too? you may end up being another one of those stories where it took a year or more for cats to learn to get along. it will be a challenge, but it may still end up all right for you.

and here's a crazy thought. if it's possible, maybe you can try a little psychology on rinoa by NOT paying him attention. but at the same time, you'd probably have to stop paying attention to reese (at least where rinoa can see). only cuddle with reese when you're alone. my overcalculating brain thinks maybe rinoa will stop being so jealous of reese after a while if she sees she's not getting better treatment. like i said. just a crazy thought, but i know if it were me, i might just try ANYTHING nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As I said, Rinoa and Reese do get along in the sense that they aren't constantly fighting, but Rinoa does attack Reese multiple times a day for no reason in our eyes, but I obviously know cat's have different mind sets.
I do believe that Rinoa being older makes her less tolerant, but I know for a fact Reese is not purposely doing anything to irritate or upset Rinoa, she stays out of Rinoa's way.
Before I moved Reese in Rinoa was always very affectionate to me but once I moved Reese in that's when things got tense between the two. I know that moving Reese in has made Rinoa feel like her home has been invaded, but unfortunately theres nothing that we can do about that, my boyfriend and I live together and we're not getting rid of either of our cats. What worries me is that Reese does not have claws and has no way of defending herself, other than running from Rinoa, and she is pretty fast. The other day though Rinoa jumped up on our counter where Reese was sleeping and just started attacking her, and where Reese was laying on the counter, she was cornered and got scratched across her chin. There was only a little bit of blood, but I'm worried that one day Rinoa is going to scratch her eyes and do damage.
I will definitely look into trimming her nails, I'm just not sure how much will be accomplished before we get cut up, she doesn't like being held or messed with.
Giving Reese less attention does make sense while Rinoa's around, but what about when Reese isn't in the same room as me? That's usually when Rinoa attacks her, and she knows that she's going to be in "trouble" because as soon as either my boyfriend or I get up to go stop the fight, Rinoa runs off and hides under the bed.
Although there have been times when Rinoa will try and run up and attack Reese when she's laying on the couch right next to me.
I just wonder if there's anything different we can do as far as discipline that may help?
 

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Cats will sneak up on another cat. Or birds....those who put bells on their ouotside cats save a number of bird lives. Perhaps, if Rinoa had a collar and a bell, it would warn Reese of where Rinoa is. That might give time to prepare for an assault.

My Kermit and Marble do not fight, tho sometimes she chases Kermit and we don't know why? Trying to instigate play? Maybe or maybe she is just a brat...that could be too. both get a lot of my attention and I have tried to keep them close (like on a bed) but they won't get that close...they don't hiss but you can tell they are not buddies (yet). Wife tells me I will never get them to lie down together but at times they do share the same bed, albeit not close together.

I mention the above paragraph to show that I may never get them to be fast friends and I sure am glad I don't have your problem. I don't know how I would solve it if I did. My point is...it might be impossible to force something on an animal unless the animal can be convinced it is in their best interest to change.

Since you are out of ideas, heres one: Separate them for two days and give them very little food, just water.

On the second day, feed them in the same room, tho not close together. Watch them from a distance....once they eat, separate them again till the next feeding. And do it again....and again....for a few feedings but slowly interact with both of them after they eat...then seclude them again till bedtime.....I have no idea that this will work but you sound like you are out of options so I bring up food/fondling....followed by being alone....for a short period and then seeing if there isn't some behavior change.


Is there a safe place for Reese to get to? Like a shelter/box that she can escape to? I doubt that Rinoa would try to enter a small box if Reese was inside it?
 
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