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Discussion Starter #1
My 5-year-old cat Squirt and my now 1-year-old cat Ripley really, really do not like each other. They have been trying to figure out who is dominant for about a month+ now...Squirt has ALWAYS been top cat. I realize that is not all that long, but neither seems to backing down, and it seems to be escalating. (Yesterday Ripley cut Squirt's face with one of his claws, and Squirt was bleeding.)

Anyways, so they spend a large portion of their time around each other staring each other down and posturing, which escalates to hissing, growling, yowling, and a physical altercation several times a day. The yowling is all Squirt. I think he is telling Ripley to back off, which he won't do. So then they end up jumping at each other eventually. If Squirt jumps first, it is ok. Ripley jumped first yesterday when Squirt ended up bleeding, and Squirt was REALLY angry...he made a cat noise I have never heard before. Squirt recovers fast, though, so as soon as I removed Ripley, he laid down and started snoring. :) Ripley has quite an attitude with us as well, so it is not just Squirt...just not sure how they are going to work things out or if I should be doing anything differently to help them out.

Oh, and Ripley plays with my youngest cat in a different part of the house during certain times of the day when things get to be a bit much, and he sleeps in the bathroom at night so we get some peace.

Thanks,
Karie and crew
 

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This is something they have to figure out on their own. Ripley is becoming a mature male and he is trying to establish his position in the hierarchy of the house. The younger one is always going to challenge the older one for position and unless the older one is very old, frail or ill, it won't roll over and give in so easily.

I'm assuming both are neutered, if not you need to start there.

A couple things you can do...keep their nails clipped, maybe use Soft Paws for a while until things calm down. Use Feliway atomizers, they contain synthetic calming pheromones. If Ripley tends to do sneak attacks, put a bell on him so Squirt knows where he is at all times. When you see Ripley thinking about starting something...distract him, give him some attention. I know it goes against the grain to reward him when you know he was thinking about being a jerk...but it actually works (I have the same problem with Kobi beating up on Maggie).

BTW...in your title, you used the description Cat vs Cat...have you read the book by that name? If not, I'd really recommend it. I learned quite a bit from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, they are both neutered. I do clip their nails...Ripley actually has soft paws on but is missing two right now that need to be re-applied (Easier said than done. We tried yesterday with very, very bad results. He hates being restrained and starts to hiss and bite and kick in about a minute or two. My husband is also not the greatest at holding cats in a firm grasp. Ripley also bit me about a week or two ago when I was trying to restrain him to wipe some poo off of his paw, but luckily I had a shirt and a thick sweater on, although he still left marks on my arm, ugh. But I digress. :) )

We had Feliway for awhile, but I couldn't tell that it made any difference. Maybe I need to get more and try it again. Ripley does do sneak attacks. I posted another message about how he takes his collar off and this has continued...I would LOVE to put a little bell on the monster, though. I am not comfortable putting anything but a safety collar on Ripley since he and my little kitten wrestle like crazy with each other, and they often grab each other around the neck. (At least someone gets along with him, though!!!) I will have to distract Ripley with a toy. When he is out of home base (the bathroom) he does not wish to be petted or touched in any form of fashion, and he only likes it in the morning when he is in the bathroom. He starts growling if you pet him when he doesn't want to be petted. Fun cat, huh?

I do have the cat vs. cat book, although I wasn't thinking about it consciously when I used that title. Hope I didn't violate any copyright laws, ha. I read it awhile ago as I have had multiple cats for awhile, but never an issue quite like this. It might be time to read it cover to cover again.

Thanks for your suggestions!
Karie and crew
 

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I sometimes have problems between Dude and Kit N. that are similar to this. For the most part they get along, but Dude is somewhat of a bully and picks on Kit N. When I see him going after her or looking like he's thinking about it, it sometimes helps to distract him with something other than a "correction" from the spray bottle or a loud "UN-UNH!". I might call him to me in a really sweet-ish singsong voice and pet him if he comes, or take him upstairs alone and have a 15 or 20 minute vigorous play session. Maybe the distraction and petting might not help as much, but see if distracting Ripley and playing with him until he's worn out helps at all.
 

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By letting Ripley sleep with you, but not Squirt, you're telling Squirt that you want Ripley to be top cat. Sleeping with their humans is a cherished privelege for cats. Perhaps if you think of other things where you're unconsciously (or purposely) showing favoritism to one or the other and try to eliminate all of them they'll be able to figure what their places are and come to an accomodation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is Squirt (and Dizzy, the oldest and lowest on the totem pole) that sleep with us. The two youngest get "put up" at night. Haiku is 7 months old and is a calico with a TON of energy who is "not ready" to be out at night...she jumps on our heads and our faces and generally loves on us. :)

Ripley has his home base in the bathroom (and not a small bathroom, I might add) because that is where he started out when I was getting him used to the others through the door, etc. He still goes in there at night, only because he won't leave Squirt alone and will keep us up all night. Even when out and asleep, he prefers under the bed, not on it. He usually does not hang out with my husband and I when we are downstairs, either. He kind of prefers to do his own thing.
 

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Hi karie

I'd love to be able to tell you that it always works out but my Mum has experienced with two of her cats that sometimes that just isn't the case. She has a whole bunch of cats (8 ) who all get on very well apart from two of the males. Joshua is a big bengal and Muffin is a Burmese. They used to get on pretty well and then one day something flared up between them and they have never been allowed to be together again since then. We have tried all of the reintroduction techniques, feliway and so on but they go in for the kill with each other as soon as look at each other. Fortunately Mum and Dad have a decent sized house as they now have to be kept completely apart from each other. The vet said we should pretty much let them battle it out between themselves but Joshua is so much bigger and stronger that in all seriousness I don't think Muffin would stand a chance and that's not a risk any of us are prepared to take.

I hope some of the others can come up with some solutions for you and perhaps you could also try separating them for a while and attempting a re-introduction.

I hope you and they can work it all out.
 

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I think that most of the time the cats can usually work it out between themselves, but in the same sentence I'm going to add my disclaimer that I have a split household because of this reason. My Lucy has kidney disease and gets attacked by all of our males - I think that's "culling the herd" at work though. They can sense that she's sick and is trying to get rid of her. Whatever the reason though, I think that most of the time they come to some kind of understanding, but occasionally they do not. All of my males get along really well, but even we have our occasional scuffles and sometimes we have a knock down, drag out fight. It happens in families of all configurations - look at how often humans in the same house fight :D. My parents had two cats that did not get along well but they learned to tolerate each other's presence until the day one of them died. It was a uneasy truce, but it worked for them. Sometimes that's what has to happen and other times you have to think of a way of life that keeps the two feuders separate because that's the only option left.

Good luck! I hope the boys resolve their issues soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Calla_Dragon and Stephie,

Thanks so much for your posts! I am kind of afraid that they might not work things out. Like this morning: they have been going at it NONSTOP. My oldest cat Dizzy already overgrooms, which we have pretty much determined is behavioral, and he has started getting into it with Ripley as well, I think because he is tired of watching him and Squirt go at it! :( My vet said that if things are going to calm down, it should happen in the next 3-4 weeks or so. I equate their living situation and fighting to an episode of "The Real World" (except that my cats are spayed and neutered) :)

If we absolutely have to, Ripley can be returned to his foster mom, where they can find a more appropriate home for him. I am certainly not in the habit of "returning" adoptees, but this situation needs to improve. My kitten just loves him so much though...

Thanks,
Karie and crew
 

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Discussion Starter #13
They are still pretty much the same. Squirt absolutely hates him (growling and hissing when he sees Ripley, or Ripley gets too close), and Ripley still does things like runs up from behind and bites him on his kitty butt, like yesterday. He bothers my other cat, Dizzy, too, although he usually flys below the radar.

I would have already called his foster mom about taking him back....HOWEVER, Ripley made it so that he has a permanent spot here. He ate a piece of foam off of the mat under our weight machine which got stuck in his small intestine, and after spending $1,200 for exploratory surgery, my husband says that he isn't going anywhere! So I guess they are just going to have to work it out, sigh. :roll: I try not to let their incidents bother me, give them both plenty of attention, and seperate them when things escalate.

Anyways, thanks for checking in!

Karie and crew
 

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Looks like you and I are in the same boat.
Seems that the new kid in town is trying out for Top Cat...mostly it was alot of yelling once in a while.
Today I wokr up to thumping and screaming upstairs. I ran up there to find small clumps if Star's fur in a small area, and her hiding as Laddie-the new kid- comes strolling out for where she was hiding.

The other night, it looked like they were finally playing--lightly chasing eachother and stuff.

They are ok sometimes, but keep an eye on eachother.

Today was the "big one". She's losing so I hope it ends soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The chasing is a good sign! Hopefully they will work it out soon. It is interesting that your dominance battle is between a male and a female. My males and females have kind of always kept their dominance seperate so that they never really got into it. You have very cute cats, by the way! :)

Mine are never completely ok (as in, there is going to be some kind of incident) together in the same room. Squirt REALLY hates him and always makes noise when he sees Ripley. Luckily he is a very chill cat and he recovers quickly...the problem is that Ripley acts all innocent one minute and then is jumping on Squirt out of nowhere the next! My other cat Dizzy is starting to get jumped on more by Ripley while he is fast asleep, so he is starting to hiss and growl at Ripley when he enters the room as well. And since Dizzy could not dominate a fly, this really is not necessary. :roll: I wish Squirt and Dizzy, who get along quite well, would just work together and show Ripley that he is NOT in charge.
 

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I feel your pain. I have often wished that Thurston, my bully cat, would just get knocked down a peg or two. I had hoped that he would take up the position in the house under the two established cats, but that would not be the case. Thurston is the cat who would be King.

I have the same situation with Thurston and my female Mocha. Mocha hisses and growls at Thurston seemingly anytime he comes to close but I really think it comes from the fact that 9 times out of 10, Thurston is attacking her.

I use a shaker can and "tossers" pill bottles with coins in them the perfect size for chunking across the room at the lil' b*st*rd. If he gets too rowdy, I put him in time out. He is a very social cat and hates being locked away from everyone. Usually a few hours in the bathroom alone are enough to chill him out. But some days even that doesn't work.

I also read that some cats aren't socially mature until the age of 4. I'm afraid I might have a slow bloomer (he just turned three)

Good luck with your yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Your Mocha looks a whole lot like my Squirt, who is just a little darker, but they have the same facial features! :) Ripley goes in time out, too...often for 2 hours or so. :roll: The upstairs bathroom is his "home base". I don't think he gets much from time outs, though. I use the water bottle to "scare him off" from the attacks momentarily. I try not to use anything loud as Squirt is sensitive to loud noises, although I wish I could, because I know that Ripley is, too. I think the problem might be that Squirt and Ripley really are just alot alike, sigh.

Oh geez...Ripley just turned 1. I don't think I can wait three more years. 8O Hopefully your Thurston is getting close...good luck!

Karie and crew
 

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the situation here now is Winston and Star both try to play with Laddie.
Laddie isn't sure if he wants to play. Laddie does accept face baths from Winston and rubs up against him and follows him around.
You see Laddie and Winston together more than Star.

Laddie and Star chase each other, and sometimes engages in light swats.
Star is loud and sounds evil when she is playing or being serious.
Laddie also can be quite loud LOL.
I don't quite get them and I think they don't quite get each other either. LOL!

When Winston and Star play they get crazy and rough and tumble with each other.

Maybe Laddie isn't a rough and tumbler.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In my house, it is my gray cat, Dizzy, who won't play all rough-and-tumble. He has always been sensitive, though. :)

I am very glad that your cats are sorting it out...sounds like they are making alot of progress.

My cats are the same, and will always be the same, unless Ripley grows up, which will probably take 2-3 years, ugh. :roll:
 

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Has anyone resolved this issue of everyone getting along?

:(

We have two kitties, Hedgie and Misty, brother and sister, litter-mates, 6 years old. We adopted them together, and everyone got along GREAT until about a month ago.

Misty was diagnosed with hyperthyroid about a year ago. She had all the classical symptoms: insatiable appetite, weight loss, fur loss, and aggressive behavior. We elected to not do the surgery or radiation therapy, but she has been really well controlled on her medication. Our vet recommended a transdermal gel that we place in her ear once daily. Her thyroid function tests are all normal now (just rechecked about 2 weeks ago).

After Misty's hyperthyroid got into control, everyone was happy. She and her brother were best buddies, eating and sleeping and playing together as usual.

Then a month ago.....we don't know what happened!

Misty became so hostile that the vet came over (we are lucky enough to have one who makes house calls!) and checked her out. ALL her tests were absolutely normal. The vet not only ran a thyroid screen, but also a "senior panel" and urinalysis. So $400.00 later, he tells us that all is well.

Misty will growl and attack like a feral cat. Now Hedgie is sometimes retaliating, but mostly will just cower in the corner or under a table. We have resorted to keeping them in separate rooms, and allowing them together only with direct supervision. Yesterday Misty got Hedgie in a surprise attack and scratched his nose and drew blood.

Of course, they are both neutered, done when they were kittens. We have tried a bell on their collar when they are together, but both are houdini's and get that off within minutes. Someone recommended Comfort Zone with Feliway, but after two weeks, that is still not working. We also read in this post about the Cat vs. Cat book, and that is coming from amazon.com.

But in the meantime we are at our wits end!

Since they are in separate rooms, I wonder if that is part of the problem? The dynamics of the "superior" cat? Misty sleeps with us, Hedgie is truly noctural and likes to wander around the whole house at night, sleeping the better part of the day.

We have also done the water bottle trick. If someone starts misbehaving, they get a squirt of water in the face. But that isn't working either.

Will my kitties ever be back the way they were? PLEASE HELP!
 
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