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When one of my cats passed away suddenly due to kidney failure in summer 2009, I wanted to get a new friend for Moxie, a female, who is now 7 years old.

I did a lot of research and read that typically, male and female cats get along better together than those of the same sex. Also, a middle-aged cat may be more receptive and act as a parent to a younger cat. So I adopted Jester, a six-month old male kitten, in September 2009.

The introduction was OK, I kept them in separate rooms and let them smell each other, alternated some time to roam the house for both of them, then let them meet each other over the course of a week. Moxie was scared but eventually accepted Jester. But she wanted to make sure that he knew she was the alpha cat. They've never been snuggly or close.

Now that Jester is "grown up," about 1 1/2 to 2 years old, I was hoping they would get along a bit better. But he likes to stalk Moxie. He's a pretty playful cat and we give him lots of attention, toys, etc. to keep him entertained. But, anytime he sees her walk into a room he snaps to attention, does the kitty focus stare and prepares to pounce on her. He gets so into it, I've seen him attack and literally pull her off the bed at times. I think Moxie used to sort of tolerate it but now she hates his guts and can't stand to be in his vicinity unless he's sleeping. If he goes near her in "attack mode," she growls, hisses, sighs, swats and usually he will chase her around the house with her screaming, and it gets louder if he catches her. Sometimes they'll be in the same room minding their own business and he'll just **** his head sideways and pounce or wrap a leg around her shoulders and bite her neck.

It worries me that Moxie really isn't happy with him around. She used to have a lot of personality and has really changed, become quieter/more reserved unless he is off doing his own thing somewhere. The reaction to him has intensified over time. I don't want to get rid of either cat, but I don't want to keep one of them isolated all the time either.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to end Jester's attacks, or do you think it's just his age and he'll mellow out eventually? Any ideas why he does it? Any way we can all be friends? Other suggestions? Thanks a million.
 

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It sounds like the problem stems from territorial aggression, sometimes called social aggression. This can start when a younger cat starts to reach social maturity (usually at or around 2 yrs), which is when the territorial instincts of the cat become fully developed. The younger cat starts to stake out his/her place in the hierarchy, and the older cat recognizes that. To best deal with the problem, you will likely need to do a full or partial re-introduction. Here is a helpful article that addresses aggression between cats, including territorial aggression and social maturation, along with re-introductions: ASPCA - Virtual Pet Behaviorist - Aggression Between Cats in Your Household
 
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