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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! to everyone! I wonder if anyone can share some opinions or experience about my trouble boy. I now have three cats: Ally (13-14 yrs old female), Spock (12 yrs old male) and newly adopted (middle of Feb) Tora (2-3 yrs old). They are all neutered/spayed. In February, Tora started showing up in our yard. My daughter started feeding him and of course he was staying around in our yard. He is such a sweet and friendly kitty following after my kids (age 9 and 7) all the time so we assumed he belonged to somebody. Although we posted an email in our community looking for his owner, no one claimed for him. So, we decided to adopt him. Since we already had Ally and Spock over 10 yrs, I decided to take the introducing slowly. At first I kept him in garage making his bed with warm blankets providing food and drink. Then, I let him stay in laundry room. Because he had roundworm and still has loose stool issue, I still keep his own litterbox, food and water in the laundry room. Gradually and slowly, I let him in other area of our house to meet Ally and Spock. Now I try to let him stay with us as much as possible and occasionally let him stay in the laundry room for bathroom use and feeding. When I go to bed, he is staying in the laundry room.

Ally always hisses at him but they do not fight. Tora does not seem to bother Ally. Spock and Tora just sniff each other, kiss (? just touch nose to nose?) and share one window together and I thought they are doing great. HOWEVER, maybe about this past two weeks or so, Tora started getting aggressive. Tora sometimes approaches Spock, then Spock hisses at him or even though Spock does not do anything, Tora jumps on Spock and tackles on Spock. Most of the time, Tora chases Spock and Spock runs for his life. I do not want Spock to run that fast because the vet told me that he might have heart murmur due to this hyperthyloid. I think one time Tora was even about to bite Spock but I am not sure.... Tora is very playful and always busy and tries to jump on my hand or bite softly on my toe tangling around my feet. So, at first, I thought Tora is just being playful with Spock too, but now I do not think so. I even started wondering if Tora sees Spock as another wild animal like rabbit to eat! When fights happen, I separate Tora from Spock and then send him in to the laundry room hoping that he will learn lessons. So far, no lesson learned. I knew that it is not going to be perfectly smooth from the beginning, but is there anything I can do to improve this situation? Is this like competition between males? Tora is so sweet to us (human) and kids love him and I wanted to rescue him from the dangers outside, but I do not want Tora to harm other kitties in our house. I was seriously thinking about letting Tora go back to outside, feed him outside and then let him stay in the garage during winter. My kids are saying no to this idea and my husband says I should keep him in the laundry room when I cannot watch him. I feel bad about it too because I am sure he does not want to be confined. Thank you for reading this and I do appreciate any help, suggestion that you can offer!
 

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How I see it is you have 2 senior cats that are well established in your home that both get along. Now Tora is just at an age that if he were outside would be establishing a territory of his own. He has experienced the expansion of his territory inside your house from laundry room, to occasional freedom to almost total house freedom except at night. Tora is trying to take over as the alpha cat in the house. Usually it's a female who ends up being the bosscat, but it seems Tora wants to dominate Spock.

You could try some behavior modification on Tora. Get him to focus on you. You can use clicker training to do so. If you click, you give him a treat, so he associates the click with something good and to look or come to you. So if he looks like he's focusing too much on Spock and looks as if he's about to attack, use the clicker to distract and interrupt his thought. You might also use interactive play with them all, using a fishing-pole type of toy, like "Da Bird". When he is behaving well in the same room and ignoring Spock, do praise him. Some cats just get so fixated on attacking another, that you may have to resort to just keeping them separated. It doesn't look like Spock is going to stand up for himself and is afraid of Tora. Another alternative, would be to rehome Tora, as the stress that Spock is under may result in illness. imho, It may not be good or fair to your two senior cats to integrate Tora at this time in their lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for explaining to me the situation where Tora and other two senior kitties stand now in this household. I somehow never thought about "territory" stuff so it was important to know about it. Now I feel I need to be more understanding how each cat feels.

I think your suggestion sounds great! I will try the "clicker training." In fact, I just started becoming aware of the fact that I need to pay more attention when he is doing great instead of focusing on the time when he is attacking Spock. When Tora is being nice to Spock or just being together sharing one window to look outside, I go and praise him and he purrs happily. I had been busy for my work and hate to admit but I was sort of neglecting the situation and now I am trying to spend more time playing with him. Of course, I am trying to paying extra attention to Ally and Spock. I had not slept with kitties for years after I had babies, but I nowadays sleep with Spock (Ally likes to sleep by herslef although I invite her as well) and he loves it :) Your comment and suggestion make sense. Tora loves to jump so "da-bird" toy will help, too!

I have a question, though. You suggested "rehome" Tora as another alternative. what do you mean by "rehome"? Does it mean that let Tora go and find another home for him? I was suspecting the same thing about the stress that Spock and Ally have to go through. I was even concerned they might die after we adopted new cat! (I heard about such a thing....) But, my family was really for it and I thought we can work through. If I need to find another home for Tora, I feel so bad about him, but at the same time, I feel really bad about Spock and Ally if they get sick or something. I am really torn.... I just hope they all get along good someday. Thank you so much for your help and time you spent in posting your precious ideas!!!!
 

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Spockally, You're welcome, we're all here to help one another. I would try the behavior modification with clicker training and see how it goes---it may take a few day, weeks or months to see a change. But if Tora is being a bad bully, and attacking Spock viciously, then you may have to consider finding Tora a new home. I would only do that as a last resort. Hope everything goes well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you again for your kindness. I really appreciate your guidance in straightening this issue out. I feel that Tora is learning little by little. As you instructed, as soon as I noticed he is about to attack Spock, I approach Tora and warn him with firm voice. Then, he kind of shruggs and then just looks at me. For not attacking Spock, I praise Tora and give extra petting. I also praise Spock being so patient. I just hope everyone gets along someday, hopefully soon! I wanted to rescue Tora from outside danger for good reason but I really spent lots of time thinking about Spock and Ally not hurting their feelings and health. After plenty of consideration and of course my family (mainly my kids)'s push, I decided to adopt Tora. I just hope that I am not hurting Spock and Ally. I might bother you again for updating or asking other questions in future but I truly thank you for sharing ideas and some comfort to me! Have a great weekend :)
 

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The fact that Tora is responding to you and not attacking Spock is encouraging. Keep up the good work. That's a step in the right direction. You have a great weekend too.....I'm away for a week for some sun, beach and fun. I'm sure others will offer some suggestions too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you again! Tora is not totally stopping attacking Spock yet. It is just that he is attacking less often.... but I hope it is good sign. At least it is not getting worse :) I am just really hoping that I am not hurting Spock And Ally's feelings. By rescuing another cat, I do not want any harm on them. I hope Spock and Ally do not see me as bad mommy :( Enjoy your getaway to beach!!!! How nice! I hope you have lots of fun n relax :)
 
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