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Redirected Aggression - crate them??

1414 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  artaq
our 2 kitty's have displayed Redirected Aggression. they have been separated for 7 days with frequent daily re-introductions, afterwards they are locked in rooms apart from each other. yesterday we started letting them be in the same room for up to 3 hours, supervised the entire time of course...this instead of the brief visits where they play for 1-5 minutes and then get treats next to each other and then 1 is alternately locked up in another room.

today in speaking with a friend she gave us an interesting idea. she said if it were her she would put them both in individual crates with litter and bedding of course. but to then keep both crates in the same room a few feet away. she said she would cover both crates but leave a small portion that faces eachother open, so they can get used to seeing and smelling (from a distance) each other. i thought this was brilliant in that it might speed up the "healing" process.

perhaps this isn't a new idea to all of you. i am interested to hear some responses to this, if it is a good or bad idea and why.

thanx so much! --- artaq. :)
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Two cats who do not get along in the same room just produces stress in the cats. This is not habituation or relaxing, this is forced cohabitation. Not the way I would go to encourage two cats to learn to tolerate one another's presence.
Hi Laurul :) that makes good sense.

we setup 2 large crates we bought earlier today. Made them comfy inside and then covered each with a blanket (to try & provide a secure feeling), leaving a 4 inch gap so if they so desire they can look at each other. That leaves plenty of room for them to lay & stretch in privacy without the other kitty looking at each other. Since they were in a room together for 3 hours yesterday without any problems, it's not like they're at each other's throat. Does that change your opinion at all Laurul?

Thanks for taking the time to share your advice. I look forward to other's opinions as well.

Many thanks --- art.
Not really. Cats are emotional creatures and show their emotions by their body language pretty plainly. If I have two cats not getting along, I separate them and then do the supervised cohabitation program. But I do not force them into the same room. I give them the opportunity to come together and check one another out. Much less stressful for them.
i saw jackson galaxy do this on "my cat from he77" and he's supposed to be an expert so i have no idea.

the two cats were really fighting only one was getting the worst of it and they were afraid she would get killed so they put a screen door between the kitchen and dining room and would feed them on either side of the partition so they would associate seeing each other with food. it worked.

that was a little different than leaving them in the same room 24/7 with a little peekaboo hole, so you know. adjust it accordingly i guess.
Thanks for your thoughts LaurThe plan lasted all of about 15 minutes. Shamus our 7 lb 2 year old neutered male couldnt handle the crate...biting the steel and breathing hard & heavy. So back to the normal re-introducing plan. Glad we tried at least.

Great forum, thanks for the help. :D
The problem with crating cats is that you make them feel trapped. Cats usually HATE to feel trapped. That's why mine run a mile away from the cat carrier when it's brought out. Also why they meow at any closed door. If I want my cat to leave me alone in the bathroom I just threaten to close the door on them. Usually that gets a kitty to run from the window sill and seek refuge in the big house. ;)

When I had an issue of possible misdirected aggression, I did sort of force my kitties to be together. But that was by allowing both to have free access to the house. I only contained them in a room when they were outright fighting/wrestling with each other. That was to keep them from coming to blows and hurting each other. When they were just stalking, growling, and hissing, I either ignored them or created a distraction so they'd disengage.

Some folks were advising me to separate them for a long period (a few weeks) then do reintroductions. Others advised I not keep them apart too long or I'll accentuate the distance in their relationship. I used my own best judgment by observing the situation.

As soon as I was able to get them over their initial emotional reaction and past the outright war stage, I felt it was best they be forced to live together. They each had safe areas to go run to and avoid the other cat if they wanted. But food was still served in the same place and the litter boxes were on the same floor. They got positive reinforcement and equal attention to encourage the good behavior and sharp reprimands or time outs to negatively counter the bad behavior.

Within a week they went from fur flying enemies to cuddle-bunnies again. I think it depends on your particular cats and the kind of relationship they had before. Mine are naturally cuddle-bunnies with each other.
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Great info Brogan. It's true that what works for 1 cat wont always work with another. glad to hear yours are doing better. We'll play it by ear and do what we think is best, along with the many different ideas we learn from cat forums. We live in a single wide so space is limited. So far it has been a week and a half. Small improvements every day or two. Right now I'll be surprised if it ever goes back to how it used to be between them.
Maybe I've missed another post (sorry) but could yousay a it more? How old are the cats and how long have they been together? What actually happened? Was there a build up or was it a sudden incident? Was one the main protaganist?
Maybe I've missed another post (sorry) but could yousay a it more? How old are the cats and how long have they been together? What actually happened? Was there a build up or was it a sudden incident? Was one the main protaganist?
hi Arian :D

i put my cats names in my signature recently. Shamus and Tula are 2 to 2.5 years old...Shamus is a few months older. they've been together for 2 years, since Tula was 2-3 months old.

the Redirected Aggression happened as i ASSume it does in a lot of cases: a stray comes by the screen door and sprayed T&S. we heard hissing and then screaming and T ran threw the living room with S on her heels. it went on until we could separate wife picked 1 of them up and is lucky she didn't get attacked. we then began the separation program. we cant really pinpoint 1 being the protagonist...they both give eachother the stink eye. Shamus is the more dominant of the 2, but not by a lot. i wish Tula was more subservient.

i hope that answers your questions :mrgreen:

we received some Spirit Essences holistic remedies and are giving each of them a "serving" of it 3-4 times per day. it's called Safe Space.

they also both get a quarter pill of what was prescribed from the's an anxiety med called Amitriptyline (if i can read it right.) it relaxes them some and the sleep more.

there are also 2 Feliway diffusers and i apply the Feliway Spray each morning to random spots on the carpet and various objects in the rooms they frequent...careful not to spray it near litter boxes.
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