Cat Forum banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My fiance and I moved in together last year. I and my male cat Snape had lived in our current home a couple months, when she and her female cat Gracie moved in with us. Both are de-sexed.

Generally speaking, they got along okay at first. Snape is around two years old, and liked the idea of having another cat to play with. I say, the idea, because Gracie's about 7, and isn't as interested in playing with him. She would every now and then, but Gracie would want to stop after 5-10 minutes, and Snape couldn't take the hint that she was done. That generally led to Gracie getting annoyed and running away.

Things escalated over the coming months, and it was starting to seem like picking on Gracie was a game to Snape, and he liked to see how far he could push her. What started as innocently batting her tail while she was trying to take a nap soon turned into jumping on her from furniture, pinning her down and biting her. Snape is a LARGE cat, close to 20 pounds, and about 3 feet long from his nose to the base of his tail. Gracie's a runt who barely weighs 9 pounds. Regardless of intent, we were worried that Snape might hurt her at some point. Plus, this was going on at all hours of the night, and it was hard to get a good night's sleep with Gracie screaming.

So, the vet recommended Felliway, and it worked for a few weeks. But I swear, if it's possible, Snape built up a tolerance for it because he was right back to harrassing her just as much as before, if not more. So we consulted the vet again, and they put him on Elavil, an antidepressant. Now, I'm not up for drugging my cat, but it was getting to the point where we were going to have to get rid of one or the other, and I figured I'd try it.

Snape's been on Elavil since February and everything's been great between him and Gracie. They might have a little skirmish once every few days, but it was more just hissing than anything. It looked like the problem was solved. Until Falkor came into the picture.

My fiance had begged me for a while to let her get a kitten, and I finally relented in June. She brought an 8 week old male into the house named Falkor, and that's when the dynamic started shifting around here. I was worried about how Snape would handle another male in the house, but surprisingly, he and Falkor have become best buddies. They play together very well, and Snape seems to restrain himself so as to not hurt him. He's very good about communicating when he's done playing, and Falkor seems to respect it when he's had enough. Sometimes, you'll even see them curled up next to each other for a nap.

But it's how they're both interacting with Gracie that concerns me. Whereas Falkor seems to understand that Snape's done playing with him, he absolutely WILL NOT lay off of Gracie. She has no interest at all in playing with him, but he keeps chasing her, and it makes me wonder if it's not a question of him not being neutered yet. But since he's come into the fray, Snape's back to bugging Gracie again. It's not uncommon to see them team up against her, in fact. Falkor will chase her right into an around the corner ambush from Snape.

Snape started to make a habit of stalking Gracie. He'll sneak behind her and jump at her from out of nowhere. The vet's suggestion to that was to put differently toned bells on everyone to try to ease the tension, and eliminate Snape's ability to sneak up on her. Well, all that did was make Falkor chase Gracie NONSTOP because he batting at her bell, and it made Snape adjust his tactics from sneaking and pouncing out and out lunging at her.

So at this point, Snape and Gracie are not getting along at all. It seems to be an ongoing thing where they can be getting along great for hours, then one will look at the other funny, and it starts. Usually, Snape's the aggressor, but I have seen Gracie hiss at him and jump on him when he was asleep.

Snape has to go to the vet anyway next week, and I'm going to relay all of this information to them, but I'm just looking for some opinions and feedback. Again, Snape and Falkor are getting along great. But I'm starting to worry that Gracie just can't deal with being in a multi-cat household. My fiance told me at one time she had gotten another kitten, but had to give him to a friend because he didn't get along with Gracie. What is it about her that makes other cats want to attack her?

Oh, and sorry for writing a book. :)

12,679 Posts
Welcome to CF, and actually... a 'book' is great when trying to determine problems and consider solutions.

viewtifuljay said:
What is it about her that makes other cats want to attack her?
1. Gracie does not want to play.
2. Gracie may have an underlying health problem the other cats can sense.

*you may want to seperate Gracie from the boys and only allow supervised interaction among all three. Keeping them away from each other will help Gracie be able to relax and not live in a heightened state of constant anxiety due to wondering where the next attack is coming from. The boys appear to get along very well and are able to expend their excess energy upon each other. Gracie does not appreciate that attention so you may need to take steps to help keep her stress-levels down.
Best of luck,
heidi =^..^=
1 - 2 of 2 Posts