Cats fighting!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Keljames, Jan 3, 2018.


  1. Keljames

    Keljames PetForums Junior

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    Hi all,

    Hope you’re all well and had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

    I’m hoping you can give me some advice on our two cats who have recently started to fight and be very aggressive towards each other.

    Bit of background....
    We adopted our cat Zola (now 2 years old) and her kitten Loki (boy, now 6 months old) in September.

    While he has settled in very easily, she is very nervous and mainly hides away, although does like a little fuss when it comes to feeding time.
    She was over grooming and developed a sore on her leg which the vet suspected was stress related and prescribed her nutracalm.

    This seems to have helped slightly, the nutracalm prescription has now ended and we plan to try her on zyklene to see if this is better for her.

    We also have a couple of Feliway plug ins.

    When we adopted them, it was requested they be adopted together as they had such a strong bond.
    They have always play fought, however about a month ago Loki started to become more boisterous and wouldn’t leave her alone (always picking a fight), until this last week or so she has always hissed, swotted him away and there hasn’t been much fall out.
    However, it is now like world war 3 has broken out!
    They are really fighting all the time and she properly goes for him now but he won’t leave her alone and keeps going back and starting fights. Earlier we heard an almighty cry from him, I was terrified! No signs of injury and he seems fine in himself now. But he keeps going back and picking on her!

    I’m really worried they will end up hurting each other.

    Other things to mention...
    -they are indoor cats, have plenty of toys and play time with us.
    - he was neutered just over a week ago, which seems to be about the same time as Zola really started to fight back. Could this be connnected?

    Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    X
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Keljames, I am sorry to hear things are not going so well between Loki and Zola. It must be worrying and upsetting seeing them be so aggressive with each other.

    I think there may be a few things going on here :--

    1/ Loki had likely become sexually mature by the time he was neutered, and his hormones may have been part of the reason for him pestering Zola and being aggressive with her. It will take a few weeks after neutering for his hormone levels to drop, so he loses his sexual urges.

    2/ Zola for her part has been aware from Loki's scent that he had become sexually active. As Zola has been spayed she will automatically repel any sexual advances from a male cat (her own kitten or any other cat who tries it on with her). Spayed female cats can get very angry with entire male cats who pester them sexually.

    3/ Some female cats do not want any of their kittens around them once the kittens are grown up and have become sexually active. In the wild the mum cat would chase the male kittens away quite forcefully. This is instinctive behaviour to prevent inbreeding.

    Possibly Zola might have tolerated a grown-up female kitten (if spayed) better than a male kitten. But on the other hand Zola may be a cat who doesn't want to share any of her resources or territory with her kittens once they are old enough to leave and manage on their own.

    4/ The situation is probably more fraught because both cats are indoors 24/7, so are having to share a small territory and limited feline resources. Plus they can't really get away from each other.

    Loki is still too young to go out at only 6 mths, but if Zola could go out with you it might ease the tension a bit., If you could train Zola to a harness and leash is there somewhere safe away from traffic and dogs you could take her out? I wouldn't let Zola out on her own (even if safe) until you've resolved this tense situation at home, as it could result in Zola disappearing to find herself a new home, just to get away from Loki. :(

    I think the answer is to separate the two cats in the house for a few weeks until Loki's hormones have settled down, and then see if you can reintroduce them slowly to each other. I am not promising it will be easy, but it's worth a try.

    However, it is possible that Zola just will not accept Loki, as he is her grown up kitten, for the reasons I stated above. In which case you would left with the choice of keeping them separate permanently (which is not ideal but can be done ) or rehoming one of them. (Loki being younger would probably adapt better than Loki to a new home).

    Please let us know how things go. :)
     
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  3. Keljames

    Keljames PetForums Junior

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    Hi @chillminx, thanks so much for replying.

    I feel just awful now we didn’t get him done sooner.

    Can’t bear the thought of having to rehome either of them but also breaks my heart that either of them would be unhappy cats.:(

    We will start by separating them and see how that goes.

    Can imagine it will be a nightmare trying to get Zola on a harness but will definitely give it a go, we have a big garden so will try and start off my walking her around there.

    Thanks again for replying.
    x
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Lovely, you have a big garden! :) . Was it your intention to allow both of them out in the garden at some point anyway? If so, then maybe don't worry about training Zola in harness, just allow her to go out accompanied by you, but train her well first indoors in recall, so she will come back when called. She may not go far anyway...females often don't.

    I think if you separate the two of them indoors first for a few days to give Zola a chance to calm down, then it would be Ok to start taking her out for short garden visits with you. As long as things have calmed down indoors (which they will have if she is separated from Loki for now) I think it unlikely she would run off to get away from him. I was only concerned that if things were left as they are (with them together 24/7) she might disappear if let outdoors.
     
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  5. Keljames

    Keljames PetForums Junior

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    Yes always planned to let them both out once he was old enough but we were already thinking of letting Zola out sooner as thought it would help relieve her stress. Wanted to try and get the garden cat proofed first. Might have to speed that along a bit!

    We now have them separated, Zola is in the dining room, which is her “safe” place and have moved a litter tray and feeding bowls upstairs for Loki. Fingers crossed it calms down a little over the next few days and we will try her outside at the weekend.

    Although Loki is now at the dining room door meowing :(

    Fingers crossed we can work this out.
     
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  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I hope so. :) Fingers crossed ;)
     
  7. ButtercupSyrup

    ButtercupSyrup PetForums Newbie

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    This thread is similar to what i was coming here to post, so there is some interesting pointers here thanks. My two are also male and female, younger boy Henry new came to the household 6 months ago and our older girl has been with us 5 years. They gradually grew to live together fairly harmoniously but recently our boy incessantly goes back to Daisy offering his head for her to groom him which within a matter of seconds turns into rough and tumble. Each gives as good as they get but Daisy always ends up makng Henry yelp sometimes a few times in a row and i just can't figure it out. Why does he go straight back for more and instigate it later time and time again when the outcome is the same for him - this makes me think its more towards play? I don't want to shout or stop them if they're playing (it took such a long time for them to live together, we'd obviously love them to be friends), but I'd hate to think I wasn't stepping in if there was trouble. Any thoughts on whether you would intervene or not?
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @ButtercupSyrup -

    It sounds as though Henry may be getting a bit obsessive about wanting to be groomed by Daisy. Perhaps it reminds him of the times when his mum used to groom him as a kitten, and he finds it comforting. However his frequent demands on Daisy could become annoying to her, hence why she is nipping him and he is yelping.

    I think for Daisy's sake if not for Henry's, I would intervene some of the time, particularly if you notice Daisy is beginning to find Henry tiresome. Lift Daisy onto a surface above the floor e.g. cat tree, table etc. and distract both cats with treats or games. You can also train Daisy to jump up on a surface when she wants to avoid Henry.

    As Henry seems to get a lot of comfort from being groomed I advise setting up a twice daily routine with him where you groom him gently for 5 minutes a time.This will take the pressure off Daisy.

    I am assuming Henry is short haired? If so start with a soft brush and over a period of a few weeks progress to a firmer brush. The aim is to imitate the feel of a cat's tongue, so don't use anything too rough or vigorous (e.g. avoid a zoom groom brush).

    If Henry is not used to you grooming him start with one of these:-

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anself-Bru...73214&sr=8-1&keywords=hair+brushes+for+babies


    And progress to one of these :


    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ancol-Heri...2990&sr=8-12&keywords=grooming+brush+for+cats
     
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  9. ButtercupSyrup

    ButtercupSyrup PetForums Newbie

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    Some really helpful ideas there thanks Chillminx appreciate your thoughts
     
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