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Agreesion /dominance?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
A chat board aquaintance and cat lover (she is owned by several cats) has a problem with 2 of her cats. Any advise input on how to help would be greatly appreciated.

Her problem is with Ellie and Cleleste. Ellie has been with Erika for quite some time and Celest is the newby and has been with her for only about 3-4 months. It seems that Celest is pretty "rotten" to all of the cats howeverb seems to hit on Ellie the most.

Here is soem information Erks sent to me and I quote:

"When Celest picks on Ellie, Ellie usually issues alot of warning growls and hisses and then takes off for another part of the house, followed closely by Celeste, of course. Celeste usually winds up cornering her somewhere where the growling and hissing continues. Very seldom have I seen them actually exchange blows or physically attach each other. With Celeste it's usually a head grab and bite or a swat with her paw(s)

Dude, the cat we adopted at the same time as Celeste, is 2 years old and accepts
absolutely no guff from Celeste. He smacks her, either first if she gets too close with "that
look" in her eyes, or back if she paws at him first, and they actually sometimes wind up
playing and chasing each other around if he's in the mood. Otherwise, he stands his
ground and she eventually backs off, looking very grumpy about it indeed. So far, she
hasn't given up on him, but he has yet to give in to her.

Celeste will be a year old next month. She was turned into the humane society after
being found in a part. It was estimated that she was about 8 months old at the time. She
was very, very skinny and has since put on weight so she is looking much better now. We have had her since late June. She has an absolutely wonderful personality with us and is alot like my Attila, who I lost in early June to cancer. She LOVES attention and being petted and is hyper and active. She is also very talkative.

We have two siblings a year and a half old now, who do play with Celeste. Usually it consists of mad dashes from one end of the house to the other with occasional wrestling matches. Sometimes I think Celeste gets too rough for them, however, and they back up with confused looks on their faces. They don't necessarily back down, but they don't really stand up to her either. I think they just co-exist. They were used to my previous cat,
Attila, playing rough with them though. Attila would always back down to Ellie (Attila was
6 weeks old when we got Ellie.)"

Is this just Celest's way of trying to become the Alpha or could there be something else involved?

How can we get these two to at least peacefully co-exist?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,etc. that you might be able to provide.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Come on guys I know you can help these two furbabies get along....
post #3 of 6
Helen, I'm not an expert in this field, but I think it's a combination of the fact that Celeste was on her own for a while and had to compete for everything or starve, and that she just has a dominant personality. I had a bully-a female- who didn't want anyone else to eat. She didn't like me much because I stopped her from keeping them away from the food dishes. The answer lay with with other cats. Pixie, the Alpha, totally ignored her, Nibs, the baby, had a sense of humor and thought it was fun, and Creampuff, the creampuff, hid from her for years. Finally, she got sick of it and beat up the bully.

From then on, it was a stand-off. Each made a broad circle around the other and avoided conflict. Has she tried Hissy's trick? Rubbing all the cats with the same towel? Of course that's for new cats, and Celeste has been there for a while.
I clapped my hands loudly and yelled to break up a fight. No one ever got hurt, but the claws were out and I had to stop it. Spraying water or dropping a can of coins, the old favorite tricks, might be useful too. I'm sure you'll get some better advice, though, because the ultimate change came from the cat being bullied. When she fought back instead of hiding, that ended the bullying.
post #4 of 6
It may be best to start over again by first seperating the bully from the others and then gradually reintroducing them. Have your friend check out this link which will then lead her to three other links that give step-by-step instructions on how to do this reintroduction.

post #5 of 6
Helen this behavior is just normal posturing for cats. Each one is trying to find their place in the group and Ellie who was solo cat for awhile had her place. Now it is being threatened by not one cat but two. Not knowing Celeste's background, but just that she is a stray, she was probably seperated from her mom way to early and dumped off by an uncaring owner. Perhaps she never learned from her mother the proper social skills she needed to get along. She is trying to find her way in the group and being dominant to insure that she is no longer going to be scared, or threatened again. She has found a place where there is food and love and she is getting fit and fiesty.

I would remove her from the equation for about a week. I would seclude her in a room and give her all her needs, and I would just start over from scratch. But what I would also do is go in the room every day and just spend time with her, be in playing with her, laying flat on my stomach on the floor (her level) and talking to her. I would feed her close to the door, and feed the other cats on the other side of the door. That way they can smell each other and they can fight if they want, but they can learn to get along.

That is my advice anyway.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
My friend wants to thank you very much for taking the time. All of your responses were
very reassuring to her and she will take your advise and let us know how it is working out!.
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