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cats fighting

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
ok, I have an older cat Tabby, declawed fixed female (and don't hate me, i would NEVER declaw a cat... she was that way when I got her) and a male, Sano, that is less than a year old. I got Sano because I thought tabby would like some company. I was working a lot and going to school and Tabby just seemed more and more depressed all the time (I think she may have also been abused by one of her previous owners. she is fine around me, but it took her a long time to adjust to me. When I got married, she immediately fell in love with my husband. she took to him like a duck to water. I'm so jealous). before I got married, I had to spend so much time out of the house and I thought she might like a playmate. I didn't want to get another older cat. I reasoned that two older cats set in their ways would have difficulty adjusting to each other and I didn't want to take the chance that either would fight for dominance. I thought a kitten might be too energetic for her, but also reasoned that she might be able to assert dominance over the kitten and a pecking order would be established. So I got a kitten. At first, everything went smoothly! She would groom Sano, they would sleep together, eat together, bug me together... she started losing weight because they were playing and her renewed activity was helping her to work off the excess pounds! it was looking good! then the fighting started.

Sano started to play with Tabby when she wanted to sleep. To fix this, I started to play with Sano more to burn some of his energy and divert his attention from Tabby. Then Tabby became jealous and started demanding more attention of me. Then the fighting got worse.

The fights were strange. He would pounce on her and she would lay down submissively and hiss. She sould bat at him defensively and growl, all the while Sano is chirping and prancing around like an idiot thinking all of this is a game. I could never figure out why Tabby would never kick his butt! She was three times his size, she could just lay on him and work him into submission. Sano isn't that bright, he would fall for it! She would always just swat at him a few times and then run, then he would run after her like it was a game.

Shortly after I got married, the fighting came to a halt. Sano became hubby's kitty and Tabby went back to being my sole attention. The cats don't have a problem trading affections between hubby and I. Two cat, two of use, we all like to share, right? Again, things seemed well. Then the fighting started again.

I ould never figure out what caused the fighting this time, but it became more aggressive. Sano would start out grooming Tabby, both would be purring loudly, then Sano would just bite at tabby's neck. Tabby would hiss, bat at him, run, then Sano would pursue. they would roll around fighting for a while then it would stop. Tabby would rarely start the fights. To Sano's credit, there would be times when he would innocently walk by and Tabby would his at him and he would keep walking, but whenever the fighting started, it was always at Sano's insistence. Stranger still, Sano has never growled or hissed at tabby. He would always purr and chirp like it was a game. I didn't even think this cat was capable of growling or hissing until an outside cat accidentally got inside. Since that incident, we now know he understands what hissing and growling means, but if that is the case, what does he think of Tabby when she hisses and growls?

Sano is now a year old and most of the fighting now takes place at night. There are light skirmishes during the day, but rarely does it pan out to a full fight. the real fights are all during lights out. Because we are in bed it is difficult to intervene. to a point, Sano understands that what he is doing is in some way wrong because whenever he hears our footsteps, he runs away. When we call his name, he stops. If we try to find him, he hides. So, to a point, he understands that something is wrong, but he still insists on pestering Tabby.

I'm sorry if this post is turning out to be way too long, but back story was necessary. If anyone can help, it would be appreciated.
post #2 of 3
Sounds to me like they are working out their dominance order.

Perhaps a cat closer to the younger ones age would help, the older cat may not want to play all the time which makes her get upset.

At night, perhaps they are seeing strays through the window and that's setting off fighting. It's called redirected aggression, where they take it out on whoever is near them.

If the younger one isn't fixed, that also causes aggression.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
tax returns will be in soon, so look out Sano, here comes the little snip! lol. I also just posted in another thread about the cats sleeping on me and it occured to me that this may also be part of the problem...

I recently found out that I am pregnant and my sleeping habits have change drastically. the cats used to sleep on/around me and I encouraged this. I loved it! then when I started to go through my changes, i think this may have upset their routines. i toss and turn more which distrubs them and I am no longer comfortable with them sleeping on me (which I miss soooo much. i hate making sleep somewhere else). Sano is very persistent and, after a few fights with Tabby, always tries to climb on me and fall asleep. we can go through an hour of him climbing, and me pulling him away before he gets the idea that it is no longer ok to sleep on me (my poor Sano, I miss him sleeping on me, but it's just not comfortable anymore!), then he bugs tabby some more.

i think this might be a big contributer to their recent fighting. any way I can try to fix this?
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