or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Help needed with cat chasing
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help needed with cat chasing

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hopefully someone can give me some good advice about my cat situation. I have one older boy cat (16) and a girl (~13). I had the boy since he was a kitten and adopted the girl when she was a couple of years old. She had been abused before I got her - it took her about 6 years to figure out I was not going to hurt her, but now she is very sweet (to me). She is the kind of cat that basically wants to be left alone and wants attention on her own terms. She does not like my boy cat, but it has gotten better over the years. Definitely not friends, but they co-exist.

About 6 weeks ago, I made the fatal mistake of going to PetsMart on the weekend. I ended up with another cat. I was told he is ~ 2 1/2. He had been with various fosters for 6 months. Once adopted out, but returned (person that adopted him had kids and played rough with him). He was so scared in the store, so being a sucker, I brought him home. I did the whole introduction thing over a couple of weeks. it all went well in the beginning. He and my boy are friends and play. My girl would hiss/growl at him, but he was very submissive and kept his distance.

In the past few weeks he has started to chase my girl cat and pounce on her. I am pretty sure he is trying to play. Needless to say, she is unhappy. She now spends most of her time hiding. She is a bit of an over reactor. Usually when she sees him, she'll hiss/growl and then run. Her running sets off the chase. I think that he'd leave her alone if she stood her ground. My old cat used to do the same thing to her, but it basically resolved itself. He was also lazy and did not do it much, the new one is very playful.

So I would appreciate any suggestions on what could make this situation better. I have tried a couple of things: I have a Feliway diffuser. I am keeping them separate when I am not home to supervise. When he chases her, I put him in time out for a couple of minutes. I am not sure any of this is working. I play with him to try and get him to use up his play energy with me, but he is not that interested in toys (unless they are paper that he rips up and eats).

They are all neutered/spayed and inside only cats. I have my doubts that he is actually 2 1/2 years old. He is very kitten-like, so he could be younger.

post #2 of 8
Hey, Welcome to TCS! I'm glad you could join us, and you've come to the right place for your questions! If you get a chance, you should introduce yourself in the New Members Forum (if you haven't already). Everyone here is so friendly!

Hmmm. I think in your situation I wouldn't 'scold' them for playing. And to me it sounds like he's just playing. Have you tried getting him some interactive toys to play with him with? I got my PHX one of those fishing pole toys from Wal-Mart. If you play with your cat long enough to get him wore out, maybe he won't be a little rascal! Other than that I don't know what to tell you! Good luck!
post #3 of 8
You are so sweet to adopt this little boy cat! He sounds like he needs a good home. I really hope this can all work out for your family.

You may not be able to get your girl kitty to stand her ground, but you can try building her confidence with string tied to a stick. Pull the string away from her, pull it under a blanket, all the while encouraging her, using her name, to "Get the string! Get it!" I have done this as therapy for super timid cats in my foster care. It is really amazing what it does for their confidence. And she may need to let out some aggression from being hounded and chased. You will need to do this away from the other cat. I suggest maybe you do it in a separate room while your new kitty is having a meal or snack.

I agree with mybabyphx that the time out may not be the best thing but since you need to separate them anyhow, there probably isn't anything horrendous with it and you said it is just a few minutes. If you were to put him in isolation for a long time I would say that is not a good idea at all and he will become even more aggressive.

I think you should not give up on the toys yet. I definitely think you should schedule play times with all your kitties together, since cats are obsessive about routines. Try to make the play time sometime prior to the time you have noticed him attacking your kitty. He is going after her because he is bored and so you want to get him before he reaches that point. When you bring toys out, a peacock feather or something like that, call them by name when you want them to get the toy.

It is far better to initiate the play session yourself as opposed to pulling out a toy after your new kitty attacks your baby (thus conditioning him to attack her so you will play with him LOL- I did that by mistake once myself LOL).

I do think the fishing pole would be a really good toy for your cat, and maybe also a laser light. Peacock feathers are great, especially when you shimmy them slowly on the wall or floor- they look like huge centipedes and cats go nuts. Cats do love to chase things that move away, especially things that move away and hide under a blanket where they can pounce on it. I'm guessing you already know this, but since your kitties are older it may have been awhile since you had such a bundle of energy like this little boy!!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input so far. I know that Nolan Ryan (new kitten) is playing, but Kobalt (my girl) wants nothing to do with him. He seems to have a really strong hunting/stalking instinct (at least compared to my other two). He always seems to be on guard watching for his prey (which unfortunately is Kobie). I'll look for more toys for him, he has not been interested in the 8,376 that I've bought for him already. What he does like is chasing after anything I throw, so I'll go with that.

When I do separate them, I have been locking the girl in my office. She is fine with that, but I am not sure if that is the right way to go. I don't want her to feel that she can only be in one place. I have tried to lock Nolan Ryan in the office at night, but it has been pretty unsuccessful. He whines pitifully, Kussmaul (my old bot cat) whines and meows on the other side of the door. And together they have made more than one jail break.

Good thing he sweet, because he's a wild thing.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by keeper22 View Post

When I do separate them, I have been locking the girl in my office. She is fine with that, but I am not sure if that is the right way to go. I don't want her to feel that she can only be in one place. I have tried to lock Nolan Ryan in the office at night, but it has been pretty unsuccessful. He whines pitifully, Kussmaul (my old bot cat) whines and meows on the other side of the door. And together they have made more than one jail break.
Any comments on the best way to separate them? Who gets locked up and who can go free? I'm really trying to make this work out for all of them and any input is appreciated. Thanks.
post #6 of 8
The new one should be in his own room in a situation where you want all of them to adjust. Your old kitties need to have as much same routine and freedoms as before so they do not build resentment.

I would NOT put the new kitty in that room for a time out because he will learn to associate it with bad things instead of safety and routine.

The night separation and crying: There are lots of single kitties in the world who are perfectly happy, so if he cries just make sure not to reinforce him by going to him. Your new kitty is still learning the routine. If you put him in a room for overnight as part of the adjustment, with all his toys and some soft music, he will play with them himself.

No matter what, you will need to still schedule play sessions (preferably in his room so he and the old kitties associate him and the room with attention and fun), work on finding toys he will play with (string on a stick to chase, a laser light to chase) and build confidence with your old kitties by using the same toys to play with them- or the situation will not change.

Also make sure to give them all treats when they are all together so they associate it with positives.

If you don't get the play sessions going and if there are still attacks and signs of domination from the new one you will probably begin to see inappropriate marking and some other signs of stress from your older kitties. It could end up that this is not a good match. It will take diligence on your part to see if it can work. I have had this in my house with foster kitties that I wanted to adopt and I could not get the new (alpha) kitties to mesh with my more laid-back kitties.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I kind of feel a little stuck. My two old cats have been together for about 10 years. They did not love one another, but co-existed peacefully (for the most part). Since the new cat has started being aggressive with my girl, my old boy has as well (they stalk her together). So she is still hiding if I put the new cat in a room. When I got him, I kept them separate and did a slow introduction. They spent about 4 peaceful weeks together, before this all started.
post #8 of 8
I would give your girl her own sanctuary. I know it is often said to give the aggressor a time out in a space, however we went through a serious bout of redirected aggression here over 2 years ago - we have five cats - and two of them ganged up on the eldest cat after an outside cat set them off. After a lot of separation of various cats in various rooms - and rotating them through different spaces - we found that the eldest cat was beginning to view the spare room as his sanctuary. He would voluntarily go in there and stay there on his own - and the others began to recognize that as his space. He was able to get under the low bed there when he felt frightened, so I would close the door and later come in to find him sleeping on the bed. For nearly 2 years he spent every night in that room - overnight guests knew they had a cat if they slept here - and he still has his litterbox, water dish and food dish in that room. Only about 3 weeks ago did we start letting him stay out overnight with all of them together. He spent the first night on our bed and has only recently been willing to go out of the bedroom overnight. Occasionally he will get excited playing and run - and then realize that might trigger some unwanted interest - so runs into his bedroom. The other two run after him and he then acts submissive. They smell him, realize that he is ok, and then leave him alone. I would suggest you set up a safe space for your little girl and hopefully, the two boys will loose interest in bothering her. Allow a lot of time for this to happen though - and if they do start attacking her or chasing her - run interference - throw toys in their path or re-direct their attention elsewhere. It is going to take a lot of time and attention on your part but if you don't stop it now in the bud it may get to the point where it becomes nearly impossible to stop. Good luck.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Help needed with cat chasing