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Please help! My cat is aggressive to other cats

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello

I have just discovered that my cat has attacked another cat twice now. It had to be taken to the vet with a wound on its tummy. He has always been a bit bitey since we got him from a cat rescue at 18 months (now 4 years old), we don't really know what happened to him in his previous home. He also brings back a lot of birds and mice. But we had never noticed any problem with other cats, except for another cat coming into our house and bullying him!

The attacks have been quite serious, and so we need to do something. He has been neutered, so there is nothing to do on that front. Also, we can't keep him inside - he gets absolutely miserable, and extremely aggressive, unless he can get out at all hours, and has been like that since we got him (he went stir crazy when we tried to keep him in).

Please, we are frightened that we will have to give him up. How can we stop his aggressive behaviour?
post #2 of 13
Get him a cat enclosure. He'll be able to be 'out', but harmless. Google for different ones.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
thank you for replying!

I'm afraid my cat would go insane if he was only allowed in a cat enclosure - he travels for miles usually, bringin back rabbits and all sorts, and he gets very angry and distressed if he's not allowed to roam. Nor do we have a proper garden really.

I phoned the vet's receptionist this morning and she just said that fighting over territory is something cats do, and there wasn't anything to be done except to keep him indoors, which she didn't recommend because it would be unfair on him. She said the vet herself will phone back today sometime, but that there is probably not that much we can do. If you know of anything else though, please, let us know!
post #4 of 13
Sounds to me like it's 'unfair' to the other cat if anything, not to mention the other animals he kills. Your cat won't die if reined in a little, it happens every day to others who get used to it in time, plus he's far more likely to live longer with protection from other things. It's almost like saying serial killers would be unhappy if stopped, so allow them to go on killing no matter what.
post #5 of 13
Perhaps there is something outside (another cat?) that's making him agressive and taking it out on your other cat.

My sisters cats used to be mostly outdoor, one boy Sebastian would get in fights./kill birds etc. and when brought inside at night would attack all the other cats.

I personally don't agree with letting cats out, my sister came to agree and started keeping the boys in more often until they are now totally indoor cats.

They've been in for 3-4 months now, Sebastian has settled down and had a complete personality change. He's now a sweet lap cat who plays and gets along well with the other cats.

I guess now he's secure and going out was causing him undue stress.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Our cat was a rescue cat, so he came with baggage, one of which was that he had to be allowed out - he must have lived in the suburbs or something before. It wasn't really our choice to let him out - within a couple of days he became super-aggressive towards us all of a sudden, and the vet said it was because he was frustrated from being cooped up, that he must have been an outdoor cat before. Sure enough, as soon as we let him out, he became sweet again.

Larke - I know we have to do something, but I'm just telling you that the vet's advice was not to keep him in (it's what she told me!).

I don't think he is comparable to a serial killer for killing mice and pigeons. I'm not suggesting just leaving him to go on chasing this other cat, what I mean is that if we cannot work out some arrangement or change his behaviour, he might have to go and live somewhere that he *can* be outside all the time safely - out in the countryside or something.

After speaking to the vet, we're going to try keeping him in the house during the day, and then only letting him out at night. We're not sure how to get him back in the morning before we go out to work, but the vet reckoned that if we don't let him in at night, and don't feed him during the night, by morning time he will get hungry enough to come home, so we can start to get him into a routine and he'll get used to it. The other cat only goes out during the day, so hopefully they can safely miss each other now.
post #7 of 13
IMO letting him out at night is more dangerous then during the day. And I would build him a cat enclosure. Tough if he doesn't like it - its a matter of his safety or you are looking at vet bills all the time, possible poisoning from neighbors tired of his "hunting", fighting with other cats who may be carrying FELV or FIP, getting killed by a dog, kids, or a car.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice. Is this keeping-cats-indoors thing normal? I've never really heard of it except when people live in top floor-flats or so on, my mum has kept outdoor cats all her life. How do you deal with a cat that has to switch?

There really is no question of a cat enclosure, I'm not sure how I can get this across, because our house is weird - we live in a basement, with a sort of patio thing, there is no room for a cat enclosure, and we can't close off the patio because it's a heritage area and the logistics would be too difficult in any case. He normally just crosses the (fairly quiet) road and goes into the big park across the way, where there are mice and rabbits.

We've not had any problems with neighbours before, except for that one white tom that used to come into our house to attack our cat. We dealt with that with a water pistol - after a few times of soaking the invader cat, it got the message and harmony reigned. Which is why we were surprised when we found out that our cat had switched from bullied to bully with another cat.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruthshoshana View Post
Is this keeping-cats-indoors thing normal?
Depends where you are from, in Australia it's still quite common the let them out but more people are keeping them in/harness training or using enclosures.

When first keeping them in after they're used to going out, they will probably meow (loudly) at the door. You just have to ignore it, it really will pass and they'll settle down.

With my sisters cats it was only a matter of 1-2 days before they quit asking.
post #10 of 13
[quote=

After speaking to the vet, we're going to try keeping him in the house during the day, and then only letting him out at night. We're not sure how to get him back in the morning before we go out to work, but the vet reckoned that if we don't let him in at night, and don't feed him during the night, by morning time he will get hungry enough to come home, so we can start to get him into a routine and he'll get used to it. The other cat only goes out during the day, so hopefully they can safely miss each other now.[/QUOTE]

That sounds reasonable.

In the states, particularly in densely populated areas, not so much in the country, the rule of thumb is to keep the cats inside. I have learned from this site, that being able to go out daily is the norm in the UK.

I have had outdoor and indoor cats. Outdoor when I lived in the country, and that cat was shot by a BB gun, and beat up by Tom's. He did enjoy bringing me rabbits and birds, but not sure if it was worth the harm he encountered.

Moved to the suburbs and left out the cats, came home with feline leukemia, had to put them both down.

Moved to suburbs with a nice yard, left the cats out in the yard. with me, they were too old to want to jump the fence.
Thought that was fine, until one old girl drank water from a plant dish with pigeon poop in it. Almost killed her, and definitely sent her on her way. She died that year.

So, you see, any amount of being out, even in an enclosure, is risky.
These three guys WILL NEVER go out.
post #11 of 13
I guess my problem is having had rabbits as pets...
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
I guess my problem is having had rabbits as pets...
nonono, he brings back the odd wild rabbit, not domestic ones. He's never brought back anything vaguely pettish. As a guinea pig owner for many years (all 7 carried off by foxes when it broke into the hutch) I wouldn't be letting him do that. Mostly he catches vermin (of which there is a lot where I live), but sadly the odd blue tit or sparrow too
post #13 of 13
I have heard of cases like this before and I think in most cases the cat needed to be rehomed to live in the country far away from all other cats.

I hope you'll manage to work things out though, it's no fun to find out your pet is someone elses 'monster' cat. I live in Scotland and my cat is indoors (I'm in a top floor flat as well) apart from when I take her out on a harness and leash. I doubt that'd work for your cat though. I got Nikita used to the leash from when she was a wee little kitten and she's completely fine with it now fortunately.
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