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Please help!! New cat attacking old cat

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just rescued a very beautiful kitty from my backyard about a week ago. Took her to the vet, got her shots and everything. She's also declawed, which means she must have been someone's pet at some point.

I have another cat, about 2 years old and have had her for about a year. She is the sweetest cat imaginable. I could do anything to her and could never make her mad.

Since the cat was in the backyard, the two became familiar with each other over a few weeks b/c I left the windows up and they would smell each other, etc.

When I brought the cat in last week, everything went great. There was a little bit of hissing, but they mainly just ignored each other. The past few days though, the new cat (which is female, and also about 2 years old) has been running and attacking my old cat. She will all of a sudden chase and tackle her, completely unprovoked. As I was sitting here, she ran out from under the table, tackled the old cat and they went flipping.

I don't know what to do. Should I be concerned or is this behavior normal for cats that are new to each other? How should I handle the new cat when she is the aggressor? Should I punish her, squirt water on her, "scruff" her, or do nothing and let them fight it out?

Please help!! I feel soooo bad for my old cat. I'm not sure how much this is affecting her. But she is so sweet and the new cat is being so evil to her.
post #2 of 13
Once she felt secure in the house, she set about marking the limits of "her" territory.

Absolutely discipline (with love) to show everyone shares in this territory. She's been on the street long enough to get the gangland attitude of driving away intruders. Now, your old cat is the intruder.

So gang up back at her. Squirt her and exile her to a separate room for harassing the old cat. You and the old cat will be the ones letting her into your territory. If she behaves.

Be firm and consistent. What she needs right now is not cuddles and allowances. She needs to learn the New Rules.

Also, being declawed makes her quick to take slights because she feels defenseless all the time. Declawing is a sick thing I wish were outlawed in this country, as so many other countries have.

Firm boundaries and letting her know what is acceptable will do her a favor. It will let her accept her new home harmoniously. Lavishly reward good behavior and shut her away when she acts badly. The quicker and more consistently you act, the sooner she will learn.
post #3 of 13
Are you sure she's attacking her and not just wanting to play? What is the older cats reaction? Does she just get up and walk off, or do they growl, hiss and look like they're trying to kill each other? I wouldn't punish her unless the older one was getting hurt...and I probably wouldn't punish her then,either. Maybe seperate and reintroduce....but honestly...if the new cat is really bothering the "old" cat...she will take care of her herself. I wouldn't worry unless blood is drawn.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Werebear View Post
Once she felt secure in the house, she set about marking the limits of "her" territory.

Absolutely discipline (with love) to show everyone shares in this territory. She's been on the street long enough to get the gangland attitude of driving away intruders. Now, your old cat is the intruder.

So gang up back at her. Squirt her and exile her to a separate room for harassing the old cat. You and the old cat will be the ones letting her into your territory. If she behaves.

Be firm and consistent. What she needs right now is not cuddles and allowances. She needs to learn the New Rules.

Also, being declawed makes her quick to take slights because she feels defenseless all the time. Declawing is a sick thing I wish were outlawed in this country, as so many other countries have.

Firm boundaries and letting her know what is acceptable will do her a favor. It will let her accept her new home harmoniously. Lavishly reward good behavior and shut her away when she acts badly. The quicker and more consistently you act, the sooner she will learn.
Thanks for the response.

The only reason I let the two of them into the house together unseparated is b/c I live in a "loft-like" apartment with no separate rooms. It's a big place and there is lots of room for the cats to run around, but the only way to separate them is to put one in the bathroom. I'm guessing I should put the new cat in the bathroom when she is aggressive? How long should I leave her in there?

What about when I am not home? Should I try to set up some kind of barrier to keep them separate? I have no way of knowing if they are fighting or not while I'm gone.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug View Post
Are you sure she's attacking her and not just wanting to play? What is the older cats reaction? Does she just get up and walk off, or do they growl, hiss and look like they're trying to kill each other? I wouldn't punish her unless the older one was getting hurt...and I probably wouldn't punish her then,either. Maybe seperate and reintroduce....but honestly...if the new cat is really bothering the "old" cat...she will take care of her herself. I wouldn't worry unless blood is drawn.
No, I'm fairly certain it's NOT play behavior. My old cat will howl and hiss when the new cat tackles her. The new cat will almost "stalk" the old cat, or rather she'll watch her from afar, and then if the old cat walks by, the new cat springs out and either chases her and tackles her, or ends up cornering her in the living room.

So you think I should NOT punish the new cat or interfere when she attacks? The new cat can be VERY sweet, but whenever she is with me, she will NOT let the old cat come close. What should I do when she does that? I do NOT want the old cat to think that she can't come near me.... I feel like I should definitely intervene in that scenario. Do you agree?
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I should also note this: The majority of the aggression occurs at night, after I get home from work, starting about an hour or two before bedtime. I am with both of them during the daytime and there is pretty much no fighting then. They mainly just sleep in their "spots" and ignore each other. The new cat only seems to attack the old cat late at night.

Any thoughts on this??
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clopin333 View Post
No, I'm fairly certain it's NOT play behavior. My old cat will howl and hiss when the new cat tackles her. The new cat will almost "stalk" the old cat, or rather she'll watch her from afar, and then if the old cat walks by, the new cat springs out and either chases her and tackles her, or ends up cornering her in the living room.

So you think I should NOT punish the new cat or interfere when she attacks? The new cat can be VERY sweet, but whenever she is with me, she will NOT let the old cat come close. What should I do when she does that? I do NOT want the old cat to think that she can't come near me.... I feel like I should definitely intervene in that scenario. Do you agree?
Punish? NO...interfere or intercept, definitely! Especially if you have a negative reaction from your resident cat, I just couldn't read between the lines of your original post on the older cats reaction...sorry. A timeout in a bathroom or in her crate would be much better than spraying her with water or scruffing her...in my opinion.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clopin333 View Post
I should also note this: The majority of the aggression occurs at night, after I get home from work, starting about an hour or two before bedtime. I am with both of them during the daytime and there is pretty much no fighting then. They mainly just sleep in their "spots" and ignore each other. The new cat only seems to attack the old cat late at night.

Any thoughts on this??
I have one!! But it's only from my own personal experience. I think she's wanting to play...all three of mine start picking on each other right before bedtime.They always have...unless I get them started playing earlier in the evening by playing hide and seek, catch the ball, grab the feathers, etc. Do you have a playtime set aside with them? ETA- 2 and 3 yr old cats are bound to be full of energy!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug View Post
Punish? NO...interfere or intercept, definitely! Especially if you have a negative reaction from your resident cat, I just couldn't read between the lines of your original post on the older cats reaction...sorry. A timeout in a bathroom or in her crate would be much better than spraying her with water or scruffing her...in my opinion.
I guess I don't really mean "punish", but interfering. But is giving the new cat a "time out" enough to show her that her behavior isn't acceptable?

Also, out of curiosity, why are you against spraying water and scruffing? Are these considered inhumane?

When you say to "intercept" what do you mean? Just simply removing the new cat and putting her in the bathroom?

Thanks so much!
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug View Post
I have one!! But it's only from my own personal experience. I think she's wanting to play...all three of mine start picking on each other right before bedtime.They always have...unless I get them started playing earlier in the evening by playing hide and seek, catch the ball, grab the feathers, etc. Do you have a playtime set aside with them?
If she is trying to play, the why does the old cat react like this? I do play with both cats. I play "chase" with the old cat quite frequently throughout the day. The new cat is a little more tough, as she isn't as playful as the old cat. I have a streamer that I have been using with her and she will play with it, but after about 5 mins loses interest.

I also have tried to get her attention with the streamer when she goes into her "attack" modes to distract her but it doesn't seem to work.

In all honesty, I really cannot tell if she is trying to play or not. Based upon my old cats reaction, it seems as if she isn't playing. Is it possible the new cat is playing and the old cat isn't picking up on this?
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's pictures of the babies.

This one is Chunny. She is the resident cat. The biggest sweetheart I have EVER met. She truly doesn't act like a cat at all! She loves to talk and be loved on, and in the winter always likes to sleep under the covers.
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a40...3/IMG_1434.jpg

This is Booboo, the new cat. Everyone who sees her picture says she looks like a "troublemaker", lol. She's a beautiful cat and seems to be quite the princess. She's very loving with just
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a40...3/IMG_1418.jpg


As you can see, Booboo is bigger than Chunny. Is Booboo trying to perhaps assert her dominance over the smaller Chunny?
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clopin333 View Post
I guess I don't really mean "punish", but interfering. But is giving the new cat a "time out" enough to show her that her behavior isn't acceptable?

Also, out of curiosity, why are you against spraying water and scruffing? Are these considered inhumane?

When you say to "intercept" what do you mean? Just simply removing the new cat and putting her in the bathroom?

Thanks so much!
Sometimes it is, sometimes its not! It all depends on the cat!

I'm against spraying water because I think it's a drastic measure that only makes them afraid of you. Not all people see it as inhumane, but I do. I have never used water and never will. I also think it hurts cats to be scruffed *unless* you support their body before doing it. I may be owned by some rare cats, because mine understand verbal corrections.

Ok....intercept. If I were you, when the 'new' cat is in your lap and the other approaches and the new one starts getting aggressive, sit her down off your lap and pick up the 'older' cat. That's a form of inteception. If the new cat has the older one in a corner, grab the new cat and put her in the bathroom after scolding her for a few minutes. You'd be amazed at how effective 'good kitty' 'bad kitty' works if you say it at the appropriate time. Try and spend time playing with the old kitty in front of the newer one and vice versa. Just show them by your actions that both are loved equally.... It's kind of hard for me to put into words....
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clopin333 View Post
Here's pictures of the babies.

This one is Chunny. She is the resident cat. The biggest sweetheart I have EVER met. She truly doesn't act like a cat at all! She loves to talk and be loved on, and in the winter always likes to sleep under the covers.
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a40...3/IMG_1434.jpg

This is Booboo, the new cat. Everyone who sees her picture says she looks like a "troublemaker", lol. She's a beautiful cat and seems to be quite the princess. She's very loving with just
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a40...3/IMG_1418.jpg


As you can see, Booboo is bigger than Chunny. Is Booboo trying to perhaps assert her dominance over the smaller Chunny?
OMG!! What babydolls!! Certainly that's possible! But the dominance behaviour, in my opinion, would be occuring much more often and be worse than it is. Hopefully they'll get used to each other soon and you won't have to worry.
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