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Aggression to Others

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I need help with a behavioral problem with one of my cats. She becomes aggressive (occasionally) towards my fiance.

I am the guardian for two cats, Hobbes (male) who I adopted as a kitten in 1995, and Calvin (female) who was adopted as a kitten in 1996. Since adopting them, I have been the only person in the house. When friends would come over, Hobbes would beg for attention, while Calvin would hide quietly.

I noticed whenever I went away and had a friend take care of them, Calvin would growl and hiss at the caretaker. This was not a problem until just recently. Calvin has now begun doing this to my fiance, Jenny, and worse.

Whenever Jenny goes near Calvin in certain areas of my house, Calvin will start to growl and hiss at Jenny. Sometimes Calvin will back away and swipe at Jenny, but recently has begun to lunge foward and swipe The strange thing is that Calvin enjoys approaching Jenny seeking attention, wanting to play, or cuddle. Calvin will jump into bed with us and spend the entire night peacefully with us. But if Jenny gets up and returns to the bed, Calvin will begin to hiss again.

Whenever Calvin becomes aggressive towards Jenny, Jenny stays calm and speaks to Calvin in a soft, gently voice and does her best to make Calvin feel comfortable. This is not working...

Any ideas or suggestions on how to make Calvin get along with Jenny? I appreciate any help anyone can offer.



Jenny seems to feel that Calvin is very protective of me, or jealous that Jenny is taken my away from Calvin (I spend many nights away from Calvin). There could be a connection since Calvin seems to dislike the people associated with me being away overnight (caretakers and Jenny). I think it is more territorial; Calvin usually does not like Jenny comng near Calvin when she is sitting near her food, on the bed, or next to the couch.[color=tomato]
post #2 of 4
Welcome to the site Michael!

It seems from your post that Jenny is willing to work with Calvin, and that's a huge plus. Try to get Calvin to associate Jenny with good things. Good things to cats = food, play and loves from her special person. When she's over, have her feed Calvin especially with special treats like wet food that she really loves. If you feed on a schedule, have Jenny prepare and put down the dishes of food for the kitties. Also, have Jenny do a good, hard workout and get really really sweaty in a t-shirt she doesn't mind giving up for a while. Put the t-shirt under Calvin's food bowl so she associates Jenny's scent with her food - a good thing (you can refresh and switch out the t-shirt as necessary ) This will also make Jenny's presence less tramatic since her scent will be there all the time even when Jenny isn't there. If Calvin has a favorite toy or game, have Jenny join in play time in an area where Calvin seems more at ease with her. When Calvin approaches the two of you calmly, be sure to give her lots of praise and loves. Maybe even have treats at the ready for when she does this. It could very well be a bit of jealousy that someone is taking her daddy's attention away from her, so you need to make a conscious effort to give her lots of love and attention when she's being nice to Jenny.

Hope this helps, and keep us informed!
post #3 of 4
Oh, one more thing. When you know you will be staying away from Calvin for the evening, be sure to give her a really good play and loving session before you go, and another one when you come home. Leave her lots of toys and special play things (safe for unsupervised play, of course ) when you go. Maybe even have a special box of toys that she can only have when you are gone, something she really loves.

Of course, through all of this, be sure Hobbes gets lots of attention and play time too. You don't want to accidentally create another set of problems with him.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Heidi, thank you for your advice....

I haven't thought of the shirt under the food bowl; I will have to try that.

Calvin likes to nap on my shirts, so we had been substituting Jenny's shirt for mine and Calvin will nap on it. We have tried Jenny feeding Calvin, giving her treats and playing with her, inexplicably, Calvin seems to have more aggressive reactions later that day. We have noticed if Calvin takes treats from Jenny then Calvin will become more aggressive towards Jenny later that day... (We wonder if Calvin enjoys the attention and then later on realizes that she is supposed to be mad at Jenny so she over reacts LOL.)

Because I have been away a lot more recently, I have been giving Calvin and Hobbes a lot more attention before I go and when I return. Mostly out of guilt, not for the behavioral problems. But I will try to give them more attention before/after in hopes it helps the behavior issue. Jenny and I will be moving to a new house together soon and I am hoping that that will alleviate these issues (Calvin will be stressed out by the move and will need to redirect her stress, Jenny will now become something familiar to her, and she may not be as territorial).

Thanx again....
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