TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › New cat aggression at feeding time!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New cat aggression at feeding time!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

We just got a new 1 yr old cat from a shelter a couple of weeks ago, and brought her home where we have a 3 yr old cat (we've had her for a couple of years).

We kept them separate for a while, let them sniff at each other under the door, etc. Everything seems to be going well. We started to let the new cat come out for a few hours at night. The resident cat hisses if the new cat gets too close, but then they're fine. The past few days they've even started going up to each other and sniffing each other's noses!

The new cat is usually very laid back and does not respond to the aggression/hissing of the resident cat at all. Except when it's feeding time! Here is the problem!! I fed our resident cat first, and while I was filling the new cat's bowl, the new cat came out to where the resident cat's bowl is (they are kept in separate rooms). She walked right up to the resident cat, who was eating, gave a yowl and swatted at her face a few times. This is the only time she has shown aggression. I shooed her away but then she came back and did it again.

Is this a sign that they are never going to get along? Or can cats become aggressive when food is involved when they usually aren't aggressive?

Thanks for any advice you can offer...
post #2 of 10
i think she may just be asserting her top cat status by letting the newbie know SHE has 1st refusal of any/all offerings...
Chip now doesn't even come to the wet food until Cable is finished & has walked away
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i think she may just be asserting her top cat status by letting the newbie know SHE has 1st refusal of any/all offerings...
But, it was the newbie who swatted and stole the food, not the resident cat...
post #4 of 10
You never know, it could be the newbie cat who will become the alpha, and you really can't interfere with that. I wouldn't worry too much, they will work things out.
post #5 of 10
As long as they are pretty much together now and not separated behind doors, I would feed them together, not necessarily on top of each other, but in the same room. I never feed one first over the others, because that can cause problems with cats that have been together for years.

Good luck.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswient View Post
As long as they are pretty much together now and not separated behind doors, I would feed them together, not necessarily on top of each other, but in the same room.
Well, they're not quite there yet. We give the new cat a few hours each day out of her room, so we can supervise any interaction, but when we leave the apartment or go to bed we put the new cat back in her own room, behind a closed door, for now.

They seem to be getting curious about each other, they sniff at each other sometimes and the new cat sometimes goes over to the chair where the resident cat hangs out to look for her.

When she gets a little too close, the resident cat gives a hiss, but then nothing more aggressive.

Do those "cat pheremones" they sell at pet stores really help calm cats and get them to be more comfortable with each other? My wife bought some the other day but I am not convinced.
post #7 of 10
I have never used the cat pheromones, like Feliway, myself, but from what I have read in these forums they can definitely help.

A little trick I have used in the past to fool the cats into thinking they smell alike is putting a tiny dab of vanilla on the back of their tails and neck. This will help tremendously because they will both "smell" the same and this will help them accept each other faster.

If you don't have vanilla you can always give them a very light quick spray with your cologne. It has to be a very very light spray (you don't want their fur getting wet in any way because of the alcohol). Make sure to hold the bottle at least 2 feet away from them, if you do this.

The idea is to get just enough of a scent on them to trick them into thinking they smell the same. Using the vanilla is preferable though and that too just a tiny little drop.

Have you tried switching their rooms? IE when you let the newcomer out of his area, let the resident cat explore the newcomer's area so he can get used to his smell.

So far you are definitely on the right track please keep us posted!
post #8 of 10
The Feliway does work for me. I use it to calm my alpha male down for marking territory when he sees cats outside the house he sprays everything in sight including me. Good luck, keep us posted.
post #9 of 10
Sounds like typical behavior over food with street cats or feral cats - everyone out for what they can get when they can get it. I'd put the new cat in a room by themselves for feeding till both are done.

Maybe in a few months the new one will not be so "greedy" in stealing other cat's food.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Sounds like typical behavior over food with street cats or feral cats - everyone out for what they can get when they can get it. I'd put the new cat in a room by themselves for feeding till both are done.

Maybe in a few months the new one will not be so "greedy" in stealing other cat's food.


Do you happen to know anything about the new cat's history? Even though the new cat is laid back, she might have had to fend for herself out on the streets before she was rescued. Two weeks may sound like a long time to you, but it might not be long enough yet for her to realize that she no longer has to eat as much food as she can get her paws on, because from now on food will always be available for her at regular intervals.

Unlike aswient, my initial thought was to feed them at the same time, but in separate rooms behind closed doors (at least one of them, anyway) if that's feasible. This way your 3-year old can eat in peace. This isn't intended to be a permanent approach; just a temporary measure until --- hopefully --- the one year old settles in and understands that there is no need for competition for food, as I mentioned earlier.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that feeding them in the same room is a bad idea. Not at all. But if you do decide to feed them in the same room, at least have a plan for when the new cat shows food aggression --- especially if the 3-year old doesn't seem to defend herself as forcefully as she might need to.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › New cat aggression at feeding time!