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My older cat is picking on my younger one. How can I help them get along?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
They're both spayed girls.

I've had Kitty (older one) for 4 years, and she's always been nervous and shy with everyone but me. She only gets aggressive with strangers who bother her. I rescued her feral colony from an empty boat lot that was going to be torn down when she was just a kitten. When I took her to the shelter for adoption, she reached her paws around my neck and wouldn't let the shelter worker take her - I was the only human she liked. I just had to keep her after that.

I got Kallie (younger one) about a year ago. She was just a little kitten too, and had been abandoned at the empty house next door to mine. I took her in, and she's a very sweet, loving, social cat.

Kitty was really good with Kallie when I first brought her in the house (and got all her shots, etc.). However, about a month afterward Kitty started getting aggressive with Kallie.

Kitty attacks her all the time now, and it's gotten to the point that Kallie is starting to get stressed out because she has to worry about being attacked. Kallie has some minor scratches on her back, but I'm worried that Kitty might hurt her worse when I'm at work. I asked my vet what to do, and he told me that "cat's just fight."

This isn't fighting though - it's Kitty beating up Kallie. Kallie becomes completely submissive and waits for one of us to come pull Kitty away.

Kitty isn't a vicious animal, but she needs to stop picking on her little sister! Do you guys have any advice for us?
post #2 of 14
Have you tried playing with Kitty more? Maybe she needs more attention to feel like she the alpha cat.

Do you have at least two litter boxes and feed on either a big plate or have two se[erate bowls? too much together time can breed contempt.

Mine did not get along at first, but after a couple of months it settled down.

Have you tried running a Feliway diffuser? well worth it I think. you can buy it online at petguys.com alot cheaper. It emits a relaxing pheramone (or something) in the air- like when they rub against something. when all else fails i give them lots of catnip and its all good
post #3 of 14
I shall be watching this drama with interest -- sounds a bit like my girls.

We did get some feliway spray, by the way. We found the diffuser stuff too pricey, but found a generic equivalent in a spray. We got something at PetCo called No Stress for Cats and Kittens by Pet Organics for about $9 (16 oz). As for application, true, it's hard to be consistent, and sometimes wish we had the diffuser that was just there all the time. I call it "friendship spray."
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hehe, I'll give the Feliway Diffuser a try and let you know how it goes for us.

They do use the same litterbox, but I would have no idea where to put another one. I feed them in separate bowls though, so they don't fight over the food.
post #5 of 14
I am interested in seeing how this will all unfold too....I kind of have the same thing going on at home too except the reverse. My younger neutered male (Milo) picks on my older spayed female (Pebbles). I've had Milo now since March, and although things have improved slightly, we are by no means the Brady Bunch

I found that the Feliway Diffuser made my cats even more aggressive towards each other....weird. I remember reading on the boards that sometimes you need to reintroduce the cats to each other, keeping them separated until they get used to each others scent. Maybe getting a cat tree will help diffuse any territorial issues Kitty might have? I would also recommend a second litter box, that helped calm things down a bit in my house.

Good luck!
post #6 of 14
I wonder if you rub the scent of Kitty onto Kallie if that would help? Maybe after the vet visit Kallie is giving off some sort of scent from - a BIG GUESS HERE - the shots?

Maybe you gave one a bath, and not the other, and the scent is a problem ... guess, my advice is to look for a problem with scent, and I'd research what might be different for one than the other cat.

I'm grasping at straws here, well, duh!

Does Kitty lay on bedding that you could take and transfer her scent - by rubbing the bedding or cloth on Kallie - well, I think you know what I mean.

My one cat (Simon) is so sensitive to smell - and when I bring one of my other cats home from the vet, my Simon gets very upset - it takes him a while to settle down, too. There's all sorts of hissing, etc. Poor Phoebe, by the look on her little face it looked like she didn't understand why Simon was so nasty with her. I rushed to find something with his scent on it to rub on her, but, I think I was too late with the procedure - should have done it before I took her back into the house.

Well, sorry couldn't be more helpful, but when you become desperate you'll try anything, huh.
post #7 of 14
Unless you think that one of them is going to actually kill the other, let them work it out between them.
post #8 of 14
We have had some luck with boosting our younger kitty's (Sophie's) confidence by giving her her "own" playtime in the evening. We just let Roxy stay in one of the bedroom (with my daughter when she goes to bed) for an hour or so, and she is fine - usually sacked out when we open the door for her again for the night. In about of week of "play therapy" Sophie has really opened up a lot and expects this time of night to be hers now. Just a suggestion.
post #9 of 14
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with a bully cat. My kitten Oliver constantly harasses my older cat female cat Cleo. He will approach Cleo while she is sleeping, gives her a swat on the head and runs away - he also does this while Cleo is using the litter box - thinks it's great fun Cleo is not too pleased though. Anyway I make sure they have fun time together where I play with both of them in the same room this way they will associate good things with each other. I also make sure that Cleo has some alone time with me at night - I will place Oliver in his bedroom and Cleo sleeps contently with me at night- this way she is not under the constant pressure of Oliver's sneak attacks. I think you should give your kitties love, fun, their own space, and most of all your patience.

Mia, Oliver and Cleo
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben234 View Post
I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with a bully cat. My kitten Oliver constantly harasses my older cat female cat Cleo. He will approach Cleo while she is sleeping, gives her a swat on the head and runs away - he also does this while Cleo is using the litter box - thinks it's great fun Cleo is not too pleased though. Anyway I make sure they have fun time together where I play with both of them in the same room this way they will associate good things with each other. I also make sure that Cleo has some alone time with me at night - I will place Oliver in his bedroom and Cleo sleeps contently with me at night- this way she is not under the constant pressure of Oliver's sneak attacks. I think you should give your kitties love, fun, their own space, and most of all your patience.

Mia, Oliver and Cleo
Cats, and their behavior, are just fascinating! I had to laugh as I pictured what Oliver is doing, what a kick! But, I'm sorry for Cleo - just wait till that kid grows up, she'll fix his wagon.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've started making a point of feeding them next to each other. I'm not sure if it's helping yet, but I have noticed that they're getting more comfortable to eat when the other cat is nearby that they were at first.

Hopefully that's some progress!
post #12 of 14
Try both solo and group play. Bella has a tendancy to beat on Stanley when we're not giving her enough individual attention, but things also improved when we started having group laser chase and Da Bird sessions.

I would expect some "growing pains" as your little one gets older, your existing kitty is probably feeling a little insecure and has to assert herself against the newcomer. A good book to read is "Cat Vs Cat".
post #13 of 14
Hi, I sort of lost track of this post for a while. Anyway, our kitty soap opera is likely to evolve for quite a while yet. We have improvements and relapses on a regular basis. Tonight we were quite pleased. They were in the same room and actually ignoring each other! I would like to work toward them playing in the same room. . . but it yet seems like a far away dream. We bought a little of this trouble knowingly since Roxy was a grown cat and older than Sophie when we got her, but it was worth it to save her.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Good to hear that they've at least come near each other without flying fur.

My babies are doing a little better too. They actually both sleep on the bed with me now (one on each side of me, so they don't see each other).

Hopefully they'll keep getting along.
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