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Male and Female cat won't stop fighting, need advice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I’m having an issue with a male and female cat. I recently moved into my boyfriend’s apartment with my 5 year old female cat. My boyfriend has a 3 year old male cat and when I first moved in there were little fights between the two of them, but nothing major. For a week they even seemed like they were getting along, they were sleeping together, and sharing a food bowl and everything. At first my cat seemed like the dominant one; his would go after her and she would smack and hiss at him, and he would stop, but it seems like the tables have turned, and he won't leave her alone. It’s been about a month since moving in, and the fighting has escalated to a stressful level.

The male cat constantly goes after my female cat almost all night long. Last night was particularly bad; lots of screaming and hissing, and even though both cats nails are clipped my cat drew blood trying to defend herself (the male has a scratch by his eye). We were up until almost 3 in the morning trying to keep them apart. We tried keeping my cat in our bedroom with us, but his started scratching at the door keeping us up until we had no choice but to open the door again, and when my cat left the room it caused yet another fight.

My cat can’t do anything around the apartment anymore, not even sleep. At one point she was sleeping peacefully on our bed when the male jumped on her triggering another fight. He chews on her neck and back when she tries to sleep, pounces on and kicks her with his back legs when she tries walking anywhere, attacks her when she’s trying to use HER litter box (he hears her scratching at the litter and runs into the box), tries to attack her while she’s trying to hide from him behind the stove or kitchen table, it’s just getting to be way too stressful!

We’ve tried many things to stop the fighting; spraying them with water, separating them, making loud noises, nothing stops it. His cat is from a shelter and when he adopted he said that his cat was kept separate from the others, and that the shelter workers did not know his history, except that it’s possible he was abused. His cat has always been a bit on the aggressive and kind of on the strange side. He likes playing rough with everything, chews through wires and cables, and has a habit of meowing very loudly at closed doors for hours on end (including doors he’s only seen opened once). He's always tried using a spray bottle to stop his cat from scratching, biting etc. but it never seems to have an affect on the cat; it works for a minute, then he's back at it. My cat meanwhile is nothing but a lap cat, just likes affection and likes to be affectionate. I’ve never seen her fight with another cat before, and I used to live with a room mate who had a kitten. I don’t know if this brief history of both cats helps at all.

Last night my boyfriend started hinting at getting rid of both the cats (he’s talked about getting rid of his before because sometimes he's just too much to handle, but I don’t think he wants to put him back in a shelter out of fear he won’t be adopted). I know people who would gladly take my cat, but I really don’t want to get rid of her. She’s been with me for almost a year, and she’s a great destresser for me.

Basically, I don’t want to ask him to give his cat away, but I don’t want to give mine away either. We are moving into a new apartment at the end of the month, which I’m hoping will decrease the fighting as both cats will be in a new territory, but I’m worried one of them will get really hurt before then. They’re usually fine during the day (a couple spats here and there, but nothing major) but at night it’s just ridiculous.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, we’re at the end of our rope here!
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that both cats are neutered.
post #3 of 10
Have you tried using Feliway?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I haven't, what is that?
post #5 of 10
Feliway is a pheromone spray that calms cats by producing the same pheromones they emit from their face when they mark territory.

The reset in a new apartment sounds like it will help, as it sounds like your boyfriend's cat is very territorial. When the territory resets and neither cat owns it yet, the behavior should get better.

Why is your boyfriend suggesting getting rid of both cats? If his is the problem cat and he was having these thoughts anyway, shouldn't his cat be the only one to go? I'm not saying you should get rid of either, but why is he saying get rid of both?

With the new apartment, there's also a good chance that if your cats honestly don't like each other, they will divide the apartment into two territories, rather than both claiming the entire apartment and fighting consistently. It's not the greatest scenerio, but most cats I know who live with cats they don't like tend to stick to seperate eareas of the house/apartment without much bickering, and they all seem happy (happier then they'd be constantly fighting).
post #6 of 10
Is it possible to separate them completely, let things cool down and then do a slow reintroduction? There are some great threads on this site for how to do that. It sounds like hitting the reset button would help.
post #7 of 10
Not sure why you would have to get rid of both. If he was already considering getting rid of his due to behavioral issues, what does that have to do with your angel?

If you were staying in the current appt, I would just start on new cat introduction steps from square one. Since you are moving soon, I'd perhaps just go w/ the feliway and separation and make sure they both have bells on them so they can't surprise one another.
post #8 of 10
Agree with above. Start over like you just got both cats. I have heard of many positive outcomes with "starting over". The bells are a great idea, so there can't be any sneak attacks. Good Luck
post #9 of 10

Replying to the tomcat who keeps attacking the female cat.  I have exactly the same scenario happening only different circumstances.  I adopted a 4 year old female british shorthair (Molly) from the animal pound.  She was very withdrawn for the first 2 weeks which she spent under my bed.  She is not very affectionate, but she has her momenst.  Im not sure of her history but I suspect she may not have received much affection before she was given up for adoption.  I adopted a male kitten 8 months ago (Timmy).  He is a layonese and very, very cute - he is 8 months old now and growing very quickly.  I adopted him because my 11 year old son loves cats, but Molly didn't share the love at all.


When I first brought Timmy home, Molly ignored him, but, being a kitten, Timmy was playful and he annoyed Molly who showed her contempt by swatting him away, hissing and eventually growling as well.  As Timmy has grown bigger, he is starting to react aggressively to Molly.  I let them fight it out for the past 8 months, but it is becoming stressful for all of us - especially the cats.  They are jumpy and looked freaked out alot of the time (jumping at sounds like leaves blowing etc).  I'm worried they will become so stressed that they will become ill.  Molly has started spending long periods under my bed again.


I've tried spraying them with water and stamping my feet andloudly  clapping my hands when they fight, but it only breaks them up until Timmy seeks Molly out for another fight.  Molly has had enough, but I fear Timmy is only just getting started.  He is fixated with Molly - he follows her around and jumps on her back which starts awful fights.  If he would just leave her alone things would be more peaceful, but he is absolutely fixated with her.  He sniffs everything she sits on and touches.


I'm going to try the Feliway spray.  I tried rubbing them with towels to transfer their scent onto each other but it didnt have any noticeable affect.

post #10 of 10

I'm sorry but letting them work it out just isn't the best idea, in my opinion. What they are doing is establishing the relationship of fighting. I would keep everyone confined and do slow and very carefully supervised reintroductions. Someone is going to be hurt and then you've got a huge problem on your hands. Cat bites can be very serious and no one wants to live in that kind of an environment - even the cats.


If you can't figure out a way to get them to at least tolerate each other, then I believe it would be better to rehome one of them. (That goes for both sets of problem cats)

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