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agressive new behaviour pattern

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi. We have two Devon Rex males who are brothers, aged 6 and both have been 'done'.

firstly a bit of background info:

We have had them for 3 years and have suffered severe spraying problems, resulting in the loss of furniture and expensive trips to vets and so called 'experts' on cat behaviour. We are the cats 4th owners (!!!!) - apart from that , they both have always got along very well together.

the problem:

in the past 6-8 months, for no real reason, one of them has started to constantly sniff or what looks like an attempted biting or the others bottom. he will chase him around the house and it will end up in a nasty fight or being chased out of the house through the cat flap. In the last 3 months or so, this has been slowly getting worse, so much so that it looks as if this is some sort of territorial thing between them. We don't like seeing this happen and its not very pleasant for that cat that is being chased about all the time.

has anyone ever seen this kind of thing hgappening before and can recommend any form of 'treatment'? we have been told to get some lavender oil and put small drops around the home , which should help calm the cats down.

we have gone through enough with these two and would really like our problem to settle down.

please help if possible.
post #2 of 5
Hi Davo,

Welcome to the boards first off! I am so sorry that you have been through it with these two. Coming from so many owners, I am sure they are unsettled themselves wondering if this home will be their last or if they will be moved again.

I will admit complete ignorance on the part of purebreed cats, other than I admire all the breeds and have nothing but respect for ethical breeders. But I deal with behavior issues in strays and ferals. First, I have one question, do they both have their claws? And 6 months ago when this new behavior started, did you take the cat being bitten and chased to the vet for a check-up? The reason I ask, is sometimes, when two cats are close, and one starts coming down sick, the sick one smells differently. His buddy, trying to figure it out (the new smell I mean) will go to the strongest scent pads on a cat which is located in the rear (at the sides of the anus) and "try" and get a handle on this new smell. The other cat cannot quite get the familiar odor he is so accustomed to, and since cats are scent driven, he tries to chase the intruder away.

You may say to yourself about now, that the other one doesn't act sick, but cats are so low on the food chain, they know if they "act" sick they could be eaten or preyed upon so they do their best to not act abnormal until sometimes it is to late and whatever is happening inside manifests itself in a large way outside.

If you have taken these two to the vet, then I would try a couple of things. I would invest in a large bottle of vanilla extract, a Comfort Zone Room mister by Farnum Pet, and a bottle of Bach Flower Remedies -Holly- is the one you want.

I would install the room mister in the main room of the house where the cats hang out together. Taking the vanilla extract, 3 times a day, put a small dab under each cats chin, between their shoulder blades and at the base of the tail. This gives them the same scent making them less of a threat to each other.

On the Bach Remedy you need a small empty glass stopper bottle and a bottle of Spring water-don't use tap or distilled, use Spring. Mix up the batch as directed, shake the bottle 100 times, and store in your :censor::censor::censor::censor:. Give the aggressive cat 4 drops every day on his tongue.

There are indeed drugs your vet can issue you to help stop aggressive behavior, but over time these drugs can have unpleasant side effects.

Another suggestion would be to check out in our Behavior section a portion called Tabbytudes. Read the archives and see if you can spot any of this type of problem that our behavior expert might have already addressed.

Also think back carefully 6-8 months ago when this started. Anything new introduced in the environment? A new piece of furniture, did you change the bedspread on the bed? Move furniture, paint a wall? It is always surprising to me how a subtle change we never even think about can upset the balance in a cat. Cats like routine, and when that routine changes, sometimes so do they.

Best of luck with this- and again welcome to the board!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanks - we know this will be their last home - we just love em far too much!

thanks for the advice, although a little worrying!!!
We have heard before that Devons can be a little bit on the fussy side, so we take their lives and their actions at times with a pinch of salt. Yes, they may be unsettled on the fact that they have been re-homed four times in three years, but having been with us for the last 3 years, I would hope that that has now cleared up somewhat. Not sure how long a cat needs to feel comfortable in its new surroundings, but Im sure that 3 years is enough???

Yes, we have done work on our home in the last year, and quite extensively, including new floorboards and painting of walls - they seemed to take this quite in their stride, which was what we were not expecting!! They do both have their claws - not sure on the relevance of this thou?? We had no idea that the pattern of one of the cats biting the others bottom could be because he may be ill or something else...very worrying! makes sense thou.

We havent taken them to the vet for this, as we werent too sure if it warranted another visit for a behaviour problem - im sure you can appreciate the cost given our visits to do with spraying in the early days - but as they are due a visit in the next few days for a flea injection, it will be mentioned then. thanks very much there for a big insight and possible cause and help.

I will let you know about the visit to the vet and to see what kind of treatment she recommmends. What we are trying at the moment is drops of lavender oil around the home to try and clam them down.

thanks again
post #4 of 5
When hissy asked about the claws, she was trying to find out whether either cat had been declawed. A declawed cat will more likely be aggressive than a cat with claws. (And this forum has predominantly anti-declaw members. There have been many discussions, some more lively than others. Just type declaw into the search function.) Anyway back to your Devons...

Even though they appeared to cope well with the work done in the house by not hiding and refusing to come out. It could be a possibility that the one showing aggression is acting out because of the work. He may feel offended or threatened that his home and territory of 3 years with familiar scents has been taken away from him and isn't too happy about familiarising himself again.

Another thing to try to calm them down is a Feliway plug in or spray. It emits cat facial pheromones to promot a sense of well being and calm.

Do mention what you have told us to the vet when they go in.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

I did wonder if declawed cats would be more agressive - theres no way we'd ever get the cats declawed, thats like chopping off our hands. At least we can count that one out! phew.

we have tried feliway, but with no luck...plus, its quite expensive and doesnt last that long. I dont mind spending money on the cats, but we cant just throw good money away after bad.

we are are some luck with lavender oil....small drops around the house is deffo making a difference!!! they are much clamer, and for the first time in a while, they both have been on my lap together at the same time - this hasn't happened for some time!

we have done a fair bit of work on the house, and yes, i can see why they feel their territory has gone, due their smells going with that.

I will post a report of what our vet suggests .

thanks for the help again.
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