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Physical aggression

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I posted recently because I am having some difficulty introducing new cats to my resident cat. Even with behind the gate interactions, she tries reaching through to smack the other cat.

She has always been physically aggressive with my 13 year old dog, who is COMPLETELY passive and does nothing more than walk past her. Sometimes she just bops him but other times it's more vicious with claws. He never defends himself. She does this a lot when she wants food. The problem is that she ALWAYS wants food. Even though she gets plenty of play time and eats regularly (she's actually slightly overweight), she is fixated on food. However, she will attack him at other times as well.

 

I've been told to use a spray bottle. I have been very reluctant to do that but I'm beginning to think I may have no alternative.

 

How do you get a cat to stop attacking other animals?

post #2 of 8

You're right not to try the spray bottle. An aggressive cat is often an anxious cat and you shouldn't attempt to punish her in any way or form. Spraying her with water is just likely to make her more anxious and aggressive.

 

Introductions of one cat to another are almost always a challenge, especially is both cats are adult cats. Please check out the following articles, and then tell us more about the situation (especially about the other cat and where you stand right now in the introduction process) - 

 

Introducing Cats to Cats

 

Breaking Up Cat Fights (I hope you're not there yet, but it's always good to know!)

 

Cats and Discipline Don't Mix - more info about why using the spray bottle is not a good idea

 

And possibly these will help too - 

 

How to Tell if Your Cat is Stressed Out

Six Surefire Strategies to Reduce Stress in Cats

Potential Stressors in Cats - The Ultimate Checklist

post #3 of 8
I would get your cat to vet and tear thyroid. I had a cat act that way about food it was her thyroid. And get feliway diffusers to calm your cats aggression. Let me know
post #4 of 8
Definitely look over the articles that Anne posted above! I do have some questions though, if you don't mind, which will help us to help you! wink.gif

Do you just have one other resident cat? Did you rescue this cat from a shelter or a friend? How old is the cat? How long have you had this new cat? Has the cat been checked out from a vet before you brought her home? If she is constantly looking for food and seemingly hungry, aggressively so, then I would suggest getting a vet check and a blood panel done, if possible. That way you can rule out anything medical causing her to be outwardly crabby. It very well could be that she needs a safe room - a place to call her own so she can adjust to her new environment without the added stressors of other cats or the dog walking by. If this kitty is older, then she made need more time to adjust this way before she is actually visually seeing the other pets. Smell first, then visual, then if all goes well, you can move on to allowing the newbie and the resident cats to investigate territories. This can be a long process and sometimes you have to go back to step one and start over. Extremely worthwhile in the long run to take your time and don't rush meetings. If you can give us a little more information, it would be helpful in trying to assist you with a solution. Let us know !!! wavey.gif
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. To answer your questions, there is only one resident cat, who I adopted in December. I had just gotten her biting issues with me under control, when I had to take in a relative and her two bengals. 

She has always beaten up on the dog without any provocation whatsoever. Since the bengals are here, this seems to have gotten a little worse, even when the bengals are in their own room. I don't know if she feels threatened by the bengals and is more aggressive about food in general.

She somewhere between 1.5-2 years old. 

I just had bloodwork but I did not ask for a thyroid test. I did mention her food obsession but he didn't suggest it. Otherwise, blood was normal and she's healthy.

Due to the layout of my house, the bengals are in the laundry room and they come out and roam the house a few times a day. So, their scent is already all over the house. When the bengals are out of their room, I bring her upstairs in my bedroom and shut the door. She doesn't have a safe room, per se, to escape to because I just don't have the room in my house. When she's upstairs with me, the bengals will come up and sit by the door, claw at the door and meow outside.

 

When I try to have one of the bengals behind a gate and my cat on the other side, she hisses, tries to smack the other cat, and sometimes hides and cries, herself. The whole situation is very stressful for all of us. 

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannahelp View Post

The whole situation is very stressful for all of us. 

Certainly is a stressful situation. So to my understanding, you took in the two Bengals and the relative after you adopted your "resident" cat back in December whom had biting issues.

I can say now after you have given more information that this is not health related, but stress related and fear. Bengal cats can be very assertive and strong to other domestic cats. Your cat is very, very frightened and rightly so, I think. I am not sure this will work out, at all. The Bengal cats will stick together and your other cat knows this. I don't mean to be a downer and maybe some experienced Bengal people would go against what I am saying, but I am not sure how well this will work out. You may always have to keep them all separated. frown.gif Mostly because your resident cat is still fairly new to your home and had issues before the new arrivals. I don't think any amount of Feliway, or calming techniques will work well here. My only hope is that the Bengal cats are serene and laid back enough to eventually accept another small domestic cat. Just not sure here.

Is this a permanent situation? The relative and the two Bengal cats staying long term? It was very kind of you to take them in and that is what family does for each other. Unfortunately, our pets don't usually agree.

A little about Bengal cats http://www.thecatsite.com/a/bengal-cats As far as I know, they are wonderful, beautiful, agile and extremely athletic and full of energy. They require LOTS and LOTS of attention. Being that they are confined to a laundry room all day with short jaunts out may cause them just as much stress as your resident cat. Which, in turn, will come out in not so good ways. They will require ample playtime to exhaust their pent up energy by being in such a small room.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

The bengals are young and they are laid back However, they want to interact with her. One of them actually cries to be with her. They want to sit next to her and just kind of hang out but she wants no parts of them.One of them is very submissive but the other is very insistent.

I'm not sure how long they'll be here.

 

My other big concern though is with my dog. How do I keep the resident cat from assaulting him? He's old and he really does not bother her. The attacks on him are just as concerning to me. She sometimes attacks him on the stairs and he loses his footing. He could really get injured.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannahelp View Post

My other big concern though is with my dog. How do I keep the resident cat from assaulting him? He's old and he really does not bother her. The attacks on him are just as concerning to me. She sometimes attacks him on the stairs and he loses his footing. He could really get injured.

That is and must be upsetting to you. I have a very elderly dog who topples over quite easily and I also have an kitty who transfer aggression onto the dogs. ohwell.gif The only thing I try to do is to anticipate these confrontations and intervene.

It seems that resident kitty (name??) is frightened by dogs and has had a bad experience in the past with dogs. That would explain why she feels the need to lash out at the innocent bystander, your dog. It is so much easier to train a dog NOT to chase cats than it is to stop a cat from being dog aggressive. I know for a fact that in time, resident kitty WILL get over the need to go after your dog. Your dog sounds so sweet and kind and eventually the cat will realize that the dog is of no threat and that it is wasted energy. I hope. cross.gif I also still believe that resident kitty is still stressed by the addition of the new arrivals and is going to lash out on the nearest victim, possibly the dog.

You could try giving her these as many here have had success with these treats. http://www.amazon.com/Vetri-Science-Composure-Feline-Bite-Sized-Chews/dp/B003KV7XVA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403112912&sr=8-1&keywords=composure+treats+for+cats Of course, this will not fix the issue but may help her to tone it down a bit. There are also Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences that some cats definitely respond to http://jacksongalaxy.com/spirit-essences/ ALSO Another good article on introducing dog/cat http://www.thecatsite.com/a/introducing-cats-to-dogs

I think there has been SO much new in resident kitties life in the last six months since you adopted her and this is going to take much time and patience. I think she may need a room all her own for a bit until you see her calming down. It is not good for her to be so stressed, as you probably already know. Not good for you either, the worry. Been there, so I get what you are going through. vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif


Adding in this from a team member who just brought this to attention. Check with vet first but it looks to be quite safe and effective for dogs AND cats. http://vetadvice.hubpages.com/hub/zylkene and another link to Zylkene http://www.zylkenepet.co.uk/aboutzylkene/index.html#.U6H2hhtOWUk

It seems that veterinarian scientists have isolated the protein in mother's milk that calms kittens and have made an OTC product for dogs/cats. This looks very promising on many fronts for fearful and stressful situations.
Edited by Feralvr - 6/18/14 at 1:32pm
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