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Intro to my darlings, and question about sibling rivalry

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

I am glad to have found these forums - the brief time I have spent reading has already taught me a lot about cat behaviour ... I thought maybe you might be able to give me some advice also.. I have sibling rivalry problems. It goes back a while, so I will give a brief history..

Donna (spayed female) and Daggy (neutered male) are (at least) half siblings. We arent really sure of the father. Donna is older by a litter (about 2.5 months). They are about 5 years old ... maybe a touch more.

Donna came to us with her owner at about 3 months old. Daggy came a few weeks later, and Im sure he was a bit too young .. he has always been quite uncoordinated, hence the name...

Anyhow, they were fine for ages ... slept curled up with each other, no issues at all.

Even as Daggy got older and larger, everything was fine. Donna was alpha, but never needed to display it, and all was right in the world.

Then once we needed to be away for a couple of days, and Daggy got cat flu the day before we left. So rather than leave them at home, with someone coming to feed them, Daggy went to hospital, and Donna stayed by herself.

Ever since coming home, she has hissed at Daggy.

Now, this was all about ...3.5 years ago. I didnt know anything about behaviour and just thought it would sort itself out. I have since read a lot of the forums here and would do things differently now ... but anyway.

Soon after that, Daggy developed an allergy to the pet food we had been giving him. So he had to eat chicken mince. However, with the price of chicken, there was no way we were going to feed them both the chicken, so we have since separated them for feeding... Donna shut up in a room by herself, becs it is Daggy we need to keep away from food. When she is finished we let her out, and if Daggy hasnt finished his nice food, Donna will eat some.

Daggy never fights with Donna - he recognises she is dominant. But he still thinks he is a kitten, and often chases her - Im sure only becs she runs away. If she stops, he just stops and stands there.

We used to put them together at night, but it got so bad that Donna wee'ed and poo'ed on her bed rather than go near Daggy and use the litter. (Daggy never uses the litter, he goes outside). Anyhow, so then we needed to seperate them at night, so we put Donna in one room with the litter, and Daggy in the other.

It is not uncommon, especially in the mornings, for them to approach each other, touch noses, Daggy will sniff at Donna's tail, and then at that point Donna will hiss.

Donna often sits in an open door, and if Daggy approaches, even if he is just wanting to go through the door, or look out the door, Donna will hiss and if he keeps coming, she will arch up and really spit. Once or twice I have seen her take a swipe.

Now, if they see a neighbourhood cat, it is Daggy that takes after it and fights ... Donna will just fluff up and growl or hiss.

Where can I start to undo 3.5 years of antagonism?

Thanks for your thoughts
post #2 of 2
Wow, I am sorry to hear the story and I wish you all the best, however I will leave that to the experts.
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