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spraying and fighting

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm new to this forum and hope to gather some helpful ideas.

I have two calico cats, 9 years old. They are sisters and have always lived together. We acquired them as kittens (approx 8 wks old). Mother was wild, we believe; also believe she was killed by a car. Both cats are spayed and have always been indoor cats. They have successfully weathered four moves and a new baby (the "baby" is now almost 5 yrs old).

Last April the cats woke me at 3:00am tearing around the house growling and snapping at each other. This continued. One cat, Yuki, is the aggressor, chasing her sister Aki. I took them to the vet, who told me they were both healthy and that I was doing well to have gone 8 or 9 years with calicos and not have any behavior problems....

We have separated the cats. We have a finished basement/rec room and keep Yuki there. Aki has always been the "bed cat", so she remains upstairs. They still harrass each other through the door to the basement.

Yuki has also started spraying in the basement (yuck!) I believe this is due to the feral cats that wander through our back yard. (This is a "daylight" basement, so parts of it open to the yard. Yuki can see the cats through windows and doors). She has become very territorial. Aki is also upset by the feral cats, but does not spray.

My questions are: any ideas on how to reconcile the two cats to each other again? Also, any ideas on eliminating the spraying? I've been doing some reading on the spraying.

Sorry this is such a long post. Any helpful suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 7
I have never seen a situation where two (healthy) cats go at it after that many years. I wish I could be of more help there. I am sure someone on this board has some experience with that one.
For the spraying, a few suggestions would be..first to get the odor out. You can tape waxed paper where they are spraying to help contain it. They say that to help you can make sure they have a scratching post near the windows where they see the other cats. Also having a bed near the window so they can lay and protect their house. The more places they have to leave their scent with their paws instead of urine..the better. I hope you can get this worked out!!
post #3 of 7
Welcome to the forums firstlight,

For the spraying check out this article:

For the aggression problem, you could try and re-introduce them as you would introduce new cats. Have they been seperated from last April till now? What happened if and when you tried to let them meet?

You may want to ask your vet about using medication to calm them down while they're being re-introduced.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information so far! The cats have been separated since last April except for brief, accidental encounters. We can always tell when these occur because we hear thunderous running, hissing, growling, etc. It always ends in a standoff/stakeout, with Aki (usually)crammed into some space Yuki can't reach, both cats growling and fur on end. Fortunately I can pick up one and remove her from the situation (they don't take out their aggression on me). Individually they are their normal, lovable selves.

I will work on removing the smell of the spraying. I wonder if more (playful) diversions might help too. We spend time with each cat, but I can see there may be more room for kitty toys during the "off time". Perhaps a fun, healthy energy release might help. Then I can work with our vet about re-introductions...
post #5 of 7
The toys are a good idea. The busier, the better. Boy, something bad must have happened at some point. You may even try some rescue remedy to calm their nerves before they see each other. You may even want to contact a behavioral expert..hehe, yes they have them for cats. I really hope they can be friends again!!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hmmm. I think I'm going to have to investigate cat thinking processes more. I can't think of any one thing that may have caused problems, but there were a series of events before the fighting and spraying started. Aki broke her foot in Sept 1999 and cast didn't come off until late Nov 1999. (How does a cat break her foot? By jumping/falling from an upstairs landing to a hardwood floor below. I didn't see it, but I think my daughter picked up Aki, and Aki jumped out of her arms too close to the edge of the landing and momentum carried her over the edge). Yuki started the fighting in April 2000. We were out of town a lot in March/April 2000 due to family emergencies. Mother-in-law lives with us so cats were not alone, but usual family dynamics were not in place.

Rescue Remedy is a good idea. I have used it before when we moved with the cats, and also other flower remedies when child was born. I tried a combination when this first started, but did not see improvement. May be worth trying again; review best combination. Thanks for the thoughts!
post #7 of 7
I definately know what it is like when you have two cat's and one gets neutered. I have a siamese cat and the other is a beautiful black mutt. The black cat, named Von, is older than the siamese,named Blue. I had already gotten Von neutered and I finally got to the point where Blue was spraying all my clothes and so I took him in to get neutered. Well when I brought Blue back home, Von literally attacked Blue. Before he had gotten neutered they both got along pretty well. But it scared me to death. Von was hissing and clawing at Blue and I literally thought that Von was going to kill Blue. In fact Von chased Blue down and Blue fell off the refrigerator. I was so worried that I was going to have to give Blue or Von up. But I kept Blue in a seperate room with Von and I brought both of them out a couple of hours a day when I was home to smell and be around each other. I pet both of them simultaneously and told them both how beautiful they were and that I loved them both. After awhile I left them together for longer than a couple of hours. But I literally kept them apart for five days. Be very patient and loving towards the whole situation. Believe you me things will get better.
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