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Update-New Fighting Among Old Buddies  

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know it has only been 2-3 days, but.............. things seem to be worse. Now Misty (the older one, that was being attacked) is so stressed, fearful that when she smells, sees or is in the presence of TwoPaws she snarls and growls and threatens. This causes TwoPaws to attack. Wearas before Misty would do nothing.

I bought the book "The Cat Who Cried For Help" and am trying the ideas in there. I have also been trying "Rescue Remedy" as suggested. I guess I just need to keep trying. It is hard though. Misty and TwoPaws seem so miserable. I can't be in two places at once and they both use to sleep in the same room with me, taking turns sleeping on the bed and one in a nearby chair.

I have called the vet, he has told me to give it another couple of days. It does not appear that either of them are sick. If they don't calm down he wants to try a hormone shot. He is thinking the hormone will make them less territorial.

Well, thanks for the information I've been given, I will continue to try. Any more suggestions will be welcomed. I am fearful that I may end up having to give TwoPaws away and I do not want to do that.
post #2 of 19
With cats it can take a few weeks. The steps you are taking really will help. They were friends once and I am confident that they can make up. If after a week or two, things don't improve, yes let the vet try the hormones. You can also try using a spray called feliway. It tends to make them less territorial. Make sure they can see or smell each other but can't make contact. Please keep us posted on the progress!
post #3 of 19
I hope it works out soon.

by the way, can you please post the updates to the same thread. This place will get even more confusing if we start new threads for updates. When you do update an older thread, it gets bumped up to the top of the thread list, so you don't have to worry about it's being buried down the list.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
First, thank you Anne for letting me know about the policy of putting "updates" within the old thread and not creating new threads. I didn't know and am glad to comply.

I have a question. I have been putting one of the cats in a carrier/small kennel cage in my room and leaving the door open so that the other one can see her. She(Misty) will not venture into the room yet. I miss her, she use to sleep with me. I believe she is afraid of TwoPaws since she's been attacked 4 times from her. They have been smelling each other and hissing at each other through the door. So, I thought perhaps it was time to go a little further.

I am wondering how long do I keep TwoPaws in the cage? I left her in there for about 20-25 minutes (she cried the entire time!)Misty stayed on a table about 5 feet from my door and watched her, occasionally hissing. Do I keep her in the cage longer, until Misty comes in and investigates. I don't want to force Misty in the room, or should I? I am thinking perhaps I should have them trade places, put Misty in the cage for awhile, too.

What do you think?
post #5 of 19
Yeah, you may want to try leaving one in there until the other investigates. Also, it may help to switch now and then. This way they get the scent of one another. How big is the kennel you are using? You may want to invest in one of the full metal ones. They can be put up and taken apart very easily. We finally got one and use it all the time. It especially came in handy when moving cross country. This way they have room to move around and can see every angle. I just cant imagine them never being frinds again!!
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
The kennel is a medium size-- big enough for a full grown dog--- a PUG, which is not a big dog, but bigger than a cat.

I tried bringing TwoPaws out to Misty this afternoon, holding her. I am not sure, but I don't think TwoPaws would attack Misty. However, Misty is scared so she hisses and snarls. She tries to stay far away from TwoPaws, I believe she would run if I let go of TwoPaws, who would chase after her- because of the running and threatening from Misty.

This is all my speculation. I could be wrong, but am afraid to let go of TwoPaws to find out. I will try your suggestion of keeping one in the kennel until the other gets close enough to investigate. I won't be able to do this until Friday, however. I won't be home long enough. Wouldn't it not be a good idea for me to do this without supervising?

What if this takes hours or longer than a day? Do I perservere and keep whoever in the kennel? I feel like such a "meany", it is hard to listen to the "pitiful cries"! Oh well, guess I have to do what is best even though it feels bad. If I had children they would be so spoiled.

Again, thank you for your continued interest in my dilemma. I DO appreciate all the advice I have been receiving from EVERYONE!
post #7 of 19
I find that the weekends are best to do new things in my house. When I know I will be home. Maybe then you can switch them after ahwile.
I have to say, I even have two cats out of the eleven that dont really care for each other. I am not sure what it is, but they get along with everyone else. I dont put to much pressure on it because they dont rip each other up. Usually the female growls at the male and he just taunts her. Sometimes they chase each other, and it sounds bad, but there are no claws or teeth involved. I am hoping with a little coaxing, your two can be friends again!!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
You have eleven cats! You must really like them. I am more of a dog person. However, my lifestyle did not allow me a dog. I got Misty first, felt guilty leaving her alone so got TwoPaws for her! Now I have grown to absolutely love cats! It only took a few days- they are so adorable and fun, now 8 years have passed and I can't imagine my life without them.

Guess what, I failed to mention that there has been no drawing of blood. I talked with someone at the local Humane Society today. They said since there is no drawing of blood to just let them "work it out". This makes me nervous, it sounds so horrible, the screaming, snarling, hissing, spitting and then tumbling around one another on the floor.

I am not sure what I should do, but thought I would give it a try. Hope I am not making a mistake. I should have made it more clear to everyone-- I just figured a fight is a fight and is not a good sign.

I cut TwoPaws nails, so they are not pointed and sharp as Misty has no nails. I DO hope all goes well tonight. I figured I would start tonight as I am home tonight (usually work overnights) and most of tomorrow and the weekend.

I hope I am not making a mistake. What do you think? Should I have mentioned to you and everyone that there has been no blood drawing?

The past hour, since TwoPaws has been "set free" she has just been roaming around the house happily. Misty is hiding, very afraid under bed in a spare room. She is not usually frightened, but since TwoPaws has attacked her a few times...............

It does not appear that TwoPaws wants to fight, so I hope all will go well. However, it may happen just out of Misty's new fear.

I am sorry to go on and on like this about them. It is just they are like my children. I do appreciate MUCH your willingness to take the time and "talk me through this"! You have been so helpful.
Thank you,

[Edited by m2paws on 02-21-2001 at 10:57 PM]
post #9 of 19
HeHe, yes I have 11 cats and I really do love them all. I plan to have more once I have more living space. I also love dogs but because of their size I am limited to one. You know, I would leave them roam together for a week or so. See if they can work it out. If you hear them, tell the instigator no and go see if you cant get them apart again. My two do this all the time. I know who started it and I tell him no and tell him to go do something, he usually gives me his grin and trots off. See how things go with them in the house together and then maybe try to get them a little closer each day for play time and such..
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, last night went by without any fights, not even a snarl. However, they stayed away from each other. This morning Misty did do some growling and snarling, but stayed in her space. TwoPaws did not go after her, yeah! She was a bit hesitant to stay in the same room, but did for a few minutes.

It seems that Misty wants the upstairs to be her space, since she is afraid to come downstairs. Downstairs is a cellar, cement floor and I have my bedroom in a room that is built onto the cellar.

Well, this I can "live with" for a while. I do hope that in time they will allow each other to share the same room. I would like Misty to be able to "hang out" with TwoPaws and me in my bedroom, where I am most of the time. My computer, books and tv are down here. (I moved in with my parents to help them out and I need "my space", too!

By the way, Sandie, are all your cats totally "indoor" cats? Mine are, I don't like the shedding so much, but I DO love them and look past that. I cannot imagine 11 cats worth of hair in the house! How does your dog like them? Do any cuddle with him?

I would like to eventually try and get TwoPaws to not be so afraid with my parent's PUG, named, "Baby". He so sweet and will not hurt her. She is just so timid that if he makes any kind of move toward her she attacks her! She is fine if Baby is absolutely still. But, that is for later-need to get past this new development and settled back into it before I put anymore stress in her, TwoPaws life. It is fine the way things are with TwoPaws and Baby as Baby is never alone, she always has a human with her. She very "spoiled"! Misty gets along fine with Baby. They don't play, but do get along.

Well, I have to be going. Thanks again.
post #11 of 19
Yes, all the cats are indoors only. I am one of those people who would worry to death if any were outside. The cat hair is not as bad as anyone would think. This of course is because I am very anal about the house. Every day the bed, couch and chairs get lint brushed and the house gets vacuumed. I wash all the curtains once every few months and run the lint brush across them once a week.
The dog thinks he is a cat now. he plays with the young ones, but we have to watch him since he is 50lbs and does not know this. I only have one cat who will swing at him. he is my 22lb boy and the dog has learned to fear him and stays away. I really cant imagine my life without having any of them now. I do all the extra work because I want to, I will say sometimes though..I get pretty tired! Then I get a meow or a excited tail flick...and its all better!!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I thought I would write and let you know what is happening. Well, I talked with the vet, told him that after another week I don't believe it is a "territorial issue". He says the hormone shots won't help, then. Therefore, he has no idea what to do, no experience in this area. Not many vets around here do have experience with behavioral issues in cats. He offered me a number for a behavorist at Cornell University, but a phone consultation would cost $$$$-- not an option for me.

I guess we can "live with it"-- I can. I just feel really bad for Misty (8 yr. old, she is so anxiety ridden! :-( Also, I don't think it fair that my Mother has to live with it, too, though she is willing. It is kind of funny, in a way (my Mother's words), last night (I was at work) she had to "fight" Misty for the her bed! Misty has taken over my parent's bedroom, along with their cat and Pug (Baby).

The last 2 days she is wary of venturing out of the room. TwoPaws has been going upstairs to seek out company. Atleast that is what I think, she is not looking to fight, she has not attempted an "attack" in a week. I believe she has become lonly- no one wanting to be with her, in the animal kingdom at this house. :-) When she tries to "visit" Misty snarls and growls at her, which causes TwoPaws to do the same, however in a fearful way.

So,.................. that is what is happening at this time. I just want to be able to help Misty get over her fear. I think if I can do that things will calm down and perhaps go back to normal? Maybe? I'd like Misty to feel comfortable in her home, eventually coming back downstairs to be with me.(and TwoPaws)

The Rescue Remedy does not seem to be helping a whole lot in that area. Are there other alternative medicine type things that may help Misty's fear? I did mention the book "The Cat Who Cried For Help" to my vet and suggested the drugs that Dr. Dodman used. My vet says he has no experience with that and would not like to do that. He says that it is just going to take "time". Otherwise, if it does not work out he says I would need to find another home for one of them. Not an option I like-- will do IF I HAVE TO-- but only as a LAST RESORT. We can live "as is" as long as no fights take place that are harmful to any of the animals.

So, anymore suggestions? Thanks for all your help.
post #13 of 19
Hmmmm, I am pretty much out of ideas. Like I said, I have 2 that do this all the time. I just leave it be because neither of them are going anywhere. Nobody gets hurt and they both have a very loving home for life. Maybe Rene will have some ideas, she deals with people who rescue ferals all the time.
post #14 of 19
I can completely sympathize with your dilemma. After a neighborhood outdoor cat broke through my screen this last summer while I wasn't home, my cat Tigger had displaced aggression onto my other cat, Miles. It took a week or so for them to get along after that.

Being new to this story, I hope that I have all of the fact straight, but I'm wondering if you know what caused this siutation?

Here's what I did with my cats: although Miles is shy, he's inquisitive when he knows something is happening in the apartment. I kept the cats separated in two different spaces of the apartment overnight and while I was out at work so that they didn't have any unsupervised interaction. I would suggest doing this even if your mom is home if she isn't quite sure what to do with them. Then, when I was home, I would hold Tigger and pet and talk quietly to him. In past experiences when he's been scared, he's felt better when I've done that. Curious, Miles came out to see what was going on -- he heard my "talking to the kitties voice" and was wondering what was up. Tigg would hiss & growl, but felt ok as long as I was holding him. Miles would walk up to him cautiously and I would pet Tigg and then pet Miles for a little bit. After petting Miles I would let Tigg smell my hand and say things like, "see, he's a good kitty" in that silly-talking-to-the-kitties voice. Tigg seemed to feel a little better. I'd keep it up for as long as he was comfortable. I even tried giving them treats at the same time and doing the pet-and-smell technique.

I dunno, you might want to give that a try. If nothing seems to work, I'd call the local MSPCA (or whatever it's called in your area) and see if they can recommend someone to talk to. I don't think you should have to pay for a quick phone consultation!

Good luck! I think the main thing is to show your cats that you love them both. It's best to be able to do that in front of the both of them. They trust you and if you try to provide them with the most natural, comfortable environment that you can, they'll take notice and feel better.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your ideas. I will try your idea Laura of holding one of them and petting, feeding, etc... in front of each of them. I have some, but not a whole lot in the presence of the other since it is difficult to keep Misty in the same room as TwoPaws. Perhaps I need to bring Misty downstairs to my room and have her in with us so she can't escape too quickly. But do so only as long as she can tolerate, I don't want to stress her out even more. Perhaps over time she will tolerate it longer and longer.

Laura, FYI-- I've had Misty (8 yr. old) since she was 8 weeks old. TwoPaws (7 yr. old) since she was about 3 months. They've been together for years with never a problem. I am not really sure what caused the problem, it seems that TwoPaws was startled by something and came out attacking Misty-- redirected aggression, as far as I can tell. This was about 2 weeks+ ago. I've tried several things- it is better. TwoPaws had attacked Misty 4 times in the space of 2 days in the beginning. It is has not happened since. However, Misty is now fearful.

Thank you Sandie for all your help, perhaps I, too need to just "let it be" and not be overly concerned? It is just that I find it hard to watch Misty be so fearful. It is SO unlike her.

Well, thanks again! I will let you know how it goes.
post #16 of 19
I just wanted to share with you what I had to do in a similar situation. When I moved into an old 5-bedroom Victorian house with some friends, I didn't think my cats would have a problem with their new roommate cat because there was so much space. I learned over time, however, that it just wasn't going to work out.

Not only were my cats attacking each other because of the stress, but also their new roommate would bully them into one room where they would be stuck on the bed too scared to come off of it. The roommate kitty would then stay on guard at the foot of the bed until I got home to shoo him away!

After discussing the problem with my roommates, we figured out a way to separate the house in half. We added a door into a passage between the two biggest rooms of the house. Then we promised to keep that door and another one closed at all times so that their cat would have the north half and my cats would have the south half.

Of course there were break-outs now and then, but my cats calmed down very quickly. In only a couple of days, they had stopped pouncing on each other and everything was back to normal.

Is it possible that your cats are not getting along simply because one cat roams in parts of the house and gathers a scent that the other cat doesn't like? If you keep them together, but separated from the other animals in the house, they may get used to each other again. Good luck!
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your idea. I will give it some thought and investigate. It could be part of the reason-- however, I've been here for almost a year and this is a new thing. So, I am not sure- could it take that long to develop?

I am going to call the Humane Society Behavorist later, just to get her input.
Thanks again,
post #18 of 19
Hi! I am new to this website, but am glad I found it. I was looking up cat behavior. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with fighting felines! A few days ago a stray cat came by our patio door, my male cat attacked my feline cat and they have been fighting ever since. Some days are better than others. I also tried the treats and showing them extra attention. I was trying to find an answer of why this happens?? Any ideas?? Thanks!
post #19 of 19
Hi and welcome!

Assuming that the cats are neutered, it's probably a matter of territorial aggression. With time, it'll probably be resolved between them.
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