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Aggressive Behavior toward other cat

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm a firstimer so I'm not quite sure how this works but here goes...

I have 2 female (spayed) indoor cats. I adopted them 4 years ago this Thanksgiving week! I've had no behavior problems with them until yesterday. The larger cat (14 lbs) began viciously attacking the smaller cat (7lbs). This is the first time they have fought like this. The usual "fight" is when they're playing and one gets a little feisty--some hissing and swatting and wrestling--but not vicious like this. We separated them for a few hours and then rejoined them. They were OK for a few minutes and then the larger cat began attacking again. We tried this several times throughout the day. The fighting is so vicious that my 9 month old son (and myself) get very frightened. My husband tries to get in between them to break them apart. Eventually, he succeeded and we again separated them. We kept them apart for the remainder of the day and all night and into today. We're afraid to leave them alone in the house for fear that the larger cat will cause severe harm to the smaller cat. The larger cat has always been very laid back and independent. The smaller of the two is usually the instigator. The reason we're so surprised is because there seems to be no reason why the larger cat is being the aggressor. She attacked the smaller one for no apparent reason. I did notice that when we rejoined them the 2nd time, the smaller one began to growl (out of fear? or anger?) and when the larger cat heard this, she began to attack again.

Can anyone give us some advice--I don't want to give one up--I'll try anything to get the peace back.

p.s. a friend said it could be because of jealousy toward our new baby. He's 9 months old now and they've never tried to harm him. I don't think the cats are crazy about him but they certainly tolerate him (especially now that he can crawl after them and grab their tails!) The smaller appears to be more jealous as she constantly tries to get our attention by rubbing against us while we're playing with the baby on the floor. Could this be happening??

Someone help. Thanks,Tracy
post #2 of 3
Hi Tracy and welcome to the forums!

Aggression between cats can be quite a problem. The reason for the first attack may have had nothing to do with the relaionship between the cats. Possibly one of the cats was frightened by something and redirected the fear-induced aggression towards the nearest "person" (well, cat, in this case).

This can be quite a problem and my suggestion would be to consult an animal behaviorist as soon as possible. Ask your vet or local veterinary hospital to refer you to an animal behaviorist specializing in cats. It's best to ask an exert and resolve the problem fast, before it turns into a real grudge that could affect their relationship for a long time to come.

Meanwhile, I would suggest keeping them apart. Sometimes, if you keep the cats apart for a week or so, they "forget" each other and can be reintroduced gradually.

Also, consider taking the aggressor for a medical check up. There are medical conditions that can create sudden changes in behavior.

This can be quite a problem with cats and it must be quite a stressing experience for you as well. I do hope things will work out for the best. Sounds like both cats have a wonderful home right now and I do hope you'll be able to keep both.

Please tell me how things are going.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responding Anne.

I have a call in to our local vet and guess that they'll probably suggest I bring the aggressor in for an exam. I'm sure that they'll also suggest a behaviorist as well. A friend of mine had a similar experience and her vet suggested the same thing--unfortunately, she did not follow through and gave up one of her cats. I will try anything and everything that is suggested to me. These cats are part of my family--my husband feels the same way as me! I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks for your response.

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