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Brothers fighting - extreme agression

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone....any input/help would be welcome in this situation...

Ok background is that we have two 1 year old male neutered bengals. They are litter mates and the best of friends. They do occasionally play fight and may let out a small hiss or yowl, but it is over and done with in a few minutes.

Late yesterday afternoon, for no apprent reason they started growling and hissing at each other. There was one major wrestle and that was followed by growling/yowling/hissing etc. It went on like this for about half an hour I suppose, followed by a few hours of them avoiding each other and being aggitated, after which they then curled up and smooched each other

This morning I got up and was watching a movie when they began wrestling again. I logged on and spoke to hissy about the situation. She suggested getting the scent of my usual perfume on my hands and patting them both down. This didnt seem to work, as shortly after they had a huge fight, fur everywhere.

I grabbed a towel and put Hunter into the laundry (kitten room where food, litter, basket etc is). He was bleeding a little form somewhere but I couldnt find where from, and rubbed him all over with no reaction or blood on my hands.

After a while they both calmed down and were crying through the door at each other. So put them in an area with a sliding door, enough so they could sniff each other and it was ok, I gradually opened it, they sniffed each other etc and after a bit they seemed fine but then Chase attacked Hunter.

I've put Chase back in the laundry/kitten room now. It's been about 30 minutes I suppose. They are both crying like crazy through the door.

I have NO idea what has set this off. There has been no vet visits, no moved furniture, no visitors etc. They are indoor only cats.

From time to time there is a cat that wanders around our house outside, but I havent seen it in a while - but in the past it hasn't promped this sort of response.

I haven't noticed any different behaviour from either of them indicating they may be unwell.

post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok - I did just notice that Chase has some discharge coming from his anal glad. Could this be causing agression between the two of them? Or would it be a reaction to the agression?
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
*sigh* well I still have them isolated. After a few hours we tried reintroducing them and they were fine for 15/30 mins and then started fighting again It's Sunday night now, so i'll keep them isolated over night and off to the vets tomorrow morning.
post #4 of 21
If he has a discharge, he could be ill. Cats can and will pick on another cat if they sense that they are ill, and if this is an anal gland problem, he is passing a very strong scent right now. Suggest you call the vet on this one - could be as simple as having his glands expressed.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well i've taken them to the vet yesterday - they are both 100% healthy *sigh*. I have spoken to a pet behavioural specialist and she is coming out tomorrow morning.

Right now the boys are separated and it is breaking my heart - they are crying through the door to each other but as soon as they are together they get upset. Not to mention that whichever cat I am not wit his crying wanting to be with me

Has ANYONE here had any similar experiences??
post #6 of 21
Wow, no, I have not had that happen, but I never had Bengals or two males. I do know my boy Garfield likes to fight a lot more than my girl Festus. Sometimes she likes having a day in a separate room, away from him!

They also love to play under the bathroom door. One or the other often comes in the bathroom when we bathe, and the door is set a little high off the floor. They enjoy the "battle", and it can't escalate to where Festie runs off.

Maybe you can devise a plan where your boys can play but can't fully touch and fight.

I'm assuming they are both neutered. But still, maybe they need to decide who is the alpha cat. At our house, Garfield wins due to size and testosterone. But I swear I can see Festie looking at him sometimes thinking, "You big dumb lout! If I was a little bigger I would thump you!"
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Beckiboo Yes they are both neutered. The vet seems to think it is definately one trying to become the alpha male. But because they are litter mates - same size, same breed, same everything, neither will back down.

I cant wait to hear what the behaviour expert thinks. She sounded reasonably positive though.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, now the update after the behaviouralist came out this morning. She seems great. I have alot of confidence in her. She works in the zoo with primates & mammals (particularly the tigers, monkeys and orang utans). As well as that she runs puppy classes and this business specialising in animal behaviour.

She believes the problem is one of two things. Either misplaced agression, in that they are directing anger at each other after they've seen another cat outside OR it's just a hormonal/behavioural thing - in that cats reach social maturity between the ages of 1 or 2 (exactly where my boys are).

She seems positive that we can work through the issue, but made no qualms that it may be a lengthy process of AT LEAST a week to two weeks depending on how things go and possibly more.

She is stressing on the point that EVERY INTERACTION MUST BE POSITIVE. So right now we will keep them in the two separate areas in the house (as they have been for 2 days now).

We will open the door a crack and play with them there and give them treats (they are happy to do this now) a few times a day. We won't ignore them when they are apart, but pull back a little bit on the attention and save that for when they are near each other.

We will also feed them on opposite sides of the door with it open a crack so they can see each other. Beginning with a metre or two between them, and over a week or two making their bowls closer.

We will put them in their cat carriers (that they love) on opposite sides of the room and see how the react. Giving them lots of lover and attention the whole time - and again over time bring them closer. Maybe letting one out and seeing how they go.

I guess that's the main stuff. Also, she has given us some Bach Flowers/Anaflora drops. This is natural remedies she's misxed chosing particular ones for stress/agression etc (like Rescue Remedy for humans if you've heard of that).

That's the basis of it. The specialist spent two hours with us this morning observing and talking etc and as I said, I feel confident we can make this work....
post #9 of 21
I am glad you found someone to help you and the boys work through this-
post #10 of 21
I had a redirected aggression issue with my two cats last year -- female litter mates. The best thing that worked for me was to not let them even sniff each other under the door. I put a baracade up so they would have complete privacy. And, my vet told me to switch their environment every 24 hours so they wouldn't get territorial. It's hard work, but definitely worth it. Good luck
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jem! I am presuming that you worked through this issue and it's all ok now?

Yes, anoteehr think she did say was to alternate them in the two areas to avoid any terriorial behaviour, and to rub them down with a towel (the same towel, to let them smell each other).
post #12 of 21
Yes, my cats are back together again. However, one of my cats is now reacting to human smells! I've had two friends over briefly in the last couple of weeks that they'd never met (one has a cat herself and the other person does not). Upon smelling them, CC became VERY upset and howled. To prevent her from attacking her sister, I immediately isolated the cats for a few hours -- what I call a "kitty cool down." I think CC may not be feeling well, so she had a vet appt. later this week.

But, back to you. Exchanging scents on the towel is really helpful -- I had forgotten about that. I held the towel in my hand and had them rub on it to get those good pheromone smells. Patience is your best tool in this situation. Again, good luck!
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much jem. Right now I feel very much alone...I mean TCS is SUCH a great site and I read so many threads where people have gone through same issues to each other and have advice to offer, but I havent come across much at all like this.

Anyway...I guess things are going ok. It's now been 4/5 days since the boys have been strictly separated. We've been playing through the door with no problems, and feeding them on either side of the door so they can see each other with no problems either (in fact they're only a few feet apart now, we've been making it gradually closer).

We also had them in their cat carriers about 10 foot from each other last night with no issues.

A few times when i've been going between rooms one has snuck past me, and there's been no agression or signs of unhappiness from either.

Infact this morning I had put Chase's food down and went to go through the door to put Hunter's food down and Hunter snuck past and walked straight up to Chase's bowl and started eating next to him (in the past they fed next to each other).

In any case like this, i've been sure to re-separate them straight away, as it's not a controleld situation - but it is promising that there has been no problems so far.

I have to ring the behavioural specialist for an update today, so i'll let you know what she says. The great thing is that it's Friday and I have the weekend at home, so we may be able to progress a little better (more interactions etc) as during the week I only am up in the mornings for 30 minutes, and evenings a few hours.
post #14 of 21
Sorry I can't help you out Sarah. I hope Hunter and Chase warm up to each other soon.

Have you talked to their breeder about it? [Sorry if you already said this]
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sam. Yep I had spoken to the breeder, but she's only ever had unfixed males of course and they are seperate at all times. She's sold boys in pairs on many occassions and hasn't heard back from anyone else with problems.

Well things are going well I feel....

The past few days I have let them go if they sneak through on their own accord (when we are out the doors are barricaded, but when we are home they have figured out with persistence how to get in!!).

They have had a bit of a wrestle (no hissing or growling, it seemed friendly) ran through the house together and are eating together with no problems.

Watching them last night though Chase was definately more energetic, running up to Hunter and jumping on him at times (well putting a paw over his back) and Hunter just wanted to chill out, so I separated them after a while so as to not cause Hunter too much anxiety.

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just to update....my boys are back together permanently again and have been for at least the past few days All seems well, they are still slightly niggly at times with each other but nothing too severe - YAYYY!!!
post #17 of 21

I am glad the boys were able to work this out. As I told you on messenger, sometimes they just have to figure out how to get along without human intervention. But at any rate, glad you did get them vet-checked just to be sure they were okay.
post #18 of 21
Wow, you rock! Great job! I am so glad to hear the cat behaviorist was so helpful.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
and here's some proof they are friend again!!!

post #20 of 21
I'm taking heart at your picture of your boys. My two boys had their first ever horrible fight early thursday morning and have been separated since. We are looking to the re-introducing method so I am delighted to see that our feline friends can indeed become buddies again *hoping*

Laura x
post #21 of 21
Hey All,

I'm having a similar problem with my 2 female cats. Just the other day one of my cats (Sophie) started freaking out. She is growling and hissing at my other cat (Emma). It has now been 2 days and every time Sophie even so much as sees Emma, her fur stands up and she starts growling. I tried separating them but that wont work. How long could I honestly keep that up.

Even right now as I am writing this Sophie is staring at Emma from across the room with this evil look.

I have had them for 2 years now. This actually happened once before about a year ago but it only lasted a day. Is this common with cats?

Thanks so much,
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