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Friends Becoming Enemies

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a neighbor who has two cats. One is 2 and the other is 5 years. They are indoor cats. They got together wonderfully until a little while ago... her one cat was looking out the window and started freaking out. There is a neighborhood cat that is around that she might have seen out of the window. Dorothy the owner said her kitty Callie shrieked at whatever was there then Callie attacked Babe. But that night slept together on the bed. The next day when they were by the door they started fighting. Callie sits at the door and just wants to get her now. The thing is they have gotten along their whole life then all of a sudden they started fighting. Ever since she has been beating up and hissing at the other kitty and have had to be separated. They were best friends. I don't know what she seen out the window had to do with it but their owner is sad and crying. Her husband just passed away and all she has left is her cats. She doesn't know what to do and i'm trying to help all I can. I need all the suggestions I can get.
post #2 of 9
Crystal, your friend's (and her cats') environment has changed ... they have lost a beloved companion. What this sounds like (to me) is that a change in the hierarchy is taking place and she may just have to let them work it out.

There are several threads about reintroduction and using vanilla essence to make the cats smell alike. I would have your friend try those things but first, it may very well be that the stress of losing their companion has caused a little UTI. She may want the vet to rule out any health issues.

My heart goes out to your friend - I cannot imagine the grief she must be feeling.

My best to you (and to your friend),

post #3 of 9
It sounds to me like displaced aggression. (You know, like when a guy gets upset with the boss at work and comes home and kicks the dog.) Callie no doubt saw a strange cat out the window and wanted to fight with it to defend her territory. She couldn't get out to do so and Babe was right there, so she took it out on her instead. Now Babe represents "that foreigner" to her. I suspect they will need to be treated like strange cats and re-introduced to each other. The cats are probably already upset after losing their "daddy" and the routine around home may well have changed, too.
post #4 of 9
i just wanted to say good luck!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys I really appreciate all the suggestions. Hopefully we can figure something out.
post #6 of 9
Actually the feline behaviorist's term is "redirected aggression" and if you google that you should find lots of articles.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
We were pretty sure that what the problem was.... either that or a dominace problem. My cats have gotten mad at our dogs and also me when they see something at the window they can't get to but never stayed mad. Now the thing is getting them to get along again.
post #8 of 9
As others have mentioned, separate the cats and reintroduce them to each other as if they are strangers. If the stranger cat comes around again, immediately separate the two indoor cats so the aggressive one doesn't associate the other with the stranger.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks I will have to tell my neighbor to do that. Hopefully something works.
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