or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › disaster...need help...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

disaster...need help...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My cat family includes a 12yo neutered male, a very overweight 4 yo neutered male and 4 yo spayed female cat.

About 2 months ago I noticed the 4yo male chasing and stalking the 12 yo. This was new behavior. I didnt think much of it, however the 12 yo has been increasing less active. I now know this was age precipitated rank dissention. I had interfered originally during the introduction of the 4 year olds and didnt let the 12yo scold them for bad behavior (my bad).

To top all this off the 4 year old male has an eating disorder. When he is anxious he binges (we have his weight down 9 pounds). We spend a lot of time working with him, so he doesnt keep eating. Unfortunately, he was caged alone from 6-12 wks of age and didn't adapt well to it.

3 weeks ago, I went to petsmart to buy some cat food and soft paw refills and ended up leaving with a 12 wk old neutered male as well. He has made himself at home. However unfortunately he is an extreme alpha male (now we see) and he is dominating all the other cats! The ladies at Petsmart told us he was totally laid back and loving (he's totally self assured and dominant).

His introduction has precipitated a cascade of aggression. The 4 yo is attacking and cornering both the 12 yo and the 4 yo girl, but allowing the kitten to jump all over him. And, the 12 yo is also being horribly attacked by the girl and the kitten. I just found the kitten biting the back of the 12 yo neck while he whimpered. I am pulling my hair out! I tried to do a good deed and it is turning out horribly.

I did not want my seniors final years to be like this, I have had him since he was 4wks old (a good part of my adult life) and he is my baby. I have a huge house and I dont want to return the new kitten to Petsmart. Now I see the behavior problem was there before he came into our lives...

How do I stop the aggression towards the older cat without isolating him? I cant lock him in my bedroom since my husband doesnt want litter upstairs. How do I stop the 4yo male from being so aggressive?
How do I stop the kitten from pushing everyone around?
Do I give the kitten back to Petsmart and adopt out my 4 yo male as well?

Please help!
post #2 of 4
I am just curious, if you already had some problems within the home with the cats you had- why did you add another? Any time you bring in another cat, you upset a balance the cats have established. I know this well because I bring in rescues all the time. The only difference is, most of them don't end up staying with us forever. But I have two cats that always react to a newcomer and I find I need to give them more time apart- the newcomer separated in the cat room until they acclimate. Your double digits kitty deserves some peace in his life and it sounds like he isn't getting that. Your 12 week old, if he was outside when rescued, never really had a kittenhood and this is it for him. He has been with you long enough to relax and now he is having a kittenhood he was denied.

If I were you, I would devise a way to put the new kitten in a room contained behind a door that is either made of screen or wire. This way, he is not shut off from the others, he can smell and see them and they can see him, and they can stay safe until he adapts and they do. My husband made a nifty door for me with small mesh chicken wire. Framed by pvc pipe and the wire is held by cable ties. It attaches to hinges to virtually any room in the house and has been instumental in allowing my crew to coexist in harmony with new cats. Screen doors can be easily torn by tough claws and teeth, but chicken wire holds fast.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
"I know now".
?curious? I hope your horse is okay.
Thank you for writing.
post #4 of 4
We have had a very similar problem with a young male coming in and attacking the older male, and totally freaking out the two females in the meantime. Our 11 year old male spent most of last year hiding in a box, with the younger male sitting on top of the box waiting to terrorise him if he dared venture out.

I have tried all sorts of things to deal with this aggression, including supervised reintroductions, trying to get them to eat together or distract them with catnip and be close together, but the younger one is basically a despot and will always chase and hunt the older one down. We ended up with a lot of expensive vet bills to deal with the injuries after the fights, and it was grossly unfair to the older one.

I would suggest that if you cannot rehome any of them (or don't want to) the only real solution to this is to keep them separate. We have done this and it has been incredibly effective. Luckily we have a gib enough house to be able to do this. The older one now runs and leaps around, knowing that he is safe from the younger one. His bloodwork is vastly improved on last year, because he is no longer under chronic stress. The younger one is fine too, although occasionally gets frustrated at not being able to get in the same room as the others. The two females are much more relaxed as well. They all get lots of company and attention still as we are in and out of the different parts of the house all the time.

I have spoken to other behaviourists who disagree with this solution, saying that it just makes the cats more frustrated because they can't get at each other. However, for us it has worked and all the cats seem much happier. Your 12 year old should not be under this type of stress, it isn't fair, as you obviously already realise. If you have a big enough house can't you create a nice area for him that closes him off from the aggressor(s)? He doesn't have to be isolated, just in a place where he can feel safe and relaxed. It may help as well to add more three dimensional space, so any of the cats can climb up onto a shelf to take some time out if they want to. If you can do all that, maybe they will all calm down and, in time, you may even be able to reintroduce them.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › disaster...need help...