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More help with aggression, please

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello, another new poster here. I've been reviewing all the past posts and replies re: aggression but I still need some help. I have a 9-year old tabby named Zap. I've had him for about four years, always indoors with occasional supervised sunning on the porch. He was very slow to trust me when I first got him, but now we are best buddies. He has slowed down some these past four years and is a bit overweight. He is neutered and he was front declawed (ugh!) by his previous owner.

Three weeks ago I adopted another cat. She ia 2-year old Tabby named Margie, recently spayed, and not declawed. She is very well-trained and very cuddly. I knew I had to introduce them slowly. I have a room that Zap was never interested in, just for her, with all the necessary amenities, and kept her closed in there for about a week. Slowly, I'd bring her out in the carrier where he could see her. There was hissing and growling on his part, but he was never really interested in getting close to her or curious about her space. After about a week of those visits, I let her out and there was a chase in short order. Poor Zap, who is not so spry, got chased and remained under the bed covers for many hours. I know she took swipes at him because there was his hair in her claws. Everyone told me this was normal and that it would take time. But there is still agression, lesser in intensity, but Zap ends up cowering. Now he hides under the covers all day. At night I have been keeping her behind closed doors so that he will get up and eat and use the litter box. She cries several times during the night and scratches on the vent, so my sleeping has been sporadic. I want to let her out at night but I am afraid he will never eat. I feel so bad for him since he doesn't have his claws, but I am very against getting her declawed. Will this ever work??? Will they ever be friends?? Should I keep her locked up day and night? Please advise. Thanks!
post #2 of 4
I'm not quite clear on if every time Margie sees zap she chases him or if it's just sometimes. Some cats will learn to tolerate each other while some become buddies and then there's the cats that not matter what the owner has tried they cannot get along. Hopefully Margie and Zap can learn to tolerate each other.

I had read an article by a cat behaviorist about bringing the cats together through playing with them. The article was about her own cats who just couldn't get along. She figured that if she could get them in the same room together but not have the focus on them, they could learn to at learn tolerate each other.

She used a 3 foot pole that had little dangley toys on the end. She'd stand in the middle of the room and take turns engaging each of them in play with the toy for 30 seconds at a time. She went back and forth between the cats for about 15 minutes.

All went well so the next night she tried again but this time each cat would have to come a little closer to play. This went on for a couple more days and each time she'd let them come as comfortably close as they would allow. Within two weeks she had them playing only 3 feet away from each without any aggression towards one another.

The cats still are not buddy buddy but they can live together without chasing or swating at each other.

I'm sure the other members will have some great suggestions as well so go with what will work for you and Margie and Zap. Good luck!!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks, Jessica. I will try that play maneuver. I can sit in between them on the bed and pet them without too much fuss (Zap growls a bit). But if he jumps down she runs after him. The other day she even went for him as he was using the litterbox (which she now also uses, even though she has her own). Maybe Margie wants to play, but she is the aggressor.

Thanks, again.
post #4 of 4
I have the same type of agression problem w/my cats Lucy & Cosmo. If Marge is running after Zap everytime she sees, but she is not hurting him, it could be play agression. I would try reintroducing them to one another again, but not through a cat carrier. Try putting them on opposite sides of a closed door and feeding them. Gradually open the door more and more until they can eat together. It is important to realize that when hissing & growling starts you should separate the cats immediately. Also try playing w/Marge until she is worn out a couple of times a day.

I've read that most cats that do not get along w/in the first 6 weeks never will. At the moment I keep my cats separated at all times. Cosmo bites Lucy and she gets nasty abcesses, ugh. My vet also recommened giving my cats flower essences in their water, 2 drops each of the following everyday: walnut, beech, & rescue remedy. Bachs makes these flower esseneces & you can buy them at any vitamin shop.

Good Luck w/your cats, I know how difficult it is.

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