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Any hope for fighting kitties?

post #1 of 2
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I introduced my two kitties last August and after months of fighting, they actually because quite good friends around Christmas and stayed that way until March. Tara is 8-10 years old and Drusilla is 11months old.

Then in March I did a bad thing. At least according to the kitties who had finally settled territory disputes. I moved from a house to an apartment with friends. Its a small apartment, and the friends have a free-roaming rabbit and a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. The puppy refused to leave the cats alone, and several bloody fights broke out. Tara was a feral before I took her in and a good fighter, she wiped the floor with the puppy and tried to attack the bunny as well. Drusilla, newly spayed and still hormonal, just tried to hump the dog and rabbit. The cats did not fight amongst themselves during this period.

We tried all sorts of techniques to get them to all live in harmony. We tried to train the dog to leave them alone, but that alone worked when they weren't moving. Eventually it was decided to just confine the cats to my room. Its a small room, only 10x10, and it has a bed, desk, tv stand, filing cabinet, two litterboxes, and two food areas. I tried to keep their stuff as seperate as possible, and moved everything against the wall for more floor space. They were fine for awhile, but mid-April they started fighting. They don't draw blood, as least not that I've seen, but they wrestle, pin each other down, bite, scratch, all while yowling and hissing and chasing in a non-friendly manner.

I installed Feliway, but it didn't even seem to take the edge off. I just don't know what to do. They fight all the time. Very often crashing into things and breaking into fights on the bed when I am sleeping in it. I know its probably space and they should have more of it, but thats just not possible because I cannot afford to keep footing the dogs vet bills because it and Tara got into it and i'm afraid when its older it may end up hurting Tara, so I'm looking for ideas to see if there is anything I can do to help them live in harmony in the same room.
post #2 of 2
Oh, yes there is hope! For starters, you could try utilizing vertical space in your room - for instance, find some cardboard boxes to make little caves. I don't know if you could do it, but maybe provide an extra litterbox or 2, in separate areas, and keep separate areas for food & water - common sources of contention. Sounds like your cats have "cabin fever". As for the dog, I HIGHLY recomment the dog's owner & you watching a few episodes of National Geographic's "Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Milan or at least check out the website http://www9.nationalgeographic.com/c.../dogwhisperer/. Clearly, the dog doesn't respect the cats' position in the family hierarchy and IMO doesnt properly respect the humans as pack leaders (very common in the small breeds, as they tend to be over-coddled & treated as babies although in their brains they are dogs, just as much as any pitbull, mastiff, Rottweiler, etc. which is why the tiniest Chihuahua will take on the biggest mutt on the block, oblivious to the obvious dangers). For tips on creating some play areas for the cats, you could read "Cat Confidential - what your cat wants you to know". And I'm sure you'll get some great suggestions from the others here at TCS!
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