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Confusing Cats

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have just found this site - and I must say that right now it looks like a godsend - because I really need some advice. I have two cats, both female. The oldest Erebus, is 5 years old and the youngest, Dooley is 1 year old.

Here's the problem - I have just moved and from the moment we brought the cats over to the new place the older one has started to attack the younger one. I am not talking play fighting - but full out hissing, scratching, biting, yowling, howling FIGHTING.

My older cat is used to being around other cats, I had a former roommate with two male cats that she got along fine with, couple of spats because she was the more timied cat of the bunch but nothing serious. Plus she went through a move with them and never reacted violently to them when we moved.

Then my roommate got married and her and the other cats moved out. I moved into a single apartment and I felt that my older cat was lonely, since she was used to other cats being around so I got a younger one - I had to introduce them slowly but eventually they got along great and played, cleaned each other etc.

Then I moved and now it is worse then it ever was introducing them the first time. I can't leave them out together because the older one guards both litter boxes preventing the younger one from getting to either. Also they fight. I've been told to keep them seperated for awhile - then switch them to each others area, so they can slowly get used to the others scent again.

I am just curious to see if anyone has any other suggestions, or if you can tell me if this is normal, and how long it might go on. I am miserable thinking because they used to get along great and now it is crazy in our house.

post #2 of 3
Hi Andi,

Welcome to the board. Cats are creatures of habit, and when you change their routine, they sometimes react in a way that Erebus is now reacting. But it also could be that Erebus doesn't feel well and a vet visit might not be a bad idea. It could also be that your new place has *old scents* of other cats, nothing that you yourself can smell, but cats have a keen sense of smell, and Erebus could be reacting to it. There are new smells assaulting him through the open windows, new sounds to get used to. He is in a new territory, therefore he has to once again establish the pecking order.

I would confine him in his own room for at least a week maybe longer. I would go in and play with him special, one-on-one for at least 10-20 minutes a day. I would switch the bedding the two cats lay on so they can reacquaint themselves with each other once again. And I would also call the vet and let him/her know what is going on and ask their advice. I know when we first moved her, all my cats acted a bit off. I found out later the lady who had the home before us had pomeranians and they weren't exactly housetrained. I did a complete clean of the whole house including carpets and then used my black light to show old urine stains, and in the living room, was surprised at what I found even after the clean.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you for responding to me so quickly. I actually have a brother-in-law for a vet, who treats both of my cats and he gave me similar advice. Erebus just had her annual checkup, my brother-in-law even comes to my place because every time in the past I would take Erebus to see him she would get all upset when I brought her home and take it out on Dooley for the next two days (but again nothing as bad as it is now). So I know that she is in fine health, eating great, using the litter box regularly.

Our new place has brand new carpet that was installed for us prior to moving in. The only "pet" accidents that have occurred have been from the younger cat. Dooley was too scared to try to go to the little box since Erebus was stalkng back and forth between the two of them, so she has peed once and gone poop three times. I have cleaned all of the spots with Natures Miracle, and covered them with punctured tinfoil to let them airdry. Also put a little bit of food nearby b/c I heard they won't like to go to the bathroom near the eating spots. These are the only times Dooley has had accidents, and I know it is b/c of Erebus. So this is another reason I need to keep them seperated - can't afford to have the brand new carpet in this place I am renting ruined. Now that they are seperated Dooley is doing fine. I try to spend 10-20 minutes each evening after work with each of them seperatly in their private rooms (I want them to feel comfortable there), then they each have a longer period of time (seperate of course) out in the main living area. I think this is sort of a grace period for them to smell one another before I switch them to each others room. That way they really get used to the others scent. How long do you think I should wait until I do this?

I really appreciate your help. It is killing me that I know that used to get along and now it is just constant fighting. Erebus is so sweet to me - but then she sees Dooley and just gets this look in her eyes and attacks. She totally bids her time, before we seperated them in the new place, if I was in the room with the both of them Erebus wouldn't attack unless she thought I was distracted or doing something else. Then she would sneak over and go for it.

Thanks for letting me rant,
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