11-2-20 Monday

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C is looking for advice. Back story: they adopted W, who is 8 months old, for their older male kitty P3 to play with because his sister, P, wouldn’t play with him. Things went very well at first, but then – well, you can read the email below.

I think I remember you saying that Jake had an intense fascination to one of the girls and the girl would sometimes fuss at him. Did he ever “attack” her playful like or anything which ended up in fur flying? If so, was there anything to be done to help the situation?

W for some reason in the last 3 weeks has taken to blocking P’s path and then chasing and jumping her when she goes past him. Frequently this causes her to hiss and he stops short which is fine. But 3 different times he and she scuffled rather badly and with lots of fur flying everywhere and cats flipping around and it bloodied her paw twice. Once was bad, the other minor.

She has always been skittish and P2 [her brother, who has passed] used to chase her and she would hiss and he would stop but there was never a cat flipping fight. P3 reacts quickly and whacks W to tell him to cut it out and W stops yowling at that point but the damage is already done.

I have feliways around. Each time it has happened I’ve separated the cats using screens in the doorways so they could still see each other but not reach each other and they all act curious vs. angry. I play with him a lot hoping he won’t feel he has to “play” with her. P3 and W chase each other all around the the house with obvious playing and swatting.

Whenever I see him fixating on her, I have used toys to distract him which works but only for the moment. So I’m at a loss as to how to cure this, if it’s even possible.

Any thoughts?

I recommended that C check out Jackson Galaxy’s line of holistic solutions and also mentioned Rescue Remedy, both of which they’re going to try. (I also would have suggested Feliway plug-ins, which they’re already using, and stepping in when they see the issue beginning, which they’re already doing.)

So does anyone out there have any suggestions? W and P got along great for the first few months, but this is turning into a real problem (even with the screens, he’s started yowling and jumping at her) and any suggestion would be VERY much appreciated.

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Annie Oakley always looks so SUSPICIOUS.


Eclair always looks so SERIOUS (but meanwhile was purring up a storm when I took this picture.)


Tater Tot’s all “HALLO!”


“We gonna snuggle, or what?”


A little lapful – Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill, with Candy Apple behind them. And Davy Crockett’s paws.


Candy Apple (on top of the scratcher, being walked over by Fritter) has a case of what I like to call “happy tail.” She walks around with her tail so high in the air it nearly brushes the back of her head. She’s a HAPPY girl.


Funnel Cake enjoys the top of that scratcher.


I’m not allowed to scoop the litter boxes unsnoopervised. In case you wondered.


Snowcone and Funnel Cake are havin’ a snuggle.


Another time, another lapful – Fritter, Buffalo Bill, Snowcone, Eclair, Wild Bill. Over to the right, sitting next to me, is Onion Ring.

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This is a sign of fall: the cats spend their mornings snoozing upstairs instead of on the screened porch.

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Previously
2019: No entry.
2018: “LOOKIT MY TEEF AND FEAR ME.”
2017: Hubble looks at me and asks “HOW is this HAPPENING?!”
2016: Kittens from above.
2015: No entry.
2014: No entry.
2013: HATurday.
2012: Fred laughed and said “God, he was SO UGLY.” Which, exCUSE me, offensive! Hmph.
2011: Alice may be all grown up, but she still plays like a kitten!
2010: Please do not be jealous of my fancy photo studio.
2009: “I heard they was servin’ chocolate pudding at the Senior Center. Outta my WAY!”
2008: No entry.
2007: “Um, NO. There is NO ROOM on the platform, so move away. MOVE AWAY, I say!”
2006: No entry.
2005: Tragic.

Comments

Comments

11-2-20 Monday — 8 Comments

  1. 2 thoughts: has anything happened in the household to disrupt the normal pattern? You may need to completely separate them for a few days to start over.

    And a vet check wouldn’t hurt. Sometimes fats start acting weird toward each other when their scent changes for medical reasons too.

  2. I don’t know the layout of her house, but one suggestion is no dead-ends (from a favored resting spot) and try some cat walks up higher on the wall. If they don’t have to share the same floor space to get around they could avoid each other that way. Also, rearrange things so you have pivot points, places where they can go one way or another.

    I have some experience with this because of two girls that just don’t get along. One’s a screamer the other the silent stalker. Jackson Galaxy has some great ideas about this. Fortunately, I have all his books to consult. If she doesn’t she can check his YouTube channel. He has a lot of his ideas on video.

    • Another thought is that you should note the locations of the skirmishes (Jackson says you have to be a detective) and figure out why they happen there (favorite resting spot, dead-end, etc) and change the conditions of that location. It may mean moving things around, adding more beds, window perches, etc. So much to this topic but hope these are useful ideas.

  3. I had the exact same situation, and the new boy went back to the shelter. (With a nice note from me, and he was re-adopted immediately.) They told me it was likely that the new boy had just taken a month or so to get comfortable in the new situation, and then decided to take over. He was fine with the middle boy, but felt that he had to dominate older girl. Too bad because otherwise I really liked the new boy, but I just decided not to put my older girl through that. She’s also a little skittish. And I may be imagining this, but she became more affectionate since, and she and the middle boy get along better. (Might have something to do with working from home, though. There have been other changes in the house, after all!)

  4. Try adding litter boxes and cat beds, and observe where the skirmishes occur and change the conditions. Use Jackson Galaxies YouTube or books. If all fails, you might have to return the newcomer. It is sab, but your first obligation is towards your old girl.

  5. Do they snoopervize and critique your scooping technique, or are they just waiting for the right moment to deposit a boom boom? Like 5 minutes after you walk away? Cuz yeah. That’s what His Lordship Sir Malcolm does…

  6. I’d also say have P checked at the vet. We lost a cat to renal lymphoma 2 years ago and the only sign that something was developing was the youngest cat started attacking the middle cat, who previously had been able to intimidate everybody. There were two bad fights with bloody scratches about 4 months before the lymphoma manifested in the middle cat.

    If there is no trouble in that respect, you as a human could intervene to show W that there are household rules, and if he starts fights, put him in a bathroom with the door shut and lights out for 5 to 10 minutes. We’ve found it effective when integrating kittens with older cats (if consistently done). Just make sure you and W are calm, you don’t want to be scratched or amp up the offender’s reaction.

    Cats are actually not loners, they hate to be shut out, and they seem to appreciate a structure that openly discourages aggression — in a nice calm way of course 😉

  7. I am maybe with RandomFelines on this….sounds like a scent issue. There are some great holistic wipes for cats that I recently purchased (Earthbath All Natural Green Tea cat wipes) that seemed to help. I had two adult girls that grew up together, and the youngest began acting aggressively toward the oldest. I just began wiping them both with the wipes, to cause them to smell similarly. Also suggest vet check….P may have a health issue that is causing W to attack her. Sorry for the long post, and mostly for the upset to your normal household balance….it can be unnerving.