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Sudden cat drama - advice needed (updated)(another update - no good)


skimomma
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We have two female cats.  Both are spayed.  One is about 14 years old, the other just over a year.  The older one never warmed up to the younger one but they tolerate each other.  Other than the occasional hiss and swat they have coexisted fine up until now.

Early this morning, a stray cat was in our yard and appeared on our deck, near a sliding glass door.  This used to happen often with random neighbor cats but it may be the first time it has happened since the younger cat joined our household.  I did not witness this, but my dd says the younger cat was sniffing at the outdoor cat and seemed curious.  The older cat joined her and the started the low growl she likes to do to outside cats.  Instantly, our two cats started an epic blow out that was very loud with a great deal of fur flying.  Somehow my dd got one of them locked into a room.

We waited about an hour and assumed they would be calmed down enough.  I (luckily) picked up the younger cat to bring her out of the room.  As soon as she saw older cat, they both immediately started yowling and hissing, tried to get to each other again.  I managed to hang on to the younger one and stuff her back in the room.  We tried again after a couple of hours.  Same thing. 

So, younger cat is still stuck in the room.

Has anyone had this happen?  Any tips for getting back to normal here?  Will they do this every time a cat wanders into my yard?  Should I just let them have at it and work it out?

 

Edited by skimomma
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My guess is that it's a form of displacement aggression. Probably the most common example of this is two dogs in a fenced yard. Something happens outside the fence--another dog is walked by, a loud trash truck comes through, anything like that--the two dogs first bark wildly at the thing outside the fence, run the fence line, and then the next second they're going after each other.

I've never had to try this, but one trick I've often seen recommended is to put a few drops of vanilla flavoring on a towel and wipe both cats down with it. Supposedly putting the same scent on both animals can help. It's a can't hurt, might help thing. Good luck!

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6 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

My guess is that it's a form of displacement aggression. Probably the most common example of this is two dogs in a fenced yard. Something happens outside the fence--another dog is walked by, a loud trash truck comes through, anything like that--the two dogs first bark wildly at the thing outside the fence, run the fence line, and then the next second they're going after each other.

I've never had to try this, but one trick I've often seen recommended is to put a few drops of vanilla flavoring on a towel and wipe both cats down with it. Supposedly putting the same scent on both animals can help. It's a can't hurt, might help thing. Good luck!

Yep.  My googling calls it redirected aggression and the outlook is quite grim.  I am also reading that aggression sometimes appears as a kitten reached maturity, which would be about right for the younger one.

I am hoping people will have some BTDT stories that were successful because everything I read on Google involves elaborate multi-week re-introduction plans that would have to be repeated any time a cat walks into my yard again which is simply not going to work in my household right now.  We are dealing with a whole pile of much larger stressors and honestly don't have the bandwidth for this right now.

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1 minute ago, Pawz4me said:

I wouldn't assume the worst since this is the first incident. It could be a one time thing. A few hours is absolutely nothing in cat time.

That does help, thanks!  I am just at one of those close-to-the-edge moments in my life and am easily spooked.  We also had an epic fail at bringing a new cat into the house a couple of years ago and we are all pretty traumatized by it.  

I am also worried the next time this happens, we may not even be home!

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We have two cats that tolerate each other. One time we took only one to the vet because she was sick , when we returned home it was chaos. Try the vanilla or buy some of the scent stuff and put on both of them. Spray it on a cloth and rub their backs. We also sprayed the places they like to sit, the couch etc. I can't remember how long it took but not long to go back to their normal.

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We had two cats once that only tolerated each other.  The older one was always a little aloof, and when we got the kitten, she wasn't overjoyed.  When the kitty (a very gentle, friendly neutered male) reached maturity, things got worse for a bit.  We were concerned we wouldn't be able to keep both of them, but they got over that hump and tolerated each other again.  (They never liked each other enough to cozy up together, etc.  The older female was clearly the dominant one!)  What helped was to have separate litter boxes for them, separate eating areas, separate bed-space.  (Not that they really had beds, but they both seemed to prefer certain areas to sleep that were in different parts of the house, and we encouraged that.)  They really were fine from then on, only occasional hisses from the older cat toward the younger male.  

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I am appreciating the hopeful stories.  I will try the vanilla for sure.  I plan to keep them separate for the rest of the day.  The younger cat is currently locked up and the older cat is slinking around the house and appears to be frightened.  Sigh.

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You might also try Feliway (calming pheromones), which is available as a diffuser, wipes, or a spray.  

I would agree that keeping separated eating, drinking, litterbox, and sleeping areas can help cats tolerate each other when their personalities don't mesh, or one is a crankypants or a diva.  

If there is anything you can do to keep stray cats out of your yard, that would also be recommended.  

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Misdirected aggression. It's like having a bad day at work and then yelling at your husband. 

But cats are notorious for it! Their stress hormones stay elevated up to 48 hours - so no, after an hour they won't be over it. Just keep them apart for a day or so, so the brain chemicals can stabilize. But yeah, that's typical cat behavior. Like, your post reads as if it came out of a cat behavior textbook - seriously.

It's that common. 

Cats are weird. 

(it has even been shown that a cat who comes into a room where another cat was angry hours earlier will, itself, become angry and upset just from the phermones in the air!)

Edited by Ktgrok
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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Misdirected aggression. It's like having a bad day at work and then yelling at your husband. 

But cats are notorious for it! Their stress hormones stay elevated up to 48 hours - so no, after an hour they won't be over it. Just keep them apart for a day or so, so the brain chemicals can stabilize. But yeah, that's typical cat behavior. Like, your post reads as if it came out of a cat behavior textbook - seriously.

It's that common. 

Cats are weird. 

(it has even been shown that a cat who comes into a room where another cat was angry hours earlier will, itself, become angry and upset just from the phermones in the air!)

 

Wow! I had no idea. Good to information know! (We also have two cats that only tolerate each other and sometimes get into little tussles.)

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1 hour ago, Kebo said:

You might also try Feliway (calming pheromones), which is available as a diffuser, wipes, or a spray.  

I would agree that keeping separated eating, drinking, litterbox, and sleeping areas can help cats tolerate each other when their personalities don't mesh, or one is a crankypants or a diva.  

If there is anything you can do to keep stray cats out of your yard, that would also be recommended.  

We have always had multiple litter boxes in varied locations and they eat on a schedule so always have their own dishes.

I live in a city neighborhood....on a busy corner with no fence, so keeping strays out is impossible.  But I did already cover the bottom half of the sliding glass door with paper so they are least can't get face to face like they did this morning.

 

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1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Misdirected aggression. It's like having a bad day at work and then yelling at your husband. 

But cats are notorious for it! Their stress hormones stay elevated up to 48 hours - so no, after an hour they won't be over it. Just keep them apart for a day or so, so the brain chemicals can stabilize. But yeah, that's typical cat behavior. Like, your post reads as if it came out of a cat behavior textbook - seriously.

It's that common. 

Cats are weird. 

(it has even been shown that a cat who comes into a room where another cat was angry hours earlier will, itself, become angry and upset just from the phermones in the air!)

This is good to know.  I will keep them separate for a few days.  If this is true, what can be done about this perhaps happening when we are not home?  Any chance this might get less likely as the kitten gets more mature?

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40 minutes ago, skimomma said:

This is good to know.  I will keep them separate for a few days.  If this is true, what can be done about this perhaps happening when we are not home?  Any chance this might get less likely as the kitten gets more mature?

block off their visions like you did by covering the windows. 

And look at getting some "no mark" or other type product to maybe discourage stray cats. 

This is so incredibly textbook cat behavior that when I saw the title my first thought was "oh, did you have a stray cat near the house?"

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46 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

block off their visions like you did by covering the windows. 

And look at getting some "no mark" or other type product to maybe discourage stray cats. 

This is so incredibly textbook cat behavior that when I saw the title my first thought was "oh, did you have a stray cat near the house?"

Yeah, when I googled, I got many "Redirected Aggression" hits.  But all of them are so grim...suggesting that this happening just once means weeks of reintroduction and STILL may not be successful.  I vanilla-ed them both and the one is still locked up.  They are currently growling at each other through the closed door.

We spent 8 weeks unsuccessfully trying the textbook introduction approach with the failed cat adoption we had two years ago.  I am nearly having a panic attack as we deal with the same steps.  I cannot go through that stress and then the heartbreak of having to return the cat that we had already bonded deeply with....after only 8 weeks.  I cannot even fathom the thought of having to rehome either of these.  But, I have an elderly mother with dementia who lives ten hours away.  I have and will have to travel, often unexpectedly, to assist with her care.  These cats have to co-exist in our home with twice-daily cat sitter visits.  I am just sick with worry about this.

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9 minutes ago, skimomma said:

Yeah, when I googled, I got many "Redirected Aggression" hits.  But all of them are so grim...suggesting that this happening just once means weeks of reintroduction and STILL may not be successful.  I vanilla-ed them both and the one is still locked up.  They are currently growling at each other through the closed door.

We spent 8 weeks unsuccessfully trying the textbook introduction approach with the failed cat adoption we had two years ago.  I am nearly having a panic attack as we deal with the same steps.  I cannot go through that stress and then the heartbreak of having to return the cat that we had already bonded deeply with....after only 8 weeks.  I cannot even fathom the thought of having to rehome either of these.  But, I have an elderly mother with dementia who lives ten hours away.  I have and will have to travel, often unexpectedly, to assist with her care.  These cats have to co-exist in our home with twice-daily cat sitter visits.  I am just sick with worry about this.

Oh man that is a lot of stress on you.  Maybe take the younger cat with you when you go visit your mom.  

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40 minutes ago, skimomma said:

Yeah, when I googled, I got many "Redirected Aggression" hits.  But all of them are so grim...suggesting that this happening just once means weeks of reintroduction and STILL may not be successful.  I vanilla-ed them both and the one is still locked up.  They are currently growling at each other through the closed door.

We spent 8 weeks unsuccessfully trying the textbook introduction approach with the failed cat adoption we had two years ago.  I am nearly having a panic attack as we deal with the same steps.  I cannot go through that stress and then the heartbreak of having to return the cat that we had already bonded deeply with....after only 8 weeks.  I cannot even fathom the thought of having to rehome either of these.  But, I have an elderly mother with dementia who lives ten hours away.  I have and will have to travel, often unexpectedly, to assist with her care.  These cats have to co-exist in our home with twice-daily cat sitter visits.  I am just sick with worry about this.

 

Your cats may reset faster/ more completely with a little pharmacological help.  it can calm down the emotions and many cats can then go off of medications after a while without resuming hostilities.  I would try to Feliway first, though.  

Also, I don't know if this will be an option for you, but one of our cats lives in the master suite, with only supervised visits to the rest of the house.  There have been no fights, and she acts friendly to all, but she breaks litterbox training (that is, she urine marks) if she co-exists in the same space with the other cats.  She's perfect if kept in her own space.  It's not ideal, but it's better for us than the alternatives.   

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48 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Oh man that is a lot of stress on you.  Maybe take the younger cat with you when you go visit your mom.  

Oh my goodness!  Ha ha!  I cannot imagine.  My mom lives in assisted living so I have to stay in a hotel.  And if I am there, it is likely because I am dealing with hospitals and/or doctor appointments, therapy, evaluations, etc....  But the crazier part would be 20 hours (round trip) in car with a cat that yowls when she even SEES the cat carrier.

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12 minutes ago, Kebo said:

 

Your cats may reset faster/ more completely with a little pharmacological help.  it can calm down the emotions and many cats can then go off of medications after a while without resuming hostilities.  I would try to Feliway first, though.  

Also, I don't know if this will be an option for you, but one of our cats lives in the master suite, with only supervised visits to the rest of the house.  There have been no fights, and she acts friendly to all, but she breaks litterbox training (that is, she urine marks) if she co-exists in the same space with the other cats.  She's perfect if kept in her own space.  It's not ideal, but it's better for us than the alternatives.   

I plan to get some Feliway as soon as I can get to the feed store....because to top everything else off, my car decided to crap out on me yesterday.

The introduction processes we have done in the past are really hard because we live in a small and old house.  The only rooms that have doors are the bathroom (which is very frequently in use, obviously) and one bedroom.  The other two bedrooms have "doors" but they no longer close/latch due to house settling.  We tried stacking tension baby gates last time and our older cat figured out how to push them out with her feet.  So even short-term isolating is hard because the person who lives in that room is very much compromised.  This is partly why the very thought of having to do weeks of reintroduction is so stressful to me.  We have done it and will again to some extent, but this cannot become a permanent situation.  I am very much hoping my runaway anxiety is overreacting and all will be well after a 2-3 day break from each other.  Darn cats.

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We'd leave our cats in separate parts of the house if we left for a weekend or even a week or two.  (Obviously with someone coming to check on them!)  One cat had most of the house, and the other had a couple rooms that connected to each other.  Or, one cat had the main part of the house and the other cat had the basement.  That always seemed to work fine.  

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14 hours ago, skimomma said:

Yeah, when I googled, I got many "Redirected Aggression" hits.  But all of them are so grim...suggesting that this happening just once means weeks of reintroduction and STILL may not be successful.  I vanilla-ed them both and the one is still locked up.  They are currently growling at each other through the closed door.

We spent 8 weeks unsuccessfully trying the textbook introduction approach with the failed cat adoption we had two years ago.  I am nearly having a panic attack as we deal with the same steps.  I cannot go through that stress and then the heartbreak of having to return the cat that we had already bonded deeply with....after only 8 weeks.  I cannot even fathom the thought of having to rehome either of these.  But, I have an elderly mother with dementia who lives ten hours away.  I have and will have to travel, often unexpectedly, to assist with her care.  These cats have to co-exist in our home with twice-daily cat sitter visits.  I am just sick with worry about this.

Ok, so has it been 48 hours yet? It takes that long at least. 

I've never done the vanilla thing, and I'm a bit worried it just angered the cat more, lol. I"d wipe her down if she doesn't mind it, to get it off a bit. 

Get the Feliway, for sure. Amazon has it if need be. It really does help. 

Worst case the older cat can maybe go on some happy meds. 

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12 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ok, so has it been 48 hours yet? It takes that long at least. 

I've never done the vanilla thing, and I'm a bit worried it just angered the cat more, lol. I"d wipe her down if she doesn't mind it, to get it off a bit. 

Get the Feliway, for sure. Amazon has it if need be. It really does help. 

Worst case the older cat can maybe go on some happy meds. 

It has only been a little over 24 hours so they are still separated.  I keep swapping them in the one room we have for containment.  They both HATE being locked in there so it is almost-constant crying and scratching at the door.  They are both lovers and hate being away from their people.

They don't seem to mind the vanilla.  But I just put a few drops on a washcloth and pet them with it so it is not very strong.

The older cat is not really eating much.  She does that when she is upset.  I am guessing she is more upset by the containment than anything else.

I did notice something odd.  When loose, they each go to the site of the fight and sniff everywhere.  That, I'd expect based on what you said.  But I also noticed an area far away from the scene that had some oily drops.  This is where I was standing while holding the younger cat when we first tried to reintroduce them (too early, I now know) and she was hissing and spitting.  The floor is wood there.  The drops did not really smell and I can't be sure they came from a cat but have no other good explanation for them.  I cleaned them up with Bac-Out but noticed that this is another spot they each must thoroughly sniff when first out of containment.  Is there a connection? 

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1 hour ago, skimomma said:

It has only been a little over 24 hours so they are still separated.  I keep swapping them in the one room we have for containment.  They both HATE being locked in there so it is almost-constant crying and scratching at the door.  They are both lovers and hate being away from their people.

They don't seem to mind the vanilla.  But I just put a few drops on a washcloth and pet them with it so it is not very strong.

The older cat is not really eating much.  She does that when she is upset.  I am guessing she is more upset by the containment than anything else.

I did notice something odd.  When loose, they each go to the site of the fight and sniff everywhere.  That, I'd expect based on what you said.  But I also noticed an area far away from the scene that had some oily drops.  This is where I was standing while holding the younger cat when we first tried to reintroduce them (too early, I now know) and she was hissing and spitting.  The floor is wood there.  The drops did not really smell and I can't be sure they came from a cat but have no other good explanation for them.  I cleaned them up with Bac-Out but noticed that this is another spot they each must thoroughly sniff when first out of containment.  Is there a connection? 

Probably more pheremones. 

If you can supervise, I'd stop confining if it is stressing them out more, personally. I'd rather deal with a cat fight than a cat that stops eating or ends up with litter box issues. Not eating can be really really serious in a cat - they can put themselves into liver failure. Cat fight is fixable with antibiotics for any wounds. But that's me, and my comfort level. 

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35 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Probably more pheremones. 

If you can supervise, I'd stop confining if it is stressing them out more, personally. I'd rather deal with a cat fight than a cat that stops eating or ends up with litter box issues. Not eating can be really really serious in a cat - they can put themselves into liver failure. Cat fight is fixable with antibiotics for any wounds. But that's me, and my comfort level. 

Hmmmm...  Older cat has a history of hunger strikes whenever she is upset although she always eats some, just not as much as normal.  She does this for a few days after a vet visit, after we return from vacation, or even if we rearrange the furniture.  She is a freak.  If she turns up her nose completely to food, I'll get more concerned.

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This is day 4.  On day 2 we put younger cat in a carrier and fed both cats treats close together, then we separated them again.  There was no drama.  We did this on the morning of day 3 too.  During the evening of day 3, we put younger cat under a laundry basket (that is her happy place for whatever reason) and fed them dinner in the same room together then let them roam free together for about an hour while heavily supervised.  Older cat looked a bit worried but otherwise they were fine.  We separated them overnight.  We did the same thing for breakfast this morning. It started OK.  Older cat finished first and left the kitchen.  When younger cat was done, she also left the kitchen.  They did not come close to each other but I noticed right away that younger cat's tail started poofing and older cat was heading towards her.  So I gently put the laundry basket back over younger cat.  Older cat walked around sniffing.  No noise from either cat.  Older cat walked away and I scooped up younger cat.  Her tail was back to normal.  They are both back in their isolation places.

Are we on the right track or was the poofy tail a warning and/or set-back?   Any suggestions?

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On 8/10/2020 at 8:48 AM, skimomma said:

This is day 4.  On day 2 we put younger cat in a carrier and fed both cats treats close together, then we separated them again.  There was no drama.  We did this on the morning of day 3 too.  During the evening of day 3, we put younger cat under a laundry basket (that is her happy place for whatever reason) and fed them dinner in the same room together then let them roam free together for about an hour while heavily supervised.  Older cat looked a bit worried but otherwise they were fine.  We separated them overnight.  We did the same thing for breakfast this morning. It started OK.  Older cat finished first and left the kitchen.  When younger cat was done, she also left the kitchen.  They did not come close to each other but I noticed right away that younger cat's tail started poofing and older cat was heading towards her.  So I gently put the laundry basket back over younger cat.  Older cat walked around sniffing.  No noise from either cat.  Older cat walked away and I scooped up younger cat.  Her tail was back to normal.  They are both back in their isolation places.

Are we on the right track or was the poofy tail a warning and/or set-back?   Any suggestions?

Sounds like younger cat is now a bit afraid of the older one, after the fight. But seems older cat is calming down. 

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14 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Sounds like younger cat is now a bit afraid of the older one, after the fight. But seems older cat is calming down. 

Well....  This is Day 7.  We covered the windows and put cat repellant outdoors.  I have not seen the outdoor cat today.  We have been using Feliway for 3 days.

Our two cats have been allowed more and more free interaction.  Yesterday, they spent about 5 hours loose with supervisions with no problem at all.  I have noticed younger cat's tail has been poofy (at the base only) here and there, seemingly when she is happy.  I did some Googling and read that younger cats will some times poof like that when happy.  So I tried to stop worrying about it.  Cats were separated over night.  

We tried a joint breakfast this morning.  Both were loose.  Actual eating went fine.  Then about 10 minutes later, younger cat poofed up and started growling/advancing toward older cat.  Older cat gave a few hiss/spits back and was starting to ramp up.  I snatched up younger cat before anything happened.  They are currently separated.

I feel like this is it.  There is no hope:(

 

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Oh, I think there's hope.  Cats aren't like people.  They'll settle into something, I imagine.  You may have to let a little cat fight occur.  Or yell at them or spray them with a water bottle.  One will probably emerge as a sort of alpha cat.  That's what happened in our house.

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Seven days is nothing in cat time. It's like seven seconds to us. Patience.

I had a foster cat one time who took three months to decide it was safe to come out of our master bathroom. She was a neglect case, so I was actually prepared for it to take longer than that. I thought three months was really good.

I'd get a good strong spray bottle or squirt gun. I'd practice with it. And then I'd try to let them work it out--they really do have to do that, eventually. Puffed tails and hissing is okay, and to be expected. But I'd have the spray bottle in case things got out of hand.

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It happened to a friend of mine except her cats were siblings, spayed and neutered, who always got along and played together. After whatever happened with an animal outside their screen (she didn't see it, only heard it) the male was aggressive towards his sister and they couldn't even have them in the same room. It didn't stop and she ended up having to put him on Prozac for a few months. He eventually got over it but they're no longer the lovey dovey friends they were before it happened.

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2 hours ago, skimomma said:

You all are helping to calm me down.  Thank you!

I am just so worried that we will have to leave town with little notice to help my mom.  My cat sitter is great but there is a limit.  And my poor dd would like free access to her room again!

Well, you can always extrapolate out to that situation:  If the cats are still not getting along and you don't trust them to be together yet, and you must go unexpectedly out of town, one cat will have to live in one room with its litter box and food and water.  And the other cat will live either in another room with its stuff or the rest of the house.  While you're out of of town.  Not a big deal.

I really think everything will be fine.

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I made vet appointments for them both.  The earliest I can get in is two weeks from now.  So if they are still at it then, I will ask about medication possibilities.  We do not have kennels that takes cats here.  In fact, there are no professional pet sitting companies either.  We live in a somewhat odd geographically isolated area.  Everyone we know thinks we are 100% crazy to even hire a sitter.  Everyone else just puts down a big bowl of kibble and leaves town for a week without a second thought.  We have an arrangement with an older neighbor lady to come twice a day to feed and play with them and clean the boxes.  I hate to ask her to manage eager cats, doors, food, etc.....  But, obviously, I will if I have to.  I just cannot imagine managing this "reintroduction" for weeks/months/forever!  I am really angry at the situation.  We really do have enough on our plates right now without this.

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4 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

Seven days is nothing in cat time. It's like seven seconds to us. Patience.

I had a foster cat one time who took three months to decide it was safe to come out of our master bathroom. She was a neglect case, so I was actually prepared for it to take longer than that. I thought three months was really good.

I'd get a good strong spray bottle or squirt gun. I'd practice with it. And then I'd try to let them work it out--they really do have to do that, eventually. Puffed tails and hissing is okay, and to be expected. But I'd have the spray bottle in case things got out of hand.

I agree. Let them work it out. We have six cats, and while they generally get along, cat squabbles are a regular occurrence in our house. Everything will be peaceful and then out of the blue, there will be a yowling, hissing, fur-flying-everywhere fight. Even our two sibling pairs, who are usually very affectionate with each other, will have days when they are growling and hissing and spatting at each other. Cats are just weird that way.

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29 minutes ago, Selkie said:

I agree. Let them work it out. We have six cats, and while they generally get along, cat squabbles are a regular occurrence in our house. Everything will be peaceful and then out of the blue, there will be a yowling, hissing, fur-flying-everywhere fight. Even our two sibling pairs, who are usually very affectionate with each other, will have days when they are growling and hissing and spatting at each other. Cats are just weird that way.

Do you do anything about it in the moment or do they stop on their own?  How long does a fight usually last?  Is it the type of yowling/shrieking that makes your hair stand up?  We have had cats for 20+ years but never had a situation like this so I am struggling to know if the level of conflict is as bad as it seems to me.  I think I have watched too many Jackson Galaxy videos because he keeps saying to never ever let this happen again....which as far as I can tell means never ever let our cats go free together without direct and constant supervision.  So as soon as I hear growling or hissing, I feel like we are losing ground.

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21 minutes ago, skimomma said:

Do you do anything about it in the moment or do they stop on their own?  How long does a fight usually last?  Is it the type of yowling/shrieking that makes your hair stand up?  We have had cats for 20+ years but never had a situation like this so I am struggling to know if the level of conflict is as bad as it seems to me.  I think I have watched too many Jackson Galaxy videos because he keeps saying to never ever let this happen again....which as far as I can tell means never ever let our cats go free together without direct and constant supervision.  So as soon as I hear growling or hissing, I feel like we are losing ground.


I could have written that other post, so I’m going to add my $0.02.

i have a cat right now that is ALL the drama.  She is so very, very loud with the warning meows and it only seems to encourage whomever she is meowing at to lunge at her.   She doesnt fight constantly, she just makes everybody think they do.   And the rest of the time, they all love each other.

i would say that a few times a week I hear what sounds like a horrific, scrabbly, screamy cat fight that Races around the house and only very occasionally ends up with fur flying. They really are dramatic like that.   Physical altercations last a few seconds BUT the stalking and yelling part can last a while Making it seem like forever.    I’ll often grab the stalker and give him or her kisses trying to redirect and it often works.  Sometimes, they go right back to stalking, though.

FWIW, I’m also the one that just throws cats together and lets them sort it out. Idk who galaxy jackson is but I kind of tend to not anthropomorphise animals and just assume they’ll work it out In their own weird way since they’re stuck together.  Yes, I know people will tell me about a time when that didn’t happen.  
 

ETA: yes, I realize I said I don’t want to anthropomorphisize an animal and at the same time calling them dramatic while giving kisses 😜

Edited by Ailaena
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3 hours ago, skimomma said:

Do you do anything about it in the moment or do they stop on their own?  How long does a fight usually last?  Is it the type of yowling/shrieking that makes your hair stand up?  We have had cats for 20+ years but never had a situation like this so I am struggling to know if the level of conflict is as bad as it seems to me.  I think I have watched too many Jackson Galaxy videos because he keeps saying to never ever let this happen again....which as far as I can tell means never ever let our cats go free together without direct and constant supervision.  So as soon as I hear growling or hissing, I feel like we are losing ground.

What @Ailaena describes is a lot like the fights that happen in our house. I don't intervene, I just let them battle it out. My dh and I were just the other day discussing how annoying it is when the cats fight while we're on the phone with a client! It often happens in the middle of the night, too. Nothing like getting startled out of sleep by a screeching cat fight...Mine have never gotten hurt, beyond a scratched nose.

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My younger cat, Obama, is honestly kind of a jerk.  He has, since kittenhood, frequently gotten bored and harassed/ attacked/ jumped on the other cat, Scout, who is significantly older.  Scout never fights back; she just runs away, and if we're at home, we'll shout at Obama and sometimes throw something at him or toss him outside.  But mostly they work it out.  It's by far the most exercise Scout ever gets.  

Feliway is the bomb.  I'd get room diffusers and collars, but honestly, I'd probably just let them work it out.  

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We added a third cat to our household last summer after a family friend passed away and we adopted her kitty.  It completely upset the apple cart in our household and we are  at our wits end.  Since we added the third cat, the previous two cannot get along.  The smaller female will hiss at the big male and then the male attacks her.  When he attacks her, she pees everywhere and leaves a trail whereever she runs.  We took her to the vet and tried to medicate her but she won't cooperate.  We tried pheromone collars and that didn't work either.  So, the female has been living in our bathroom to protect her and our house.  The two male cats get along fine.  She hates them both.  I hope you find a solution.  Our vet wasn't terribly helpful.  I think we may seek out a new one. 

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7 hours ago, littlebug42 said:

We added a third cat to our household last summer after a family friend passed away and we adopted her kitty.  It completely upset the apple cart in our household and we are  at our wits end.  Since we added the third cat, the previous two cannot get along.  The smaller female will hiss at the big male and then the male attacks her.  When he attacks her, she pees everywhere and leaves a trail whereever she runs.  We took her to the vet and tried to medicate her but she won't cooperate.  We tried pheromone collars and that didn't work either.  So, the female has been living in our bathroom to protect her and our house.  The two male cats get along fine.  She hates them both.  I hope you find a solution.  Our vet wasn't terribly helpful.  I think we may seek out a new one. 

I'm so sorry.  That is what I fear.  We have not had litter box problems yet so I hope that doesn't happen!  We only have one vet, unless I want to drive two hours with irate cats....which I don't....so hopefully mine will be helpful.

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11 hours ago, Terabith said:

My younger cat, Obama, is honestly kind of a jerk.  He has, since kittenhood, frequently gotten bored and harassed/ attacked/ jumped on the other cat, Scout, who is significantly older.  Scout never fights back; she just runs away, and if we're at home, we'll shout at Obama and sometimes throw something at him or toss him outside.  But mostly they work it out.  It's by far the most exercise Scout ever gets.  

Feliway is the bomb.  I'd get room diffusers and collars, but honestly, I'd probably just let them work it out.  

We have had the diffusers for a few days now.  I didn't see collars.  We have purchased them in the past, but it has been years.  I don't even see them on the website.

I wish older cat would just run away.  She is pretty fierce once she is provoked.  It takes two people, a towel, a shot of whiskey, and a lot of courage to clip her nails.....

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3 hours ago, skimomma said:

We have had the diffusers for a few days now.  I didn't see collars.  We have purchased them in the past, but it has been years.  I don't even see them on the website.

I wish older cat would just run away.  She is pretty fierce once she is provoked.  It takes two people, a towel, a shot of whiskey, and a lot of courage to clip her nails.....

I don't want to link to Amazon because it seems to show my real name, but if you type "Felliway collar" into Amazon a number of calming collars come up.  They say "pheremone" but I haven't looked further at details. 

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29 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I don't want to link to Amazon because it seems to show my real name, but if you type "Felliway collar" into Amazon a number of calming collars come up.  They say "pheremone" but I haven't looked further at details. 

I'm pretty sure that's only because you're already logged in on your device. If you posted a link and I clicked on it it would come up to that product, but I'd be logged in as me.

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