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Unread 11-03-2016   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Aggression between two cats who once got along



So this will be kind of lengthy and any advice is welcomed and appreciated.

I have two cats, Frosty a 2 year old neutered male and Scarlett a 2 year old spayed female. I've had frosty since he was a kitten and we got Scarlett when she was around six months old. Scarlett has always been skittish and hesitant of everything, when we first got her it took her a while to warm up to my boyfriend and I and even longer to warm up to Frosty. We've always assumed they probably didn't play with her much and she was an only cat. After some time her and Frosty seemed to have a bond.

My sister used to call them a married couple because they would lay down on the edge of our bed together and almost looked like they were watching tv. You could see the love in their eyes when they were together and bathe each other. We had always planned to get them fixed, We got Frosty fixed first because it was cheaper. Scarlett began picking fights with Frosty almost constantly. The love they had for each other was gone. We ended up getting her fixed months later because I had a part time job and it was almost $200 dollars to get her fixed. We figured this would calm her down more and she would be less hormonal. Things are still the same, however. My boyfriend and I play with them together and that sometimes seems to work, we notice they fight less the more we play with them together. But I've noticed when I scold frosty scarlett notices and will come up hissing at him and smacking him on the head. Frosty can never get too close to her either because she will start hissing at him and trying to smack him. Today for example I caught Frosty clawing on the wall and I started scolding him, I was raising my voice at him and he jumped off the hamper basket and ran under the coffee table. I DO NOT AND HAVE NEVER HIT MY CATS. I was just trying to catch him to put him in the bathroom for awhile, you know like time out. He made a run for it and tried to jump onto the cat tower where scarlett was perched at the top. She stopped him from climbing onto the tower and was hissing and getting really vocal. She chased after him and I started talking to them in a calm voice and quickly scooped up Frosty because i'm scared she will cut him, she did it once before. I put him in the bathroom and instead of getting mad at scarlett I just tried to calm her down. I didn't even leave frosty in the bath room as punishment for clawing the wall, i let him out after i calmed her down.

I don't understand why she does this, does anyone have any advice? Do you think maybe there is something wrong with her internally? She has never been aggressive with us, in fact she is a very loving cat. When we play with her she doesn't even use her nails! why would her love for him suddenly change?

please help, i love my cats and just want them to love each other as much as i love both of them ;(
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Unread 11-04-2016   #2 (permalink)
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Okay, first of all, please stop yelling at either cat. All this is doing is scaring them and creating unbearable stress for them.

No yelling in the house, at all.

Cats don't learn by punishment. The only thing punishment, time outs and yelling teaches them is fear and to avoid you.

Training, positive training, is what works for cats.

Train Frosty not to scratch on the walls by giving him appropriate scratching posts, and redirecting him to use them. When he uses them tell him how happy you are about it.

Unfortunately the delayed spaying and neutering are probably at the root of the problems. When Frosty came home from his neuter Scarlett did not recognize him, because he smelled different. He smelled like vet and drugs and fear, which is a scary smell to any animal, and now, even though he doesn't smell like vet, he also probably smells a bit different from the way he did when he was an entire tomcat.

So now, even though she's now been spayed she still remembers that.

You said that playing with them, together, often helps, so I would step that up and keep at it.

I would recommend you get Rescue Remedy for pets and put four drops each, in their breakfast meal, or which ever meal, after which they are likely to be together the most.

You can also try feliway plug in diffusers.

With the reduction in stress (no more yelling or chasing) and the Rescue Remedy, things may resolve themselves.

Another alternative is to do a slow reintroduction, treating them as brand new cats to one another. This means keeping them apart completely at first. Keep one cat in a room, while the otehr cat has the rest of the space to roam in, then switch them. This After a week or so, start giving them short periods of time in the same room together.

A few more things that I consider "musts" with multiple cats.

At least 3 litter boxes. At least three places they can perch.

Multiple scratching posts with a variety of surfaces and shapes (tall upright, curved, horizontal, flat, sisal, cardboard etc)

Feed a species appropriate diet. Diet plays a very large role in behavior. If you are feeding dry food, stop. Get them on a good quality low carb canned diet.

Dry diets are very bad for cats for many reasons. A dry fed cat is constantly in a state of dehydration. Which means they never feel their best. Dry food (and many canned foods too, so you have to read labels) are very high in carbohydrates. Carbs are bad for cats, cats need protein and fat, from meat.

Anyway take some time reading my suggestions and then I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Don't worry, this is solvable.
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