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Unread 07-22-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Question New cat vs old cat

I have recently taken in a friend for a couple months who has two small, active children and a not quite 1 yr old male neutered cat. I have a 2 yr old spayed female cat who, when younger was a very angry and violent cat, but has since become quite calm and friendly towards me. Due to the circumstances which forced my friend to move in, there was no way to gradually introduce the cats to each other. Since about the second day, (it has now been 3 weeks) they have been almost constantly fighting, and the fighting is escalating. The male cat, Starr, charges and attacks the female cat, Wingnut, blocking her from access to the litter box, food bowl (they have seperate bowls, and different food types) and water bowl. He does this at all times of the day or night, and in the last couple days, I have noticed a radical change in Wingnut's behavior. The *ONLY* time prior to this that she pooped outside the litter box was when she was about 4 months old and I accidently forgot about closing the bedroom door on her all day, and she did her job in the shower(atleast it was easy to clean up). Now, in the last couple days she has pooped on a towel in the bathroom twice, plus once on the washing machine of all places. The other behavioral issue is that before, when she was the solo cat, she almost never vocalized (meow'd, hissed, yowl'd), excepting purring or the occasional kitty squeak. Now the slightest thing irritates her and causes her to give a complaint meow.

Question 1:
How can I stop or atleast lessen the fighting without either a) angering my friend, and b) not causing harm to the cats?

Question 2:
How can I stop the radical bathroom changes in Wingnut?

Question 3:
Will Wingnut's behavior go back to the kitty I love and miss?
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Unread 07-22-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome, I am sorry you are having this problem, poor little Wingnut!

First and most important you must add more litter boxes. Wingnut should have her own litter box, a litter box placed somewhere else so Starr cannot block her from it. She is under deep stress and is feeling desperate and is telling you how bad off she is by pooping elsewhere, however, part of the problem is Starr will not let her use the box.

The cats should be kept separate as much as possible for now. Starr should be kept in your friend's room, with litter and food, with the door closed. This is WINGNUT'S house, not Starr's. She should not be forced to be shut in all the time.

After Starr has been kept isolated for a week or so, you can begin reintroducing. Slow introductions are always best, so treat this as a brand new introduction. Cats are very territorial and should never just be plopped down and forced to cope with one another in a sudden way.

Smell is everything to a cat. Exchange smells by rubbing towels on each cat to blend smells, then putting these towels under their food dishes so they associate the other cat's smell with good things.

When you are ready to reintroduce (give the feliway plug in diffusers time to work) use the 'vanilla trick' at first. Put a dot of cooking vanilla (not perfume) on the nose/chin and root of tail of each cat, so they both smell the same to one another, then allow Starr out of the bedroom.

Get some feliway plug in diffusers to help with territorial issues. Get some Rescue Remedy for Wingnut to help her cope with the stress.

Be sure you have enough elevated space, as place Wingnut can go to be high up and away from Starr.

I recommend a trip to the vet for Wingnut, and get a urinalysis done, this kind of stress can cause illness in cats, especially Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).

Welcome to the forum and keep us posted.
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