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Old 07-01-2010, 10:53 AM
 
2,674 posts, read 3,098,311 times
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I would love to get opinions and feedback on a recent evolving behavior situation with one of my cats. (actually, this is one of my daughter's two cats)

There are five cats in our household, two of which are my daughter's cats. They are three years old and have lived with me for about a year and a half; both female, one black and one tuxedo. My daughter who had lived in an apt. moved them in with me when she moved to a different city. A year ago she moved back in with me.

My calico was the only one of my three that was agressive and mean to her two cats, but has since leveled the agression.

Within the last two weeks the black cat (Chairman) has become agressive to her sister, (Kitler, the tuxedo cat). At first, the agression was not often, but it has grown into an almost constant attack. Chairman had always been a sweet, loving, very laid back cat while Kitler has been more high-strung with a tendency toward agressive. I've learned she's mostly all meow and growl and not nearly as tough or mean as she acts.

There are two changes that may be contributing.
1) Both of these cats were strictly indoor cats, but we've integrated them to the outside...with caution and a watchful eye. We did that since my three are allowed outside and Kitler would run out the door at every chance. They love being outside.
2) My daughter has not been home very much lately. She has now rented a house and is in the process of moving. She hasn't stayed at my house for a week.

I've wondered if Chairman is upset with her 'mom' gone so much. Maybe this caused her to act out with agression to her sister, Kitler. The agression is only shown to the one cat and not to any of my three cats. This is completely different than her normal personality. I give a lot of attention to both of these cats. I'm very attached to them both, but with Kitler's spitfire personality, antics, and adorable looks she seems to get more attention than Chairman. Sort of like the little brat kid that is always in trouble who ends up getting most of the attention. I've wondered about jealousy, but think that may be too much anthropomorphism.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
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Sudden drastic changes in behavior are almost always an indicator of an underlying medical condition. A trip to the vet is in order.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:20 AM
 
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Will do!! Thank you.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racelady88 View Post
Sudden drastic changes in behavior are almost always an indicator of an underlying medical condition. A trip to the vet is in order.
I was going to say the same thing.
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Old 07-02-2010, 06:45 AM
 
Location: California
10,090 posts, read 40,539,149 times
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Originally Posted by Racelady88 View Post
Sudden drastic changes in behavior are almost always an indicator of an underlying medical condition. A trip to the vet is in order.
Agreed!
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:20 AM
 
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Neither of the cats have any symptoms of being ill. None at all. Both are spayed and current on vaccinations. I did some online research yesterday and learned there are a variety of etiologies for aggressive behavior. With what I'm seeing it sounds like either territorial agression or social status aggression.

I'm still going to take them to the vet for check-ups to be safe.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:28 AM
 
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Cats are the masters of hiding illness and pain. By the time any actual symptoms show up cats are usually very ill indeed and have been for a while.

However there is a chance that this could be a form of displaced aggression. Something outside is upsetting Chairman and she has associated it with the other kitty.

Perhaps they were sitting next to each other when some animal or noise startled Chairman. She now associates that fright with her sister.

In that case, I would recommend feliway plug in diffusers, and reintroductions, treating them as new to each other.

You can also try the vanilla trick, which is putting a dot of vanilla (cooking vanilla not perfume) on the nose and tail of each cat, so everyone smells the same.

But definitely a check up is the first step. Is your daughter planning on taking the cats when she settles in her new place? If so, that may solve the problem, especially if she installs feliway plug ins before the move.
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:49 AM
 
Location: California
10,090 posts, read 40,539,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecovlke View Post
Neither of the cats have any symptoms of being ill. None at all. Both are spayed and current on vaccinations. I did some online research yesterday and learned there are a variety of etiologies for aggressive behavior. With what I'm seeing it sounds like either territorial agression or social status aggression.

I'm still going to take them to the vet for check-ups to be safe.
Cats show usually show the fact they are not feeling well in two areas....aggression or litterbox issues. Vet check is probably a first good step.
Another factor maybe he/she may not be comfortable being made into an outdoor cat. He's left the safety and of being indoors to lots of unknowns outdoors.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:36 AM
 
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First, thanks for all of the input. I do want to clarify that I didn't 'make' them into outdoor cats. Kitler, was the one that wanted outside so badly. Chairman likes to go outside, but it isn't as big of a deal to her as it is to Kitler. I've never had a cat that was indoors 100% of the time, but none of my cats are ever left outside at night or forced to go outside.

The feliway diffusers are a good idea. I don't have any yet, but will buy one this evening. I do have a different brand of spray that is meant to discourage urine spraying and calm cats. I read to spray that around, but the diffusers is a better idea, I think.

Yesterday, once I got home from work I kept them separated. Kitler was for once happy to stay inside the house and slept comfortably on my bed all evening and all night. There were no problems until this morning and Chairman pounced on Kitler. I've been using the water spray bottle to discourage it.

It'll be Monday before I can get to the vet since I have a funeral on Saturday. And yes, my daughter plans on taking the cats once she gets settled in her house. She's going to Germany for a couple of weeks this mid-July and didn't want to move them until she gets back. I hate to part with them, but they are her cats. There will be two roomates and Kitler doesn't warm up to people quickly. We'll see, but they will be vet checked before I part with them. I just hate parting with them. At least they'll not be far away.

Again, thanks to everyone for the input. It's upsetting to see them fighting. I want everyone happy and healthy.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:38 AM
 
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I really wouldn't advise using the spray bottle for this. Chairman is behaving this way for a reason, even if we don't know what it is. The spray bottle is only going to confuse her more.

Keep us posted.
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