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Thread: Help with cats fighting

  1. #1

    Help with cats fighting

    I have two cat who have lived peacefully together for 3 years. Since yesterday they have been fighting. I can't figure out why or who is starting it. I think it is the younger more dominate male cat (neutered) cat. The older female (spayed) has always be submissive. I have observed them together fine then he smells her and hisses at her which sets her off growling and hissing. A couple physical fights. Now today it seems she is instigating it growling the minute she sees him but it may be only because he has been picking at her.
    I separated them over night and in the morning she was very upset he was locked up. Crying for me to open the door. But right away they started in on the fighting. So
    So far today she has stayed hidden and he has staked out her hiding spot.
    Only things I can think of is she is sick and he smells it or very small possibility that another cat sprayed her through the security door. They were at the door when this started. But I don't really think she would stay at the door if another cat came up. She is very skittish and submissive.
    She has been using the box fine and eating fine. I've checked her over for sore spots and she doesn't respond. And it looks like so far no boo boos from the fights.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,876
    Cats are very good at hiding pain. My first thought was that she has a dental issue. As you said, they can smell when another member is ill and they do start fights.

    How old are they? Do you check their teeth, brush their teeth? Will she allow you to open her mouth to see if there is lots of plaque and tartar build up?

    What do you feed? What I am getting at here is, if you feed soft food, she may well have a dental issue and still be eating alright. If you feed kibble, and a tooth issue starts, you do see them go off their feed sooner. What brand and formula do you feed them?

    Oh, and of COURSE this starts on a weekend, so you have to struggle through waiting for the vet office to open!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    39,816
    My Cats still grwol and swat once in a while , and even scream as they are still carrying the scent of male even after close to a year!!!
    I just let them blow off steam as noone is showing signs of battle
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    27,644
    I'm sorry to hear this. Some times cats that get along well will just out of the blue start fighting. This has happened to me many times. As another PT member has already said, maybe there's someting physically wrong with your female cat that your male can smell but you can't. I would take her to the vet to get checked out just in case. You can also try using feliway/comfort zone plugins or spray which you can buy online or at most pet stores. Hopefully they'll get along well again soon. Good luck.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
    Posts
    11,466
    I tend not to ever think it is a physical health issue. That is just me, and many, many expensive trips to the vet.

    What is their absolute yummiest food/snack/treat? Try feeding them together- maybe two feet apart- that treat, and only then. That gets them to associate close proximity to one another with good things.

    Next, try playing with them together. There is this toy called "da bird". It is ridiculous. It is like a short fishing pole with a feathery toy attached to it. I can't open up my hall closet without my cats running to the door, as they think it is 'da bird' play time. Play with them together. Again, they are expending energy AT something, and not AT each other...do this consistently.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Just north of Memphis TN, USA
    Posts
    1,450
    my 2 guys started fussing at each other after 3 years, too. I had to keep them seperated (one in a crate at all times, but would swap them out) for over 6 months. I tried everything, but ended up relocating one of them to my parents' house and everyone is happy again. Hopefully you can work something out with your cats.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    5,389
    My two will commonly get into it with each other when a stray cat shows up outside our window and they can smell/hear/see the cat but can't do anything about it. We will chase it away but a few days later he'll come wandering back...

    So perhaps there's a stray nearby causing misplaced frustration toward each other.

    Or it is also true that one could be sick/in pain and loses patience with the other one more quickly now. Not necessarily that he can "smell" it but that one may be in pain and just cranky. I know with my dental problems I've been dealing with lately, when I'm having a painful day, I will snap at my boyfriend because I'm painful, and not that he did anything to deserve it. A vet check-up never hurts.

    Or they are just going through a phase where they play rough and are more vocal about it. Weeks/months can go by where my two will be perfect angels with each other, then they'll have a streak of a few days where they seem to want to do nothing but fight.

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