My male cat attacking a female re-homed cat

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KatBalou
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My male cat attacking a female re-homed cat

Post by KatBalou » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:12 pm

This is my first post so I hope this is the right place to ask for help.
Earlier this year a cat took up residence in an old rabbit hutch in my garden
She had been left behind when a family split up and moved away, so I carried on feeding her outside.
My 2 year old male cat didn't seem too bothered about her being in the garden but she has always tried to come indoors.
Since around June, she has been coming in but he is not happy about this at all.
He keeps attacking her and even when she goes on the top of the cupboard out of his way, he seeks her out. I'm amazed she even wants to come in.
She had a poor life with the previous family and I wanted to offer her a forever home but I think this is not working for her.
My cat was also a stray, that a family took in but they couldn't keep him because he attacked their cats. I only found this out recently.
I'm not sure what to do for the best.
Any suggestions would be great, thanks.

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lilynmitz
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Re: My male cat attacking a female re-homed cat

Post by lilynmitz » Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:53 pm

This is a difficult one, as your male cat obviously doesn't like her. It's not as though you're forcing her on him either, he just doesn't want her in his "safe place", ie his home. He may just be one of these very anxious cats who doesn't like other cats.

He may adjust in time if you leave things as they are, but given that the weather will be deteriorating, your female puss will need to be indoors as a regular thing soon.

You could try to "force the issue" by bringing her in permanently and going through the introduction process, so your male has to get used to her, but it's possible that they will only tolerate each other at best, and at the worst, you may end up with your male getting so upset that it results in stress behaviour such as spraying and fighting. Have a look at these links and see if they offer any ideas that might work for you.

http://www.catchat.org/bonding.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.catchat.org/hierarchies.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.catchat.org/cat_aggression.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The main thing to bear in mind is that his hissing and growling isn't aggression, it's defence; he's saying "I'm scared of you being here and I'd like you to leave please". He does need reassurance, so don't get anxious or shout at him (or her) when this happens, as it will only make them worse. Just stay calm and quietly separate them so that they can calm down again.

KatBalou
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Re: My male cat attacking a female re-homed cat

Post by KatBalou » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:05 pm

Thank you so much for replying.
He does seem to be getting stressed and doesn't sleep in any of his usual places.
He's taken up residence in my chair now. I feel sorry for him because he's had such a bad start in his life too.
She is indoors all the time now, so I'll have a look at the links you gave me and hopefully with a bit of perseverance, they may at least be able to live under the same roof even if they're not the best of friends.

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Jacks
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Re: My male cat attacking a female re-homed cat

Post by Jacks » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:39 pm

Welcome, CatBalou, from CatChat and another cat 'mum' who has had cats wander into her life... I have 5 cats, none related - 2 who have come in from the cold, 2 from rescue and 1 who was a feral kitten aged about 4-5 months when I caught her and brought her in. Number 4 is a large ex-wild Tom who I trapped and had neutered. 8 months after this he moved in, in May this year. Three of the others have worked out their relationships with him but one female (who he bullied in the past) is still afraid of him and if she growls and hisses (and runs) showing she is afraid, he will chase to attack her. Yes, he's a bit of a bully where he sees weakness but they are all ours, and we love them, as you love your two.

It's getting better - that's my tuppence worth. It's a slow process, and if we're out I have her upstairs (maybe with another cat) and him downstairs - unless he's out. He's not allowed upstairs as yet, as that's her safe place. However when we're at home we have them both together and diffuse problems if they start. Gradually they ARE getting used to each other and giving up is not an option. I think you need to be as calm and patient as you can, so that there are no negative vibes - and get some Feliway plug-ins to keep the environment full of good pheromones, and monitor it as best as possible. If they can have different areas of the house that are 'theirs' I think it helps. During the day my girl likes sitting on a tissue box in the kitchen, above the radiator (she's a little thing) and he likes sitting in a box in the lounge if he's not out. At night I shut him in the back of the house with his whicker basket and blankets, which he loves, and the girls have the run of the house. At first he was upset, but I precede it with a nice 'fishy supper' - little late night snack of a shared can of Encore - and he knows the pattern now. There is a great security for cats in knowing what to expect.

Given time and some space of their own I expect your two will come to tolerate each other's presence, even if your boy would rather have been an only cat. But it will take time...

Do let us know how things are going and share any tips you have!

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Re: My male cat attacking a female re-homed cat

Post by Hunnybunny » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:28 pm

I assume your male is neutered? You won't know if the female is will you?

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Re: My male cat attacking a female re-homed cat

Post by KatBalou » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:19 pm

Thanks for the suggestions Jacks.
I think you're right about being patient with this.
My cat is neutered but not sure about the other one.
She was quite a big cat when she arrived in my garden and I was wondering if she was pregnant.
No sign of any kittens so I'm assuming she's been spayed but I'm going to be taking her for a health check soon and get her vaccinated etc.
I didn't think I'd be keeping her to be honest but she has made herself at home with us, despite the hostile environment.
Having said that, my cat has been asleep in front of the log burner and she has been asleep on the back of the settee. No hissing or chasing tonight so far.
Hope it stays like this.

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