Neutered male - 2 months on - still aggressive with other cats

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Neutered male - 2 months on - still aggressive with other cats

Post by Jacks » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:02 pm

So I'm a serial cat rescuer since 2012 when a kitten was born at the bottom of our garden. Now I have 8. The latest, Charlie, 'arrived' in our garden, an unneutered male covered in battle scars, in April. By May we had him neutered and moved him into our bonding room. He's been there since 6th May. He loves his little room, where he has a bed, toys, scratch post, litter, food and a water fountain. He loves cuddles, is totally food obsessed and loves his mum. He's shown no desire to escape or get out of the house. He's no more than 4 years old. However when he comes down for outings (generally a short outing each day, as part of introductions), there are problems with the other 7 cats...

Charlie was a very 'male' cat in behaviour when we got him. His attitude to the other cats was totally confident and his posture assertive and challenging - which had been his life. He has improved in the 2 months, but he still scares all the others and there have been a few scraps. Just last week though he and one of the girls were sitting in the kitchen, and he was looking at her. She hissed at him and then got up and walked out of the room. Suddenly he flew after after her and launched himself on her back and the next moment they were locked in a shrieking ball. I simply reached down and grabbed him with both hands round his chest - held him up (little heart beating), said he was a naughty boy, and took him back to his room. Unfortunately I was out a couple of days later and the same thing happened but wasn't resolved as quickly and now the little girl is terrified of him. He now gets really twitchy if he comes downstairs but will follow me wherever I go. His favourite place is in his room having strokes and food.

I can't feed him alongside the others unless I had some sort of harness because he will simply go for any food without restraint (stray cat syndrome) and he appears to have a sensitivity to fish, so I have to feed him separate food. He's banned treats for the same reason.

My previous experience with recently neutered males isn't much help. No 1 male was a wild feral male who continued to live wild for 8 months after neutering, and then lived each night in the back of the house for 3 years before becoming properly integrated; but he had to be domesticated as well. No 2 male was a gentle, playful but excitable juvenile who scared the others with his vivacity, but within a couple of months they realised he was harmless and just wanted to play. He too had to get used to living in a home. Now after 15 months he's completely part of the family. Number 3 male is a neighbour's cat that we're going to officially adopt as they've got a puppy and he moved out. He's over 4 and was neutered as a kitten, so no 'male' problems there. This no 4 male is different because he's totally domesticated, but totally confident in a very male way - and doesn't want to share me with other cats. The other cats are completely happy when he's in his room - even his breakfast cries don't bother them. It's as if they don't mind him, as long as he keeps away from them. As for Charlie, he makes no attempt to bolt when I open his door, and ignores the other cats - he just wants mum and his grub.

I guess it's going to be a long, slow process, but has anyone got any experience integrating a very assertive-aggressive male into a mixed household? All are neutered, of course, but maybe 2 months isn't that long to change the behaviour of a life-time.

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Re: Neutered male - 2 months on - still aggressive with other cats

Post by Lilith » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi, Jacks, yes, two months isn't long. My Ali Kat took a lot longer; he was middleaged when he arrived in early 2003, I got him neutered of course, and he was hell on wheels, or rather paws, for much of the time he stayed with us (disappeared autumn 2007, still badly missed :( )

I did manage to cure him of tackling my other tomcat, Finn, who was a big softy (Ali clearly had it in his mind that Finn had to be fought and driven out and leave Ali in charge of the 3 girls - who were also spayed.) At first, when he attacked Finny, I'd grab Finn and snatch him out of reach ... what a stupid thing to do! It's been the only time I've been scared of a cat; I really thought Ali was going to climb me and attack us both; in the end I learned to do what you did - grab Ali and in his case bundle him behind the stair door. As it was I ended up with some glorious bruises on my legs where he'd slammed into me before I learned NOT to pick Finn up.

He was no gentleman. I once lifted him out of my favourite chair (with apologies) so that I could sit down after a hard day at the allotment. He glared and went for my legs. Your Charlie sounds far far sweeter. But after a while - maybe a year, I could generally anticipate Ali's mood. And he never managed to throw Finny out!

I also used a plant mister to break up any brawls, spraying him under his tail so that he had to turn round and back down from his attack at this insult to what was left of his manhood.

I loved him to bits - but oh boy was he a handful! I hope Charlie adapts better than he did, good luck! :)

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