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Aggressive cat hurting others

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:35 pm
by imogenalicia
i have 3 cats. 1 persian rescue - 11 months, 1 persian ragdoll - 3 years, 1 ragdoll - 2 years
all are boys.
the ragdoll has always been annoying to his older brother. his brother has disabilities so the introductions was a painfully slow experience. (6 months before they even spent 24 hours together). i did everything 'right' but he has always bothered him nipping at him pulling little bits of hair out. this went on for a year which i would stop and separate every time i caught it but wasn't concerned with as there was no aggressive posture and no hissing or anything so just seemed like rough play to me. by the end of the first year up untill 3 months ago i noticed it become a issue. my disabled cat as hissing and growling to warn him off and my ragdoll was showing more aggressive posture and pulling out bigger chunks of hair and he wouldnt stop unless i caught it. in recent months it is literally like my ragdoll is in these rage hazes where he will now attack unprovoked while the other cats are sleeping untill my persian cross is screaming out in pain with chunks being ripped out by the second. he bites into his throat and alot of the time aswell which really scares me. my baby persian is very energetic and can outrun him though. he wont snap out of his haze untill i grab him then he makes a run for it but sometimes hell be right back at it again 10 minutes later. it seems like a real bullying issue that needs sorting asap. all 3 are neutered by the way. i have tried everything i can think of and googled and im running out of ideas other than find a new home for my ragdoll but it would break my heart. ill do anything to avoid this. my cats are everything to me as im autistic so its almost become my hobby as i dont do much else. they are on really nice expensive food, they have every toy ever to play with and even have they own play room with a wall with scratching posts and beds and climbing things to play on. i even tried taking the ragdoll out into the garden on a harness as they are all indoor pets with no outside access due to me living on a main road but he will just sleep on the grass so its not burning off any energy. im wondering if anti anxiety meds might help mellow him out? just the herb and calcium based ones. i have plug ins around the house already and the persian and persian ragdoll are both trained but naughty ragdoll baby has not taken to training at all of course. hes a great cat, very easy and doesnt want alot of cuddles (which if i had it my way hed be in my arms always but hes not the type.) im so sorry for the long paragraph and please go easy on me. like i said i am Aspergers so im really trying my best and i pray i havnt done anything wrong to cause this. they all get equal attention and cuddles and the other 2 are so happy. i figured if i wasnt a good pet owner blue cross wouldnt of let me adopt from them but i cant help but feel like i dropped the ball not coming down on the fighting sooner. time is not a issue i can spend unlimited time on trying to fix this and will pay any price if anyone has any product suggestions. thank you so much in advance

Re: Aggressive cat hurting others

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:27 am
by Mollycat
Hi, I don't think you have done anything wrong here, cats are not naturally social animals and although some can live together well and some even need company, it's not their nature like it is with horses and sheep who really need friends of their own kind. Very unusual for a ragdoll to be aggressive though again breed temperament is a broad brush and individuals can be very different. I used to say my raggie boy didn't get the memo.

First, are all three neutered?
Which plug-ins are you using? I find the PetRemedy much more effective than Feliway but cats respond to different ones. Have you tried different ones?
Have you tried Zylkene? It's a capsule you sprinkle on their food, it may help.
The cats all have toys and scratch posts but do you play with each of them as well?
Do they all have platforms and climbing frames and dens to hide in?
Have you had Raggie health checked and asked the vet about this behaviour? A medical issue can sometimes generate problem behaviour and some vets either take an interest in behaviour or have a behaviourist at the practice.
Do they have plenty of resources - one litter tray for each cat plus one is the guidance. Do you feed them together or separately?

It does sound like he is trying to chase your other cat out especially as his behaviour is getting worse.
Twice now I have had multi-cat situations where as one got old and weak I was watching for any signs of the younger fitter one bullying the senior but in fact in both cases the opposite happened, the younger one became more tolerant and respectful. This clearly isn't the case with your disabled cat though, it will be interesting to see what more experienced multi cat householders say about that.
As they are all young I wonder if it is something that started out as rough play and has become bullying through habit, but you say he seems to get this red mist or rage haze and that's why I'm wondering how much you play with him.
Also could it be redirected frustration, are there other cats in the neighbourhood that could be winding them up? Do you have a garden where you could put a safe enclosed outdoor enclosure for them?
One thing with Raggies, they can be very loyal and attached to one person. Does he get special time alone with you? Do you have to give your disabled cat more of your time because of his disabilities? I'm thinking, without rewarding the unwanted behaviour, when he is calm and relaxed, if giving Raggie some devoted time for just him might benefit?
I'm thinking if you keep having to step in and stop Raggie from attacking, he might be feeling even more frustrated and jealous that the others get happy quality time and he gets 'told off' - not suggesting you tell him off but his experience might be less positive from you, maybe.
Could the cats be separated for example at night, to give everyone a break?

Just a few thoughts as they cross my mind, hopefully more experienced people will be along with suggestions.

Re: Aggressive cat hurting others

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:04 am
by Ruth B
Some good advise from Mollycat, and I will agree that I don't think you have done' anything wrong, every cat is different and reacts differently, I had a Ragdoll who loved to be cuddled, I could cradle him like a baby in one arm and carry him around with me and he would just lie there and love it. From what you say, I'm don't think yours would take that type of treatment, but shows how they are all different, even if they are the same breed.

Two things come to my mind, you say they are all neutered, it might be worth having him vet checked any way just to check that nothing went wrong at the neutering and that his hormone levels are normal for a neutered cat. It is very rare but occasionally tissue gets left behind and an animal can end up exhibiting behaviour that is worse than either an un neutered or a neutered animal. I've seen it in a male horse and a female cat, so no reason to suspect it couldn't happen in a male cat. However unlikely it would be worth getting him checked out and gives you a chance to talk to the vet about both a physiological cause and a behavioural cause.

The other thought is along the lines of any attention is better than no attention. When he attacks the disabled cat you have to intervene, which means he is getting attention even if it is a telling off. Do you have a spare room you could shut him in for a short time straight after you have separated them. Separate them as soon as you are aware he is attacking either or the other cats, don't look at him, don't talk to him, just pick him up and put him in the spare room and walk out the door. After a short time, anything from 10 to 30 minutes, but if he is yelling at the door then keep ignoring him until he quiets down. When he has calmed down let him out and then give him a lot of attention. when he is well behaved give him attention when ever you can, if he likes being groomed then sitting with him and grooming him might be the attention he is looking for (my Ragdoll loved to be groomed and I could have spent hours just running a comb over his belly, but again yours might be different).

Finally, if you get no where with your vet, or just as another approach, you mentioned you adopted from the Blue Cross, you could always contact them for advise. They would not think badly of you, they know there can be problems settling cats in multicat households and their members will have a lot of experience in resolving the various issues. They would much rather someone asks for help than leave it until a cat gets injured. They would certainly not think you a bad owner.

Re: Aggressive cat hurting others

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:17 pm
by imogenalicia
thank you so much for the responses. yes he definitely not the cuddle type. will walk away if you try stroke him half the time.he likes to sleep next to my head and thats the only time hell purr. i have the pet remedy plug in in the place they are the most in the Asian scent i believe cause they didnt respond to the european one when they had a sniff. not really sure what the different scents do haha. he has for himself 3 cat beds aswell and about 5 in total and i do have 3 trays and we have no issue other than the youngest sometimes trying to climb in and watch the older 2 pee :lol: . millions of toys and places to scratch and hide. i for sure think now after reading responses that maybe he does need a visit to the vets. it might be worth mentioning that after he was neutered he didnt really grow so hes really small for a boy let alone a ragdoll. his teeth also almost look like his baby teeth to me. i did wait to neuter till he was 6 months as i didnt want him under untill he was older and his organs were strong enough to take the anesthetic. i have tried the 'time out' for 20 minutes but hes un phased. he loves alone time and will just nap untill i let him out. i do feel if i separated them at night though they would start to get distressed and miss eachother as they do usually sleep in the same room together untill he wakes up and attacks the others. he prefers the baby to his older brother and they usually nap and spoon throughout the day. i could for sure function a safe place outside so he can be outside more but the idea of having them out not on a harness does scare me abit because even if it was safe i would probably watch the window all day to make sure he didnt get out and go to the road. what would i need to say to the vet to make sure he gets the right checks done? i feel if im not specific theyll just do a basic check and write him off as fine (the vets around me arent great, we have tried multiple and they are all abit lazy)

Re: Aggressive cat hurting others

Posted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:16 pm
by Mollycat
Interesting so they do cuddle up and are close it's just the attacks! And also about him not growing after being neutered. Usually they grow bigger if anything as the energy they would be using to produce testosterone can go into growing. That might be a clue to start from, I don't know, but seems interesting.

For what to say well I would just explain what the behaviour is that has you concerned and if you feel you're being fobbed off ask if they can recommend a cat behaviourist. A general health check and a decent vet should ask questions needed to give them any clues on any possible medical problems.