A Switch Flipped, Now My Cats Hate Each Other. What Can We Do?

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Catfamily3000

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Sounds to me like you need to keep them separate for longer if you want a reset. And then before you let them interact, you let them see each other via double stacked baby gates or a door cracked with door jambs. That is an intermediate step. You just aren't ready to let them interact, because fighting undos all progress.

Also sounds like you need improved door security to prevent door darting. What I do is act like a nut with exaggerated foot stomping, with loud random scary vocalisations added in the first few times. Let your family think your a loon and scare your cats back a little, you MUST prevent fighting or the reintroduction process won't work. So do it before you touch the door to back the one cat off; crack the door while stomping and making vocalisations to back the other cat off. If your serious about it, and not afraid of acting like a loon, it will back most cats off and eventually get them to stop trying to dart (although you need to keep up with it).

Doing this today. Going good so far! I tried the yelling and stomping at the door. It worked! Thank you!!!
 
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Catfamily3000

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Cat shelving can look really good AND it gives a couple of benefits. It gives height which builds confidence AND it gives them another escape route from each other so they can choose to "get out of the way" rather than have to get into a confrontation.Cat shelving in "choke point" areas where it is tight and only one route can help especially well.

How did they act after the "rough" play (before the recent issues)? Did either cat hide, or avoid areas, etc? Or did they bounce back to normal quickly?

If they were co-existing fine then you did the intro well.

The reason why they bolt from the room is because a cat doesn't like territory "taken" away (even though it is necessary) and they try to regain that territory (in spite of the potential "risks" - a negative encounter with the other cat).

It is a bit tricky when we have a feral causing territorial insecurity and redirected aggression. Given that they are fighting and now peeing I think we need to keep them totally separated and work on building their confidence individually while also doing a re-introduction (making positive associations starting with feeding on the opposite side of a closed door). And see how they do then do some scent swapping and then site swapping (over time). The goal in this is to build confidence (to better handle the feral that is coming around) AND to make every encounter (whether by scent at first then in time sight) as positive as possible while limiting any negative encounters. So keeping them separate should limit the negative encounters.

The peeing is happening after they have a dust-up, correct? Or is it happening after they see the feral without any negative encounter between the 2 resident cats? Where is the peeing happening? By outside doors or windows? Or in the area of the fight or the area where the other resident cat is?

So I think we need to stop he "dust-ups" to reduce the negative encounters and therefore stop the peeing. That is our first goal. Make sure you are cleaning the pee with an enzymatic cleaner to remove the scent properly.

So keep them totally separated. Also, step up play with each separately in their own territory. Feed treats after play and/or feed a meal by the closed door. And give them love if you can safely. Be as calm and confident around them as possible. If you can get them to purr (if you are not at risk of being hurt) that could be great. Cats sense our emotions so it is important to stay as calm and confident around them as possible. Just help them be in a positive state between each other. This will also (the confidence building) will help them accept the feral.

You are welcome. We'll get through this. It sounds like it started with re-directed aggression because of the feral and then they started getting some negativity between them. So it depends on what is causing the peeing (it could be the feral - territorial insecurity or it could be stress from the negativity between the 2 resident cats). Either way de-escalating and building confidence should stop the peeing and ultimately help with the acceptance of the feral. We'll see how they respond but our first goal is to stop the peeing and make every encounter between the resident cats as positive as possible.

We'll get through this. We should seeing the peeing stop soon. Then we can work on their confidence to handle the feral and then as they get more confident we can make more progress on getting them back together (as a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted).

Please update any time and ask anything. This happens all the time and we can fix this.
This has been so helpful. I've stepped up the play. Fed them by the door. Tried to do more brushing and quality time together (one HATES brushing though--he actually hates most touching and bites after a little bit of petting). I've really tried to be confident and calm, doing a nice voice and praising them for all the positive too.
 

rubysmama

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Fingers crossed that things are back to normal soon. :crossfingers:
 

calicosrspecial

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This has been so helpful. I've stepped up the play. Fed them by the door. Tried to do more brushing and quality time together (one HATES brushing though--he actually hates most touching and bites after a little bit of petting). I've really tried to be confident and calm, doing a nice voice and praising them for all the positive too.
Sounds like you are doing a great job.

If the one cat does not like brushing then do something else in order to make a positive association. If the cat needs to be brushed brush the cat away from the other so there is no negative association.

Just take it slowly, keep making positive associations, keep trying to make every encounter as positive as possible and continue to work on building confidence with Play, then Food/treat after play, try to get them up in the world Height if they like going high, and Love (which is positive energy around them, calm and confident, loving, positive encounters, etc).

A confident cat is less likely attack or be attacked or have territorial issues (peeing, redirected aggression).

Keep up the great work and please let us know if you have any questions or issues.Hopefully some of the peeing/pooping has ended and we can move into getting things better in the other areas.
 
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