Advice Needed! Got along but suddenly fighting

Newcatontheblock

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Messages
2
Purraise
5
I am a first time cat parent with two little ones, Puff (3 yrs, more energetic) and Little (4 yrs, declawed, very shy/timid). Both spayed/neutered. I got both on the same day 5- ish months ago and I was so lucky because after 3 days of being introduced to each other we became a happy family, that got along with no fights and i was extremely happy when lately i saw them grooming the other. On Friday I took both to the vet, Little was given an antibiotic. Both typically sleep in the same bed (mine). However, late Saturday I heard a noise and all of a sudden Puff was attacking Little. I was startled, I ran after and stopped them. I thought all was well, we go back to bed one on each side of the bed, until Little made a slight move and Puff attacked again. I stopped the fight, and separated them. The wrinkle is I live in a small space and room separation is difficult, Puff can open the door. Total, I think they had 4 pretty rough tussles. Little has been hiding almost all day and I have almost successfully kept them in their rooms for the most part. Puff opened the door, went up to him and popped Little on the head a few times. By the time i got there with the spray bottle Puff ran off. Later in the day, I gave them treats while they were close to each other so they could have some positive reinforcement. I tried to swap their rooms and Puff went on the attack again. Everytime Puff hears Little move her eyes get big and she gets is a pounce position. I was around to monitor today, but tomorrow, I have to go to work.

I read it could be the difference in smells from the medicine, or that the loud noise that startled us awake was misplaced on Little. I am not sure, but they have never acted like this, not even in the introduction days was there anything more than a low hiss or two. Here we are and I am just not sure what to do. Puff does not seem to be calming down, and Little appears terrified. I am not sure how to go about re-introduction since I live in such a small space their scents are already everywhere. I am hopeful this is a temporary thing and they will go back to normal soon. Right now it is scaring me.
 

anneva123

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jan 23, 2022
Messages
1
Purraise
0
A couple of suggestions. View Puff as scared of Lillie rather than angry at her. It will help you deal with Puff more appropriately. Sit on the floor with Lillie. Pet her and talk to her. Let Puff enter and see you sitting and being safe with Lillie. Talk to Puff quietly, repeatedly using the words good, Lillie, and Puff in your talk. Keep petting Lillie, while talking to both of them. If Puff comes close enough, pet him gently but briefly. Keep doing this until both cats settle down. This may need to be done for a few days before Puff calms down again. Once a cat's threat sense is pushed, it takes a couple of days for them to calm down. You can help it along by reminding Puff that you feel safe around Lillie. Separating them is good when you are away, but when you are there, I would keep Lillie with you, and work to help Puff feel safe enough to join you.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
15,551
Purraise
20,664
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
If the antibiotic were to have caused some sort of scent change in Little, then having their 'normal' scents everywhere wouldn't mean much now. So, scent swapping still might be something to try. And doing other steps in the introduction process would still be worth a shot as well. As stated above, keeping them apart when you are not at home needs to be done until they settle down. If possible, you might try blocking the door with something to stop Puff from being able to open it.

There is another tactic that has been suggested on this site, and while it seems a bit unusual, it apparently works on some cats.
Ode to vanilla extract | TheCatSite. I cannot attest to its effectiveness, but I suppose it couldn't really hurt anything, even if it doesn't work.

In case you aren't familiar with the TCS article on introductions -
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles. It's not like you have to start at Square One, but this article will help you to devise a plan appropriate for your cats.

Lastly, don't use a spray bottle on cats to try to correct behavior. It usually backfires.
5 Reasons To Never Spray Water On Your Cat [Or otherwise punish them] – TheCatSite Articles
 
Top