Extreme Intercat Aggression - Desperate For Help!!

the_food_lady

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Exactly a year ago I rescued a sweet 8 yr old spayed female from a lady in the neighborhood who didn't want her and allowed me to adopt her. I already had 5 strictly indoor cats but this sweet girl deserved a good loving home and there was no way I could take her to a humane society where a cat her age could possibly be euthanized. I named her Luna.

I've had cats all my life, have rescued many so I am very familiar with introducing a new cat into an existing-cat home.

I kept her my large master bedroom for almost 2 weeks, to get her accustomed to my house, new smells, new environment. After 2 weeks I slowly began introducing her to the other cats. (the other cats being 4 spayed female and 1 neutered male). There was the odd hiss and growl but nothing unusual. The only cat who had a bit of an issue with her was my 4 yr old female Hootie but for 2 full days everyone had free roam of the house and no issues. There were even times Hootie and Luna would both be sleeping under my bed. But then something happened, and I don't know what. Ever since then Hootie absolutely wants to kill her. It started with Hootie stalking her if in the same room then charging at her and poor Luna would cower on her side, hissing, but not fighting back. I then realized they couldn't be in the same room together. I figured that maybe the just needed more time.

It's been a full year now and Hootie still wants to kill her. I have never in my life seen a cat so chomping at the bit to attack another cat.

I have tried absolutely everything.

-feliway, feliway friends, the spray
-Jackson Galaxy homeopathic sprays (one for bullies, one for scared cats)
-use of a baby gate between them, doing a scent exchange, letting each spend time in each other's space (while separated)
-even tried buying an XL Dog Crate and would put Luna inside it (with bed, litterbox, food, water) and put it in the living room thinking maybe Hootie just needed to warm up to her this way. Hootie would violently charge the kennel. I had to scratch that idea becuz I felt it was too scary and stressful for Luna
-tried a good secure dog harness (hootie is a huge girl at 17 lbs, part Maine Coon) and a leash.....with them both in the same room but me in control of Hootie so that she couldn't charge Luna....but she was clearly chomping at the bit to go after her.
-I have 3 extra tall/extra wide Baby Gates on my second floor. Hootie camps out on the one side of the gate, watching Luna like a hawk, charging at the gate when Luna walks by on the other side (Luna no longer cares). Sometimes she's so angry and wanting to get at her that she snorts and paces.
-I have bought books from well known Cat behaviorists and followed their advice but Hootie's hatred for Luna is like nothing I've ever seen. It's like she's possessed. She's clearly a bully. Hootie was the last cat I rescued prior to Luna so to Hootie, Luna is the first newcomer.

I feel bad for Luna to be stuck upstairs all day (even though a large area with cat perches in windows, sunny spots, lots of room, she gets along with my other cats so I let them spend time with her so she's not alone) so I sometimes put Hootie upstairs and bring Luna downstairs..and let Luna stay down here for a few days. She loves to watch the birds out the living room window, play with cat toys, have a much larger space to roam.

Tonight Hootie managed to push the bottom of one of the baby gates forward at the bottom and get out and downstairs, and I didn't realize it unfortunately until Hootie had run across the living room and charged Luna and was on top of her, fur was flying. I broke them up and quickly took Luna upstairs where she'll stay now for a few days.

It's been a whole year now - a WHOLE YEAR - and Hootie still wants to kill her. Once I got my hand in between Hootie, the baby gate and Luna on the other side and I ended up with Hootie's fangs in my finger (I was trying to pet her and talk softly to her while Luna was on the other side but Hootie was focused only on Luna). Hootie doesn't just swat, she will bite. With me Hootie is the sweeties most affectionate cat. I rescued her 5 years ago as 2 month old sick, injured little kitten and sometimes I think she thinks I'm her Mom. But with Luna, she seriously wants to clean her clock. I've never in all my 30 years of having cats ever witnessed such aggression.

There is no Cat Behaviorist anywhere around where I live....believe me I've searched. Plus I don't know what a behaviorist would tell me to do that I haven't already done.

Is there any hope?

Getting rid of either of them is not an option. Luna is now 9 and has a grade 4 heart murmur and very early kidney disease, nobody would want her...and she had already been with 2 rotten homes prior to me adopting her, I have made a commitment to her.

My Vet said we could try Prozac with Hootie but I'm skeptical about it. I've read mixed reviews with regard to use of Prozac for intercat aggression and there can be long term effects from long term use of it.

Sorry for the long post but just wanting to really paint the picture. this is the worse case of intercat aggression I have ever seen in my life. You'd have to truly see it to believe it. It's like Hootie is totally possessed.

PS - I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Thanks
 

kskatt

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To be honest, the living situation you described, is better than many cats have. Does not sound bad at all to me. Maybe someone can offer advise, something new. If not, just do what you are doing. I think your kitties are very lucky, to have you.
 

kittens mom

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Get a very think piece of plywood, large serving tray or heavy duty foam board sold in craft area. Never put your hand between two warring cats. Break the sightline. Put it right between them.
We rehomed a stray cat we would have loved to keep but for extreme aggression between one of our resident cats and her. In you case it sounds like Luna has a good set up and a decent living situation about the only thing to do is start introductions all over again. It's sounds like an almost classic case of redirected aggression on Hooties part. A short course of Prozac might be beneficial. If you feel really bad and nothing else works do some site swapping to let her be more social with the other cats. Other than that let it go and stop feeling guilty for giving her a loving home that isn't perfect.
 

tarasgirl06

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Exactly a year ago I rescued a sweet 8 yr old spayed female from a lady in the neighborhood who didn't want her and allowed me to adopt her. I already had 5 strictly indoor cats but this sweet girl deserved a good loving home and there was no way I could take her to a humane society where a cat her age could possibly be euthanized. I named her Luna.

I've had cats all my life, have rescued many so I am very familiar with introducing a new cat into an existing-cat home.

I kept her my large master bedroom for almost 2 weeks, to get her accustomed to my house, new smells, new environment. After 2 weeks I slowly began introducing her to the other cats. (the other cats being 4 spayed female and 1 neutered male). There was the odd hiss and growl but nothing unusual. The only cat who had a bit of an issue with her was my 4 yr old female Hootie but for 2 full days everyone had free roam of the house and no issues. There were even times Hootie and Luna would both be sleeping under my bed. But then something happened, and I don't know what. Ever since then Hootie absolutely wants to kill her. It started with Hootie stalking her if in the same room then charging at her and poor Luna would cower on her side, hissing, but not fighting back. I then realized they couldn't be in the same room together. I figured that maybe the just needed more time.

It's been a full year now and Hootie still wants to kill her. I have never in my life seen a cat so chomping at the bit to attack another cat.

I have tried absolutely everything.

-feliway, feliway friends, the spray
-Jackson Galaxy homeopathic sprays (one for bullies, one for scared cats)
-use of a baby gate between them, doing a scent exchange, letting each spend time in each other's space (while separated)
-even tried buying an XL Dog Crate and would put Luna inside it (with bed, litterbox, food, water) and put it in the living room thinking maybe Hootie just needed to warm up to her this way. Hootie would violently charge the kennel. I had to scratch that idea becuz I felt it was too scary and stressful for Luna
-tried a good secure dog harness (hootie is a huge girl at 17 lbs, part Maine Coon) and a leash.....with them both in the same room but me in control of Hootie so that she couldn't charge Luna....but she was clearly chomping at the bit to go after her.
-I have 3 extra tall/extra wide Baby Gates on my second floor. Hootie camps out on the one side of the gate, watching Luna like a hawk, charging at the gate when Luna walks by on the other side (Luna no longer cares). Sometimes she's so angry and wanting to get at her that she snorts and paces.
-I have bought books from well known Cat behaviorists and followed their advice but Hootie's hatred for Luna is like nothing I've ever seen. It's like she's possessed. She's clearly a bully. Hootie was the last cat I rescued prior to Luna so to Hootie, Luna is the first newcomer.

I feel bad for Luna to be stuck upstairs all day (even though a large area with cat perches in windows, sunny spots, lots of room, she gets along with my other cats so I let them spend time with her so she's not alone) so I sometimes put Hootie upstairs and bring Luna downstairs..and let Luna stay down here for a few days. She loves to watch the birds out the living room window, play with cat toys, have a much larger space to roam.

Tonight Hootie managed to push the bottom of one of the baby gates forward at the bottom and get out and downstairs, and I didn't realize it unfortunately until Hootie had run across the living room and charged Luna and was on top of her, fur was flying. I broke them up and quickly took Luna upstairs where she'll stay now for a few days.

It's been a whole year now - a WHOLE YEAR - and Hootie still wants to kill her. Once I got my hand in between Hootie, the baby gate and Luna on the other side and I ended up with Hootie's fangs in my finger (I was trying to pet her and talk softly to her while Luna was on the other side but Hootie was focused only on Luna). Hootie doesn't just swat, she will bite. With me Hootie is the sweeties most affectionate cat. I rescued her 5 years ago as 2 month old sick, injured little kitten and sometimes I think she thinks I'm her Mom. But with Luna, she seriously wants to clean her clock. I've never in all my 30 years of having cats ever witnessed such aggression.

There is no Cat Behaviorist anywhere around where I live....believe me I've searched. Plus I don't know what a behaviorist would tell me to do that I haven't already done.

Is there any hope?

Getting rid of either of them is not an option. Luna is now 9 and has a grade 4 heart murmur and very early kidney disease, nobody would want her...and she had already been with 2 rotten homes prior to me adopting her, I have made a commitment to her.

My Vet said we could try Prozac with Hootie but I'm skeptical about it. I've read mixed reviews with regard to use of Prozac for intercat aggression and there can be long term effects from long term use of it.

Sorry for the long post but just wanting to really paint the picture. this is the worse case of intercat aggression I have ever seen in my life. You'd have to truly see it to believe it. It's like Hootie is totally possessed.

PS - I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Thanks
There's nothing kskatt and kittens mom have said that I could really add to, except to reinforce what they've said and praise you for all you've done. I am very anti-drugs, but in this case, I would seriously think about possibly trying a course of Prozac and if it does not work, just relaxing with the status quo, because as they have pointed out, a lot of cats have it a lot worse. You have a large home and a lot of love -- it will be all right. Of course, wishing for improvement, but if none, things will still be okay.
 

parisinthe30sx

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I feel for you! It took two of my cats three years, three frustrating years, to get them to stop trying to kill each other. They both went for each other's throats constantly, it was awful. But I'm glad to say that I out stubborned them, got a behaviorist, and now everything is mostly good. They still have the occasional tussle, but mostly they just avoid each other, which is a vast improvement. Hang in there, even if they never get along, it sounds like you're doing everything you possibly can, and it seems like luna has a nice set up, (believe me my cat wishes she had her own room, heck, I wish I had my own room). I'm sure Luna is very happy and content, even if she has to stay in a separate area, it's much much better than what most cats have. Good luck
 

kskatt

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Get a very think piece of plywood, large serving tray or heavy duty foam board sold in craft area. Never put your hand between two warring cats. Break the sightline. Put it right between them.
We rehomed a stray cat we would have loved to keep but for extreme aggression between one of our resident cats and her. In you case it sounds like Luna has a good set up and a decent living situation about the only thing to do is start introductions all over again. It's sounds like an almost classic case of redirected aggression on Hooties part. A short course of Prozac might be beneficial. If you feel really bad and nothing else works do some site swapping to let her be more social with the other cats. Other than that let it go and stop feeling guilty for giving her a loving home that isn't perfect.
This, big time, if you can get there before contact is made, so much easier. Simply breaking the sightline works wonders. I got a couple of large cardboard, boxes. Didn't have to buy them, just saved from purchases. Break it down and flatten it out. Doesn't hurt to have a barrier, of any kind, in every room. My Sunny arrived at my house, totally full grown Tom with battle scars. Basically he is harmless, but he gets wild hairs occasionally, and will attack, either BigBoy or Rocky. I have used barriers more times than I wish.
I'm serious about Luna's living conditions. I have a friend who lives in a studio apartment; 230 SqF, total. Living Room/Bedroom, kitchen and bath. She has a small dog and a pretty good sized cat. Well, Katie is quite a bit hair. :creampersian: But, you get the picture.:)
 

SeventhHeaven

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Sorry you're going through this it creates allot of stress for you and victim cat, all mine do
well except for one male who constantly targets another almost had serious eye injury last year.
Latches on won't let go I've needed to use my body weight to seperate them
Mostly noise in the first few seconds...from searching this rang true for my situation. Play does Hootie
play? enjoy interacting is playtime enjoyed? Can Hootie play well with all the cats?
If not everything just seems to build up inside with no release, it made sense for us so spending extra time
for exercise, playing one on one helped allot, less jealousy allot more mellow cat.
 

Animal Freak

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Can you think of anything that might have changed around the time they started fighting? I know it's been a while and it's probably hard to remember, but cats are extremely sensitive. I can't even bathe my cats without one attacking the others. It sounds like it's very possibly redirected aggression. Are there any strays or feral cats around? They could be wandering around and spraying around the house. I can't say I have any advice since I'm working through things myself, but just about anything can throw a cat off. Otherwise, I would try playing. A lot. The more energy you burn, the less there is to spend attacking. It can also help give a confidence boost.
 

dawn w

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sound like luna needs to build her confidence ,shes the one shut away for safety,cd you work with her to build see if high/low cat make sure no areas she cd be caught by bully x
 

kittens mom

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This, big time, if you can get there before contact is made, so much easier. Simply breaking the sightline works wonders. I got a couple of large cardboard, boxes. Didn't have to buy them, just saved from purchases. Break it down and flatten it out. Doesn't hurt to have a barrier, of any kind, in every room.

Sticking your hand between two battling cats is like sticking it into a blender full of fish hooks.
Sometimes no matter what you try or what you think might eventually work it's better to keep them living in separate areas or rehome.
 

maggie101

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Exactly a year ago I rescued a sweet 8 yr old spayed female from a lady in the neighborhood who didn't want her and allowed me to adopt her. I already had 5 strictly indoor cats but this sweet girl deserved a good loving home and there was no way I could take her to a humane society where a cat her age could possibly be euthanized. I named her Luna.

I've had cats all my life, have rescued many so I am very familiar with introducing a new cat into an existing-cat home.

I kept her my large master bedroom for almost 2 weeks, to get her accustomed to my house, new smells, new environment. After 2 weeks I slowly began introducing her to the other cats. (the other cats being 4 spayed female and 1 neutered male). There was the odd hiss and growl but nothing unusual. The only cat who had a bit of an issue with her was my 4 yr old female Hootie but for 2 full days everyone had free roam of the house and no issues. There were even times Hootie and Luna would both be sleeping under my bed. But then something happened, and I don't know what. Ever since then Hootie absolutely wants to kill her. It started with Hootie stalking her if in the same room then charging at her and poor Luna would cower on her side, hissing, but not fighting back. I then realized they couldn't be in the same room together. I figured that maybe the just needed more time.

It's been a full year now and Hootie still wants to kill her. I have never in my life seen a cat so chomping at the bit to attack another cat.

I have tried absolutely everything.

-feliway, feliway friends, the spray
-Jackson Galaxy homeopathic sprays (one for bullies, one for scared cats)
-use of a baby gate between them, doing a scent exchange, letting each spend time in each other's space (while separated)
-even tried buying an XL Dog Crate and would put Luna inside it (with bed, litterbox, food, water) and put it in the living room thinking maybe Hootie just needed to warm up to her this way. Hootie would violently charge the kennel. I had to scratch that idea becuz I felt it was too scary and stressful for Luna
-tried a good secure dog harness (hootie is a huge girl at 17 lbs, part Maine Coon) and a leash.....with them both in the same room but me in control of Hootie so that she couldn't charge Luna....but she was clearly chomping at the bit to go after her.
-I have 3 extra tall/extra wide Baby Gates on my second floor. Hootie camps out on the one side of the gate, watching Luna like a hawk, charging at the gate when Luna walks by on the other side (Luna no longer cares). Sometimes she's so angry and wanting to get at her that she snorts and paces.
-I have bought books from well known Cat behaviorists and followed their advice but Hootie's hatred for Luna is like nothing I've ever seen. It's like she's possessed. She's clearly a bully. Hootie was the last cat I rescued prior to Luna so to Hootie, Luna is the first newcomer.

I feel bad for Luna to be stuck upstairs all day (even though a large area with cat perches in windows, sunny spots, lots of room, she gets along with my other cats so I let them spend time with her so she's not alone) so I sometimes put Hootie upstairs and bring Luna downstairs..and let Luna stay down here for a few days. She loves to watch the birds out the living room window, play with cat toys, have a much larger space to roam.

Tonight Hootie managed to push the bottom of one of the baby gates forward at the bottom and get out and downstairs, and I didn't realize it unfortunately until Hootie had run across the living room and charged Luna and was on top of her, fur was flying. I broke them up and quickly took Luna upstairs where she'll stay now for a few days.

It's been a whole year now - a WHOLE YEAR - and Hootie still wants to kill her. Once I got my hand in between Hootie, the baby gate and Luna on the other side and I ended up with Hootie's fangs in my finger (I was trying to pet her and talk softly to her while Luna was on the other side but Hootie was focused only on Luna). Hootie doesn't just swat, she will bite. With me Hootie is the sweeties most affectionate cat. I rescued her 5 years ago as 2 month old sick, injured little kitten and sometimes I think she thinks I'm her Mom. But with Luna, she seriously wants to clean her clock. I've never in all my 30 years of having cats ever witnessed such aggression.

There is no Cat Behaviorist anywhere around where I live....believe me I've searched. Plus I don't know what a behaviorist would tell me to do that I haven't already done.

Is there any hope?

Getting rid of either of them is not an option. Luna is now 9 and has a grade 4 heart murmur and very early kidney disease, nobody would want her...and she had already been with 2 rotten homes prior to me adopting her, I have made a commitment to her.

My Vet said we could try Prozac with Hootie but I'm skeptical about it. I've read mixed reviews with regard to use of Prozac for intercat aggression and there can be long term effects from long term use of it.

Sorry for the long post but just wanting to really paint the picture. this is the worse case of intercat aggression I have ever seen in my life. You'd have to truly see it to believe it. It's like Hootie is totally possessed.

PS - I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Thanks
I took my cat CoCo in almost a year ago. One of my cats still does not like her. I think she is very slowly adjusting. It would help tremendously if she would stand up for herself. My cat Maggie still hisses at her but not nearly as bad as it used to be. CoCo was on trauma, self esteem, and scaredy cat. CoCo istill even afraid of my old cat that pays no attention to her
 

kittens mom

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I took my cat CoCo in almost a year ago. One of my cats still does not like her. I think she is very slowly adjusting. It would help tremendously if she would stand up for herself. My cat Maggie still hisses at her but not nearly as bad as it used to be. CoCo was on trauma, self esteem, and scaredy cat. CoCo istill even afraid of my old cat that pays no attention to her
I believe the OPs cat was 9 with a heart murmur. The stress of an introduction might be more than she needs. As long as the guardian is switching spaces and making sure she can socialize with the friendly cats it's two birds with one stone. The scaredy cat is getting attention and access to all spaces and the site swapping game is ongoing. Who knows what might happen.
 

maggie101

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I believe the OPs cat was 9 with a heart murmur. The stress of an introduction might be more than she needs. As long as the guardian is switching spaces and making sure she can socialize with the friendly cats it's two birds with one stone. The scaredy cat is getting attention and access to all spaces and the site swapping game is ongoing. Who knows what might happen.
Wish I could site swap. That would mean putting 3 cats in my bedroom, CoCo in living room. One bedroom apt.
 
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