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amarshall0919

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My 11 month old cat, Smoothie, has had an intense and sudden behavior change. She has always gotten along with our 5 year old male cat, Midnight. They will play fight, and you can tell they are playing. They share food together, lay by each other, and will even lick each other. However, just about 30 minutes ago, that changed drastically.

Midnight was walking on the couch. Smoothie was in the kitchen with me while I was cleaning. When I came out of the kitchen, so did she. She immediately saw Midnight, and acted as if she didn’t even know him. With rage, she ran onto the couch, hissing and swatting, and knocked him off. They begin a REAL cat fight. I mean, fur was going everywhere. I kept trying to get them away from each other, but I could not at all. I finally get midnight away from her, and she is now chasing me. I lock him in a room upstairs, and I try to push her away with my foot and she swats my foot a good one to where I am now bleeding all over the place. He’s been locked up ever since now, and when I try to come around her she hisses, pants, and growls. I am beyond confused as to what is happening. She is just waiting for Midnight to come out of that room.
 

betsygee

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Oh, boy, it’s scary when that happens! It sounds like redirected aggression. Is it possible there was something outside that Smoothie saw? Had Midnight been to the vet recently and might have a different scent?

Don’t try to reintroduce the cats too soon—give them, and you, time to calm down. Check out this article. It might give you some ideas. Here’s an article on our Cat Site website from another member who went through this. There are some good suggestions from members on what to try. Redirected aggression emergency: need advice.

Let us know how it goes.
 
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amarshall0919

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Blinds and curtains are closed so there is nothing outside that she could have seen. However, she loves watching other outside cats and dogs, so I don’t believe even if she had seen something, it would have triggered her.
 
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amarshall0919

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Update: when my husband got home, he tried to introduce them. It ended up terrible. He now has scratches all over his arms and stomach. They are separated again, and will continue to stay separated for a few days. We really need advice. I am currently 20 weeks pregnant, and these two cat fights have caused my stomach to hurt. I am worried that we will have to end up getting rid of smoothie. I have had her since she was 3 weeks old. I took her in after her dad passed away tragically from getting hit by a car. I am absolutely sick over this.
 

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A few days might be enough to reset things. A few hours is good for routine things, but a full out cat fight is generally going to require days. In fact, there is a possibility a few days won't be good enough and you'll need to incorporate elements of the standard introduction process to slowly reintroduce them.

Have a towel or blanket ready in case you need to grab one of the cats to isolate them.

Its not that unusual to not know what caused the initial incident, and doesn't necessarily mean you'll have long term problems, so don't get too upset yet. Hopefully this is a blip.
 
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amarshall0919

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What’s strange is that Smoothie is also acting hostile towards the both of us. Sadly I was under so much stress earlier that I started crying. She started hissing at both me and my husband, and was walking around anxiously. Her whole behavior is off. It is like she is constantly on guard.

However, Midnight is acting perfectly fine. The only thing he is doing differently is walking around and smelling where she was at, and then making a strange face afterwards.
 

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A vet check is probably a good idea if a couple days doesn't fix things. Illness/injury is on the list of things that can cause this.

Is Smoothie neutered? If not, he could be smelling a female in heat. Neutering is a good idea anyway, just generally helps with behavioral issues of all kinds.
 

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It definitely sounds like redirected aggression. I have had cats take days to settle back down. If you were upset or crying before this happened, or anything else, like a loud noise, a cat yowling outside, even something you couldn't hear, it must have set her off. It may even be the different hormones she is smelling from you and making her super protective. Keep them separated for a day or two, maybe even put one in a carrier to prevent them from hurting each other but allowing them to see each other and get their scents mingles again. You may have to get a calming pill from Amazon to keep on hand. Have a stiff piece of cardboard handy to stick between them if they start fighting again. Rub each of them down with a cloth to mingle their scents. Do not approach her when she is like this, she is frightened beyond reason and will attack as you have found out. Take the cardboard and herd her into another room. if you can't, get a blanket to throw over her to pick her up.
I am so sorry this had to happen. It may never happen again, but you can get calming agents to help. Get some Feliway to plug in and give off good vibe feelings. She WILL revert back to her old self, she just panicked out of control. Thank you for giving her a chance.....
 

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Never try to separate fighting cats, or dogs, with your hands. Keep a large towel, a bath sheet is good, or duvet in each room of your house. When they fight throw the towel or blanket over them. This will distract them. The first one out will, generally run to another room. If the fight starts again, throw the towel over them again. When they are fighting they will not recognize you. It isn't because they hate you, it is the survival instinct in cats which makes everything but the fight a blank. When the fight is over this eases and in time they recognize you again.
 
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amarshall0919

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We had Smoothie locked up all night in a bedroom, and let Midnight walk around. Now since it’s morning, we have switched their places. Midnight is locked up and Smoothie is let out. Midnight is still acting himself. Smoothie is still not. She is still hissing, and running around trying to find Midnight. The next time we introduce them, which will be a few days, we will be putting Midnight in his harness and Smoothie in a big dog cage. I do not want them to have the chance to fight again like they did yesterday.
 

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We had Smoothie locked up all night in a bedroom, and let Midnight walk around. Now since it’s morning, we have switched their places. Midnight is locked up and Smoothie is let out. Midnight is still acting himself. Smoothie is still not. She is still hissing, and running around trying to find Midnight. The next time we introduce them, which will be a few days, we will be putting Midnight in his harness and Smoothie in a big dog cage. I do not want them to have the chance to fight again like they did yesterday.
next time you try to put them together keep a squirt bottle handy i knpw a lot of people dont like them but its the fastest easiest way to break up a cat fight and get the agressive cat to back off for a few while yu take care of the defending cat it will also spare you a lot of blood shed. (Experince, y two males father and son will have starring matches as both are intact father for medical reasons son due to covid and vet retireing, anyway they will stare at each other then the fur will fly the squirt bottle will break up the fight if i spray their faces I've also dumped an entire gallon of water over the two of them to break them up before i learned that this is thebest way they get wet but their s no risk of anyone being injured trying to pull them appart)
 

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It is possible that one or both of the cats is ill. A complete vet exam, perhaps with x-rays, for both would not be amiss. Taking them at the same time would mean they would both smell like the vet and keep that from being a reason for them to fight.
 

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I second a vet exam at least for Smoothie to make sure there isn't something medical driving this behavior. It likely is redirected aggression but it's best to cover bases. If there is nothing medical driving it, wait before trying to reintroduce and go very slow with that.

My girl is fairly high strung and will have redirected aggression towards mainly one of the boys from time to time. I can usually snap her out of it (either by yelling her name and telling her no or by making a loud sound to get her attention off the boys), but I wouldn't hesitate to spray her with a hose or squirt bottle if I couldn't snap her out of it (depending on what is on hand, she will dry off and when she's in that mind set what matters is getting her back to reality). Luckily, the boys are very mellow and don't escalate the situation (one is a silly child who doesn't realize she's serious usually and the other is faster then her). She also seems to only get triggered in specific situations so we can somewhat control the environment and reduce them that way. I do give my girl a micro dose of CBD daily (I basically started at a low potency upped it slowly and once I figured out the smallest dose to take a little of the edge off) which does seem to help reduce the frequency of problems and takes a little edge off her. But definitely start with the vet and talk with your vet before taking that route.
 
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amarshall0919

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Thank you so much everyone for the advice! She is slowly but surely starting to act like herself again. However, I notice that her meow sounds a little off. Almost yelling like when she gets excited about the canned treats. I’m not sure what would be causing this.
 

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In my past, I had two cats get into it. My snotty female ended up scratching the large strong male's cornea.
He was not fond of her for a couple days. Luckily I noticed the eyes watering and got him to Vet for repairs.
 

sivyaleah

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In my past, I had two cats get into it. My snotty female ended up scratching the large strong male's cornea.
He was not fond of her for a couple days. Luckily I noticed the eyes watering and got him to Vet for repairs.
Had the same exact thing happen to our cats. Female saw another cat outside our patio door and lashed out at her brother who was sitting right near her. Scratched his eye like yours did. We noticed immediately that he was squinting and got him to the vet pronto for treatment. Luckily the aggression did not last long.

I second having the OP's cat vetted and maybe even the other one. Sometimes cats will sense other cats are ill.
 
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amarshall0919

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We tried to reintroduce the two of them. It was a miserable fail. We had Smoothie in the cage, and Midnight in his harness and it’s a good thing we did.
When Midnight walked into the room, he made no noise, even when he saw her. However, after Smoothie saw him, she went ballistic in this cage. She was hissing and spitting, and kept trying to get out to get him. After Smoothie started hissing like this, Midnight then proceeded to growl and hiss, but nothing like she was doing. My husband was able to easily pick him up and take him to another room because if his harness. As soon as Midnight got in the other room, he calmed down immediately. However, even after Midnight left, Smoothie was a ball of rage. It took a good 15 minutes before we could even let her out of the cage.
I agree that going to the vet might be a good idea, but both my husband and I work full time jobs and cannot just get any day off. My days off are on the weekend, and usually his are too, and the vet offices around here are closed on Saturday and Sunday. We have no family that would be able to take them because they also work full time. Even if we were able to take them to the vet to get them checked out, they wouldn’t be able to go together because of how intense Smoothie gets. We aren’t home for most of the day during the week, and they cannot be left alone with each other.
 
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amarshall0919

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I have looked back on the camera when the fight happened, and there is absolutely no way that this redirected aggression. Just minutes before the fight, they were right next to each other laying. The curtains and blinds were closed. The tv was not turned on. There was nothing around Smoothie or Midnight. For some reason when Smoothie and I came out of the kitchen, she ran and attacked Midnight viciously. There was no reason for this. It is bizarre.
 
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amarshall0919

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Another strange thing is that they will play with each other underneath the door. They will boop paws. They do not hiss at all underneath the door, and they can see each other. That is why we thought we should go ahead and try to reintroduce them.
 
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