I think my male cat attacked his sister...

Maggiez

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I have three cats. Loki and Pen Pen are a little over 1 year old. They are from the same litter and I've had them since Last November.
I recently Adopted Ash, 6 months old.

Loki and Pen Pen were bonded and that's why I adopted them both together. Pen Pen is the smallest from the litter (8 lbs), but she's pretty tough, brave, and smart. Loki is 11 lbs and he's the cautious one.

Since the adoption, they always played and hung out together well. They play fight quite a bit at the beginning which got me worried, but it was always harmless. Sometimes Loki wants to wrestle but Pen Pen does't feel like it, she would hiss or growl to let him know. Sometimes he pounces her a bit hard and she would meow loudly, but I always took it a signal to let Loki know she's not in the mood to play. That's partially the reason I adopted another young male cat, so Loki has a play mate that has the same energy level. They get along very well and they wrestle every day.

However the dynamic changed last week. One day Loki pounced Pen Pen hard and she screamed. I noticed he torn off a small piece of her coat. I stopped it immediately.
Saturday it got worse. We weren't home for the afternoon. After coming back, I found Pen Pen was hiding under the bed and looking scared, which never happened. When she came out, I noticed a small piece of coat from her chest were torn loose. When Loki approached, she looked scared and went under the bed again. She eventually relaxed a few hours later.
Things got better the next day. And Pen Pen can walk around Loki just fine. But he tried again to pounce her. She started to resist and I stopped it immediately.

I have no idea what happened, and if it was just rough play. And I'm concerned about if no one is home to supervise them.

I blame myself too. Lately my work got busy so I was spending less time to play with them. Ash also hijack the games quite a lot so Loki and Pen Pen got reduced play time. I always thought they are active and play together well. But I wonder if reduced play time has caused this situation.

My other theory is redirect aggression. Our neighbor lets her cat Michael roaming freely and he came to our yard all the time. But none of my cats ever hissed at him even they can see him from the window.

I want to see if anyone has any clues on what might have happened, and what I can do to prevent this from happening again?
 

ArtNJ

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The tufts of hair have roots or no? Roots are often a sign of hostilities yeah, but can also sometimes be from excess without evil intent, and especially if they aren't fixed that may be the issue.

I've always found that hostile intent comes with noises from the aggressor. Easier to read then body language -- trying to read body language confuses the heck out of people sometimes I've found!
 
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Maggiez

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The tufts of hair have roots or no? Roots are often a sign of hostilities yeah, but can also sometimes be from excess without evil intent, and especially if they aren't fixed that may be the issue.

I've always found that hostile intent comes with noises from the aggressor. Easier to read then body language -- trying to read body language confuses the heck out of people sometimes I've found!
Only one time I saw a tiny bit of roots. The time she went hiding I was away and found out the incident later. Can't tell if roots got pulled out that time also, but I'm afraid so since she looked extremely scared.

Loki always stared at Pen Pen before play-fight and never made noises. That's why I suspected it rough play gone too far. But again, can't say it for sure during the time I was away.

PS. I'm keeping a close eye on them and no further incidents for a day so far. I'm also adding extra playtime with each of them individually and hopefully that helps. But I'm still concerned if we have to leave the house and no one's supervising.
 

ArtNJ

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This doesn't sound so serious to me. Perhaps a stray nail accidentally hurt Penpen. But the basic issue likely stems from the fact that one year olds are stupid enthusiastic about play, and you have a 30% size difference. It should settle in time. I have a 30% size difference now, and its totally fine with the smaller one very rarely being made to squeal, but the bigger cat was 4 when the smaller kitten arrived, which makes a big difference.
 
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Maggiez

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This doesn't sound so serious to me. Perhaps a stray nail accidentally hurt Penpen. But the basic issue likely stems from the fact that one year olds are stupid enthusiastic about play, and you have a 30% size difference. It should settle in time. I have a 30% size difference now, and its totally fine with the smaller one very rarely being made to squeal, but the bigger cat was 4 when the smaller kitten arrived, which makes a big difference.
Feeling better after reading this! Thanks for sharing your experience. Hopefully this is just a phase and it will pass soon (maybe in a few years lol)
 

dustydiamond1

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Only one time I saw a tiny bit of roots. The time she went hiding I was away and found out the incident later. Can't tell if roots got pulled out that time also, but I'm afraid so since she looked extremely scared.

Loki always stared at Pen Pen before play-fight and never made noises. That's why I suspected it rough play gone too far. But again, can't say it for sure during the time I was away.

PS. I'm keeping a close eye on them and no further incidents for a day so far. I'm also adding extra playtime with each of them individually and hopefully that helps. But I'm still concerned if we have to leave the house and no one's supervising.
Is it possible to put them in separate closed rooms or even in large seperate cages when no one is home to supervise?
 

rylee1494

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If you can you may want to cut his nails so that he can't do too much damage to her. When my cats would fight I would notice some hair come out and I cut both of there front nails to make sure they did not puncture one another's skin. Best of luck to you!
 
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Maggiez

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Thanks for everyone's input. Just want to report back on the latest events:

I've been spending more time playing with three of them. I made sure to play with them individually, with their favorite game. I sometimes had to isolate the new cat so he's not hijacking other's play time, but it helped.

There was one time Loki tried to pounce Pen Pen and her tail got all puffed up (tail puffing only happed once in the past, when she got scared by a stray puppy that lurked near our window). But other than that, the cats are getting along well. Pen Pen would hiss at him from time to time when she doesn't want to play. Loki either walked away, or Pen Pen jumped to a tall spot (she's fast and good at jumps), so there's no more accident.

I do feel like it's not serious just young cats play too hard. But I still keep an eye on them just in case.
 
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