Kitten Aggression Against Older Cat

Kebride

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Shyla will be 15 soon and is the last of four cats. We rescued her and a sister at the approximate age of 6 months from the streets. She has enjoyed her role as Only Cat, since the other three didn’t really include her in their playing. On New Year’s Eve day, an acquaintance begged me to take a 4 month old kitten he found. I brought Summer home and gradually introduced Shyla to her. Shortly after that, Shyla was diagnosed with either inflammatory bowel disease or carcinoma of the intestine. She is receiving palliative treatment at home. Because Summer wants to play and Shyla never learned, and is now too sick to be bothered, we adopted 7 month old Prissy from a rescue organization at the end of February. We took a lot of time introducing Summer and Shyla to Prissy. The two kittens have become great friends, but Prissy growls and hisses often when she sees Shyla. More recently she has become aggressive toward her. She ran over to where Shyla was sleeping, started growling, and then thumped her with her paw. Poor Shyla isn’t strong enough to fight back and only hisses at her and takes a defensive posture. Prissy has done this several times within the past few days and even though we try to direct her attention to a toy or one of us, we are afraid to leave Shyla out of our sight. Shyla won’t be with us too much longer. She’s not happy having these intruders, so we want to make sure she can spend the rest of her days in peace. How can we change Prissy’s behavior toward her? Separating them both isn’t fair to either of them, but we don’t know any other method to stop this aggression.
 

BellaGooch

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Kebride

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Thanks! I did follow the suggestions in these articles and hope that it will be just a matter of time before Prissy stops picking on Shyla. In the meantime, I guess we'll just have to stay vigilant.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. There are some cats that react to another cat's illness and it can get to the point of being in an aggressive manner. That being the case, you may not be able to do anything to change Prissy's behavior toward Shyla.

Give Shyla her own safe zone to be in with all of her comforts and keep Prissy away from her. If Summer gets along with Shyla and Shyla likes to be around her, then I personally think you split Summer's time between Prissy and Shyla. If you want to resume some of the introduction aspects so that Prissy still has exposure to Shyla, that is fine, but it should be through a gate or some other barrier where Prissy cannot get to Shyla and that Shyla knows that. Perhaps, Prissy will eventually adapt to Shyla and her illness, and adjust accordingly.

Summer and Prissy have their whole lives ahead of them to do whatever they want, where ever they want, after Shyla's passing. The one you should most be concerned about in terms of fairness at this moment is Shyla. As you said, letting her spend the rest of her days in peace. That, to me, is of the utmost importance. The other two will soon adjust once she is gone.

EDIT: I hope you don't feel as if I am being rude/insensitive - after watching 2 of my cat succumb to disease and how many things slowly took their toll on them, I just have to believe these interactions are more than likely taking a toll on Shyla.
 
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Kebride

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Hi. There are some cats that react to another cat's illness and it can get to the point of being in an aggressive manner. That being the case, you may not be able to do anything to change Prissy's behavior toward Shyla.

Give Shyla her own safe zone to be in with all of her comforts and keep Prissy away from her. If Summer gets along with Shyla and Shyla likes to be around her, then I personally think you split Summer's time between Prissy and Shyla. If you want to resume some of the introduction aspects so that Prissy still has exposure to Shyla, that is fine, but it should be through a gate or some other barrier where Prissy cannot get to Shyla and that Shyla knows that. Perhaps, Prissy will eventually adapt to Shyla and her illness, and adjust accordingly.

Summer and Prissy have their whole lives ahead of them to do whatever they want, where ever they want, after Shyla's passing. The one you should most be concerned about in terms of fairness at this moment is Shyla. As you said, letting her spend the rest of her days in peace. That, to me, is of the utmost importance. The other two will soon adjust once she is gone.

EDIT: I hope you don't feel as if I am being rude/insensitive - after watching 2 of my cat succumb to disease and how many things slowly took their toll on them, I just have to believe these interactions are more than likely taking a toll on Shyla.
I didn't realize I had a message from you, hence the silence. I appreciate your feedback, and we are keeping an eye on Prissy when Shyla is up and about. Thanks!
 
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