Litter mates had encounter with outside cat, now hate each other

frenetic mango

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I have 2 female cats, litter mates. They have been together since birth. We have a metal screen door, and sometimes leave it open. Yesterday while it was open a cat came up to smell a box I had left outside with one of my cat's pee on it (I know I shouldn't have left it there, but I can't change that now). One of my cats was squaring up to the outside cat, the other was in the middle, and then a huge fight broke out and they tried to kill each other and peed absolutely everywhere. Outside cat gave no shits until my partner went out to scare it away. They would not calm down or leave each other alone, and now we have to keep one of them in the bathroom at all times. It's been almost 24 hours. We have to put one of them in a carrier in order to switch the one out of the bathroom and the other one into the bathroom. If they see so much as a whisker of each other, they freak the **** out again, pee everywhere, hiss, spit, yowl for minutes at a time, etc. I am utterly heartbroken. Not only can I not go into my bathroom freely anymore, I got 2 cats so they could keep each other company and be companions. I have been crying pretty much since this happened. I am afraid to handle them, though they have not been aggressive to me specifically and are still rubbing my legs, asking for pets etc. They are not even the same animals anymore. They startle, hiss, and yowl at the slightest provocation. They loved each other. They used to cuddle and play and run around the house together. Our lives are all ruined. This was such a little stupid thing that I could never have imagined having this kind of an impact. I can't think of any way to solve this except giving one or both of them up. I'm so lost. Please help, any advice, similar stories that got resolved, anything at all helps.
 

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They are just wound up after seeing and smelling the outside cat. It isn’t permanent, they will get over it. It is way, way, way too soon to think they won’t be able to happily live together again. Just take it slowly, give them a few days and then start slow introductions to one another by exchanging items with their scent on it or rubbing them both with something of yours. But the bathroom isn’t the best place to keep a cat. Could you lock one in your room and let the other have free run and then next day switch the one that is locked up ?

The other thing is that cats can feel our stress and sometimes this makes their worse. So try to relax and not be too upset about the situation. It is common and it usually resolves itself.
 

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Misdirected aggression. They cannot get at the strange cat so they attack each other. Happened with our two several years ago. Take heart - it can be resolved. Better living through chemistry to begin with.

Here's the link to my whole thread: Two Cats Suddenly Fighting Aggressively Our solution - Valium. Prescription from veterinarian, our regular pharmacist formulated it in chicken flavor. Worked like magic. Have not needed to dose them for maybe 5 years. Our two cats are calm, happy, no issues. Even when the neighbor's cat very, very infrequently shows up. Domino yowls, I shoo the visitor away, Domino calms right back down. Mr Poe sits on the staircase with eyes like saucers but does not run or hide.
 
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frenetic mango

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We only have the one door in the house, our bedroom does not have a door on it. Trust me, I do not want to keep them in the bathroom either. I am considering buying and installing a door on the bedroom. In the meantime, we are switching them using a carrier. Is it normal for it to take more than 24 hours for them to calm down? I have never seen them like this before.
 
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frenetic mango

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Misdirected aggression. They cannot get at the strange cat so they attack each other. Happened with our two several years ago. Take heart - it can be resolved. Better living through chemistry to begin with.

Here's the link to my whole thread: Two Cats Suddenly Fighting Aggressively Our solution - Valium. Prescription from veterinarian, our regular pharmacist formulated it in chicken flavor. Worked like magic. Have not needed to dose them for maybe 5 years. Our two cats are calm, happy, no issues. Even when the neighbor's cat very, very infrequently shows up. Domino yowls, I shoo the visitor away, Domino calms right back down. Mr Poe sits on the staircase with eyes like saucers but does not run or hide.
Thank you, sorry. I don't have children, and this is a bit like watching my kids try to stab each other to death.
 

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Yes, perfectly normal to take longer than a day especially if they have had a big scare like your two. Rather than go through through the work of adding a door, you can visit a hardware store and pick up a temporary plastic door with a zipper on it. These are used for construction work so dust can be contained and workers can come and go. They stick to the door frame and zip up the middle. Alternately, you might be able to pick up cheap baby gates to partially block the door.
 

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frenetic mango

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Yes, perfectly normal to take longer than a day especially if they have had a big scare like your two. Rather than go through through the work of adding a door, you can visit a hardware store and pick up a temporary plastic door with a zipper on it. These are used for construction work so dust can be contained and workers can come and go. They stick to the door frame and zip up the middle. Alternately, you might be able to pick up cheap baby gates to partially block the door.
I thought a door might be necessary because the level of aggression is such that I'd be a bit worried about them seeing each other through plastic or a baby gate and ripping through the plastic or knocking down the gate. Neither is afraid, neither backs down, they just go for each other like the only thing that matters is the other's death. I also don't know how to separate them, the initial fight resulted in me herding one with a pillow as she tried to get past me to attack her sister again.
 

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Hi. You've gotten great advice! I would also ensure you remove any cat urine from the location where the 'fight' occurred, especially if the outside cat also peed in that area. Cats can smell things we can't, so smelling the outside cat's urine could also be riling them up. Even smelling each other's pee could also cause trouble at this point. If you need any guidance on what to use to clear away the urine, let us know what type of flooring/decking/etc. is involved and we will give you some ideas.
 
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frenetic mango

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Hi. You've gotten great advice! I would also ensure you remove any cat urine from the location where the 'fight' occurred, especially if the outside cat also peed in that area. Cats can smell things we can't, so smelling the outside cat's urine could also be riling them up. Even smelling each other's pee could also cause trouble at this point. If you need any guidance on what to use to clear away the urine, let us know what type of flooring/decking/etc. is involved and we will give you some ideas.
I am a bit concerned about this, as at this point they have had "encounters" in 3 separate places in the house. One near the front door initially, stone floor, straw rug, their cat tree and one of their carriers is right there so not sure what to do about that. I just threw the rug out. Another in the kitchen, under our dining table where there is a rug as well that's too big to wash. I splashed water and vinegar around and tried to mop it up, but that rug may need to go as well. There's probably some urine on the legs of the dining table and chairs. They've also had 2 incidents while separated by the bathroom door, one of them sprayed all over the OTHER carrier. So basically my entire house is made of pee now including both their carriers, which are soft sided.
 
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frenetic mango

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Also, just to throw it out there, thank you all for replying. I have been breaking down in tears every hour or so for the last day, I am absolutely exhausted, all I could think about was having to re-home one of my girls. I at least think there might be some resolution, and y'all are helping me feel less hopeless and alone in the mean time. So thanks.
 

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y'all are helping me feel less hopeless and alone in the mean time.
I'm so glad!
There's definitely hope - plus, try some things for your self.

Literally, --after you're comfortable that they're safety separated, ignore them and drink some chamomile tea, get out of the house and find something lovely to do, try some meditation or exercise.

Cats are sponges for our emotions and the calmer you can be, the better it will be for your crew - and for you :heartshape:
 
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frenetic mango

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They are just wound up after seeing and smelling the outside cat. It isn’t permanent, they will get over it. It is way, way, way too soon to think they won’t be able to happily live together again. Just take it slowly, give them a few days and then start slow introductions to one another by exchanging items with their scent on it or rubbing them both with something of yours. But the bathroom isn’t the best place to keep a cat. Could you lock one in your room and let the other have free run and then next day switch the one that is locked up ?

The other thing is that cats can feel our stress and sometimes this makes their worse. So try to relax and not be too upset about the situation. It is common and it usually resolves itself.
I am definitely trying to calm down, one of them has a stress related urine issue that flairs up when I have finals, so I know my mental state is important too. I am just a very emotional anxious person unfortunately and seeing them like this is very painful. Thanks very much for the help.
 
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frenetic mango

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I'm so glad!
There's definitely hope - plus, try some things for your self.

Literally, --after you're comfortable that they're safety separated, ignore them and drink some chamomile tea, get out of the house and find something lovely to do, try some meditation or exercise.

Cats are sponges for our emotions and the calmer you can be, the better it will be for your crew - and for you :heartshape:
I'm gonna head to the climbing gym here in a sec. I definitely need to work this out of my system. What an absolute horror show.
 
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frenetic mango

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If you have a black light you can find all the spots where there is urine. You need an enzyme based cleaner like Natures Miracle to remove the urine odor totally. You will want to use it on the floors, furniture and rugs and the carriers if they are washable.
Is there a reliable way to get urine out of concrete? Our front patio thingy where the outside cat has been prowling is concrete, and he has had ample opportunity to spray out there. I have been suspicious of it for a while now.
 

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Cleaning products that seem to work: carpets, non-washable rugs - Vetoquinol "The Equalizer", which doesn't require saturation, hence less drying time. Washables, hard flooring, including wood, can be cleaned with Fizzion or SCOE10x. All of these products are available on line. I am not sure about the latter two on concrete - but the might work! If not, I found this 'concoction' - Home Life Weekly » Cat Urine on Concrete Removal with Hydrogen Peroxide Home Life Weekly.
 
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frenetic mango

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Hi all. Just got the trauma sisters back from the vet. They are physically healthy at least. He prescribed some gabapentin to keep the house calm, told me to keep them separated another 24 hours before trying to reintroduce them again. I bought some natures miracle and pretty much doused the house in it. I don't smell anymore pee, hopefully they don't either. I'm really afraid to do the next reintroducing step tomorrow, but hopefully the drugs will help. Should I put them in their carriers to do it? Face them toward each other?
 
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