Problems with 2 kitties. Help please :(

Paperclip75

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Sorry, this may take a minute to describe, but basically I'm having issues with my two young cats not getting along regularly, but also not fighting all the time. . .

I adopted a kitten, and then a few months later another one so that she wouldn't be alone when I'm at work. She is about 9 months older than him. Both are fixed. Initially, the younger guy wanted to play and pounce a lot more than she did. They integrated pretty quickly. She would get annoyed and hiss or swat at him, when he played too much. Like, they would play fight, but then he wouldn't know when to stop...but they would also sleep together or, more rarely, groom each other.

In the past few months, this dynamic has changed a bit. He is now bigger than her (he's a year, she's almost 2) and he will chase her quite a lot. Most of the time, she is legitimately trying to get away. It's not two-way chasing (but sometimes it still is). When he gets her cornered, she will growl and/or hiss. A couple of times a day, he will jump on her and bite her neck. I think this is a mating type thing, but he IS fixed??? Sometimes he bites out chunks of hair. At this point it becomes a very short, but "real" fight. She screams and fights back. He typically backs off looking surprised, but he's a bit dumb so as soon as she's done snarling at him he'll pounce again.

Most of the time, now, when he goes anywhere near her - even if he just goes to sit in the window beside her - she will growl, and then sometimes hiss or swat at him and leave. They can still sleep on the same cat tree, or couch, and they eat beside each other without any issue. Sometimes they even eat from the same bowl if one of them finishes more quickly (until I stop them to make sure they both get what they're supposed to - he has a fussy tummy and can't eat her food. She's a picky eater and wont eat enough of his to be properly fed).

I'm dealing with this by clapping when he pounces on her, or chases her, telling him no, and separating them into different rooms if they don't stop. I've used feliway before and didn't notice a difference, but can try it again....

Other pertinent information may be that he has super swollen gums and bad breath right now (cleaning and gingivectomy next week), and I wonder if a)that makes her like him less or b) that makes him more bitey...he is SUPER bitey with toys, and other inanimate things. Like he's still teething. Also, he has several issues that are exascerbated by stress, including urinary tract inflamation, and the Vet has specifically recommended not isolating him for long for this reason :(

Any ideas???? I love them both and it would be great if they loved each other, but they need to at least not make life miserable for eachother. I don't even want to think about having to rehome one.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi!
I'm hoping a couple things happen, that he calms down when his dental pain is taken care of, and also that him being at the vet gives her a bit of an advantage over him when he gets back, that maybe will even the playing field for her.
 

susanm9006

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At a year your boy is still an adolescent and full of kitten energy in a full grown body. The fact that they sometimes play and can sleep near one another says to me that she sort of like him when he isn’t being an obnoxious. She may have been more tolerant of him when he was younger and smaller than her, which is pretty common in cats, but now that he is full grown she lets him know with screams and hisses that he is being too rough. He then backs off, which is good, but the kitten in him goes right back to her. The thing is that if she wanted to she is very capable of giving him a bite or a whack to the nose to defend herself and at some point she may do it. This isn’t fighting as much as the two establishing their relationship and boundaries. They will get things settled faster if you don’t stop their interactions and let the two sort it out. If you are feeling like stepping it do it by distracting them both with a toy or a treat rather than disciplining him for playing.

He will slow down some over the coming months and expect you will See a change in their interactions and play.
 

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i have sort of the same issue! my new kitten is 6 month old female whereas my other cat is a 2 year old male with boundless energy. they get along quite well but he has a tendency to pounce on her alot and she hates that, and u can see it from the scratches on his head and the bite on his foot :( but i honestly think they will grow out of it as time passes and they each mellow out a bit more. hopefully, we can see better results in the future as they grow up!
 

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This is all just cats being cats, kittens being kittens, etc. Cats are not dumb, they know what they are doing, they need to establish dominance in the home, this explains the mating like behavior. Sometimes it gets too rough, this explains the hissing/growling/swatting/etc. Sometimes one cat hisses to say stop and the other one doesn't care and keeps at it, then there is some yelling and fighting. This is all ok. ESPECIALLY since the OP said they groom each other sleep together.

This is cats being dramatic.

They are all fine. Every scenario here is fine. They just need to work it out. This takes time. And drama. Be patient with them and let them work through it. When you stress, they stress. Which doesn't help any.
 

Kat.

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I have two cats as well and the younger one has a lot more energy so similar things happen as well. You said they usually get along just fine, sleeping together and grooming so I think they're just playing. If it gets too rough or your older cats gets too fed up - distract him! I bought a laser toy a few months ago and it's done wonders in tiring him out and letting my older cat rest.
 

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wow, i couldve written this post!!! except the UTI and swollen gums part. i also have 2 sibling cats (2 yrs old) and the boy 99% of the time is always the instigator. he will pounce on the girl and bite her neck and chase her and "attack" her. she always is the one running away and almost never the attacker. they also sleep next to each toher and sometimes occasionally groom each other but not too often. today we had a bad incident where he jumped on her and she hissed at him. she NEVER hisses at him.... this really freaked me out and got me really stressed..... it seems hopeless as i do everything to prevent these situations but he will always come back to bothering her . especially in the mornings and at night. they both sleep during the day (12pm - 5pm).


i am curious to see how your cats relationship evolves after he gets his gums fixed and the uti clears up....
 

susanm9006

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wow, i couldve written this post!!! except the UTI and swollen gums part. i also have 2 sibling cats (2 yrs old) and the boy 99% of the time is always the instigator. he will pounce on the girl and bite her neck and chase her and "attack" her. she always is the one running away and almost never the attacker. they also sleep next to each toher and sometimes occasionally groom each other but not too often. today we had a bad incident where he jumped on her and she hissed at him. she NEVER hisses at him.... this really freaked me out and got me really stressed..... it seems hopeless as i do everything to prevent these situations but he will always come back to bothering her . especially in the mornings and at night. they both sleep during the day (12pm - 5pm).


i am curious to see how your cats relationship evolves after he gets his gums fixed and the uti clears up....
There is absolutely nothing wrong about her hissing at him. That is the way cats communicate and maybe if she hisses at him more and even gives him a whack or a nip he will back off and annoy her less.
 

__Dina__

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There is absolutely nothing wrong about her hissing at him. That is the way cats communicate and maybe if she hisses at him more and even gives him a whack or a nip he will back off and annoy her less.
okay thank you :)
 
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Paperclip75

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Thanks all! I guess I go back and forth between thinking they'll just sort it out and thinking I shouldn't let them him bully her. The SPCA says not to let them fight it out, but then they're not fighting fighting...like, they're easy to separate. But they haven't groomed each other or slept together in a few months...and I don't want it deteriorating further. It's reassuring to hear people say that it's normal. I've never had two at the same time before and the growling/hissing makes me anxious. When he was brand new and little, she scratched his nose and eye - both minor, but made me wary - when he wouldn't quit playing. It seemed like he'd figured it out for a while, but lately it's not been the best (but, but, I'm also home all day now so maybe I just see it more). . .
 
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Paperclip75

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Wow! This is a busy forum. It took me a while to find this again. So. Boy kitty is home and healing quick. He has left girl kitty alone, except for a few attempts to sit beside her (she knocked him over when he was still stoned) and one fairly successful play. Buuuut. Now she is growling at him in the mean, gutteral, moany growl that she usually reserves for other cats out the window. And she did that from across the room and then charged at him and swatted at him, claws out, in the face.

Girl cat was super chirpy and snuggly the day boy cat was at the vet. They've both been on their leashes for a few minutes and rolled around in the dirt, and been wiped down, since, so I don't think he smells weird anymore...... :sickcat:

Should I be separating them for a few days? Letting it happen? I'm worried she's going to proper attack him and claw out his eyes.
 

Furballsmom

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I know it's been another couple hours or so since you posted, but I think you might want to keep an eye and ear on her. Hopefully you're right and things are back to normal, but if you hear her get growley again be ready, maybe with a big piece of cardboard, to intervene.
 
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Paperclip75

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Thanks, I'm doing that. She was almost training him for a while. Like, she would growl and hiss and then walk by where he was sitting and kind of look at him out of the corner of her eye, and then run away....and then do that again. And if he stayed where he was, she'd go back to her own spot. Any other tips, anyone? Should I separate them for a while? Lots of sites seem to suggest that...but, like, right now. She went and laid down in the kennel, which smells like him because I used it to take him to the vet. He laid down beside it, and they both chilled for a while....then he got up and rubbed his face all over the opening and she just looked at him, totally relaxed, for a few minutes, before sitting up and giving him a swat (but, like, a normal one, nothing I'd usually be worried about)....and now they're eating bedtime meals abouta foot away from each other.
 
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Paperclip75

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Thanks, I'm doing that. She was almost training him for a while. Like, she would growl and hiss and then walk by where he was sitting and kind of look at him out of the corner of her eye, and then run away....and then do that again. And if he stayed where he was, she'd go back to her own spot. Any other tips, anyone? Should I separate them for a while? Lots of sites seem to suggest that...but, like, right now. She went and laid down in the kennel, which smells like him because I used it to take him to the vet. He laid down beside it, and they both chilled for a while....then he got up and rubbed his face all over the opening and she just looked at him, totally relaxed, for a few minutes, before sitting up and giving him a swat (but, like, a normal one, nothing I'd usually be worried about)....and now they're eating bedtime meals abouta foot away from each other.
Scratch that...sharing a bowl, because she finished early and moved in on his. :dunno:
 

Furballsmom

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Hi! I'm sorry this is such a late response - you likely didn't separate them? Which was just fine - they sound pretty normal actually. How are things now?
 
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Paperclip75

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I didn't. They're okay. She's still going through snarly moods. He's mostly minding his own business, still having a sore mouth.
 

susanm9006

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I really don’t pay much attention to a growl or a hiss since most times it is just one or the other muttering “I hate you” under their breath and nothing comes of it.
 
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Paperclip75

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lol...okay. Even if it's protracted?
 
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