They used to love each other, now they fight

Lfranzman

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I have 2 tuxedo cats, brother and sister. I’ve had them since they were 8 weeks old. They were fostered down the street as they were taken from their mom at 5 weeks.
They were well bonded. So well, they paid very little attention to us until this year (being stuck home as helped). They are 2-1/2 now. Until this year, they’d wait for each other to come home, would lick each other passionately, super close. Then the licking changed to biting (this started before covid). Now he’s pretty much a bully (but only to her) and she won’t let him get within 5 feet without growling and hissing. He’s probably 7 lbs heavier and if they fight and she tries to get away, he chases her down. I don’t want to leave them in the house together alone. I’ve started giving one of them a time out In the bathroom, depending on who started it. Most of the time it’s him and he knows he’s wrong and that I’m standing between them to stop the fight... so much so that when I turn my back he attacks like Cato in the Pink Panther movies. She’s become nervous and a home body, he barely comes home now except to eat and is starting not to want to be pet again. Thank you for you advice in advance.
 

ArtNJ

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Try a reintroduction process. Thats where you basically treat them like they are new to each other and go through the whole process, maybe a touch quicker. Help them start fresh is the idea.

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles

If there is some sort of lingering underlying cause, a reintroduction may not help, but sometimes these problems just develop from one off issues and can be cured by a reintroduction. If it works, you may never know how this all got started, but thats ok.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I trust they are spayed/neutered? If not, that would likely be the problem. Since they are apparently allowed to go outside, I would guess there is a new cat in the area that is affecting your boy's behavior. It could also be some sort of illness in one or the either - cats that are sick can be the aggressor to other cats just as much as they can also be the one who is attacked by other cats. So, maybe rule out some illness going on - and, it could be the boy since he has started to withdraw from you and his family/home. I'd get full scale check up with the vet, for both of them, as the first place to start.

If nothing comes from the check ups, doing a introduction process as A ArtNJ has suggested might be your best bet. But, this process will be a lot harder to manage if they are still allowed outdoors. Given how the boy is retreating from spending time in your home, it might be a good idea to reconsider whether they should be indoor only cats for now.

You can also look into catios/cat enclosures that would allow them outdoor access but in a confined way so they can't wander too far from home.
 
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