Two resident cats and new cat fighting violently.

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ChelleN1019

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Thank you again CatNap for your words of wisdom. I will start a new thread in a few days if I can get some video. We had the most violent fight between the 3 of them today, so they will be isolated for a while. I’m also going to make that vet appointment tomorrow. I am praying something can be done so we don’t have to give Dexter up. He’s really not a bad cat, he just never learned his manners. I never realized how blessed we were with our previous cat introductions. Thank you again for being here for me. You always give me hope when it seems I have none left.
 

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honestly I'd give back dexter. I think they probably need a home for themselves and doesn't seem very fair to your 2 cats who are/were probably fine without this new violent cat coming along.
 

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Thank you again CatNap for your words of wisdom. I will start a new thread in a few days if I can get some video. We had the most violent fight between the 3 of them today, so they will be isolated for a while. I’m also going to make that vet appointment tomorrow. I am praying something can be done so we don’t have to give Dexter up. He’s really not a bad cat, he just never learned his manners. I never realized how blessed we were with our previous cat introductions. Thank you again for being here for me. You always give me hope when it seems I have none left.
I would love to see video, if you can post it, here, C ChelleN1019 .:)

I just thought, you had given up, because none of my ideas were helping or working,...and I kind of ran out of new ideas...except for 'taking more time'...and beginning again...from the Start..with the cat introductions. :bluepaw:

That's the only reason, I suggested a new thread...just as a last resort,...kind of thing...in case you really wanted to re-home Dexter.
I got the thinking that your hubby had had enough...and was no longer in favour of keeping Dexter...because Dexter is taking too long to calm down and leave the older cats alone.
(though, I do think that you have made real Progress...just for the fact...that you scruffed Dexter...and he has left the humans alone for two weeks. Even if it's minor progress...it still seems like Dexter is slowly, slowly, learning.)

In all honesty, I think it does have to do with Dexter not ever learning his proper manners...like you said,...but also because he is so young..and Energetic...and he does not understand, yet, ...that he has to act less forceful...if he ever wants to Play with the older cats.

The Play dynamic, between different cats is very interesting.
No two cats are ever alike.
And when one cat wants to Play...the other cat does not. Arrrr.
It's so difficult to know what to do...to improve the Play dynamic between cats.
Sometimes, I think that you can only see very minor improvements...and then suddenly...they have a terrible fight...and resolve the issues on their own.
or sometimes the fight...leads to more 'fearful and avoidance' behaviour.

So really no true 'timetable'...can be put on when the cats will peacefully co-exist in the Home.
It may take one month, three months,...or one year.

(it took me nine months to introduce my puppy to the cats, and three to four months...to introduce a former rainbow older cat.
My friend's cats are in the middle of introductions...and they are up to four months now...with hissing, yowling, growling going on,...between a male and female.
Basically we cannot really predict ...how fast or slow...cat intros go...since it all depends on the slowest adapting cat.)

(another thread, that I am on right now,...is between two female cats, age 8 and 4, and after two years...from Sept. 2020, until now, ..the cats have finally been able to meet face to face...on harnesses. The cat guardians have been doing things when they could, since they both work, and are exhausted at the end of the day. And the one female cat,..still wants to lunge...at the other. So basically, the female cat...is similar to your Dexter...in the sense that they are a "rough player"...and "has no slow speed, when it comes to wanting to Play".)

If you do have the time...I would be interested to hear about the awful fight.:think:
Did Dexter start it again,...and was Jasper throwing out smacks...everywhere. Hard to believe that Inky was involved.
And if you could update this thread, after speaking with your Vet, ...I would really appreciate it.
Wish you the best. Have a good week.:hellocomputer:
 
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ChelleN1019

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Hey Catnap. I waited to send a note because I thought we may have turned a corner (but I don’t think so now).

About that fight…….
We live in a townhome, and we have a landing on the stairs going to the 2nd floor. This landing is where we have the stacked baby gates, and Dexter likes to lie there when we have the gates up. We take down the bottom gate and block the rest of the way upstairs to try and control where the cats are When we let Dexter out. Anyways, inky wanted to go upstairs and my husband went and sat with him on the landing. Dexter came up and did the stare off. We waited to see what would happen, and the Dexter lunged at Inky. Loud screaming and the tussle rile Jasper up (he was sleeping on one of the towers) and he flew in instantly to attack Inky too. I was able to grab Inky (I shouldn’t have, but I did) and my husband got Dexter upstairs. While I was moving to get inky to the bathroom to be safe Jasper was attacking my legs trying to get to Inky in my arms. They have always been buddies, so this really upset us. When Dexter went upstairs he hid under our bed. After about an hour we let Jasper and Inky back together. They were wary but ultimately ok. Hubby slept with them while I had Dexter with me.

so today we let Dexter come out again, and Inky immediately goes upstairs. I grab my phone while the hubby supervises thinking I’ll get some video. Then nothing. Dexter basically ignores Jasper for the first time ever. Then when I’m not looking (after 5 minutes or so) Dexter pounces on Jasper and nips his neck. A few minutes later Dexter went after Jasper again on one of the towers, and Jasper swatted and hisses and knocked Dexter down. Dexter then went and laid in the playpen we got and again avoided Jasper for about 10 minutes. I get excited thinking we’ve maybe had a breakthrough, and then Dexter goes to use the litter box. When he comes out he sees Jasper has gone in the playpen, and he goes in and attacks (definitely not rough play). Needless to say we separated Dexter again, and I still did not get video. We’ll try again tomorrow. The soonest our vet can get him in is the 22nd, so until then we just keep trying. I pray something works soon so my hubby doesn’t make us surrender him.
 

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I really don't think this is healthy for any of these cats. At best one may "tolerate" the other after months and months of work, but at worst it just leaves all the cats traumatized and living less happy lives. I'd encourage you to look for a specific home for Dexter so you know if you do give them back they will have a home where they can have all the attention or have an owner who knows how to deal with a cat with a very physical streak.
 

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I'm going to answer you more thoroughly, tomorrow.

But in the meantime, can you look at this Article:
The 8 Best Calming Aids for Cats in 2022
I think you can buy some of these items in pet stores,...or online.
I know that the Composure, and Richard's organics pet calm...members here, have said were useful.

Also the Sentry Calming collar...but NOT in the way it is sold...rather a member attached pieces of it...to a break-away collar...so that 'no choking' hazard would happen. She used a youtube video, to show her how to do this. She did say it helped.
I will look for that thread, and post it here.

***Also, can you keep Dexter separated from the other cats for the next four days...just to...reset...the cat intros.
Allow them only to see each other through a gate.
They are not ready to meet, yet.

They are still mistrustful of each other...and when a fight breaks out...then it sometimes causes any initial Trust...to vanish.
Have to build it up again.
Only allow them to see each other through a Gate.

Play with them, separately,...to get those good feelings, back again.

Wand toys, only. No where near humans hands or feet.

Will add more, tomorrow.:)
 
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ChelleN1019

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Thank you both for your comments. We agree about the well being for all of the cats. We’ve tried to find a home within our circle for Dexter to no avail. I am not willing to just hand him over to anyone, so we did make an appointment to surrender him to the Humane Society on 2/8. They can find a safe home for him.

that being said, we are going to do everything we can to try and make work so we can keep him (as long as it is good for all 3 cats). Step 1 is to keep Dex separated from the other two for at least 4 days. Separate playtimes are already being done multiple times a day.

one thing I haven’t really expanded on is how Jasper has been reacting to Dexter. When Dex does pounce and bite the neck, he doesn’t try to get away. He’ll yowl loudly so we intervene, but he really does not try to get away. Another interesting thing. We put Dex in the spare bedroom (his sanctuary room) at night while the two residents have access to the rest of the house. Jasper now lays against the spare bedroom door when Dexter is in there, and he has never done that before. He also will meow alot at the door. It’s all so confusing.
 

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How are they doing tonight, C ChelleN1019 ?
Are they able to see each other, all day long, if you were to stack the gates in the doorway, to the spare bedroom,...while placing some cardboard on top, to keep Dexter from escaping.
That way they would have Full Visual access to each other...with no worries about getting into a fight.
one thing I haven’t really expanded on is how Jasper has been reacting to Dexter. When Dex does pounce and bite the neck, he doesn’t try to get away. He’ll yowl loudly so we intervene, but he really does not try to get away. Another interesting thing. We put Dex in the spare bedroom (his sanctuary room) at night while the two residents have access to the rest of the house. Jasper now lays against the spare bedroom door when Dexter is in there, and he has never done that before. He also will meow alot at the door. It’s all so confusing.
Jasper laying against the spare bedroom door, while Dexter is in there...is very confusing.
Does he do the same...if the door were 'cracked open a little, bit,' and secured with some string, or rope, tied to the door frame'..and wedged with some books, or wood, at the bottom...to allow only the paws to reach each other.?

I wrote this recently on another thread...but it may help with your Jasper being overly reactive...and sensitive.
Plus, also your Dexter may find it soothing.
-------------------------------------------------------
How about trying the 'thunder shirt' for cats.
***You might even be able to make your own...if you look up 'DIY thundershirt for cats'...online.
Buying one is a bit expensive, ..so I would try making two...out of old t-shirts, first,...and getting velcro from dollar store.

Cat Thunder Shirt
An old Cat Site thread...with a few photos of another diy thundershirt pattern:
why does our home made thunder shirt work on our rescue cat Dolly?

At least if you make it yourself, you don't spend too much money, and see if it works.

ThunderShirt for Cats
(I honestly don't know if it works, but I did see it in one of the vet clinics, here, years ago.)
THUNDERSHIRT Anxiety & Calming Aid for Cats, Heather Grey, Small - Chewy.com

**Perhaps, also trying some 'cat calming treats'...may help reduce some of their stress...or help them relax.
Amazon.com : calming cat treats
I'd ask your Vet, first though, in case any of the ingredients would bother them.

If you do a "Search" in the upper right corner...you'll find this thread may be helpful.
(Not the same issue as your cats...but has some good recommendations.
Calming Treats For A Very Picky Cat
------------------------------------------------------
 
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ChelleN1019

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No real change Catnap. Dexter managed to escape today, and we pretty much had the usual results. He instantly went for Jasper, and then Inky (although he wasn’t mean). He did nip a jaspers neck, but Jasper swatted him away and made a little noise. He then went for inky. No physical confrontation; but he did chase And then had a stare down. Inky was growling and making a bunch of noise and got Jasper riled up. We got Dexter separated again, but had to run interference between Jasper and Inky again. They calmed down pretty quickly and were ok within 10 minutes or so.

its especially hard because Dexter does not want to be segregated and he lets us know. He wants to play with the boys! We take turns spending time with him and playing so he isn’t alone, but it doesn’t seem like enough.

I’m heartbroken and having a rough night facing the fact that this is never going to work. Then I tell myself there is still hope until surrender day arrives. My cats are my babies, and I love them all so much. I fell in love with Dexter the moment I met him, and it’s killing me thinking that I’m abandoning him. I know they deserve better though. I just wish I had a crystal ball so I could see what the future holds. We do have a vet appointment for Dexter next weekend as well. Hopefully they can help too.

Thank you for going through this with us. I find myself looking for your advice, and you always make me feel better. I’ll look into the thunder shirts, but I suspect those will go over as well as the harness. I’ll keep praying for a miracle.
 

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No real change Catnap. Dexter managed to escape today, and we pretty much had the usual results. He instantly went for Jasper, and then Inky (although he wasn’t mean). He did nip a jaspers neck, but Jasper swatted him away and made a little noise. He then went for inky. No physical confrontation; but he did chase And then had a stare down. Inky was growling and making a bunch of noise and got Jasper riled up. We got Dexter separated again, but had to run interference between Jasper and Inky again. They calmed down pretty quickly and were ok within 10 minutes or so.

its especially hard because Dexter does not want to be segregated and he lets us know. He wants to play with the boys! We take turns spending time with him and playing so he isn’t alone, but it doesn’t seem like enough.

I’m heartbroken and having a rough night facing the fact that this is never going to work. Then I tell myself there is still hope until surrender day arrives. My cats are my babies, and I love them all so much. I fell in love with Dexter the moment I met him, and it’s killing me thinking that I’m abandoning him. I know they deserve better though. I just wish I had a crystal ball so I could see what the future holds. We do have a vet appointment for Dexter next weekend as well. Hopefully they can help too.

Thank you for going through this with us. I find myself looking for your advice, and you always make me feel better. I’ll look into the thunder shirts, but I suspect those will go over as well as the harness. I’ll keep praying for a miracle.
The accidental meetings kind of puts you back, ...to square one...whenever they happen...since they just reinforce bad feelings between all the cats. :frown: :think:

It's hard though, to avoid accidental meetings, at times, because you'd have to make the baby gates stack up in a door frame, with cardboard on top...in any open spaces,...or else get those wire shelving pieces, and use zip ties...to make your own gate door.
They used to sell inexpensive wooden screen doors at home depot,...but unfortunately they have gone up in price.

When the meetings do happen...always remember to have a large piece of cardboard handy.
or a large towel, or blanket.

This way, you try to 'block the sight'...of one cat from the other.

By 'blocking the cat's line of sight'....it usually will reset their 'play/prey drive'...and calm them down.:bluepaw:

Having cardboard handy...also will protect you and your husband...in case the cats re-direct any aggression towards you...
(as in the case of Jasper,...who seemed to want to protect you from Inky...since he got riled up from Inky's vocalizing. He probably thought Inky was attacking....not that Dexter had begun it.)
Jasper...may benefit more from the DIY thundershirt...as well as Dexter...since Jasper is very sensitive to sounds, and fights.

It's really good that they are able to calm down so fast, though. 10 minutes is excellent.:)

Don't be too hard on yourself,...sometimes the new cat is not the greatest fit...and it's still good that you are keeping the Vet appointment...since the Vet may have some good options...and even have contacts with a 'certified cat behaviorist' who can help.
Not sure what the cost of an actual cat behaviorist would be...but at least that may be an option.

Could you watch some videos for me...and tell me what Dexter and Jasper's fights look more like?
***NOTE:....Keep your speakers off...and only listen through...your headphones...(since my cats get riled up, hearing these videos...so I imagine that Jasper would just get riled up too.)

Also if you can read this Cat Site Article...which also contains two videos.
Tell me, if the fights you are seeing...are similar to any of these videos.
***Remember....Keep your speakers off...only through headphones.
The first video is a bit disturbing...since it is a real full on cat fight..so if you have to skip it...then please do so.
Are My Cats Fighting Or Playing? – TheCatSite Articles
 
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ChelleN1019

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We definitely look the most like the first video. The giveaway is the ears being pinned back. It doesn’t start that way but turns quickly. The blanket tip has definitply helped, but Dexter is relentless. He just keeps going and going and doesn’t stop until we separate. We’re trying the calming treats too, but they only Seem to help Jasper a little bit. I really thought Dexter would get sick of pestering the other cats by now and would calm down a bit. At least Jasper and Inky bounce back quickly when not with Dexter. We just hate having Dexter alone so much. we just keep doing what we can and hopefully the vet will have some insight.
 

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personal experience, I've found it very difficult for cats to change (like people). It's just their personality. I appreciate you trying your best in a tough situation.
 
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We made the difficult decision to rehome Dexter. after speaking with our vet and another behaviorist we knew we had to do what was best for all 3 cats. Dexter now has a family that can let him be himself and free, and our two boys have returned to normal. It was the hardest decision we’ve ever made because we love the little guy, but that’s also why we did what we did. Two sad cat parents is worth 3 happy kitties.
 

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We made the difficult decision to rehome Dexter. after speaking with our vet and another behaviorist we knew we had to do what was best for all 3 cats. Dexter now has a family that can let him be himself and free, and our two boys have returned to normal. It was the hardest decision we’ve ever made because we love the little guy, but that’s also why we did what we did. Two sad cat parents is worth 3 happy kitties.
You really did a lot, and good on you both for reaching out to your Vet, and a cat behaviourist.
I was so hoping that the cat behaviourist would offer some more concrete things to try, and that the vet would offer things too.
It's difficult when the new cat causes the residents so much stress.
Don't be too hard on yourselves, 💔💞❤since you both tried so many things, and you never know, maybe in the future some new kitten, or cat, will better get along with Jasper and Inky. Or if the cat behaviorist does not think so, that's okay, too. What's good is that you'll already have the contact of a cat behaviorist, to help if needed, in any case. :greenpaw:
 
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