Unprovoked Aggression In New Cat

linkworshiper

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One of my new cats, Mr. Jenkins, is super chill around humans. He is slowly learning to accept his new brothers, but every once and a while, his tail starts going wild and he pounces. We're always there to throw a blanket or a pillow into the situation and get the cats apart, but the other cats are very wary of him. I can't figure out what is triggering these attacks, especially because there are many other times he has positive interactions with the other cats. He is neutered and he just started a regimen of gabapentin today, but I feel a little bit lost. Whenever Mr. Jenkins acts out, he goes right back into his crate with the blanket down. The other strange thing is that when he's in the crate, the other cats like to lay on top of it. Maybe it's a dominance thing? I can't figure it out. Any help would be great! Thanks!
 

ArtNJ

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Swishy tail usually means a cat is gearing up to play pounce another cat. The other cat sometimes has very strong negative feelings about this, but that doesn't mean its not play. Is there other stuff besides swishy tail that is making you think these are "attacks" and not over-eager play? Certainly the fact that he has other positive interactions with the other cats makes me think its play.
 
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linkworshiper

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The fur flies and there's yowling. When my other cats play fight, it's usually pretty silent and they don't take chunks of fur out of each other. I do sometimes wonder if it's Mr. Jenkins just having a lot of energy he's not sure what to do with? He was crated at the shelter and now he's mostly crated here while he gets used to things. I let him out when I'm able to supervise everyone. The monkey wrench in all of this is that I'd ideally like to just keep him in our bedroom with the door closed, where he could walk around and perhaps get some energy out, but our other new cat is in there. Though the other new cat (Rigatoni) would probably integrate with the other cats much more smoothly, I can't let him out until the shelter performs his neuter... which they didn't seem to think was an important thing to do before I took him home. That's a whole other story. Anyway, Rigatoni is scheduled to be neutered in a week and a half, and I'm hoping that maybe switching things out might help? I don't know. I'm kind of banking on the gabapentin working some magic. I've already put a pheromone collar on Mr. Jenkins and I've been trying to lace his food with CBD treats, though I'm not sure how much that's actually working. None of our cats seem to like the smell of the CBD.
 

Mamanyt1953

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I think, perhaps, that he is playing, but he's over-amped from being caged at the shelter, then crated for most of the time. This guy really needs a good chance to run around and work the fidgets out. If you can pen up the resident cats for a little while (perhaps the bathroom, only for 30-45 minutes at a time) twice a day, and give him a good play session with a wand toy, that might help him settle until the household is on a more normal footing.
 
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linkworshiper

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I agree that he's probably trying to play, but he's scaring the other cats. They are always looking over their shoulders. But perhaps giving him free run of the apartment is a good idea. I'll try that out.
 

ArtNJ

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I find the suggestion to let them mingle sound. Keep in mind that when the overeager cat gets tuckered out, the other cats will get to see a chill cat. If he is mostly crated, then they will *only* see overeager cat. That makes it much harder for them to adapt to him. Letting them mingle will speed up progress. However, it may not be quick, and you will need to monitor at first to make sure there is not going to be a turn for the worse and actual fighting. As long as there is no actual fighting, they can make progress this way.
 
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linkworshiper

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The problem is that when I let them mingle, things will be going great and then out of nowhere, the wild, actual fights happen. But it makes sense that maybe we let him run out all his energy and THEN let them mingle.
 
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