Help required(12 Posts)
We adopted a rescue cat nearly two months ago. He's a gorgeous boy although younger than the rescue centre claimed according to our vet. He is apparently 2 years old. We already had a cat, a 7 year old female.
After initially introducing them too fast and them fighting we've kept them very separate. She spends her time upstairs and him downstairs. However, she's terrified of him. We've been trying scent swapping. That doesn't seem to bother either of them in any helpful way at all. We've been locking him up to allow her time downstairs but we are having to force her to stay downstairs as she's so freaked out she tries to run and hide back upstairs whenever she gets the chance.
We've bought a stairgate in an attempt to stop him getting upstairs and forcing her to stay downstairs when we bring her down. Well, she's basically trying to eat her way through it to get back upstairs and when he's not being watched he's jumping over it to get upstairs.
We originally thought he was just interested in getting upstairs as its an unknown place for him. We then thought he wanted to push his luck and eat our resident cats food (since she's now too scared to eat downstairs) but he's actually managed to attack her twice as I've not always got to him in time. I had hoped with supervised time in the same room, he'd calm down. They've been taking meds from the vets for nearly a month to try and calm them both down, but last night he attacked her and drew blood. When I went to calm her down I had to remove some of the new boys broken claws from her fur.
We really don't want to have to return him to the rescue centre but don't know what else to do. She won't stand up for herself so he's completely in control. I think he's adopting some bullying behaviour too - sits in areas that would prevent her from coming downstairs etc. she literally won't leave the room unless we carry her downstairs and no longer goes outside. We got him because we thought she was lonely after our older cat died but we're making her life miserable.
I don't know whether we can make things better. Any advice?
My concern is the aggression and intent he shows towards her. And I'm assuming blood and broken claws show that these fights are aggressive - the blood is only ever hers. The rescue centre are being utter crap and won't even respond to our calls for advice which is really pissing us off especially given that we've ended up with the exact opposite of what they told us we were getting!
That doesn't sound good. My cats live in harmony and there's a couple that play fight with the others but not to the point of drawing blood and breaking claws!
You probably have. But have you tried hissing at him when he starts with her? Letting him know you're the boss.
The problem is that cats are solitary animals so don't really adhere to a hierarchy usually, so he might just not pay any attention. Although it works on my more stupid rescues.
Not tried hissing. I've yelled and picked him up and moved him.
Me and DP were talking last night and even if we return him, I doubt we'd get our girl to come downstairs for weeks because she's so freaked out.
Do you think returning him is the best thing?
I had similar and ended up re-homing.
I already had LastCat who was a feisty outdoor wildy cat and agreed to take on an old family cat who was used to a multi-cat household and was the soppiest cat. He became an absolute terror, blocking LastCat from the flap, from her food, from anywhere she wanted to go basically. We tried a big bell to see if it helped reduce his 'power' and confidence but he was oblivious, then tried Ovarid as I'd had a previous cat who had it for skin problems but it had calmed him down a lot as a side effect, it helped a little but not enough so I found him a new home with doting owners where he'd be the only cat. It was a horrible decision to make but we had no choice
I do fear that's where we are heading. He's such a gorgeous cat. So needy and soppy with humans but I think he needs to be the only cat
I know, my terror was the loveliest cat, as long as you weren't a cat.
A feliway diffuser may help a bit? Worth a shot, they're cheapest on amazon.
It doesn't sound good. He'd probably be better suited to a single cat household. I think a kitten's easier to introduce, because bigger cat can put them in their place. Your girl sounds very timid though, so she'd probably be happier as the sole cat. The blood/claw shedding would worry me. My 2 play fight all the time, and there's never any blood or claws, even before they bonded.
When I got ragdoll he did like terrorising the other two cats. But he never actually hurt them, and they weren't shy about putting him right in his place. He used to charge at them and then stop dead just in front of them, not actually touching them, then he'd get a claw to the face and look at me like "but I never even touched her mum!" He soon got the hint.
But it sounds like your cat Is too timid and he is too aggressive
When we got home last night our boy spent the entire night trying to get to our girl upstairs. Feels like he's hunting her. We've decided to re-home him. DP's brother is going to take him. He has a great garden, a bigger house and more importantly no other cats. He can't take him for a few weeks so I'm secretly hoping for a miracle but if not, at least he's not going far, stays in the family, we know he'll have a great life and he avoids going back to the shelter and into a cage.
We feel a lot better knowing he'll avoid unnecessary sadness. Until the day comes where he leaves, I'm going to think positive vibes that they'll become best friends.
Such a hard decision, but almost certainly the best one, his new home sounds perfect
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