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PLEASE HELP! My two cats are fighting to the death!

(48 Posts)
Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 06:56:58


Hi all - am at the end of my tether... but there's no actual end to this tether because me and DH don't want to ever get rid of one of our cats!

We have 3 female house cats. 2 of them are very similar in age and both will be 3yo in Feb. They have been together since they were 8 weeks old, always got on - slept together, cleaned one another, very affectionate.

Then RANDOMLY one month ago, shit hit the fan. I was with them both in my bedroom when the howling started, the hissing and a massive fight ensued - poo and wee everywhere. One of them actually just wee'd on the spot, then launched into attack. It's nowhere near play fighting - they literally were fighting to the death. When me and DH tried to separate, it was impossible to actually pull them apart and they got incredibly aggressive towards us, lashing out. In the end, we used water to distract them but even then it took a while to get them into separate rooms. There was a really intense hate, the sounds they were both making were terrible.

We had plugged in Feliway the week before this happened as we'd found some cheeky patches of wee. It's not a big deal, they've been known to do it before if they're not 100% happy with their FIVE litter trays!

The day after the first fight, they seemed to have recovered and were sleeping together when again, out of nowhere, the real nastiness started, along with the wee and poo and terrible noises. (Our third cat is a little Persian baby, she just runs away and hides and they leave her alone).

The two girls have now been separated for over a month, but we've tried to reintroduce them through the glass doors, but even a month on, just the sight of each other drives them crazy, and the hissing and growling starts.

It's getting pretty hard to keep them separated - just last night, one of them ran out of the bedroom when DH quickly opened the door and they had another fight. Wasn't as intense as the first, but still pretty bad. Again, could only separate them by using water. Don't know how much longer we can live like this - one of them stays with baby Persian in the lounge/hallway/garage (we made the garage a cat playroom, so there's five rooms in total for them to chill in) and one of the 'naughty' ones has our bedroom. The litter trays in each room are driving us crazy, and it's generally so unfair to keep one of them cooped up in the bedroom all day while we're at work.

However - we ADORE these cats, and it's just too hard to even think about trying to rehome one of them. They are ours, our responsibility and even if we did want to rehome, I'm pretty sure everywhere round here is too full to take one of them (I couldn't choose one to rehome even if I tried sad) and we have no friends that would want to take one. They are such lovely cats, I just want everything to go back to normal sad

Has anyone got any experience of how to deal with this? Vets were useless, just asked if one of them was ill (no) and said just buy some Feliway. Have had it plugged in since the week before it kicked off, I know it takes a while but I think this is a deeper problem - they seem to really hate each other. Do you let cats 'fight it out'? It just seems cruel, and I'm scared they'd do some serious damage to each other.

PLEASE HELP!! Can't carry on like this sad

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Mon 05-Nov-12 06:59:04

Have they been neutered?

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 07:07:42

Yes - over a year ago

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 07:12:29

I was going to ask that as well.

I'm afraid that I can't suggest anything if they already have been. Sometimes, cats will have a prolonged fight for dominance and it will be pretty harsh. Especially when they have really taken against each other.

I fear that you may really have to think hard about rehoming one. They'll be constantly tense and unhappy and it's no life for them - or you.

If not already all neutered (including the little Persian) get that done directly and see how it goes.

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 07:13:02

Sorry - cross post. Does that include the Persian?

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 07:14:44

The thought of rehoming is just so heartbreaking though sad when they are separated, they are completely normal - loving, purring away, scratching at the door and meowing as if they want to see each other and then as soon as they do see each other, it's all bushy tails and hissing

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 07:15:13

Yes the little Persian is neutered as well smile

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Mon 05-Nov-12 07:33:34

Maybe try another plug in type relaxer? And have two or three around the house?

Do they have their own specific beds and bowls etc or do they just sleep wherever?

Maybe one is ill? Cats can be a bit funny around an ill cat.

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 07:38:14

Yep - I'm thinking of buying one for every room but they are so expensive!

They tend to sleep wherever - they do have beds but they prefer to sleep anywhere but! As for bowls, they don't really have their own.

I thought that, but they all seem fine - and also the little Persian is fine around them both, so I don't think it's that.

GinaNicol Mon 05-Nov-12 07:43:32

Looks like both are fighting for Alfa position( maybe I am wrong) however as owner you need to take that place by showing them that you are the boss! I have a 9y old cat , very spoiled with lots of love from us lots of petting, sleeping with us, eating with us, etc. recently she lost that amount of attention because I just had a baby and I had to teach her that baby's room she is not allowed to go in. At first she was very curious about the baby and baby's room also she was doing things to get our attention however it did take her about 1 month to accept the conditions and submit. What I am trying to say is that every time you brake a fight you can't just separate them and take them to different rooms, you have to keep them in the room till they calm down and at your decision you remove one of them to a different area. Keep doing that every day till they will just start to avoid each other then accept the rules as you want! Good luck!

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 07:45:52

I think, if you are so unhappy about rehoming, I would get them all - certainly the two who are fighting - checked out at the vet. It's expensive I know and fear (blood work and all) but as Boy said, it just may be that one of them is ill/in pain and being 'defensively aggressive' if I can put it that way. Is one of them always the aggressor that you can identify?

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 07:54:43

Thanks GinaNicol, me and DH have talked about keeping them in the same room when it kicks off, but I find it really nerve-wracking, which obviously doesn't help. Am going to try it though, it's worth a go!

cozietoesie I think it's probably the best way to go, though I do feel that it's probably a territory/dominance thing. We've tried to figure out which one is the aggressor, and have noticed that baby Persian will submit and roll over everytime AngryCat1 and AngryCat2 come into the room (she's so sweet!) but it's like AngryCat1 doesn't necessary make the most noise when they fight and isn't the most aggressive, but she won't back down (she'll just stay put and crouch whilst the other hisses, howls and wees EVERYWHERE). Whereas AngryCat2 seems to be really aggressive but scared? It's weird. They're so, so lovely individually. I just don't get how it came about out of nowhere.

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 07:56:33

In other words, they are both as bad as each other.

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 07:59:49

I'd get the AngryCats checked at the vet. If you have to come, at last, to rehoming, you'll want to do so with a good conscience anyway.

MrsEddChina Mon 05-Nov-12 07:59:52

Have you tried taking the feliway away? If the fight started a week after you first plugged it in this could be having an adverse affect possibly?

BalloonSlayer Mon 05-Nov-12 08:01:45

I see MrsEddChina has just said this but if everything was fine before the Feliway - don't even know what that is, sorry - get rid of it and see if there is an improvement.

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 08:03:13

DH is convinced it was the Feliway that kicked it off (because the fighting started in the room it was plugged in) but I've looked everywhere on the net and there's nothing about it having a negative affect.

cozietoesie I'm going to take one to the vet today to start the process. Rehoming is the very, very, very last option.

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 08:04:49

Appreciate that, Rouen. A hard decision if you have to make it.

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 08:05:01

BalloonSlayer DH unplugged it a few days after the first fight, and I haven't used it since. It's one of those diffusers to try and settle cats.

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 08:05:49

Sounds silly but they're like my babies! They are so loving sad

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 08:06:55

PS - take away the Feliway just in case (although I notice from your OP that there was weeing beforehand.) Even if it is that that is causing the problem, they may have become so entrenched in their dislike that removing it won't help - but it's worth a try.

cozietoesie Mon 05-Nov-12 08:12:09

Ah right. (Cross post.) Vet then.

Sometimes, cats just do take against each other. Two would-be dominant cats and they won't back down. (Or one would-be dominant cat faced with another cat who won't give in to bullying. I had this last year with Seniorboy and The Lodger (who was a lovely, calm and gentlemanly cat; but Seniorboy was just so possessive and jealous that he wasn't having any of it and started spraying everywhere in protest even though they were quarantined.) The only way out was for The Lodger to leave which he did because he was only lodging.)

What I find surprising, though, is that they've suddenly started after all these years.

catsrus Mon 05-Nov-12 08:13:37

From the way you've described it - it sounds like they don't go outside - is that the case? It might just be pent up frustration at having so little space. I have 6 cats and we do get aggression sometimes - but there is always a 'way out' for them.

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 08:15:58

I know! They got along so well - so affectionate towards each other and sleeping together. There's enough space for them to get away from each other and more than enough love and attention given to them all to keep them happy. It's really sad.

Rouen Mon 05-Nov-12 08:18:08

Catsrus We've talked about letting one of them go outside - there's only one that I'm confident enough to let out as she's a little more 'switched on' than the other two, though I am scared she'll just fight with other cats instead. Will consider this though - I'd much rather try this than rehome.

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