Cats/aggressive behavior between 2 male indoor cats
QUESTION: Kate, I've had three indoor cats for over 2 years. No behavior problem until this past week. Two cats brother and sister, age about 2 years. Rescued. Other cat also a rescue is about 4 years old. Recently Adam, the older cat is acting extemely agressive toward the other male cat. Adam won't let Scotty in same room with me and with him, and will howl even if I am not there. Please help. I've squirted water at Adam when he acts up. No success.
this sounds to me like it could be what is known as aggression trauma. It is a strange occurance and is caused when one cat is frightened by something, could be a loud noise or having his tail trodden on etc but anyway they sort of blame another animal for their fear even though they had nothing to do with it. It is quite common.
the best thing you can do is to let the two cats settle down again separately and then to reintroduce them as if they did not know each other. It is the best way to restore confidence etc and should return harmony to the house.
i have a web page about the reintroduction process here
best wishes Kate
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Kate, problem between two male neutered cats. Only one cat, the 4-year-old is aggressive toward the other cat, 2 years old. But he lets the 2-year-old sleep on the bed where he is, on the sofa where he is, but when Scotty (the 2-year-old) tries to come into a room where Adam is, Adam growls at him and so Scotty backs away. I've placed the aggressor in my bedroom when I go to work to avoid any confrontation. They've lived together for two years and played together. I'm at a loss. Can you help? I've tried isolating the aggressor, punishing him, making a huge fuss over him. Nothing works.
yes it would normally be only one cat cat aggressive towards the other if it is aggression trauma.
However if he does allow him to be near him sometimes I would say that this sounds like normal cat behaviour. Ie it is common that one cat will decide that he wants to be top cat and so will often put on a show of aggression towards the other cat. If the other cat accepts this situation ie he comes second he will back away and that's that. he if decides to try and take control then this is when you could get cats fights.
There is no way to stop this natural behaviour. All you can do is to make sure that their environment is stimulating enough so that they are not bored and focus too much attention on each other.
I have a page about indoor cats which talks about how to make cats environments interesting.
best wishes Kate