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Cats/friends and enemies?


I adopted two cats from a shelter that i work at. the female (cleo) is 5, the male(billy) is 4. I have every reason to believe that prior to being surrendered to the shelter...they lived in a home together. both cats always got along pretty good at the shelter. occassionally billy would swat at cleo (unprovoked). There are times that billy seemed so attached and loving towards cleo and at other times he seemed very jealous if cleo gets any attention from me. (he actually prevents her from getting near me if i start petting her).

i now have these cats in my home...and they tolerate each other 80-90% of the time. but billy has started to pick fights with her. at first it seemed harmless. but now cleo is starting to fight back and i don't  understand it. as i type this they are both curled up on top of each other sleeping and purring.

i was wondering if you had any insight on this behavior? should i worry that they are going to hurt each other? should they be separated? to be honest, i think cleo would love to live without billy. but billy seems quite dependant on her.

well from what you have described it does sound like very normal behavior to me. I have never known two cats to never have a go at each other from time to time. I assume it is just like humans who will get annoyed or feel stressed and take it out on their companion.
I personally wouldn't worry too much at this stage. the only time i would separate two cats is if they were causing actual bodily harm and if it was mentally affecting one of the cats. At the moment it just sounds like normal little spats to do with territory and general day to day stresses.



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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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