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Serious cat fight between our 2 cats

defrag79
February 3rd, 2004, 11:18 PM
Before I begin, let me paint the big picture for you. My wife and I have two female cats. Kera and Princess.

Kera is a stray cat that we found about 3 yrs ago ( she was obvious a house cat as she has been declawed and spayed ).

Princess was purchased at a pet store around July 2002. She has been spayed but still has her claws.

My wife and I lived in a two bedroom apartment for about 2 years and had no problems with the cats. At the end of November 2003 we moved into a 3 bedroom 1.5 storey home which I think took a toll on the cats.

As soon as the cats got to the new house (after all the moving was done and things were settled down ) they began to hiss at each other like they didn't know who the other one was. I just figured they were trying to mark their "new" territory and to let the other cat know who's boss.

That night we were all sleeping on the bed ( one cat at the end of the bed on one side and the other on the other side ). Around 2 am they started fighting. I mean really fighting. Stupid me, half asleep, tried to interveen and got attacked by Princess and was cut several times from the little monster.

Now when I say fighting, I mean this was a huge cat fight. Screaming, fur flying, urination by one or both the cats....it lasted at least 2 minutes. This is totally new to us as we have had both cats for over 2 years without any problems.

Kera had a chunk of fur ripped out of her neck from the ordeal which took a long time to heal ( roughly a month as she kept scratching it ).

After that things improved and they eventually were buddies again. Today they were sleeping together on the couch downstairs and then upstairs on the bed. When I returned home around 5:00 my wife called me in to tell me that the cats were fighting again. I went to the basement and found urine all over the place and the cats hissing at each other. Then later tonight around 7:30 they had another huge fight. I grabbed a towel and interveened (without getting attack ) but not before Kera had fur ripped from her and a cut to her nose, lower lip and right leg. There was blood, fece and urine all over the place.

We have sinced seperated the two in seperate rooms as my wife and I will be working tomorrow and we do not want them to kill each other.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can do?

My wife is 3 months pregnant and in September 2004 we will be having our first child and we do not want the cats ( Princess in particular ) to attack our child if he/she grabs her tail ( as children tend to do ). We also do not want to seperate the two cats or have any of them put to sleep.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Lucky Rescue
February 4th, 2004, 12:23 AM
This is not uncommon. The move stressed the cats and they are now showing displaced aggression. They need a target to release their stress and anxiety and are using each other. It can be likened to the guy who has a frustrating day at work. Instead of yelling at his boss he comes home and kicks his dog.

I had this happen with my two cats who had been together since birth, but they were male and female and got over it quite quickly. Two females can be worse, but this behavior does NOT mean they will attack a person or child. If worse comes to worst, you could think of rehoming one of them - NOT euthanizing them.

You are going to have to introduce them gradually as though they were two strange cats. Keep them separated for now, or lock up the aggressor (if you know who it is). From your description of the urination, I think one of them is the aggressor and the other is urinating out of fear - also common.

Here is an article on introducing cats. This cannot be rushed. It should work if done properly, but since they have already fought, it may take longer. Be patient and keep them apart.

Introducing cats (http://www.thecatsite.com/cat_behavior/behavior.php?a=introductions)

defrag79
February 4th, 2004, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the information. I just can;t understand why they fought when we first moved in ( November ) and then were fine for December and January and then start to fight again....

1john44
February 4th, 2004, 11:30 AM
As for the issue of the child. Most cats will run and hide if they don't want to be in a situation. I would declaw the one cat so that way even if they take a swat at the baby, it won't do any damage. My parents cat learned real quick when the kids come over to run and hide.

ophelia
February 4th, 2004, 12:47 PM
I disagree with the last poster!!!!

Declawing in my opinion is inhumane. It's similar to having human fingers amputated at the knuckle.

This problem can be solved with some behavior modification not mutilation.

Good luck

Ophelia

marko
February 4th, 2004, 12:54 PM
Here is a pet tip that gives information on what to do when the cats are actually fighting.

http://www.pets.ca/pettips/tips-17.htm

Good luck

Marko

defrag79
February 4th, 2004, 01:05 PM
I will stay away from the touchy issue of declawing as I do not want to start any arguments.

Thanks to all that have replied to this post so far. I called the vet and they mentioned a drug that they can administer to the cats that is like valium for cats.

I personally don't think that they need this. Possibly just a time out or something. I am going to let them out of their rooms when I get home tonight and stand guard to see how they interact.

Lucky Rescue
February 4th, 2004, 04:04 PM
A mild drug may be necessary to get these cats past this stage. Someone on this board is using a product called DermaGel - it is rubbed on the ears.

As for declawing - declawed cats quickly learn to bite instead and cat bites are much more dangerous than scratches. Not to mention that declawing causes a great deal of stress and pain to adult cats. They are very aware they have lost one of their defenses and can become aggressive as a result.

It would be unusual for a cat to attack a child - as stated, they normally just make themselves scarce.

defrag79
February 4th, 2004, 04:09 PM
Well it is hard to say. The declawing would save the furniture for sure. As for the clawing of the child...it is not just that we are concerned about. The little one ( Princess - the one with claws ) tends to bite when irritated. If you are petting her and she has had enough she'll try to bite you.

She was resting her head on my hand last night as I used the computer mouse and things were fine, then out of no where she bit me.

That is our biggest concern. Having a child grab the cat's tail and having the cat bite back.

BTW how much is the DermaGel and where can it be purchased?

1john44
February 4th, 2004, 09:27 PM
I guess declawing is a personal issue, so we won't go there, but I would disagree with the bite being worse. My father had to have a tumor removed that was caused by what the doctors called cat scratch. They said because of the number of cats we had, all the scratches that he had gotten over the years, the bacteria from them built up and caused a tumor behind his ear. He now has no feeling or hearing in that ear.

Lucky Rescue
February 4th, 2004, 09:44 PM
Cat bites can be very serious. Cat's mouths are filled with bacteria which can be pushed deep into the wound. Any cat bite should be immediately disinfected and cleaned out and any swelling or redness is an indication for a doctor visit ASAP.

In fact it's highly recommended that you seek professional medical treatment for any cat bite. The bite can turn into a nasty, infected mess in less than 12 hours.

"Treatment includes an IV antibiotic and oral antibiotics. The most commonly used oral antibiotic is Augmentin, which is an amoxocillin and clavulanate mixture. Most cat bites contain Pasterella multocida bacteria, with some Staph thrown in, and these drugs best treat those bacteria."

defrag79
February 4th, 2004, 10:37 PM
Well I came home tonight and let the cats out of their rooms ( under close watch ). The funny thing is when I opened one door where Princess was she came out and Kera went in. They brushed up against each other an didn't make a noise. Once they faced each other they growled and hissed.

Through the course of the night their attitudes improved. I was armed with a squirt bottle full of water and a sheet from the bed just in case they decided to scrap it out. Everytime they indicated they were going to scrap I sprayed them with the water. That seemed to cool them down.

It is weird how one minute they are fine, then the next it is like "Oh yeah, I hate you....I guess I should be mad at you" *hiss* *hiss*

It is like they forget that they fought then all of a sudden remembered. We are going to keep them in their own rooms for another day or two and let them out only when we are here to keep a close eye on them. Maybe the time away will allow things to settle down.

Lucky Rescue
February 4th, 2004, 11:17 PM
I do not advocate the use of squirt bottles for cats who are already stressed - this will increase the stress and make them more likely to fight again.

Instead, try saying "AH AH!!" to get their attention and throwing them something like a catnip toy, to distract them and help them release energy.

Continue to keep them separate when you're not there.

defrag79
February 4th, 2004, 11:18 PM
Sounds like a plan. Now to dig up all those cat toys :)