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Cats suddenly fighting really bad

November 22nd, 2007, 07:25 AM
I have two cats (approx. 1 year old) who are sisters. They always get along. Eat together, sleep together, play together. Yesterday morning, they got into a big fight. We thought that it would pass but they are still fighting. It is so bad that we are afraid to leave them alone. Anytime one of them comes near the other, they go at it. In the year that they have been with us, they have only hissed or went at each other twice. Once after returning from a pet store, apparently one of them smelled something on one of the items and thought that the smell was coming from the other cat. That episode lasted for about 10 minutes. We distracted them and all was well. The other time was when one of them came back from the vet. They hissed for a little while and that was it.

We don't know what to do. We can't watch them 24/7. Anybody have any suggestions?

November 22nd, 2007, 07:28 AM
Are they spayed? If not, could be hormones causing the emotional upset. Other than that, not sure what to suggest.

November 22nd, 2007, 07:43 AM
All 3 of my girls fight amongst each other all the time. The 2 sisters especially. They never really hurt each other, it sounds worse than it is.


November 22nd, 2007, 09:48 AM
Thank you both for your quick responses. Yes, they are spayed. I wouldn't be alarmed if this was normal behavior for them. They have always gotten along. Now, if they are even in the same room they attack each other. Could it be a territorial issue?

November 22nd, 2007, 10:03 AM
In my experience I have always found females do not live as harmoneous as males in multiple cat households. They just seem to be crankier and want to rule the house, but their fighting has not been serious, drawn any blood, just some fur flying. Serious fighting leaves obvious scratches and bites.

November 22nd, 2007, 10:37 AM
I'd suggest treating the situation as if you are introducing a new cat to the household. Keep them separated for a while and then slowly desensitize them to each other. There's some great advice on exactly this situation here:

Good luck!

November 22nd, 2007, 11:48 AM
It's almost as if one now has a different scent, that the other no longer recognizes. One could be sick.
I would have them both checked out by a vet.
I know when my cat was sick (we didn't know it at the time) the rest of my cat's attacked her.

Until they are checked out seperate them, if there is nothing medically wrong, then do as sugarcatmom suggested, treat them like they are 2 new cats meeting for the first time.

November 22nd, 2007, 02:44 PM
I think that sugarcatmom's link may be the answer. A few days before this aggressiveness started, one of the cats had an incident where she was frightened. I dismissed the idea that it was the reason for the aggressiveness because two days went by where everything was fine (except for the frightened cat being a little skittish still). In fact, a few minutes before the first fight that I witnessed, they were eating their breakfast side by side with no indication of hostility or anything. I guess I'll never know the reason for this but I hope it works itself out soon.

Thanks to everyone for the replies!

BTW, Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2007, 05:55 PM
I think they call that deferred aggression, unfortunately her sister took the brunt. The 'incident' could be as simple as seeing a strange cat outside.

I'd give it time, even separating them when you are out of the house, if necessary.

I've heard that a little (pure, not artificial) vanilla extract under each cat's chin helps with aggression, but I haven't tried it.

If all else fails, you could think about cat pheremones, which come in a spray, as well as a dispenser. The ones sold by the vet are really expensive. Try a big pet supply store or online. Search under cat pheremones. It is advertised as effective for cats who spray but is also sometimes promoted as a general feelgood remedy. No guarantees, however :).

November 22nd, 2007, 09:06 PM
I have two cats as well, and they did no tlike it when I brought my sister's cat home to watch while she was away. My two cats, who lived together and got along so well, all of a sudden where fighting constantly, and my sister's cat ran and hid in the basement. I had to take my sister's cat home and just go check on her all the time, instead of having her at my house.
It took my cats a good week to settle down and start to get along again.
Not sure if this helps you or not, but I thought I might give some encouragement that it will probably pass, and it was something unfamiliar to them that set them off.:shrug:

November 23rd, 2007, 12:56 AM
Try the "new cat" re-introduction & see how that goes for a couple of weeks.

It is possible it is just maturity & territorial instincts taking over especially if you have 2 dominate personality females like mine. My Duffy & :rip: :cat: Mischief both girls 1 year apart in age Duffy younger, were best buddies even curled up on the same chair together up until Duffy turned 1 year old then they would have the occasional spat with each other no real fights though & each generally avoided the other. There was a lot of hissing (Mischief) & huffing (Mischief) & teasing (from Duffy :rolleyes:) during the last 11 years that the two lived together. Rarely did they come close to each other without a hiss or a huff heard but they co-existed fight-free for many many years. Both my girls were very strong personalities so I think that played a big role in their relationship.

November 23rd, 2007, 12:32 PM
Mine usually fight after they've been either playing for a while and it's gotten a little too rough, or if Gabby decides to stir up the pot, she likes to play with the 2 sisters and they don't necessarily like to play with her, so she'll get them all worked up and then the sisters will take it out on each other. Lot's of hissing, the odd growl and occassionally a little fur will fly, but it's never anything really serious.
My previous 2 boys, Toby would get very worked up if he was watching something outside the window or the door, if Max happened to get to close to him, Toby would attack him.

November 23rd, 2007, 12:35 PM
I concur with the new cat reintroduction - it is like when you bring one kitty to the vet and they come home smelling differently. This is not identical of course- this is the deferred aggression but I do think in this instance, reintroductions will work just as well.

Good luck!!!

November 23rd, 2007, 01:59 PM
Sometimes my two cats (males tho and not brothers) will have bad days out of the blue where they wont stop attaking eachother. What I do is seperate them and then a little while later they are both pawing through the door, making sad meows trying to get at eachother. At that point theyve cooled off and I let them hang out again. Silly kitties :rolleyes:

November 24th, 2007, 09:04 AM
Just want to let everyone know that things are almost back to normal. They are co-existing right now and even played with each other last night without fighting. They are sometimes a little skittish around each other but other than that, they are getting along okay.

Thanks again for all of your responses and suggestions.

November 24th, 2007, 11:06 AM
When I take one of mine to the vet and they return it is like they forget who one another the vet told me to sprinkle a little baby podwer in my hand and then rub them each a few times so that they smell the same...things become neutral then! It has worked many times for me!


November 25th, 2007, 06:57 PM
Below is a picture that I took of them a few minutes ago. This is the way that they usually are.