2 male cats will not stop fighting
by Shelley Anderson
The Mean One (LoL)
I adopted two male cats about the same time around 6 months ago, they're ages 2 and 5, both are neutered and declawed. While they came from different rescues, and NOT as a pair, they also both came from homes in which they lived with another cat.
The 2 year old is very laid back, and rarely initiates a fight, but does hold his own. The 5 year old is super sweet and social, but a total bully to the other cat, thinks he's the king, is almost always watching the other one, and has marked ME as "his".
They "tolerate" each other fairly well, but mostly keep apart. They have pretty intense yowling, teeth-sinking fights several times a day, but the 2 year old acts like he's afraid of me, ducks and shies away from me, and won't interact with me I think because he knows there will be repercussions/fight from the 5 year old and he seeks to avoid that. (The 2 year old would be super sweet and social too if it were not for the 5 year old's presence).
They had a very slow introduction, and the 2 year old adored me when I first got him. Sometimes I break up the fight, sometimes I let them play it out. I have tried other things, i.e. spray bottle on the older one... even tried complete re-introduction and it did not help. I love both of them, but I want peace and for the 2 year old not to feel shunned, and stared down. I try to give them both equal attention, but I can't stand that one is being so badly pushed down by the other, it is saddening.
Do you have any suggestions for harmony? Is there any fixing this? Or do I perhaps just have a personality mismatch that is not going to change?
Sadly there is not much i can say to this one. You have hit the nail on the head when you say you have a personality mismatch.
As you know cats are natural pack animals and prefer to have their own territory. Some cats are better than other which means they probably had a very good socializing experience when they were first born. other not so and will just tolerate other cats but will always feel the need to mark territory etc. this sounds like what you have here.
the younger cat has decided that his place is second best and is acting as such. This is his decision and one which he has taken for a quieter life.
i have two cats, both brothers. They are always having little battles as to who is top cat. In their case it changes on a month to month basis. However the cat who is the underdog does seem to be less happy to allow us to cuddle him etc. but this changes and may do so with your cat too.
Unfortunately there is not much you can do about this, you can't make them be friends and at the end of the day they have to settle their own differences. This is normal.
I would not worry too much about your younger cat he will be happy to just rub along with the older cat and as long as he has a happy home with you, food, comfort etc thats all he will ask for. You say he holds his own during these fights so he is not a total pushover.
Just keep doing what you are doing, giving both cats equally attention and play times. I end up having to do this with my two all the time, making sure one is not having all the fun etc.
best wishes Kate