Young Cat Being Terrorized By Older Cat

by Denise
(Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

I have a 3yr old shorthair female (grey and white) that we rescued from a frozen ice bank. We had here for about 5 months when we decided to get another cat - this one is now about 1 year old and is also an shorthair female (black). This is the first time ever that we have owned cats, now we wouldn't be without one. But ever since we got the younger cat the older cat has been picking on it. Well lately is has gotten worse, now the older cat will pounce on the young one head with claws and teeth showing. The young can it so scared that she pretty much hides all day - avoids the older cat - will even take the long was around the room if the older cat is in her way. She is very skiddish. She won't even let anybody really hold her. Now the older cat plays with our dog great - never attacks him! What is up with this?? Could it be because they are both female (they are both fixed). Or is it because the older one was here first and she doesn't think the young one belongs here. I feel so bad for the young one because she wants affection so bad but is scared to even come around. My daughter wants another cat but I won't even think of it until I figure these two out. I can't have this cat terrorizing this young one.

Any suggestions would be great - I am open to anything!

Thank you so much

Answer by kate
often animal shelters recommend not to have two females or two males together if they have not grown up together as rivalry can be quite strong.

the behaviour you describe sounds normal i'm afraid. Basically the cats are trying to find there feet with who is in charge etc. This is normal but can be distressing to watch.

I don't know how you first introduced the cats to each other. there is a method which allows the cats to get used to each others smells etc without the fear of attack etc. It may even be worth trying this now. It does require careful supervision on your part and a period of confinement for the cats but it does give them a better chance of at least accepting each other.

Unfortunately there are no guarantee that the cats will ever get along.

The introduction method is described here on another web page here

best wishes kate

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