Amnesia or became feral in 7 hours?

by Darcy
(Moab, UT)

We have two male cats from the same litter (brothers). One is smaller than the other but is more dominant and outgoing. The larger cat seems more aloof and independent. The small cat is also very clingy (getting under our feet, following everywhere, etc). Anyway, This morning the larger cat got out and we didn't find him for 7 hours. When he finally showed up, he was very apprehensive but he allowed me to pick him up and bring him back in the house. Suddenly, his smaller brother and he acted as if they never knew each other! They were hissing and acting like strangers. They had just been playing together and grooming each other that very morning! Is it possible for a young cat (these guys are about 6 months old) to become feral in such a short time? I can't understand the larger cat doesn't recognize any of his smells he has marked around the house! and why he doesn't recognize his own brother?! This is very baffling. It's been 12 hours now and they are still hissing and trying to fight each other. (The smaller cat has now become more aggressive in response to his brother's not recognizing him). What's the deal?

Answer by Kate
Hi don't worry this is a common issue, it's called aggression trauma and its a bit odd really. basically when something happens to one cat which may have scared him, now this could be a strange smell, loud noise in fact anything major or minor, they take this fear out by blaming it on another cat and so causing the aggression. its not that they don't recognise each others its because fear is present for one reason or another.

the best thing to do is to help your cats relax with each other again in a calm and safe environment. the introduction method is a little slow but is the best way to return the cats to their old selves again.

the process is described here

best wishes kate

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