Cat Wars

by Tania

My 14 year old spayed female (Baby) had to go to the vets as she had a small stroke. When Baby returned I had to seperate her in my bedroom as she needed overnight observation and hand feeding as she wouldn't eat. After getting Baby back to eating, I released her back in to the house but my 4 year old Queen (Kitty) immediately started hissing at her. I thought at first it was scent related so I tried to mix their scents by rubbing towels on them both and stroking first one and then the other. Over night they both came to bed, one slept on each side of me for about an hour and they appeared to call a truce, so I thought the problem was solved.

This morning Kitty has hissed at the elder female Baby only once but now Kitty seems really frightened of Baby. Kitty would only eat this morning when Baby went upstairs (leaving Baby to eat first). Kitty has spent a great deal of time wondering around the house looking really depressed and scared. There has been no fight other than the hissing from Kitty, Baby has not retaliated in any way.

I do have a 15 year old neutered Tom Cat as well who is fine with both Baby and Kitty (which is a relief). He will not wash Baby at the moment so I think there must be some residual smell left on her.

As the females are not fighting should I just leave them to get on with it and just make extra sure that they are both getting food or do I need to intervene in some way to assist them in getting back to normal?

Answer by Kate
Hi cats will often hiss and act aggressively when they are afraid and I suspect that your 4 years old is suffering from what is known as aggression trauma.

Your older cat probably smelt differently and also was acting differently and your younger cat picked up on the fact that something was wrong. this is a common issue.

Basically what needs to be done is to help the cats find there confidence in each other again. This is achieved by re introducing them to each other in a controlled and safe way. It is rather slow but is worth it in the end. The process is described here

Give them time and a slow introduction and they should be fine again.

best wishes Kate

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Thank you
by: Tania

Hi Kate,
Thank you for your quick response. Yesterday was a quieter day with only one Kitty hissing incidence late last night and one this morning when feeding.

I did read your cat introduction guide and if I had a larger house I would attempt to follow it. Trying to keep each of them separate (however much I would want to) is not going to be possible. I will just have to try to work through it with each cat and hope I can find a resolution that works for all of us.

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