Two cats who once got along, are now not getting along

by Tobey Hennessy
(Los Angeles, CA)

I have two cats. I have had a male cat for three years, and have recently got the younger female in December of 2007. They have gotten along before with no problems. In any event, my male cat ran out the door, and we had to give him a bath after he rolled around in the dirt. While I was giving him a bath, he freaked out and clawed into my girlfriend and myself. He also bit me while we were trying to get him out of the bath. He just got scared for some reason. Anyway, now the female hisses and snarls every time we acknowledge the male. He cant walk by her , eat by her, or walk past her without getting feisty. Is there something I can do to stop this? Or will my cat stay angry with my other cat forever? Will this be a phase or should I think about separating them?

Thank you for your help.

Answer by Kate
Hi, this sounds to me like a classic case of what is known as trauma aggression. It is a weird behaviour where something happens which scares a cat and they then react by being aggressive. In this case your male cat probably smells different after his bath, this i enough to worry and scare your female who displays her fear by being aggressive towards your male cat.

In most cases after a few days and lost reassurance the cats should relax again, especially as your male cats smell returns to normal. However in some cases the cats need extra help. The best way is to go through the cat introduction process with them, it is slow and controlled but helps them to feel confident again with each other . the process is described here on this page

Lets hope they calm down soon. best wishes KAte

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