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IMPORTANT NOTE: Pam can’t answer individual emails about your cat’s behavior without a consultation. Appropriate behavior modification depends on the detailed specifics of a case. If you’d like information on consultations or to contact our office regarding a consultation, please visit our consultation information page.

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If you are in need of no-cost behavior advice please contact your local shelter. Many shelters have behavior hotlines.

 

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4 comments

  1. We have a 12 yr old male neutered Tonkinese. Very sweet and loving. We (In Dec) took in a female 1 yr old street cat, had her spayed and cleaned up. She is also very sweet, intelligent and has tried everything to make friends with Mikey. He wants no part of it. They play under the door (we seperate thewm) and he seems obsessed with her but, when together, he wants to kill her. We have tried everything. My wife is fighting lung cancer and her one wish is for Dolly and Mikey to get along. She loves them both and if there were one last wish she could have it would be for this to happen. Her time with us is limited. 3 to 6 months. What to do? We love both cats but we cannot go on like this. It is too stressful for Patsy. She is 78 years old and I am 83. Can you help us? When seperated, Mikey cries for her constantly, but if we try to put them together, he stalks her and attacks her and actually tries to kill her. But he always wants to see her and hollers until we let him see her thru kitchen window to porch. Strange behavior.

    Thank you,

    Hank

    • Hey Hank, I’m not a behaviourist or anything, but one thing that I’ve found that works WONDERS is using toys to divert their attention from each other. My preferred toy is called “Da Bird” and it drives cats bonkers. If I have that out, I can safely have all my cats in close proximity focusing on the toy bird and ignoring each other. Without the toy, I can assure you my youngest cat would be asking to be beaten up at that proximity. In fact, I am often woken up in the night by her “whumping” (racing across the room from the other cats and flying into me) against me in bed to hide from the other cats as she knows they can’t attack her if I’m there separating them.

      But when there’s toys involved, all that inter-cat aggression vanishes since they now have something appropriate to focus on. I’d keep them separate for the most part for now, and only allow controlled play sessions until they’re both so tired and happy from playtime that they can only flop over near each other and relax. This would be a good time to sit and pet them both and get them purring and relaxed.

      Also, make sure you have tons of hides and perches for them, so that no one feels like they don’t have their own “space”. For example, I’ve got a cat tree, a wardrobe with the top decked out with cat beds and blankets, top of the ferret cage is decked in cat beds, window perches, and a cat tunnel. Most of these things are sort of hidden and you can’t tell right away how much space in my apartment is actually given to the cats.

      Anyway I hope that helps!

  2. Hi, I have six cats. They are all rescues, and the cat who is most good,Alex, has just started fighting with our newest cat, Flixi. Alex is the dream cat, and Flixi, well, you can’t really go near her yet because she’s adjusting to our home since she’s new and she will swat at you with her claws out and hurt you. Suddenly, Alex will randomly attack Flixi, and chase her around the house. They are always growling at each other, and Alex sometimes corners Flixi. Flixi can fight back and she does, and it disrupts the other cats and they also somehow get involved. The thing is, I want to be stern and somehow punish Alex, of course not physically, like by hitting her. I tell myself that I’m not going to give Alex attention for the rest of the day such as petting her, but she is always coming up to me and purring and it is too cute so I can never stick to the ignoring punishment. Do you have any suggestions on what to do with these cats?

  3. Hi, I’m about to adopt a kitten in about two weeks from now, and I’ve read on here that I should designate a sanctuary room for the kitten. All of the rooms in my apartment are used quite often or have loads of wires due to my husbands tech stuff being in the room. Could I use the kitchen or a section of the living room as a sanctuary for him? There’s nothing on the floor of the kitchen that could hurt him and the section of the living room I’d use for him is blocked off by the couch and could be enclosed with some tall boxes we still have yet to unpack. Would this be acceptable?

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