Redirected aggression in cats

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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Last night I had a mini world war 3 in my house. Two of my cats (ginger and tabby which are about 18 months old) who up to now have been best friends all of a sudden had the most vicious cat fight. I literally had to chase them around the house which then caused them to go their separate ways. It got the point where one of them urinate and pooed (I think the ginger). After the second fight the ginger was sitting in the poo. I think she was the aggressor out of the two. She is locked in the spare bedroom and my other two have the run of the house and are getting on fine. In all this she was also not aggressive to my little black kitty who is about 9 months old.

The only thing I can think of is I left the roller door to storage space that they can go in and out of which has a cat net across the entrance. And we do have cats that roam the area. So I think she had an encounter with one of the roaming cats through the netting and is now redirecting her aggression to my tabby. They haven't even eaten breakfast yet which is surprising so there is still a bit of stress there.

So has anyone else had to deal with this? I have heard of cats who have been best friends all of a sudden turning on each other. I have never had any of my cats be aggressive to humans and even after the events of last night they are both still the same loving cats they always are. But I am worried.
 

Japanfan

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24,814
It worked out fine when I had one cat and introduced a kitten to my apartment.

But when Mr. Japan and I moved in together, with two cats each, it didn't work out. One of my cats hid under the bed for several days and developed fatty liver - which I didn't know was a thing. She died in bed with me. She was my soul animal, the only one I've ever had. :wuzrobbed
:wuzrobbed :wuzrobbed

Hope others here have some advice for you.

All I know is be very watchful if cats don't eat.
 

Winnipeg

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I have not experienced this but I would suggest you prevent them from contact with foreign cats not only for the fighting but also for disease, fleas, etc. Keep 100% indoor. Also, check a cat web site for info?
 

Garden Kitty

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When I had two cats they never really got along well, they mostly just co-existed and ignored one another. The garden kitty came in later and was younger than my original cat and he generally begrudgingly deferred to her. The garden kitty was always more spirited and strong willed but they mostly tolerated one another. Then one night it got very nasty with lots of hissing and stalking. The garden kitty always responded well to catnip so I gave him a lot of that and he calmed down. They were a little wary for some time, but went back to co-existing after that. Never knew what caused the one blowup

Probably good I don't have kids given my method for solving tension. :lol:
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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I have just found this article which I think explains what has happened the best.


I might just have to be patient. My ginger was still quite stressed when I left for work but was still affectionate. While she is not aggressive towards my black kitty, my black kitty is now a bit scared of her because of what happened. Shame because they are best buds too and it was because they got on so well that I adopted my black one who had been very timid.
 

DFJ

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I'm not an expert but could it be that one of them is not well and therefore acting out? Perhaps keep an eye out and if the behaviour doesn't change, a trip to the vet?
 

AxelAnnie

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Fighting can happen - but sitting in the poop----

"Cats may poop on the floor because of a medical condition, stress, or because the litter box is dirty. If the behavior started suddenly, have a vet rule out a medical problem first and then take note if anything significant has happened in the cat's life, such as a new pet entering the home or the loss of a companion"
 

Aussie Willy

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The poop happened after the second fight. She did it next to and on a chair. I am sure it was stress related from the fight. It was incredibly intense.

I just hope they will settle down.
 

Judy

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The poop happened after the second fight. She did it next to and on a chair. I am sure it was stress related from the fight. It was incredibly intense.

I just hope they will settle down.
I would monitor and see how it goes. Cats are unique and who knows what set it off. You def did the right thing by separating.
 

Aussie Willy

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Okay we have peace in the house but it is a bit on edge. Ginger kitty and black kitty who were best friends have been a bit off with each other but haven't come to blows. But they all did have their little place sleeping on the couch last night without incident.

Hopefully it was just a one off but I am being very cautious and careful.
 

viennese

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I have just found this article which I think explains what has happened the best.


I might just have to be patient. My ginger was still quite stressed when I left for work but was still affectionate. While she is not aggressive towards my black kitty, my black kitty is now a bit scared of her because of what happened. Shame because they are best buds too and it was because they got on so well that I adopted my black one who had been very timid.

I have two cats, sisters from the same litter, who get along pretty well.

But that article explains exactly what happens when one of them sees a roaming cat outside, close enough to make eye contact. My smaller cat goes berserk with terror and instigates horrible cat fights with her sister. I could swear that the roaming cats stalked our house on purpose, just to taunt the indoor cats.

It's been much better since I moved to a new place. No roaming cats in this neighborhood and fewer outdoor things to frighten them.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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I have two cats, sisters from the same litter, who get along pretty well.

But that article explains exactly what happens when one of them sees a roaming cat outside, close enough to make eye contact. My smaller cat goes berserk with terror and instigates horrible cat fights with her sister. I could swear that the roaming cats stalked our house on purpose, just to taunt the indoor cats.

It's been much better since I moved to a new place. No roaming cats in this neighborhood and fewer outdoor things to frighten them.
Thanks. I am going to turn the space into a studio so if there are other kitties outside there will be less direct contact with them as there won't be netting.
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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This happened to us with our first cats some years ago, and also happened to a friend of ours who also had two cats. Both cases were sparked by one cat seeing another cat outside in what they perceived as their territory. It took time but things eventually calmed down again. It's not uncommon and can trigger a number of stress reactions. Good luck and hopefully things will be back to normal in a week or so.
 

Cachoo

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I had a different incident yesterday. My cat is very shy and Saturday I had family over and she hid. She emerged and stayed on my lap after they left. Sunday was a normal day but when I was in the bathroom she came over to towel on the floor, pawed it and then peed on it. I have no idea why this happened. Her litter box is clean.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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24,853
I had a different incident yesterday. My cat is very shy and Saturday I had family over and she hid. She emerged and stayed on my lap after they left. Sunday was a normal day but when I was in the bathroom she came over to towel on the floor, pawed it and then peed on it. I have no idea why this happened. Her litter box is clean.
The only thing I can think of is stress. My ginger kitty during one of my foster kitty hostings was peeing in the shower. They all seemed to get on but while I have the three kitties normally having a fourth one in the house might have been too much.
 

screech

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My cat seems to take out her aggression on me. I do everything right (according to the internet), and she constantly gnaws on my hands, feet, and sometimes jumps up at my face (the latter especially if I'm lying down in hopes of taking a nap). It's not petting or play aggression... she'll just walk into the room and launch herself at me. I've tried redirecting her to toys, rewarding positive behaviour, putting her in time out, removing myself to another room, spraying her, blowing on her... nothing works. She's still pretty young (less than a year) so I'm hoping she'll grow out of it, but in the meantime it's frustrating as hell. And while painful, especially because I have bony wrists and ankles, luckily she rarely draws blood.
 

Aussie Willy

Hates both vegemite and peanut butter
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24,853
My cat seems to take out her aggression on me. I do everything right (according to the internet), and she constantly gnaws on my hands, feet, and sometimes jumps up at my face (the latter especially if I'm lying down in hopes of taking a nap). It's not petting or play aggression... she'll just walk into the room and launch herself at me. I've tried redirecting her to toys, rewarding positive behaviour, putting her in time out, removing myself to another room, spraying her, blowing on her... nothing works. She's still pretty young (less than a year) so I'm hoping she'll grow out of it, but in the meantime it's frustrating as hell. And while painful, especially because I have bony wrists and ankles, luckily she rarely draws blood.
I hope you have a TikTok account and post the clips :) What kind of kitty is she?

She is probably still being a kitten and thinks you are one massive play toy. My black kitty does a bitey thing at my hands. I just let her do it and she immediately stops because I think she has got it out of her system.

Maybe just play with her to the point of exhaustion.
 

sk8pics

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Playing until the point of exhaustion might help with bad behavior. What I’ve done in the past has been to deny the cat something it wanted if it was acting out. Three of my five cats learned very quickly that if they wanted to sit on my lap, they couldn’t bit me or chew on me. They desperately wanted to sit on my lap, so they all stopped biting; if they didn’t, I pushed them off my lap.

Bradley has learned that, too, though not quite as well as my previous cats. But he has very few teeth left, so it’s not as much of an issue. :lol:

Or maybe try to get on My Cat from Hell! They’ve had cases similar to yours @screech.
 

screech

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My little girl is a black haired domestic shorthair as far as I can tell. And unfortunately I can't play with her to the point of exhaustion, as we recently discovered she has a heart issue which leads to her panting after a few minutes of heavy play (some blood will regurgitate back into her heart instead of pumping properly). :wuzrobbed
From what I read online this is likely just a kitten thing, and should taper off as she nears 1 year old, but it's really annoying. And like I said, nothing works. But then, she's an oddball in that no tried and tested things work on her (she doesn't mind the deterrent scents, doesn't mind walking on double sided tape if it's on the counters, loves tin foil, and will try to eat lemons if I put them on my plate to try to deter her from my food).
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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I had a different incident yesterday. My cat is very shy and Saturday I had family over and she hid. She emerged and stayed on my lap after they left. Sunday was a normal day but when I was in the bathroom she came over to towel on the floor, pawed it and then peed on it. I have no idea why this happened. Her litter box is clean.
Cat toiletting issues are more often than not a stress reaction, but it can be extremely difficult to figure out the reason (I say this from experience). The state of the litter tray seems to have very little to do with anything. If it continues it would be worth going to the vet to rule out something like cystitis, so at least you know whether or not there's a physical reason.
 

screech

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@screech Maybe try some catnip? Maybe it will make her zone out a bit….
I haven't been giving her any yet, since I know it's generally not that effective on kittens under 6 months, and just haven't gotten around to getting some since. Some of her toys have catnip infused, but I don't have any edible catnip. I'm hoping to create a cat-friendly planter for her to nibble on, ideally with some catnip, cat grass, and some safe herbs like rosemary and thyme.
 

Aussie Willy

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My little girl is a black haired domestic shorthair as far as I can tell. And unfortunately I can't play with her to the point of exhaustion, as we recently discovered she has a heart issue which leads to her panting after a few minutes of heavy play (some blood will regurgitate back into her heart instead of pumping properly). :wuzrobbed
From what I read online this is likely just a kitten thing, and should taper off as she nears 1 year old, but it's really annoying. And like I said, nothing works. But then, she's an oddball in that no tried and tested things work on her (she doesn't mind the deterrent scents, doesn't mind walking on double sided tape if it's on the counters, loves tin foil, and will try to eat lemons if I put them on my plate to try to deter her from my food).
Awww poor kitty.

I agree about looking at Jackson Galaxy. He has great cat advice.
 

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