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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:12 pm 
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Hi all, having a few problems with my two boys lately. In the last week or so, Hendrix has become increasingly aggressive towards Jagger, who is starting to retaliate and a huge fight is brewing...

Hendrix has always been the 'alpha' at home. However, outdoors I think he's probably pretty low in the neighbourhood cat hierarchy. He's been beaten up a couple of times and generally jagger will take over any protection of territory disputes with other cats, and though he doesn't fight them, I've watched them roll over and slink away when he is in full confrontational mode. On the other hand, Hendrix will be literally hunted and stalked by one certain cat who appeared in September. To be honest, a lot of this has started since this cat appeared in September and he is really bad for 'hunting' Hendrix even if we are around to protect him.

So I'm guessing some of this is down to Hendrix feeling insecure territorially. This morning, I got up, Hendrix ran into the bedroom, jagger was sat outside in the hall. We came out, and Hendrix launched himself at jagger for no apparent reason. When they went outside, I heard a cat fight, and then they both came flying in, jagger chasing Hendrix. Jagger went straight back out so I think he had a go back at Hendrix and no other cat was involved. Hendrix then didn't go out for the rest of the morning until jagger came in to eat his breakfast. I kept jagger back for a bit but as I left for work I saw jagger chasing Hendrix across the road :sad:

I have a pet cam in the kitchen now so I could keep an eye on things from there and the day seemed to pass without any incident, but tonight has been pretty bad. One incident for example, Hendrix was on the cat tree, playing with the blind cords which meant jagger came in and wanted to play as well. Hendrix immediately started to hiss and growl at jagger and attacked him when he jumped on the cat tree. Jagger jumped down onto the armchair, and Hendrix continued his growling etc and it ended up with them both flying out of the room and I had to break up a fight.

I'm getting feliway tomorrow and I'm praying that will help calm things down a bit. I'm working hard to make sure they only spend positive time together, they have plenty of places /beds to go to away from each other and they 'own'. Any 'bad' interaction I end ASAP and separate them to calm down. The other half is back as of tomorrow to try to keep an eye on things, but he is of the mind that they should fight it out... I'm terrified that this will exacerbate matters and one of them might even leave home.

Sorry for the long email, I'm feeling a bit stressed about it all! I guess this is a problem that can arise with two males, however if anyone has any other ideas as to how to calm things down and have them getting on together again, please let me know!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:44 am 
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I don't really have much advice here, unfortunately. My only experience with males is when we had a handsome, orange, tiger-striped male when I was a teenager living with my parents, and he was an only cat at the time. He was an indoor/outdoor cat (as my parents preferred) and was this strapping, muscular cat who always seemed to get in fights, defending his territory outside :rolleyes:

In my current situation, I have one cat (Serafina) who has without question established her "top cat" status, and is occasionally "grumpy" towards the other two, but the violence is pretty well contained to her occasionally hissing and growling when another cat is encroaching on some place she desires to sleep, and the occasional chasing of Neytiri (who smartly either finds an escape route or "plays dead" both of which are equally effective).

One thing I can offer though is don't do the "let them duke it out" thingy. That would be extremely bad. Yes, it may be that one of them asserts their dominance and the other has to yield to the "top cat", that may be inevitable and necessary, but it doesn't (and shouldn't) need to come to bloodshed. I think your ideas of feliway and trying to minimize the negative interactions are good ones. My guess is that in the short-term you'll have to shoot for an uncomfortable but peaceful co-existance, and hope (and try to help) them improve their relationship slowly over time. Is there sufficient vertical space, and "cat super highways" for the two of them to co-exist without competing and running into each other?

Good luck, I'll be watching this with interest.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:54 am 
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Thanks Brian, its reassuring that you think I'm doing the right things. I've just been reading back through my posts on Hendrix's behaviour and it all started back in August which is roughly when I started to see the new cat around. Then he got beaten up quite badly towards the end of September and my impression is that because he isn't dominant outside, he brings this frustration indoors and takes it out on Jagger. Jagger has always been happy to allow him to be the 'alpha' as to be honest, Jagger could easily be the alpha as he is a heavier and stronger cat and when Hendrix takes things too far and retaliates, Hendrix runs. Which I think is why he has been beaten up a couple of times outside as I regularly have to go out and rescue him.

I also think his territory is shrinking where he is losing confidence outside and he barely went out last night or this morning. When Jagger came in for some breakfast he walked off in the opposite direction and sat looking out of the patio doors. To be honest though, as uneasy truce would be a huge improvement right now! It is such a shame we could be reduced to this though as they have always been so close previously.

I don't think it helped that I had to keep them in last Thursday during the day due to a new drive being laid next door and someone else along the road moving. Hendrix had already trodden through a load of concrete so it seemed best to keep them in and out of trouble but there were a few things knocked over when I got home so they'd obviously been chasing each other and fighting.

They have as much vertical space as I am able to provide, the other half isn't keen on any more cat trees or catification. But generally, Jagger owns the top of the wardrobe and he goes there in the morning when he comes in for a nap. He will then move to the back of the sofa in the living room in the afternoon and Hendrix will either sleep on the cushion on the coffee table in the living room, or the armchair. He also pretty much owns the snuggle beds in the dining room as Jagger only uses those when it is really cold. And they both have beds on the counters in the conservatory as well if its sunny. Hendrix will also go to the top of the kitchen units and Jagger has never gone up there - in fact Hendrix retreated up there yesterday morning after their scrap. So they definitely have their own space and in the evenings, generally one or other will be on the footstool where I sit, or the cat tree which is next to me in the evenings.

Like Seraphina, Hendrix can be grumpy and everything tends to depend on his mood! This morning they did have a wrestle, but it was without incident and didn't get out of hand. He also groomed Jagger's head and didn't go for his throat (which he has done recently) which also makes me hopeful all is not lost. I see these as positive things and just hope the Feliway will help keep Hendrix in a good mood and there are no outdoor incidents for a while!

Oh and I need to convince the other half that 'duking it out' is a bad idea - especially as I will be left to pick up the pieces when he goes back to sea in the New Year. He knows my feelings on this though so just hope that whilst he is at home with them for the next two weeks he keeps an eye on things, and stops it if it does start to kick off...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:44 pm 
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Maybe try spending some time interacting with them both equally? I just spent 4 days with my two girls and we all got along great. Then yesterday I went back to work and the weekday routine went back into action. Last night they came in from outside like a stampede and had a big brawl in the dining room. Blondie was hissing and crying out. Grace was being very aggressive, but I know how Blondie can get her going. I broke it up by making a loud noise and they scattered. They all assumed their evening resting positions and settled down. I thought they were past that fighting thing they do, but something triggered it outside. I've noticed they turn into Angels when we spend time together. When left to their own devices they become territorial and animalistic. I would wait and see how it pans out. It could be temporary.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:25 pm 
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Hi Jill,

Jon always says that Jagger must wind up Hendrix, but I watch them closely and I've never seen any evidence of that unless Jagger is playful and Hendrix is feeling superior lol

I've been hoping for sometime it was temporary but its steadily been getting worse and the last week in particular has been pretty bad. Even Jon being home Sunday didn't help and usually when he's home, they are angels but Hendrix continued with his aggression and hissing/growling at Jagger - who simply looks bemused and upset by the whole thing!

I always do my utmost to ensure neither are shown any favouritism of any kind and that they are given equal affection and time, but all I seem to do lately is clap my hands loudly at them and try to get them to stop fighting. I spend every weekend with them and give them both loads of attention, but Hendrix still just hisses at Jagger for no obvious reason. Even if he's been in for a while and Jagger has just come in, minding his own business, Hendrix will go out of his way to stop what he's doing and hiss at him.

I have everything crossed that Jon being home with them over the next two weeks may help and I now have the Feliway to plug in the instant I get home. We are both home over the Christmas and New Year period so I'm hoping to get things back on some sort of even keel before Jon goes away again.

I am staying positive that this can be sorted, even if they just tolerate each other and can co-exist without all this unpleasantness!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:07 pm 
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Clare, you've had your kitties long enough to know their personalities and we have a distinct change in Hendrix. Something has occurred! You just have to figure out what it is. Your cats go outside, which presents a whole new set of scenarios. If there is a cat out there, Hendrix could definitely be feeling inferior and needs to find another cat he can be superior to. You know I don't like to have cats outdoors -- it's just too dangerous! But, trying to keep two outdoor cats indoors can be trying -- and it still is for me 2-1/2 years later. You can try Feliway and see if that helps at all. You're in the UK and don't know if Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences would help at all or if they can be shipped overseas. Know that this behavior should not be permanent and they should eventually get to being best brotherly friends again. In the meantime, you have to monitor their behavior together and separate them when Hendrix goes after Jagger.

I'm wondering if Jagger might have returned from the outdoors with some type of "smell" on him that you can't detect but Hendrix can. You'd think grooming might take that away. There is SOMETHING! You just have to figure it out and pull out your hair in the meantime. This is why I only have ONE cat and no other pets, period!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:34 am 
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Well last night was the worst night so far and that's with Jon home when normally they are as good as gold!

There was an incident outside with the new intruder cat, Jagger was really going for it, in fact I feared for its life. Hendrix was keeping his distance and didn't get involved and just watched. But before that, all must have been well, as Jagger jumped down from a fence to confront it and Hendrix was up there as well.

The cat tree seems a definite source of aggro as it all started there again after they'd come in and eaten. Hendrix was on it and was not letting Jagger on and immediately went for him when he tried. They hurtled off, hissing, snarling and growling until Jon intervened (although he was all for letting them fight it out). He thinks Hendrix is scared of Jagger and attacks him as a form of defence. I'm guessing they were both still wound up after the altercation outside and I'm going to keep them apart for a while to decompress after they first come in tonight. Plus Hendrix has always been the alpha indoors but must watch Jagger outside and see his control slipping away...?

When it calmed down, we got out the Flying Frenzy and they were both immediately in the bedroom trying to get into the wardrobe together where its kept, no sign of fear or aggression on either side. Jon played them until they dropped although Hendrix did monopolise it a bit.

Hendrix eventually got up as he thought he heard something, Jagger got up to investigate with him and got hissed and swatted again but it didn't escalate. Finally, Jagger got on the footstool and Hendrix settled on the cat tree. Phew...

When it got to bed time, Jagger for the first time in ages came in with us and stayed all night - very unusual as generally he will get up about 4am and want everyone else up. But he definitely seemed to want some sort of reassurance/comfort. Hendrix was in his snuggle bed.

Things seemed okay initially first thing today and Hendrix groomed Jagger's head when they greeted each other. But then he hissed at me when I put his collar on and hissed at Jagger when they were by the window waiting for me to open it. He's never hissed at me before! Later he went and curled up with Jon on the bed and seemed okay with me again.

Anyway, I have sprayed the cat tree with Feliway and I have the plug in going as well where Hendrix sleeps at night and during the day as Jagger also sleeps in that vicinity in the afternoon.

Jagger has apparently gone shooting off after the big grey cat this morning who bullied them as kittens and was walking along our fence. He is definitely becoming very territorial and not taking any nonsense from any of the other cats in the area.

I do think this is all a territory thing that unfortunately where they are both pumped up, is being brought indoors but if anyone else has any other interpretations on events I'd gladly hear them as I need to get this sorted sooner rather than later!

I'm at my wits end!!!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:49 am 
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I know your husband does not want another cat tree but if that is a source of aggression at the moment can you 'accidentally' order another one :lol: I mean when you are on the amazon website it is so easy to stuff without realising it!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:57 am 
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Oh yes, don't worry it is in the back of my mind lol The second he sails in the New Year I think my finger might slip and accidently order another one. To be fair, that is what I did last time and he does accept it now and I really like the one on Zooplus, the flower tree, which I think would look really nice in the 'posh' living room.

Mr OCD is currently at home 'tidying' all their toys away which I will get out again tonight :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:28 pm 
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looks like a piece of fine art to me. Really don't know how he could ever object!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:41 pm 
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Tabitha wrote:
I do think this is all a territory thing that unfortunately where they are both pumped up, is being brought indoors but if anyone else has any other interpretations on events I'd gladly hear them as I need to get this sorted sooner rather than later!


Just some random thoughts:

* No doubt that a cat tree is a very important thing for each cat, and contention over that is going to cause problems. I was thinking the same thing about just getting another tree when your husband leaves. Let's think of it differently: how pleased would he be if you managed to resolve this situation between the two cats by the time he returns again? And a second tree might go a long ways towards such a resolution. The proof is in the pudding!

* Is your husband's departure imminent? I ask because if there is a lot of talk about that, and preparations being made for that, cats pick up on that stuff and it does change their behavior. I see that everytime I start preparing for a trip.

* Cats have weird and counter-intuitive responses to weakness and fear (I'm thinking of how the outdoor kitty may be factoring into this). One evening Gaga was sitting on my bed, right next to my laptop and an external hard drive enclosure that had these little holes in it to allow venting. Gaga moved her paw, and managed to get one of her claws into one of those little holes in the hard drive. I saw this, and could see what was about to happen next. So I lunged at Gaga, hoping to dislodge her claw before she noticed that it was caught, and panic. Too late. She discovered that it was caught, and started freaking out, thrashing, screeching, and trying to free her paw. Meanwhile, my peaceful, unassuming little Oriental kitty Neytiri who had never started a fight in her life, suddenly launched herself at Gaga with startling ferocity. In a flash, Gaga freed herself, and sprinted away, followed close on her heels by Neytiri. What followed was a few seconds of a really ferocious beating with Neytiri dishing out all kinds of punishment and Gaga seemingly fighting for her life. It was scary, I've never seen anything like it, and it only lasted a few seconds before I broke it up. There's never been a repeat of that either, and Gaga and Neytiri get along well. So yea, I'm agreeing with you that part of the problem may be that when they are showing weakness or fear towards the other cat, the other may be picking up on that and triggering that fight response.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:15 pm 
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Poor Jon has literally just started his leave which is for two weeks but he will still be around as the ship is in a local port until after the New Year when he leaves UK waters. He is very unimpressed with the chaos he has walked into! He's come home to relax and that is seemingly impossible in the evenings right now. During the day its not too bad, both boys are in and out or sleeping in their respective areas, its when they come into the front room with us in the evenings the battles really start.

At the moment he's been on a month away and then two weeks home rota. When he leaves UK waters, he will be away for two months and then will have one month leave. To be fair, I find it unsettling, you never get used to it, and the boys were kittens last time he was on a ship and then he was shore based for just over a year, so his comings and goings must be quite confusing for them.

But this all escalated in the last couple of weeks as there have been quite a few instances of aggression from Hendrix to Jagger which always seems to revolve around days this other cat that has shown up. And quite a few of these have been on the cat tree.

I have never seen Jagger go for Hendrix unless Hendrix has had a go first. Even when Hendrix was sat outside not knowing what to do about the little cat from down the road on our driveway who really didn't give a hoot that Hendrix was there. All of a sudden, the cat started to back away and Hendrix started to move towards it. However, Jagger then came into view and he was puffed up and in full warrior mode, stalking down the drive towards him. Hendrix got the hump and smacked Jagger one as though to say he had it all under control and you could almost see Jagger shrug as he left Hendrix to it. He didn't retaliate towards Hendrix at all, he came in for something to eat!

I think the additional cat tree is going to be a must really, I will be ordering it immediately in the New Year, if Jon really hates it we can put in the garage whilst he's home and then move it back while he's away again until he comes to terms with it lol Of course like you say, Brian, if it sorts the issue I suspect he will be grudgingly pleased!

I guess Hendrix has sand shifting under his feet now they've reached maturity and Jagger is the one who protects their territory and following his two beatings, he's scared and anxious of other cats.

I just wish Jon wasn't of the 'let them fight it out' mind set as its increasing my stress levels! I don't think Hendrix getting a beating from Jagger will help matters at all and I'm pretty confident it will be Jagger who wins that contest.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:32 pm 
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Oh Clare, I am so sorry you're having to go through this! It sounds to me like this outside TOM cat could be a major issue! I truly wish your kitties didn't go outside. I know Raiden acted completely different when Turkey was around -- the neighbor's cat who was quite aggressive and very alpha. Once they moved out of the neighborhood and took their cat, things have calmed down a lot. And the b/w cat that I feed is no threat to Raiden whatsoever. It really is easier dealing with ONE indoor cat! I don't think I could handle two of them. It's sad that yours picked the time when Jon is home, trying to relax, to start up their differences. If I had two cats, I'd have two cat trees. Raiden is one cat and he has three cat trees -- all different heights. He uses them all.

I wish I could offer more advice, but I don't know what is up with Hendrix. I just know I'd be pulling my hair out at this point.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:31 pm 
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Hi Sherry,

Yes certainly pulling my hair out, but had a better night last night so feeling much more positive today.

There were no incidents outside (hurrah) - I'm guessing the naughty intruder cat decided to take a break from aggravating my boys after the night before!

When I got home Hendrix was hanging around begging for roast beef. When Jagger popped in Jon gave them both some beef but Hendrix kept nicking Jagger's right from under his nose. Fortunately Jagger never gets annoyed about this, I put some in his feeder and all was fine. Jagger came in for the night first and was keen for me to sit down so he could curl up next to my legs on the footstool, then Hendrix also came in and curled up on the cat tree. No fuss at all - lovely.

Jagger did wake up, looked at Hendrix on the cat tree and jumped on to give Hendrix a sniff and was royally hissed at for his efforts so I whipped him off and he went into the hall to play with a ping pong ball. I think he just wanted to play - whereas Jon said he was purposely provoking Hendrix! We decided to get Flying Frenzy out as he clearly wanted to play at which point Hendrix became interested and then proceeded to hog it... Jagger would patiently wait on the armchair until Hendrix allowed him to get involved. I really don't think Hendrix is remotely scared of Jagger as Jon seems to think - there is absolutely no evidence of it, with him stealing his treats from under his nose and hogging the Flying Frenzy!

I will keep going with the Feliway, remove Jagger from Hendrix's vicinity as soon as he is hissed at and distract him with play and keep all the negative interactions to a minimum. If I'm aware of any trouble outside I will definitely do my best to keep them separate for a good hour or so until they are totally calm again and hope that things slowly improve.

Hendrix was on our bed last night - I knew his intention when I saw him sprawled out on the chest of drawers. But right now, I'm happier having one of them in with us so I know they're not fighting. Hopefully it won't become too much of a habit as neither me or Jon are getting a good night's sleep right now - and Hendrix takes up so much room and gradually pushes you over until you are hanging on the edge of the bed :mad:

I think the bottle of red I cracked open helped my stress levels last night too which may have made everything calmer lol

I feel like I have a pair of unruly children!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:54 pm 
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A good night's sleep is so important!!! At least you had a better day and night with them yesterday, which is good! Hopefully, things will start to improve, but I feel once that other outdoor cat is back to his antics with your kitties, things will go back again. Diversion really can help. I know you're at your wits end. It's like having two three year olds duking it out. They really do love each other, but they get into this "fighting" stage. Hopefully, it will end soon for you and Jon can at least enjoy some of his time at home.


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