Cat Behavior Issues Q & A's


These cat owners are struggling with cat behavior issues and aggression problems. Our community comes together to answer their questions here.

Pugsley's Mean Attitude

Good afternoon. I have two Maine Coon cats one is Princess Watermelon, and Puglsey who is a 4 year old male Maine Coon cat. They are litter mates I have had them for four years.

Recently, like yesterday, Pugsley loves to go out side but it has been raining, so he come back in about an hour, keeps getting on the bed wet I might add, so I dried him off. Then he was sitting on my space of the bed, so I skooched him up a little bit, then he hissed at me and swatted at me!

He did that a couple of months ago, we know he doesn't like any Mumbo Jumbo. We inherited two kittens, and we have a Daschund for one year now. But I haven't seen that before. What could be wrong with him?

Laurielle Cuthbertson

Reply:
Hi Laurielle,

I think Pugsey's okay. Aggression in cats can be concerning for sure, and if it continues you would want to look for the root of the problem, for everyone's safety and for his happiness!

Since it happened just yesterday, and it coincided with Pugsley's not being able to go outside as usual, it's safe to say he was just feeling ugly about that.

Cats are funny. They don't 'like' or 'dislike' people, as in having feelings of hatred but they have definite preferences. And they get agitated sometimes. They feel stress.

Pugsly was probably mad because he wanted to be outdoors! Grumpy, even.

Let me know if it persists, though. Then we'd want to look closer.

Hope the sun comes out for Pugsley,
~Carrie

Comments:

Reply To Pugsley's Mean Attitude
by: Laurielle Cuthbertson

Good morning Carrie, you don't think somethings wrong with Pugsley do you? I will do what you say, keep a close eye on things. I brush his coat, and teeth when he allows it, atleast once a week, should I be doing the teeth alot more? What are things I should look for?

Maybe I am worrying, but I want to get a physical on my older cats and then my kittens.

Thank you for your reply.

Respecfully,
Laurielle Cuthbertson

Cause for Concern
by: Maine Coon Cat Nation

Hi Laurielle,
If you are still concerned about Pugsley, absolutely take him for a vet check, I agree! If all the pets are due for a check up it will be a perfect opportunity to talk with your vet about it.

If it's really out of character for him, then something could be bothering him. It could be important, but it could have been as simple as his fur getting pulled or a leg being stretched a little when you slid him over.

The reason I wasn't too concerned is because based on your first question: he hissed and swatted at you once, on a rainy day, when you moved him on the bed. (and he had done it once before in the past) But, you know him better than anyone. If you feel you'd like a vet check, then go with that instinct.

Things to look for would include a continued bad attitude. More hissing and swatting, at you or other pets. Decreased appetite and lower level of activity are also signs of trouble.

Hope this helps,
Carrie




Getting my first cat to accept my new Maine Coon

by: Sandy
(Raleigh, NC)

recently took a 4 yr old female Maine Coon from a friend of could no longer care for her. But my 2 yr old male cat is afraid of her and she is aggressive towards him.

This is making for an unhappy household. I don't know what to do. My house isn't set up well for keeping them apart and I hate locking either one up all the time. I'm about to give her away because I love my male cat and he was here first! HELP!!

Reply:
Hi Sandy,

Sounds like you are at your wits end! You've done such a good thing by taking in this cat, and it's not turning out the way you must have expected. Poor kitties are confused, too. I hope I can help!

It sounds like your new girl is experiencing some stress and anxiety. It's sometimes called "territorial aggression". She doesn't know what to do with herself in this new place with new people and a new cat.

Here is what I would recommend:

A "start over" period, where your girl is confined to her own room and your boy has run of the house. He needs to get back to "status quo" and she will benefit from the security of her own space.

Keep it this way until both cats seem totally comfortable. (she should purr easily for you, and just seem happy to see you and have a visit) She'll need her own litter box & food/water dishes in this room.

During this time, you could try switching their bedding so the cats get used to each others scents. Also, here are a few natural, herbal products designed to help calm cats and reduce aggression you may want to look into: herbal remedies for cat aggression

Alternatively, you could try a plug-in diffuser. This plug-in diffuser, called Nutri-Vet Pet-Ease Calming Mist & Diffuser, uses natural herbal essential oils to reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.

Another one on the market is called Feliway. It uses chemicals to mimic cat pheromones to help calm them.

Then, when some time has passed, maybe they could just see each other. Look for signs of stress. Keep it brief, make sure they don?t have contact, and maybe give a treat.

Keep going with this so slowly! You could maybe put a child gate in the doorway, let them see each other, have a treat, and be done for the day. Work your way up to having them in the same room for treats or some special canned food. Have the girl on a harness, if you can.

The reason is that if there is any hissing or attack, it'll set back their progress.

***Your key will be for her to remember her time with him fondly. So she'll associate him with treats, good food, etc. That's key.***

This is something you might need a partner for, and you might only do for a few minutes a day for a while. Then maybe twice a day, then off-harness.

It might take a very long time. And they may never be friends. Hopefully she can relax and feel at home soon!

Comments:

Making Friends
by: Anonymous

I've had cats that didn't get along. That all would change when feeding time came. After they realize that they're going to be together, they'll slowly accept the idea.




Aggressive Maine Coon; Male

by: Sue
(Romeo, Michigan)

We took in an abandoned Maine Coon; had him neutered and shots; brought him home to a home with three other male cats.

They weren't happy, but accepted him. The Maine Coon stayed away from them while he got used to his new surroundings. Everything seemed fine; for 8 months. Last week we had to have the Vet shave him due to mats.

He was anesthetized and also x-rayed to check out his hips. It was just an in and out visit. But since then, he has become aggressive to all the cats and attacks them constantly. One of the cats more than the other two.

We aren't sure how old he is. Maybe 3? He has never attacked before. He is playful now and seems to love his new cut. But our 6 year old other male has been under the bed for 8 days now.

Every time he comes out, if the Maine Coon sees him he attacks him and it is really bad. Fur flies everywhere. The Maine Coon also attacks the other two cats, but they run from him and we tell him NO, and it usually ends. But not so with the other cat.

The Maine Coon stalks and looks for the one until he locates him, there seems to be no stopping him. Last night it was really bad. No one can rest while the Coon is awake. We have to be on guard for the others to be safe. The Maine Coon seems to be like the others I have read about.

How do we stop him from terrorizing and hurting our other cats?

Why is this happening now after 8 months?

Could he be messed up from the anesthesia or the rabies shot?

My husband brought him to our family and we love the Coon very much, but the other cats lives have changed so much in the past eight days.

We are afraid we may have to put the Coon down. Can anyone help us?

Reply:
Hi Sue,

I'm so sorry to hear of your frustrations. Cat aggression is never fun to deal with.

So, it sounds like he was fine before his shave. He had integrated with the family and everything was going along well, although he wasn't ready to be touched much.

I would guess that this behavior directly relates to his recent experience at the vet, and being shaved.

It's also possible that even if he seems to be strutting his new cut, he may feel insecure. That would explain why he might go after your biggest cat. He might feel he needs to attack before he gets attacked. Just a thought.

I would recommend a re-introduction, as outlined in the submission below, titled Getting my first cat to accept my new Maine Coon.

Comments:

Mine has always been aggressive...
by: Lee Anne

My coon is almost 2-1/2 now. When he was a kitten, he got along with the other four cats, but as soon as he got bigger than them, he started terrorizing them. It seems to be a game he plays, as there are times when he will sleep two feet away from one with no interest in attacking. But much of the time, especially when he's found up, he'll chase the others throughout the house.

He ignores voice commands, too, despite us trying to train him.

What's a mother to do?

Agression
by: Missys mom

If you figure out how to calm him down let me know. Missy-sweetie pie, seems to be more calm when we feed her all by herself in her own bowl. She will knock the snot out of any of the other cats and kittens if they come near. So I recently discovered she likes catnip and she seems to allow the others presence as long as she is under the influence. Maybe she will change, hahahaha she's a coone

Sudden aggression
Our Maine Coon, Sweetie (Female), has been with us for 3 years and is probably 4 years old, ro close to it. She has always gotten along with the other 3 cats, until today.

This morning she was attacking our oldest & youngest ones, for no apparent reason. I came here hoping for answers, too.

Aggressive Maine Coon; Male
by: Sue from Romeo, MI.

We have begun using a spray water bottle on our Maine Coon when he starts to stalk our one other cat (the 30lb. one). He doesn't like it, and we tell him a firm NO at the same time. We keep the sprayer right with us and carry it around as we patrol the house. We spray him as he is doing whatever it is that we don't want him to do.

If we don't have the sprayer with us we only firmly tell him NO; we don't go get the sprayer and hunt him down. The cat he has been intimidating has been a little better the past two days. Nothing else seemed to work on the Coon.

He is just the sweetest looking, and innocent looking and over the last eight months has become gentler with us; it is hard to believe when we look at him, that at times he can be so evil. So far the sprayer has been a live saver.

He runs when we give him a squirt but he doesn't seem to get mad and hold a grudge. He comes back to be petted or jump in the chair with us or right by us. If you are experiencing this kind of problem, please don't get physical with these Coon's. They almost all have bad hips and are already experiencing pain due to that or arthritis.

We knew he was limping and probably had something wrong with his hip. But when we took him to the Vet for his shave, we had them do the x-ray and found out about the hips. Thank you all for helping. I'll up date you about the progress of the attacks. But for now, the sprayer is working; just a pump or two and he's off running.

Will have to try again
by: Lee Anne

We used the sprayer when he was a kitten, then heard that Coons like water, so hadn't used it since. 'Will have to try that again. Thanks!

Female Maine Coon attacking smaller cat
I have a female Maine Coon who stalks my other smaller cat. The other cat was here first and didn't really like the Maine Coon. I actually have 3 Maine Coons and they all came at the same time.

There seems to be a power struggle between these two only, but the little cat won't fight back she just hisses and runs. The Maine Coon will hide and jump on her from behind. She actually left a claw in the forehead of the little cat once. I use the sprayer and tell her no, but this has been going on for a year.

She will run when she sees the sprayer and she knows we get upset with her when she attacks but she just comes back to us "talking" like she's sorry. My little cat lives in fear of this bully, any suggestions for help??

She is really a very sweet cat when she's not attacking, and she doesn't bother the other two MCs. I'm certainly not going to rehome her or have her put down, I would just like to stop her from attacking this little cat.




Jealousy

by: Jessy
(Orlando, FL)

That old green-eyed monster. When I read the descriptions on PetFinder, I'm astonished at the cats who love other cats, dogs and people.

Now, if you were talking about my Samoyed dog, I'd believe it. He really does love everybody, including the cats, and is hurt that, with one exception, they don't love him back.

Adding another cat to the household, that's another matter. Even if you follow the introduce-them-bit-by-bit routine, that's no guarantee of a good outcome. Jealousy is still likely to enter the picture.

It started with Meouch (Meouch the Grouch), who really wanted to be the only cat, a fact I didn't know in advance. Mu'izza (Izzy) came next, a kitten who simply refused to be disliked. She curled up to sleep next to Meouch and ignored all signs that she was not welcome. Who, cute little me? You can't mean it!

Fufluns (Foofly) came next and was always low kitty on the totem pole, along with my daughter's cat Moolimoot. So she was mostly attached to me.

They would form temporary alliances, such as Izzy and Mooli surrounding the cat door so that Meouch couldn't get in; and all four of them against a half-dead snake they'd hauled in through the cat door. Onto my living-room floor.

Meouch, Mooli, and Izzy are all gone now and there are only two left: Foofly and my daughter's Siamese mix. I can see that Foofly is lonely, and the Siamese has been making approaches of friendship, but she isn't having any of it. She's 12 and he's a year and some. Generation gap? Also, I caught him swatting at her plumy tail. It was too tempting.

I've started to look for a new cat and am not sure how the two resident kitties will react. Ideally, a cat with the unflappable character of a Maine Coon, who with good luck can befriend at least one of the two, if not both.

Because she seemed to miss Izzy so much, I'm been extra-attentive to Foofly, which may have been a mistake. She may react all the more jealously if a new cat joins the household.

Whaddya think, a kitten or an older cat?

Reply:
Hi Jessy,

Well, I don't know if there is a right decision, kitten or older cat.

Foofly is older and would perhaps appreciate a more mature cat who will hang out with her and not pounce on her.

On the other hand, it sounds like the Siamese mix is really itching for a playmate. If he's been trying to make friends with Foofly and she's not interested, I'm not sure if she would be more welcoming to freindship from another.

I think a safer bet would be to get a younger (perhaps 2-3 range) friend for them and see who bonds with who. I think your boy needs a playmate, and Foofly, at over 12, is pretty set in her ways.

That's my 2 cents! But, any cat you choose will obviously be getting a wonderful home!
~Carrie

Comments:

That's funny!
by: Jessy

I was thinking along the same lines and I've just heard of a rescue Maine Coon (probably a mix) aged about 1-3 years old. Could be at least a companion for the Siamese, who has touched me by his unappreciated efforts to make friends with Foofly. With good luck, even willing to be buddies with the Sammy. As well as brighten everyone's life.


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