Redirected aggression between cats case history update

08/12/12 – (for anyone tuning in late and would like to read about this case from the beginning please click here) Updates on “our” redirected aggression case history will continue as necessary.  I began taking notes and following this case closely with the idea that it might help others searching for answers or, lacking those, at least similar experiences.  Like I said initially, we found NOTHING concrete in our research into the subject of redirected aggression in cats.  Yes, we read that a “classic” case of redirected aggression between two formerly friendly cats might take a lot of work and a lot of time.  But nowhere did we find an actual case history that included how VERY MUCH time and how VERY MUCH work.  So, this update and any further updates are necessary to present the whole picture and not just tie up an article in a nice pink bow with a happily-ever-after ending.  Someone else out there is or will be dealing with this.  This is for them.  For those of you following this blog for cute kitten photos, stay tuned – I have LOTS more of those and they will be forthcoming.

Case history continues:  I left off in our saga on day 40 and things looked pretty darn good after a lot work and patience on the part of the clients.  I admit that I heaved a huge sigh of relief and thought: “okay, now we can put THAT behind us.”  And things were relatively normal for a few days in which the cats did fine with no separation necessary.

Day 43 (August 5) – I received two updated videos from the clients.  They had what they called a “blip” last night at which time the screen door was put back up after attempting a time out in the bathroom for the female. This morning the female was coaxed to eat treats with the male.  Later, the female started to get on the client’s lap, spotted the male, had to go “check him out” but then came back to get in the client’s lap, and all seemed well for a while.  The client writes: “Yes, well, she just spent some time in the bathroom and is now confined in the bedroom behind the screen door. The male is sitting here at the edge of the hallway/living room, facing the screen door so she can see him. Now she’s at the end of the bed on the floor and seems to have NO interest in coming out. So, now we wait again. We’ll see what the next step will be.”

Day 44 (August 6) – The cats continue to need separation, so the screen door is back up for as long as necessary.  The cats eat their treats together with signs of affections, but the female is unpredictable and can begin hissing at the sight of the male.  The female is more responsive to vocal checks from the clients which they find is a great benefit since one or both cats do not need to be physically removed from the room.

Day 48 (August 10) – It’s been a holding pattern of unpredictable aggression mixed with times when the cats get along okay which is usually when they are given their treats.

Day 50 (August 12) – A bad fight breaks out between the cats in which blankets are needed to separate them and resulting in minor injuries to the client.  The client reports that their days are constantly full of tension and monitoring.  With good times between the two cats, but about 6 – 7 times a day they go through bad spells which need intervention.  Possibly the good news is that today’s bad episode was the first that reached critical for several weeks.  The screen door is in but they haven’t had to drop back to the closed door yet.

More updates later as things develop.  I continue to remain hopeful that these two cats will be brought back to where they can live in harmony with each other.

UPDATE 9/7/12

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7 responses to “Redirected aggression between cats case history update

  1. Pingback: Redirected Aggression in Cats — a Case History | Mythicbells Persian Cats & Kittens

  2. Wow…I am very rarely at a loss for words. I don’t know what I would do if this ever happened with Phoebe and Zoey. To ‘the clients’: If you are reading this, please know that I’m thinking about you and I really hope that your boy and girl return to living harmoniously ASAP. ❤ Mindy

  3. I echo what Mindy said.

  4. Echo repeated

  5. I follow this saga with close interest and must say my heart goes out to everyone involved. Things like this can easy tear us apart OR make a STRONGER band, it takes a lot and I mean a lot of perspective, patience, respect and unconditional love not to mention trial and errors along the way as cats doesnt come with FAQ´s or global intructions books.
    Understanding and knowing the trigger is A and o for me. May I ask a couple of questions to sort some
    of the Q out? Is the female neutered or on pills? Inside rang? Did notice that the first Saga episode
    happended within a phase of Blue Moon (2 full moon) last Blue Moon was in Sept 2009. I also wonder if the cat may been bitten by something, thinking it was the male cat. How is her vision and hearing? I remember Nugget didnt like doing her business on the floor and Molly invented a smart
    highplaced more secure place for here. Do the female need a place like that? To eat, sleep, or potty not to be disturbed? This saga recalled a tuff period and No, adoption wasnt an option, patience and adjusting their revir limiting the trigger solved our case. With hope again/

    • Yes, both animals are spay/neutered and have been vet-checked for any physical problems. beautyofsweden this is classic redirected aggression as I understand it. Of course I am not a professional animal behaviorist. In redirected aggression the trigger is often irrelevant in the long run of recovery if it’s an an event that is never repeated. Of course most literature states that an outside (stray) cat or something of that nature could be an issue in which case you might be able to control a trigger that keeps the aggression going. We don’t believe that is the case here. These cats are indoor only. I’ll need to do another update soon. Progress has been slower than us humans might like, but it’s still continued in a positive direction and the two cats are far beyond where they started with the precipitating incident. I have not had any recent reports since the last update. I’m hoping this is good news 😀

      Oh, BTW, the high place for Nugget worked for a while — LOL. I still soldier on trying to solve her issues and also issues with Sequoia who sprays as well. Both girls are spayed and are more nervous and high strung than the other cats. I’ve read just about everything I can find on the issue and continue to search for answers. I’ve tried Nugget on Prozac and off then on again and still can’t make up my mind if it helps and if so, how much. Understanding cats is a constant and never ending quest.

  6. Pingback: Re-directed aggression between cats case history update II | Mythicbells Persian Cats & Kittens

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