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Cat behavior problem.

Species: Cat
Breed: don't know
Age: 2-5 years
We got a 13 year old girl recently (just months ago, not even a year). And we have a 3 year old girl named Po that we have had since she was months old. She has always been mean to the new cat and has always bullied her too, but it isn't that Po is just mean because we also have a 9 year old male and they cuddle and lick each other. At first we thought she would quit bullying after she got used to the new cat, but it has just gotten worse. Po will actually go and seek out the 13 year old where ever she is hiding just so she can attack her. We put the 9 year old and Po in the basement during the night and leave the 13 year old up stairs so they don't fight during the night. We have tried just leaving them alone to sort it out themselves and we have tried separating them. No luck. Our 13 year old cat is living in fear and is too scared to come out of hiding most of the time. I'm affraid they just can't live together, but if there is anything that could help, please tell. Why do you think Po is so insistent on being horribly mean to our 13 year old, and is there anything we can do to help stop the bullying and attacking?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

It can often be difficult to have more than one cat living in a house. While some cats love to have kitty roommates many do not. Having more than one cat is the number one source of stress in cats.

You may want to look into a product called Feliway which you can get as either a plugin or a spray. Feliway releases pheromones into the air that help cats to feel less stress. There are some good research studies behind it to show that it can be effective.

Here are some other things you can do to help to cut down the bullying:


  • Make sure each cat has a "safe space". You can get a Kitty Condo, or even several things like this to act as a place of refuge where a cat can hide away.

  • Spend lots of time grooming and giving individual attention to each cat.

  • Keep all cats' nails trimmed short to minimize the chance of injury.

  • Have litter boxes available in several places so that one of the less bold cats can always have access to one without having to go past the bully.



You may want to also consider talking to your vet about using behavioral modifying medication such as amitryptiline. Sometimes we will use this on the aggressive cat for a few months and then wean off of it once the behavior gets better.

I hope things are better soon.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.