Gus Exhibits Aggressive Behavior Toward Sister

A cat may bully his littermate because of an underlying medical condition.

By J. Veronika Kiklevich, DVM | Posted: Fri May 13 00:00:00 PDT 2005

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4. Controlled, slow introductions using food as a distracter or reward and a feline pheromone diffuser or spray may help the situation. Always stop the introduction at the first sign of aggression. A desensitization program will take a long timemonths to a yearso do not try to rush the reintroduction of these two cats. During this period, anxiolytic medications may help.

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Gus Exhibits Aggressive Behavior Toward Sister

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CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

1/31/2013 11:51:22 AM

Judy -- All of your cats are fixed, correct? Your older cat seems to be expressing her dominance overtly. Do they all have places to exhibit their hierarchy such as cat trees or perches? Do they all have separate eating areas and does each have his or her own litterbox? Make sure that there is room and accommodation for them all.

If you'd like to discuss this further with other cat owners, visit our forum at

Judy    Miami, FL

1/30/2013 1:11:11 PM

We have three cats now. First we had a black bombay. She seemed so lonely that we decided to get her a playmate. We ended up bringing two strays from the pound. We waited the appropriate time to join them, partially because the two that came from the pound had the flu. At first, there was the usual hissing and growling and then things started to calm down and they all got along. However, it's been a week now and our Bombay has started to play too rough with one of our strays, to the point that I got home yesterday and found four separate injuries on the stray. Her attitude has become despondent. We don't want to separate them while we are not at home, but we don't want the older female to continue to attack the other female. What else should we do besides making loud noises when we see them wrestling to make them stop.

Kathy    Ventura, CA

3/20/2012 12:41:25 PM

Ellen story is the same as mine. After 6 good years my little female Mimi has become a bully torward her brother Hector who is twice her size. Mimi has always been full of energy, while Hector is a kick-back lover. He cringes when she is near at any time. I've seen only one attack on Hector, so far, and after scolding Mimi, she seems depressed and distant., untill I give her attention. I do give them equal attention. I'll take your advice and separate them, and a good check up at the Vet.

Diane    Casa Grande, AZ

11/24/2011 7:31:50 PM

In the past I have had only one cat at a time but I got two this time to keep them from getting lonely. They got along famously until I started Housesitting. Even after I stopped the male continued to attack the female. Not often, but enough to ruin their original friendship. Once I was gone 3 days to a reunion and came home to a floor full of fur. Never a serious injury but the wailing of the female drives me crazy. She always heads for the food dish after being attacked. I have tried the pheremone plug ins, etc. Everything but meds from the vet. Nothing works. This article makes me want to try again, although it will be difficult keeping them separate.

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