How Can I Stop Our Male Cat From Beating Up One Of Our Female Cats?

by Debra
(Admington, Warwickshire, England)

We have a 7 year old male neutered cat that gets on ok with one of our recently acquired young female cats but he absolutely hates her sister and will attack her every time he sets eyes on her. What can I do to stop this aggressive cat behavior?

Thank you for any help in this regard.


Reply from Liz (Editor): Often, fortunately, this cat behavior is temporary, and once the cats have established a pecking order it will settle down. It may be that the cat he's taken a dislike to isn't as submissive than her sister, so he sees her as more of a threat which is why he's being aggressive towards her.

You say you've recently acquired the females. It can sometimes take a month or two for the hierarchy to get established and for things to settle down.

Is the female scared of the male when he's attacking her or does she fight back? How serious are the attacks - is he really going for her or is it mostly a show of bravado with a quick swipe? If he's really attacking her and hurting her, I'd suggest you keep them apart when you're not there and only let them together under supervision. If it's just a quick swipe and a lot of noise, I'd be tempted to just let them get on with it - it will sort itself out over time.

A tip to stop him is to have a loaded water pistol handy, and when he does attack the female, squirt a couple of short blasts of water at him. Try to not let him see it's you firing the water - you want him to associate the water with the behavior, rather than with you.

A cat de-stressing product such as a Feliway diffuser may also help to calm him down and help all the cats to get used to each other more quickly.

I think this cat behavior will improve given a bit more time - best of luck.

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