Our 3 Cats Got Along Great for 2 Years Now They are Fighting!

My cat problems started a couple of weeks ago. I have 2 male cats and 1 female cat. I got the older male and female (they are brother and sister) about 4 years ago. I rescued a male kitten about 2 years ago as well.

The first two years were great, no fighting, they even all slept together and cleaned eachother. Unfortunately, my 2 year old kitty was acting like we wasn't feeling well a couple of weeks ago and ever since then, the older male and female have been ganging up on the poor little guy. He's fine other than them picking on him, eating well and no other apparent problems, vet checked him a couple of months ago and everything if fine.

Wondering what would suddenly cause the 2 older cats to gang up on my rescue kitty? The poor guy was so scared last night that he could barely breathe! Please help!

Reply from Liz (Editor): Poor little kitty! This sometimes does happen between cats, usually it will resolve itself but it's really distressing at the time.

You don't say what was wrong with your younger cat. What symptoms did he have? Are you sure he's 100% better? Sometimes, when cats get ill, they'll behave differently, or give off an unusual smell which humans can't detect but other cats can. It's possible that his smell, and / or his behavior frightened the other cats - it was strange to them and they didn't like it - so their reaction was to pick on him.

Normally, when the cat gets better, this behavior will sort itself out. You could try using a Feliway diffuser, which has a calming effect on some cats and is available from good pet stores and online - this can sometimes accelerate the process of getting things back to normal. But if you're in any doubt that the younger cat isn't totally better, I'd suggest getting him checked over by the vet.

If the vet can't find anything wrong and the behavior still continues, you may need to separate the cats and then slowly re-introduce them. I'd suggest putting the younger cat into a room where he's safe, and for a week or so getting a towel, rubbing it on him then rubbing it on the two other cats. If you can, then leave the towel somewhere where they can smell it - e.g. near or on their bed. This will get them used to each other's smell again - and in particular will get the older cats used to the younger cat's smell.

After the week, slowly re-introduce them. If they are all fine together, praise and pet them all, but put the younger cat back in his safe room when you can't supervise them. If they're not OK together, separate them again and give them some more time apart. Carry on using the towel as before, and make sure they all get lots of praise and attention when they're OK with each other. As they get better with each other, you can leave them together for longer periods. Over time, they should start to accept each other again.

I hope this helps and best of luck.

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