Things have not been all that sunny here since we adopted our second cat Gmork. He is a sweetheart and gives the best cuddles, but he is also very aggressive.
When we brought him home, we knew that it would be a transition for him and our other cat Ariel, who we had adopted a few months prior. She was older than your typical shelter cat — about 3-and-a-half years — while Gmork was still a 3-month-old kitten. We did our research beforehand and got a neutered kitten, as opposed to an older cat, as well as a cat of the opposite gender. We also did our best to choose one that we thought would have a good energy-level for Ariel and followed the advice for how to slowly introduce the second cat to the resident cat. We wanted Ariel to have a playmate since she seemed withdrawn and bored without a friend. Cats are better in pairs after all.
It’s been almost 6 months since Gmork came to live with us and things have not gone well between the two cats, despite all our early efforts. At first we thought Gmork was just being a playful kitten and trying to entice Ariel to play, but as the time has gone on, his behavior has gotten more aggressive, and more territorial, and he’s hurting Ariel.
I’ve been around cats all my life, and this is the first cat personality I’ve come across with such aggression, but according to ASPCA it’s the second most common feline behavior problem that animal behaviorists come across. Gmork is not aggressive towards us in any way — he’s respectful and loving, but he is so mean to our other cat. Bringing him into the house has kind of done the opposite of what we’d hoped when we thought another cat would be good for Ariel.
So how is he showing this aggression?
He will go right up to Ariel and make himself look bigger, trying to tower over her. He keeps his ears upright, while Ariel crouches, and stare right at her — making no noise. For more signs of what aggression through offensive posture looks like, check out ASPCA.
Gmork will go up to Ariel from behind and hit her in the backside or go right on top of her and bite her neck. Ariel doesn’t instigate the fight and he seems to do it randomly. He will do this when she is sleeping in an area that she loves, then take it over or sometimes block her from exiting a place where she’s hiding like on the cat tree or in a box.
I’ve been doing some research on how to manage the aggression in Gmork, and I am really just hopeful he will “grow out of it,” although I’m starting to fear that won’t happen. And it’s not fair to wait when it comes to Ariel’s comfort. ASPCA suggests separating the cats again and starting from the beginning:
“Separate your cats in different rooms for several days or weeks, with separate beds, bowls, and litter boxes. This way they can hear and smell each other, but don’t have to interact.“
I think we may be at that point now and I am worried it’s not going to work. I am also worried Gmork is going to start to show some of the same aggressive behavior towards my kids.
:: Do you have any tips on dealing with an aggressive cat? Share in the comments! ::
Photo credits: © Devan McGuinness
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