My 3 Cats Bullying Resident Sweetheart Cat

by Lindsey Kerr
(Coatesville, PA)

Hello Doctor,

Thank you in advance for your time and efforts as I'm a bit lost how to address my cats' unfortunate situation, and I believe I am out of your service area for a house call (in Coatesville).

My father passed away last fall, and I moved myself and my three cats into his house to take care of it. My cats bullied his two cats so badly that we had find a home for at least one of them. We decided to keep the other (Rena is her name) with hopes of changing their bad attitudes-alas, no such luck.

Rena stays in one room on the second floor most of the time, though she'd love to come down and be a part of the family. She comes down at feeding time, but is constantly watching her back. I feel just awful that she lives in fear...

I've done a lot of research, but have a hard time with some of the suggestions as we're dealing with 3 cats as the aggressors...and work long hours.

Any solid advice?

Thank you soo much!

Dear Lindsey,

Is it too late to place your father’s cat Rena with the other cat she had lived with previously in the same new home? Would the new owners of her former cat friend be willing to take her as well? If not, can you find an equally loving home for her?

I’m not usually in favor of taking cats out of their own home, but after having lost your father, her cat friend, and now having to live with all of these new people and cats, she may be better off in a new home. The stress of all of these changes at once, the stress level for this poor cat must be extreme.

There are, of course, other things you can try throughout your home to help reduce the stress on all of your cats. There are some tools to try, such as Feliway pheromone products and using catnip and other treats to make the cats’ time together a rewarding experience, and learning about the importance of your own behavior and reactions to the cats fighting can help as well. For more information on dealing with fighting cats, please see this page regarding fighting cats.

Best wishes,
Dr. Neely

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