- Bichon Frise
- 5 years ago
- Wedding: May 2012
I have two cats, one male and one female. I adopted them both when they were adults, but they came from two separate homes. I had the female cat first, and a few months later got the male cat. They only took a couple days to get used to each other, and then they got along really well. I didn’t have any problems with either of them for the two years that I had them.
A few months ago, my husband and I moved to a townhouse from the two bedroom condo we were living in before. We also, around that time, switched the cats to an all wet food diet after my male cat started getting blocked and had trouble peeing. The male cat adjusted well to the changes, but I think the female cat was having trouble. I thought she seemed okay, but I started noticing she was eating less and less. I tried offering her different foods, even dry food, but eventually she got to the point where she stopped eating. We took her to the vet and found out that because of her anorexia, she had hepatic lipidosis, which is a liver disease caused by an excess of fat in the liver. A cat’s liver has the ability to repair itself in this situation if she is force fed food for several weeks. We had to have a feeding tube inserted and then kept her in a separate room while she was recovering. We didn’t want the male cat or our dog bothering her, since she was so sick and weak. She could barely move for a couple weeks.
After about 3 weeks, she started improving and seemed like she was ready to come out of her recovery room. We let her out, but to our surprise, the male cat hissed and growled at her! He even walked up and and tried to attack her! I read that he might not recognize her, since he hadn’t seen her in weeks and her smell might be different after being hospitalized and treated for her liver disease. I tried to re-introduce them slowly to each other. I let the male cat smell her blankets and cat bed for a couple days, and then I let them see each other through a pet gate without touching. After a few days, I let her out into the rest of the house, and although the male cat wasn’t as aggressive, he was still hissing and growling at her. He didn’t attack her while my husband and I were watching, but the minute I would leave the room, I heard them start fighting.
I’ve tried Feliway plug-ins in the home to help calm the male cat. I’ve tried feeding them in separate rooms, so there isn’t food aggression. I’ve tried playing with both cats to tire them out, so they won’t have the energy to fight. Nothing seems to work! Whenever I go out and can’t supervise the cats, I have to put the female cat in her recovery room, because I’m afraid the male cat will hurt her. She is starting to hate being locked in there and is scratching at the door and carpet causing damage.
I really don’t want to re-home one of my cats, since I love them both so much. I really don’t understand how they could be friends for two years, and now the male cat can’t walk by without hissing and trying to swat at her. Does anyone have advice on what to do?