We have a 9 year old female cat that has been hitting spitting and very verbal towards our 4 (almost 5) year-old Male cat. Both have been neutered so they can’t breed.

We have had Willow since he was old enough to leave his Mum.

Tinkerbell (our female cat) took a few days to accept him but then mothered him (Tinkerbell hasn’t had kittens) and told him off if he was being to naughty.

I can’t figure out what’s causing her to be like this for the past few weeks. I don’t know what to do to help. Willow can just be walking past her and she will go for him! He could even be fast asleep and she will hiss, spit and hit him!

It’s starting to affect Willow. He’s always been a jumpy cat, scared of his own shadow. Now though he’s even more jumpy and has been licking and pulling his fur out.

To take Tinkerbell to the vets is very stressful for her (to the point that she starts foaming at the mouth).

Can anyone advise me on what’s going on and how to help stop this.

  • You write that Tinkerbell nursed / mothered Willow. Was this 4 years ago or recently? (And could you please correct your grammar and punctuation? Your question is hard to understand) – YElm Aug 9 at 6:21
  • Another user edited your question, but the edit has to be approved to take effect. Maybe you can look at the "share, edit, close" controls and approve the edits? I'm not entirely sure where you (as the author) can approve the edits... – YElm Aug 10 at 11:43
  • I have dyslexia so my grammar isn’t perfect, it’s something I have been working on for years 🤦🏻‍♀️ So sorry. I will try better this time. Anyway yes she has mothered him for 4 years, it did take her awhile to get use to him but once she did they where fine. If he’s been naughty she will tell him off. Now tho she is always hissing and hitting him. He does wind her up sometimes by trying to jump out on her but they have played that game since he was a kitten, as he’s younger than her and bigger she sometimes gets peed off with him and will tell him. I will go back and fix my original message – Lady B Aug 10 at 11:45
  • It only say share delete flag, I can’t find the edit to approve the edit that someone kindly has done for me – Lady B Aug 10 at 11:50

Here are some good resources to read about cat behavior:

The first article states:

Male cats are often involved in inter-cat aggression, which most often occurs when a cat reaches social maturity between two and four years of age. Although this type of aggression is usually seen in males competing for mates, it can occur between cats of any sex when territorial conflicts occur.

So one possible reason is that the younger cat is now mature, produces pheromones and the female cat doesn't like an adult male around. This is further confirmed by the last article in the list:

Feral cats (cats which live without help from man) can and will form small colonies based around available food sources. [...] Male cats are not commonly part of the small colonies

Another possible reason is that the female decided the male sleeps in her territory, so she chases him away.

Cats are by nature territorial, even if the territory extends no further than the end of your couch. [...] Or, establish new separate “cat spaces” in your home. Set up a decorative panel screen in the corner of a room, or reposition your furniture to break up a large space, carving out more smaller “territories” for your cats.

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