We adopted Tabby sisters early this year, and they are now both a year and a half old. They are both spayed. Lately Sheena, the larger cat, has taken to bullying the smaller built cat, Zoey. Sometimes they will fight, and Zoey will cry out in pain from being hurt. I read some things online about sibling rivalry and tried giving them separate eating and water dishes, and we got a second litter box. It seems that Sheena is using both litter boxes. When I feed them wet food in the morning, Sheena will actually leave half of hers uneaten to hurry over and take Zoey's food. Zoey is always looking over her shoulder when eating. I tried putting her in a separate room with the door shut and she ate, but when I let her out, Sheena started bullying and attacking her. They also fight on my bed, since they both like to sleep on it at night. I applied a Pheromone spray on the blanket and that seems to help at night, at least. There is a tall cat condo in the living room and a good scratching post in the dining room. They also have two cardboard scratching posts and one more stand up post upstairs.

I am at my wits' end about the fighting; I can't stand to see an animal getting hurt. Any suggestions?

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    Some cats like to use one box for urinating and a different one for defecating, so you might try to increase the amount of boxes, as there could be a resource conflict there. In general, it is a lot less potential for conflict if you have more of the important resources than cats, e.g. with two cats, get at least three litter boxes, have at least three good spots to nap with their favorite bedding, etc. Also a good idea to spread the litter boxes, in order to avoid creating a single spot where one cat can sit guard to ambush the other.
    – bgse
    Dec 10, 2020 at 0:47
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    Thanks, bgse! I have placed a third litter box in my little office, behind a bookcase. I'll see if that helps! I also tried feeding them in the same room where I can keep an eye on them. Dec 11, 2020 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


This is only a partial answer, but I'm facing a similar problem. One of my 2 cats is very sensitive and shy and needs a calm environment to relax, the other is much more adventurous and confident and seems to have fun bullying the sensitive cat.

My personal solution is to enforce divided territories for them. The sensitive cat needs a safe place where she can relax and not watch her own back constantly, so she is the only cat allowed into my room (I keep my door shut because of that). She is also allowed into all the other rooms, but she's the only cat allowed into my room.

The confident cat feels safe everywhere, so she has no particular reason to go into my room. I don't even allow her in there when the sensitive cat is not inside, because her scent alone would make the sensitive one feel on edge.

In the past, when I didn't keep them at least partially separated like that, the sensitive cat was always avoiding the confident one. Cat A comes into the room, cat B stands up and moves into a different room. Cat A sees her walking away and follows her, which prompted Cat B to flee again. She couldn't relax and even became lethargic, which makes me suspect she had a depression or something like that. Now she has a safe room where she can relax without being confined (she still spends time in all other rooms as well as my room).

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    In case you do not have this already, installing catwalks does tend to help cats with confidence issues by providing alternate routes and highly defensible elevated positions. Depending on how your furniture is arranged, a few simple shelves allowing easy access to cabinets and such might do the trick. Ideally, your cat would be able to cross the room without its feet ever touching the ground, and have 3 or 4 ways to get from a wall to the door on the opposite side.
    – bgse
    Dec 17, 2020 at 1:00

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