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I want to thank you all for answering the "food thief" question. So now I own 2 cats; my older cat, Beaudie (medium maine coon with 3 legs), very sweet and very docile, and Lily-Rose, a 4 year old Tuxxie (I did still want a slightly older cat). She came from a home with 4 other cats, male and female and apparently was bullied by one of the boys, so now she fights back. Lily is a very sweet and smart little girl, and I plan to keep her as she is sweet to me, but again, aggressive to my boy. I hope this will pass, but I see the same problems with her that I saw with other girls I tried to adopt: she eats his food, jumps in his place on the bed, on the couch and is just generally bitchy to him. She is a good girl in manys ways and very independent. Again, my boy just wants to cuddle and be friends; but he is showing signs of aggression back at her, which is not his character at all. I'm afraid they'll hurt each other in a cat spat. Lily's been been with us for about a week now, and I know she probably needs more time. But is there anything I can do to help the situation along? I've used calming sprays, collars, hand clapping, stern commands, etc. They seem to work - sometime. Again, any help, suggestions etc., will be GREATLY appreciated!

Here's a good thing, they both LOVE Celtic, classical and melodious music; that's when they're both calm and settled,so it's on all the time now - however, it's hard to get stuff done around the house when you're in a constant zone - LOL!

  • Related to pets.stackexchange.com/questions/67/… – Derrick K. Jan 25 '15 at 19:32
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    @DerrickK. I don't think this is a discipline problem. Nothing described here should be disciplined out of the female cat, she's eating food and asking for attention. Disciplining her for those actions would be very confusing and upsetting! – Zaralynda Jan 26 '15 at 2:54
  • Do you meal feed or free feed? – Zaralynda Jan 26 '15 at 2:56
  • Thanks for getting back to me; actually the new cat is no longer with us (sadly) as she turned out to be an Alpha female and had to go back to the shelter. I hope they find a great home for her, she's a cool little kitty! – Beverly Cooper Jan 28 '15 at 16:18
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Basically you need to monitor the cats feeding, so not leaving food down all the time. introduce set feeding times, they usually recommend twice a day as a minimum, but more is recommended as they like to graze. (water always available)

As you are there you can monitor what food the cat eats.

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  • Thanks for getting back to me; actually the new cat is no longer with us (sadly) as she turned out to be an Alpha female and had to go back to the shelter. I hope they find a great home for her, she's a cool little kitty! – Beverly Cooper Jan 28 '15 at 16:17
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For the food issue, if you have the budget for it, you could get a bowl with a magnetic lock - I can verify from experience that it will only open for the cat who has the correct key. You will have to teach your boy that his food is in that bowl, but once he gets it, he should be fine (it will help to position his food further away from hers).

Two bowls are essential. Even if you free-feed, I suggest also feeding a special treat at a set time, and giving the more aggressive cat her bowl first. While she's eating, you give your docile boy his food. You'll want to place the bowls more than a cat's body-length apart, or the aggressive one could try to block the second bowl with her body.

At a guess, your new cat is quite insecure. She's not sure of your affection and sees your other cat as a rival who could push her out. Some tactics I've used with success here include sitting somewhere that has room for both cats, and petting both at the same time (one on either side of me). If the new cat tries to push the other cat away, remove her and continue to pet the other cat for a short time. She should quickly realize she gets more - and better - attention if she's not trying to push the other cat out of the way (be prepared for some "interesting" times until she gets the idea).

I've also taken turns with cats, petting one for a while, then changing to the other cat - and if the cat I'm not petting tries to butt in, ignoring it. They do eventually get the message that they're both wanted and loved, but it can take a while, particularly if one is insecure. Our last rescue needed a year or so before it really sank in that he wasn't going to be taken back.

If you can, see if you can get the cat's ownership history. If she's been abandoned or had a few failed adoption attempts, she's going to take longer to adjust.

Good luck.

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    Remember that rescues may not have been getting food as reliably as most pets. They may feel that they need to stuff themselves now because there might not be another chance any time soon. That will fade as they learn that you can be trusted to feed them. – keshlam Jan 26 '15 at 13:35
  • @keshlam - Good point - I completely forgot about that issue with our rescue! He used to scavenge for anything that resembled food: now he trusts that he will get fed – Kate Paulk Jan 26 '15 at 20:50
  • Thank you and to all the other feline lovers for getting back to me; I'm a long time feline lover myself, so I tried just about everything suggested here. Actually is no longer with us (sadly) as she turned out to be an Alpha female and had to go back to the shelter. She really needs a one cat home with someone who can lavish her with the love she deserves. I hope they find a great home for her, she's a cool little kitty! – Beverly Cooper Jan 28 '15 at 16:21

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