Sudden Cat Aggression in Previously Harmonious Household – Help!

Cat Spraying No More

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We have 5 indoor cats, who have lived together for several years. They are not just tolerant of each other, but all genuinely comfortable/affectionate/playful. All five are spayed/neutered, have their claws, 2 male, three female.

This past week has been stressful for them, because my M-I-L has been staying with us, but they have generally been ok. I came home from work Monday night to find tufts of black fur, urine and feces (apparently expelled during the fight) in our hall, and the two cats involved (black cat and white cat, for reference) yowling at each other in the bedroom. I did not witness the initial fight or know what started it. Our other three cats retreated to the crawlspaces in the basement and would not come out for a day.

We have isolated black cat, who appears to be the victim and needs the security (isolated means either office or bedroom. She sees us regularly and sleeps with us). Once the other cats came up from the basement, they got along fine with white cat, and when we brought them in to visit black cat, they were fine with her too. So this is an issue solely between white cat and black cat.

Last night, white cat wriggled his way into the bedroom, and basically immediately attacked black cat (details are fuzzy, it was 2 am). Repeat of last time- screaming, running, scratching, other cats hiding in basement. Black cat bled a little from a scratch, but is otherwise well.

This is unprecedented behavior in our house and very upsetting to everyone.

Right now I am considering rotating isolation, so black cat is isolated one day and white cat the next. My mother bought us some faux “cat pheromone” spray that is really just dilute essential oils that purport to have a calming influence. I am spraying them everywhere. My M-I-L is leaving today. I will be contacting my vet today. That is all I have in my bag of tricks right now.

If you have experienced anything like this yourself and have strategies for helping the cats reclaim their equilibrium, I would really appreciate hearing them.

One of my cats (male, neutered) has suddenly become violently aggressive against another of my cats (female, spayed). Both cats still interact well with our other three cats, so this seems to be something just between the two of them. I will be consulting my vet, but, assuming there is nothing physically wrong with either cat that may be triggering this (and both cats behave entirely normally when separated from each other), what can be done to heal this rift, which is seriously upsetting our multi-cat household?

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