Hi everyone, it's the girls' Mommeh here, asking for some serious advice. We have started having some major cat fights here and today it's gotten so bad I don't know what to do.
For 2 years, Attie and Audrey have been the very best of friends. Sisters who share toys, treats, food, blankies, beds, laps, and everything else. Last Sunday, 6 days ago, they suddenly broke out into a knock-down, drag-out, nail-digging, big-biting fight. This was no little tiff with a bout of smacky-paws and then finished. This was a completely unstoppable storm that really frightened me. I was terrified someone was going to be seriously hurt. Tried to get them apart but they were NOT having it. Managed eventually, and put Audrey in the bedroom while Attie hid on top of the cabinets in the kitchen. Eventually Attie came down for some comforting, and Audrey was just stretched out relaxing in the bedroom as if nothing had happened. (She gets over things very easily and then stares at you like you're stupid for ever having been worried, but Attie stays traumatized for quite a while, presumably because of her past with the abuse.) So I let them chill for about 2 hours, gave each some catnip and treats, and waited until all seemed calm. Let Audrey slowly out of the bedroom, but the second they caught sight of each other, BAM, right back at it. Tore them away from each other again, even more difficult than the first time. Well that was it for the night I decided. Audrey stayed in the bedroom because she was totally fine, and I slept out with Attie on the couch to calm her down because she takes a long time to get over being upset. The next morning I woke up early for work to take stock of the situation. I again let Audrey out of the bedroom, and they didn't fight, just sort of ignored each other, and I was scared to leave them alone for the day but I was scheduled to work 14hrs and I felt it was cruel to leave them both locked up alone for all that time, so I just crossed my fingers and prayed a little bit and left, hoping I'd come home to two whole cats. I did, and it seemed to be over. Absolutely cannot figure out what started it, but after that they were totally fine the whole entire week, back to sleeping snuggled up together and everything.
Unfortunately it seemed I was wrong when I assumed it was a one-time issue. Last night, the same fight broke out again, and it seemed even more violent if that's possible. Broke them up and put Audrey in the bedroom again and decided to just keep them apart until morning. Unfortunately Audrey scooted out past my feet when I opened the bedroom door and it happened a second time, and this was even more horrifying because they ended up underneath the very low couch where I couldn't reach them. It just kept going on and on no matter what I tried to stick under there to stop it.
I can't describe how scary these fights were. Horrible screaming and yowling, hissing, spitting, strangling each other, really hard injurious biting, Audrey's claws sinking in… Terrible, just terrible. So I spent half the night on the couch and half in the bedroom so no one would feel i was favoring one over the other. Again this morning they were allowed in the same room again - big mistake. It took about 3 seconds, literally, for the fight to begin again. Audrey came over in an aggressive manner, Attie hissed and growled, and backed away, and then Audrey made the first strike with her huge claws. I will say I'm in quite a bit of pain just now, as I attempted to protect Attie and stop the fight, Audrey's claws sunk into my hand and wrist and I've got several very deep punctures there now. Even more upsetting is that the sacrifice of my own skin didn't stop the fight, and it got worse until I could rip them apart again. So as I type, Audrey is in the bedroom purring in a pile of laundry as if nothing happened, and Attie is shaking and hiding on my lap. She's doing the same thing she does when I take her to the vet and she's terrified, burying her head in the crook of my arm and crying. She always buries her head like an ostrich when she's truly scared.
Although I have not been able to figure out what started the original fight, the point of origin doesn't actually seem to matter anymore, they just are going at it now, regardless. And I can't tell which one is usually the aggressor, they seem to take turns. So having read about it on the CB, I just ordered a Feliway diffuser off Amazon. I wish I could have gone to the store to pick it up right away, but I'm on a very tight budget just now and Amazon's price was significantly less than two local pet stores. It's due to arrive Tuesday evening. I hope it helps a little when it arrives, but until then it seems I really may just have to keep them sequestered, which horrifies me. Each has her own litter, food, water, toys, etc, and I'll have to rotate them each day/night so not just one is locked into a room. I can't really keep one in the bedroom, that strikes me as favoritism since I'll be sleeping in there with whoever it is, so I've decided to shut one in the extra room we have and leave one out in the house, taking turns doing so. Breaks my heart, they have been such good sisters, but this has got to stop.
Attie is still shaking and hiding, and it's been over an hour, so I'm starting to think she may not be feeling well on top of whatever is going on here. I can't afford it at the moment, so I hope it isn't too serious. When I get paid on Friday I will take her to the vet. Until then I'd appreciate and welcome any ideas, advice, criticism, ANYTHING that might help. (Pee-Ess, no calming collars, my asthma can't take the strong lavender scent.)