Cat fighting question
Two months ago I brought a young neutered male cat, Rocky, into my home. Before his arrival, the indoor cat population consisted of three adults, all neutered/spayed: Pogo, the male, and Annie and Peachy both females. Peachy is a 2-year-old orange tabby. Pogo is 7 years old, a calm black.
Annie, age unknown, is Pogo's mother. We've jokingly called her Annie the Mean because she doesn't like other cats. We acquired her and Pogo from a horse barn when Pogo was still nursing. Once he weaned, that was the end of that relationship--as usually happens, I know. We had other cats in the house when Annie arrived, and she would have nothing to do with any of them either. I remember how she used to stalk Princeton, a shy adult male, and terrorize him.
Getting back to recent times, Peachy joined the household two years ago as a kitten, and I was glad she was able to co-exist with Annie. And then this year Rocky arrived.
Pogo and Peachy weren't exactly thrilled to see him, and did their share of hissing, etc. But as expected, Annie's reaction was the worst.
As a dog owner, I observed what can happen when a puppy is terrorized by an older dog. The puppy grows up and can decide to eliminate the bully. Naively, we never expected this to happen with cats, especially with Rocky. He's such a lover, so laid back and sweet.
But this morning a fight broke out between Annie and Rocky. It was serious--fur was flying. Spraying them with water separated them for only seconds; then they were back at it. More specifically, he went after her. This happened three times. It was horrible. When I finally broke it up again I stupidly grabbed Rocky to put him upstairs. He was still in a state of agitation, and bit me badly. I just got home from getting sewn up at the urgent care center.
I came home to fur (theirs) and blood (mine) on the floor, and the difficult question of what to do now. Annie is hurt, but I don't know how badly. She's getting around okay. I have Annie, Pogo, and Peachy upstairs and Rocky downstairs, but I can't do this indefinitely.
It doesn't seem right to get rid of Annie, who has been here so long. Also, considering her personality, putting her to sleep would be the only option.
Rocky is young and truly beautiful, a white and orange cat with one blue eye and extra toes on his big white paws. He loves people and is super-affectionate. It breaks my heart to think of getting rid of him, but at least he'd have a chance of getting adopted from our shelter. It's only a chance, though........all those little kittens at shelter are awfully appealing, and he'd probably need to be the only cat in the household.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of Rocky attacking Pogo or Peachy? They still hiss at him occasionally, but have never behaved like Annie. Rocky and Peachy sometimes chase the same toy, but Peachy usually backs off and lets him have it. It looked to me as though they might be playing together soon. Rocky is very playful!
When it comes to food, Peachy has been the alpha cat. But here, too, she yields to Rocky now.
What do you foresee in this situation? I'm in pain and it's hard to think. I'm feeling awfully discouraged right now.