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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
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    Need insight into the mind of a cat

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    Hey all.

    As many of you know - we have two new kittens (almost 9 months old now! ) - siblings. Both fixed.

    Boy cat, Paris, is nearly 11 pounds and is a big bully to his smaller sister. They get along great, and when she's in a mood, she can dish it as well as take it. But generally, if Paris were human, he'd be one of those guys who shows he "loves" you by smacking you on your a$$ all the time and denigrating you in public. Love isn't supposed to hurt, but with him it does.

    For instance:
    He has taken ownership of the bed at night. Oh, he allows US in the bed, but Zoe is chased and pummeled, so she hangs at the door to the hall, looking in.
    Whenever we play with Zoe - tossing the fuzzy ball to play fetch, or using the dangly tail-on-a-stick thing - Paris comes and steals the ball and runs off, or commandeers the tail thing.
    SIL gave us one of those tail-on-a-stick things with fleecey fish at the end of it. Paris is all about fleece. Loves it. So he walks around the house, fleece fish in mouth, dragging the stick behind him (smacking it into whatever is near). If he approaches Zoe, he growls at her.

    He's established himself as the alpha-cat. But I'd like to know...will he ever mellow out with her? We'd really like to keep Zoe active and running through play. But she seems to be sitting on the sidelines a lot, as Paris takes over play time. We try to distract him (I play with Paris, DH plays with Zoe), and it works for a few minutes, but then Paris goes and pummels Zoe and takes over her toys.

    Paris seems to be a needy boy and I'm curious if this is something he'll grow out of and become an upstanding cat citizen in the house, or if we need to do something to nip it in the bud, if we can. Thoughts?
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    Since he's such a bully, I would lock him in the bathroom (with food so he doesn't feel punished) every day and give her some play time. If it was my cat (I have a bully too right now) when he kicked her off the bed, I'd kick him off too.
    Or give them both treats on the bed (dry kibbles) while they are both there and he's being nice. It's an on going problem, one that you probably won't solve in a big hurry. So you have to be the boss. Make a big deal out of him when he "lets" her stay on the bed.
    In my house, Nutmeg is a brat. she's smaller than the other cats, but it doesn't matter. She takes incredible pleasure on jumping on the bed and making such a todo that anyone else on it (cats that is) will panic and leave. So from the beginning, I have taken pains to kick her off whenever she is on my side of the bed (when I'm in it) because the other two get my side. She's gotten quite good at bouncing over to DH's side whenever she transgresses. Right now one of my cats is spending most of her sleeping hours in the basement. I'm working on getting her to come back to her rightful spot on the bed. Good luck.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,604
    We've "hosed" down our resident bully Morgan with a hand pumped sprayer set to squirt. Stream of water is great way to break a habit but the trick is not let the cat see it when he gets squirted. You don't want him to associate the bottle with getting wet. You want him to associate bad behavior with getting wet.

    We use the sprayer, when he has another cat pinned down and the poor victim is growling back. Sneak up with the bottle and we let Morgan have it.

    If I'm playing with my omega cat Gracie, aka scare-dy cat, I physically pick up Morgan, turn him around and shoo him away. Sometimes I have extra toys within my reach and entice him with the extra toy, then shoo him away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    662
    +1 on the water bottle. Our older, bigger cat has not been thrilled with the most recent addition to our family, an adorable one year old black cat. Time outs (putting her in bathroom by herself for 5 minutes) did not work as when we opened the door she would go on the hunt again. The spray bottle has helped quite a bit. They have shown progress in becoming friends, but I do not think that they will ever be best of buds. They both like the dog better actually!
    Bully cat, looking precious and innocent:
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    2001 Trek 7500 FX, converted to a hauler - Serfas
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    Make sure that you create some microenvironments in your house so that they each have some separate space to feel safe. Kitty condos or window perches are good for this. I would also have two different feeding stations to serve this same purpose.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    Thanks.
    We learned early on that we needed two separate feeding stations for them. We try to remind Paris that we're the boss (ha! All he hears is "Blah, blah, blah, dinner, blah, blah, blah!") and often toss him from the bed when he's being a pain and try to encourage Zoe to be more assertive.
    We also keep squirt guns and an air can/duster handy - mainly for when Paris decides to try to eat the plants. The thing is, when we zap him, they both get to running, even if Zoe is quietly minding her own business on the windowsill, birdwatching, while Paris is busy pruning the Kalanchoe.
    It's ironic that Paris is the bully, because he is the scardy-cat of the two. Whenever anyone comes to the door, he's the first to hide. He won't come out for visitors, yet Zoe is right there, checking them out.
    The window perch gets used equally - fortunately. The kitty tower is a work in progress (home made with scrap lumber and bits-n-pieces, and evolving design, done when DH gets motivated to pick up the drill (i.e., when I nag).).
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    It really sounds like he needs some time in "lockup" so you can develop your relationship with Zoe.. Maybe strengthen that bond and she will get bolder?
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Pam Johnson-Bennett has some good books on the subject. We found Cat vs. Cat to be helpful.

 

 

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