Is Your Cat a Bully?

Is Your Cat a Bully?

 

America’s schools are all abuzz with bully abatement, but did you know  that cats can be bullies too?  Here are the red flag warnings that your  sweet little kitty is really a big bully to the other cats in your household or  neighborhood.

1. Staring

2. Pouncing on another cat while that cat is sleeping or resting

3. Blocking thoroughfares such as in the middle of a hallway or in front of  the cat flap to deny exit or entry

4. Attacking, growling and hissing at another cat without apparent  provocation

5. Blocking access to indoor litter  box

6. Forcing another cat away from food bowl

7. Claiming resting areas and/or access to human by physically pushing other  cat away

Cats are territorial by nature and in territories where there is more than  one cat (indoors and out) a hierarchy is likely to develop. The biggest cat  often, but not always, will dominate the top rung of the ladder. If you do  observe the above listed behaviors in one or more of your cats, and it lasts for  more than a couple of weeks, then you likely need to intervene.

The first step is to assess whether your dominate cat (the one being the  bully) is getting the respect he/she deserves.  This situation happened in  our household. Sushi, our Maine Coon, who weighs about 24 pounds is the  undisputed top cat in the household. However, he is not the family favorite as  he doesn’t like to cuddle and he is quick to use his claws. The family favorite  is Mittens, our skinny little polydactyl cat that has an amazing personality,  loves to cuddle, and is light enough for the children to pick-up (which he  completely tolerates). Riki Tiki Tabby is also well-loved, but since he doesn’t  like to sit on laps or be held, he takes second place to Mittens. The result is  everyone in our household greets Mittens first, plays with him first, rubs his  belly first and gives him lots of treats. It got to the point where Sushi was  almost being ignored.  I guess Sushi said to himself, enough is enough,  because suddenly one day, he started  attacking Mittens quite aggressively.  I was actually shocked as it seemed to come out of nowhere.

This went on for a few weeks and it was causing our household significant  strife. Mittens was a nervous wreck and developed chin acne ( a sure sign of  stress). My husband was finally astute enough to suggest  that maybe Sushi  was jealous and that he (Sushi) felt he was not getting the respect he deserved  as top cat. So, we started greeting Sushi first when we came home, giving him  lots of chin rubs, and making sure he was the first to get a treat, the first to  get brushed and the first to be fed. Like magic, Sushi suddenly stopped  bothering Mittens!

Other issues that can stimulate bullying behavior in cats include having too  many cats in too small of a territory and/or having too few resources. Most cat  experts will say that you should have at least one bowl of food, one bowl of  water and one litter box for each cat. Some vets suggest even having one extra,  especially in the case of litter boxes. Cats that have not been spayed/neutered or  were fixed later in life, tend to be more naturally aggressive and  territorial.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Is Your Cat a Bully?

  1. my cat is a bully to my feet hehehe, he pounces on me and sometimes attacks my arm when i reach out to pet him. he is my beautiful black Sabastian about 3 months old and i love him so very much

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    1. LOL! I have two bullies myself.:) One of mine is a big, thirteen year old yellow tabby. The other is a ten month old bob-kitty. She is a bobcat in other words. She is not only a bully but very mischievous. She catches me bent over picking up something. You can hear her from a mile away, running as hard as she can to jump on my back. She weighs about 25 to 30 lbs. now and she sits on my back and just looks around. No one dares come and tries to get her off my back, she will snarl and growl at them. It is like she is telling the world, “my momma” back off. But I can relate to bully cats. Your Sabastian sounds beautiful and three months olds, they are so cute at that age. If they could only stay kittens, lol!

      Thank you for your reply. It is wonderful to hear from you. I hope to hear from you again, I enjoyed your comment very much. Have a very Blessed day, sweetie!

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    1. I don’t see why it wouldn’t especially if you have more than one dog. I know when I brought my bobcat home, I had to have separate bowls for her and my housecat. But I put the bowls side by side. The two got use to each other and started eating side by side. After a while, I was able to slip the other bowls out gradually. Now they eat out of the same bowls. But if you have very aggressive dogs by nature, I would definitely give them their own stuff. Also treat them the same. If you love one, love the other at the same time. Never show any favoritism.

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