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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A Little Humor – A Dog’s Letter To God

A Dog’s Letter To God

 

Dear God, Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good dog.

  1. I  will not eat the cats’ food before they eat it or after they throw it up.
  2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.
  3. I will not munch on   “leftovers” in the kitty litter box, although they are tasty.
  4. The diaper pail is not a cookie jar.
  5. The sofa is not a ‘face towel’. Neither are Mom and Dad’s laps.
  6. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.
  7. My head does not belong in the refrigerator.
  8. I will not bite the officer’ s hand when he reaches in for Mom’s driver’s license and registration.
  9. I will not play tug-of-war with Dad’s underwear when he’s on the toilet.
  10. Sticking my nose into someone’s crotch is an unacceptable way of saying   “hello”.
  11. I don’t need to suddenly stand straight up when I’m under the coffee table.
  12. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house – not after.
  13. I will not throw up in the car.
  14. I will not come in from outside and immediately drag my butt.
  15. I will not sit in the middle of the living room and lick my crotch when we have company.
  16. The cat is not a ‘squeaky toy’ so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it’s usually not a good thing.
  17. I must remember to lick my butt after I lick their face, not before.

 

Turok’s Cabana