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Old 12-30-2012, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are they fighting or normal?

I have a mother and son. They were rescued so not sure exact age. Mom supposed to be 3 years old. Son maybe a year now. Well he likes to play and go out more, even in the rain. She has had two litters (we think) and stays inside more hanging around. They touch noses sometimes and seem ok with each other. No real snuggling. Other times he wants to play and puts her in a neck hold which she does not like so she hisses and runs away. This morning he was chasing her all around the house and she did hiss at him. Is this normal? Do you see this escalating or maybe calming down as he gets older? It used to seem she had the upper hand and could just top him with a bop but now he is bigger and seems he is bothering her.
When they were kittens, she always let him eat whatever food was given to them outside so now I have to feed them separately because he will eat her food. She just backs away as before.
Is she being bullied? Should I intervene?
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First question: Is the mother spayed? Is the son neutered? If not, both should be done right away. If the son is around a year old he is trying to assert his dominance over her and establish "his" territory, and yes is bullying her somewhat. At this stage I wouldn't intervene is she can mainly hold her own with him by bopping him back or hissing or running away. If he's relentless in going after her and is biting her hard so that she squeals and is not fighting back, seems afraid of him, going off her food, then I would intervene. He's at the stage where he's trying to establish his territory. It doesn't matter that they are related because if they were in a feral colony she would ignore him as he is a mature male now. You might try and establish more vertical space. Get a cat tree if you don't have one, get another one and place it in a different location from the other, preferably near a sunny window. Sometimes just a little more space can make all the difference.
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for the reply. Both are neutered. I have a tall cat tree with 3 stations. They prefer to sleep on the sofa and on my bed. I feed them in separate rooms or the mother wouldn't get anything to eat. I will give the male time to grow up. He challenges me too with biting and ready to fight if I have to move him off my lap. I won that battle and he has backed down. You know the mom didn't eat one day and I would hate to think it was because of him.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If he is biting you and ready to swat you to fight you? Then this cat sounds semi feral to me. I would start on a program of socializing him. Kitty Boot Camp would give you a lot of tips. Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Kitty Cat Boot Camp

I was a little concerned when you said you won the battle and he backed down. Exactly how did you "win the battle"?

The mother kitty has to have places to retreat to. Any place high is always a retreat point. Catloverami suggestions of vertical space is highly important while resolving this issue.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mitts and Tess please don't worry about the treatment of the cats. The mom has lived with people but was left behind when someone moved (that is what the neighbors tell me). She must have lived outside for two litters but one neighbor was feeding her and kittens. Her son never lived inside with people but he was a mama's boy and it saved his life. The other two kittens died somehow and were found on lawns. That is when I felt I had to do something. I started with keeping them in a bedroom and followed the feral cat instructions of leaving a radio on. Visiting with them, etc. The mother wasn't going to stay in there after a few days but the son did. Then he started regressing and acting like a caged animal. So I left my patio door open and let then come and go as they pleased. I got them on a feeding schedule and they showed up on time. They learned their names. Soon they took over the house! The son followed the patterns of my 15 year old 6 pound dog who is always with me. So he started being on the sofa in my lap. That's fine but he doesn't like it when I have to get up and move him. When he first bit me without blood, I did react very angry but I could see that was a setback. So then I started to do a hurt high pitched sound when he did it. That didn't work. Then I took him by the scruff of the neck and said no firmly. That didn't work. Then I took him by the scruff and put him outside. That seemed to make an impression especially as it has gotten colder. He stopped but then last night he opened his mouth and went on his back for a fight. I just looked at him and left him alone and that was the end of that. Later I moved him. I feel we are making progress. He likes the kitty massage I give him when on my lap. But yes he is semi-feral. He comes when I call him from the outside which is great so both stay in all night. I hope that can continue in the better weather. Before they were meowing all night and keeping me up. When my dog passes, they can sleep on my bed if they can behave. Right now I need to keep the doors closed because I need to run an air purifier for my dog and they can't stay still all night.
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