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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Retract-a-gate

Has anyone heard of this thing? I found it today when I was surfing.

The change of power in the house is starting to cause some problems. Book has been torturing MowMow non stop for weeks. It's gotten to the point where MowMow won't walk around unless I lock Book up (and even the he looks around for him) and Book has started ambushing MowMow in the litter box.

I was thinking of two of these (one on top of the other to add height) to cut the apartment in half. I figure they could alternate days on each side of the barrier. At least until I can figure out what the heck is going on. Book isn't just playful, he's sneaky and MEAN about it.

I left MowMow snoozing peacefully on the bed last night at like 9:30 to use the bathroom (and I had to CARRY him in there, he wouldn't walk in by himself because Book was wandering around) and when I came back Book was behind the body pillow crouched and JUST about to pounce while MowMOw was grooming himself. I clapped and chased him out of the room and shut the door but... then I feel bad he can't sleep with us. He likes to cuddle at night too. I noticed this the other night as well, MowMow was laying next to me (in his usual spot on the bed) and Book was laying at the foot of the bed (NOT his usual spot) just staring at MowMOw intently with dilated eyes. I poked him trying to coax him into attacking my feet instead but he was intent and not about to be distracted.

I need to nip this in the bud and diffuse the situation before stress makes Mow sick again. I really wish I knew why he suddenly stopped fighting back. It used to be that if Book bugged him too much he gave him a good BEAT DOWN..but he won't anymore.

Last edited by MowMow; 02-28-2014 at 02:40 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 02:44 PM
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Wow, that's too bad. That video you posted a while back looked like MowMow had the upper hand but like you say, the balance of power must be shifting. How old are the two cats? Maybe Book is just coming into his own and deciding to challenge for the top spot and Mow is older and doesn't feel like stopping him.

I have never used a gate like that but it sounds good to me.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 02:51 PM
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This sounds a lot like my house some days. *sigh*

Muffin has been a gigantic pain in the bum for the past few months (although he's settled a bit this past week, so *fingers crossed* and *knock on wood* that he's FINALLY getting out of this phase).

I've found it to be a sort of phase, at least for my boys. Periodically one of them (never both together 'cause then they could wrestle each other all they wanted) just seems to go a little stir crazy. Always in the winter. Lots of extra exercise, family treat time, and locking them up when we can't supervise seems to deal with things until they get past it.

We bought Muffin an automatic laser pointer and I LOVE that stupid thing. He can run his crazies out while I make dinner, or while my SO plays video games, or cleans, ect. And it doesn't bug the other cats. Wonderful.

The treats together help because it's very easy for people to slip into a habit of only giving negative reactions to the misbehaving kitty...but that makes things worse. I know I've mentioned that before, and it's very very true. If I'm having a bad week and I only yell at Muffin and he never gets to cuddle because I'm not home, or mad, or w/e he gets so much worse! I have to make a concerted effort to call him over when he's good and give him the extra love time he needs.

The treats also help, because they all get them together and they're practicing self control, listening to me, and they get good things. It helps a lot when they're especially crazy.

Separating them when you aren't home is also important, it just isn't fair to Mowmow to have Book beating him up all day. It sounds like you've got this one under control.

...Also, the sort of behavior you're describing used to be Torri to a 'T'. Now, due to treat times, and exercise, ect she will walk around and even whack Muffin on the head sometimes...but she still feels safest snuggled up to her Daddy when she's out in the house. You're definitely right to want to nip it in the bud.

IMO, though, completely separating them may actually make it worse...it's hard to say. But definitely when you aren't there.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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MowMow is just about to turn 10 and Book is just about to turn 3.

I guess I'll head to the vet with Mow as soon as I can swing it (thanks Snowmageddon for cutting my pay check so short) and have them pull blood. It was such a sudden switch something MUST be gong on with him. MowMow doesn't not usually let ANYONE trample on him.

I'll also try to spend more time wearing Book out at night. Maybe if the weather is nice this weekend I'll take Mowzer out in his stroller, that always perks him up.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:33 PM
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I am sympathetic to your issues because I get as confused with mine as you are with yours right now. I wish I could offer some answers! In your case, regarding MowMow and his health issues, I agree a vet visit is going to be helpful in determining if MowMow is as he should be.
I know my B.B. is a few years older then MowMow and a different sex, but she goes through the same issues. So far she hasn't done anything like you've described of MowMow, but she has gone trough so many dominant issues what with the two girls and now with little Harry, it's been a circus around here. (one of the reasons I haven't had any updates about them in a while)
I truly hope you can find out what is going on with MowMow soon!! I think Book is ok. But, from what I know, based on your writings, perhaps Book has found a weakness in MowMow and there truly IS a shift in power going on? Which isn't a bad thing, although a sad event to witness, but a natural thing, particularly with males? Kirissy, I wish you luck in finding the solutions to this. I'm just sorry to hear there are these problems with the two of them.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:48 PM
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I'm always super skeptical of any 'shift in power' business...and IMO it's not really...a thing that happens. *shrugs* I know others here will disagree, but I've read enough literature that I really just don't believe in dominance the way most people think of it.

Anyways, it's possible Mowmow is feeling a bit down, so a vet visit isn't a bad idea.

IME it's probably just Book going through a rowdy phase and it'll likely pass. Both my boys are 5 and they've each done this periodically and then gone back to their normal selves in time. *shrugs* That's part of why I have a hard time seeing 'dominance' or 'struggle for top cat' as the cause.

Neither of my boys has been 'put down' by any of the others or in any way 'told off' more than normal in a way that would settle a 'dominance battle'. I don't really have a top cat, they all bug each other, they all like certain spots and share others...I honestly couldn't tell you which of my cats is 'the boss' because IME there isn't one. *shrugs*
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:50 PM
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My oldest cat is definitely the boss - both of the younger two give her a wide berth when they are all on the floor. She has proven to be a 'crabby tabby' with them one too many times I guess lol. They will always give way to her - but she is the oldest and the one that was there first, so I always thought that was why.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 03:58 PM
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My oldest is always given space too, but to me it's because she doesn't put up with any nonsense. If they're rude to her she'll hit them, but they still tease her and bother her.

I wouldn't call her the boss because of that alone, and since they regularly kick her out of sleeping spots it just...doesn't make sense for her to be 'THE BOSS'.

Ditto Torri, who hisses and growls at the boys when they get in her face...and yet is a complete wimp and regularly runs away from them.

To me 'dominance' (aka dominance theory) is a human construction, like...(sorry men) the way some men interact with each other. They're very confrontational and they always want to know who's 'toughest', who gets to pick all the things we do and gets to hit on the hottest girls, ect. That's how I've had dominance explained to me by sooo many people. (maybe not in so many words, but that's the impression that I get.)

What you're describing, Heather, seems to me to be more like how most teenagers would react around a grandmother they loved and respected. Cautious, more polite, but still comfortable.

Respect is very different from dominance. IMO
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Well, in the past retribution for infractions was always swift and violent for Book. MowMow would give him a few free hits and then BAM. I always say that Book might start stuff, but MowMow ALWAYS finishes it.

There was one night this week that he was giving Book heck but I felt i needed to step in. It was 4:30 in the morning and they were in the room right above where my neighbors sleep.... and Book is such a screamer with that. Now I wish I hadn't, I should have just baked an apology cake for my neighbors and let MowMow rip into Book and settle things then and there.

I keep trying to build MowMOw's confidence and make sure that all his favorite spots are easy to access from above so he doesn't get ambushed.

I don't need Book to respect MowMow.... fear is just fine.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 05:14 PM
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Welcome to my world. The older one, mother, is not the dominant one. Today it is raining so her son is inside. He can only sleep so long so let's just chase and terrorize his mother. She is fast and I have lot of rooms for them to do this in. Now she goes in the garage and jumps up high on shelving and hangs in there sometimes. He doesn't want to really hurt her but she hisses and doesn't like it. So if she is on my bed and he jumps up, she jumps down. Same for all the other places to hang with me. I really worry because I have to downsize in the next few years and they may have to stay indoors. Without him going outside, I can only hope he gets tired and settles down or it will be miserable for me and her. I think if he played nicer he would have some fun with her.
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