Mystique can't make up her mind! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Mystique can't make up her mind!

So we have this unsettling play dynamic going on between Sunny and Mystique.

Chasing games are fine - they are both onboard with chasing each other as a form of play and seem to enjoy it. They wiggle their butts, charge each other and chase up and down the stairs and through the house.

The problem comes when Mystique is feeling very frisky/playful she lays down and rolls around chirping near Sunny, and actually reaches out her paws towards him in a playful manner. So Sunny, reading her signals correctly and thinking she wants to play, goes over to pounce on her playfully. At which point she turns into a hissing-screeching-spitting-yowl monster. It's very startling when my back is towards them and it all of a sudden happens. Sunny immediately jumps away and sits there with a look on his face like "Duude, what just happened??" and Mystique puts her chin down on the ground blinking like, "Wow, that took a lot out of me". And then eventually they resume their regular relationship.

It's obvious to me that Mystique would like to play with Sunny but doesn't 'get' the pouncing thing and thinks he's trying to attack her while she is laying down in a vulnerable position. Do you think she will come to trust him more and eventually play with him this way? Or will Sunny realize that she doesn't really want to be pounced on and stop doing it?

Is there anything I should/could do to make this happen less/make it less upsetting to them? When it happens I don't say anything to either cat or react in any way except to say something in an upbeat tone to them after they've had a moment to recover and go over and talk to Sunny and tell him he's a good boy but his sister doesn't understand, and pat Mystique and tell her how silly she is (of course she doesn't understand that lol). I do spend quite a bit of time playing with both cats with wand toys and laser pointers although Sunny doesn't really get the laser pointer very well lol. He loves wand toys though and is a HIGH jumper.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 05:10 PM
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Is your boy neutered and your girl spayed? This sounds almost like sexual foreplay to me. "Rolling around and chirping" in front of a male usually is a signal to "jump on me" from a female. Get your boy neutered ASAP if he isn't, and your girl spayed. You don't say how old they are....if they're 4-5 months, yes they can be ready to mate, and 63 days later a litter of kittens.

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in avatar. "Always in my heart."

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Lol, no they're both spayed and both rescues. Mystique is a year old and was spayed in October. Sunny is anywhere between 3-5 years old and not sure when he was spayed but he came to the rescue in December already spayed. The owner before me had him 2 years so at least that long.

Mystique actually does the same rolling around and chirping with me when she wants me to play with a toy with her.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2014, 06:16 PM
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It's really a problem then that they will have to work out. I have much the same situation, where my boy Zuba is the more rambunctious of the two, and like to pounce on Alkee. She doesn't like it much and they tussle around a bit but eventually she hisses at him and tells him off and he usually backs down. They'll carry on like this, but have never had a "real" fight where there's fur flying and blood drawn. Sometimes this is just an attention getter, and if I walk out of the room, they usually stop the wrestling and come to see what I'm doing. Or 10 minutes later after a tussle, they'll be curled up in a ball together on the sofa grooming each other. Just cat stuff, so I would ignore the little tiffs and let them work it out.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2014, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that's pretty much what I was thinking. As long as no one is really getting hurt then I guess it's their thing to work on. I guess what I was hoping was that by Sunny doing this that he wasn't totally putting Mystique off of being more friendly with him because she experiences it as negative. I would love for them to snuggle and groom each other some day and I wanted to do what I could to encourage that.

But realistically I don't know what I could do other than try to head Sunny off when he's about to get too up close and personal with her at the wrong times. And nothing says I would be around when it happens anyway.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-25-2014, 08:19 PM
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Heather, it really sounds like it'll all work out!!
It just takes time for some cats to figure it out!
Keep up with the playing with both and keep your own 'Vibes' Positive and calm!! They will pick up on that!! :p

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 12:39 PM
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Since Sunny has perhaps more energy than Mystique, drain some of thro interactive play with a fishing pole type toy, or drag around a window blind cord on the ground and over furniture. Most cats get antsy if they slightly hungry and before a meal. So do the exercise before meal time, then feed, and often afterwards they're ready for a nap.

To encourage grooming each other, put a small smear of butter on top of head and back of neck of each cat. It's a spot that cats can't groom themselves, but should attract each other to groom as most cats love butter. If the butter doesn't work, a little salmon juice might. Hope some of these suggestions help.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, great idea about the butter, I never would have thought of that. But it is true that my cat I recently lost did love butter! Of course I would hate to encourage Sunny to groom her if she is going to smack him for it. I guess I'll have to try it to see. I don't think he will smack her - he doesn't seem the type and has only smacked at her to defend himself when she surprises him. Neither one is serious about it - as soon as the other one backs down they stop.

I do play with Sunny a lot, and I wouldn't say that he has more energy than Mystique but it's more like he is missing some of the signals and/or she is giving mixed signals. Come to think of it though, he occasionally gets himself in trouble with Penny, our 8 yr. old cat, when he gets the bright idea to sniff her tail or stand up on the chair she's sleeping on. I guess he just doesn't seem to get that the girls are not into him being up close and personal lol.
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