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Discussion Starter #1
So, I don't know if any of you remember my situation, but I got a new cat in mid-June, and had a resident cat.

New cat (I'll call him Boba) is 10 months old and very energetic.

Resident cat (I'll call her Pfeffa) is 7 years old and mild mannered, but enjoys gentle play.

They have joint time together weekday evenings and all day on the weekends, the rest of the time, Boba is shut upstairs, where he has run of two open rooms, and all the cat amenities. We are doing this continued separation because:

Boba likes to stalk Pfeffa, chase her down, jump over her, and occasionally bat at her. Pfeffa is usually knocked over - or falls - then hisses or growls from where she has landed. She does not swipe at him, and never returns the chase. Usually I approach, make sure Pfeffa is okay and that generally stops it...until I leave her, then it might start again.

This consistently happens at least once an evening - sometimes before Boba's long play session with da bird, sometimes after. But is not constantly occuring.

Could the prolonged separation be causing this problem to continue?

Or, am I causing it to continue by interrupting and giving attention to Pfeffa (when Boba might be trying to be the dominant cat)?

Should I just let them be - let them work it out?

Or do you think the separation is a good idea until the stalking behavior subsides?

Any thoughts are appreciated...
 

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I think you aren't doing any real harm by stopping it. I had a similar situation with my first attempt at an introduction. It did take a long time for the two cats to get used to each other, but it worked out in the end. I would probably err on the side of making sure Pfeffa (is there a reason to use pseudonyms here??) is comfortable and safe, even if it stops them from completely working out the dominance thing. Do you think Pfeffa would be happier doing the full-out fight for dominance and get it over with or is she sensitive to the every night repetition? There's a chance she'll be traumatized by either one large confrontation or by the continued aborted attacks happening daily. Try to decide which is more likely to be traumatic and adjust accordingly. One advantage to letting this stretch out is that the new cat will be getting older and (hopefully) calmer every day.

You might want to practice letting it go a little longer or a little further every time before intervening.

Do you feel tense about this? If so I'd try to find a way to relax. They may be picking up on your tension.

I think the isolation is very helpful for an older and more quiet cat rather than subject them to kitten terrorism all day!

~Heather
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think Pfeffa could be a dominant cat - she's very passive.

She's not fighting back - not that I want a fight - but she just sits there or tries to get away while he's chasing and leaping over her - and hisses. I don't think he is fighting either - I think he's trying to engage her in chasing play.

I'm pretty sure she is sensitive to the routine we've established - she appears almost immediately after hearing the door shut upstairs, and is very calm and lovey in the morning. While in the evening, when they are having together time, she seems very tense, very alert and more skitish than usual.

I guess my fear in "letting it go" is that it WILL escalate to an all out fight and someone will get hurt (me, or one of them).

What's weird, is that they CAN be together happily. Sniffing each other, touching noses, playing nearly side by side...no sleeping together or grooming. It's only when he starts to stalk her that things get bad.

I am a little tense about the situation - it's stressful to deal with this every night and not feel fully bonded with Boba (I spend time with him upstairs, but it's certainly not the same as having a cat being around 100% of the time) while feeling really bad for Pfeffa being chased and knocked over :(

(ps. their names really are Boba and Pfeffa. I don't know why I wrote that...think I was loopy tired...)
 

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So long as the cats don't seem to be hurting each other, I say let it go on for a while and let them sort it out a bit. By seperating them, you may be interrupting whatever Boba is trying to accomplish?
 
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