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Sibling rivalry going too far?

1020 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  catloverami
I have a brother and sister cat who generally get along very well. They are both 2 years old and have had mini-fights every once in a while but nothing serious. They usually play together and cuddle together every day.

However, the female, Lilith is definitely the more "dominant" one. She can walk into a room where I am playing with her brother, Gabriel, and he will get up and leave so she can have the toy. Then he'll watch from afar. I feel very bad when this happens and try to play with them equally which usually works.

Lately though I wonder if it's damaging to Gabriel at all. At night my cats like to cuddle with me and I'll alternate who sleeps in the bed since they don't usually share it. I've taken Gabriel in and he gets all comfortable, purring and etc, then Lilith jumps onto the bed and he just takes off. He won't even stay on the bed, he leaves the room entirely while she takes his spot.

Now, is this a really bad thing? I don't want him to feel unloved or like his sister is "the favorite". But I'm not sure how to correct this since I don't want to shove Lilith off or punish her for such things.
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I know what you mean, because I have similar things happen between my strays and also between my two house cats.

What I do is, if the shy one goes off, I go off with him on some occasions, and not in other occasions. Or I compensate later with extra attention to him when the other isn't around.

Also, cats' dynamics and hierarchies are not always permanent. Cats love both strict routine and novelty, so their relationships can change after some time. You can reinforce the change by trying to re-create circumstances that caused them to relate the way you want. Eg: when Prince takes off from the bedroom because Princess doesn't let him on the bed, I lift the duvet and cajole Prince to come back and lie under the duvet. She is on the duvet, so a layer separates them and they tolerate each other that way.

Another thing I do is, while I pet the dominant disrupter, I maintain eye contact (slow blinking) with the shy one, so he doesn't feel left out.

Another thing to try is - cats have very different needs according to personality. It may be very important for one cat to steal your lap, and for the shy cat something else may be very important, so it evens out.
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i don't have any advice to give but i am going through the same thing!

aster and cody aren't litter mates, but we got them at the same time, and for the most part they get along ok as well and sometimes sleep together.

i think my boy cody is starting to show more dominance because he's bigger and sometimes he'll push aster and take her spot on the cat tree or a take a toy she is playing with. there have been times when she's on the bed with me and when he comes she leaves too, and it makes me feel bad. i keep telling them the bed is big enough for everyone!

i can't quite tell if it's purely dominance or if he just wants to hang out with her and she doesn't want to hang out with him, but i would love to hear other people's feedback as well :)
My two (half-brother and half-sister to each other) sometimes do the same thing. If Zuba gets in bed first, Alkee doesn't want to get in and will go away....but then some days she does get in beside him and it's no bother....go figure. So I don't stress about it. Both of them don't sleep at night in bed, but they go downstairs in the Rec Room where they sleep together in a big chair with a blanket. It's only for a rest or nap, they get in bed with me.
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