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The Pecking Order Of Cats

Shamrock
June 2nd, 2005, 05:39 PM
Four months ago, I carefully introduced Zack, a 2-yr old male cat to my five year old male and female. ( all cats are altered)
It was the female I was really concerned about. Miranda doesnt appear to tolerate other cats well. I believed this to be other "female" cats - as she does accept my adult male Basil - as long as he stays away from her. However, he is highly docile, and doesnt challenge her at all. Also, he came here as a kitten.

At any rate, she hates the sight of Zack now -hisses and becomes hostile the moment he steps in the room.
She has always been the dominant cat, and in the beginning - he backed off from her warning signals. Now he doesnt- it seems as though HE is the one calling the shots- and she is on the retreat when they meet.
She runs - he chases her, all over the house. A few noisy scuffles have broken out. Zack is not an agressive cat, and gets on fine with the other male.
Its like a game to him.. but not to her, I see. This is what bothers me. :(
She stays hidden out of sight, peeking around corners when she does come out. She doesnt seem happy or playful, but appears mostly stressed and jumpy -sometimes even hissing at me, if I startle her.
I have to feed her seperately, and try to keep them apart as best I can.

I dont understand all this kitty confilct between her and other cats. I thought that "generally" once they worked out their pecking order, cats would get along, but that never seems to happen with Miranda. She cant seem to make peace, and winds up somehow getting "picked on" because of this.
I've had this same problem before, its like deja vu.
I feel sorry for her, and dont want her to be miserable, but dont have any solution. :sad:
I really doubt this will change now.. :sad: but it would sure be nice if it could.

Sorry this is so long, but wonder if anyone might have any suggestions or advice?

levimh
June 2nd, 2005, 06:03 PM
This sounds exactly like my two cats (male and female). My female was THE CAT of the house and when my male came along she got..well..exactly like your female is. He chases her all over the house and knows he's not supposed to. She'll "put it to him" every so often, but it's rare. She knows she could take him, but she seems to run away. They get along now (5-6 years later), but I have to watch them when they're in the same room together. They've never fought...they're more like annoying brother and sister....older sister hates annoying little brother. I think you're female will get over this, so to speak. She might dislike him, but i'm sure she'll get to tolerate him and they'll learn to live with eachother in their own way.

Lucky Rescue
June 2nd, 2005, 06:06 PM
I had a female cat and when she was 7, I brought a new (neutered) male home.

She hated him for the rest of her life which came to 10 years. After he overcame his fear of her - she was like your famale and intimidated him at first - I would often find her cornered by him, and she was very afraid as he was twice her size.

Your male has to learn he is not allowed to tackle or harass your female. When you catch him, use a squirt bottle, or toss him in a bathroom or basement for a timeout.

Get him some new toys like a Kitty Tease/catnip mice or something to use up his energy on. Young toms can be very boisterous and are often hated by mature females.

My big male stopped bugging my female when he got a little older. She still hated him with a passion, but there were few physical conflicts.

CyberKitten
June 2nd, 2005, 06:54 PM
I just read an article not long ago on this topic and so help me, I cannot recall where. (I may have to do a search and post it later - I am busy b/c our children's hospital is having its telethon this year. Tune in to ATV (local CTV affiliate) if you want to see me accepting money, lol - I cannot recall when my shift is offhand, my secretary knows that!) BUT, I do recall reading that Queens are always higher on the pecking order than spayed females (and while I expected trouble with two Sphynx Queens and my spayed YY, that has not occured but I think the kitties are stressed b/c smart cats that they are they undersstand their mama is sick - and it does not help that their "father" takes them out now and then and I think they sense he is not a cat person, sigh!!). Needless to say, intact Toms are also higher than their fixed counterparts.

levimh
June 2nd, 2005, 07:23 PM
IWK Telethon! Woo. (Haha, sorry!)

CyberKitten
June 2nd, 2005, 07:38 PM
I am not a fan of telethons either and even wonder about their role in the 21st century.Iin the end, it really is more PR than a way to raise money. Most of our money has already been raised and this is more an opportunity to thank those who donate. On the other hand, I am happy the forecast says rain so people will be in and maybe in their changing of channels see it and think to phone!

I especially like to thank the children who spend their time on innovative activities thinking of others besides themselves. (Often, it is spurred on by an ill classmate). So before you hold it too much disdain, think of all the children I treat with cancer who need that money. It is NOT about anyone being on TV - it is about saving lives!!!!

The Maritimes would be a sad place indeed without the IWK!! Even if you do not have children or have never given birth or are not a dad, surely you know someone who has been helped at this hospital. I realize it is not the Rolling Stones concert but you do not have to watch it and you don't have to snarky either. I do hope you never have a child whose very life is dependent on the expensive medical technology that we purchase with that money!! Yes, the govt funds health care but there are many items we have that we would not have if we relied solely on the govts of the 3 Maritime provinces. And surely you would not scoff at making the life of a child with leukemia a little better. If not, you are very hard hearted.

I know you jest but I think of all those children and babies and their moms (Many miracles have happened at this hospital!!). Hundreds of Maritimers have put in countless hours of volunteer work and raised money to make their community a better place to live. In fact, per capita, the telethon at the IWK raises more money than any other pediatric facility in North America. And you know what, the people from the less well off communities give the most per capita!!!

I admit that so sometimes I find it arduous to take time from my actual practice and go to thank groups who raise money but I learn more from those people - mostky about human kindness and their concern for others. Yes, we have corporate donors but even the employees there go out of their way to raise money in some very unique ideas. The women in the south shore who quilt, the kids who oranize a penny drive, a patient of mine who at the age of 8 has seen far too much pain yet still organizes his grade 3 class to hold a giant hard sale with their "old" toys, the musicians - professional and local - who take time to donate their time (for ex, the Sons of Maxwell have a song that was written and distributred soley for the IWK - called Delicat).

I am also amazed at the stories people share with us when they come to volunteer or to donate the money they spent long hours working to earn and share. Sometimes, it is a loved one who had a serious illness who was helped at the hospital or as we call it, the Health Centre. Other times, it a genuine feeling to give to others and to enhance a resource that is a unique place in our part of the world. Ask any child who has to make the transition to the big QE2, the atmosphere there is not at all the same.

So laugh all you want but we will be here for your family!! (BTW, how did you ever become so jaded) Most people who have pets are so considerate and kind! What happened in your life to cause you to be so cyncical? I am so sorry to hear that!

levimh
June 2nd, 2005, 07:52 PM
I'm sorry that you thought I was being sarcastic or jaded. I actually meant my "Woo" to be more excited and real. I was not trying to be arrogant or rude at all. I usually watch the IWK telethon and know people who "attend" it. I've been hearing about it for the past couple of weeks on the television and radio. When I was a child, I was always brought to the IWK itself.

I know the IWK is important and I know what good the staff themselves can do. So, I'm sorry that you took that the way you did. :)

CyberKitten
June 2nd, 2005, 08:04 PM
Thanks so much for the clarification!! Your response came across that way too much - as in woo, how boring - and I know, it could be better sometimes but if you like Maritime music, it can be very good. I mean I did get to meet Natalie MacMaster and Red Green one year, lol I guess I am exhausted from working on the planning in addition to my work which I take so seriously - and I know how tough it can be to raise money. I used to think just let me do the medicine and not worry about funding but I discovered that I learned so much about the Maritimes, other people and even myself (Imagine that, lol) by being required to speak on behalf of the Centre to various groups - and they all from corporate honchos to tiny wee ones - inspire me in my work!! And I know there is a certain energy and vitality in the building (and the other locations across the region) during the telethon.

We give every child who presents or who attends with an adult a Beanie baby and there is so much food that it is hard not to gain weight, lol If you are in the Hfx area, you should come for a visit during the event! It is after all, supposed to rain. :)

Once again, I apologise to you for not understaning the intent of your post. And thanks for helping us - and more importantly, the children, women, and families of the Maritimes who need us!

levimh
June 2nd, 2005, 08:52 PM
I'm not a huge fan of maritime music myself, but I love maritime music for what it creates and how it seems to make people happy and come together for good causes. They can be very social and more of a giant family get-together, to me. I usually watch the telethon and listen to it on the radio. Some of the stories are so heart-renching. (I always have tissues on hand though!).

I remember a story from last year of a one-child family - the child of whom had cancer. He was so brave and it made me cry just to think that this boy went through all of this in his little life and had to spend so much time in the hospital.

Anyway, this thread is going off-topic. I'm glad we got that straightened out. :D And good luck with the telethon!

Shamrock
June 3rd, 2005, 04:13 AM
Thanks very much for your input and suggestions.

I specifically wanted an adult male rescue for my new addition, and though I was thinking of one around 5 or 6 yrs, I jumped at the chance for this Ragdoll boy as I had heard they were very laid back cats.
I thought he would be just a great personality match for my other two - both very low-key and sedate cats.
Laid back he aint! ;)
Boisterous is the perfect word for him, Lucky,and same as your previous situation, he is more than twice the female's size. She's a tiny five lbs, no match for this younger, stronger male who can easily outrun and outjump her.
She shouldnt have to be "under siege", its hardly fair.
Luckily I do have a large house, on three levels -she can retreat at least, find a peaceful spot. But I miss her,she is always off on her own now - laying low.

I'll definitely try the spray bottles and time-outs. (I can put him downstairs in the basement) I've been clapping my hands and verballly scolding him - NO! when he launches an attack. I wasnt sure if I should be reprimanding him any further. I know he doesnt mean any harm, but that is not to say he isnt DOING harm. He is stressing her,..and this in turn stresses me.

They dont have to like each other - if they could just learn to "mostly" live in harmony, I'd be happy.
Thanks again, I'll post an update later if there are any changes.

CyberKitten
June 3rd, 2005, 05:43 AM
Shamrock, did not mean to hijack your thread with my telethon stuff. I hope you find a solution for your kitty!!

levimh, I actually do like Maritime music - most of it anyway, the Celtic stuff at any rate - so that helps, lol The child you referred to is a patient of mine!! Small world I guess!

levimh
June 3rd, 2005, 08:24 AM
Shamrock - I use "no" for my male cat as well, when he chases my female. I found that it works and now when I say it (which I usually don't have to) he'll stop. Good luck with kitties!

CyberKitten - He's your patient? It is a small world, ha! I hope he's well. :)

chico2
June 3rd, 2005, 08:41 AM
Shamrock,I have 3 neutered males,my Chico never warmed up to the"newcomer"Vinnie,he will hiss and growl at him and it's been 3 years.
Sometimes Vinnie will get brave and chase Chico,but most of the time he's very careful around Chico.
If it looks like it's going to get serious and Chico gets really upset,I just need to show the little spray-bottle and they scatter.
Yours is a little different since Miranda is getting fearful and cowers,I think giving Zack some time out will help.I would do it every time he acts up,eventually he will get the message...
Here they are caught in a"peaceful"moment :D