Thursday, January 27, 2011

In Which I Bitch Some More About My Cats

Aaargh. Apparently it's not Happiness attacking Mickey I have to worry about, it's Mickey attacking Happiness. He's taken to hissing at her, and today they got into a staring contest from two inches away, at the culmination of which he just flew at her. She managed to disengage and run away, and he followed her and leaped onto her back. It was not remotely playful. And then when I pulled him off, he started chewing on my arm.

It's all very upsetting, not least because I don't know what to do about it. It seems like a very different problem from "Oh, no, there's an interloper on my territory!", which at least is an issue I have a clue about. 90% of the time they ignore each other and are fine, but I cannot leave them unsupervised if they're going to keep fighting like this, and I can't leave Mickey cooped up in the spare bedroom for half the day forever. Again I say, aaaargh!

(And, yeah, yeah, I know, everyone but me is probably getting tired of hearing all about this, but I need somewhere to vent, and you, oh internet, are it.)


  1. Sounds like it is time to find Mickey a new home. I am guessing he is probably the type to want 1 cat per house and is having a hard time dealing with multiple (Or he is failing "Test of Will" checks against Happiness (cat's call he will attack me and get in trouble))

  2. Heh. Somebody's definitely failing a roll there somewhere.

    And I don't know... I'm still holding out hope that it might be possible to work things out. If nothing else, maybe he'll calm down in a couple of months when he's neutered. He seems to do OK with the other two cats, playing with Nova and mostly giving Vir enough space. I think he just thinks Happiness is small enough for him to have a chance of dominating her, and she's not giving in without a fight.

    But it may come down to that, which is distressing, not because I have problems with the idea of giving him up to a good home, but because there's still a possibility of him developing serious health issues, and that seriously limits the number of people who might be willing to take him, or whom I would be willing to give him up to. My mother's told me she might take him if I absolutely have to re-home him, but she sounds reluctant enough about it for me to feel a little bad about the idea.

  3. maybe he'll calm down in a couple of months when he's neutered.
    Well, that would certainly make me think twice before jumping on a female!

  4. No, not tired of it. I'm sorry, though, it must be a constant worry for you, whenever they're in the same space. I hope that time, and/or the neutering will help...

  5. Captain C: I'm sure it would. :)

    Paul: Thanks! I'm really hoping so, too. It is pretty stressful, and keeping a constant eye on him gets pretty tiring. But it can't last forever.

  6. Though keeping Mickey apart from the other cats initially seemed like the right thing to do, I wonder if it could have led Mickey to think that the other cats were the interlopers on his patch rather than vice versa.

  7. Interesting thought, JH.

    Betty, do these unpleasant interactions take place in one room, or do they occur all over the house? Do food bowls or litter boxes contribute to territorial issues?

  8. I don't think that's exactly it, but it is possible the problem may have started when Happiness intruded into what he thinks of as his room. It's definitely not about the possession of any particular bit of territory or objects, though. There's no pattern like that. I'm pretty sure it's a social dominance thing.