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Crating a cat......

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This is kind of weird, but on occasion, we have to "crate" one of our cats, Sammy. It's kind of like a time out. Sometimes, he gets really riled up and will "play" with another cat in an overly aggressive manner. Usually, his target is his sister Lola, who is happy to chase for a while, but doesn't appreciate the 15.5 lb Sammy pinning her to the ground and biting her without mercy. She screams and I mean SCREAMS. If we remove him, he'll do it again, or redirect his attack/aggression/play at us. So, he gets a time out in a crate where he can spin around after his tail, pace and flip until he gets it out of his system. Usually, the time out lasts between 1 and 5 minutes, depending on his level of agitation. We've tried a few other methods to calm him, but alone time seems to work wonders for Sam. He quickly calms down and can rejoin Lola for a snuggle and bath.

Now, I would NEVER try this with Lola or the kittens, as they would become more agitated if they were contained, but Sammy is our doggy-like cat, and he seems to respond very well. In fact, sometimes when time out is over and we open the door, he just stays in there and relaxes for a while

Crazy guy, huh?
post #2 of 6
Are Sammy and Lola left to roam freely when you're not there? It's nice that he responds to the time out, but does she have a safe place to go? From your description, it sure doesn't sound like he's 'playing' with her, more like trying to kill her (well...) and what happens when you're not there?
post #3 of 6
My time outs for aggressive behavior are confined to the cattery. I do not crate them because I think it may affect their behavior towards their carriers. Although my cats do not really enjoy the carriers (they equate them to vet trips and meds) time outs in there would really freak them out.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Lola has a few spots to escape to, should it happen when we're out, but it IS playing, you just have to see it. He will calm down eventually without intervention, but it's faster this way. He's not hurting her, she's just a tempermental cat and doesn't like when things don't go her way. It's not so much that he's being mean as the sheer size difference makes her at a real disadvantage and she doesn't want to play, so she yells about it. She's very vocal about all her feelings, from hungry to tired to playful to fed up.

This doesn't happen very often and there has never been any injury to Lola or Sam or anyone else, so we don't separate them when we're away. Plus, Lola and Sam LOVE each other 99.9% of the time. They'd be really upset if we separated them. Lola in particular doesn't much care for the kittens, but loves her brother Sammy.

We don't put him in his carrier, we put him in an old crate. So, it doesn't affect his feelings toward the carrier. He likes this because he likes being confined....he loves boxes of any size, corners, blankets, etc. It just calms him down.
post #5 of 6
I guess it just bothers me that while HE might seem to be playful, she's the one screaming (your word) and he's the one so much heavier.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
I guess it just bothers me that while HE might seem to be playful, she's the one screaming (your word) and he's the one so much heavier.
Yeah, reading my original post, it comes off badly. I guess I can only stress that 1) having their normal play escalate to that level is a rare occurance...not even a monthly thing, 2) they are best of friends the rest of the time 3) the "biting" isn't attack biting, it's kitten biting by which I mean causes no damage and 4) Lola is a DIVA....she will yowl and scream if you're too slow putting out the food, giving the love or anything else outside of her plan. It's not an in pain type of noise, it's a patented Lola-sound meaning "I am NOT getting my way and I DON'T LIKE IT!!!". She does the same thing if you try to deny her a taste of your ice cream, actually. She's loud and pushy. If I thought it was causing her any pain or really upseting her, we'd have to do something about the daily interactions. But, it's just that she doesn't like being bothered once she's decided she doesn't want to play anymore. Once we remove the offender, she's likely to tease him on the outside of the crate during the time out. And once he's calm, they usually snuggle up for a nap.

If we didn't crate him when he starts getting out of hand, Lola will put him in his place with a good smack (no claws, though, cuz they are still playing), so she can defend herself but she'd rather play the drama card....it's just how she is. The time out is just to defuse the situation before Lola actually gets agitated. Also, she's 9.5 lbs, so it's not like she's a lightweight either. Again, there has NEVER been any sort of real fight (by which I mean ears back, pupils dilated, claws out, fighting) and we've never ever had a cat of ours injure another in any way. In fact, none of our cats have ever had an injury at all.

I don't want anyone to get the impression that we're hosting full on cat fights or anything.... She really is no worse for the wear because of her brother's occasional misbehaviour. You sort of have to know Lola to realize that her making noises to express her displeasure is the norm.

I don't really think there is anything else I can say to convince you that he's not actually hurting her and they are fine to be left alone together. I hope you feel better and are not so worried now.
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