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Is this unusual?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Nothing to be concerned about here, but I'm just curious. If you haven't read my introduction post in the "New Cats on the Block" Forum, well, I'll explain a little bit.

I'm very new to having my own kitties and fairly new to living with cats (I had a dog growing up, a very jealous doggy who did NOT like any other animals getting the attention she deserved! ). I got Loki in early January, and then I just got Possum a few weeks ago in early March because I thought Loki might be lonely and would be happier with another kitty around.

Well, the thing is, Loki and Possum have bonded really well and I think very quickly. Not that I'm complaining, mind you! They cuddle and sleep together, and they even groom each other! It's very cute and adorable!

Anyway, previously, I've lived with my sister's cats for about 3 months. The boys are named Mouser and Minion, and they are half-brothers who have been together for pretty much all their lives. They groom each other, too, but they are blood siblings.

Because of what I've read, I didn't think that cats who weren't blood siblings or cats who had a very close relationship would lick each other. Really, I'm just surprised that they've taken to each other so well so fast. Loki is 2 and is normal sized, and Possum is 1 1/2, and MUCH smaller, and I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. It's been only been 3 weeks. Is this somewhat normal for cats, or am I incredibly lucky?

post #2 of 7
It is normal behavior for cats, whether or not they are blood siblings or at all otherwise related. Grooming is a normal part of a cat's life - not only does it serve to clean the fur but it is also a recognition factor for cats. They mark each other when they lick to identify everyone - cats colonize and when an "interloper" comes along who doesn't have their scent, they recognize him as a potentially dangerous stranger who doesn't belong in the colony.
post #3 of 7
It is absolutely normal, though some cats form closer relationships than others (whether or not they are related) and will choose to groom their special buddies. And it is a mark of acceptance into the group. For example, I have just added Biscotte to my family, and although she prefers Wellington to any of the others and spends a lot of time with him, playing or cuddling or grooming, she will also go to Ellie or Persil and ask to be groomed by lowering her head in front of them. They almost always respond positively.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Oh, so you're saying that it's an acceptance thing? I didn't know that. But that makes me smile because I saw Loki licking Possum's head only about 3 days after I got him (he spent about 2 days under my bed). Loki's such a good boy! I was really unsure at first because Possum was just so freaked out and kept hissing at Loki, and Loki kind of had this upset look on his face! I think Loki is happier with a friend around, and I think Possum really likes it here with me and Loki.

post #5 of 7
I also think that some cats are natural born ambassadors. My OTB Bogart groomed any cat that walked in the house and since his passing, my Spanky has picked up that role. These are the types of cats that will step between others that are fighting to break it up. Perhaps Loki has a touch of ambassador in him?

I also think that in a very large household like mine, it helps to have blood relatives. I adopt in littermate pairs, and most of my cats came from a single feral colony who were probably related in some shape or form.
post #6 of 7
All of my cats do some mutual grooming. Leopold will even give a few top of the head licks to the other cats...which really surprises me when I see it because he's not a very cuddly nor social dude. We sometimes joke that in Leopold's case, the licks are not out of love or acceptance...but because he wants to make sure the salt will stick!!
post #7 of 7
Our Sassy will also groom my Mom and me -- not just a lick here or there, but dedicated hour-long sessions, with both wash and dry services included!
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