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Social Behavior

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
my 3 month old kitten has developed a rather close bond to the older 1 1/2 year old cat that resides in my home. why is it whenever my kitten is paired with the cat he doesn't want to be touched or approached?

the two don't even have to be interacting with one another, just by him being in the living room-when someone approaches him he darts off.
this is very annoying and i'm not sure what to make of this behavior.

if cats are solitary animals, then why do they seem so social? i'm just wondering why a little kitten doesn't want to be interacted with and why this behavior is more obvious when he is not in my bedroom.

at what age will he start acting like a cat and less like a little sh*t?
post #2 of 6
Cats are so misunderstood! Cats are NOT solitary animals. If you see cats in the wild (feral cat colonies and lion prides are close in behavior on this account), related females will form the core of a "pride" and mutually raise their offspring. When the males get old enough to threaten the pride's alpha male, they will be run off. But those single males will form bonds with each other in small groups that are called "coalitions". Coalitions usually have about 2-3 unrelated males, or up to 10 related males. So cats are actually highly social.

When a kitten is very young, all in the wild and perhaps some domesticated ones are taught to avoid threats, which means they run off and hide.

Why does he not want to be touched or approached? Do you know his origins? It's hard to say unless you understood what his mother taught him when very young. Your bedroom sounds like a "safe zone" for him where he is fully comfortable and not threatened.

But regardless of how he was raised, the best teacher for this kitten right now is your older cat. If he is bonded to you and regularly interacts, the kitten will pick up those queues.

He isn't being a little sh*t, he's just responding the way he was raised. Patience. He will stop doing this when he is good and ready to.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
well apparently you are quite the cat expert. do tell then, if the older male cat in our home is somewhat anti social and doesn't really like to be handled or touched do you still think he is a good "role model" for my kitten?

whenever my kitten leaves my bedroom which is indeed a safe zone, he seems very eager to leave the bedroom. however, do you suggest he will pick up the older cats behavior? in that case, i do not want that-because i want a well socialized cat and not to be skiddish or avoid people. including myself for no reason!

i think it is obvious that not all breeds of cats are social, lions are the only species with a pride...you never see a pride of tigers or leopards do you?

please shed some light onto raising my kitten to not follow in the ways of our "resident" cat.
post #4 of 6
No, tigers and leopards do not form prides like lions and "domestic" cats do. There have been studies done that show how closely aligned their social behaviors are. If you want to understand your cat, study lions.

Without understanding your kittens origins, it is really hard to predict how the older cat will influence the younger one. If the younger one was born into someone's home and was handled a lot as a young kitten, chances are that what he is doing right now is just getting his bearings around your home. In which case, he has a good start and it is easier to get him over these early fears. But if he was born into an environment where his only interactions were with other cats, then he will continue to pick up queues from your older boy.

Honestly, cats always teach each other when they live together. I've seen 6 week old kittens trying to open up cabinet doors after seeing an adult do it. If they live together, there are habits they will pick up from each other. But they won't necessarily mirror the behavior of the others.

Your kitten is still very young. He is still very much about "play" and will be for a long time. Get a lot of interactive toys and make him your play buddy. Spend a lot of time "grooming" him like his mother did. Not necessarily grooming with a brush, but with your hands. Focus on his "happy zones" - his cheeks, the top of his forehead over his eyes, along his back to the base of his tail. Make yourself his favorite buddy and he will then learn more from you. When visitors come over, ask them to do the same. If they are good friends, have them sit on the floor at his level and entice him with toys.

He will get over the bedroom safe zone fairly quickly. He's at an age where he wants to learn about everything and he will soon be comfortable in your entire house. Start the play routine in the living room so that becomes a happy room for him.
post #5 of 6
My male cat is just 1 years old. The only place he will physically lay on me is when I am laying in bed (preferably to him at 4:30am). When I am downstairs, he never sits on my lap on the couch -- actually he hardly even sits on the couch or any furniture. He will lay on the floor behind an end table. I always chalked it up to me having young kids. If he actually got comfy on the couch and took a nap, chances are good he would be ambushed by my kids if they saw him.

It totally disappoints me that he won't visit me on the couch while I am watching tv. Hopefully you have better luck with your kitty.
post #6 of 6
My Patrick (who will be 1 year old in September along with Spock, Buddy, and Pete) is kinda strange too. Or at least I think he is. If he comes in the house for a "visit," and my mom or I give him a little treat or something, he goes all anti-social after he eats it! He'll hide under the beds, behind the computer table, under the glass on the coffee table, anywhere! It's only when I shake the food bag that I can get him to go outside again.

It's quite frustrating! I hope you have better luck with your kitty...
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