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Cat Behavior

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have 2 female calicos that I adopted a few years apart. I do not know their age. I had Tabitha before I adopted Chloe. When Chloe came home with me they got along well. They would wrestle. Lately, it's been a while now, Chloe hisses whenever Tabitha walks by. I can't tell if this is typical cat behavior. They don't get into fights when I'm home but I cannot be sure what they do when I'm not home. Once in a while I'll find that someone ( my guess is Chloe) has pooped somewhere outside the box. Also, they are not always keen on using the scratching posts that I have for them (3-2 are sissel and 1 carpet). Sometimes I will catch Tabitha scratching at the wooden cabinet door leaving shredded wood in her path. OUCH!! Tabitha is extremely vocal at night. Usually she does this when she's getting ready to use the box but then she does it a lot at night when she's not using the box. They both have a bad habit of scratching a lot. Sometimes the excessive scratching and clawing at their ears (especially Tabitha) wakes me up at night. I've taken them both to the vet to check for ear mites and fleas and both came home with a clean bill of health in that regard. Any feedback to this behavior would be helpful. Also, Chloe is very touchy doesn't like to be held or petted. She doesn't mind scratching around the head and she will head butt when she wants attention or she will come around my ankles when she's hungry but mostly she skulks around as though in fear. I would hate to think that she behaves this way because Tabitha intimidates her but what else am I to think? I appreciate any thoughts anyone can provide. Thank You.
post #2 of 2
The excessive scratching and clawing at the ears, when it's not mites or fleas, is often a sign of food allergies. I'd try switching to a hypoallergenic food and see what happens after a few weeks. I'd find it a little strange that both kitties - unrelated - have food allergies, but it can't hurt to check it out.

As to Chloe's skulking behavior - how old was she when she was rescued? Are you her first home? Was she a feral rescue? This behavior is typical of ferals, though many become more trusting and social - it really depends upon the cat, the background, the age when rescued, &etc. I guess it could be that Tabitha is intimidating her - but in our house (all our kitties are feral rescues) it's the aggressor that hisses when his target walks by, so I'm not sure about that.

Has Chloe been to the vet recently? Pooping outside the box may be a sign that she's ill - and it may also explain Tabitha's behavior toward her.

To help the kitties de-stress, I'd consider purchasing Feliway Spray or plug-ins. Some cats respond really well to Flower Essences, so you can try that to: http://www.catfaeries.com. I'd also give each kitty an extra 10 - 15 minutes of play time a day.

You may also want to consider purchasing bird feeders. We have the kind with suction cups that stick on the windows. It provides loads of kitty entertainment, and helps our kitty's turn their attention to something other than each other.

Finally, as to the scratching posts, cats like to scratch and stretch when they wake up. Could the problem be the placement of the posts? It's always best to have them near - or even next to - where they sleep. That's why cat trees are so great - kitty can sleep on the tree, and wake up and scratch right there.

At a minimum, I'd get Chloe to the vet for a check-up, just to make sure there isn't a health problem.

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