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Playful Cat Tormenting His "Big Sister"

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi there, new to the forum, thought we'd post since we have an ongoing problem. We have two cats, Fred and Calypso, Fred is roughly 2, Calypso 3, and she's the bigger one. Both are spayed/neutered.

Calypso has been with my g/f since she was a kitten, and may have some "mommy issues", since she's demonstrated that she does very poorly when "mom" is gone for a while. She likes to hide, and while she used to be very playful, she abruptly stopped playing when Fred joined the household. She's also become very protective of new toys, she will run off with a new toy to her hiding spot (often in a closet) and wrestle with it frantically for an hour, then calm down.

Fred joined the household a little later, and is a bit... oblivious, at times. The problem is that Fred likes to fight with Calypso, play-fighting like kittens, swatting and wrestling, pouncing, sometimes stalking her, but Calypso isn't having it: She growls, hisses, swats, sometimes runs and takes the high ground somewhere, but usually just tries to flee. Once, she actually pinned him down and had Fred howling, but usually does not assert herself that way.

Sometimes they act normally together, they'll groom each other or sleep together once in a while, but sometimes entire days will go by with Calypso hostile to Fred, getting to the point where she growls or hisses at the sight of him. Lately, trying to break this behavior, I've been grabbing Fred and scolding him, then reinforcing the improved behavior, but I think I had more success by playing with him to distract him. The odd thing is, Calypso will come in and watch us play, as if she wants to play, too, but not with Fred. Fred usually sleeps in bed with us at night, as well, and Calypso will sometimes come in when Fred goes out, but will take off when Fred reappears or they will have a confrontation near the door. Once or twice, the confrontation has happened in bed with my g/f in it, as well.

I'm not sure what's going on here, and hope somebody might have some experience with similar issues. Is Fred trying to play and just lacking the social skills to realize Calypso isn't taking it that way, or is he trying to dominate Calypso and take her space/toys out of some kind of jealousy, or both? What can we do to help make Calypso feel more comfortable so she can play and not stress out? Thanks for any input.
post #2 of 5
About the only thing you can do is keep Fred, or maybe Calypso locked up at various times. What's happening is natural and impossible (in my experience) to change. Male cats go after females (neutered or not) and try to dominate if not worse over time and all the screaming in the world only may stop them that individual time, but they come right back and keep trying. Sorry!
post #3 of 5
Sounds like Ling and Charlie - he's pushy and bossy and dominate. Ling still hisses, etc and Charlie ignores her and pounces anyway.

Usually I'll just yell "guys CUT IT OUT NOW" and they settle down. I'm hoping when we get his baby brother, Jack next year; the 2 Oci's will wrestle with each other and leave Ling to go play with the dog

Not much you can really do other then make sure all nails are clipped. Maybe you can consider a 3rd cat with a personality like your boy's so they can play together.

Also are you sure your male can hear? I'm asking cause sometimes deaf cats don't react to the normal warning hisses and growls cause they cannot hear them. I had that happen with my deaf rex kitten - she was an only kitten and didnt' know how to react properly to other cats. She was returned to me and I adopted her out to a home who had deaf pets in the past and know how to work with her (as an only cat) - she learned some hand signals and was fine in her new home
post #4 of 5

I just read what happens in my house 2 or 3 times a day. Dakota chases Squirrel around the house,,,, and she chases Daisy,,,, Daisy chases back.... Dakota chases Daisy...... If and when it gets too loud, like another said, I just yell, enough children...

It works... sometimes.

post #5 of 5
when i lost janet who was milo's buddy, milo transfered his attention to tabitha. i would have similar situations to the ones you describe. to avoid stressing tabby and to give milo the friend he missed we adopted shinobi, who is 4 months younger than milo. (13 and 9 months respectively) that has helped the situation immensely. we still get the odd moment where one or both of the kittens will push their luck with her, but she is quick to put them in their place and on the whole they play with each other and leave her alone.

i think if you have a very playful cat and one that doesn't want to know it can get quite difficult. dare i ask if getting a playmate for fred might be an option?
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