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Dominant cats

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The vet told me today that Fable was a dominant cat and wasn't likely to get on with other cats even though we have Jupey and our dog. She was saying that we might not be able to foster because of this. We get our first foster (an elderly female) tomorrow evening and she'll be going in the spare bedroom, I don't need to introduce them all because she's only staying with us a week or so but the vet still didn't think fostering was such a good idea because of Fable. I didn't think he was that dominant, it didn't take him too long to get on with Jupey and he met a cat outside while I had him on harness and he wasn't bothered at all. I think Jupey's more dominant anyway, he always seems to be jumping on Fable's head....

How do you know which cat is more dominant and is there anything wrong with me fostering if I'm careful? This foster cat is an emergency rescue and needs to stay with me!

So far I'm not happy with this vet...
post #2 of 12
You know your cat better than anyone else. Sometimes we just have to wait and see how things work out...but you won't know till you try Your vet shouldn't discourage you from trying. Good luck with your foster kitty!
post #3 of 12
some of the ways to tell who is the dominant cat:
s/he eats first, the others give way
s/he sleeps in the most preferred spot - often the highest level, as well.
there are probably some others, but i'm drawing a blank
post #4 of 12
^ But even that isn't exact.
My Tomas is a food hog and will shove Sho right out of the way, Sho usually gives up and walks off. But right now Tomas is sleeping on the floor beside my chair, with Sho sleeping in DH's computer chair. As I've said before, though, I have no clear dominate between the two.

Since the foster will only be there a week you don't need to worry about Fable bothering her. You will however get to see how he behaves to another cat's scent around his house and possibly any noises the other cat makes (meows). That should give you a little clue as to how he would take to other cats.
Plenty of cats are dominate. If there's a group one of them has to be alpha cat, but that doesn't mean that the dominate cat dislikes other cats.
post #5 of 12
Heh! I've seen my most dominate cat quietly wait by the food dish for the ferrets to finish eating. So, I guess my ferrets are dominant.
post #6 of 12
I think dominant cats do get along with other cats. Cats in general do not like confrontations.
What I worry about though is the territorial issue. With me, it is difficult to get new cats because I have very territorial kitties. I have to do every trick in the book to get new cats accepted by the residents.
post #7 of 12
As other said, you know your cats better than anyone else! I would give this a try this time, and if it seems like it is going to be a problem, at least you know from experience.

As for the dominance thing - Conor is definitely our dominant kitten. How do I know? A combination of factors. She starts and stops any playing - no cat will attempt to engage her in play - she has to start it with them. She has her own spots that neither of her brothers will even attempt to sit in (on top of the downstairs scratching post and the bedroom window). She also acts very maternal towards her brothers - grooming them, but also giving them a quick nip if they are acting out of sorts. The other two seem to 'listen' to her as well. It is very interesting to watch! Funnily, before the kittens moved into our house permanently (they are former ferals) Conor was the one who got along most with the neighborhood cats - we used to see her playing with them all the time, whilst Steve just cowered and Paddington chased after bugs....
post #8 of 12
Mary is my dominant cat but she likes the companionship of other cats. She takes her cues from us. She is very territorial but she watches how I behave and it seems to calm her and reassure her. I lavish more attention on her during those times.

You know your cats better than anyone. Cats have their own personalities and they can be at odds with each other.
Mary is always top cat, she rules much like wendyr's Conor. But she is maternal too.

Give it a try. You may be surprised how well Fable does.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies, I'm looking forward to getting the foster tonight and am trying not worry too much about upsetting my cats, after all it wasn't too difficult introducing them to each other! I don't think the vet should have judged Fable after only seeing him for 2 minutes, I don't think he liked her and neither did I!

Wish us luck for tonight if this cat finally arrives!
post #10 of 12
Good luck (not like you'll need it, but still!) and let us know how it goes!
post #11 of 12
I've got a dominant cat and I didn't notice it when it was just him and my other cat. I obtained her as a kitten when he was already several years old, so I wasn't surprised by him being the mother cat. However, it became extremely clear how dominant he was when I moved in with my roommate and her 2 cats & dog.

There were no true battles. He doesn't full on fight them, but he will occasionally swat them (or as my roommate says, "bullies" them). He also loves them and licks them frequently, so it's not a war-time atmosphere. My cat even dominates the dog! If the dog is on the couch and he jumps up, the dog will sit in the corner and look scared or she'll hop over the back to avoid going by him. He'll then sleep in her spot. *sigh*

Some cats do NOT do well with others; it really depends on the personality and you'll have to find that out the hard way. But your cat has a proven history of living alongside other animals, so I think you will be okay as long as the OTHER cat is okay. One of my roommate's cats is not dominant, but she would prefer to have absolutely nothing to do with any of the other animals in the house and will hiss & spit at them, despite being around them for ages.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
A couple of pics of the foster: Cleo

So far Fable seems okish and Jupey is still behind the sofa but he goes there when any strange person visits. I'm not going to be introducing them any time soon because we don't know Cleo's medical history and hopefully she wont have to stay with us long. I just hope they all get used to each other's smell so they don't stay unsettled.
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