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Jealous posessive cat!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have 3 cats, all neutered males between the ages of 18 months and 2 1/2 years old.

The youngest 2 are Oriental Shorthairs, and in common with their breed are very affectionate towards my husband and I and want to spend as much time as possible on us or next to us. One of the Orientals, Sonic, does not like the others to get any attention from me and woe betide anyone who approaches me!

The oldest boy Radar is not a very tactile cat, but provokes the strongest reaction in Sonic on the rare occasions when he wanders to my lap for a stroke. If Radar approaches me, Sonic will promptly appear to give him a slap and chase him away from me. The youngest, Jacob, is allowed to share lap space for a while, it is not so much an issue with him as he prefers my husband's lap.

I make sure that Radar has alone time with me daily for play and, if he desires it a cuddle while Sonic is shut out of the room, so he does not lack individual attention.

The problem is that between these times if Radar without warning jumps onto my lap, I can find myself in the middle of a cat argument and on one occasion Sonic ran up and gave my leg a nip, Radar is not the only one who gets told off! If my husband gives me a cuddle, Sonic materialises to glare at us and whine his displeasure.

The inter-cat dynamics in the house are as follows: Sonic gets on well most of the time with both Radar and Jacob, he accepts Radar's dominance over the tops of the ceiling height bookcases and allows Radar to have his choice of sleeping spot (as long as it's not my lap) without much fuss. He and Jacob will curl up to sleep together and are quite playful. He submits to dominance behaviour such as being pinned down and groomed by both Radar and Jacob, it's only when it comes to me that there is any trouble.

Radar and Jacob do not at present get along, something happened between them to make Radar scared of Jacob, whenever they see one another Radar flees and Jacob of course chases. I currently have them seperated and am doing a (very!) gradual reintroduction. If you have any tips about how to go about this also they would be most welcome as I have not made much progress! I am using scent swapping (although Radar is not bothered by Jacob's scent, it is only when they make eye contact that he panics and runs) Feliway, rescue remedy and vanilla.

There is loads of access to vertical space with hidey holes and vantage points in each room, with plenty of beds and boxes for their comfort and amusement. I let them forage in separate rooms for their one dry meal a day but their wet is fed in bowls, also in seperate rooms as Jacob is a bully and a pig when it comes to food, so I have to control his access to food and allow the others to eat without harassment.

Any tips would be most welcome!
post #2 of 3
First of all,
How do you respond to Sonic's actions? Both when he responds to your husband's affection and when you are petting Radar. You may be unknowlingly reinforcing him.
Also, do you have any special time set aside for Sonic?
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Well if he is just glaring and whining at my husband and I, we ignore him. It is more difficult when he launches himself onto my lap to smack Radar and chase him away, it's fairly difficult to ignore two cats wrestling and smacking each other on your lap. Sonic gets good one on one time with me and we spend a good amount of time every day playing fetch and cuddling.

I have had parrot and parakeets all my life and use positive reinforcement techniques with them for handling and training - I know that cats can have different motivations but generally I've had good success using similar techniques with them for things such as convincing them that trying to wake me in early in the morning won't work, no bringing toys to play fetch when I am in bed, dinner will not be brought forward and no table scraps will be earned by begging/pestering etc. and have found that they usually learn fairly quickly whether their actions get the desired effect or not!

When Sonic leaps up to get Radar when he is on my lap, he does get at least some of the desired effect every time, because Radar ends up jumping off and running away. I do not then let Sonic stay on my lap and I try not to make a fuss about it, I gently push him off my lap onto the seat next to me, get up, and walk away.

Other than this one thing, we have absolutely no problems with Sonic, he gets along most of the time with the other cats and has no other inappropriate behaviours. Radar can be difficult as he will ask for attention in undesirable and sometimes painful ways, so I am keen to make it a rewarding experience for him to approach me to sit in my lap rather than his other method of clawing/biting my feet (he is absolutely foot-obsessed dating from before we got Sonic and he was taken from his mum too young, he can be quite rough). Sonic's behaviour has resulted in a decrease in Radar's gentle affection towards me, which I am keen to reverse.
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