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How to figure out what motivates the bully?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I read a little about some other people with bullies, but I'm not 100% sure what is motivating my Isaac to bully Levi. I have 4 (all are fixed) cats in a 400 square foot appartment. I know it is not the ideal situation, but I love them all too much to give anyone up. I have a couple of cat trees, I've got cat beds on top of dressers, on top the refrigerator, and there is space on top the kitchen cabinets they love to sit. For the most part everone gets along, but sometimes Isaac gets in a mood. He always takes his mood out on Levi. The pecking order of the house is Jordan (5 years old), with Isaac (4) a close second, then Maggie (3) , and finally Levi (5) . Jordan, Isaac & Maggie will all cuddle together, but Levi prefers to be on his own. I've noticed that Isaac tends to bully Levi in the morning when they are waiting for me to feed them, or when I first come home at night. Levi has a couple notches out of his ears. I don't know who did it, but my guess would be Isaac. The bullying never lasts long, but his motivation seems to be differnt day to day. Sometimes it seems like redirected agression, sometimes it seems like jealousy over me, other times it seems like insecurity. I should add that Isaac has some left over suckling behaviors, and recently has started humping action while suckling. How do I go about figuring out why Isaac is such a bully to Levi? I can admit that I tend to baby Levi because he tends to want to be with me more than the other cats, but I never deny Isaac attention when he comes to me.
post #2 of 4
It sounds like this might be food motivated. You may want to consider putting treats or dry food in treat balls (you will need a few of these). I like the Play-n-Treat. These are hollow plastic balls with holes in them. The cats need to roll them around in order to get food. You will need a few of them. this may take the edge off Issac's hunger and give him less motivation for bullying.

In addition to the Play-N-Treat, you may want to consider one Talk to Me Treat Ball. You record a message into it, so that when it's rolled, your voice is heard.

Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I can't believe I didn't notice that. I'm usually so good at knowing what is going on with them. I fed them some treats last night when I came home & there was no bullying. The morning is a little harder, but I will have to work something out.
post #4 of 4
JC's bullying is motivated by boredom. He's a very intelligent cat who needs lots of mental stimulation. He also is very determined to live outside The best solution for him is lots & lots of walks, both on the leash and in his cat buggy (I simply bungee-cord his carrier onto a regular baby stroller - it looks funky but saves $$$ and, the big plus, puts the carrier above the heads of most dogs, so the dogs are afraid of it and give us a wide berth instead of alerting to the cat inside). It's very time-consuming, but keeps the frustration level of the bully-cat down.
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