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Multi-Cat Blues

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Let me first say, that I enjoy your site immensely.
It is a great source for information, fun and all things - Cat.
I have looked through the forums and done several `searches’ and have not come up with any answers to my query, that have offered any NEW light upon my dilemma.
I suppose the final answer will involve nothing more than patience, love and understanding, but I would appreciate your opinion on the matter.
My parents have three cats. Sherman, a 5-year-old male. Toby, a 3-year-old male – And Zoë, (the newest member of the family), a one-year-old female.
Sherman is the house cat – Toby is my dad’s cat – Zoë is my mom’s baby.
Sherman has recently, (within the last two years), become the Alpha of the house, since the passing of his companion, Ashes.
Ashes was nearly 15 when he passed and had been the Alpha for all of Sherman’s life. Sherman never seemed to mind his subordinate position and, in fact, never flaunted his new position upon Toby once Ashes was gone. They were, and remain good friends.
However, when Zoë was brought home, (after being rescued from dire circumstances – Yea MoM!), Sherman finally decided to assert his dominance.
Toby fell right in with her and has a ball playing and buddying up with her. Sherman, though, seems now, to live for stalking, watching, and attacking her.
They were all introduced in a similar manner to what you recommend, and at first, things appeared fine, but after she settled into her new home, Sherman decided to begin his reign of terror.
He doesn’t go out of his way to terrorize her, but if the opportunity presents itself, he takes it.
I have observed many cats interacting with each other over the years and I can honestly say that Sherman is NOT playing, feeling threatened, starved for attention or making bungled advances with her.
He really wants to `Get Her’, and the outcome has been less than favorable for her on several occasions.
Sherman was saved from the wilds when he was less than a year old – He leapt from a tree into my sister’s arms – So, we have no idea what he’d endured until then, but the majority of his life has been spent in the comfort and security of a loving home, with naught but fawning attention. This attention has not be lessened since Zoë’s arrival. My folks view the cats as a whole and respond to them as a group. That is, there are no favorites. Sherman has not been ignored or relegated to a lesser position for `The New Kitty’.
Nothing else in his `World’ has changed, except that Zoë is female.
Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Have a wonderful day.

\t\t\t\t\t\t Tobin Fox
post #2 of 2
My input is that in introducing a new cat into this household you upset Sherman's routine and he resents the newcomer. Perhaps he senses because she is so new, she will one day challenge him so intimidating her is how he protects his interest in staying the head cat.

I would do several things, I would invest in some cat condos, to give the cats an alternate place where they can claim their dominance, besides the floor. I would also buy a Comfort Zone Room Diffuser by Farnum Pet (probably more than one) and plug them in right away. Playing classical music on low will also stop aggressive behavior and having a dark colored blanket on hand to toss over the warring cats, will stop unwanted behavior fairly quickly.

Getting angry at Sherman (if indeed you are) will just cause more aggression to come to a head. In a multi-cat household, you will have territorial wars. I would suggest not adding any more cats to your home in the future.
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