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Do cats compete for our attention?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I live in a one floor apartment, living room at one end, dining room at the other.

Sam has staked a claim to the living room, and Bailey took the dining room. Sam also "owned" the bedroom, Bailey would only ever sit in the doorway. But recently, in the past few months, she has been getting more brave or assertive, and will sleep at the foot of the bed, during the night at also during the day. She also slept on the floor in the living room - Sam has his basket in there, and favourite spots, but she would sleep other places in the room. (She also has a few places that are just hers, like a chair in the dining room, a perch in the office).

Now, if she goes in the living room when I am not there, Sam is fine. But if I am in the room, he chases her away. I think I am imagining things, but a couple of days ago, I stopped him from chasing her, and he sulked for an entire day. (Went and slept out in the hallway, and wouldn't look at me when I went to see him).

Is it possible that he's making sure he still has my full attention? That his world is shifting since she started sleeping on the bed, which had always been his sole domain, and he's preventing that from happening in the living room as well?

I feel bad, I would like Bailey to be able to play in the living room in the evening, she needs the exercise, and would benefit from the attention as well. Should I stop picking her up when she's in the living room?

He never hurts her, just just wrestles until she runs away.
post #2 of 9
To answer the question in your caption:

You're darn tootin' they sure do!!

I think jealousy is a particularly cat-type of emotion. Although they do a good job of pretending they don't notice, they certainly do when another cat in the household gets some good lovin'. I've seen those looks!!
post #3 of 9
I have to agree 100%! Some are fine sharing affection from their owners, these kitty's are usually the ones that get along with other cats and animals. Then there are the ones that think they are people to and won't put up with competition, even becoming very depressed or threatened sometimes when other animals are in the picture! I happen to think these make the best buddies and very smart, but demanding to! Sweety gets what she wants when she wants it, and if not she does'nt give up!
post #4 of 9
YES.....they sure do compete for our attention. We have a clowder of 6 cats in our house and there are two of them that absolutely cannot stand to see my wife or myself pay attention to either of them. Its like they don't care about the other four getting our attention.......BUT........not allowed to give attention to either of them in the same room while the other one is present. One of them is an Egyptian Mau and the other one is a Maine Coon. They just seem to both have very STRONG personalities and are denied very little because of their persistence. I really don't know if it is a breed characteristic in the both of them or just their individual personalities. I'm more inclined to think it is a personality trait. Sometimes I wonder if it isn't a *dominance* issue more than anything else. I do know one thing for sure though......."In a house of meows and purrs, NEVER a dull moment occurs"
post #5 of 9
My male cat Jasper is always all over me and when he see the other cats with me he will sit at my feet and growl (he sounds like a growling dog). The others will kind of ignore him at first but that only works for so long and then out comes the artillery. He bares his claws and slaps them. Needless to say I get punished in the process. Their nails get me as they flee. Then he jumps up and takes his place on mama's lap that he thinks he owns. After awhile one of the others will come back and try the same method he used but so far it don't work for them, mama has to get up and cuddle down the ranks so none feel unloved.
post #6 of 9
They sure do! They will show off or do whatever to get your attention.
Luna and Beauty do not like each other, but if I'm petting or playing with Beauty, Luna will just sit there and watch the whole scene. It's like i'm cheating on her! LOL
post #7 of 9
Sophie competes for attention from me. If Rosies jumped up onto my lap and gets scritched, Sophie will jump up right up in her face as if to say "your in my spot!"
post #8 of 9
I've noticed with my two young kitties the same thing. I actually feel guilty and go out of my way to give them loving when the other is not looking. My poor persian boy is so docile and gives me this "look" if he sees me petting that "god awful girl kitty". Funny creatures they are.
post #9 of 9
My boy Bogart was the head lap cat in my household for his entire life. There were very rare moments when he wasn't on my lap or chest and at night slept on my pillow laying across my hair. The other cats would walk away when Bogart came up to me - no threat by Bogart, just everyone understood his place in the house.

When he crossed last year, my house was in a state of anarchy for a long time. Those that always wanted the added attention vied for that place in my lap and there were actually fights and a lot of posturing going on for months. I had to break the cycle by letting them know that no one had special rank over the others and it was a first-come, first serve lap. They now all rotate across my lap. It took about a year for them to all figure it out.
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