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jealousy between cats

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
i have a 19 yr old girl and i have a long term catsitting arrangement with my daughters 3 (? was a stray) year old boy

well the boy loves me to peices, which is sweet and all

but my old girl is sick (CRF/IBD and suspected cancer) and i am spending as much time with her as i can

however the boy is not pleased about this and is now attacking my old girl, in a playful way but she has no pateince for it and he only does it after i have been brushing or petting her, or when she is on her way over to me for attention

i give the boy as much attention as i can when my old girl is asleep but this has not stopped him from going after her

i would hate to have to isolate him but i am near the end of my patience now as well
my old girl is just TOO old to put up with this, it really upsets her

there are two other much younger cats for him to play with and they all get along great

but i have to get him to leave my old girl alone!!

any suggestions?
he will not be distracted, once he has it in his head that he is going to go after her and bat at her with his paws, nothing short of picking him up and moving him will stop him

he also attacks any cat in the litter box when he hears them scratching around in it

i am thinking this cat was taken from his mom and littermates way too early,
that he does not know better than to do the things he does

never had or heard of another cat with such bad manners!
i love him and he is a real sweetie most of the time

but on this one thing, i would like to throttle him!!
post #2 of 7
Is there a quiet, safe, comfortable place to keep the older cat where you can 'visit' whenever you want, but the kitten can't get at? Because the harassment will get worse, if anything, as he grows and she obviously won't be able to handle it. I've seen the same thing happen virtually with every young cat/old cat situation we've had, and that's a lot of them. Right now an older female is up in a waist high, 3 x 4' niche in a bedroom, on top of a 1' high 'table' in the niche corner, with a soft covered wide pillow, away from where we spend more of our time and where his toys are, etc. Because she's in a corner up high (though can easily get to it), her hissing, etc. fends off the others who otherwise do chase her into the room, but don't attack her on the 'throne'. One way or another, she'll need protection and if there's a small place with some sun, her own box, water and nibbles, that has a door, she may well appreciate the safety and adapt quickly, knowing you'll visit and feed her, etc. whenever you can.
post #3 of 7
My cats get a time out in the cage when they start with the attacking and terrorizing. Little Bit, the newest little guy is the one being taught "manners" most often lately. He seems to be learning pretty quick and I'll bet your little trouble maker would too.

When trouble crops up and I see what has happened, I take the offender and put them in "lock down" in a cage for 10 to 20 minutes as I tell them no, that attacking is not allowed. When I take them out I give cuddles and soft talk and tell them to be good now.

After a few trips, the relationship is made in the mind of what gets the furball in the cage and they either stop or get sneakier about it.
post #4 of 7
I would agree with placing the older cat in a separate room with her own litter box, food dish, water etc. The younger cat will only continue to prey on her, and as she is ill and aged, she's in no condition to defend herself, especially when you or a family member isn't around to monitor her. Many sick animals will 'naturally' look for a place to be alone (under a bed, in a closet etc), so if you can set up a comfortable spot for her, I'm sure she'd appreciate it.
post #5 of 7
Yes, all good advice. Spend the time you want with your sick girl cat, but do it out of sight in a closed room. Cats definitely do get jealous!!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
thanks for all your suggestions

i did try scooping him up and putting him in the bathroom but he seems to think that is a game, and it did not stop him

then i found out that he is swatting at my girl when she goes to eat....

that was the last straw. i called his mom, he is going home tomorrow

i will miss the little sh*t but the other idea, putting my old girl in a room, will not work
she has always been top cat, and has always needed to know everything that is going on- she would be far more upset if she could not get out and survey her um, Queendom LOL

and she is senile now, and when she wakes up, she is often confused, and needs to see me to be reassured that all is well. sometimes i can't leave the room she is in, because she won't sleep, she keeps waking up to see if i am there.
when she finally goes into a deep sleep, then i can go do stuff but have to watch for her to wake up and go to her right away if she does not come to me

anyway, i am glad his mom can take him back now, because he is too active to be holed up in a room by himself and that was the only option i had left

post #7 of 7
I don't think it is jealousy at all. Cats in the wild recognize when one of their pride is ill and often will attack them to drive them off. A sick cat doesn't do anything for the well being of a pride. This is actually quite normal behavior, particularly in cats that are not related to each other.

When my old girl Shep was so ill, the other cats would harrass her. I set up places for her separate from the other cats and when I caught my other cats going after her, they received my displeasure. After a while they knew what a snap of my fingers and hiss meant (stay away from her).

It isn't so much young cat / old cat as it is healthy cat / sick cat behavior.
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