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Is it possible for a cat NOT to know how to play with other cats?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering...is it possible for a cat to not know how to play or interact with other cats? Is playing with other cats a learned behavior, or instinctual?

I ask because I tried Ophelia(aggressive towards cats, but no longer towards my dogs) with Damita & Chico last night. She slapped Chico silly & he ran right back up to her to play(Chico will literally tolerate anything). Damita laid on my bed as she wasn't familiar with my room & I didn't want her to get disoriented/cornered. Ophelia would alternate between playing & attacking almost. She would bat at Chic(playful), then he hackles would come up & she'd bat at him again(defensively), then they'd go down & she'd bat at him(playful). It's as though she didn't know Chico was playing with her. She would make her "purr-ow" noise that she makes when she plays with her toys. I should add that I have never EVER seen Ophelia play with another cat before.

I know I will never understand Ophelia, but I feel like she is so lonely in my bedroom all day. I spend all night with her & drop in several times during the day, but I always feel like that isn't enough. She loves company, but me & the dog are the only ones who visit her. If she got along with Damita & Chico, they could all be turned loose in the whole basement to play & snuggle with each other....
post #2 of 16
And you don't think she IS playing, when she bats at the others? Say more about how aggressive she is because this may just be her way of saying hello?

Could it be she is just on the offense because she is the new cat to the group? Try letting them spend more time together, supervised.

Someone suggested to me that feeding my three together would help associate pleasure with the other cats. Feed them and treat them all together?
post #3 of 16
I have a post under behavior regarding my newbie. Great suggestions but nothing is working yet. Moses the new one was tryng to be friendly to my 2 other cats and they were hissing at him and then he attacked them after they started growling...
Now he attacks them and visa versa...
I can't stand it so I keep in a seperate room..It so violent and fur is flying. I'm so afraid someone will get hurt. Later in the day I put my other 2 in a room and let him out. The always try to get each other behind the closed door. I HATE it. I hate leaving them seperated. I too feel very bad but I take him out several times a day.

Funny thing, my husband will hold Moses and sit on the bed with the others petting all 3 cats. Everyone seems fine until they are all down together. They start stalking..

I tried the feeding all together and the feliway and the vanilla on all 3 so they smell the same.. So far nothing..As soon as the eating is done and one walks away, the other will stalk and that it!
I won't get rid of him because he is such a sweetie... So I guess it's seperate rooms for now!

Judith
post #4 of 16
I would say they have difficulty if they were only kittens with no siblings to interact with. Or were taken from the mother too soon and raised as an only cat.

Its more of a learned behavior to interact with other adult cats other then their mother. That is why its important to not place kittens till 3-4 months old so they can learn how to interact with each other and other adult cats.
post #5 of 16
When my last feral Little Bit moved in, he had to learn about play. He had been on his own and hadn't learned about playing with other cats, toys or people.
He still is a bit of a loner as far as playing with the others go, but they all have a kind of peace treaty understanding going on. The old don't come after me and I won't go after you thing.

Of course the stray that I just took in temporarily is probably helping all the others to unite a little. The new guy is always the odd one out for a while.

The funniest and also the saddest thing is my big cat Magic seems to be deathly afraid of the new stray. I have to force him into the house if he thinks that stray is anywhere nearby. The stray is a skinny little kitten and magic outweighs him by 10 to 12 pounds.

I try to make sure each cat gets plenty of individual love so no one feels slighted. I figure they will all work it out eventually and it's very rare a real fight ever breaks out here.
post #6 of 16
Trudy,

I love all your cat pictures..
You have quite the cat family. I have 3. Iwould love even more but this is my limit for now.
Now, if I can only get them all to be in the same room I woud be very happy.

Judith
post #7 of 16
I met a cat who had been raised with dogs and killed the first cat he saw! (This cat also had it out for snakes, small dogs, birds, squirrels, coyotes, and once tried to get himself some fresh beef. )
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady
I met a cat who had been raised with dogs and killed the first cat he saw! (This cat also had it out for snakes, small dogs, birds, squirrels, coyotes, and once tried to get himself some fresh beef. )
Isn't it normal for a cat to kill snakes?
My Boo-Boo loved catching and playing with the occasional garden snake.

Quote:
Trudy,

I love all your cat pictures..
You have quite the cat family. I have 3. Iwould love even more but this is my limit for now.
Now, if I can only get them all to be in the same room I woud be very happy.

Judith
My mate keeps telling me there has to be a limit somewhere. I keep saying... yeah, yeah, yeah.
post #9 of 16
My Aunt's cat, Mac, thinks he's a dog... my step uncle found him when he could fit in the palm of your hand, alone and abandoned at a mac machine (hence the name, hehe) they bottle fed and raised him and he'd only lived with dogs, so he thinks he's a dog! We were talking about this last night actually when I was over visiting them.... Mac and FX (their yellow lab) are best friends, but when my step cousin moved back into the house once with her cats, Mac didn't know what to do! Before they had been in the house, he was completely unaware that he had the ability to jump up on things - he learned that trick fast though... I know at first he didnt get along with the other cats, but they did become friendly eventually... Mac's really funny in that when he purrs, it's more like a chirp... almost like he never learned to purr correctly because he was raised by humans and dogs, haha.... but he's all cuddly and does cat things like preen and kneed (he actually looks like Oliver, just skinnier and older, haha)... I would be persistant though, it took Oliver and my dog a long time to be aquainted - what seemed like aggression was apparently their "getting to know you" actions....
post #10 of 16
I'm just afraid to have another face to face. On the floor face to face that is...
I'm not sure how long to wait before I try it again... I feel like everytime they have a braw, we go backwards..
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Let me say this.

I just cheked on Ophelia in the bedroom. Lily was outside the door. The door bounced back open when I tried to close it, but I just grabbed something off my bed. In one second, Ophelia was out the door & attacking Lily. Lily seems to be fine with no visible wounds, but.... I don't know if Ophelia just had her hackles up, or if she had all her hair up or what. All I know is they got all through the basement & upstairs. The dog bit her tail, or this would've continued for longer. I tossed a blanket over Ophelia & she fought me the whole way to the bedroom. She now won't let me in the room. It was not a good way to catch her, I know, but the dog will do anything to defend her baby kitten Lily.

The only reason Lily is unharmed is because she can run faster than Ophelia. I have a seriously disturbed cat here, and I really don't know what to do anymore. There aren't any behaviorists I can get her to, I am three hours away from the nearest big city & that just isn't an option. Do I talk to the vet to see if there are any medications to help? I doubt there are.... I am running out of ideas & my mom & dad do not want a dangerous cat in the house(we have young kids here once a month & will she try to harm them if she gets near one?).

This isn't the first time she has attacked Lily like this. This is probably the 10th time she attacked Lily like this. She will attack Twitch sometimes, but Twitch usually wins(because of sheer size). She really seems to prefer to try to kill Lily over the other cats. She is nowhere near this aggressive with Chico, but is somewhat like this with Damita.

I've tried vanilla & a feliway diffuser, any other suggestions?
post #12 of 16
There are medications that will help, and poor Ophie sounds like she could probably benefit from them.

I would exhaust all non-chemical methods first.
Rescue Remedy
Bach's Flower Essences.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
There are medications that will help, and poor Ophie sounds like she could probably benefit from them.

I would exhaust all non-chemical methods first.
Rescue Remedy
Bach's Flower Essences.
I get so worked up over her attacking Lily. I guess I feel awful that I agreed to take her. Sometimes I think maybe I should try to find her a new home, but I don't want to give her up & I know that there aren't many people who want a cat who cannot live with dogs, cats, or kids.

I am going to look into both of those things you mentioned now.

ETA: I looked into Rescue Remedy & might order some. I also found this link that I thought was very helpful.
http://www.petshealth.com/dr_library/aggrescats.html
I think that Lily was hissing at Ophelia & it scared Ophelia. Now, whenever Lily sees Ophelia, Lily runs...so Ophelia chases & attacks.
post #14 of 16
I really feel for you because I have the same problem but I can keep them seperated with no problem.

I hope you find something that helps. I will share any new ifo if I get it.
Judith
post #15 of 16
I would definitely talk to your vet... there has to at least be something medicinal to help this situation - too bad there aren't pet psychiatrists to find out what's going on! When Oliver cut his foot last month, my vet (who likes to go homeopathic) gave me Traumeel tablets to disolve in water and drop into Ollie's mouth - they mellowed him out (as well as relieved pain and they're an anti-inflamatory) so maybe ask your vet if that's an option as well.... I really hope you find a solution and quickly! This is the main reason I could never foster cats or train seeing eye dogs, I could never give them up when the time came!
post #16 of 16
Thats my problem also.. This kitty is a lifer! I would never get rid of him now.
But what a pain with the seperation.. My 6 year old cat pooped in a room because I had him in there a bit longer than planned..
I only bring Moses up for 1/2 hour at a time and them he is back down in his own room, then I open the door and the other cats don't even want to come out of the room they were in. But I guess one had to go.. My fault totally... Now I need to have another litter box.
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