Is Your Cat a Bully?

Is Your Cat a Bully?

 

America’s schools are all abuzz with bully abatement, but did you know  that cats can be bullies too?  Here are the red flag warnings that your  sweet little kitty is really a big bully to the other cats in your household or  neighborhood.

1. Staring

2. Pouncing on another cat while that cat is sleeping or resting

3. Blocking thoroughfares such as in the middle of a hallway or in front of  the cat flap to deny exit or entry

4. Attacking, growling and hissing at another cat without apparent  provocation

5. Blocking access to indoor litter  box

6. Forcing another cat away from food bowl

7. Claiming resting areas and/or access to human by physically pushing other  cat away

Cats are territorial by nature and in territories where there is more than  one cat (indoors and out) a hierarchy is likely to develop. The biggest cat  often, but not always, will dominate the top rung of the ladder. If you do  observe the above listed behaviors in one or more of your cats, and it lasts for  more than a couple of weeks, then you likely need to intervene.

The first step is to assess whether your dominate cat (the one being the  bully) is getting the respect he/she deserves.  This situation happened in  our household. Sushi, our Maine Coon, who weighs about 24 pounds is the  undisputed top cat in the household. However, he is not the family favorite as  he doesn’t like to cuddle and he is quick to use his claws. The family favorite  is Mittens, our skinny little polydactyl cat that has an amazing personality,  loves to cuddle, and is light enough for the children to pick-up (which he  completely tolerates). Riki Tiki Tabby is also well-loved, but since he doesn’t  like to sit on laps or be held, he takes second place to Mittens. The result is  everyone in our household greets Mittens first, plays with him first, rubs his  belly first and gives him lots of treats. It got to the point where Sushi was  almost being ignored.  I guess Sushi said to himself, enough is enough,  because suddenly one day, he started  attacking Mittens quite aggressively.  I was actually shocked as it seemed to come out of nowhere.

This went on for a few weeks and it was causing our household significant  strife. Mittens was a nervous wreck and developed chin acne ( a sure sign of  stress). My husband was finally astute enough to suggest  that maybe Sushi  was jealous and that he (Sushi) felt he was not getting the respect he deserved  as top cat. So, we started greeting Sushi first when we came home, giving him  lots of chin rubs, and making sure he was the first to get a treat, the first to  get brushed and the first to be fed. Like magic, Sushi suddenly stopped  bothering Mittens!

Other issues that can stimulate bullying behavior in cats include having too  many cats in too small of a territory and/or having too few resources. Most cat  experts will say that you should have at least one bowl of food, one bowl of  water and one litter box for each cat. Some vets suggest even having one extra,  especially in the case of litter boxes. Cats that have not been spayed/neutered or  were fixed later in life, tend to be more naturally aggressive and  territorial.

 

 

Special Kitties of the Day for April 20th

B'Jovi, the Cat of the Day
Name: B’Jovi
Age: Nine months old
Gender: Female
Kind: Maine Coon
Home: Marietta, Georgia, USA
B‘Jovi’s name came from my love for the band Bon Jovi and I just wanted to give her a name that reflected that. She is very curious, likes to suck on my fingers and loves to sleep in weird poses.

B’Jovi is absolutely crazy, she roams the house hours on end chirping and moaning. She likes to hear us talk and answers back if and when spoken to. She is pushy and an all in your face kind of kitten, if she feels she is not getting enough attention she will climb on you and push her head under your hand until you pet her, and she will also push her snout all over your face until you acknowledge her. She knows when I am getting ready to shower and waits for me at the ledge of the bath and waits for me until I am done. If we are cleaning she follows us around and loves to just be everywhere we are (she is the definition of lap cat). And last but certainly not least what makes me laugh about her the most is the poses she chooses to lay down in, basically making a complete circle of herself.

Also I guess I should mention that the reason or origin of her name are two things. I am a huge Bon Jovi fan and originally the intention was to name her Jovi; however, every time I was going to call her I ended up saying B and then Jovi (because I was so used to calling my other cat) Butters … finally I got tired of fighting it and ended up changing her name to B’Jovi.

B'Jovi, the Cat of the Day
B'Jovi, the Cat of the Day

Kozy Kitty of the Day for April 18th

KC, the Cat of the Day
Name: KC
Age: Unknown
Gender: Male
Kind: Maine Coon Cat
Home: Austin, Texas, USA
Hi, I am KC, that stands for kitty cat. I know, it’s not too creative a name, but it is my name and that’s that. Some people think it’s spelled C-a-s-e-y, but nope, it’s just KC. I was adopted in Sebastion Florida from a wonderful lady named Ann. No one knows how old I am, they didn’t tell Ann when she adopted me, I guess. I have lived on both coasts of Florida and was in hospice with Ann when she lost her life to a sudden, but thankfully quick battle with cancer. It was good the hospice let me be with her, as she needed a friend right then.

Well, after Ann died, Ann’s son tried to care for me but then decided to drive me to South Florida to be taken in by his daughter Sarah. I have lived with Sarah since and we are so happy! We now reside in Austin Texas and have a huge yard with a creek for me to play in. I am told I am more dog than cat, II guess most cats do not like water. Being a Maine Coon, all of my hair makes me look tough and I guard the yard – when I am not cuddling with Sarah, of course. Life is good here.

KC, the Cat of the Day

Special Kitty of the Day for April 10th

Boarpig, the Cat of the Day
Name: Boarpig
Age: Ten years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Maine Coon mix
Home: California, Maryland, USA
My pet’s name is Boarpig – Boar for short – and he is a part Maine Coon cat. He adopted us when he was a small kitten. We had just moved to a new neighborhood in California, Maryland and he showed up on our doorstep. At first he was an outdoor kitty, but he soon moved indoors. He loves both my husband and myself.

Boar only tolerates several other people when they come to visit. He has the run of the house and we can find him sleeping in any room on the bed or in a chair. He loves to lie in his bed in front of the gas fireplace when we have it on. He weights twenty pounds and has to sit on his master’s lap every night after dinner for around an hour. He also insists we comb him every morning – he goes and lays down on a rug beside the drawer in which we keep his comb and brush. But that keeps him looking his best, and that dense coat free from matts, so we never object! We love him.

Test Your Cat Knowledge

Test Your Cat Knowledge

  • Cherise Udell

Feline Muse by Cherise Udell

Since so many people enjoyed my first Cat Quiz in “What Is Your Cat IQ?” I thought I’d put forth round two of quizzing your cat knowledge. So, invite a purring pussy cat onto your lap and take this informative quiz together.

 

1. All cats have retractable claws. True or False?

False. Cheetahs do not retract their claws.

 

2. Myth, legend, and folklore surround the Maine Coon Cat. One legend claims these cats are the descendants of a cat belonging to Marie Antoinette. True or False?

True. According to legend, a ship captain named Samuel Clough attempted to help Marie Antoinette escape France, but was only able to save her cats. He sailed to America and left the kitties in Maine.

 

3. One cat can give birth to over 400 kittens in her lifetime. True of False?

True. A tabby named Dusty delivered 420 documented kittens in her lifetime. Hopefully, Dusty didn’t have to name them all!

 

4. Ailurophobia means “fear of cats.” True or False?

True.

5. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hilter all hated cats. True or False?

True All of these men, who sought to dominate the world, did share a hatred of felines. Hmmmmm….

 

6. Feeding dog food to a cat on a regular basis can cause blindness in the cat. True or False?

True. Dog food typically lacks taurine, a nutrient essential for cat eye and heart health.

 

7. Carrots are toxic to cats. True or false?

False. But onions, green tomatoes, raw egg yolk, raw potatoes, grapes, raisins, poinsettias, philodendrons, dental floss, and aspirin can all cause havoc on a cat’s digestive system and health.

8. A group of kittens is called a litter. True or False?

False. Everyone I know refers to a group of kittens as a “litter,” however the proper term is “kindle.”

9. The world’s largest feral cat population is in Egypt. True or False?

False. The largest feral cat population is in Rome. Over 300,000 feral cats call famous Roman landmarks such as the Coliseum and Vatican City, home.

10. An ancient Chinese legend maintains that the cat is the result of a romantic tryst between a lioness and a monkey. True or False?

True. The legend suggests that the lioness endowed her offspring with dignity, while the monkey passed on curiosity and playfulness. I would have never thought that one up myself, but now that the Chinese mention it, it makes lots of sense!

 

How did you do? Did any of these answers surprise you? Have you ever heard the term “kindle” used to refer to a group of kittens? I am sure with a little creativity, we all could come up with a significantly more descriptive and endearing term to describe such cuteness!

Special Kitty of the Day for January 10th

KitKat, the Cat of the Day
Name: KitKat
Age: Nine months old
Gender: Female
Kind: Maine Coon
Home: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
KitKat came into the veterinary clinic I work at when she was around three weeks old. Someone had found her dangling from underneath a truck by her paw. She was so tiny and had a bent arm from being stuck under the truck for so long. I took her home with me, where I bottle fed her and bandaged her leg back to health. She’s now almost a year old and is one of our more vocal and active cats in a family of three cats total. She kept growing and growing, and is now nine months old, and as she’s probably a Maine Coon from the looks of it, may get even bigger, but she could not get any sweeter, or more loved.

KitKat and I would like to remind everyone to thump their engine on cold mornings this winter, just in case someone has crawled in there for warmth, so they can jump down and escape safely before you move the vehicle.

Just for Fun……Test Your Cat Knowledge

Test Your Cat Knowledge

  • Cherise Udell

Since so many people enjoyed my first Cat Quiz in “What Is Your Cat IQ?” I thought I’d put forth round two of quizzing your cat knowledge. So, invite a purring pussy cat onto your lap and take this informative quiz together.

 

1. All cats have retractable claws. True or False?

False. Cheetahs do not retract their claws.

 

2. Myth, legend, and folklore surround the Maine Coon Cat. One legend claims these cats are the descendants of a cat belonging to Marie Antoinette. True or False?

True. According to legend, a ship captain named Samuel Clough attempted to help Marie Antoinette escape France, but was only able to save her cats. He sailed to America and left the kitties in Maine.

 

3. One cat can give birth to over 400 kittens in her lifetime. True of False?

True. A tabby named Dusty delivered 420 documented kittens in her lifetime. Hopefully, Dusty didn’t have to name them all!

 

4. Ailurophobia means “fear of cats.” True or False?

True.

 

5. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hilter all hated cats. True or False?

True All of these men, who sought to dominate the world, did share a hatred of felines. Hmmmmm….

 

6. Feeding dog food to a cat on a regular basis can cause blindness in the cat. True or False?

True. Dog food typically lacks taurine, a nutrient essential for cat eye and heart health.

 

7. Carrots are toxic to cats. True or false?

False. But onions, green tomatoes, raw egg yolk, raw potatoes, grapes, raisins, poinsettias, philodendrons, dental floss, and aspirin can all cause havoc on a cat’s digestive system and health.

 

8. A group of kittens is called a litter. True or False?

False. Everyone I know refers to a group of kittens as a “litter,” however the proper term is “kindle.”

 

9. The world’s largest feral cat population is in Egypt. True or False?

False. The largest feral cat population is in Rome. Over 300,000 feral cats call famous Roman landmarks such as the Coliseum and Vatican City, home.

 

10. An ancient Chinese legend maintains that the cat is the result of a romantic tryst between a lioness and a monkey. True or False?

True. The legend suggests that the lioness endowed her offspring with dignity, while the monkey passed on curiosity and playfulness. I would have never thought that one up myself, but now that the Chinese mention it, it makes lots of sense!

 

How did you do? Did any of these answers surprise you? Have you ever heard the term “kindle” used to refer to a group of kittens? I am sure with a little creativity, we all could come up with a significantly more descriptive and endearing term to describe such cuteness! Any suggestions?

Special Kitty of the Day for November 11th

Hairball, the Cat of the Day
Name: Hairball
Age: Unknown
Gender: Male
Kind: Maine Coon mix
Home: Illinois, USA
We found Hairball under our deck. He adopted us immediately, recognizing us as cat people who would spoil him shamelessly. We’re not sure how old he is, our guess is somewhere between four and five by now. He has two brothers to torment, Squirm (the Worm) and Spankenstein. He graciously allows us to live in his house.

Hairball is the “big brother” in our house. He loves to play with his little brother, Squirm. They chase each other around the house, while the “middle kid” Spankenstein watches them like they’re morons. Hairball like to chase the laser light point and can do a back flip when he feels like it. At night he sleeps on my feet. During the day, he’s on my lap… when he can push Spankenstein off. As you can see by the picture, he loves to squeeze himself into small spaces. He is happiest in a bag, under the foot stool or stuffed into a FedEx box. When we’re not home, he hangs out on top of our china cabinet, surveying his domain.

Kute, Kuddly Kitty of the Day for Sept. 28th

Coupe, the Cat of the Day
Name: Coupe
Age: Seven years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Maine Coon mix
Home: Sacramento, California, USA
This is our huge cat, Coupe. Coupe’s mother was a pregnant stray that found us back in 2004. She gave birth to six kittens in our bathroom three weeks after we took her in. I wanted to keep one of the kittens (and their mom!) and chose Coupe because he was the only kitten of the six who didn’t scream his head off every time I picked him up. We found very good homes for the other kittens. Our neighbor took two of the kittens and we still see them regularly.

Our vet believes Coupe is part Maine Coon because of his size. He is extremely large and very heavy. He is not a very friendly cat, though. He is scared of just about everything and if he is outside he will viciously attack any dog that gets too close – including our own. He has even attacked me a few times when I’ve made a sudden noise by dropping something or closing a door too hard. My husband thinks Coupe has something mentally wrong with him – and maybe he does – but he’s a very nice cat when he’s calm. He loves to be pet (only his head and neck, though!) and have his shoulders massaged. Coupe has a very odd personality but we love him just the way he is.

Coupe, the Cat of the Day
Coupe, the Cat of the Day