U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Cats
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 01-15-2014, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,683,339 times
Reputation: 5072

Advertisements

So this is a new scenario for me, having sibling/litter mate cats. These two female cats have been together since birth. There is no question as they were in the same shelter as kittens and well documented then just as during their more recent stay.

Thus in planning things I assumed cats who get along and would even want to spend time together. And they do seem to. They don't curl up in a bed together but they do share a litter box and share water bowls. I bring food in two bowls so they may easily eat simultaneously, but later they will often switch and eat from the other bowl and so forth. They spend the workdays in a small bedroom together. And they do play some stalking and chasing games together, as in stalking each other. That seems to be play to me with no ill intent and no indications of distress.

But, I am wondering if somehow despite all that they will still stake out territory of their own? I wouldn't have thought so, but one situation that makes me wonder is the bed. The human bed I mean. Right now for example I have one cat here. The other cat has come in a couple times but doesn't stay up here any more, plus this one almost looked like she moved to chase other other away. The second one doesn't seem to want to stay anymore. I would chalk it entirely up to personality except that a week ago we had periods of both being here.

So do I need to be concerned about territorial issues or should that not be a concern with these siblings who have been together all their lives? They've been here about 6 weeks. As most of you know I did have another cat here but she passed in July so they are the only cats although who knows if they might still smell something at times. I haven't gotten that impression but can't be sure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-15-2014, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
15,575 posts, read 9,650,106 times
Reputation: 34372
Not all cats are fond of cuddling with other cats, even their siblings. I have had cats that I felt would have been just as happy if they didn't have another cat in the house. But that doesn't make them hostile, just different. Same as people, some like to be in the middle of a bunch of people all the time and some like to be alone.

Don
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2014, 11:16 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,958,716 times
Reputation: 30256
Read this thread: Sister cats hate each other after being best friends since little

I posted a link to a very good article in the thread that explains it can happen between 1 and 3 years of age.

Based on what I read, I'd make sure there is ample food and water available and I'd allow them to have full access to the house so they can have their space. It doesn't seem like it's something you can entirely avoid. It might happen anyway. But it sounds like it's a pretty dire situation when it happens because the article says it's rarely has a positive outcome.

As you can see from the OP in the thread, her cats were sisters that she adopted when they were small kittens. It seems being sisters from the same litter doesn't mean it can't happen.

It's a shame the one cat is exiled from the bed. I don't know the right answer for that. It might make things worse if you try to force the other cat to allow it in your bed. I'd call the cat behaviorist at Animal Friends. The woman is truly brilliant with cats. Maybe she has suggestions that can help prevent a future problem before/if it starts.

Another thing to keep in mind. Even though they are siblings, they were probably forced to be in a cage together while at the shelter. Now they spend their weekday days in a small bedroom together. Maybe they just want their space after so much time sharing close quarters. I'm just guessing being closed in a small bedroom might be part of the problem that since the article says that moving from a small apartment to a larger home can sometimes stop the aggression.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-16-2014, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,683,339 times
Reputation: 5072
They still spend plenty of amicable time together so I hardly think anything is too dire at this point. They are happy enough even when I leave for work in the morning, to be near each other and both receive some attention. They eat together and are not aggressive at all about that. No litter box issues. Etc.

What I noticed the last few nights was how the one cat didn't seem to come up to the bed anymore (although she does still come into the bedroom and has been known to sleep on the floor in various places in there). And then last night specifically how the other cat appeared to run her off. Now I don't know that was the intent. She could have just been startled or just wanted to run over and the other cat decided to get down or the other cat was startled. Who knows.

I just figured I'd ask in general if it was possible for problems to arise between siblings, and apparently it is. (Now I remember that other thread but didn't find it last night in a couple searches.) We'll have to watch I suppose. But I'm not sensing that there's a rift. Just wondering whether it could happen, or whether despite getting along amicably they might stake out personal individual territory in the house.

The main appearance right now is that the the personalities are shifting, where the one cat who was at first more outgoing is now the less likely one to seek our human attention.

I'm reading the Cat Sense book too and perhaps that will give me some clues.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-16-2014, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,931,493 times
Reputation: 6449
I wouldn't read too much into that. Although Weasie's brother was with us for only three months before he vanished they never had a territorial squabble. They did have their sibling spats, but it wasn't over a favored window sill or piece of furniture or what have you.
At present the relationship between my "grrrrlz" is of course different - mother/daughter - but the dynamic seems much the same. Seteria favors a crate lid that I lined with an old fleece blanket, and Blaliko much enjoys snoozing in the office chair left over from when I worked at home. Besides that it appears to be "share and share alike" as a rule. That of course depends on Blaliko's (the mom's) mood. Earlier today the two were happily nestled close to one another in the big upholstered living room chair. On especially cold days they've been known to smoosh together in a "nap box" by a baseboard heater or atop the thick comforter on the bed. At other times, through hisses and growls and swats Blaliko makes it clear that the spot she's claimed is hers alone - no ifs, ands, or buts. (She's the aggressor 100% of the time; however, as the mother that's probably her prerogative.) It's not so much a "personality shift" as what her frame of mind is at any given moment.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-16-2014, 11:08 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 88,958,716 times
Reputation: 30256
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
They still spend plenty of amicable time together so I hardly think anything is too dire at this point. They are happy enough even when I leave for work in the morning, to be near each other and both receive some attention. They eat together and are not aggressive at all about that. No litter box issues. Etc.

What I noticed the last few nights was how the one cat didn't seem to come up to the bed anymore (although she does still come into the bedroom and has been known to sleep on the floor in various places in there). And then last night specifically how the other cat appeared to run her off. Now I don't know that was the intent. She could have just been startled or just wanted to run over and the other cat decided to get down or the other cat was startled. Who knows.

I just figured I'd ask in general if it was possible for problems to arise between siblings, and apparently it is. (Now I remember that other thread but didn't find it last night in a couple searches.) We'll have to watch I suppose. But I'm not sensing that there's a rift. Just wondering whether it could happen, or whether despite getting along amicably they might stake out personal individual territory in the house.

The main appearance right now is that the the personalities are shifting, where the one cat who was at first more outgoing is now the less likely one to seek our human attention.

I'm reading the Cat Sense book too and perhaps that will give me some clues.
Let them have full run of the house now. This is the type of think you want to avoid because it's not easily fixed after it starts. Give them their space. Don't wait until you see a rift.

When are you going to post pictures of the girls?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-16-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Somewhere
1,272 posts, read 1,717,097 times
Reputation: 2403
I'm so happy to hear that you have new kitties Greg42! Hopefully it's just an adjustment period for them and once they are settled it will have worked it's way out.

I'm starting to see a change in the group dynamics with my 5 though. I got them as kittens and they all got along really well until just recently (about 1-1/2 years later).

From the beginning one of them (they are all males) decided to take on the alpha role. I saw that other post where people didn't feel like cats took on an alpha role in multi cat households but mine did. He was never mean. He would just let them know that he was in charge. Meaning when he was playing with a toy it was his. If he decided to come up to their toy he could have it. But he was never aggressive about it. He was also the nurturing one....overseeing them and making sure they were Ok. To this day he still maintains that role and everyone allows him to continue it.

We also had one that tried to be a little bully in the beginning especially with our cat with CH. Every time Bumbies would walk somewhere he would cut him off and also kind of push him away from the food/water bowl he was at even though there were other bowls available. But he was never overly aggressive or mean.

However another one is now trying to be dominant over the other 3 and has been getting progressively more aggressive and mean in his dealings with them. And 2 of them are now scared of him and will run off when he gives them that look. Sometimes (and it is increasing) he will run after them and bite them. This is by no means the play biting on the neck that they do when they are just chasing and running around because when they did that it would be reciprocal and then they would lay down next to each other and rest. Sometimes one of the 2 will be just laying in a room and he walks over to them and just bites them. It's really sad and I'm not sure what to do.

This one is also not that social with us. He just sits and glares at us and flicks his tail all the time. But as soon as I sit down he lays right by my side. But again he just glares at me. He will allow me to briefly pet his chin....but if I start to pet his body his tail flicks fast and I know it's just a matter of time until he will try to bite me. All of mine were feral and he really seems to continue to exhibit feral behaviors. I think he would have been the next resident tomcat in his colony.

I feel really sorry for him because he was such a fun and happy guy when he was a little kitten. I really believe that the meds they gave him when he was neutered changed him. He turned into this introverted, non-purring, skittish guy and that mixed with his feral beginnings just haven't been good for him.

Anyway I've been trying to do what some have mentioned here and that is I give them pretty much free reign of 4000sf so that they can each find their own special place in the house. It was hard to try to kitten proof all areas due to having some cats with disabilities. Just the other night Bumbies (our cat with CH) got stuck behind the washer and couldn't get out. I almost lost it that night because when I first found him (thankfully to our Alpha cat who was watching over him) he was meowing to me and bumbling around back there (caught on the cord) but then all of a sudden complete silence (and this is very difficult for a cat with CH....everything is noisy because it's like mini earthquakes...lol). I screamed to my husband and he jumped out of bed (naked) to come to his rescue....at midnight! Thankfully Bumbies was Ok. However mean boy didn't like Bumbies new smell so I had to keep Bumbies separate for awhile.

Anyway sorry for the long post :-) Would LOVE to see pictures of your girls!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,683,339 times
Reputation: 5072
I haven't taken that many pics yet. Maybe more this weekend. There is one in the Cat Pics thread from early on.

I'm going to make additional effort to see if we can get the stairway situation resolved and leave them in the living room unattended starting either tonight or tomorrow. We can't do downstairs as it's just too much for them potentially to get into, but it's only a small extra space and most of our time is spent upstairs (it's a split foyer house, more than half of downstairs is actually the garage, but there is a finished room down there as well that we use for TV and a couple other things; we're skipping the TV right now ).

I'm still worried there are things upstairs they'll get into when we're not home, but they haven't shown too much mischief during the time that they are out there in the evenings and prior weekends. They're playful but they're also not kittens so perhaps not as much mischief. I'm wondering if they will decide to jump on the kitchen counters or something, that would be a pain. I haven't had to worry about that for several years now once Amber stopped being able to jump that far.

Last night there was a possum outside, pretty far away when I finally looked (about 15 or so feet) but I think they could see it even though dark. I had to turn on the light. I'm a little concerned what will happen with cats going by....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 19,683,339 times
Reputation: 5072
So I guess we're on Day 5 of 24/7 having access to the living/dining room and kitchen in addition to their own room, and Day 3 of that being midweek with 9 hours or so alone. (We started on Saturday and went out for 1/2 hour then on Sunday were gone for about 1.5 hours.) Today seems to be the day when they stopped appearing to look for us coming back. Monday and Tuesday I think they thought we'd be back soon, judging from their actions we could see on the cameras. At the moment they are both in the sun coming in from the back, and have probably been watching some birds at times. They're only a few inches from each other really, the closest I've seen them in a while.

I rigged up the gate on the stair landing and blocked off the railing with some poster board and that seems to be working okay actually, and it's the most convenient place for the gate anyway. (I should take a picture though, it's pretty hilarious what I rigged up because on the railing side there was nowhere for the tension gate to mount properly at the top. So I've clamped a board in there. LOL)

There's no real sign of changes otherwise. The last couple days they spent their sleep time in different spots but not that far from each other, and today they're actually closer. But at night it's still only Poppet who comes up to the bed. Widget tends to stay out of the bedroom now. When they were still restricted to the bedroom, their room and the hallway and bath, she stayed in the hallway it seems or sometimes on the bedroom floor. Now I tend to find her out near the kitchen. Before I finally go to sleep I look to see where Widget is, just for curiosity (and look for Poppet too if necessary, although usually she is in the bed at that point). Every once in a while I bring Widget in to the bedroom, but she is not interested in staying. I still just find it odd, that was my original thought when starting the thread. Because earlier on in their stay at our house, Widget was also interested in the bed. And now the interest is gone for some reason. Oh well. I guess I have to let her do what she's going to do.

One of the earlier nights though (I think Saturday) I found Widget looking out the sliding glass door and I finally saw in person the midnight deer. I've seen them many times in pics from the trail camera but never caught sight with my own eyes until then. A couple of does went by that night, but there's been a buck at times too. I know I said this before but I never realized the deer would be so active in the middle of the night.

So while the new girls had settled into our original leaving for work routine and original sleep routine, I think they are now settling into the new ones with a lot more space and interesting things to see out back. And no signs of mischief either. We've seen them chase and stalk each other on camera, just as we do sometimes when we are home, but that is clearly playing and doesn't result in any real animosity. It's fun to watch in fact.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Cats
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top