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Dominant cat or a push over?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Citrineblue, Nov 6, 2012.


  1. Citrineblue

    Citrineblue PetForums VIP

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    My older cat seems a little confused....we have two cats an 11 month old male and a 5 1/2 month old male. The older cat is definitely dominant in most areas of behaviour, he has the best spots to sleep and the kitten defers to him in all areas EXEPT when they are both eating their food!! I put both food bowls down at the same time and separate them to other sides of the kitchen. They both start eating, the kitten looks up and comes over to the older cats bowl and literally shoves his head in moving the older cat out of the way. The older cat just lets him, stops eating, and waits for him to finish before he restarts.

    If i'm on hand I always move the kitten back to his bowl straight away and he then happily finishes eating from that bowl!!!

    Is my elder boy just being a sweetie? is it standard behaviour for an older cat to allow a kitten first nibbles? Is he taking on the role of mum? and is the kitten just thinking the grass is always greener when going for the older cats bowl?

    There isn't a problem, all is happy in the house hold and no aggression is shown I was just interested is this standard behaviour?
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    This sounds like territorial behaviour on the part of the kitten. Perhaps it is the one area where he feels he can assert himself with the older cat. I have found that sometimes a dominant cat will give up their bowl of food if another cat in the household suddenly pushes in. I don't really know why this is, but I bet if your older cat had a mouse in his grasp he wouldn't give it up to the kitten!

    To avoid this kind of take-over bid I would feed the 2 cats at different levels, one on the floor, one on a table or low shelf, and then monitor them during their meals, as you have been doing. They seem to learn to respect each other's space better when they are fed at different levels.
     
  3. Citrineblue

    Citrineblue PetForums VIP

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    Yes, instead of just moving the bowl I do sometimes feed the older cat up on a higher level.I just found it interesting as it has not just been the one off it is a daily occurrence!!

    I do wonder if it is a mothering instinct coming out as the older one does clean/lick the younger cat a fair amount!! They both come from the same breeder and did not leave their mums until 13 weeks.
     
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