Is Your Cat The Victim Of Bullying?

A bully cat, Luna, terrorizes the animals of my neighborhood; she knows no fear and will go after any animal, big or small.

Chasing raccoons or gophers away could be viewed as a positive, but on several occasions we’ve had to rescue other cats from high up in trees where they had raced to get away from Luna, but then couldn’t get back down.

Is bullying a natural occurrence in the animal world? 

According to the BBC’s “Future,” most animals live in some form of hierarchy, which means that ones who are higher up will bully those lower down the pecking order.

It’s not too hard to find examples. Researchers have found a bullying pattern of harassment in wolves, for example; while almost never attacking other packs of wolves, they will routinely single out a so-called “omega” wolf, a weakened member of their own group, as the object of bullying. The harassment is almost always instigated by an alpha wolf, but carried out by lower-ranking wolf. You have probably also seen male chimps show displays where they will square off against each other in order to be the boss.

Of course, the phrase “pecking order” comes directly from the natural world of chickens and hens. Each bird pecks another lower down the order, but at the same time has to endure pecking from a bird of a higher rank.

Bullying appears to be a natural phenomenon in the animal world, and cats are no exception.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Being Bullied?

Stress-related behaviors are evidence that your cat has become the victim of a feline bully:

*  Hiding under beds and couches

*  Becoming agitated when seeing another cat outside

*  Not eating

* Spraying in the home

* Hesitating by the door before going out

How To Deal With The Neighborhood Bully Cat?

Cats are territorial creatures who actively defend their patch against invasion. Those with access outdoors patrol their territory, leaving scent marks that enable large numbers to inhabit the same area without frequent confrontation. Most of the cat’s communication, using scent, body language and vocalization is about avoiding fights. But sometimes there are exceptions: cats who will not tolerate any other feline on “their” territory, or even near their territory.

Here are some ways to prevent your cat from becoming the victim of a bully cat:

*  Spay or neuter your cat so he or she doesn’t set out to look for a mate

*  Install a cat door that will only allow your cat to enter your home

*  Identify your cat using a safety collar and a microchip

*  Keep an indoor litter box for your cat

*  Do what you can to enclose your backyard and keep intruder cats out

*  Keep your cat entertained with all the toys she needs

When my precious black cat Jaspar seemed to be slowing down, and spending a lot of time home sleeping, even though he was an indoor/outdoor cat, my husband and I decided Jaspar needed a friend, a younger cat who would keep him company and maybe put more life into him.

It didn’t turn out that way. When Jaspar, a fully grown cat, met Jake, a lively 4-month-old kitten, they took an instant dislike to each other. Worse, it was Jaspar who was terrified of the new arrival. Jaspar hid from and hissed at Jake, while Jake leapt on top of tables, couches, whatever, and seemed to be laughing at Jaspar and taunting him.

How To Combat Bullying In A Multi-Cat Household?

Here are some steps you can take:

*  When introducing a new cat into your home, keep your cats completely separate for an initial period (anything from one to three months).

*  Limit competition between your cats by making sure there are enough feeding areas, water bowls, scratching posts and litter trays so that each cat can have their own.

* Position food bowls so that each cat can eat without having to turn his back on a potential adversary. Monitor to make sure that one cat isn’t eating out of everyone’s bowls.

* If possible, come up with two separate entry and exit doors to your home, so that even the most timid cat can get in and out easily, and will not have to deal with a blocked entryway.

• Provide indoor litter facilities, even if the cats have access outside.

Realistically, cats will be cats, and some of them will never be best friends. Jake and Jaspar learned to tolerate each other, but Jaspar was a homebody, while Jake had boundless energy, loved to get out early in the morning, and not return until late at night, bringing his spoils back with him. But at least Jake no longer bullied Jaspar.

 

 

 

101 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey2 years ago

Thanks

SEND
Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller2 years ago

My cat is an only kitty (her sister passed a few months back) and an inside cat. So she does not have to deal with any bullies.

SEND
Telica Randall-Fraser
Telica R2 years ago

Thank you for sharing

SEND
Magdalena J.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you!

SEND
Natasha Salgado
Past Member 2 years ago

I'm lucky that my 10 kitties get along very well. They have their spats here there but no losers or winners.

SEND
Pamela A.
Pamela A2 years ago

Thanks

SEND
Kathy K.
Kathy K2 years ago

Thanks.

SEND
Laurie Armer
Laurie Armer2 years ago

After more than a decade of being a foster parent to teen boys, in addition to my own boys, I joined an animal rescue group. I'm one of those "failed fosterers" as I end up adopting them all lol. I now have 5 cats and 2 dogs (one is blind, actually has no eyes due to mistreatment from his owner). Anyhow, one of the male cats (HUGE), his name is Rascal, rightfully so, but his nickname if Thug. The other bully is a small female, Jinx (nickname she-devil), who has 6 feet! Yes six, fully-formed, functioning feet with 23 toes and nails. Which she takes full advantage of over the other "normal" footed felines. As the article mentions, I've had to have (for my sanity) 5 separate litter boxes (they are all indoor cats), cozy places everywhere, 5 separate feeding stations. As well, at bedtime, "Thug" and Jinx have to be put in their own bedrooms (I have spares) because they have, and continue to, wreak havoc on the unsuspecting! It is also not out of character for these 2 to take swipes at the dogs....just because they feel like it :)

SEND
Carole R.
Carole R2 years ago

My kitties get along very well but I have seen this and it's sad.

SEND