How Do Cats Choose Cat Friends?

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

Precious Moments

Precious Moments

Precious Moments Cassie wasn't happy :( One happy family! Furby and Cassie

Good day readers. I'm sorry this isn't an article on how cats choose their cat friends. I need help and the internet has very little to offer me on this subject. So I'm turning to the readers here for guidance.

Let me explain the situation at my cat sanctuary. I have a total of 15 cats. Lola was first, then Furby came along when Lola was about eight months old. So by the time I started rescuing in late November of 2010 they were buddies and still are.

I've done three rescues where I brought home members of the same family. The first litter, about six weeks old, which I affectionately call "the MandyLane gang," are Mandy, Sammy and Jasper. Mandy was the only girl.

Then we have Mia and Lucky, a mother and son. There was a girl kitten who died after she was mistakenly spayed while suffering from a serious URI. Lucky earned his name before we even left the shelter. He was LUCKY to survive the URI. Mia is around two years old and Lucky was between three and four months old at the time of rescue.

Finally we have Sheela and Shirley, nine month old sisters who appear to be a Maine Coon mix. I haven't had them quite two weeks yet. They slept together in the bed we made up in the tub for their first night at home. I also caught them sleeping on the bookcase the other night. Other than that-nothing. They act as if they're strangers.

Then there's Casper, who had a slight identity crisis last week as he was eating off of my plate and I realized things just didn't look right "down there." So now Casper is Cassie and scheduled for spaying on April 6 when Mandy goes in for hers. Cassie was a emaciated little kitten at the time of rescue. The shelter had nicknamed him Scrawny. Cassie was a single cat rescue, but she fits into this story quite a bit. Sorry for the confusion here folks.

I know everyone probably thinks cats of the same family stay together, but in my case that's totally not happening. At least not as often as I thought it would.

Mia and Lucky never lay together. They haven't since the first few days after rescue. Lucky decided he wanted to play and sleep with the MandyLane gang. I think they've made him an honorary brother.

Lola has decided she likes Mia and tries to get Mia to play. Lola also likes Lucky and will allow him to sleep on top of the clothes dryer.

I may as well mention Gizzy while she's on my mind. Gizzy hates all cats and loves people. The cats all avoid her because she doesn't want to play or sleep with or have any contact with ANY of them. We still love her and call her our "demon cat" because she can growl, hiss, spit and slap at the same time. Gizzy is around three years old and came from a broken home.

Mia claimed a chair in the kitchen about a month ago when she came out of hiding. She's usually there sleeping alone or with Jasper or Mandy. She's taken a few under the bed naps with Furby. I've never seen her with anyone else. She's a very sweet kitty and gets along with all of the other cats.

Cassie claimed one of the boxes on the kitchen bar. She stayed in there roughly two months, only coming out long enough to eat and go to the litter box. I don't know if she enjoyed her box with the pet thermal pad or if she thought she HAD to stay in the box. Cassie has finally come out of her box and turned into a part time lap cat.

Cassie also allows other cats to sleep with her now. Lucky, Mandy and now Shirley are allowed to curl up and take a nap. Not just in the cat box, but also on the couch.

Mandy also likes to sleep in the kitchen chair beside Mia. Mia either doesn't mind or is simply too lazy to make her move. Jasper also likes to take a snooze next to Mia. To look at Jasper you'd think they were related. I can assure you they're not.

I got up the other morning and discovered Shirley in the cat box with Cassie. They've formed a friendship in one week.

And Furby was giving the kittens in the MandyLane gang a tongue bath and sleeping with them from the beginning. Again-no relation-just friends. Take a look at this video of Furby and Sammy.

I can tell Furby's favorite new cat is Lucky. They chase each other a lot and sleep together most days.

You wouldn't believe how many of my friends ask me what I do to keep the cats from fighting. My only answer is in how I choose which animals to rescue. When I look at the list of euthanasia cats from GCAC there are only a few that REALLY grab my attention. They're all beautiful and they all need a rescuer. I hate the fact I can't save them all. Maybe it's my empathic ability that leads me to some and not to others. I honestly don't know.

So how do cats choose cat friends? I forgot to mention I only have one talking cat in my sanctuary and that's Shirley. Any time I look at Shirley she starts "talking" to me. I'll meow back at her and I swear sometimes we have a conversation going on between us. I hate to tell Shirley I'm not all that fluent in "cat."

As I said earlier, the internet is no help on this subject and I'm very curious. Since my cats aren't very vocal and most are downright polite to the new arrivals, what do they judge each other by?

I wonder if meal etiquette is involved. If the cats get along well while eating then perhaps they form friendships that way. Or is it the low stress atmosphere I try to maintain?

Then there's the "lap theory." If I have a cat in my lap and another wants some time with me, I often end up with two cats in my lap. Check out the above picture of Cassie and Mandy the first time Mandy announced she wanted to sleep on Cassie. This look is priceless. I wonder now if Mandy knew before we did that Cassie's a girl because Mandy has been fond of her from the beginning.

Sweet little Mandy is also my welcoming committee to the new additions. Mandy loves EVERYONE!

So what do you all think? How are these cats forming friendships? Are they picking up on subtle hints that a certain cat would make a good cat buddy? Is there an odor put off, or could it be manners? I've gotten curious about all of this.

I'm just glad I've made as many good decisions as I have selecting which cats will get along with other cats in my sanctuary. I can think of nothing worse than a houseful of cats who don't get along. Actually I can. A house full of relatives who don't get along so let's not go there. LOL.

Have a great day everyone!

Elisa

P.S. For many many more photos go to Fu rby the Feral on Facebook and check out the three Furby's Halfway House Album. I also have links to all the rescue stories at www.furbythecat.shutterfly.com along with a chip in link to donate to the spay/neuter of the kittens next month.

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How Do Cats Choose Cat Friends?

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Mar 29, 2011
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Cats Rule! ;D
by: Catherine

I have only had interaction with one declawed cat (I feel it is cruel and inhumane to declaw) so I can't add too much to that area. The declawed cat I met lived with her brother who was also declawed. They were rescues and grew up together. The female was very friendly with me, but her brother was too shy to come very close. May have been too many people visiting at the time. The owners were having their babies first birthday family get-together. Sorry, rambling on... so...

My mother had many cats over her lifetime. Some got along quite well with others; some did not. One particular female comes to mind. Her name was Pandora. Mom got her when she was about a year old and pregnant. The people who originally owned her were not devoted cat people. Pan went into season, carried on like Siamese/Burmese do, and was thrown outside because the owners could not deal with the noise. When she came to Mom's house, she was a terrified mother-to-be. The other cats seemed to accept her in varying degrees.

After the kittens were born, Pan was a very devoted mother. Once the kittens were weaned, Pan wanted nothing more to do with them. She would hiss, growl, and swat at them if they came too close. Pan was a people-person and wanted NOTHING to do with other cats.

I think cats are small versions of people with lots of hair and lack of the human language. If we watch them closely, we should see that each one has his own personality just like humans. Since they don't speak human like we do, they rely on smell and body language to help them decide who to befriend. They communicate their feelings through pretty much the same way we do.

I think that declawed cats probably socialize in basically the same way as intact cats do, inspite of their disadvantages. I would like to believe that intact cats will take into consideration the disabled kitties handicap and treat them with kindness, even if they decide not to like each other.

We could learn a lot from cats. ;D


Mar 28, 2011
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Yes, but
by: Anonymous

It would indeed be a great way of getting more cats into loving homes. But the fact remains that many cats in multi cat households exhibit signs of stress whether their owners realise it or not. Just ask any vet.

To some extent how cats get along depends on how introductions are made, how much space you have and the current hierarchy...and I suppose the personality of the cats concerned. And lets not forget cats can get on for years ..and then confound us by falling out.

One more cat can be one too many. But there will be folk with or one or two cats who probably could squeeze another one in...sadly though people don't always want to do the work. My friend Jackie is a great 'cat mum'. But she's adament she only wants one..

Good luck with your project.


Mar 28, 2011
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Go Girl, They are so Precious
by: Lindy Fellober

We had 6 and one of our girls Misu was very dominate,from the age of 2 and up. They were all precious in their own individuality. She was a dilute calico. I don't have these dear babies at this time as I lost them in a fire Dec. 11/11, they are with God now along with all our other dear pet family. We will be taking in a feral we have been caring for whom we have named Simba. He was actually an owned cat who was abandoned twice and is going on 10, dear little guy. I have been taking care of him outside in a carrier, food, treats and blanketed carrier until my apartment is ready which hopefully will be soon for Simba's sake.


Mar 28, 2011
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Go Girl, They are so Precious
by: Lindy Fellober

We had 6 and one of our girls Misu was very dominate,from the age of 2 and up. They were all precious in their own individuality. She was a dilute calico. I don't have these dear babies at this time as I lost them in a fire Dec. 11/11, they are with God now along with all our other dear pet family. We will be taking in a feral we have been caring for whom we have named Simba. He was actually an owned cat who was abandoned twice and is going on 10, dear little guy. I have been taking care of him outside in a carrier, food, treats and blanketed carrier until my apartment is ready which hopefully will be soon for Simba's sake.


Mar 28, 2011
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cat relationships
by: lynn

i think whether they are an alpha cat makes a big difference. i have 10 right now. the 18&19 year olds died over a year ago. the 19 year old got along with almost everyone, the 18 year old dominated everyone, including trying it on me. after he passed,the dynamics changed. i separate them by relationships. i try introducing them slowly. leaving a crack in the door or gate between rooms they are in. or exposing them to each other while i can be there to supervise. i volunteer at a shelter & we almost lost a cat to infection because a cat attacked another when no one was there. now we keep only one cat out at a time if no one is there unless they previously have lived together. i keep 4 ferals in my bedroom & kitchen that i've had since 1999,2002& 2004. 2 others that don't like other cats in my living room area. they tolerate each other but hiss & go after any other cat that comes their way. had these cats since 2004&2006. have tried countless times to mix them but there's always a drama. the male will seriously go after the feral males. one of the feral males is an alpha. he came into the shelter as a puffball with fangs & claws in 1999 with his littermates. i took him home because he was considered "unadoptable". he will also go after this male. they will sit on opposite sides of the door & taunt each other. i also rescued a pregnant female outside in the winter 3 years ago. she had 4 kittens, my neighbor took one. they are upstairs in the bedroom & bathroom area. the alpha who does not like the other male cats will tolerate the kittens, who are now 3. the alpha female growls if they approach her. the kittens still want to cuddle with their mother. she is all set with raising them. she will lie on the same bed with them but does not want them touching her. she doesn't like the cats in my living room. much growling between the females if she comes down. i think all 3 of those cats would prefer to be an only cat. if the right situation came up, i would adopt them out. the littermates have remained close & will pile on top of each other. when my neighbor was adopting the one, we took her over every night for 2 weeks. she had 4 cats & wanted to make sure she would adapt. we also took the kittens littermates over with her one at a time to see if she would be more comfortable. during those 2 weeks, that kitten was developing a closer bond to her cats than her littermates. once she started hissing at her brother & sisters, we felt it was time to leave her stay. my neighbor's cats loved the little kitten that was coming to play & she loved that attention. 3 years later she still gets along great in her new home. my neighbor's feral cat has come out of her shell a little more too. he had issues with that cat hiding all the time from her other cats. i also separate cats as needed for feeding. often one will run from their food to grab another's hoping to save their food for later. i just separate as needed to make sure everyone gets their fair share.


Mar 28, 2011
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What we can't see
by: C.

I have no concrete answers, only guesses. Since cats can detect scents we cannot, that likely plays some part. I believe those cats that have something wrong with them may also know that and behave differently, perhaps fearfully or aggressively if they are in pain. I agree with those who say cats know when they are declawed, and I know of several who were re-homed privately; one because he no longer got along with other cats, and one who was a danger to the kids.


Mar 28, 2011
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doodlemouse
by: Elisa

That's pretty much what we do. We turn the new cat loose in the living room unless its sick. Then it can stay if it wants or go hide if it wants. We've had very few squabbles. Just a few hiss and walk away moments.


Mar 28, 2011
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crate the new cat over night in same room with existing cat(s)
by: doodlemouse

i have several cats and brought home a new one - in the past it i had learned that it could take up to month and half for new cats to accept one another -
by accident i learned that if you put the new cat in a dog crate over night in the same room with existing cats it totally speeds up the process. it is mostly i suspect a fear and territorial thing - and the dog crate provides a safe barrier so they can get to know each other - and assuming all parties are spay/neutered
btw- i had the new cat in a crate the first night because it was impromptu - surprise unplanned new cat - it was late that night so i left him in there over night -waited til the next morning to make accommodations - i was pleased to have no cat quarrels the next day.
amd
the dog crate is one of the wire open kind -
worked for me - and after a day they were all friends. i recommend even swopping and putting your original cat in the dog crate and allow the new cat to roam in the existing territory.
maybe i got lucky but worth a try; it worked for me.


Mar 27, 2011
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Misty
by: Elisa

Our Misty was declawed and turned into the shelter for the second time. The euthanasia list said she wouldn't go back up for adoption. It's sad to see her try to stretch claws that aren't there. And we won't allow the other cats to pick on her as she can't defend herself. Lily was also supposed to be declawed but we think she only had hers trimmed.

I don't agree with declawing under any circumstances. Still, I'd like for those with declawed cats to put in their cat-cat friendship stories just to see if declawed cats behave differently because they're declawed.

And for anyone with declawed cats, be aware the new laser surgery causes 4th degree burns. That means the laser burns into the bone as the claw is removed. And cats are very good at hiding pain.


Mar 27, 2011
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To Cat Buddies
by: Chuck H.

Just for the record, why is it a must that you have your cat's toes amputated off? I live in Los Angeles where it is illegal to de-claw a cat. It's considered animal cruelty. I'd go to jail if I treated my cats the way you treat yours. And you say it so casually too. No cat should have to live their life with someone who can't accept cats as they are.


Mar 27, 2011
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My idea for this story
by: Elisa

My idea to do this story comes from a lot of people avoiding taking in another cat with the excuse their resident cat's wouldn't accept a new cat. I think this article is proving multicat households can get along just fine.

I hope this story convinces a lot of people to take in just one more cat off of the euthanasia list or out of a shelter.


Mar 27, 2011
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my pawesome 5 get along great
by: erin m

Siouxsie (the physically smallest) rules the house with a tiny voice, soft paw, & full authority. She's also the oldest @ 5.5 & has been here longest. Next in line is Luna, although Ayla might disagree- these 2 are around the same age & both are generally laid back although they have tussles over our attention. They take turns starting it too. The Rumble Boys, Finn & Jonny, seem content to being buddies however Finn tends to lead. Jonny is about 4 mo younger. Sioux & Finn cuddle together regularly, Finn likes bathing efurryone else & they seem to enjoy it unless he woke them to do so. With the arrival of a newbie, they are in Q for @ least a week & over the next week are transitioned to living full-time with the rest. Sure, there's some growling & hissing @ 1st however with gentle reminders (& group play followed by group treat hunts) they seem to just go about their business


Mar 27, 2011
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Check out Layla's site
by: Elisa

I just went there and I LOVE Layla's site. The cat section is a bit like what I do with furbythecat.shutterfly.com. I upload a lot of pics and tell a lot of stories.

I can't wait to check out more of this site. It's under The Boomer Muse.

I'm at work for four hours and think I'll work on my ebook. Before I left Mister Tom and Gizzy had a growling/rowroo argument. Tom is the only one who stands up to her. No fighting, just lots of vocals.


Mar 27, 2011
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NEW FAMILY MEMBER ADJUSTMENTS
by: Anonymous

After adopting a front-declawed, 14-yr.-old Maine Coon who'd been in one home all his life, it has been a long, slow adjustment for the rest of the (cat) family and for him, as he's been an "only cat" since kittenhood. There are still occasional spats 2 years down the road, and he definitely has dominance "issues"; but all in all, he has adjusted amazingly well. He hasn't really got a steady pal, but our most loving and concerned little lady has taken to him and washes him from time to time; he seems to like this. He intimidates some of the others and they give him a wide berth. The rest are neutral, as he is toward them. I'm the one he really loves, so at least he has someone he bonds with and trusts.


Mar 27, 2011
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A Beautiful Relationship
by: Madeleine

Though I think I'm pretty savvy as to the behavior of domestic cats, they some how always get great joy in showing me how little savvy I really am. Between the many feline family members I've had and the fosters I've fostered, I don't really think I can answer your question with any confidence. The greatest friendship among my kits was between an adopted handsome red/white male and an adorable adopted Siamese mix female. They were real pals, sharing window perches, bed space and affectionate exchanges. They looked nothing alike and their behaviors were in two opposite extremes. Maybe it was about hierarchy. Thanny (the Siamese mix female) was already here when Rocky (The red/white male)entered the household as a kitten. She was over a year old and he was under a year old. He was the only male in a household of two females kits. My other female was an adopted full Siamese who was less inclined to accept Rocky as part of the family. Then an adopted Tuxedo female (Matilda) was taken in followed by an adopted petite puff ball of a white Persian (Alexis). And as much as Alexis wanted to be part of the duet of Rocky and Thanny, Rocky rudely shooed her away. Why this all worked its way out this way is rather a puzzle.


Mar 27, 2011
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cat buddies
by: Anonymous

Hey Elisa 🙂
This is a good question.
I have 5 cats, 3 males & 2 female, all fixed & fronts declaw (it's a must). I am not sure how they pick their buddies, but all mine get along, sometimes :).. i sometimes have to break up a
disagreement between my 2 male, but everyone gets along. I have a 15yr old femal that lets anyone but 1 male (george) know to leave her alone. George is the only one she gets along with. George is my Lover boy & sometime the other boys pick on him, but they are getting better with each other, it takes time i guess. My younger female is a fiesty little thing, she dont put up with anything from any of the boys. Sometimes she gets bored, i guess, & will tease the boys & then runs. But they all get along. I'm guessing that it is the personallity & when you introduce them as to how they'll get along. I am not sure why some get along & some don't but, i am Lucky to have the 5 i have & they do all get along & all sleep together. All my cats talk, when they want something they will come to me & let me know that they can see the bottom of their bowls :).. it's pittiefull :).. they think if they can see just alittle bit of the bottom of the food bowl, i need to fill it. if they want outside on the porch or if they want to just talk. I'm sure what they are saying but, I wish I could understand them. I have one that will sit and meow at me while i'm taking a bath, he doesn't want in, he just talks to me. I have 5 cats, 3 dogs & a bird, & they all get along. I belive all animals have a 6 sense, that they know that they are loved, safe & have a person that will take care.
Does this help?


Mar 27, 2011
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Cat Saturday
by: Layla

Cats are as complicated as humans when it comes to friendship. To smooth things over I use Feliway (the plugin pheromone)to introduce new cats to each other. I thought My 16-year Siamese boy would never be friends with anyone after his sister died but he loves his two new kitty pals and photo evidence is at my blog every Saturday at the Boomer Muse.


Mar 27, 2011
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How Do Ctas Choose Cat Friends
by: Anonymous

here's my thoughts.they pick on behavior,body language,needs and wants.I have had several declawed kitties and not notice anything different verses cats with claws.with the exception of climbing up something like a tree or high cat perch without the assistance of a ladder.


Mar 27, 2011
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Lola and Furby
by: Elisa

Lola was an 8 month old orphan we'd adopted at 12 weeks. Furby was tiny. Lola ate with Furby and raised him. Now they're both grown and we have all the other cats but Furby and Lola still stick together as mother and son. And usually Lucky (Mia's son) is with them. We're just glad the cats adjust to each other. I try not to change their routines too much. The only changes from the two cat home to the sanctuary is the addition of an extra feeding spot and the addition of 2 more litter boxes.


Mar 27, 2011
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Mom cat loves kitten
by: Steve Robbins

Our first female cat (Fly) was a single cat until we decided to adopt our kitten (Sly). When Fly saw Sly (8 weeks old), she hissed and ran away, mad. A few minutes later, little Sly let out a tiny "mew". Fly heard Sly and her mother instinct kicked in. She wandered out back into the living room and saw Sly as a kitten in need, who needed a mother's love. She licked Sly and looked after him until he became an adult cat. Now, they are best of friends and chase each other around the house (at night, of course)!


Mar 27, 2011
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Furby does that to me
by: Elisa

Furby knows I love him the most and he always points that out to the other cats. He has dinner plate rights and bed rights and head rub rights.

I've put a lot of feelers out for this article. I also want to hear from declawed cat owners to find out if the declawed cat socialize any differently.

I get the feeling this article will become a case study for cat to cat behavior. There are plenty of book on cat-owner bond but little on the cat to cat.


Mar 27, 2011
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Cat friends
by: Aimee

I love your question, Elisa. I'll be honest I've not thought about it before but I've had lots of cats and have 5 at the moment. One just turned 20 and he has been here for most of the adoptions. I lost three in three years that was tough and got Kismet at the shelter as Karma was alone. Those two were buddies within twentyfour hours. Not cuddle buddies, Karma has never been a snuggler with other cats but friends and able to get along easily. Kismet is the same way. The love the company of cats.. but adore attention from people. Sadari joined us this summer. For a black cat she has "tortitude" but thankfully a forgiving nature. She likes to instigate trouble a nudge here, a whisker twitch there.. just to see how everyone reacts.
Indy and Libby are the newest. Neighbors abandoned them and they hang out together and also love people but aren't snuggly with the other cats, though they do snuggle together.
If Indy (generally ) starts something with Kismet or Karma, Sadari intervenes.. I think it was Elisa who mentioned family that you don't always want to be around all the time. That's what I see with my kids. They love each other mostly.. adore the humans who love and feed them.. and have their family squabbles just like we do. I can almost hear Sadari saying.. "Mom loves me best.. mom loves me best" just to get a rise out of Kismet!
I think cats are more human than we give them credit for and feline enough to have better natures than we do.. for despite everything they still love us!
Ok... my turn to ramble.. sorry.. 🙂


Mar 27, 2011
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bonds
by: Adam

Cats seem to form bonds based on a mixture of body language and empathy. They may form sub-clans and as long as they don't come into permanent conflict, all should be well. Some days our 3 kitties are one pack, sometimes they have individual days and settle down into three separate rooms. As long as they're happy, we're happy. Good grief, some days they're like children...


Mar 27, 2011
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Not an expert
by: Elisa

I may not be an expert in cat psychology but I think I have a pretty good case study going on here. Right now I'm watching a movie before work. I have Sheela in my lap, Shirley beside me, Mandy and Sammy on the middle couch cushion and Tom and Cassie are in Laura's lap. Mia is in her chair and Lily has come out of the bedroom. Maybe Lily will decide she likes it here after all. I don't know where Gizzy went. She allowed me to pet her head then she jumped down. Guess she's planning her next terror attack on the cats. I don't see Furby and Lola but I heard a noise back in the laundry area so they're likely up there asleep. Lucky is probably up there with them since I don't see him either.

I just think it very unusual there's so little about cats choosing their friends on the internet. This discussion we're having on this article may be the closest we'll come to learning about peer behavior between cats. So lets keep the comments coming on this one.


Mar 27, 2011
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No Clue
by: Kitty Novich

I currently have 4 cats and 1 foster (turning into a permanent) First, I have Budd and Ginger (littermates) almost 5 years old. Then I have Jack and Malia (littermates) almost 2 years old. Then I have Nugget(female foster, 5 months) one from my stray/feral colony, who was injured when attacked by a neighbors dog. All of my cats are rescues. Budd is the Alpha male, black, and our familiar. He gaurds all of us. He takes care of the whole family, fosters included. Ginger is a tortie... 'Nuff said? She is the ALPHA, period. She has the attitude indigenous to all torties/calicos. "Tortitude," if you will. She will "allow" Budd to groom her head for a few seconds and that's all the interacion she will allow with the entire cat family. She is the only one allowed to live/breathe, get on Mom's lap, sleep on the bed, eat,...etc. Malia is our shy baby. She is mild mannered and doesn't mind anyone else, except Ginger. Jack is everyones brother. He takes care of all the fosters, right off the bat. They are his babies. Budd still puts him in his place once in a while, but they get on well enough. There is a lot of love in my home. Even between the cats, with the exception of Miss Tortitude.
I have no idea why, except I am reminded of my own siblings. I have 7 big brothers and I love them dearly. However, I only enjoy a few of them in very small doses...


Mar 27, 2011
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Just like people
by: Leah (England)

I just think cats are like people in that some people you meet you take a dislike to and some you love forever!. Cats are the same; some cats they like and some cats they don't!

Perhaps like us they have some sort of social etiquette. Maybe though we just don't see it! Perhaps a new cat may have awful table manners or bad litter etiquette! Some of the other cats may think 'oh how common! have you seen what he just did!'

You can get a cat that loves every other cat that crosses their path and then at the other end of the scale you can get a cat that hates every cat it meets! Just like you get grumpy humans who do nothing but complain and hate everyone!

We've had cats like this and we've had those that have just been indifferent!


Mar 27, 2011
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Never been asked before
by: Michael

Hi Elisa. I don't think the question has been asked before never mind answered! I have never seen an article on this subject. And like you I have read lots. Nor have I thought about it.

So we have to go back to basics and guess a bit or a lot. Here is a ramble with no answers...

Two methods come to mind, (1) Domestic cats at heart are wildcats. They have wildcat drives and mentalities at core and (2) Cats are mammals with feelings, emotions and characters although we don't know how well developed they are. We are not that different in some ways. Some cats will be better socialised and more able get along with others be they people or cats or dogs etc.

Cats are essentially solitary so forming cat colonies is an adaptation. You have a cat colony.

I think it is a question of the cat's character (as born - genetics), socialisation (experiences in first 7 weeks of life) and then pure preferences.

Gizzy seems to have a socialisation problem for example.

Common sense says that cats have preferences for other cats like humans have for humans set against the other factors mentioned above.

Perhaps the answer is to look at ourselves and decide how we like or dislike someone. That is a complicated subject.

It would be interesting to know if a cat had a preference for a certain appearance in another cat - like we fancy the look of a certain person of the opposite sex. I am sure scent plays a part as cats rely heavily on their sense of smell.

I am rambling and getting nowhere....! Help someone...

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