My male cat is jealous of his sibling and my dog. Advice please.

From Marion Campbell…

I own 2 cats, 1 female and 1 male (from the same litter). They are 3 yrs old and have got on well, now when the female cat comes near me the male gets on top of her and starts biting her around the back of neck and then wrestle to get rid of her.

The male cat is also jealous of our dog who came into our lives 2 yrs later. Can you please offer me a cure as I can’t part with any of them as I love them.

Regards Marion


Response from Michael:

Thanks for the question, Marion. I’ll make a comment soon, in which I state my thoughts on this tricky problem. I’ll respond as best I can. Other PoCers may comment too.

Thanks for visiting and asking.

Facebook Comments

Comments

My male cat is jealous of his sibling and my dog. Advice please. — 16 Comments

  1. My thoughts:
    Are your cats neutered Marion?
    The male acting that way is a bit like the way a male mates a female, on top and biting her neck. If not, then neutering will certainly calm your male down.
    The dog coming along later can be easily explained, cats are very territorial and they would see the dog as an intruder. Your female cat is obviously of a much more laid back temperament than your male.
    Some cats are very possessive of their person and jealousy manifests when they reach full maturity.
    I think you will just have to patiently and kindly make sure each of your pets are treated equally.
    Spend time with each one separately giving them your full attention without letting the male cat see you doing so with the other two. Never make a fuss of one when the others are watching.
    Make him feel important and loved. Keep your cats busy with scratching posts and cat toys and fun and games.
    Maybe someone else has some better suggestions?
    Good luck.

    • Good advice Ruth. I do spend time after these incidents with each cat separately. I don’t sense any residual grief. It is interesting though.

      Seems all four of you get along just great in your two human, two cat household!

      • Hi Dorothy, yes Babz and I get along really well, we are friends as well as sisters and have the same tastes and most of all we love cats more than anything.
        Walt and Jo don’t love each other, they tolerate each other really, Walt sleeps with Babz and Jo with me, but we each love both equally and spend equal time with both our cats so neither are jealous of the other.
        They occasionally have a bit of a play fight, nothing serious but so do we lol

    • You are definitely right about the male’s mating behavior. Neutering will calm him down if he is not already neutered.

      Reading Marion’s article in the light of DW’s comment below, it appears that the male cat is ensuring he has dominance over the group and tries to mate with his sibling when she goes near to Marion.

      I have a feeling that these sorts of male cat problems are by dominant male cats with strong territorial and mating desires and rights.

      I hope he is not neutered because neutering is the classic solution. Everyone states that it helps curb instinctive wild cat drives in domestic cats.

      I don’t think one can eliminate a male cat’s innate drives. They are hard wired. But, as you say, they can be curbed.

      Feliway, a pheromone product designed to calm cats under these circumstances is often recommended. It is not 100% effective.

      The male cat would appear to see Marion as competition. If that is true the answer is to treat him especially nicely so that he knows you are not competition.

      This is what Ruth is stating:

      Make him feel important and loved..

  2. This is a good topic! I look forward to Michael’s response. When Marvin and Bigfoot are in the same room together, they are sweet to each other until I step closer. Marvin always blocks passage between me and Bigfoot. Bigfoot always winces and runs away to his room. Even though I don’t see it, Marvin gives body language that Bigfoot reads clearly.

    Fortunately they are not together often, or it would be a big problem for me. Only once did Marvin strike out at Bigfoot. I am pretty sure, Bigfoot is the only male Marvin will tolerate at all. I guess he respects his elders, but still doesn’t want to share.

    I would add a photo, but it doesn’t work from my end for whatever reason. My computers are twisted!

    • DW, it seems that you are stating that Marvin wants you as his is own and not to share you with Bigfoot.

      Is that how you read this behavior? If not please tell me how you read it.

        • One of the big issues with understanding the domestic cat is that excellent cat caretakers problem know more about cat feelings or emotions through observation than the “experts”.

          Very little if any research has been done on cat feelings and this particular problem is about cat feelings, essentially.

          We are therefore alone in working out what is going on and it is not possible to totally eradicate natural cat behavior for obvious reasons.

          I think Marvin is a dominant male cat. In a colony he’s be a boss cat. He is exercising his dominance and treats you as a cat. I have always said that cats see us as cats.

          I am guessing but perhaps if you somehow ensure that Marvin understands that you share your affections equally between Bigfoot and Marvin he will “get the message” that you are not exclusively his, although he may become more possessive.

          I have a feeling that Ruth in her comment has the best answer but there are no clean, clear fixes.

  3. We call it ‘cats politics’ lol
    We can never know everything about cats, only cats can do that, because they are cats.
    They have an air of mystery about them and I think that’s why some people hate them, because they fear them, they can’t control them like they can dogs.
    Over the almost 40 years we’ve had cats, every single one has been different with a different personality.

  4. It does sound like mating type behaviour from the male cat. I think the only way you can get 2 cats to accept eachother with regard to sharing a human’s company is to play with them together. If you get the wand toy out and get them both chasing it and playing at the same time this will do wonders towards solving the issue. The one thing about cat’s is that they have a natural instinct to hunt/play – they will home in on that toy and pounce on it before they can get involved in eachother and the problem of sharing the human.

    That would be my immediate action towards trying to solve the issue. You want them to both be able to sit on yoru lap or hang out with you at the same time – that’s all.

    Of course if they are not neutered then this will be around 70-80% of the problem possibly.

    • I’ve seen it with my own two eyes – when 2 cats who normally don’t like eachother forget in the moment of playing and then you see them notice that they are infact doing something together and they don’t necessarily immediatly stop and leave or go back to the problem routine. I remember Pepi and Lilly getting along mainly at first because they would forget eachother’s ‘negative’ presence in the process of play. IT really helped them get along quickly and ended all the hissing and leaving.

      • Trust our boyz to be different lol They played together lovely with us as kittens but very rarely since, we have tried!
        They sometimes have a mad half hour chasing each other but Walter gets a bit rough and it ends in fisticuffs.
        So we play separately with each of them, Walt likes chasing after things dragged best and Jo likes tickling stick under the rug games or running after a little red ball. Walt likes to play ball on the stairs. Jo likes a squeaky mouse, Walt doesn’t. They may look similar but they are very different little characters.

        • lol – love the mini poster Ruth 🙂 – they really do look alike sat there in ‘formation’.

          My first cat Gigi ame to us with her sister and the 2 played until they got a bit older, like about a year old, and then they just stopped, like with Walt and Jo I guess. They just stopped and occasionally got into a nasty slapfight. I think now they don’t spend time together even though they live together in the same household. As with your 2 they are so different. Maybe it’s a sibling thing. Siblings are perhaps programmed to push away from eachother. I’d go with that but then I know lots of siblings who are always together playing and exploring at much older.

          Every situation and cat is unique 🙂

        • I enjoy these photos. You can sense the communication going on. It is all said in body language. They look like twins almost in the bottom photo.

          I am not sure that everyone who has a cat realises that cats have very definitive personalities. We know that you discover it through being close emotionally to your cat.

  5. Walter is a month older than Jozef but they grew up together as brothers, they mostly get along Ok, going about their own business. But I think cats just like people, fall out at times, but like in the poster bear no grudges against each other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.