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Mama_Cakes's avatar

Is this true when it comes to domestic cats establishing their hierarchy (details and a complimentary scritch inside)

Asked by Mama_Cakes (11141points) February 25th, 2012

My girlfriend and I don’t live together. We both have a cat (she has a female and I have a male). Right now, my boy is staying at my girlfriend’s. He will be there for another 3 weeks. Her cat, Maggie is a bit of a grouch when it comes to other cats. She usually hisses and at times would spit, when they would come near. She comes off as scared. My boy is awfully friendly with other cats, and for the past week, he has done his best to get close to her. He is to the point now where he is trying to get her to play with him. She’s not having it, although, she does seem interested (watches him from the comfort of her bamboo chair).

Now, when it comes to sleepy time, my boy has taken over the my g/f’s bed. Usually, Maggie would sleep there through the night, but, now Frankie has claimed that spot as his own. Even through the day, he naps on her bed. My g/f read online that the top cat claims the comfiest/most desirable sleeping spot (which, in this case would be the bed). Is that true? Is he the dominate kitty.

She is letting him near her..

getting closer

(Maggie, left and Frankie, right)

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11 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

That’s certainly the case with my two. Mine are male and female, adopted at the same time 12 years ago. The female has always clearly dominated. If the male settles into a choice sleeping spot and the female comes along, she first sniffs his butt; if he doesn’t get the message, she’ll begin aggressively licking his head; if he still won’t budge, the teeth come out. He invariably cedes the sacred ground, whereupon she settles into the pre-warmed spot. Usually, things don’t escalate to the licking point, though. As soon as she shows up and sniffs his but he usually knows the jig is up and bails.

It’s interesting to me how this arouses such feelings of righteous indignation in me and my wife when we see this happen. It’s just so damned unjust. We’ll often fend off the female when the male is snoozing there blissfully, and get mad at her when she eventually usurps the spot anyway. It makes me think about what a very human construct the whole notion of justice is. I’m pretty sure even the male thinks we’re being ridiculous when we try to contravene the natural order of things.

marinelife's avatar

My top cat always used to sleep next to my head on the pillow. It was kind of annoying and disruptive. So, I said that when she died that was it for cats sleeping near my head, but the second she was gone from the house, one of the two remaining cats claimed the spot.

CaptainHarley's avatar

He would appear to be. Cats will usually sort themselves out after a few weeks, and settle into a new hierarchy.

tinyfaery's avatar

Since you already ignored all the rules on the best way to introduce cats…

It seems like they are working it out. You have a good natured cat who does not take offense. The other cat is slowly letting down some boundaries. I think you’ll be ok.

Try giving them treats together and try to engage them in play that allows them to be in separate areas but enjoy it.

Most importantly when they start engaging each other allow them to roughhouse. You might think they are fighting, but what they are doing is learning/teaching boundaries. Don’t interfere unless you hear screaming.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My g/f read online that the top cat claims the comfiest/most desirable sleeping spot (which, in this case would be the bed). Is that true? Is he the dominate kitty.

In my home, this is not true.

As for the rest I completely agree with @tinyfaery.

When my husband brought his cat in to the mix (back in the days when we had only two cats), it worked out well rather quickly, because we each already smelled like the other cat. Both cats acted as if they’d known each other all along.

Coloma's avatar

I introduced a mature 5 yr. old male cat to my 2.5 yr. old female in early Dec. They have blended beautifully and really like each other. He is extremely mellow and it took little to integrate them, compared to a disasterious situation last summer when I tried to blend a stray dominant female my daughter had found. That was never going to work, inspite of all my efforts.

Yes, he has claimed the top tier of the cat condo as his preferential spot but also sleeps on my bed and allows my female to have the spot that she enjoys the most too. Sometimes he will jump up there and give her a little nip to push her out but never any serious aggression. Cats prefer vertical space so it might be nice to get a second cat tree where they both can have the top bunk. lol

They will work it out and as long as no serious fighting is going on I wouldn’t worry about it. Cats often go through phases of having a particular hang out spot and then it shifts again.
I bet they will become good friends as time wears on. In my experience the male/female combo is always easier to integrate.

anartist's avatar

Is her cat older? She acts a little that way. Still it seems that they are working it out. Don’t worry about who is dominant. They won’t once it is settled.

Coloma's avatar

@Mama_Cakes Awww…cute kitties, I can tell the “look” of the b & w female. Females always have a “look” about them, the ” I’m the dignified princess” look, while the males tend to have a kinda ” what…yeah, I’m just doing my thing” “look.” Kinda like a lot of human males and females. haha

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@anartist They’re the same age. :)

Jude's avatar

Update (I’m actually Mama_Cakes):

I received an email from my g/f this morning:

They have been taking turns on my lap over here. They could have lived together their whole lives for the way they are acting now. They both came to meet me when I woke up and stood about a foot away from each other. It’s cute.

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