Saturday, March 02, 2013

The problem cat

A couple of years ago my friend up the street was inveigled into adopting two kittens from a neighbor, soft-hearted cat lover that she is.  At the time, I knew these kittens, brother & sister,  had been prematurely weaned.  One grew up into a runt female that wanders around her house, upstairs & down,  day & night meowing for mama's teat, & goes into heat every six or eight weeks when the crying gets so awful I can't even sit & watch TV. The other, a male, grew into a huge tom. He's "fixed" but the hormones are still active. A clean cat, he would be an amicable pet with a home to himself.  But his size has turned him into a bully. He chases & terrifies the other three cats, sometimes tries to mount the runt, who is about 1/4th his size. Unlike a good  pet dog, where the dog acknowledges alpha humans &, treated well, becomes a loyal, protective friend & family member, a dominant cat will only accept human dominance for about half-an-hour. So if I yell at this big tom & clap my hands loudly, it will stop whatever it is doing to another cat & run off.  But a little while later all is forgotten & back it comes for more stalking & chasing.

My friend also has as a temporary guest - an older, mellow male cat from her business, which she just moved. This cat tries to fight off the big tom just to keep a little bit of peaceful territory upstairs.  The solution to all this dysfunction is one my friend will not do, in part because it's probably impossible:  Find another home for the  big tom, keep the other male,  & have the runt fixed.  The big tom cannot be trained or changed. He is the problem cat. 


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