Jealousy between my cat and roommates' cats.

by Nick
(San Antonio, TX)

I moved into an apartment with my sister and her boyfriend about 3 months ago. we all have a cat. the three of them have adjusted quite well to each other. they do the normal kinds of things each other that I've seen with other people in similar situations. The problem that I'm having involves me.

i like all of the cats. I've raised my cat (Iggy, male) from a rescue kitten (found in a sewer at 5 weeks old), so i can understand some of the aggression. However, whenever i pet my sister's cat (Maiju, female. ASPCA rescue), Iggy comes storming in scratching me and Maiju. He's obviously upset that I'm paying her attention. I squirt him to get him off of us, and ignore him after that. However, he continues to stalk me or Maiju afterward for about 15 minutes.

what can i do about this? I don't mind them establishing an order among themselves, but i won't let his possessiveness be placed on me. and i definitely don't want him hurting her when I'm not looking.

Answer by Kate
ummmm, well firstly stop squiting him with water, this serves no prpose other than either making him even more afraid (aggression is often a sign of fear in cats) or affirms the behaviour as he received some sort of reaction out of you.

cats learn by negative and positive reactions, however a positive reaction is not necessarily one that we would associate with a good reaction. i.e you scream out (positive reaction) you squrt him with water (positive reaction), whereas a negative one is, silence, no eye contact and moving away from him continually or him being put out side the room with the door closed (in silence).

So when he attcakes, get up immmediately, make no sound, don't look at him and walk away from him into another room. If he follows you are is still behaving aggressivily then again walk away from him. Then do the opposite when he is being nice to you i.e lots of paraise and sounds and eye contact and play. Eventaully he will learn the different behaviors and their responses.

Your female cat will protect herself so don't try and intervene when he becomes aggressive to her or again the signals will become mixed.

Hope it helps

best wishes kate

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