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Cat behavior questions

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posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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I don't know how to exactly to ask this question, so I hope this doesn't sound confusing.

Late last year, around early December, my family and I discovered that a feral cat was eating our cat's cat food, who's name is Kitty. Kitty was a wild cat that came up to us randomly a few years ago. She (we think it's a female cat) was hungry, and after feeding her, she decided to move in. Normally she's social and is okay with staying outside. Kitty doesn't feel comfortable coming inside the house; only does she ever come in to roll onto her back, then run out of the house.

Ever since that cat has showed up, Kitty has been acting standoffish. We usually see the cat eat her food and drink the water, and if we try to confront it it will run off.

Due to it being winter it has been raining on and off, heavily. Normally Kitty sleeps in her spots we have set up for her. We either have her own box with blankets or we have a car chair that has covers over it, like a tent. Either way it's the best spots for her to keep warm. However, last night Kitty wasn't in her usual spots but the other cat was.

It's been raining heavily since late last night. I decided I'll check on Kitty because she normally sleeps in her chair during the night. A few nights ago I saw the other cat by the back door, and when I came out it ran away. This night it was sleeping in Kitty's box, while she wasn't under her chair. Which confused me because it was raining heavily and any animal will seek shelter. Which Kitty usually went under the covers on her chair.

I'm wondering if the cat is upsetting her somehow. Before she'll usually act like the other cats were bothersome but not like she'll attack them; even this cat she seemed to ignore while it ate her food. Now she's not sleeping in her bed. I'll continue to check up on her these nights to make sure she's okay.

Hopefully someone will know what's going on. Maybe I'm overthinking this issue. And we have another wild cat to take care of. If this cat is messing with Kitty, then we'll have to catch it and take it to a animal shelter.




posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: Teddy916


It's a more dominant cat I suppose. If Kitty is female, and the new cat is an intact male, she'll likely feel even more intimidated.

If Kitty visits other homes, she'll just defer to that home instead.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 10:52 AM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
a reply to: Teddy916


It's a more dominant cat I suppose. If Kitty is female, and the new cat is an intact male, she'll likely feel even more intimidated.

If Kitty visits other homes, she'll just defer to that home instead.


We don't what gender either cat is. My family and I usually refer to Kitty as a "female". Though it's not confirmed. And we don't know nothing about this cat. The only other cats Kitty socialized with where cats my neighbors owned: one adult siamese and two friendly, curious kittens.

How would someone tell if a cat's male or female without harming it?



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 10:53 AM
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a reply to: Teddy916


Ummm....pick it up and see how many holes are present?



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 10:58 AM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
a reply to: Teddy916


Ummm....pick it up and see how many holes are present?


No way, Jose! I'm not saying that to be sarcastic. Kitty doesn't mine being picked up occasionally though she'll get upset quickly. And the other cat always runs off before you can get a good look at it.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 10:58 AM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
a reply to: Teddy916


It's a more dominant cat I suppose. If Kitty is female, and the new cat is an intact male, she'll likely feel even more intimidated.

If Kitty visits other homes, she'll just defer to that home instead.
In general, this is the right answer.

How long has Kitty been coming around? There was a small cat that just "appeared" at our house about two years ago. We would feed her, set up some sleeping areas much as you have done. Over time, little by little we built up trust with her and by using treats/food we slowly got her to feel comfortable with coming inside the house. Fortunately there were no issues with our indoor cats and at the time we had an elderly dog that this stray cat absolutely adored.

Anyway, it was important for us to know that this new cat was "ok" so after enough time had passed we were able to bring her to a local shelter that has CNR (catch, neuter, release) program to limit the amount of stray cats. They did the whole nine yards. Checked her out, "fixed" her and even gave her a first dose of flea treatment (Frontline). We still let her out because we feel it would be cruel to force her to stay inside 24-7 but it's nice knowing that she is inside during these cold winter nights.

Any possibility of you making "Kitty" an indoor-outdoor? It sounds like the newcomer is taking over and giving her trouble. (Something that I had to deal with when our newest cat was solely outdoors).



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 11:02 AM
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Lots of cat experience here. Sounds like your fav kitty is being pushed aside by the newcomer because as you say you leave food and a comfy place outside. This can attract any homeless cat and even some with homes if your kitty food is better than what they get at home. This newbie could chase kitty away entirely. I have had this happen and sadly things work one of two ways. Either find a way to get rid of the new cat..or you might find yourself with two ...or worse.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 11:06 AM
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if you let your cat run with those bums she will either become a bum or she will feel a little intimidated. She used to be like that but chose a different kind of life but feels a little like she is doing something wrong. She still has a little desire to be like that.

When our outside cat came inside after her companion outside died, she kept trying to get out the door for a year, yearning for the outside life. After a dozen times she realized that that freedom wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The fresh cooked scraps and warm and dry actually corrected a lot of health problems. The bugs biting are not fun she learned. But they lived outdoors and in garages in buildings for sixteen years and she thought that was the only way to live. She is our oldest cat now and is in better shape than all the others. She is constantly moving around. She no longer misses the bugs and cold, she can jump up onto chairs now, before she had so much arthritis symptoms we had to pick her up so she could get on the couch or bed. She does miss her lifetime partner, I can see it in her eyes when she looks out the door but she saw him die and knows he is not coming back. She was with us when we buried him, watching the coffin go into the ground.

All animals have awareness and feelings just like us. Cats are actually better at hiding those feelings and know that most humans think that they are just cats. We eat animals so want to believe that they are dumb, but remember, they are not dumb but we still must eat them. So treat the animals right, especially if you are going to eat them.

Cats aren't heartless bitches, but my ex had the initials CAT and she gave cats a bad name.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 11:14 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone. We'll continue to check up on both the cats. I agree with you it's probably territorial. Hopefully it won't led to anything bad.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 11:46 AM
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Oh, poor Kitty! Cats are very territorial, as you've noted. I think that's what it is. My assessment - The "other" cat is probably more dominant and Kitty is intimidated, so she gives up her food and sleeping place. She's probably very unhappy and generally anxious about the "other" cat's scent in her bed and all around her territory.

I would capture the 'other' cat in a humane trap and take it to the animal shelter ASAP.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 11:47 AM
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Teddy,

I've lived with cats for 60 years, so I know whereof I speak.

It doesn't pay to interfere too much with the hierarchy of feral cats. It's okay to feed, water, shelter, but don't get too involved or attached.

This situation sounds like your favorite has been supplanted by a new alpha.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 11:53 AM
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originally posted by: Restricted
Teddy,

I've lived with cats for 60 years, so I know whereof I speak.

It doesn't pay to interfere too much with the hierarchy of feral cats. It's okay to feed, water, shelter, but don't get too involved or attached.

This situation sounds like your favorite has been supplanted by a new alpha.


Yes, I agree. This is what my situation is sounding like because Kitty can be very territorial with her space and normally likes being alone.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 12:00 PM
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a reply to: Teddy916

I know what it is to love cats. Sometimes I think I'm an ancient Egyptian or something.

I know it's hard to take when something like this happens. I hope, for your sake and your love of Kitty, that things work out to your liking and for the benefit of both kitties.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 12:01 PM
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It's a more dominant cat I suppose. If Kitty is female, and the new cat is an intact male, she'll likely feel even more intimidated. If Kitty visits other homes, she'll just defer to that home instead.


Yep, this is all about territory, and "Kitty" has ceded her claim to the new arrival. Not much can be done for it.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 01:13 PM
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Perhaps this new cat is female and about to drop some kittens and your kitty knows that this new cat needs shelter more than she does. Hope both kitty cats are OK .



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 01:48 PM
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Awwww, poor Kitty! I agree that the other cat should be trapped humanely and taken to a shelter. Then again, shelters are usually filled to capacity. Maybe in time, they will get along. Make more sheltered areas for them and put out extra food and water if you can afford to. It is important though that they get fixed so as not to bring in more homeless kitties.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 02:03 PM
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This is what happens with outdoor colony cats. If they cannot coexist, one pushes out the other, or a peaceful group will elect to eject a member, or a newcomer will fight its way into a group and suddenly half or more of them are gone.



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 04:21 PM
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Does either can spray to mark their territory? That's a good indication it's a male. You can usually see the testicle on an intact male!



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 05:14 PM
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I've been having a similar problem lately with my semi-feral cat. I call her Inky.

Her mother was completely feral. But when Inky was born I took time to partially socialize her. Eventually both her mother and siblings left and she was here by herself. She is completely at home with me most of the time.

She got pregnant and had three kittens. Two of those died and the third became our in-house pet. His name is Smokey.

His (apparent) father started hanging around when the kittens were really small. For the longest time I tried to run him off. But it eventually became evident that he was actually a good father for his kids and was there to protect them, rather than trying to eat them. Inky always seemed to be comfortable around him, so I let him stay. I believe he is actually a "multi-homed" cat.

Lately there have been several new cats around that I've never seen before. But it turns out that Inky is in heat. She is constantly running from all of the other cats around her. Even though this is her territory and home, she is kind-of deferring to them.

Unfortunately I can't afford to keep an entire colony of cats around the house. The man who takes care of the property does not like running his lawn mover through cat poop all summer, and he is ready to string me up now.

Hopefully this situation will take care of itself. Otherwise I'll have to act like Big Brother and bring out the pellet rifle. I've got a lot of time and energy invested in Inky and I'm not going to have her run off from her own territory.

-dex



posted on Jan, 13 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: Teddy916

If you see Kitty again have her fixed! We had almost the same thing happen to us except I took the female stray and got her fixed and shots and flea/tick treatment, she pretty much lives on our porch but it's a 22 ft. covered porch. She was strange before about other strays and was standoffish but that all stopped when I got her fixed. I have 3 indoor only cats and 2 strays that I care for, one male is way to wild to bring inside but the female will come in only late at night when it's very cold out (we keep her separated from our others while she's inside) and she will stay just until the morning then she wants back out! It's like an agreement we have with her. Cats are funny like that!




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